Game of Thrones ended last night, and after much initial contention and hubbub we assume people will eventually come to accept how things wrapped up. Power is bad and corrupting, as the show hammered home to us at every opportunity over multiple seasons, and the children of the only house that seemed to understand that are now in power (at least for a generation). Sansa is queen of the North, which is about half of the entire continent of Westeros. Her weird little brother Bran, now something beyond human and free from want and presumably immune to corruption, rules the other six kingdoms in the south, a power that he’ll someday pass on to someone chosen Republic-style. Arya is heading to discover her own continent, and Jon Snow seems content being the most popular man north of the North. Most other favorites ended up sitting around the Small Council table like they were Ross, Phoebe, and Rachel at Central Perk. Just sleep on it a few more times, and you’ll probably learn to accept it. True, the writing could have been a bit sharper to guide us there, but the ending seems apt. Wait a few more years, and we’re sure George R.R. Martin will make it make even more sense when he gets around to releasing those final books in the series.
Still, that’s not to say we don’t have some outstanding questions about Westeros. Where are the Dothraki? Who is the worshipped god? And was that all that winter was?
What’s going on with religion in Westeros now?
Did we ever fully expect the show to answer the question of religion? Not really. After all, while there were some devotees and true believers among the cast of characters, a lot of them could have their religious beliefs summed up as, “Well, culturally I believe in the Faith of the Seven (aka the New Gods), but it’s not like I go to church or anything.” Of course, when we did see the truly devoted followers of the Faith of the Seven gain power in the form of the High Sparrow, all they managed to do was turn Cersei into a temporary Anita Bryant–like faith warrior homophobe before they turned on her and she was like, “LOL, just kidding about that. Going to blow you all up instead.” So is that religion pretty much done now? Meanwhile, Melisandre’s Lord of the Light certainly had some power and made some points, even if the Red Lady did some mighty stupid things in the name of said lord. Still, we did see her bring back Jon Snow from the dead and light some fires with her mind. Is it possible some people might be tempted to look into her faith now? Finally, there were the Old Gods, worshipped by the Starks, the Children of the Forest, and the Wildlings. With Bran as the new king and his powers as the Three-Eyed Raven seemingly tied up in that religion, does that mean the Old Gods are suddenly new again in Westeros? That makes the most sense, but, ugh, are we supposed to use context clues and our own brain power to figure that out?
Speaking of Bran, doesn’t his dual role present some logistical concerns?
Bran’s powers and duties as the successor to the Three-Eyed Raven are obviously important for two major reasons: The Night King’s main order of business was to kill Bran, and it is pretty much his sole qualification to be king. Still, that seems like a whole lot of power to reside in one human alone. Sure, if Bran were to be assassinated, we now know Westeros has a direct way to chose a new ruler, but the passage of the power of the Three-Eyed Raven seems like it requires a little more time and planning. We’re not exactly sure what would happen if Bran died before passing the entire history of Westeros along, but it seems bad. Is the court setting itself up to basically tempt someone to try and kill Bran just to cause the absolute most drama? At the very least, we know Brienne and Podrick are protecting him.
Oh, who was the prince(ss) who was promised?
Again, we’re not supposed to totally believe in all the prophecies and lore within Game of Thrones, but what was that all about?
Where is Ellaria Sand?
We understand that the torturous fate Cersei planned for Ellaria Sand (and for Shamey McShame-Shame lady, for that matter) was meant to convey that she had grown sadistic to the point where merely killing her enemies wasn’t good enough for her, but the problem with keeping someone alive to prolong her suffering is that at least some of us out here are wondering what ended up happening to Ellaria. Did Cersei eventually forget to feed her, like a 5-year-old with her first pet goldfish? Did she kill her before Dany’s siege, just in case? Or was she alive and somehow survived Dany’s slaughter? The lowest level of the Red Keep dungeon seems like perhaps the safest place to be. Did someone find her, recognize her as a Daenarys ally, and let her go on her way? Where are you Ellaria?
Where the hell are the Dothraki?
