Game of Thrones is over, but the finale leaves behind some major unanswered questions. In the final episode, "The Iron Throne", Daenerys Targaryen won the war against Cersei Lannister, but her triumph proved to be short-lived as Tyrion Lannister conspired with Jon Snow to save Westeros from the Mad Queen - by Jon killing Dany.
After Daenerys' demise, the Game of Thrones finale resolved the lingering plotlines of the series. Despite the Iron Throne being destroyed, Westeros still needed a ruler, and the lords and ladies of Westeros chose Bran Stark as their King, dubbing him Bran the Broken. Tyrion was appointed Hand of the King and created a new Small Council to help him rule the Six Kingdoms. Meanwhile, Sansa Stark withdrew the North from the Seven Kingdoms, and now rules it as Queen in the North. With their Queen dead, Daenerys' loyal Unsullied and Dothraki armies left Westeros and sailed east. As for Jon Snow, his true heritage as Aegon Targaryen ultimately didn't matter; instead of being executed for killing Daenerys, he was sentenced to return to the Night's Watch.
While "The Iron Throne" labored to create satisfying endings for the surviving characters, the resolutions still left a lot of open questions which may never be answered and will generate debate among Game of Thrones fans for years to come. Here are our biggest questions from the Game of Thrones series finale.
13. Was Jon Right to Kill Daenerys?
Daenerys' transformation into the Mad Queen was arguably Game of Thrones' most controversial creative move and her death is equally jarring: Jon Snow stabbed and killed her. The reasons why are complicated, but it boiled down to Jon realizing Tyrion and Arya were both right: not only was Daenerys styling herself as a tyrant (essentially replacing the previous tyrant, Cersei), but a war would have inevitably broken out when Dany forces the North to bend the knee. Jon knew Tyrion was right that Daenerys would have eventually killed his sisters Sansa, and Arya and likely burned down Winterfell as well.
Though Jon repeatedly made clear he had no desire to press his claim to the Iron Throne and that he loved Daenerys, he killed her to save the kingdom and his family. This is thematically similar to how Jaime Lannister killed Daenerys' father, Mad King Aerys, to save the kingdom and his father Tywin's life. However, we'll never know for sure if Daenerys would have succeeded in building a better world with her ruthless methods.
12. Why Did Drogon Burn The Iron Throne?
Drogon sensed Daenerys was in danger and flew into the throne room to find Jon Snow standing over his dead mother. But instead of burning Jon alive, the dragon instead roasted the Iron Throne, melting it into a puddle. As for why Drogon destroyed the throne and not Jon, since they met in Game of Thrones season 7, Drogon has always liked Jon and sensed his Targaryen bloodline. Drogon was clearly distraught at the death of Daenerys, but he chose to let his anguish out on the metal chair that symbolized everything the Dragon Queen fought for, which ultimately led to her demise. And, since it was Balerion, the dragon of Daenerys' ancestor Aegon the Conqueror, who forged the Iron Throne centuries ago, it's fitting that her dragon is the one who destroyed it.
11. Where Did Drogon Go With Daenerys' Body?
After he destroyed the Iron Throne, Drogon took Daenerys' body in his claw and flew off across the Narrow Sea. Later, during the Small Council meeting, it was mentioned that Drogon was spotted flying east, but Bronn interrupted before any more information could be delivered. As for where Drogon went, the best guess would be he returned to Old Valyria, the ancestral home of the Targaryen family. Drogon went to Old Valyria when he disappeared in Game of Thrones season 5 and it makes sense that he would bring Daenerys' 'home'. But Drogon could have also returned Daenerys to Meereen, which is presumably still ruled by Daario Naharis, so that the Dragon Queen could get a proper burial with the subjects who loved her.
