Game of Thrones finally reached the end of its epic tale, concluding close to a decade of one of TV’s most watched (and most debated) drama series of all-time. Premium cable channel HBO really set a new standard for television, producing a sprawling fictional world filled with rich characters, noble histories, wondrous magic, and fierce battles. While not everyone felt the series finale was particularly satisfying, the show inevitably had to end eventually. And end it did.
(It should go without saying at this point, but SPOILERS AHEAD!!!)
So now fans don’t have any more Game of Thrones episodes to look forward do, but that doesn’t mean they don’t any more questions. There are still plenty of mysteries left, both about Westeros’s past and it’s now uncertain future. In this article, we will examine 15 of the biggest unanswered questions we still have about the show. Some of them have existed for a while, but weren’t really answered in the finale. Others are brand new, the result of a somewhat surprising twist ending that saw Bran Stark be named Ruler of the
Seven Six Kingdoms.
15. So is There a Still Night’s Watch or Not?
Jon Snow’s tragic journey ends much in the same way it began — being forced into a life sentence in the Night’s Watch. This time, it is punishment for killing Queen Daenerys. It was the only compromise that kept Greyworm from killing him, apparently. But when Jon eventually arrives at Castle Black, there are no crows waiting for him. Just Tormund Giantsbane and his pack of Wildlings (although the two random men who accompanied him certainly looked to be wearing Night’s Watch cloaks).
The Night’s Watch was designed to protect the realms of men, from both the Wildlings and the White Walkers. Neither of those are threats anymore. Plus there’s a giant hole in The Wall over near Eastwatch. There’s really no need for a Night’s Watch anymore, but as Tyrion told Jon in the final episode: “The world will always need a home for bastards and broken men.” Or does it?
There’s no sign of the Night’s Watch at all when Jon arrives. He just casually wanders off into the snowy wilderness with Tormund and the other Free Folk. Did King Bran know there was no Night’s Watch? After all, didn’t they they all died during the attack on The Wall or ended up joining the Northern armies in the Battle of Winterfell? We think King Bran pulled a fast one on the revenge-seeking Greyworm (and Yara Greyjoy too, we guess), knowing that his brother/cousin would be able to finally live a free life.
14. Will There Ever Be Another Three-Eyed Raven?
Speaking of King Bran, we spent multiple seasons watching the old Three-Eyed Raven train him in the mysterious warging ways. We even saw Bran screw it up, accidently turning a youthful Wylis into Hodor in the process. By the time the series ends, he seems to have it under control. Now equipped with the memories of all humanity, he is able to confirm Jon Snow’s true parentage and that Lyanna Stark wasn’t even kidnapped by Rhaegar Targaryen.
Despite his immense power, Bran Stark is still just a man. He will grow old and eventually die (assuming no one tries to assassinate him while he is King, that is). And then what? Will the memories of man be lost? Will he train a successor? Or will humanity simply switch to a different medium other than “that weird dude’s brain?” We already saw Samwell Tarly produce a new historic book about the recent wars. Perhaps Bran will dedicate much of his life to getting the history of mankind down on paper, for everyone to read, and eliminating the need for his powers altogether.
Random bonus unanswered question: Where the hell did Bran “go” during the Battle of Winterfell?
13. Who Will Follow Sansa?
Sansa Stark gets the one thing she has been fighting for: an independent North. As the oldest trueborn Stark left in Winterfell, she is named Queen in the North. She will probably be a good queen, as she has been shown to be caring, just, and willing to make the hard decisions to protect the interests of her people. But what happens when her reign is over?
We saw the Lords and Ladies of Westeros collectively decide that the system of hereditary monarchs was outdated, pledging to diplomatically debate and decide on new rulers from now on. But will Queen Sansa follow suit? She currently has no children, no romantic partner, and has never seemed very interested in acquiring one (aside from Season 1, when she was still young and naive). There are no other Starks left to rule in her place, so it begs the question of what will the North do when Sansa is no longer queen?
