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The big Game of Thrones questions the series finale could still answer

What we still need to know going into the final episode

daenerys on drogon the dragon game of thrones season 8 HBO

The series finale of Game of Thrones will air this Sunday evening, yet the show has left several huge questions that still need some kind of answer for the series to come to a satisfying conclusion.

It’s likely impossible for a story this complex to be wrapped up completely with just one more episode to go, but here are some of the most pressing questions that are still left after last week’s carnage.

Speaking of ...

What was going through Daenerys’ head before she (and Drogon) torched King’s Landing?

Dany’s shift from a possible ruler who cared about the people into a “mad” queen who killed so many innocent people during the siege of King’s Landing is one of the most argued over aspects of the previous episode, in large part because the episode shifted from Dany’s point of view to the point of view of the people being attacked once those strafing runs began.


She was only seen as a horrifying vision of death attacking from the sky for the rest of the episode, but at some point the show is going to again deal with her as a character who has an internal life, and that means giving us some insight about why she snapped during that moment and what she was thinking as she continued her attack.

Whether or not the overall arc makes sense is an argument for when the dust settles, but the question of what she was thinking needs to be answered in some way this Sunday. She can’t rule Westeros until she at least tries to explain herself in those moments, and it’s hard to imagine how any other character will approach her without first demanding an explanation for her actions.

What did Tyrion and Bran talk about by the fire at Winterfell?

Of all the conversation that Game of Thrones cut away from in the first two episodes of season 8, there’s none more mysterious than this one. Before the Night King arrived at Winterfell, when the rest of the castle was preparing for battle, Tyrion found Bran sitting by the fire. Tyrion asks to tell him the story of his “strange journey.” Bran responds that it’s a long story, and Tyrion says, “if only we were trapped in a castle in the middle of winter with nowhere to go.” Then the scene cut to the yards of Winterfell and we never revisit the conversation.

If this chat was just two sympathetic characters catching up that’s great, but based on the conversations we’ve seen Three-Eyed-Raven-powered Bran have in the past, it’s hard to believe that he didn’t fill Tyrion in on some of the most important and relevant events from Westerosi history.

What is going on with Dorne?

We know there’s a new prince in Dorne, since it was brought up during the planning for the attack on King’s Landing, but that’s basically all we know.

The show’s pace often ground to a halt when large swaths of action took place in Dorne during previous seasons, so it’s not surprising that it’s barely brought up in the final episodes, but isn’t Dorne at least somewhat important to the political future of the rest of Westeros? Whoever sits on the Iron Throne will also kinda-sorta rule Dorne, so it seems a bit anticlimactic to sweep the entire kingdom under the rug before the show ends.

Is the Lord of Light or any of his disciples/prophecies going to make an appearance again?

The Lord of Light is one of the few gods in Game of Thrones whose powers were seen directly, and whose will impacted so much of the current political drama. Jon Snow would still be dead without the Lord of Light, and the flaming swords given to the Dothraki during the last battle of Winterfell also indicated that the Lord of Light was on the side of the living.

So we have proof that a god exists, or at least that there is very real magic done in his name, and that seems like a huge detail to never mention again.

Is Tyrion Lannister finally going to turn against Dany?

This question has been brewing throughout this season, and you could argue that it was a concern during the last season as well, but Tyrion now has enough direct proof that Dany wouldn’t be a fit ruler to openly stand against her. The question is whether he has the gumption to do so, or if it will even matter if she’s killed by another character before Tyrion is able to ask her what the hell she was thinking in King’s Landing.

Tyrion’s ultimate fate as one of the show’s most beloved characters, one of the few who is still alive for the final episode, is one of the largest questions that the finale will have to answer, and we can’t see that happening without there being some kind of reckoning between Tyrion and Dany.

There’s also the fact that Tyrion freed Jaime from his chains in the previous episode, which isn’t something Dany is probably going to look at too favorably.

Who’s going to sit on the Iron Throne?

The question of who will rule Westeros looked like it would take a backseat to the threat of the White Walkers, but now that the Night King and Cersei are both dead and Dany has more or less become the last remaining antagonist the show has, even if many fans still don’t like discussing her in those terms, the question of who will rule is more pressing than ever.

game of thrones iron throne Photo: HBO

Should there even be an Iron Throne anymore?

