Tying up Game of Thrones in a neat, little package was always going to be difficult. It’s a sprawling fantasy epic with dragons and magic and a cast of characters that rivals 10 years of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Game of Thrones season 8 finale: Our watch has ended
After the credits rolled on The Iron Throne, the very last episode ever, and a wave of relief washed over everyone, there were still some glaringly obvious questions left to answer. We’ve met so many characters over the years and had so many intertwining threads to tie up that Game of Thrones was always going to leave us scratching our heads a bit.
We’re diving into all the questions the series never answered here, so take note: You’re entering Spoiler Town.
Of course, if you’re over asking questions and would rather get answers, you can read our full recap of the final episode which goes deep on the fate of the Iron Throne or head to our look at where every character finished up now the show is finally over.
Without further ado, here’s some of the lingering threads we’ll likely never see tied up.
Hey, uh… the realm’s most powerful weapon is just roaming in the East. The equivalent of a nuclear bomb with wings. Just roaming around, presumably eating all the sheep and goats that graze in Essos. That can’t be safe for anybody. We’ve seen Drogon torch little boys! What if some enterprising magician or pirate works out a way to catch Drogon? The Game of Thrones just starts all over again.
Bran does tell us in the final episode his desire to track Drogon down, presumably with his warging abilities. Why can’t he just warg into Drogon and then dive as far down in the ocean as possible and leave him there? We’ll never know.
The Dothraki Horde
There are a few burning questions from the final episode that relate to the Dothraki, the horse-bound warriors who eat hearts, and seemed totally obliterated by the Battle of Winterfell. Remarkably, they still have a significant force and are complicit in Dany’s torching of King’s Landing.
The Dothraki only make their way to Westeros under the guiding hand of Queen Daenerys, who finally helped them cross the narrow sea. They’ve been unflinching in their loyalty to Dany so after Jon kills her in the Throne Room it seems bizarre we don’t get to see any repercussions of that action and how it affects the Horde. What we do see, eventually, is Jon has been captured and held prisoner by the Unsullied. He’s alive, totally fine — just a little more beardy. Jon better have thanked the Lord of Light for that save because the Dothraki just leaving him to rot in a cell is decidedly not Dothraki.
Second: The entire Dothraki horde are now in Westeros. Are we to believe they just… go home? Their leader is so dead and they just let it be? What are they going to do now? Who is going to give them ships to leave Westeros? These dudes are petrified of the water!
The Dothraki problem leaves behind one of the most confusing questions of the show. Even though it was problematic, it would have been easier to say goodbye to the horde at the hands of the Night King’s army, back in episode 3.
Remember ol’ Daario Naharis? The Tyroshi mercenary that was once Dany’s adviser and lover boy? At the end of season 6, as Dany readies her assault on Westeros, she leaves Daario in Mereen with a small army to defend the Bay of Dragons. That’s the last we hear of him besides an off-handed mention in season 7. Daario was a pretty noble warrior and handy with a blade but his love of Dany inspired her to leave him in the East — it would become too much of a problem as she made a tilt at the throne.
The Honeycomb and the Jackass
One of the series long-running secrets, Tyrion’s story about bringing a honeycomb and a jackass to a brothel, is a legend in its own right. The joke has been teased two times before the finale — when he is a prisoner at the Eyrie, in season 1, and during a scene in season 6 where he shares wine with Grey Worm and Missandei.
At the small council meeting in the finale’s final minutes, he starts the story again and — for a fleeting moment — it seems that we are poised to finally hear how the story ends. Then the camera cuts away. Boo.
Bran the Bro
There’s a ton of questions about our new King, but let’s stick to the easy one: What on Earth is Bran’s purpose in this world?
Bran takes over as the Three-Eyed Raven and, according to Samwell, becomes the world’s memory. He stores all of the realm’s stories and histories in his brain. He can also “warg”, taking control of other living beings, but his eyes glaze over and he becomes useless. Bran the Broken has stated, multiple times, that he is no longer Brandon Stark. But that power opens up even bigger, scarier questions.