12. Wait, Are Dragons Really Smart?
Book readers will tell you that the dragons are much more fleshed out in George R.R. Martin’s original texts. They form an almost telepathic connection to their rider, and are said to be among the most intelligent creatures to ever exist. But that’s all in the books. The TV series has made no effort to show that any of Daenerys’s dragons have that kind of mental acuity. Viserion couldn’t avoid an ice spear from the Night King. Rhaegal couldn’t maneuver away from Euron Greyboy’s giant crossbow bolts, despite having a distinct positional advantage. None of the dragons were smart enough to not eat humans while Dany was gathering her armies in Essos. Basically, the show told us that Dany can command them, but otherwise the dragons are pretty limited when it comes to intelligence.
So when Drogon turned the Iron Throne into a pool of molten steel, it raised a lot of questions. We can understand him mourning the death of his “mother,” but it’s a big stretch for us to believe that Drogon is intelligent enough to make a poignant political statement by destroying the symbol of power that Dany fought and killed for, and the one thing that eventually resulted in her own death. Dragons have been shown as glorified pets, not as intelligent creatures who understand the political maneuverings of humans hungry for power.
11. Where Will The Dothraki Go?
A better question might be “how are there any Dothraki left?”, since we saw all of them ride to their death at the start of the Battle of Winterfell. But since the series finale made it quite obvious that there are still hoards of Dothraki riders, the next question obviously is “Where will they go?”
It’s unlikely that any of them will want to board another ship and go back to Essos. They also are generally a lawless group — they don’t really believe in money and operate on a system of “good faith gifting” rather than straight up trading. It’s mentioned briefly that there is plenty of grasslands in The Reach, but it’s not so much a question of which physical space the Dothraki will occupy. It’s more a question of will they accept King Bran’s new leadership or return to their raiding, looting, and savage ways?
We suspect it will be the latter, which means they will have to be dealt with at some point in the near future.
10. How Will The Unsullied Fare in Naath?
The other half of Dany’s loyal army was seen leaving Westeros in a pretty grumpy mood. Think about it: Greyworm held both Tyrion Lannister and Jon Snow prisoner, on very obvious charges of treason and regicide. When he agreed to allow Bran be the new king (why did he agree to that, by the way?), Bran’s first order of business was to make Tyrion his Hand and send Jon to the Night’s Watch. Greyworm was rightfully furious about those decisions, so he decided to take the Unsullied and peace out.
They planned to sail to Naath, a nice homage to Greyworm’s previous conversation with Missandei about what they would do when the fighting was over. The TV show has never given us too many details on Naath, but it has a secret that readers of the A World of Ice and Fire companion book will be well aware of.
Naath has never been conquered, despite refusing to defend themselves. They have actually been invaded several times, but it always ends with the foreign forces succumbing to a mysterious illness. The fever seems to infect and kill everyone who isn’t a native Naathi, meaning all they have to do is wait out the invasion until their enemies simply drop dead. We’re not sure whether Greyworm has intentions to invade or simply find a place to live peacefully, but there’s a good chance landing in Naath will eventually wipe out the Unsullied completely.
9. Why Wasn’t Tyrion Mentioned in the Book?
Game of Thrones tried to throw in a funny moment when Sam tells Tyrion that he’s not actually mentioned in the Song of Ice and Fire book, the recently written account of the great war(s) between the Baratheons, Starks, Lannisters, and Targaryens (and their respective allies). Some viewers have theorized that it’s a throwback to a line from Varys in Season 2, in the aftermath of the Battle of the Blackwater, when he tells Tyrion: “The King won’t give you any honors, the histories won’t mention you, but we will not forget.”
Yes, Tyrion was a bit of a secret weapon in the Battle of Blackwater. But a lot has happened since then. He was Hand of the King for Joffrey. He was put on trial for Joffrey’s murder (and found guilty in trial by combat). He killed his own father, the infamous Tywin Lannister. He fled to Essos and gained the trust of the Dragon Queen, becoming her Hand. He returned to Westeros, helped overthrow Cersei, and was integral in the death of Daenerys and the subsequent appointment of King Bran the Broken.
Some of Tyrion’s best work was definitely done “behind the scenes,” so to speak. But there was plenty of it done right out in the open too. It’s pretty shocking that he wouldn’t be mentioned in the history books, all so the TV writers could make a lame joke that fell flat.
