- WARNING: Spoilers for the Season 7 finale Below -
Well, that was something. Undead dragons, old mysteries solved, alliances shifted, and all with twice as much incest as there was at the beginning (yay?). It wasn’t a perfect episode, but that’s a minor gripe. The breakneck pace that Game of Thrones has cultivated this season seems to be carrying through to the final handful of episodes remaining, and while a sense of finality is growing, there are still many questions left to answer before the credits roll one last time. There are a lot of people that need to die or answer for the death of others, and there are prophecies and plot points that need closure. As wildly misunderstood as the The Sopranos' ending was, something as open-ended as that modern American crime epic wouldn’t make sense for the exhaustively seeded and carefully strategized world of Game of Thrones.
The Iron Bank of Braavos is about to start collecting dues, and it seems like every character has something to pay off. We know the Lannisters always pay their debts, but their credit line always seems in danger, especially since they’re accepting help from those Iron Island creeps. After catching our breath from “The Dragon and the Wolf,” and with the finish line in sight, we have 15 Questions Game of Thrones Season 8 Must Answer.
15 Are we getting the damn Cleganebowl or what?
This question has the lowest stakes and would have the smallest effect on the overarching Game of Thrones narrative, but it’s a fan service we’ve wanted for years now. As a child, Sandor Clegane was burned and disfigured by his brother, Gregor, because the latter is a psychopath. Both became great warriors as adults—known as the Hound and the Mountain, respectively (though the Hound has an understandable dislike of fire).
While neither can be considered “good guys,” a confrontation between the two essentially unkillable warriors has been discussed by fans and teased in the books and the series for years. In “The Dragon and the Wolf,” we got a brief stare down and a direct tease that the brothers will come face to (three-quarters of a) face. These final seasons have been all about closing out stories and characters, and with the Cleganebowl, we’re hoping Game of Thrones is saving the best for last.
14 Will Theon redeem himself?
Slowly but surely, Game of Thrones’ third favorite eunuch, Theon Greyjoy is washing himself of the reek (GET IT?) of cowardice. He can sometimes look people in the eye now, and despite totally letting his sister Yara down by jumping in the ocean rather than saving her from their uncle Euron, it seems that Theon is poised to soon make some kind of amends.
He acknowledged his crimes and apologized to Jon. He beat the tar out of that schnook with the scar on his head (though not in the most decisive way and not without taking an impressive beating) as a way to rally the troops to launch a rescue operation to save Yara. The series has been playing the long game in regards to Theon’s redemption arc, and it’s likely that we’ll see it come to a close in season eight; either by sacrificing himself so Yara can escape, or by avenging her death (and likely dying in the process himself—let’s not kid ourselves, this is still Game of Thrones, after all).
13 Are we going to see Howland Reed?
We have records to indicate Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark are Jon Snow’s parents. We also have the word of Bran, who can see into the past because of his Three Eyed Raven voodoo, but who wants to trust him at this point? He’s odd and unfeeling, and nothing is more powerful than an eyewitness.
Howland Reed is the last person alive to have been at the Tower of Joy when Ned Stark came to rescue his sister. We’ve seen his boring, boring kids throughout the middle of the series, but now might be the time we finally get to see present-day Howland. While not important in the grand arc of the series, his word could be the final thing that leads Jon to accept his Targaryen heritage. Admittedly, it would seem strange to introduce an ostensibly new character in the final six episodes, but, hell, look at Twin Peaks. We’ve been waiting ten episodes for Dale Cooper to show up.
12 What's the point of Sothoryos?
The known world in Game of Thrones is comprised of four continents: Westeros, Essos, Uthos, and Sothoryos (not to mention the islands and whatnot). We’ve well-explored Westeros and Essos throughout the run of the series; the action takes place there. Uthos, as George R.R. Martin said, is this great unknown. “Even though Africa was known to Europe from the earliest days of ancient Greece,” he said, “we knew relatively little about sub-Saharan Africa.” It’s extremely far and often mythologized by those in the other continents. It’s mysterious. That’s Uthos’ thing.
But then there’s Sothoryos. It’s much closer, but still largely unknown to Game of Thrones’ characters and the audience. Given the description of the inhabitants—half-man, half-animal (while the animals themselves are just as rare, strange, and exotic)—Sothoryos sounds more like something out of Kamandi or Dinosaur Island from DC Comics. But, again, what’s the point of the place? Like Uthos, it doesn’t add anything to the plot or share any major history with Westeros. Sure, it shades in and populates the series’ world more, but it doesn’t serve any actual utility.