10. Who Were The Lords and Ladies of Westeros At The Election?
A lot of politics and the forging of a "new" Westeros occurred at the Dragonpit after Daenerys' death. Grey Worm brought Tyrion before the assembled lords and ladies of Westeros, but it all took a surprising turn when the Imp argued for both a new King - Bran Stark - and a drastic change in how future kings and queens would be chosen, by election instead of by inheritance. But who was at this historic meeting?
Besides Tyrion, Grey Worm, and Bran, the known characters gathered at the Dragonpit election were Samwell Tarly, Edmure Tully, Arya Stark, Sansa Stark, Robyn Arryn, Yohn Royce, Brienne of Tarth, Davos Seaworth, Gendry Baratheon, Yara Greyjoy, and the new Prince of Dorne. There were four other unidentified lords, but the older one may be Howland Reed, the father of Meera Reed and lord of Greywater Watch. As for whether the new process of the highborn electing kings and queens will be better for Westeros after Bran the Broken is no longer King, that's anyone's guess.
9. Will Sansa Make Succession In The North The Same As In The Six Kingdoms?
At the Dragonpit election, Sansa declared the North would be an independent kingdom, which (not surprisingly) was agreed to by her brother, King Bran the Broken, who now rules the Six Kingdoms. Sansa was crowned Queen in the North and fittingly rules her kingdom from Winterfell. However, what happens after Sansa is no longer Queen? Tradition dictates there must always be a Stark in Winterfell, but will the North follow the new election process used by the Six Kingdoms to choose Sansa's successor? Or will Sansa's child automatically inherit Winterfell?
Related: How Sansa Becomes Queen in the North
Also, even if Sansa has a child, will that child legally be a Stark (unless she changes his surname)? Right now, the Northmen are happy to chant "The Queen in the North!" at Sansa, but when it comes time for her to have a successor, the Northmen will have some difficult choices to make.
8. What Will Grey Worm And The Unsullied Do Now?
Grey Worm's only agenda at the Dragonpit election was to seek justice for the murder of his Queen Daenerys, and he was less than pleased when not only did Tyrion go free, Bran made him Hand of the King. Tyrion offered the Unsullied land in the Reach to make their own, but, with Daenerys gone and no one left to fight for, the eunuch warriors understandably opted to leave Westeros.
Grey Worm is leading the Unsullied to Naath, the homeland of his love Missandei. This fulfills his promise to her that he would go there, albeit without her. As for the Dothraki, they were also at the docks as the Unsullied were leaving. The Dothraki are likely returning home to Essos and take their Khalasar back to the Dothraki Sea.
7. What Did Brienne Write About Jaime?
Brienne ascended to become the new Lord Commander of Bran the Broken's Kingsguard and thus, she inherited the duty of logging the achievements of the previous Lord Commander, Jaime Lannister, in the Book of Brothers. In Game of Thrones season 4, King Joffrey mocked Jaime for having such a short list of achievements. This comes full circle in the finale as Brienne fills in the deeds of the Kingslayer, without mentioning her role as his ally, friend, and lover in his final years. After all, it was Jaime who finally made Brienne into a knight in "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms" so, despite their unpleasant farewell in "The Last of the Starks", Brienne still did the noble thing for the Kingslayer.
6. Who Else Will Be In The Small Council?
In spite of his failures as Daenerys' Hand, Tyrion Lannister is simply destined to be Hand of the King. At the Game of Thrones finale, Tyrion presided over Bran the Broken's new Small Council, consisting of himself, the Master of Coin Ser Bronn of Highgarden, the Master of Ships Davos Seaworth, the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard Ser Brienne of Tarth, and Grand Maester Samwell Tarly (who apparently is allowed to have a wife, Gilly, and child, Baby Sam, despite his new position). However, a couple of spots on the Council are open: there's no Master of Laws and no Master of Whisperers as of yet. The people who will eventually be chosen for those spots will likely remain a mystery.