8. Is Essos in Chaos?
Hey, remember Essos? That giant sprawling continent home to millions of people and featuring major cities like Braavos, Pentos, Volantis, Qarth, Meereen, Yunkai, and Astapor (among others)? We saw Daenerys conquer much of it in previous seasons, and she left Daario Naharis in charge when she left. But he’s barely half the leader or conqueror that Dany is, and we’ve already seen various forces attempt to reclaim parts of Essos.
The slavemasters would be happy to return to their old ways, profiting on the capturing and selling of slaves. There’s even a whole section of the map called Slaver’s Bay! Plus there are the Sons of the Harpy, an underground insurgency group who attempted to overthrow Dany before she left. Both parties weren’t a fan of Dany’s attempts to abolish slavery, and they would certainly see her absence (and now death) as a great reason to regain power. We suspect Daario is in over his head.
7. Where is Jaqen H’ghar?
Or the rest of the Faceless Men, for that matter? Jaqen H’ghar was the mysterious assassin who taught Arya Stark the game of faces, and how to worship (and avoid) the god of death. When Arya betrayed the organization by refusing to become no one, the Waif was sent to kill her. Arya survived that attack and murdered the Waif in self defense.
Surely one failed attack wouldn’t cause the greatest brotherhood of assassins to merely abandon their quest for justice? Many fans assumed that Jaqen H’ghar would eventually pop back up in the show, probably somewhere in Arya’s character arc, and cause some sort of conflict. But the show seemed to forget him entirely. In fact, the show also seemed to forget that Arya has crazy magical face-swapping assassin powers that could have easily been used to kill Cersei. We saw how well it worked when Arya killed Walder Frey, but then they never used it again.
6. Was Azor Ahai a Complete Bust?
“According to prophecy, our champion will be reborn to wake dragons from stone and reforge the great sword Lightbringer that defeated the darkness those thousands of years ago. If the old tales are true, a terrible weapon forged with a loving wife’s heart. Part of me thinks man was well rid of it, but great power requires great sacrifice. That much at least the Lord of Light is clear on.” – Thoros of Myr
Azor Ahai, the legendary prince who was promised by R’hllor to return and save mankind from the darkness, was a big fat no-show in the final season. There was no sign of Lightbringer, the famous flaming sword forged from the heart of a loving wife’s heart. Basically, the whole thing was quietly dropped. Maybe they hoped no one would notice?
There are some fan theories out there that claim that Azor Ahai was actually Jon Snow. Or Arya Stark. Or maybe even Tyrion. Or Bran. But with that much debate happening, it’s probably safe to say that no one really knows who Azor Ahai is, or if he even exists at all. Melisandre was wrong about it on numerous occasions (remember when Stannis was supposed to be Azor Ahai?), so maybe the whole prophecy is just a bunch of BS. If that is the case, though, it still would have been nice for the show to somehow acknowledge it, after spending plenty of previous seasons building it up as important thing.
5. Who is Dorne’s New Prince?
Among the many faces in the final meeting of the most powerful people in Westeros was a very obvious new prince of Dorne. He is similar in appearance to previous Dornish characters and was wearing their traditional colors. However, the show doesn’t even grace him with a name, even though he was actually mentioned once previously (Dany references “Dorne’s new prince” while discussing plans to take King’s Landing).
The prince was played by actor Tony Osmond, but we’ve only seen official credits list him as “Dornish Prince.” Is he a member of the famed Martell family, that produced the suave and cocky Oberyn? Is he somehow related to Ellaria Sand, who was seen claiming power in Dorne before ending up captured by Cersei Lannister?
Dorne is technically a part of the Seven Kingdoms (which is now Six Kingdoms), even though they maintained a large degree of independence following Aegon’s Conquest. With Ellaria presumably dead in the rubble underneath the Red Keep (which is another unanswered question, actually), we can’t help but wonder: What’s the deal with Dorne and this new guy in charge?
4. What’s West of Westeros?
Arya Stark famously asks this exact question in the series finale. And frankly, no one knows the answer yet. The Game of Thrones map is primarily made up of two continents — Westeros and Essos. We know that a third one, Sothoryos, also exists, except we know very little about it (one ancient Valryian dragon-rider tried to fly to the other side, but returned after three years claiming there was no end in sight).