This seemed to be Sansa’s argument to Dany when they argued over whether the North will ever bend the knee to her rule: Why should one person rule over the seven kingdoms? Isn’t there some other form of government that would give more people greater say in their own lands, not to mention something that might slow down the endless churn of war over who will sit on the Iron Throne?

What happens to the other major regions and castles?

Throughout the last two seasons, Thrones has slowly divided up the remaining castles and lands — at least the ones it thinks viewers remember the names of. If things go the way they’re set up to, then Highgarden, Tyrell’s former seat, is likely to go to Bronn, in exchange for not murdering Jaime and Tyrion. Storm’s End will stay with House Baratheon and it’s newly legitimized bastard Gendry. Yara Greyjoy gets the Iron Islands, Sansa Stark would be Wardeness of the North from Winterfell, and Robin Arryn will keep his seat of power in the Eyrie.

If things don’t go the way we expect though, who knows, maybe the castles will be up for grabs and a farmer can gain a quick promotion to lord.

Are they going to repair the Wall?

The Wall was destroyed when the Night King used his undead dragon to prepare the way for his armies to march toward Winterfell, but now that he’s dead — or at least deader — and the North is at peace with the Wildlings is there a need for the Wall to exist in its current form? Which also brings us to ...

Do we still need a Night’s Watch?

The Night’s Watch often seemed to be more symbolic than useful, and many there seemed to think that there was no actual threat that necessitated guards on the Wall. Still, it presented a handy release valve for much of Westeros, allowing criminals a way to redeem themselves and nobility a convenient place to send their bastards. Even if the Watch isn’t necessary in the same way it was before, it’s hard to imagine that the great families would relish the idea that all those “undesirables” no longer have a place to go.

Anything about the Night King and why he didn’t kill Jon or why he walked so slowly toward Bran?

There isn’t much time left for us to get big reveals about the Night King, but we still have so many questions. Is there a reason he had to kill Bran himself, or that he didn’t kill Jon? Maybe this is a question that’s being saved for the prequel series, but we wouldn’t mind an answer before then.

What is the point of Bran’s whole arc? It seems like he went through all this, and we have never seen payout.

What did the Three-Eyed Raven want, and did all this go according to plan? Is he just there to serve as a living history of Westeros, or does he have a more direct role to play in what happens next? So far the Three-Eyed Raven seemed to be more of a witness to the events of the show than as anyone with actual agency in shaping the events of the world, which makes the character seem a bit pointless after so much backstory.

What will happen to all these great houses’ stuff since their entire lines have been eliminated?

We’re already seeing castles being given away! It’s nice to see mentions of some of the biggest castles get mentioned, but what about the likes of Bear Island, the former seat of House Mormont or the Dreadfort that the Boltons once called home? At the very least, we have to find out who’s going to be ruling Dragonstone, since both Jon and Dany don’t seem very likely.

Where are they going to keep Drogon now?

The last remaining dragon could have been seen as a symbol of strength and freedom ... had Dany not ridden him during her quest to kill everyone she saw in King’s Landing. What’s going to happen to the dragon who will now be seen as a living embodiment of the foot on the throat of the citizenry?

Is there just like, a big barn somewhere in which he can sleep? Are there any more dragon eggs anywhere in the world?

What will happen with Sansa and Dany now that Dany knows Sansa told Jon’s secret to Tyrion?

It’s not like they were getting along before, but this is even more reason for Dany to fear Sansa (although it’s unlikely that Jon will be as comfortable with Dany as his queen after he saw her kill so many innocent people, and her forces turn evil after the Lannister guards tried to surrender). There will likely be some major stand-off between Dany and the last remaining Starks to end the show.

Although who knows, Jon still doesn’t want the throne and Sansa still needs something to do now that the North is safe. She could do worse than ruling Winterfell, or perhaps sitting on the Iron Throne herself.

What’s happening with Brienne?

Can we please not have her final moments on the show be her crying over Jaime leaving for King’s Landing? The scene in which she was knighted is still one of the best moments of the final season, and she needs some kind of final moment to do justice to the character she has always been, not the heart-sick teenager we saw during her last moment onscreen.

What happens to the Stark line?

This has been an open question for most of the season and we haven’t gotten any closer to answering it. In fact, since both Arya and Jon have pushed away relationships this season, we’ve actually gotten further away from any answer about what happens to House Stark.

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