This post contains many spoilers covering the entirety of “Game of Thrones.”
We have finally come to the end: Winter has come and gone, the watch is over (sort of) and the Iron Throne is no more.
But even though the ashes have settled on King’s Landing, audiences are still not totally satisfied with the ground covered over eight seasons on HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”
So let’s break down 13 lingering questions and concerns we have following Sunday’s finale.
Isn’t Bran no longer Bran?
Bran has been telling anyone who will listen that he’s not really Bran anymore, but the Three-Eyed Raven.
“I’m not really [Bran], not anymore,” he told Meera. “I can never be lord of anything. I’m the Three-Eyed Raven,” he told Sansa about taking charge of Winterfell. Of course he doesn’t want to be lord of Winterfell, because he doesn’t really “want” anymore, as he explained to Tyrion.
But happily taking over as king of the (now) six kingdoms? Sure, okay! If he couldn’t be lord of anything because of his Three-Eyed Raven-ness, why can he be king? Because it’s a better gig? At the very least, he should put a stop to this “Bran the Broken” business.
How did everyone know Jon killed Daenerys?
Except for a bloodstain in the throne room, there is no evidence of Jon’s deed, yet everyone knows the specifics: He stabbed the Mother of Dragons in the heart. We have to assume that Jon immediately fessed up, which sorta makes sense given Jon’s penchant for honesty.
Why did the Unsullied and Dothraki respond so calmly to Daenerys’s murder?
Truly baffling. Upon discovering Daenerys’s murder, why wouldn’t Grey Worm, the Unsullied and the Dothraki go into revenge mode and immediately kill Jon Snow and tear down whatever remains of King’s Landing? They should have been incensed to discover their beloved queen was killed, but they apparently had cool-enough heads to convene a Westerosi roundtable (and about that: Who is sending these ravens? Are there still ravens alive to send?).
Daenerys had a no-prisoner policy, so why would Grey Worm hold Tyrion and Jon Snow for weeks? The Unsullied and Dothraki had no qualms with Daenerys burning up King’s Landing, so why wouldn’t they just continue the destruction? The only reason to keep Jon Snow around appears to be a standoff of some kind with the remaining northern fighters.
Why are the Dothraki staying in King’s Landing?
As Jon Snow departs King’s Landing, we see the Dothraki are still hanging out in the city. Why? What’s there for them? Isn’t the weather better in Essos, anyway?
In recognition for their services in the fight against the army of the dead, the Unsullied were offered some lands (a proposal that received a hard pass from Grey Worm). But the Dothraki were the first line of defense in the Battle of Winterfell, and as far as we can tell, received no reward in return.
Could Jaime and Cersei have survived?
Tyrion had to get visual confirmation of the fate of his siblings so he tours beneath the Red Keep. And from the looks of it, it appears that the Lannister twins’ deaths could have been avoided. Jaime and Cersei were just barely buried beneath rubble, with Jaime’s gold hand visible from the top of one mound. But the rest of the area wasn’t totally covered with fallen stones. It seems if they had just stood about 20 feet to the right, underneath an arch, they would have been safe. Someone skipped school earthquake drills!
Why didn’t other kingdoms secede, too?
Northerners have long been stubborn and wary of outsiders, and they had recently tried to break free of the Iron Throne’s grip (Robb Stark and Jon Snow both had short reigns as King of the North). It makes sense that Sansa advocated for Northern independence. But upon hearing Sansa’s successful pitch, why wouldn’t the Iron Islands or Dorne also try to break free? Yara wasn’t so keen on forgiving Jon Snow’s act of regicide, and the Iron Islands have rebelled before (Theon came to be Ned Stark’s hostage after the unsuccessful Greyjoy rebellion against the mainland).
Why can’t Bran tell Arya what’s west of Westeros?
Arya mentioned her travel plans back in Season 6, when she asked Lady Crane what’s west of Westeros, who guessed “the edge of the world.”
