Our 15 Biggest Questions About This Week’s Game of Thrones

Photo: HBO

If you weren’t screaming, “GENDRY! GENDRY! GENDRY!” during this week’s Game of Thrones, I don’t even know what to say to you. He’s not rowing anymore, but there are still a ton of other burning questions about Sunday’s episode, “Eastwatch.” Here are the 14 biggest ones to think about in the Long Night ahead.

Does Sam own Horn Hill now?
Yes, it’s true that when he joined the Night’s Watch, Sam took a vow saying he would take no wife and hold no lands and father no children. He is the sword in the darkness and all that jazz. But after Randyll and Dickon’s (needless) deaths, he is the sole-surviving son of House Tarly. Plus, he’s pretty much abandoned his vows already, what with living in sin with Gilly. And if there are any humans left when the Long Night is over, it’s unclear what role the Night’s Watch might have anyway. What exactly would they be protecting?

It seems safe to assume that Sam will be the head of Horn Hill, where he and baby Sam and Gilly can live in happy, barefoot, homespun-linen-wearing bliss for the rest of their days … should they make it through the hellish frozen nightmare about to descend on them. That also means he can truly claim Heartsbane, the Valyrian steel sword he stole from his family’s home last season. That sword is sure to play a pivotal role in the upcoming battle against the Night King.

Did Daenerys sense that Jon Snow is a Targaryen?
For a moment there, a look passed across Daenerys’s face when Jon reached his bare hand toward Drogon’s snout and Drogon visibly settled at his touch. It could have been another little kick of lust for the dark-eyed king who is brave enough to stroke her dragons. (That even sounds like a sex euphemism, right?) But it’s also possible that Dany noticed the ease with which man and dragon mixed and sensed that Jon must carry some blood of the family that successfully trained and rode dragons for centuries. After all, Targaryens have historically been the dragon conquerors. If she begins to suspect that Jon shares her bloodline, will she be more willing to partner with him — or will she want to dispose of him?

(It’s also true that dragons respond best to those who approach them without fear, like Jon did. So take that, uppity commenter who wants to school me on trivia!)

If Daenerys can’t have children, what happens to her line of succession?
Yes, Daenerys calls the dragons her children, and no, we shouldn’t belittle her for feeling that way. But this has been puzzling me for a while: Dany can’t bear any children and she wants to conquer a world where a royal without an heir risks losing her kingdom. If she does secure the Iron Throne, what next? She wants stability for the people of Westeros, but without a secure future that’s impossible. Does this mean Dany won’t take the throne after all? Or will her uterus just magically fix itself?

Did anyone else think Dany was gonna kiss Jorah?
There was a moment there, right? I’m not just imagining that Daenerys had a little swoon in her eyes and a little lean to her lips, no?

Did we finally get an answer to how much time has gone by?
Put aside the pain of watching the maesters chuckle like dyspeptic, smug old academics chortling over a grammatical error in a Ph.D. thesis, and note that someone in Westeros finally mentioned how much time has passed over the last few seasons. It wasn’t exactly specific, but in his speech about why Maester Wolkan’s note from Winterfell should be heeded, Sam mentioned that Bran had lived for years beyond the Wall. Now, that much was obvious, considering Bran headed North small enough to fit in a wicker basket and returned the owner of one set of very magnificent manbrows. But still, it’s good to have some confirmation.

What’s written on the scroll Arya finds in Littlefinger’s room?
We only get a quick glimpse of the scroll itself, but you don’t need to hit pause for too long to determine exactly what it said. That’s because the note Arya found hidden in Littlefinger’s mattress is the one Sansa wrote under duress back in season one when Cersei threatened her life and urged her to write to Robb to quell his rebellion. Arya and Sansa are already circling one another like rabid direwolves, and Littlefinger is hoping that one glimpse of Sansa’s misplaced loyalties will send Arya over the edge.

No question here, really, just wanted to say his name out loud.

Does fermented crab really have a Viagra effect?
This is definitely the type of product that would be sold on Westeros’s late-night Home Shopping Network.

What were Cersei and Qyburn whispering about?
We don’t know, but whatever the two discussed will surely pop up soon. Qyburn’s last little secret wasn’t exactly a humdinger — a bigger arrow, how not at all genius! — but he’s one of the few GOT characters with a more screwed-up sense of reality than Cersei. Whatever they’re plotting, it won’t end well for those on the receiving end.

Is Cersei really pregnant?
Now, I hate to doubt a lady who says she’s got one brewing, even if this wee zygote is the product of twincest between two utterly delusional twins. But Cersei is not the most reliable of narrators and her love story with Jaime was already headed for the rocks, so maybe she isn’t pregnant at all.

If she actually is pregnant then her fetus probably doesn’t have a bright future. The prophecy, after all, stated that Cersei would bear three children and all would die. This would be her fourth kid, so it’s possible that she’d skirt yet another tragedy, but what if the pregnancy ends up fulfilling a major part of the prophecy? What if the “valonqar” — the High Valyrian word for “little brother” — whom the prophecy claims will take Cersei’s life isn’t Jaime or Tyrion, but the son that lives inside her?

Did Sam’s raid of the Citadel library get its own musical track?
He could have just bounced in the night, but like a true library boss, he snuck himself in there and ripped off some ancient tomes to a sweet, kicky little tune.

Who should Northerners call if they need some real talk?
Everyone has that one friend who prides herself on being “really real.” As in, she lets you know that, yeah, those jeans are a little too tight in the booty now. Tormund Giantsbane is that friend. Tormund is here to give you some real talk that will set you straight. There are two queens, he reminds us, the queen with dragons, “or the one who likes to fuck her brother.” And how does he respond when Davos says that he’s a terrible swordsmen? “You are.” Never change, big guy.

What was all the animosity about in the Eastwatch cell?
Before they got all Ocean’s Eleven on us, this ragtag crew of ne’er-do-wells hit a bit of an icy patch. Let’s sketch it out real quick:

• Jon, Tormund, Gendry, Davos, and Jorah are setting off into the wilds beyond the Wall to capture a zombie.

• Beric Dondarrion and Thoros of Myr, who recently teamed up with the Hound, are on their way north and want free rein to go past the Wall.

• Beric and Thoros, who serve the Lord of Light, sold Gendry to Melisandre in season three because she required Baratheon blood for her spell. (Gendry escaped thanks to Davos, and then began his long row to nowhere.)

• The show doesn’t really get into this relationship, but Jorah and Thoros fought together years ago during Balon Greyjoy’s rebellion. Together they invaded Pyke, with Thoros charging first into battle with his flaming sword and Jorah following right behind him.

• The Hound and Beric fought against one another in a trial by combat, after Arya called the Hound a murderer. Thoros raised Beric from the dead immediately afterward, and then Beric freed the Hound.

• Jorah is the son of Jeor Mormont, the former commander of the Night’s Watch. It’s speculated that Jeor joined in lieu of Jorah after Jorah was caught slaving and fled to the Free Cities. As commander of the Night’s Watch, Jeor dramatically increased raids against Tormund’s people.

… and that is how we got this Very Westerosi Brady Bunch!

Why isn’t anyone wearing a hat when they go beyond the Wall?
It’s a song of ice and fire, people. It’s winter. It’s winter beyond the Wall. And yet here we have eight men wandering about with no head coverings. I know scientists debunked the theory that we lose most of our body heat through our heads, but hats would still be wise in this environment.

Will next week’s episode feature a big, raging battle?
Does a direwolf shit in the woods?

Our 15 Biggest Questions About This Week’s Game of Thrones