12 unanswered questions before the Game of Thrones season 7 finale – The Verge
Spoilers ahead for all of Game of Thrones.
The Game of Thrones season 7 finale airs this Sunday, and it’s sure to be full of bloodshed and gore, possibly with a dash of incestuous romance. With an ice zombie dragon that bears resemblance to a certain Yu-Gi-Oh! card in play, and relationships that fans have been rooting for finally blossoming, we’re heading into the finale with plenty of loose threads and questions to answer. Here are the top 12 things we hope to see addressed in the epic season finale.
1) Will Bran finally do something useful?
Although we’ve seen relatively little of Bran in season 7, it’s becoming more apparent that he will play a key role in the war against the army of the dead, and in revealing crucial pieces of information to characters. His ability to project himself backwards and forward through time into other people’s bodies has allowed him to learn about the creation of the White Walkers, Jon’s parentage, and discover his own hand in Hodor’s origin story. (RIP, we miss you, Hodor.) In a conversation with Sansa in episode 3, he claimed that he can never be a Lord of Winterfell, and said, “I need to learn to see better. When the long night comes again, I need to be ready.” Is he brushing up on his Three-Eyed Raven skills so he can warg into the Night King or the zombie dragon Viserion, ending the war before the long night comes again?
There is also the popular theory that Bran is the Night King, and has been stuck in his body for thousands of years after being marked in a vision. The Three-Eyed Raven and Jojen did warn Bran that if he stayed in one place too long, he could get stuck. Is that why The Night King let Jon go at Hardhome — because it was actually Bran, seeing a member of his family after a millennia? Is all of this just a confusing time loop that finally closes with Jon killing the Night King, who is actually Bran thousands of years ago? It could explain why Bran said “I need to talk to Jon.” Maybe he’s trying to tell Jon to kill the Night King (aka himself) to end the war, ultimately sacrificing himself in the process. Frankly, this seems like a more key piece of information than Jon’s true lineage.
Aside from the war, Bran could also prove himself useful in the feud between Arya and Sansa (if they’re not already one step ahead of him, but we’ll get to that later). We saw the way Bran blurted out “chaos is a ladder” to Littlefinger, exposing Lord Baelish as the manipulator he is. Bran also creepily recounted Sansa’s wedding night to her and apologized for everything she had to go through in Winterfell. He terrified her, but in the process gave a strong impression of being truly all-knowing. That could come in handy if he decides to clue Sansa and Arya in on Littlefinger’s true intentions. A simple one-liner could bring the two sisters together in alliance to murder Littlefinger — because seriously, how is that guy still alive?
2) Can Daenerys give birth again?
In season 7’s penultimate episode, Daenerys informs Jon that dragons are the only children she’ll ever have. She likely believes this because back in season 1, she was pregnant with the son of Khal Drogo, but that baby was stillborn with lizard-like wings. At the time, it was said that the child’s life had been traded as part of a blood ritual intended to save Drogo’s life.
In the books, Dany was specifically told that her womb was cursed — but the show very specifically omitted that particular detail. Is that because Dany’s prospects for children aren’t as bleak as she thinks, particularly if her feelings about Jon Snow continue to evolve?
3) Will Arya and Sansa Stark make peace, or war?
Thanks to Littlefinger’s manipulations, Arya Stark is on poor terms with her sister Sansa. Or is she? We know that Arya’s training at the House of Black and White in Braavos helped her become a master spy. She followed Littlefinger upon returning to Winterfell, but was she just trying to determine if he was purposefully driving a wedge between her and her sister?
Speaking of Sansa, in episode 6, Littlefinger suggested she use Brienne of Tarth as a weapon to protect herself against Arya. This could have been the moment that Sansa realized that Lord Baelish was up to something. We know that she is already well aware of his manipulative ways, even warning Bran that, “He wouldn’t give you anything unless he thought he was getting something back.“ She ultimately went against Littlefinger’s advice, sending Brienne off to represent the North at a meeting requested by Cersei.
But he had already planted doubts, and Sansa went snooping through Arya’s things, landing upon her bag of faces in the process. It lead to the most awkward and aggressive interaction we’ve seen between the sisters, with Arya explaining that thanks to her time in Braavos, “I can become someone else, speak in their voice, live in their skin. I could even become you.” She then approached Sansa with a dagger, but flipped it around at the last minute, handing it over. Some have seen this as a direct threat, while others have interpreted it as Arya signaling to Sansa that she can be of help, without directly mentioning Littlefinger. Why? Because Arya knows he has eyes and ears everywhere.
