There are, once again, no books to work from on Game of Thrones this season — which, as you might have heard, is the final season — and things could get confusing. To help you out, after every new episode, two resident Thrones experts/dragon enthusiasts, Josh Kurp and Ryan Harkness, will answer your eight most pressing questions.
1. Is Sansa right to be distrustful of Daenerys?
Wouldn’t you? The north doesn’t play well with outsiders (note the pointed look Missandei and Greyworm give each other upon their arrival to Winterfell, like they just rode into the get-together from Get Out), and Sansa is specifically wary of anyone with endless titles, including “Protector of the Seven Kingdoms.” (It didn’t help that Daenerys tried to win the Lady of Winterfell over with flattery. Sansa sees through your pretty words, Dany.) She’s concerned that Jon abandoned the crown because he’s not thinking with his brain, but with… another part of the body, the one that Tyrion likes to make jokes to Varys about. But! Think back to Arya’s conversation with Jon by the weirwood tree. “Now you’re defending her? You?” “I’m defending our family.” Arya is speaking like someone who hasn’t seen the Night King in action. Jon has, and he’s right to put the safety of the realm before his family. Sansa’s distrust is excusable (she’s the one in charge of feeding an entire army) but it’s also misplaced. — Josh Kurp
2. Why is Jon Snow able to ride a dragon?
It’s 50 percent because of his Targaryen ancestry and 50 percent because the Game of Thrones showrunners realized they needed to get Jon on the back of a dragon. Like, right now. How else will we buy it when he ends up flying one like an airshow stunt pilot during the upcoming attack on Winterfell? Jon is lucky that the metaphoric “blood of the dragon” flows in his veins, because Daenerys isn’t going to be winning any teacher of the year awards from what we saw.
It took the Mother of Dragons three-and-a-half seasons and a ring of assassins to finally prod her onto Drogon’s back. He then flew her to the middle of nowhere and refused to fly her home. Fortunately, all those kinks have been ironed out over season six and seven. Daenerys has the confidence of an established dragonrider, and based on the books, that confidence seems to play a big part in Targaryens showing dragons who’s the boss. (It’s not Angela.)
While we’re who knows how long away from The Winds of Winter, George R.R. Martin did recently release Fire & Blood, a detailed history of the Targaryens in Westeros. It spans back all the way to Aegon’s conquest, and casually includes a ton of Targaryens as young as 15 claiming the various dragons hanging out around the Dragonpit in King’s Landing. And it’s not only the pure bloods borne of incest pulling it off, either. The Targaryens inter-married with many great houses, and those children could fly dragons too. Even lowborn bastard Targaryens known as Dragonseeds claimed dragons from time to time. — Ryan Harkness