11 Is Jon the best sword fighter in Westeros?
He may know nothing, and despite being a magnet for arrows and daggers, Jon Snow (are we still calling him that?) has always been a more than capable swordsman. Over brief period of time, he’s gone from being the new member of the Night’s Watch to being the first person in thousands of years to kill a White Walker. He’s cut down untold numbers of Wildlings during the Battle of the Wall, and just as many White Walkers during the battle of Hardhome and his latest outing beyond the wall.
In the latest episodes, we’ve gone as far as to see Jon cut through commanders of the undead army with ease, hardly even deigning them with a glance before mowing them down. We’ll never really know if he is the best fighter of all time with Arthur Dayne long dead, but among the living, he very well may be the best.
10 What about the Dany and Cersei prophecies?
The most prominent women in Game of Thrones have prophecies tied to them, and we’d like to see them somehow acknowledged in the final six episodes. For Cersei, she’s supposed to be dethroned by a younger queen (ostensibly Dany, but perhaps Sansa?) and be killed by a “little sibling.” The "little" part leads us to think it might be Tyrion, but "little" may mean younger, which is a designation that applies to both of her brothers. Broadly, it could even be the vertically challenged Arya or someone like Sansa or Yara Greyjoy, who are all younger than Cersei.
Dany’s is about three betrayals. One for blood (Mirri Maz Duur killing Khal Drogo and making Dany miscarry), one for gold (Jorah or Brown Ben Plumm) and one for love (which has yet to be established). It is also possible that these betrayals aren’t ones that would be done to her, but ones she will do to others. While these prophecies have been hanging in the background in the last two seasons, they’ve long been a conversational point in the fandom, and dropping the subplot now would be a letdown.
9 Is there anything left of the Night's Watch?
The most important ginger since Bill Burr, God help us all if Tormund Giantsbane is dead. Of all the questions we have, this one is the quickest and most likely to be resolved. We saw the reanimated Viserion decisively destroy the wall and take a good portion of the men manning Eastwatch-By-The-Sea with it. We expect that season 8 will begin with a quick and equally decisive battle that sees most, if not all, of the remaining men stationed at the wall killed by hordes of frozen zombies.
The massacre would be the proper starting point of the war, with all the major players in Westeros finally aware of the Night King and rallying to fight back. The destruction of the Night’s Watch makes sense, since they were always meant to be front line cannon fodder intended to buy time to warn others when the hard winter comes. But, again, #PrayForTormund.
8 Will Jaime truly swap allegiances?
We weren’t all that surprised that Jaime ended season 7 no longer at Cersei’s side. Their relationship has been becoming more and more tenuous as Cersei becomes more icy, immoral, and cutthroat (and for a Lannister, that’s saying something). With Dany leading the charge against the Night King, she is presumably now the queen he'll be fighting for. In the most likely case, it’s just for this one task.
Unless Jaime is having a midlife crisis, he seems to have grown tired of his sister's deceptions. Was Cersei's decision not to involve him in her latest scheme the final straw in the ickiest relationship in Westeros?
While they’re on the same side against the white walkers, it will be interesting to see whose side he ends up on when Cersei’s prophecy comes back around. After all, she’s supposed to be replaced by a younger usurper who will replace her as Queen. Will Jaime be the one that takes out his big sister once and for all?
7 How does Littlefinger's execution affect the alliance with House Arryn?
Well, that was pointless. Littlefinger went from sowing discord in King’s Landing and taking control of House Arryn to manipulating a feud between sisters who were rickrolling him the entire time. We knew that he would have to die at some point, but this felt like a sudden, jarring end to a forced storyline. That said, the dangerously idiotic Robin Arryn is now Lord of the Vale and may want revenge for the death of his beloved uncle; after all, they only have the word of Bran. Would he believe this person he never met and the Vale soldiers who were present?
While this late-stage war may only needlessly complicate things, it would hammer home the overall theme that war is self-defeating and the rulers of the Seven Kingdoms are more concerned with salving their egos than acknowledging the bigger picture. It would indict Sansa and Arya for putting their family vendetta against Littlefinger over the threat of the white walkers and indict Robin Arryn as well for the same reason.
6 Are the theories about the Night King true?
We know the Children of the Forest created the Night King, but there are plenty of unanswered questions and possibilities surrounding the plot device character. You know the one we’re talking about. Bran warging so long in the Night King’s mind that they become one—that Bran is the true Night King despite the time differential.