It would be really stupid if the two sisters actually killed each other. They are Starks, after all. The better theory is that Arya will kill Littlefinger, and add his face to her collection so she can actually help Sansa. By pretending to be Littlefinger, she can still keep the support of the Vale, while eliminating his threat entirely. Because after all, “the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives,” as Sansa said ominously in a season 7 teaser.
4) What will happen to the Greyjoys?
No matter how you put it, there’s pretty much no happy ending for Theon. Some people have more sympathy for him due to his tortured Reek past, while others have just been waiting for him to die ever since he betrayed Robb Stark in season 2. He didn’t help his cause in the second episode of this season, when he let his sister Yara be captured by their uncle, Euron. Yara was last seen in chains when Euron arrived in King’s Landing to hand over the Sand Snakes as a gift to Cersei.
There’s a quick shot of what looks like Theon dropping to his knees on the shore in the episode 7 finale preview, but it appears to be more of an emotional collapse rather than a physical one. Could Yara be dead? Tortured? Will Theon save her from Euron’s grip, and kill him to metaphorically reclaim his own manhood? Given what Theon’s been through, a part of us really does want to see him catch a break at some point.
5) Will we finally get Cleganebowl?
This is probably one of the most anticipated showdowns in Game of Thrones history. We’ve been patiently waiting for seven seasons to see the two sworn brotherly enemies come head-to-head. In the episode 7 preview, we see Gregor Clegane, also known as The Mountain, by Cersei’s side. As for the Hound, we last saw him dumping a wight into a boat. We assume he’s headed to Kings Landing with Jon and crew to bring the body to Cersei. Given those two pieces of information, it’s practically a lock that the two will be in King’s Landing at the same time.
There’s also a shot of The Hound pulling a sword in the Season 7 trailer that has yet to appear in the series. It will clearly happen in the final episode, and could be another indication that Cleganebowl is coming. Because why wouldn’t the Hound kill the Mountain on sight?
Of course, it could also just be the Hound killing the wight, or getting into some other, unrelated skirmish. But we’re certainly hoping it’s an epic battle between the two brothers.
6) Will someone reveal the truth about Jon’s parentage?
Earlier this season Samwell Tarly tried to convince the Citadel’s group of Archmaesters that Bran’s warning about an army of the dead was very real. After having his concerns dismissed, Sam returned home for a reading session. At this point, we witnessed probably one of the most important scenes in Game of Thrones history. Gilly stumbled across the word “annulment” in one of High Septum Maynard’s diaries and asked Sam to define it. He frustratingly explained that it meant the termination of a marriage.
She then continued to say, “Maynard says here that he issued an annulment for a Prince Rhaegar” — which she adorably pronounced as “Raggar” — “and remarried him to someone else at the same time in a secret ceremony in Dorne.” Sam then cut her off to mansplain about his issues with the Citadel. He finally declared, “I’m tired of reading about the achievements of better men,” and ditched Old Town with his family, Archmaester Maynard’s diary presumably in hand.
We also know that Bran’s flashback in season 6 practically confirmed Jon Snow is the son of Lyanna Star and Rhaegar Targaryen, Daenarys’s older brother. With Bran knowing who Jon’s parents were, and Sam carrying evidence that proves they were secretly married, the question isn’t if Jon will find out the truth. It’s a matter of when, and who will tell him.
7) What do Melisandre and Varys have planned?
In season 7, episode 3, Melisandre expressed guilt to Varys over her past crimes, like burning Shireen Baratheon at the stake. Then she disappeared, saying she shouldn’t show her face in Westeros anymore. But she also told Varys that eventually she would need to return to Westeros to die — just as he would.
Both characters are invested in who eventually becomes the ruler of Westeros, whether it’s Cersei, Daenerys, or someone else entirely. Both The Red Woman and the Spider have been long-game strategists with endless machinations in play. Are their hopes as straightforward as, just get Jon Snow or Dany on the throne? Varys hasn’t promised Dany complete loyalty, either — if she strays from justice, he will act in retaliation. Knowing these two schemers, there will probably be caveats and side plots involved, no matter what they’re up to.
8) Will all the parts of Cersei’s prophecy come true?
George R.R. Martin may not have finished the books yet, but he left enough hints for the showrunners to work from in the form of prophecies and visions. One of these prophecies was delivered to Cersei Lannister by Maggy the Frog in season 5. Maggy stated that a younger, more beautiful queen would usurp Cersei, and that all three of her children would be buried in golden shrouds. We have already seen much of the prophecy come to pass, including the deaths of all three of her children. But now Cersei says she’s pregnant. Does that mean she will die before the child is born, or is it a clue that she’s lying about her pregnancy?
