The series finale of Game of Thrones marked the end of an epic adventure that HBO has presented to fans for eight seasons.
We were treated to shocking deaths, incredible plot twists, truly heartbreaking moments, and final farewells that had us grabbing for tissues before the credits rolled. While some questions were answered by creators David Benioff and DB Weiss, others are still lingering, especially for hardcore fans who’ve been theorizing how the show might end.
Here are all of the loose ends Game of Thrones didn’t tie up in its final episode.
One of the most heartwrenching moments of the series finale came when Drogon, Daenerys’ last remaining dragon, discovered his mother was dead and mourned her by destroying the Iron Throne. Drogon carried Dany’s body away from King’s Landing and flew off, presumably to never be heard from again. Strangely enough, the show’s final council meeting mentioned where Drogon might have gone or tried to before Bran decided to use his warging abilities to find the orphaned fire-breather. A good bet would be the Shadow Lands beyond Asshai, where dragons are rumored to hail from. Still, why Bran seems so intent on finding Drogon, particularly when he poses no real threat to the six kingdoms anymore, felt like a question that should’ve been answered.
Game of Thrones loves its prophecies but few came to fruition in its final season, chief among them the legend of Azor Ahai. The heroic figure in the faith of R’hllor, the Lord of Light, ended the Long Night thousands of years before Aegon Targaryen landed in Westeros by forging a sword called Lightbringer from the heart of his true love, his wife Nissa Nissa. Centuries later, plenty of would-be rulers imagined themselves as the reincarnation of Azor Ahai – it’s why Melisandre first backed Stannis Baratheon’s claim to the throne before pivoting to support Jon Snow. According to the prophecy, when the red star bleeds and the darkness gathers, a warrior shall be born of smoke and salt. Considering how Dany birthed her dragons and where she hailed from, many believed her to be that warrior. Other thought Jon might be Azor Ahai, who murdered his lover to bring about the end of a war – but Jon killed Dany with an unextraordinary dagger long after the battle with the Night King, so it seems this is just another prophecy that never bore fruit.
The Night King’s Endgame
Speaking of the Night King, creators David Benioff and DB Weiss fooled all of us when they chose to kill off their most threatening villain midway through the series’ final season. The Night King’s army of walkers had previously been the most terrifying danger in Westeros, so learning that it was Cersei who would be the show’s final big bad came as a shock for fans. While there’s something to be said for underestimating the destruction human beings can bring without the help of magical, evil creatures like White Walkers, we’re still curious as to what the Night King wanted and why he seemed to have a connection with Bran Stark, the king of the six kingdoms. The idea that Bran is the keeper of stories, and that’s why the Night King decided to risk himself in order to kill him just never felt like a satisfactory answer, and because the two shared no dialogue in their final showdown, we’re still left in the dark about who this man was and why he seemed so obsessed with the youngest Stark.
In the battle of Winterfell, Melisandre proved vital in the fight against the undead. Not only did she light the defenses surrounding the castle so that the wights couldn’t advance, but she also gave Arya the courage to slay the Night King. Many saw Arya’s kill as the fulfillment of a prophecy Melisandre shared with her seasons earlier. The Red Woman told the young girl she saw a darkness in her, with eyes staring back, brown eyes, green eyes, and blue eyes that she would shut forever. Arya murdered House Frey, so the brown eyes portion came true, and she took down the Night King and his army, so the blue eyes were closed forever. But she never assassinated anyone with green eyes even though her biggest enemy, Cersei Lannister, and the dragon queen, Daenerys Targaryen, both sported the distinct eye color.
It’s strange that we never met an aged Howland Reed. The head of House Reed, Howland was shown in flashbacks helping his best friend, Ned Stark, hide the true parentage of Jon Snow from Robert Baratheon in the War of the Five Kings. We did meet his children, Jojen and Meera, who helped Bran survive beyond the Wall, and meet the Three-Eyed Raven. Jojen sacrificed his life to see Bran’s destiny fulfilled, and Meera stayed by his side until she delivered him safely home before the Long Night. We never saw Meera, or any member of House Reed, after that, which seems odd, considering how vital the character was to Bran’s ascension as king.
The last time we saw Ellaria Sand, she was chained up in the dungeons of the Red Keep, being forced to watch as Cersei poisoned her only remaining daughter. Cersei left instructions for her guards to replenish the light in her cell so that she would have a good view of her child’s gruesome demise, so we assumed she might still be alive in season eight. Sadly, we never saw Ellaria after that brutal ending to her crusade to avenge her lover’s death, and with Dany destroying all of King’s Landing, we’re left to guess that she was probably buried amongst the rubble of the Red Keep, just as Cersei was.
