Now that the Game of Thrones Season 7 finale has aired, we start the excruciating countdown to the final episodes of this hit fantasy series, which may not debut until late 2018 or early 2019. No premiere date has been confirmed at this time. While there are many important details revealed in this finale epic episode for the year, which was the longest in series' history, it also left many questions for fans to ponder during the grueling "off-season" period. While we officially start the countdown towards Game of Thrones Season 8, we pose 21 questions we hope will be answered by the time this landmark series comes to a close. Here's everything that simply needs to be accounted for before we reach the end of this journey.
Will Daenerys and Jon's tryst result in an incestual love child?
The sexual tension between Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) started building immediately after they first met on Dragonstone, While fans have known for quite some time that Dany is really Jon Snow's aunt, neither of these characters understood their true relation to one another. There has also been several mentions this season that Dany cannot bear children. And that the dragons are her only children. Way back in Season 1, Dany's love Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa) was infected, likely on purpose, by Mirri Maz Duur (Mia Soteriou), who lead Dany to believe that she will never have children again. Since she swapped her unborn child Rhaego's life for Khal Drogo, although he was in a vegetative state, still technically alive. Jon Snow suggested in the season finale that Mirri Maz Duur may not have been "a reliable source of information" regarding Dany's ability to bear children. Shortly thereafter, they made love, which could ultimately result in an incestual love child that would ultimately be the next heir to the Iron Throne, if either Dany or Jon takes control of Westeros. If Dany and Jon do have a child, then it's possible this will lead to the return of the long-missing Drogo.
Will Khal Drogo actually return?
In the first season of the HBO series, when Mirri Maz Duur brought back Khal Drogo, putting him in that vegetative state, a furious Dany asks when he will be "as he was." Mirri Maz Duur responded by stating that Khal Drogo will return, "When the sun rises in the West, sets in the East. When the seas go dry. When the mountains blow in the wind like leaves." Those are all practically impossible feats, and no one expected Khal Drogo's return at all. But it's worth noting that, in the George R.R. Martin books, there is a bit more to Mirri Maz Duur's prophecy, as you can see.
"When the sun rises in the west and sets in the east. When the seas go dry and mountains blow in the wind like leaves. When your womb quickens again, and you bear a living child. Then he will return, and not before."
So if Jon and Dany's tryst in the Season 7 finale does end up resulting in a pregnancy, this could mean that Jason Momoa's Khal Drogo will return, which would make things quite awkward between Dany and Jon Snow, and even Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen), who has always truly loved Dany. Since she already has the Dothraki army at her side, it remains to be seen what Khal Drogo's return could mean for Dany's chances to take the Iron Throne.
Will Cersei and Jaime's incestual relations be revealed to all of Westeros?
We, as an audience, have known since the first season that Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and his sister Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) have been secret incestual lovers, and that all of Cersei's children, Joffrey (Jack Gleeson), Myrcella (Nell Tiger Free) and Tommen (Dean-Charles Chapman) were the product of this affair. They are not the children of Cersei and King Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy). However, there are few who actually know this in the world of Westeros, one of whom being Bran Stark, who saw the brother and sister making love while climbing the tower in Winterfell, where he was caught by Jaime and then pushed out of a window, crippling him for life. Now Bran is the Three-Eyed Raven and can see everything. But it remains to be seen if he plans on sharing Jaime and Cersei's secret with anyone else. There was also a throwaway scene this season when Jaime and Cersei were in bed together. A handmaiden knocks on her door. Jaime tells Cersei that they can't be seen like this as, she walked to answer door. But Cersei responds that she is now the Queen, and she'll do what she wants. The handmaiden does see Jaime in the queen's bed. Though, we haven't seen this unnamed character since. It's possible she may tell someone about the couple, which could cause rumors to spread all throughout King's Landing and Westeros.
Will Jaime end up strangling his sister Queen Cersei?