Could he see all the death and destruction that Dany was going to rain down on the people of King’s Landing? If he did, isn’t he somewhat complicit in that genocide? That’s accessory to murder! Bran’s seen war crimes and just let them go unpunished. Don’t give me the sob story “he can’t change things that will happen” either. He turned CNET’s second favorite character Hodor into the man he ended up becoming.
Bran’s powers also seem, in a way, to suggest that no one has any free will. It’s best not to think about it.
Although some of the most powerful lords and ladies in Westeros make the decision to sit Bran on the new seat of power, it’s not immediately clear if this is the will of the entire continent and all its houses. If Varys did get some ravens away (we are lead to believe this is unlikely but…) before being dracarys’d, then the word of Jon’s parentage will have filtered throughout the kingdoms by now.
There’s surely going to be some that don’t want an all-powerful god-man that can literally control human bodies with his magic as the almighty ruler. They’ve seen this kind of thing go poorly before.
No Iron Throne, but an Iron Bank
The Iron Bank of Braavos was introduced early on in Thrones’ story, but it’s only in season 4 when it really comes into its own. The bank is notorious for collecting on its debts and works with both Stannis and Davos and eventually Cersei. In season 7, the bank sends Tycho Nestoris to collect on the debts that the Lannisters owe.
The need to pay the bank off helps spur Jaime and Bronn to head to Highgarden and ransack the place. They squirrel their riches back to King’s Landing before Dany’s forces attack in the famous LOOT TRAIN battle. Before the battle, we see Tycho for the last time, chatting away with Cersei in Maegor’s Holdfast. Cersei explains to him that Qyburn has asked for the services of the Golden Company to help her win the coming war and he’s more than happy to.
“Rest assured, Your Grace,” he says. “You can count on the Iron Bank’s support, as soon as the gold arrives.”
So we’re led to believe Cersei required more assistance from the Iron Bank to hire the (useless) Golden Company and the dashing Harry Strickland before being crumpled by bricks. Did she pay the bank back? With what money? We know there’s not a lot of gold left for the King because the final small council meeting in the finale sees bickering between Davos and Bronn. Will the Iron Bank come to collect their debt from Tyrion, the last Lannister — or will they lead another uprising against the Broken King?
Arya’s White Horse
Two words: glue factory. Wait, no, I mean: plot hole.
After finding a white horse at the end of the penultimate episode, Arya rides out of King’s Landing at a gallop and then… we see her watching Jon from a distance in King’s Landing in the next episode? It’s a jarring about-face I suspect will only seem more preposterous should you ever decide to binge watch the final season. It’s easy to argue that it doesn’t matter (and, well, it doesn’t), but if you were wondering what happened to Shadowfax, you’ll have to keep wondering.
The Prince/Princess That Was Promised?
Don’t even ask start to think about this prophecy. It will only end in misery. While you’re at it, any questions about the Night King or the Lord of Light you should forget about too.
Essentially, prophecy was a big part of the book series but it never quite came into its own in the television show. Whether that is because the show tried to steer clear of the more fantasy elements or because the writers just forgot is really an open-ended question right now. The promised prequel, however, may reveal some of the secrets of the final season — particularly the genesis of the Night King and his army.
Flat Earth Theory
If the theory of planetary formation holds true for Westeros, the world they live on should be round. If you continue to sail West, eventually, you’ll find yourself back in Westeros. Arya’s journey could be remarkably short, depending on how vast the world is. In a realm that has dragons — gigantic flying beasts that roam wherever they want — and power-hungry tyrants, isn’t it just a little strange that no one has ever ventured West?
Even in the exploration days in the real world, people were sailing boats into the unknown almost as soon as we could sail. According to the books, the Sunset Sea is particularly dangerous, but… uh… dragons?
That might mean the world of Game of Thrones is entirely flat and exists on the back of four elephants, themselves resting on the back of a giant turtle. I wonder what Kyrie Irving thinks.
Updated May 21 1:00 a.m. PT: Additional question