There was never going to be any conceivable way to please everyone with the finale of Game of Thrones, but over the last five episodes of Season 8, we’ve realized that Game of Thrones isn’t trying to please, well, anyone. With a shortened season, everything feels rushed, character development has gone straight out the window like Bran in the pilot, and many long brewing theories have completely fallen by the way side.
For a sprawling show with dozens of different locations and hundreds of characters, there was no way Game of Thrones was ever going to give us even a semi-satisfying ending for everyone and everything. With literally just one episode left to go, it’s clear that many things the show hinted at, alluded to, and foreshadowed are all roads to nowhere. If you were hoping for some sort of satisfying resolution regarding long-lost characters and flashback prophecies, you’ve come to the wrong place.
Ahead of the show’s final episode on Sunday, here are just some of the things there’s no way Game of Thrones is ever going to answer. RIP to all the loose ends, may you have a peaceful journey into the Night Lands.
1. What happened to Howland Reed?
Howland Reed appears exactly once during a flashback in Season 6, at the Tower of Joy. Howland Reed (played by Leo Woodruff int he flashback) is one of two people who know of Jon Snow’s (Kit Harington) true parentage, the other being Ned Stark (Sean Bean), of course. Yet the one living man who could actually tell Jon about his parents, without reading it in a book or through a weird vision, is completely MIA. While we met his children, Jojen (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) and Meera (Ellie Kendrick), we’ve never met Howland. He’s just a big, mysterious dead-end.
2. What happened to Daario?
Daenerys Targaryen’s (Emilia Clarke) one-time lover certainly played a huge role in her life (and court) while she was in Meereen. Then she just cast him away, saying she couldn’t take him with her on her way to the Iron Throne. Daario (Michiel Huisman) is not seen nor heard again, which leaves us to wonder what he’s doing, where he is, and would he ever come to Dany’s defense in the end?
3. Who is the current Prince of Dorne?
In literally a throwaway line, Varys (Conleth Hill) mentions there’s a new Prince of Dorne and that he supports Dany. OK, sure. But who is he and why is he even name-dropped? First off, with Varys being the one to mention him, it’s possible he was writing his little scrolls for the Prince of Dorne before he was killed. There’s actually still a new character coming to the show (if speculation is to be believed), and actor Toby Osmond is set to play someone. Is he this so-called Prince of Dorne?
4. What library books did Sam steal from the Citadel?
Sam’s (John Bradley) made a big fuss about the fact he stole some books from the library before he left Old Town. So what books did Sam steal? We saw him look at the same dagger Arya (Maisie Williams) used to kill the Night King a season ago, but he was completely unaware of what he was looking at. Obviously there are important things in these books, and maybe he should share his findings with the class. He’s racking up a huge overdue fee regardless.
5. What does a Westerosi elephant look like?
Who knew that Westeros even HAD elephants?
6. What did the Night King and White Walkers even WANT?
Jon and Dany went to war but, over what? The Night King never talked, and the White walkers never explained what they were even trying to do by invading Westeros in the first place. It’s assumed they were just looking to wipe out men — and had put a mark on record keeper Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) for this reason — but that’s still a little murky. Maybe the White Walkers just wanted to live in peace with man and everyone jumped to conclusions? Now we’ll never know.
7. Along the lines of the White Walkers, do we even still care about the Children of the Forest?
They played a huge role in creating the White Walkers, helping Bran and Co. escape from the White Walkers, and now where are they?
8. In the end, do Cersei’s prophecies mean nothing?
We’ve spent so much time on Game of Thrones looking at the past and what happened to our characters even before the action picked up. That rang especially true for Cersei (Lena Headey), who snagged one of the very few flashback moments during the show as we got to witness the day Maggy the Frog (Jodhi May) gave her the prophecies. Maggy warned that Cersei would only be queen for a short time before another, more beautiful ruler replaced her and that her children (not with the king) would all die. Maggy told Cersei she could ask three questions, but they only got through two before Cersei left. In the books, Maggy also warned Cersei would die by the hands of the “valonqar,” aka “little brother.” That could have meant either Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) or Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) since both are younger than her. Too bad we’ll never know which one it is.
9. What is the Iron Bank up to?
In a show involving dragons, it’s kind of hilarious that the action sometimes cut away to a bunch of people talking about finances. Last we saw the bank, banker Tycho Nestoris, (Mark Gatiss) was literally discussing Cersei’s interest rates for her latest loan, and that they’ll invest in her again once she pays her debts. It doesn’t exactly look like this Lannister is going to pay her debts now, huh?
Game of Thrones‘ series finale airs Sunday, May 19 at 9/8c on HBO.