Before the season premiered in July, the Game of Thrones Season 7 trailer that debuted in late May featured a seemingly innocuous shot that spawned a very interesting theory. The shot featured an overhead look at the new map room Cersei had created in the Red Keep, featuring a massive map of Westeros that many eagle-eyed fans tied into the Season 5 premiere, which featured the first true "flashback" in series history. That flashback showed a young Cersei visiting a fortune teller named Maggy, who told her that all of her children will die before her, and that, "when your tears have drowned you, the valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you." In the High Valyrian language, "valonqar," means "little brother," which mean either Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) or Jaime Lannister, since Cersei was actually born just a few minutes before her twin brother. The shot from the trailer showed Jaime standing on the part of Westeros known as The Fingers, a series of islands that resemble fingers, since they jut out of the mainland, while, at the same time, Cersei is standing on the part of Westeros known as The Neck. This lead to a theory that Jaime could be the "valonqar" that strangles the life out of Cersei, a theory which was bolstered in the season finale when Jaime practically dared Cersei to use The Mountain (Hafthor Julius Bjornsson) to kill him in front of her, although she couldn't bring herself to do it. It's possible that only one of these siblings survives when all is said and done in the final season of Game of Thrones.
Will Jon Snow stake his claim to the Iron Throne?
We learned in the Season 6 finale that Jon Snow is not the bastard son of Ned Stark (Sean Bean), but instead the son of Rhaegar Targaryen, the brother of Daenerys Targaryen, and Lyanna Stark, the sister of Ned Stark. This season, however, we also learned that Rhaegar had not kidnapped Lyanna, as previously believed, since it was revealed that Rhaegar had his first marriage to Elia Martel annulled so he could marry Lyanna in a secret ceremony on Dorne. This means that Jon Snow is not a bastard at all. And since his parents were married before he was conceived, Jon Snow, a.k.a. Aegon Targaryen, is actually a rightful member of both House Stark and House Targaryen, and the true heir to the Iron Throne. The main question is, will he even try to take the Iron Throne? Jon Snow has made it perfectly clear that he didn't want to be named King of the North, but he accepted the title because his people gave him it to him. It will most certainly be revealed to Jon Snow, and likely other key players in Westeros, that Jon/Aegon is the true heir. But whether or not Jon Snow accepts this massive responsibility is another question entirely, and also leads into our next question.
Will any physical proof emerge that Jon Snow is Aegon Targaryen?
One of the most compelling moments of the Season 7 finale was when Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) returned to Winterfell to find his old Night's Watch buddy Jon Snow, but instead he finds Bran Stark sitting by the fire. Samwell tells Bran that they found a journal entry confirming Rhaegar had his first marriage to Elia Martell annulled so he could marry Lyanna Stark in a secret ceremony in Dorne, with Bran using his greensight vision to see this marriage. While there are those records of the secret marriage, it doesn't seem there are any records that confirm Jon Snow is actually Aegon Targaryen, and the true heir to the Iron Throne. Thusly, the question remains, aside from Bran Stark's visions, which, as far as we know, no one else but him can see, and a journal entry, is there any physical proof that backs up Jon Snow/Aegon Targaryen's true lineage. Since Bran Stark is still relatively new to being the Three-Eyed Raven, it's possible that his abilities may ultimately evolve, allowing him to project his visions onto other people, to let them see what he sees, but that's only speculation. If that doesn't happen, though, there will have to be some sort of physical proof that Jon Snow is of Stark and Targaryen descent, if he does plan to stake his familial claim to the Iron Throne.
Will the true Azor Ahai finally be revealed?