“I’d like to see that,” Arya said then. Now that her brother is basically an Internet database, why not just run a Google Image search and check it out before sailing west?
Bran has some omniscience, being able to peer into the past and perceive at least inklings of the future. Maybe his knowledge is limited to recorded history.
What’s going to happen with that Iron Bank debt?
Cersei got her power back after sacking Highgarden and using all that gold to repay the crown’s hefty debt to the Iron Bank, and then took out another loan to fund the Golden Company army.
Like all financial institutions, the Iron Bank mystifies us, but from what we’ve seen, the bank will do whatever is needed to get its money back, including backing more attractive adversaries to rule over the Seven Kingdoms. The bank also recognizes debt owed by the crown, so now Bran the Broken has to figure out how to pay off the Cersei loan. That doesn’t seem to be a pressing matter at the first king’s council confab, so, okay, maybe they’ll get to it. But apparently Highgarden wasn’t drained of all its gold and whatnot, and still has enough resources to give out loans to rebuild King’s Landing, or at least its brothels (eye roll).
What’s with these lax prison visitation policies?
This has been a feature throughout “Game of Thrones.” So much of the plot has lurched forward after prisoners get a cell block visit, and in the finale, an imprisoned Tyrion persuades Jon Snow to kill Dany. For such a brutal place, they seem to be cool with letting prisoners of treason receive guests.
Why didn’t Brienne go back with Sansa?
Brienne of Tarth had sworn a pledge of loyalty to Catelyn Stark, promising to bring her daughters back to Winterfell and protect them. After Catelyn’s death, she pledged herself to Sansa, becoming Sansa’s most-trusted protector and adviser. So it’s a bit weird that Sansa wouldn’t have the new knight by her side as she took on her brand-new responsibilities. Maybe Sansa wanted to do Brienne a solid and give her a promotion by letting her head up the Kingsguard for the six kingdoms rather than the Queensguard for just one kingdom. Whatever the reason, we’ll never know; how about swapping that scene showing Brienne blogging about her ex with another depicting a teary goodbye with Sansa?
Where is Drogon taking Daenerys?
All we know is that Drogon was last spotted flying east, leaving us with an intentionally inconclusive story line. Our best guess is that Drogon is transporting Daenerys to the Shadow Lands. The dragon eggs that Daenerys received as a wedding gift back in Season 1, from which Drogon hatched, hail from there. And the Shadow Lands are on Essos, thousands of miles to the east of King’s Landing. Bran decides to try to figure out where Drogon has fled, likely by warging into a raven.
Where is Daario?
Daenerys left Daario behind to keep the peace in Meereen, and also because she couldn’t bring a lover along to Westeros if she planned to make alliances via marriage. Well, she shacked up with Jon Snow anyway. And before she left Meereen, Daenerys declared that Slaver’s Bay would be called Dragon’s Bay. Did Daario prevent slavery from returning to the region and help usher in people-powered rule, as instructed?
Why is there still a Night’s Watch?
Jon Snow is sentenced, once again, to serve in the Night’s Watch. “There’s still a Night’s Watch?” he and every viewer at home replied.
“The world will always need a home for bastards and broken men,” Tyrion reasons. Um, okay. Why not make that home in a more suitable climate? We hear Naath is peaceful.
Over the course of thousands of years, the Night’s Watch went from an important and honorable post to a very unglamorous one. Regardless, the whole purpose of the Night’s Watch was to protect against threats originating from the north. All of those threats seem to be neutralized; there’s no more Night King, white walkers or giants, and the handful of wildlings seem to have already made their peace with their more southern brethren.
All of the Night’s Watch retreated from the Wall and its castles to help defend against the army of the dead, so Bran the Broken would have had to reestablish it. Maybe he knows something we don’t. Or maybe just like Grey Worm and the Starks, the “Game of Thrones” writers were backed into a corner and needed to figure out what the heck to do with Jon Snow.