Even worse, the prophecy in the books states that Cersei will die at the hands of the Valonqar — “little brother” in High Valyrian. Assuming the showrunners respect this detail from the books, this could infer that either Tyrion or Jaime will eventually kill Cersei.
9) Do our favorite almost-couples finally get together?
Aside from the incestuous passion-fest between Jaime and Cersei, we haven’t really seen any romances come to fruition in quite some time. At this stage, the two biggest question mark romances are between aunt-nephew duo Jon Snow and Daenerys Targeryen, and the large-and-in-charge warriors Tormund and Brienne. Let’s start with Jon and Dany.
This is probably the most tension-filled and anticipated romance in Game of Thrones. For one, they’re both ridiculously good-looking. Plot-wise, it’s almost inevitable that the pair become an item after their intense hand-holding session on Dany’s boat. Jon even declared his allegiance to Dany after she blushed at his use of her nickname, instead offering, “How about my queen?” Was this Jon’s subliminal way of offering himself to her as a strategic marriage-partner? And let’s not forget Jorah’s “blessing,” where he officially handed over Longclaw to Jon, saying “I forfeited the right to claim this sword. It’s yours. May it serve you well, and your children after you.” Was the reference to children a hint at Jon having kids with Dany? It may be a stretch, but we know how Game of Thrones love to foreshadow with unsuspecting one-liners.
Moving on to our favorite budding one-sided romance: Tormund and Brienne. The small moments between these two are pure joy. Allow us to refresh your memory:
Brienne has basically grimaced with disgust every time she’s encountered Tormund, but he’s persisted nonetheless. His fascination is driven by a love of her giant mutant child-bearing abilities, and bad-ass, “I could probably kill you in one-on-one combat” vibes. It’s adorable. We know from the episode 7 preview that Brienne will end up at King’s Landing on a possible suicide mission inside Cersei’s dragonpit, and Tormund isn’t pictured in the preview shot of Jon and his squad arriving for their meeting with the Queen. But that doesn’t necessarily mean he’s not there, or that he and Brienne won’t be united in some way during the final episode. Either way, can we please have this?
10) Will Arya ever reunite with Gendry?
Arya and Gendry have a bond that dates back to season 2, when Arya was still on the run from King’s Landing, but neither character has seen each other since. In the time that has passed, Arya has developed into a highly skilled magical assassin, and Gendry went into hiding in Flea Bottom and learned his way around a hammer. Although Gendry disappeared off the show for several seasons, he finally rejoined the gang in season 7, and Arya — who’s currently in Winterfell — would be glad to see him if their paths ever crossed again.
11) Will Arya Stark cross the rest of the names off her kill list?
Although we haven’t heard Arya mutter her kill list to herself in a long time, she has mentioned it in passing to Sansa this season. So, who’s still alive on Arya’s list, and will she ever get to killing them? Cersei Lannister is the prime target, followed by the Mountain, the Red Woman, Beric Dondarrion, and Ilyn Payne, who executed Arya’s father. Given Arya’s current location up north, it’s more likely that she can reach Beric by the season finale, rather than the others. Then again, the characters this season have shown their powers of teleportation already, so perhaps Arya has a trip down south planned soon.
12) Is Cersei going to go full Mad Queen?
Love her or hate her, Cersei is a master villain. After she brought all of her enemies together in one place last season and blew them up, we knew she was truly capable of anything. It’s hard not to see the parallels in the season finale preview, where she has invited her now-enemies into the dragonpit for what could be High Sept explosion part two. After all, if you know a little dragonpit history, you know that King Aerys, aka the Mad King, stored caches of wildfire all over King’s Landing, in case his enemies ever attacked him. Will Jaime catch wind of this plan and kill her — and will that be how Maggy the Frog’s prophecy gets fulfilled?
Bonus unanswered questions:
- Will Ed Sheeran reprise his cameo? He didn’t get to do much, besides sing a song from the books and meet with Arya, and what little screentime he did get was not well-received. For the real-life Ed Sheeran’s sake, we hope that he’s gone.
- Is Tyene Sand dead, and what will happen to Ellaria Sand? We last saw them in the dungeons where Cersei planted a poisonous kiss on Tyene’s lips in retribution for Myrcella Baratheon’s murder. Cersei promised to let Ellaria rot in the cell forever, but since this is Game of Thrones, nothing’s for certain until there’s a dead body on the screen.