The world of Game of Thrones is filled with prophecies and legends, one of the most interesting being Azor Ahai, who has been mentioned by Melisandre (Carice Van Houten) at various points in the series. This person will appear, "when the red star bleeds and the darkness gathers," with the "red star" likely a reference to the comet that appeared early on in the series, and the "darkness gathers" likely referring to this winter season starting. This character is also said to be "born from salt and smoke," who will "wake the dragons out of stone" and will forge a powerful new sword dubbed Lightbringer, which the original Azor Ahai made by plunging it into the heart of his wife Nissa Nissa. There has been boundless speculation about who Azor Ahai is, with the two front runners being Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen, who both hooked up in the Season 7 finale. If one of them is Azor Ahai, that means the chosen one will likely have to kill their lover in order for the prophecy to be fulfilled. There is also speculation that Azor Ahai could be The Prince Who Was Promised, and since the word for prince in valyrian is gender-neutral, it could still be Daenerys.
Are the Children of the Forest really dead?
Game of Thrones has always been quite fond of bringing characters back after lengthy absences, with last year marking the long-awaited return of Benjen Stark (Joseph Mawle) and The Hound (Rory McCann). This season brought back the likes of Hot Pie (Ben Hawkey) and Gendry (Joe Dempsie), just to name a few. With that in mind, some may be wondering if the Children of the Forest are really dead, as seen Season 6, when the Night King's army of white walkers destroyed their last known hideout. Child of the Forest Leaf (Adam Klimas) sacrificed herself so Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) and Meera Reed (Ellie Kendrick) could make their escape. While it certainly did seem that they all perished in this attack, the Children of the Forest were around thousands of years before even The First Men, the original inhabitants of Westeros. And as we saw during a Season 7 episode, when Jon Snow took Daenerys into the Dragonstone cave, these Children and The First Men fought together against their common enemy, the white walkers, as depicted in a cave painting. While there is no evidence that there are any surviving Children of the Forest left, they are the oldest inhabitants of Westeros, so it wouldn't be surprising to find out there are more out there.
Will we see Meera Reed again? Or her father Howland Reed?
Ellie Kendrick's Meera Reed didn't have a huge role this season, as she was only seen in three episodes, the premiere Dragonstone, the second episode The Queen's Justice and the fourth episode The Spoils of War, where she said a poignant goodbye to Bran Stark. Many believe that we won't hear from Meera again, but it's possible she could surface in the final season with her father Howland Reed, since he is the last remaining survivor who was at the Tower of Joy with a young Ned Stark. It's possible that he could be summoned to confirm what he saw at the Tower of Joy, and if that happens, it's possible his daughter Meera could be with him, which could give Meera one last encounter with her longtime travel companion Bran Stark.
Will Arya Stark cross all the names off her kill list?
When Arya Stark first composed her now-infamous kill list, she was never in any sort of position to actually make good on her promise, hiding from the Lannister forces, while reciting these names of the men and women she wants to kill, who wronged her family, every night. As we head into the final season, many of these names have already been crossed off, many by Arya herself, but a few others by outside forces, although there are still a few names that remain. At the start of Season 7, we learn that Arya is on her way to Winterfell to kill Queen Cersei, one of the names on her list, but after Hot Pie (Ben Hawkey) told her that Jon Snow and Sansa took back Winterfell from the Bolton's, she went back home for the first time since Season 1. Cersei still remains on her list, along with others such as The Mountain, for his torturous war crimes at Harenhall in Season 2, Melisandre, after she took Gendry (Joe Dempsie) away from her in Season 2, Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer) for selling Gendry to Melisandre with the recently-deceased Thoros of Myr (Paul Kaye), The Hound (Rory McCann) for killing the butcher's boy Mycah in the first season and Ilyn Payne (Wilko Johnson) who was the executioner who chopped off the head of Arya's father, Ned Stark, in the first season. While we haven't seen Ilyn since the second season, all of these other characters are still in play, and it's possible that Arya could cross paths with them in the final season.
Will Theon Greyjoy take back the Iron Islands from Euron?
Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) has had perhaps one of the most interesting character arcs throughout the entire series, since he is one of a select few group of characters who has managed to survive from the first season on. During Euron's surprise attack on Daenerys' fleet at the end of the second episode, The Queen's Justice, Euron captured Yara, giving Theon a chance to save her by fighting him, but instead he jumped overboard, being saved in the next episode by the Iron-born character Harrag (Brendan Cowell), with Theon telling Harrag that he tried to save her, but Harrag sees right through his lies, stating that he, "wouldn't be here if he tried." After regressing to his cowardly ways earlier this season, Theon finally took a stand against Harrag, barely defeating him in combat and rallying the rest to go back to the Iron Islands to save his sister Yara Greyjoy (Gemma Whelan) from the clutches of their evil uncle Euron Greyjoy.
Is Tormund Giantsbane Dead?
The final moments of the Season 7 finale established that the Night King is now a dragon rider, using his reincarnated dragon Viserion, who he killed with a precise spear throw a few episodes earlier, to destroy The Wall at Eastwatch. This allowed his army of white walkers to enter Westeros for the first time. Just before that moment, though, Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju) was seen on a lookout post atop The Wall with Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer), when the Night King's army of the dead came out of the forest and approached The Wall. Things got even worse when the Night King came riding on Viserion, decimating a huge portion of The Wall, more than enough for his army to march south through. But the question still remains, is Tormund Giantsbane (and Beric Dondarrion for that matter) still alive? While there is no proof that he managed to survive, Tormund and Beric did sound the alarm before fleeing. And there is also no proof that he's dead. Fans have come to learn that even proof of death doesn't matter (i.e. Jon Snow and Meilsandre), but given Tormund's unrequited love for Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie), which has become a surprisingly popular aspect of the series, many are hoping Tormund can find a way back to Brienne before the series comes to an end.
Will we finally see the mysterious continents of Ulthos and Sothoryos?
While the continents of Westeros and Essos have been the primary focus of both the Game of Thrones TV series and the books by George R.R. Martin, there are two continents that fans have never gotten to visit in both the books and the TV shows, Ulthos and Sothoryos. Both of these continents lie south of the sprawling continent of Essos, with Ulthos lying at the far southeastern corner of the entire world, just south of the eastern edge of Essos at Asshai, with Sothoryos much closer to Westeros, although it would still be quite the lengthy journey by sea. These mysterious continents have never even been mentioned on the series throughout the first seven seasons, so it seems unlikely that they would be introduced into the story now.
Will Littlefinger's murder prompt an attack by The Vale?
Most of the Game of Thrones season finales feature at least one death of a prominent figure, and the Season 7 finale didn't disappoint, with the Stark sisters Arya and Sansa banding together and standing up to Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish (Aidan Gillen), who was clearly trying to tear these sisters apart. However, his death may cause some tension in the North, since young Robin Arryn (Lino Facioli), who has always been quite impulsive and reckless, may seek vengeance for the murder of his beloved uncle, which could certainly be an unwanted complication as the Night King and the white walkers enter Westeros for the first time ever. Still, since others from Northern houses were present, including Yohn Royce (Rupert Vansittart), who refused to escort Baleish safely out of Winterfell, it's also possible that Arya, Sansa and the other Northern houses may be able to talk Robin Arryn out of a further conflict.
Will Bran Stark be revealed as The Night King?
One of the more intriguing theories that have surfaced as of late claims that Bran Stark/The Three-Eyed Raven may actually be the Night King. The theory claims that, while trying to stop the white walkers from ever being created, Bran Stark may have inadvertently become the Night King, especially after spending so much time trying to get inside the Night King's head. Bran's greensight abilities have had an impact on the past before, with Bran calling out to his father Ned at the Tower of Joy and accidentally causing the mental deficiencies of Hodor (Kristian Nairn). Still, Bran has seen visions of the Night King's army advancing, so this theory may not be true after all.
Will Lord Varys' Network of Spies be revealed?