We’ve seen Bran accidentally influence the past before, calling out to his father at the Tower of Joy decades before his own birth and accidentally wrecking Hodor's mind when the gentle giant was a teen. Bran and the leader of the undead also dress in similar garb and have that same dead-eyed expression (the latter could just be a coincidence). The final season could spend some time developing the history of the Night King and his cronies, confirming or denying the connection between the two.
5 Who is Azor Ahai?
The mysterious Azor Ahai (the prince or princess that was promised) is Game of Thrones’ Chosen One. The prophecy was mentioned recently, and as the show embraces its more mystical elements in its waning episodes, we’re hoping they’ll tie up the loose thread.
There have been theories that suggest Davos, Jon Snow, Daenerys, and even Jorah Mormont could be Azor Ahai, but we shouldn’t discount Jaime Lannister at this point either. He has had an interesting redemptive arc over the course of the series, and being revealed as the guy who will bring balance to the force (or something) would solidify his turn. The prophecy has been a subtly important one, and to abandon a Chosen One subplot without any lip service at the least would render the whole thing pointless.
4 How will Jon's Targaryen bloodline change things?
Targaryens don’t share very well. Viserys got a crown of molten gold because of it. The Mad King died over it (among other reasons). With Jon and Dany now joining the Jaime and Cersei club, their relationship will change yet again when Jon’s Targaryen roots are revealed. Jon himself has never wanted to be a king, and we don’t expect that to change. However, Dany might come to see him as a threat to her reign, since Jon was a legitimized child—to say nothing of the fact that they’re blood related and totally banging now, which will cause some weapons-grade awkwardness.
However, this can also change the war of against the Night King substantially. Jon could mount Rhaegal (who has yet to bond with a rider) alongside Dany and Drogon against the king and the undead Viserion, definitely putting that battle in the favor of the living.
3 Is Dany turning evil?
We here at Screen Rant are a bit suspicious of Daenerys Targaryen and her leadership. As she’s obtained more power, she’s become more obsessed with expansion and less open to diplomacy and mercy. She’s repeatedly threatened to burn entire cities and has crucified her enemies.
In early season seven, she spoke to a group of defeated Lannister soldiers, claiming that Cersei doesn’t care about any of them—but Dany does. All they must do is bend the knee, but if they don’t, she’ll burn them alive, making an example out of Randyll and Dickon Tarly. This is not only hypocritical, but also not a great sign that Dany is still one of the good guys. In short, she may not be playing the game of thrones with a full deck.
With Tyrion and even Varys becoming concerned about her capabilities, along with the legacy of Targaryen instability hanging over their heads, this subplot is slowly boiling over into a grave concern as the series comes to a close.
2 Are the gods real?
Game of Thrones has a bevy of deities that people worship, including the Old Gods and the New Gods (sadly unrelated to Jack Kirby’s), the Many-Faced God, the Lord of Light, the Drowned God, the Great Stallion, the Great Santini, the Great Pumpkin, and the Great Gatsby. Believers in the Lord of Light can resurrect people and summon fire. The Many-Faced God can help their followers become other people—even to the extent that the diminutive Arya could transform into Walder Frey without anyone being the wiser.
Yet, we don’t know the true nature of these gods. Are they actually real, or just an excuse for these elaborate magic tricks? Are they all divergent representations of one god or set of gods that have been misinterpreted and teased out over the course of generational retellings of the story? Do they have a stake in the upcoming war with the dead? A show like this probably doesn’t have to directly answer questions about their gods, but couldn’t do any worse of a job than Battlestar Galactica did.
1 Who wins?
In one corner, you have the dead. The skeletal wights aren’t particularly strong, but there are only three ways of killing them. The White Walker generals are much stronger and perhaps better trained (again, though, Jon Snow mowed through that last one in seconds). Under the Night King and using an undead Viserion as his mount, the Army of the Dead is completely and truly unified. Everyone moves as one without so much as a word spoken. The Night King’s mystical powers make him difficult to spy on, his troops are completely loyal, and there are over a hundred thousand soldiers at his disposal.
In the other, you have humanity. The smaller, cobbled-together forces led by Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen are almost defined by their shifting allegiances, as pretty much everyone has other motives and agendas at play. The soldiers are a hodge-podge of different armies, most of whom hate each other. However, their individual thinking may also allow for outside-the-box ideas and strategies that will keep the Night King off-balance. They also have two living dragons against the other side’s undead one.
Most likely, humanity will win, but the heavy losses we expect to see will make their victory look nearly identical to defeat.
What questions do you have about Game of Thrones season 8? Let us know in the comments!