game of thrones

Our 14 Biggest Questions About This Week’s Game of Thrones

Dany really should have read those Westerosi history books Ser Jorah gave her on her wedding day. Photo: HBO

What comes after a long night? A far more metaphorical battle—one about ruling and winning and destiny and whatnot. And as Game of Thrones begins to wrap up, with the Night King out of the way, factions are splintering off and people are wandering towards the endgame.

And by the looks of next week’s episode, Cersei and Dany are going to battle for the title of Maddest Queen, because the future of tyranny is female, apparently. Until then, these are the questions that are burning a hole in our brains after “The Last of the Starks,” to ponder as we wait for the penultimate chapter in the song of ice and fire.

Wait, weren’t Edd and Lyanna Mormont turned into the undead army? Why are they on the funeral pyre?
Yes, they were turned into wights at the tail end of “The Long Night,” you very astute viewer! And while the White Walkers (a.k.a. Craster’s boys) and the Night King exploded into icy shards of undone magic, the wights—a.k.a. the undead zombies—only fell in place, in piles. So it tracks that their bodies were intact, but it is wild that the survivors were able to find their bodies among all the undead masses and place them on the northmen/Dothraki funeral pyres. Which…

Are we really not going to address the Dothraki massacre?
We don’t need to get into the atrocious battle strategy this team of nincompoops came up with last week, but it does feel pretty wild that under Daenerys’ command, nearly an entire race of people—more or less, since everyone in Vaes Dothrak either died or pledged themselves to her cause—sacrificed themselves in a matter of moments and nobody seems to care. Sure, there was a throwaway line in this week’s episode about there being a few “remaining Dothraki,” but how is their near-extinction not a bigger deal to Dany, or anyone else for that matter?

Where are Arya and The Hound going?
If I were a betting woman, I would put every penny I own on these two heading to King’s Landing. After all, they’ve still got people they need and want to kill. For Clegane, it’s his brother, the undead Mountain. For Arya? Uh, Cersei and her green eyes (of “Melisandre’s prophecy” fame), duh! It wouldn’t make sense for them to head literally anywhere else. Don’t stop believin’, Cleganebowl obsessors!

What about everyone else, like Gilly and Sam and Jaime and Tormund?
Great question! Knowing Sam, he’s likely on his way back to Horn Hill to raise Gilly and his child—and Little Sam—in the relative peace of his ancestral/family home. Especially now that he’s the eldest remaining heir, thanks to Dany. But the episode never explicitly stated it, so your guess is as good as ours. As for Tormund and Jaime? They’re heading back to where they belong, as well: North of the Wall and King’s Landing, respectively.

Will we ever see Tormund again?
We refuse to believe this is the last we see of our Giantsbae!

Are they seriously going to do Ghost like that?
The Goodest of All the Good Boys has managed to hang around longer than any of his direwolf siblings, and though he may be a bit worse for wear (his poor ear!), the series sending Ghost north is one of the cruelest things we’ve ever seen. How are you going to ghost on Ghost, Jon Snow? You ride a dragon a few times and suddenly you don’t care about your life-saving wolf? Ghost needs to be with Jon Snow. He survived the war against the dead! You’re not even going to let him stay and protect Winterfell? I don’t care if it costs a millions dollars an episode to render Ghost, you do not treat a good boy in this way, Game of Thrones!

How are dragons this easy to kill?
Considering that Aegon the Conqueror terrorized the Seven Kingdoms into submission with his dragons, it feels pretty incongruous that two of Dany’s three dragons have died so easily. Is it just because she doesn’t have a good handle on them, or has history overstated their ability to control the loyalty of the Realm? Whatever you do, don’t say these dragon-killing inventions are new, because they’re not. (See the next question for that answer.)

Why didn’t Dany read those Westerosi history books Ser Jorah gave her on her wedding day?
Because if she did, she would know that longbows and scorpions have been used, quite effectively, against dragons in Westeros since “The Battle at Rook’s Rest” in the original Dance of the Dragons. (Which, we should probably mention, was fought between two warring Targaryen factions, embodied by the Blacks and the Greens… gee, those colors sound familiar, don’t they?) If Dany had read any of the materials Jorah had given her, a lot of the goings-on happening currently—like the dragon deaths and her beef with Jon Snow—could’ve probably been avoided.

And why hasn’t anyone made any dragon armor yet?
After the Ice Dragon you’d think Dany would have made that priority number one. You gotta protect your children, momma!

When did everyone get so dumb?
Sorry, I may be projecting slightly here, but seriously: What happened to those Tyrion Lannister smarts of earlier seasons? Is he just tired, or that convinced of Dany’s best intentions, even after all the men she’s lit on fire? Sansa—per usual these days—was right: the battle strategies of the youngest Lannister have not been as ideal or as brilliant in a minute. Listen, Tyrion: We know you think you’re about to be an uncle, but that should not be clouding your vision about who your sister really is this much. Not at this point in the game.

Oh, and seriously though: is Cersei actually pregnant?
There’s absolutely no way, right? Homegirl is messing with all of them, and if there is a baby in there, it’s probably some sort of weird and creepy Qyburn creation.

Why did Missandei have to die over Tyrion?
Ahh yes, the question spreading like wildfire across the internet: Why did the only woman of color with a speaking role on this show have to die? Cersei has been a ruthless leader for years, so her killing Missandei to fuel Dany’s Mad Queen fire makes sense to a degree, but it would have been much more effective if Cersei had, instead, loosed a few arrows on the brother she’s dreamed of killing since the day he was born, right? That would have really set Dany off without a leash.

Why didn’t Dany just kill Jon Snow?
Seriously, if she was so upset about the Jon “Aegon Targaryen” Snow revelation, she could have handled this shit in such a simple, easy-to-explain-away manner: Just kill him off in the Battle of Winterfell and blame a member of the army of the dead. Poof! No more claim issues, no more Mad Dany. It’s like she’s never played a game of thrones before.

Et tu, Varys?!
Man, we’re all for your loyalty to The Realm above all else, but we truly expected more than “cocks are important” from the eunuch who’s managed to help shadow-rule without one. Sigh.

Our 14 Biggest Questions About This Week’s Game of Thrones