So first we thought the entire Dothraki horde was eaten up by the Wights in a matter of minutes at the beginning of the Battle of Winterfell, until the show was like, “Actually, we were keeping some extra Dothraki over there, ever so slightly off screen, the entire time!” More than enough of them survive to not only help Daenarys take King’s Landing but continue on to do whatever it is she thought she was going to go afterward. Then they completely disappeared. We’re going to go with the show’s context clues and assume the entirety of the Unsullied went with Grey Worm to free Missandei’s people in Naath, but what happened to the Dothraki? Did they get back on those “wooden horses” and float back to Essos? Can they actually sail? Navigate? Did they join the Unsullied, ever so slightly off screen? Are they still roaming around the plains of Westeros? Bron seems like he could use a new army and population in the Reach. We would like to know these answers.
Did Edmure Tully ever meet his wife and son again?
Edmure Tully had the worst wedding in history, but while a whole lot of the guests died, he and his wife did manage to survive and conceive a son during the one night together. Jaime Lannister later tells Edmure that his wife, Rosalin Frey, survived and he’s now a father, so we assume they eventually meet up and make a go out of married life. Would be sort of nice if something good came out of the Red Wedding, after all that.
Actually, did anyone find love?
Ultimately, the show seemed so uninterested in traditional love stories that the love of the only couple we know who got a happy ending, Sam and Gilly, wasn’t even mentioned in the finale episode. Otherwise, we’re left with a lot of romantic tragedy. Gendry, new lord of Storm’s End, is eventually going to have to find someone to marry and carry on his lineage with, but we know he’ll never love her as much as he loved Arya. Sansa, with no need to make alliances with foreign powers at the moment, is probably going to marry some rando from the north to show her fidelity to the idea of independence (when she feels like it, we’re sure). Bronn seemed happy to have a wife, literally any wife, and we hope he eventually gets one. And what about Tyrion? Doesn’t he deserve some companionship now?
Maybe it was the young bachelorettes of Westeros who ultimately won. Suddenly, they’ve got Gendry, Bronn, the mysterious new Prince of Dorne, and a newly hot Robin Arryn, all of whom are single and available. I guess it’s some consolation, considering Podrick ended up joining the Kingsguard.
What is Dany’s legacy in Essos?
It would have been wild in the midst of all that was happening in last night’s finale for the show to suddenly jump back to Essos to give us an update, but that won’t stop us from wondering. Does news of her heel turn make its way across the seas and empower the old evil forces there to regain control, or is Dany still viewed as a hero there? After all, we assume that’s where Drogon takes her body.
The show has often played with how different figures of legend are viewed in different lights, and how the stories we tell of them afterward aren’t always accurate. So it would be nice if after all that Dany was still viewed as a liberating hero in Essos and her streak of reform carried on there. Some good had to come out of everything she did before her turn, right? Also, what’s up with Daario Naharis?
So what was that white horse?
Just empty symbolism?
Could Jon continue the Targaryen legacy up north?
Sure, they tell Jon he’s forbidden from fathering children, but it doesn’t seem like there’s anyone who is really going to enforce the rules. Are there any nice remaining Free Folk girls up there he could settle down with? Will someone end up writing a fan-fiction saga set a thousand years in the future about the sudden reemergence of the Targaryens? Why not?
Actually, what is the deal with the Night’s Watch?
A lot of people are wondering why there even is a Night’s Watch now that there are no White Walkers, but do remember that up until season seven the vast majority of people in Westeros didn’t believe White Walkers existed at all. The Night’s Watch was basically viewed as pointless before and will carry on being viewed as pointless now. Perhaps it’s not as much of a stretch as people are making it seem.
Still, we have to wonder, whose purview is it under now? It’s in the North, so is it under Sansa’s control? Or is it still considered a Six Kingdoms outpost in the North? A joint project? Who is to say? Also: How did the Wall get rebuilt so quickly?
Is the Stark name done?
Apparently, in the books the notion of distant cousins is briefly discussed, but not so much in the series. So what happens to the name now? Jon is a Stark in spirit, but he has two other last names. Bran can’t have kids, as was so rudely pointed out. Arya doesn’t seem that interested in motherhood. If Sansa has kids will she use her powers as queen to make sure they carry on the Stark name instead of the name of whatever dude she marries? There’s always supposed to be a Stark in Winterfell, right?
What happened to Winter?
Winter came, but wasn’t it supposed to stick around longer? It briefly snowed in King’s Landing, but by the end the climate in each location seemed exactly as it had been in episode one.