Unanswered Questions from Game Of Thrones’ Final Episode
It’s safe to say that Game Of Thrones’ finale episode, “The Iron Throne” was divisive. Well, actually, maybe it isn’t fair to say that, as the fandom appears united in its disdain for our final visit to Westeros (until the spinoffs and prequels kick in, anyway).
While the show did its best to wrap up the main character’s arcs, I’ve been left with a few questions.
Warning: Spoilers follow for the final Game Of Thrones episode and the series in general. If you haven’t seen it yet, don’t read on.
How and why did the lords and ladies of Westeros come to King’s Landing?
After Jon’s stabbing of Daenerys and Drogon’s fire-filled temper tantrum, we skip ahead a “few weeks” (according to Tyrion). Tyrion, still a prisoner, is taken to the Dragon Pit, where the remaining lords and ladies of Westeros have gathered, to both decide his fate (and that of Jon Snow) and the future governance of the seven kingdoms.
How, and why, did this happen? Sansa mentions Northern soldiers outside the city walls. Had they come to attack? To lay siege? If so, at what point were the various leaders invited in for a chit-chat? If they turned up for the meeting, who arranged it, and why? Did they organise it via Grey Worm? Who initiated it? All that is a lot more interesting than the meeting we actually saw.
How did anyone know Jon had killed Dany? Why was he allowed to live?
Jon is able to stab and kill Dany mainly because she neglects to have even a single guard anywhere near her — save Drogon who functions as a living doorbell. After she dies, Drogon burns the Iron Throne — handily missing Jon — and flies off with her body.
…and the next thing we know, weeks later, is that Jon is a prisoner.
How did Grey Worm and his Unsullied know Jon killed her? There’s no body, no murder weapon, no evidence of anything.
Now, Jon is a well-meaning and honest dolt. You could make the argument that he confessed. In which case why is he a prisoner? Earlier in the episode, Grey Worm was executing Lannister soldiers as traitors — why is Jon (and Tyrion for that matter) spared that fate?
What was the point of Jon Snow being a Targaryen?
Jon is actually Aegon Targaryen, heir to the throne. This had been a fan theory for years and was expected to be a shocking revelation that would change the fate of the seven kingdoms.
Yet by the series’ end, Jon/Aegon is stripped of all possible titles and claims and back in the Night’s Watch (and may have abandoned that to join the free folk).
So where did that big reveal get us? Jon didn’t get the throne (he never wanted it). He did ride a dragon (poorly), but ultimately the big parentage revelation the show had been building up to meant nothing. The ending to Jon’s story— he falls in love with but then kills a tyrannical Dany before returning north — would have been the same if he was still just a plain old Snow.
What about the other cities Danyaeres had conquered?
Remember Meereen? Game Of Thrones doesn’t. Daario Naharis is presumably still there, trying to keep the peace. Does he know Dany is dead? Has anyone sent him a raven?
Is Bran just fine with being called “the Broken”?
Not only did Tyrion suggest Bran become the new king, but he also bestowed upon him the nickname “the Broken”. Bran seemed fine with it — in the bland, emotionless way he’s fine with everything — but why doesn’t Bran get to pick his own name since he’s going to be king? Or why not plain old “Bran the First"?
FYI, this doesn’t make it okay to call the disabled person in your office “[Name]the Broken”.
How did King’s Landing become a thriving city mere weeks after being burned to ashes?
After the penultimate episode “The Bells”, King’s Landing is little more than ash, rubble, and corpse-strewn streets. By the end of “The Iron Throne” — a mere few weeks later, remember — the place looks something akin to a functioning city again. Sure, the new small council talk about the need to rebuild things, but the fact they aren’t holding a meeting atop a pile of bricks is amazing. Who did the cleanup and rebuilding? Where did the people thronging the streets all come from?
What will the Dothraki do now?
They hate water, and now they might be stuck in King’s Landing — or Westeros, anyway. Will they just settle there? Mind you, they’ll probably be fine after somehow surviving The Battle of Winterfell when it seemed very clear they had all been killed by the advancing White Walkers.
Why isn’t there more concern over the whereabouts of Drogon?
Somewhere out there is a dragon apparently smart enough to understand the power of visual metaphor who wants revenge. Also, he’s the dragon who previously burned down a whole city. But hey, don’t worry. Maybe Bran will find him. Maybe. Or maybe not.
How long will Westeros’ Kingdoms stay together?
Game Of Thrones has spent years telling the story of warring kingdoms and competing claims for power. The in-world history of these constant battles stretches back for hundreds of years. Yet when it’s narratively convenient these factions get together to agree a lasting, compromise-based truce in about five minutes.
Not only that, but Sansa declares the North independent without so much a murmur of discontent from anyone. What about Dorne or the Iron Islands, places much more distinct in terms of culture and geography? Will they be granted independence as soon as they ask, too? “The Iron Throne” saw the seven kingdoms become six. How long until they are even less than that?
Can Bran tell the future?
The exact scope of Bran’s Three-Eyed-Raven powers has been left vague in the show. We know he can warg and we’ve seen him travel to the past. Can he also see the future? Plenty of his gnomic utterings have suggested so, though he has never been helpful enough to actually properly warn anyone about what’s coming.
His comment to Tyrion, after being asked if he would be willing to rule, was:
“Why do you think I came all this way?”
Great line, Bran. Would have been even better if you’d have taken off a pair of shades just before saying it.
But it means that Bran knew he was going to be king. And it meant that he knew the path to becoming king was genocide and war crimes in King’s Landing. Was he fine with it because he felt the ends — an ever-so-slightly more diplomatic rule — justified the means? Um…isn’t that exactly what Daenerys was killed for?
What did you think of the end of a cultural phenomenon? Can you answer any of these questions, or do you have any of your own? I’d love to hear from you.