With just one season of Game of Thrones left to go, there are still a number of burning questions about the future of the Seven Kingdoms that last night’s season finale left unanswered.
Let’s not mince words here: season seven was more focused on getting things into their proper places in anticipation of the series’ end. That isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but rather an unexpected pivot from a show that’s excelled at giving its plot time and space to play out organically.
But even if we accept this past season as more soap opera than prestige drama, you can’t deny that “The Wolf and the Dragon” was meant to leave us wildly speculating about what to expect next. With that in mind, here are all of the dangling plot points we still need resolved.
Obviously, the most pressing question after last night’s episode is the fate of Tormund, everyone’s favorite Wilding beardo. In the final scene of “The Dragon and the Wolf,” the Night King and his newly-reanimated wight dragon obliterated the Eastwatch garrison and tore a gargantuan chunk out of the Wall, allowing for the army of White Walkers and wights to make their way into Westeros.
As insane as the scene was to watch, perhaps the most shocking thing about it was the implication that Tormund might not have survived the attack, given that he was rushing to get off the Wall as the undead dragon fire (or whatever) was tearing it apart. It’d be shocking if a character as prominent as Tormund was given an off-screen death, but if there’s one thing to have learned from this past season of Game of Thrones, it’s that the show isn’t terribly concerned with giving fans exactly what they want.
“The Dragon and the Wolf” very briefly teased us with a taste of Cleganebowl when the the Hound and the Mountain came face to face during the Meeting of queens, but the encounter didn’t lead to the brothers finally fighting to the death the way we all desperately want to see. At this point in the series, both Cleganes have been touched by some form of the supernatural, with Sandor witnessing a vision from the Lord of Light in a fire, and Gregor becoming some kind of putrid zombie warrior.
It’d be absolutely fantastic to see the Cleganes duke it out, ideally with Qyburn muttering to no one in particular about how he brought the Mountain back from the dead and Sandor growling about just what the Lord of Light showed him.
In a moment of uncharacteristic bravery, Theon stands up to the group of other Iron Islanders he’s with and announces his plans to head home and rescue his sister (the rightful queen of the Iron Islands) from their uncle Euron. As lovely as it is to finally see Theon doing the right thing, it’s difficult to say whether he’ll be successful in his endeavor, considering Cersei’s secret plot to send Euron to Essos to collect the Golden Company while everyone assumes that he’s retreating to the Iron Islands.
The issue here is that we don’t know exactly where Yara is right now. Last we saw her, she and Ellaria Sand were being led through King’s Landing on their way to be punished by Cersei. It’s unclear if Yara’s still somewhere in King’s Landing, if she’s been sent back to the Iron Islands, or if Euron’s kept her with him. Given that Theon hopped into a boat, it seems as if he thinks she’s back at home, which is a bit of a gamble, but one that could play into the ultimate showdown between the living and the dead. Now that the Night King has that fancy new steed of his, it seems like next season would be the perfect time for a certain magical instrument from the books that could level the playing field to make an appearance.
From the moment that we saw the Night King kill and then re-animate Viserion last week, it was clear that the season finale would involve seeing the leader of the White Walkers riding an undead dragon south and wreaking all kinds of ice-magic havoc. What’s less obvious about the wight Viserion is just how exactly he works, considering his unique origins.
Up until this point, dragons and their fire have been the sort of magical foil to the White Walkers and their cold in Game of Thrones, but Viserion now straddles the gap between the two sources of the show’s magic in a unique way. During the last scene of the season finale, we saw that the dragon is now capable of breathing some sort of blue, flame-like substance that easily tore a hole through the Wall. But the idea that an undead dragon reanimated by magic from an ice being would breath literal fire is a little iffy. Remember, it only takes a little bit of fire to seriously mess the White Walkers and wights up.
Viserion’s new “flames” could be some form of concussive ice breath that we should expect to see him using on his brothers next season, but there are still questions about whether Viserion can even be killed anymore, given that a) he’s still a dragon (they’re durable as hell) and b) it’s doubtful anyone’s crafted a huge obsidian arrow to shoot a zombie dragon down with. We’ll see.
After years of alluding to the truth about Jon Snow’s identity, Bran and Sam put their heads together and confirmed that Jon is, in fact, Aegon Targaryen, Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen’s secret lovechild, making Daenerys his aunt (whom he promptly had sex with). It seems off that Lyanna and Rhaegar would name their son Aegon because Rhaegar had another son by the same name with Ellia Martell. Chalk it up to Rhaegar not being the world’s most creative dad.
There were a lot of emotions tied to Jon and Dany’s incestuous sex scene last night, but it’s worth bearing in mind that incest is kind of a Targaryen tradition and neither of them knows about it yet. Also, it’s not like these two are even the show’s most high-profile couple keeping it in the family currently. That being said, there’s a good chance that once word of Jon’s heritage spreads, there will be a variety of different reactions from people with connections to the two Targaryens. Tyrion was visibly... perturbed when he overheard the dragonfolk getting busy through their door and it stands to reason that Jon might be somewhat shocked to learn that he’s gotten it on with his father’s sister. Daenerys’ reaction, though, is likely to be the most interesting given that Jon’s claim to the throne is now stronger than hers, but he’s already bent the knee to her.
Now that the show’s acknowledged who Jon really is and he’s had sex with Daenerys, there’s a chance—even though Dany went out of her way to remind us that she doesn’t think she’s capable of having any more children—that the two of them could could produce an heir that would eventually play a key role in the future of the seven kingdoms.
If Daenerys does manage to get pregnant, though, it’s unlikely we’d see her go through the entire pregnancy next season, seeing as how the Night King and the army of the dead are already pretty much beelining their way into mainland Westeros. Speaking of pregnancies...
Even though we’ve seen her covertly meeting with Master Qyburn for unknown reasons, and we know she and Jaime have still been having sex, I wouldn’t put it past Cersei to fake a pregnancy as a power move to trick everyone around her. When Jaime tries to impress upon Cersei that he’s the only family she has left, Cersei indicates that she’s carrying at least one more blood relative and very overtly insinuates that she’s prepared to kill Jaime in light of his recent betrayals.
Still, though, if Cersei is playing the long game, it’s difficult to understand what she’s going for. She knows that the White Walkers are real—and she saw snow fall in King’s Landing—but she apparently doesn’t consider that reason enough to get her shit together to help fend them off. Her scheme to bring the Golden Company to Westeros to take back the lands that Daenerys abandons is certainly a clever one in the short term, but what will it amount to if the dead defeat the first line of the living and then make their way farther south? All the money in the world won’t stop the wights from murdering people, but Cersei seems not to quite understand that. Perhaps she plans to flee across the sea with her baby?
It would make an awful lot of sense if Jon Snow/Aegon Targaryen turned out to be the Azor Ahai, destined to be reborn as the Prince (or Princess) That Was Promised who will fight back the impending darkness that threatens to envelop the world.
Melisandre’s already cast her vote for Jon, though other Red Priestesses throughout the world have also suggested Daenerys as the prophesied savior. The Azor Ahai could also be Jon and Dany’s child (if they ever have one), but again, the dead are already marching on Westeros and the living don’t really have the time to wait for Baby Targaryen to grow up and save them.
This is literally the point of the entire show—and right now, the answer to this question is entirely up in the air. There are still more than enough power players on the board to make Game of Thrones’ series finale a complete mystery, which is heartening given how rushed this season felt. If season seven was all about getting characters to where they need to be in order to make this final act truly epic, then hopefully season eight will give us the fitting drama and intrigue as the series comes to a close.