Gendry And Arya’s Romance
One of the more satisfying moments in Game of Thrones’ final season was when Arya and Gendry reunited and consummated a romance the show had been building since season two. The former friends reconnected before the battle of Winterfell, with Gendry confessing his feelings for Arya and even proposing marriage after she killed the Night King. Arya turned him down of course because, despite Gendry’s newfound status as Lord of Storm’s End, she was never meant to be a lady, but watching her sail off into the sunset left some lingering questions about her future with Gendry. We saw Gendry amongst the other nobles supporting Bran’s claim to the Iron Throne, so it’s probable he went on to run things at his ancestral seat, but the show never put much weight into his heritage or his right to rule, and Gendry certainly never seemed to want the status and power that came with being legitimized so we’re a bit disappointed he didn’t show up in that final scene, sailing for lands west of Westeros as Arya’s first mate.
Another romance cut short by Game of Thrones’ rush to its endgame was that of Daenerys Targaryen and her lover, Daario. The sellsword was instrumental in helping the Mother of Dragons take the city of Mereen where he protected her from rebels and tried to rescue her when she was kidnapped by Dothraki khals. Unfortunately for Daario, Dany cut ties with him in season six in a political move suggested by her hand, Tyrion Lannister, leaving her lover in charge of Mereen until a new government could be formed. We assume Daario’s still serving his queen faithfully, but whether he knows of her fate or not, we have no clue.
The Night’s Watch
One of the more puzzling ends in the show’s finale belonged to Jon Snow. After murdering his queen, being held prisoner for weeks, then being exiled to serve in the Night’s Watch, the de facto hero of the series ended his story the way it began, by going north of the Wall, this time with his Wildling friends by his side. But the way his fate was decided, with Bran suggesting her serve in the Night’s Watch again, was a bit puzzling. First, is there any reason to have a Night’s Watch anymore now that the Night King is no longer a threat? And if not, if this was just a guise to appease the Unsullied who wanted justice for their queen’s death, why did Jon’s goodbyes to his family feel so final? If he’s free to come and go as he pleases up North – where his own sister has absolute authority – why did the show’s final shot of him journeying beyond the wall with Tormund seem like a permanent goodbye?
In the show’s final episode, we received a definitive answer to the question of Cersei Lannister’s fate. She was indeed killed when the Red Keep fell, with Jaime by her side. And while her death felt less-than-satisfactory considering the terrible crimes she committed, it also failed to answer a question fans have been asking for seasons now. As we learned earlier in the show’s run, Cersei was told a prophecy as a young girl about a queen more beautiful than she that would lead to her demise. She thought it might be Margaery Tyrell with whom she had a fierce rivalry, but it turned out Dany was the real threat to her crown. It’s the second half of the prophecy that never gave us the closure we were expecting when it came to the most ruthless Lannister. In the books, Cersei was told she would die at the hands of the Valonqar, or “little brother” who would choke her to death. She always believed it would be Tyrion to do the deed, adding to her hatred of him, but some fans thought it might be Jaime or even Arya disguised as Jaime, who ended Cersei’s life and fulfilled the prophecy. Technically, Tyrion was aligned with Dany when she destroyed King’s Landing, so it’s possible this one came true in a roundabout way, but that’s reaching, even for Benioff and Weiss.
The Master of Whisperers met an untimely death in the show’s final season after conspiring against his queen, but we never learned the most important detail about Varys’ long, tragic tale. As a boy, Varys was tortured by a sorcerer, castrated, and forced to watch as his genitals were thrown into a fire. Varys tells the story to Tyrion in season three saying he heard a voice in the flames that struck him to his core. The story is revisited again when he meets a red priestess named Kinvara, who knows what Varys heard and uses that knowledge to gain his trust. In the show’s sixth season, Melisandre tells Varys he’ll die in Westeros, just like she will, so it’s possible Varys heard just how he’d die when staring into the flames, but if that’s the case, why would he have served Dany in the first place? And since Varys also claimed to be keeping the sorcerer who mutilated him alive in a box for his own enjoyment, what happened to the man once Drogon roasted him alive?
The Lord of Light
The Lord of Light emerged as a key player on Game of Thrones, where he was referenced by everyone from Stannis and Melisandre in their quest to claim the throne, to Beric Dondarrion and the Brotherhood as they fought the White Walkers with their flaming swords. Jon Snow was even brought back to life as part of the Lord’s plan, but we didn’t hear much about this new religion once the battle against the Night King was over. Perhaps it served its purpose, but it’s hard to imagine a religion as integral to the seven kingdoms as this being cast aside just because a new leader came into power.
Possibly the loose end we needed to be tied up the most was Tyrion’s long-running joke which marked the final piece of dialogue for the sole remaining Lannister. Over the course of the show, Tyrion’s started the funny tale numerous times, but he’s never actually gotten to the punchline. We supposed we’ll just have to come up with our own theories as to what happens when you bring a jackass and a honeycomb into a brothel.