“Valar morghulis,” even TV shows. Now after eight seasons and 72 hours, there’s only one more Game of Thrones episode left. There are still lots of questions to answer in the show’s swan song (of ice and fire) though, especially after Daenerys Targaryen brought fire and blood to King’s Landing. Here are the 10 biggest issues remaining before the series finale.
1. Will Someone Kill Daenerys?
The question is not “if” someone will try and kill the Mother of Dragons, but “who?” After she needlessly burned down King’s Landing and killed hundreds of thousands of innocent people, Jon, Tyrion, Arya, and Davos all saw firsthand how dangerous she is. There can never be peace in the world with her in charge. Who will take it upon themselves to try and assassinate her? Could Arya kill another evil leader? How will they do it? And will they be able to get to her? This could end up being the primary focus of the final episode.
2. What Will Happen to the Unsullied, Dothraki, and Drogon if She Dies?
Daenerys will still be a threat even if she’s dead, since she has tens of thousands of loyal, skilled soldiers, along with the only dragon in the world. How will the Dothraki and Unsullied respond to being in a foreign land if their queen is killed? We’d guess “not well.” Could Jon mitigate the danger by claiming Drogon as his new dragon? Or will her last child claim more lives to avenge his mother?
3. What Happens to Bronn Now?
Bronn threatened Tyrion and Jaime with a crossbow to the heart if they didn’t deliver him Highgarden. That was when he had leverage though, in the form of Cersei’s offer of Riverrun. Now that Cersei and Jaime are both dead and Tyrion’s position as Hand of the Queen has weakened, what kind of threats can a sellsword make on his one remaining friend? Will Tyrion want to give him any castle after Bronn threatened him? Forget Highgarden, Bronn might get a grave plot instead.
4. Will the Seven Kingdoms Split Apart?
Before Aegon the Conqueror, the Seven Kingdoms were independent, each with their own king. It wasn’t a better set up, since the Realm was still constantly at war with itself, but it might be preferable to the one they have now. With so many Great Houses extinct or decimated after years of civil war, and with King’s Landing itself destroyed, it might not be possible to fix the fractured country, let alone agree on a ruler behind whom all of Westeros can unite. A nation-wide breakup might be the only solution.
5. Who Will Die?
No one went into the Mad Men finale listing death odds for the characters, but they probably would have if Don Draper had destroyed Madison Avenue with a dragon. We know not everyone will survive the series finale, but what we don’t know is who will meet the Many-Faced God and why. Are there any great betrayals left? Shocking twists? Ultimate sacrifices? Who will come so close to making it out alive only to fall right before the end?
6. What Happens to the Starks and the North?
Will Sansa become queen of an independent North or of the entire Seven Kingdoms? Will Arya take the Hound’s advice and walk away from a life of hate and vengeance to find something that makes her happy? Can Bran stop living in the past and return to the world of the living? And will Jon make the decision to finally stop fighting everyone else’s battles and walk away? Or will he begrudgingly accept the responsibility of ruling? That is, if he can survive the Mad Queen first.
7. Will Any Marriages Help Heal the Realm?
If Sansa and Tyrion no longer have the Dragon Queen to come between them, could a second, real marriage help unite Westeros? Will Arya reconsider Gendry’s proposal? Who else could find a spouse that will either bring them joy or at least have strategic value in mending the Seven Kingdoms?
8. Where will the Capital Be?
King’s Landing doesn’t seem like an ideal place for a king or queen to rule from anymore. It would take decades to rebuild the city into something resembling a viable capital, let alone a thriving one. Where else could a new monarch sit if the Seven Kingdoms hold together? Even if Sansa Stark or Jon Snow were to rule, Winterfell and its brutal winters is not a good option, but what does? Casterly Rock is too far away from Essos. Dragonstone is too isolated and unpleasant. Will the charred remains of Aegon’s city have to suffice?
9. Will Anyone Get a Happy Ending?
Even for the characters who survive the finale, will any of them truly get a happy ending? Is that even possible for the lords and ladies who play the game of thrones? Have they all lost and sacrificed too much to ever find peace even if the great war comes to an end (for now)? Was Hot Pie the only character on the show who knew what he was doing when he decided to hunker down and make some bread instead of dealing with war and power? Can anyone follow his lead and make a similar choice?
10. Who Will Sit on the Iron Throne?
The question that has dominated the main thrust of the series is the last one that needs an answer. There’s a very real possibility it will be “no one,” and we don’t mean Arya. We’re not even sure the Iron Throne will still be stand at the end. Daenerys’ burning of King’s Landing proved the perils of seeking power. The destruction of Aegon’s Iron Throne would be a fitting and symbolic response about the worth of doing so.
Of course there is one more question for the finale, but it won’t be answered by Game of Thrones: what are we all going to talk about now?
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