Conleth Hill's enduring character Lord Varys is one of the few who has managed to survive throughout all seven seasons of the show, not because he is wealthy or powerful, but largely because he has a vast network of spies, i.e. "little birds" that have been feeding him information from the get-go. We learned that Jorah Mormont was one of these spies, feeding him information about the dragon queen Daenerys Targaryen, but now both Varys and Mormont serve Daenerys. Aside from Jorah, none of Varys' other spies have ever been revealed, but with this final season coming, it could be a perfect time to offer more insight on Varys' vast network of spies, which he will likely call upon in this Great War ahead.
Will long-dead characters return via Bran Stark's Greensight? Or as White Walkers?
The Season 6 finale not only showed Bran Stark's greensight vision that proved Jon Snow wasn't Ned Stark's bastard, but it also gave us our first look at a younger Ned Stark (Robert Aramayo) at the Tower of Joy. Given Bran's greensight abilities, which allow him to see events in the past, present and future, it's certainly possible that there could be more greensight vision scenes that bring back characters like the adult Ned Stark (Sean Bean), or perhaps his wife Catelyn (Michelle Fairley), or his son Robb (Richard Madden). There are several other characters aside from the Stark family that have died, but it would make sense for Bran to use his gifts to find out more about his family, especially since he's been away from them for so long. It's also possible that, as the white walkers cross through Westeros, the Night King could bring deceased characters back from the dead, perhaps literally rising from their graves, but there is no proof that this will actually happen yet.
Will any of the Gods' True Plans be revealed?
While organized religion doesn't play a massive role in the events of Game of Thrones, it will be interesting to see if more is revealed about the mysterious deities such as the Lord of Light, who brought characters like Jon Snow and Beric Dondarrion back to life with the help of Thoros of Myr and Melisandre, or the Many-Faced God, or The Great Stallion or The Drowned God. This could be an opportunity for Melisandre to have a bigger role in the final season, after seeing very limited screen time in Season 7, although the red priest Thoros of Myr was killed this season. It's possible that we could see Jaquen H'gar (Tom Wlaschiha) once again, where we may learn more about the Many-Faced God, but since this season will likely focus on the Great War, it remains to be seen how much room there will be for any sort of religious stories.
Will the final season really have all feature-length episodes?
HBO has confirmed that the final season of Game of Thrones will only be six episodes long, but a rumor surfaced earlier this year that claimed each of these episodes will be "feature-length." This rumor even surfaced before HBO confirmed that this Season 7 finale was just under 80 minutes long, making it the longest episode in series history, but if it is true, then it seems this season may not be much "shorter" than other recent seasons. If all of these episodes do come out to be between 80 and 90 minutes long, then that means the entire season could span roughly nine hours, meaning it would be just one hour shy of a normal season with 10 one-hour episodes. Still, this plan for feature-length episodes has yet to be confirmed, but it's possible that this may be why the new season may not debut until 2019.
Will George R.R. Martin finish either of the final 2 books before the final season?
Throughout the first five seasons of Game of Thrones, one of the biggest burning questions didn't have to do with the show itself, but whether or not author George R.R. Martin would be able to finally publish the last two books in his A Song of Fire and Ice novels. The end of Season 5 essentially caught up to the primary stories told in the five books the author had published, although the author still hasn't given a timetable as to when those last two books will be published. Since we may not get the final season until early 2019, there could be a window there for George R.R. Martin to publish at least one of this final two A Song of Fire and Ice books, but it's still not clear if he's even ready to do so.
Who will end up on The Iron Throne when all is said and done?
As of right now, the three primary contenders are obvious, with Queen Cersei currently sitting on the throne, and the top two front-runners being Jon Snow and his new lover Daenerys Targaryen. Still, there are plenty of "dark horse" possibilities like Sansa Stark, Tyrion Lannister or possibly Jaime Lannister, but since we have no clue how this final season will shape up, it's virtually impossible to tell who will come out on top. It's also possible that no one wins, with the white walkers destroying the Westeros landscape, turning the continent into the walking dead's playground, but only time will tell.