The books give us a few hints of what Arya might find in the near future. There’s mention of a castle called the Lonely Light and three islands named Aegon, Visenya, and Rhaenys (discovered and named my Targeryens, no doubt). After that, it’s pure mystery. If they occupy a spherical planet, it’s possible that Arya will just up on the Eastern shores of Essos eventually. However, given the hints of how large Sothoryos is, it’s more likely that there’s something else to discover. But unless HBO includes Arya’s adventures as one of their potential spin-offs (which they have said is not in their plans) it’s unlikely we’ll ever get an answer to this one.
3. Where Did Drogon Go With Daenerys?
Dany’s story ends with her being stabbing in the heart by the man she loved, and then carried off into the clouds by her one remaining loyal dragon. Where will they end up? There are plenty of options and fan theories. The simplest answer is that Drogon will find a nice resting spot for Dany’s body and then proceed to roam around Westeros. He will feed on livestock or wild animals or the odd person, and the human population may try to hunt him down and kill him. We do know that’s possible now, after all.
A more likely option is that Drogon will head East and return to Essos. He was “born” there, and both the Targaryens and dragons can trace their lineage back to Valryia. Perhaps Drogon will have some sort animal instinct to return to his roots. The area is uninhabited since the Doom of Valryia happened centuries ago, although the Stone Men are exiled there to await their death. Can Drogon survive there on his own?
One last theory is that Drogon will eventually seek out the last remaining Targaryen in the world. That would be Jon Snow aka Aegon Targaryen. We know he flew off in front of Jon in the series finale, but let’s chalk that up to grief. Targaryens and dragons go together like peanut butter and jelly, and it would make sense for the two to find each other again somehow. Then again, the dragons really disliked the cold of Winterfell and Jon has traveled even further North by now.
2. What Happens When Bran Dies?
While debating the merits of Bran Stark being named King, Sansa rudely points out that her brother can’t produce an heir to the throne. Tyrion says that’s perfect, because the old system of feuding royal families was largely the cause of the recent wars and suffering. Instead, he proposes a new system where the highest Lords and Ladies of Westeros gather and collectively choose a new ruler whenever the position is open.
It sounds great in theory, but it’s going to fail miserably in practice. Bran is one of the youngest people at this meeting, and it’s likely that he will out-live most (if not all) of the others. So when Bran dies, Tyrion expects about a dozen or so of the next generation of Lords and Ladies (who will probably be quite young and naive themselves) to still care about their noble plan?
If Game of Thrones has a lesson at all, it’s that humans aren’t really very good. Yes, some are better than others. And some of them strive to have good intentions, but no one is infallible. Ned Stark was a most honorable man, and he was executed for treason. Jon Snow followed in his footsteps, and watched his decisions lead to the massacre of King’s Landing, forcing him to become the Queenslayer. Even Daenerys, who pledged to free the world from evil tyrants, eventually became the very thing she was seeking to abolish. There are no “good guys” or “bad guys” in this story. It’s not a black and white tale — just characters with various shades of gray.
When Bran the Broken’s reign is over, it’s more likely than not that chaos will erupt once again as power-hungry humans fight amongst themselves.
1. Did Anything Really Change?
Which leads us directly into our final question: Did anything really change at all? Dany spoke at great lengths about “breaking the wheel” — the revolving door of noble houses taking bloody turns at ruling some or all of Westeros. Targaryen. Baratheon. Lannister. Stark. Greyjoy. Martell.
Some fans have optimistically stated that Bran as King does, in fact, break the wheel. After all, he can’t produce heirs, Tyrion has convinced the current generation of Lords and Ladies to use a quasi-democratic system to decide future rulers, and the fighting appears to be over. But what happens when Gendry Baratheon has kids, they read A Song of Ice and Fire and decide they are the rightful heir to the throne? Or if Jon Snow ever settles down with a Wildling wife, and produces yet another trueblooded Targaryen descendant? Or Sansa’s potential children are suddenly not content with only ruling the North?
As we just said, the moral of this story is that human beings are flawed, selfish, and generally crappy to each other. In our opinion, the wheel didn’t break at all. It’s just Bran Stark’s turn on top. Until it’s not.