5. What Is West Of Westeros?
Arya Stark didn't kill Cersei or Daenerys as fans expected. Instead, Arya decided to leave Westeros and set course to answer the question, "What is west of Westeros?" According to Euron Greyjouy, the known world has 14 seas and we know of two continents, Westeros and Essos. It's not clear if Sothoryos, which is southeast of Essos, is also a continent or a smaller landmass. However, no one in Game of Thrones seems to know what is west of Westeros, although in George R.R. Martin's novels, it's been established there is a castle called the Lonely Light on an outcropping, followed by three islands, Aegon, Visenya, and Rhaenys, in the Sunset Sea. But beyond that, it's a mystery.
Since we don't know how big the world is, it's possible there could be another continent further west of Westeros, but it's also likely the medieval population of Game of Thrones is simply unaware their planet is round. Therefore, when she goes as far west as she can, Arya is very likely to simply land upon the easternmost shore of Essos. Either way, this sounds like a thrilling adventure Arya's fans wish they could be part of (perhaps it could be the basis of a Game of Thrones spinoff one day).
4. Will Jon Finally Be a Good Owner To Ghost?
Jon's punishment for killing Daenerys is being sent to the Night's Watch, which puts him right back where he started in Game of Thrones season 1. However, along with seeing Tormund Giantsbane again, the upside is Jon is reunited with his faithful direwolf Ghost. The way Jon and Ghost parted in "The Last of the Starks" where the Warden of the North only gave his poor injured wolf a curt nod incensed Game of Thrones fans who are also dog lovers and have long taken the series to task for what a poor owner to his dog Jon has been.(This also led to the episode's director defending the decision.) However, Jon received a second chance to do right by Ghost, who is also the last of the Stark direwolves still loyal to his master. Hopefully, Jon won't lose or abandon Ghost again now that they're reunited.
3. Why Did Jon Take The Wildlings North of the Wall?
In the last scene of the Game of Thrones finale, a somber Jon Snow leads the Wildlings North of the Wall from Castle Black. But why are they going back beyond the Wall? It was established that there was no food and resources were scarce in the upper North, which is why the Wildings were raiding south of the Wall. Moreso, Sansa is now Queen in the North and she would let the Wildlings live in the Gift under Winterfell's protection.
However, there's a sprout of a green plant growing through the snow at the end, which means that winter is ending and spring is on the way. Hence, the Wildlings will be able to live beyond the Wall when the snow thaws and the land becomes fertile again. Thematically, Jon going with the Wildlings essentially lets him take the place of Mance Rayder, the former King-Beyond-The-Wall, and lets him guide the Wildlings to their home, the "real North".
2. Will Bran Be A Good King?
According to Tyrion, Bran's chief qualifications as the new King are that the events of his life make for the best story (which is debatable considering his sisters are Arya and Sansa) and that, as the Three-Eyed Raven, he is essentially the living history of Westeros. Bran remembers everything that ever happened in the past and, presumably, he will keep the Six Kingdoms from repeating the same mistakes. But will that ultimately be enough? Game of Thrones ended on a positive note of peace with Starks ruling all Seven Kingdoms, but whether Bran the Broken will be a good King - or what happens when the high lords elect their next ruler - is anyone's guess.
1. Is The Wheel Really Broken?
Daenerys' ultimate goal was to "break the wheel" of Westeros and it can be argued that with her death, Westeros was seemingly changed for the better. The Iron Throne is gone and a new and hopefully better system is in place for Westeros' highborn to choose their own ruler. But is that really enough of a change or will the Six Kingdoms just gradually devolve and end up back at war in the future? At her noblest, Daenerys intended to dismantle the broken system in Westeros entirely, although her solution was herself as absolute ruler. But her Westerosi advisers like Tyrion and Varys betrayed her in favor of preserving as much of Westeros' ways as possible.
In a way, the wheel isn't so much broken as much as it's been slightly adjusted so that the highborn (and only the highborn) have more say over who rules them. Still, Game of Thrones' bittersweet ending points to the country's dysfunction eventually returning after this initial rosy period of peace and contentment.