The end is upon us.
After eight seasons, countless deaths, and the same amount of “holy effin’ shit” moments, Game of Thrones is ending. We’ll make plans for a post-Thrones existence later, but for now, there is still the business of what to expect in the finale.
The show’s penultimate episode, “The Bells,” featured Daenerys finally embracing the dark side and roasting large chunks of both King’s Landing’s population and its infrastructure. She did it. She finally took back what she has all along rightfully believed was hers.
Yet one of many questions we have headed into the finale is what is actually left. She always dreamed of sitting on the Iron Throne but how much of the throne is even still there?
However, that’s just one of the many things on my mind heading into the last episode. Here are the eight questions I need to know the answers to before everything is said an done.
1. Does Daenerys Rule From King’s Landing Or Dragonstone?
Daenerys did the conquering so now she’s got to pivot to governing. It’s not nearly as glamorous, but hey, that’s the gig.
First on her agenda (after killing Tyrion and possibly going after Jon) is to figure out where to set up this new government of hers. You might have noticed that the current capital of Westeros, King’s Landing, is in rough shape. If Daenerys wants to have that continue to be the capital, then she’ll be looking at a construction zone for at least a decade. All that jackhammering? No thank you.
Plus there’s probably not even a throne room anymore. That just won’t do.
Over on Dragonstone though, there is a throne room—a very intact and intimidating throne room—perfect for someone who has chosen to govern by fear. Dragonstone is an island, of course, but it’s also an island not that far from King’s Landing, so it’s still somewhat centrally located. You could see Daenerys spending a few days post-siege in King’s Landing before returning home to set up a permanent residence on Dragonstone.
Other options could possibly be Highgarden or Riverrun, two desirable locations currently vacant (or in regards to Riverrun, vacant enough).
The knock of those spots is that they’re on the other side of the continent and I just feel like Daenerys will want to at least be within reach of her ancestral home.
2. Will Daenerys Kill Tyrion?
At some point, after the dust settles and the fires go out, Daenerys is going to find out that Tyrion helped Jaime escape. This is what happens when you do something “sneaky” like helping a prisoner flee with several witnesses present.
Tyrion had hoped that if she were victorious, Daenerys might see it fit to spare him. I wouldn’t be holding my breath if I were him; in fact, I’d be getting ready for Drogon’s.
For starters, Tyrion was banking on Jaime successfully getting to Cersei before the battle really got going to get her to surrender and ring those damn bells to save the innocent people of King’s Landing from having to endure a siege that would have no doubt ended in thousands of lives lost. As far as Tyrion’s plans go, it was pretty on brand for him in the sense that it had several holes, leaps of faith, and baseless assumptions.
Daenerys definitely won but not in the way he was hoping. My dude is going to have to really talk himself out of this one.
It’s going to be a tough sell, though. Daenerys was pretty clear that if he eff’d up one more time, he was done. Helping Jaime escape is a big one. I’m not sure Tyrion will be able to come back from this one.
3. Wait, Will Bronn Kill Tyrion?
I don’t think so, mainly because Daenerys won and Bronn, someone who is smarter than most, made a deal that worked both ways for him. He was going to win no matter the outcome. With Daenerys winning that means Tyrion is cool, provided he is able to hold up his end of the deal and give Bronn Highgarden.
Should be easy enough, right?
Well, it’d be a hell of a lot easier if Tyrion was in good standing with his boss, which isn’t really the case.
Maybe Bronn saves Tyrion from getting killed? Once again, Bronn finds himself sticking up for a Lannister, which would actually be fitting because Bronn would technically still be looking out for himself.
4. Will Arya Kill Daenerys?
One school of thought heading into “The Bells” was that after killing The Night King, it would be perfect for Arya to kill Cersei next. Hell of a follow-up.
However, another school of thought—one that was grounded more in the reality of the show—was that there was no way Arya would take down both of the show’s Big Bads. She might try and kill Cersei, but in the end, she wouldn’t be successful.
She did get close but an intervention by The Hound all but saved her life. It also played a part in redirecting her anger and pulsating need for revenge. The Hound changing her mind sent her into the streets of King’s Landing, witnessing firsthand the death and destruction that Daenerys was causing. You could see it on Arya’s face as she dodged falling rubble and the training staff looking to administer a concussion test: what she was going to do next had changed.
By the time the horse emerged, it seemed like Arya had a new mission and new purpose. She had a new name for her list.
She’s crossed all the other names off (except for Cersei) so you’d think that Daenerys’ inclusion on the list would spell trouble for the Dragon Queen.
5. What Does Jon Do Now?
A low-key shocking part of “The Bells” was how subservient Jon seemed and how deferential he was to Daenerys. He’d funneled the Kool-Aid. Now, part of that could have been him trying to prove his loyalty and show Daenerys he was still on board, but either way, Jon was very much still all in with the company mission.
That all looked to have changed as Drogon laid waste to King’s Landing and Team Dragon massacred soldiers who had surrendered as well as innocent civilians who were running for their lives.
Jon is a man of honor and he believes that things should be done a certain way. For instance, when an opposing force throws down their weapons and surrenders, that’s that. Jon was disgusted and him walking away from the siege was a big moment that got overlooked amidst the dragon fire, Clegane Bowl, and Arya’s journey.
I can’t imagine that Jon will be willing to be at Daenerys’ side now. Nor can I imagine Daenerys wanting him there once she finds out that he bailed early (and you know she’ll find out).
So does Jon link back up with Sansa? Or does he somehow link up with Arya and together they take Daenerys down? That’d be cute. They do have matching hairstyles.
6. How Do They Work Sansa In And Does Bran Have Anything Left to Offer?
I’d think that Sansa gets back into the mix via Jon’s shifting allegiances but I’m not sure how that works out logistically. Sansa is way up in Winterfell whereas the action in the finale appears to be down south in what remains of King’s Landing.
It would be hard for them to share a scene together again unless a time jump is involved. But that doesn’t mean they can’t be aligned again.
Perhaps this time Jon will listen to Sansa more.
Speaking of listening to people: how useful is Bran anymore?
Well, he can help spread the news of Daenerys’ siege of Winterfell. So there’s that. It’s a bummer he can’t hook himself up to a projector and show people up north what happened. People like visuals.
It is worth wondering if Bran’s arc is done, though. If you look at what he brought to the table—knowledge about the Night King and who Jon really is—the truth is that both of those issues seem to have been dealt with. I suppose who Jon really is could still be a factor, but at this point, it seems like everybody is hip to that juicy bit of office gossip.
We don’t really need Bran for that anymore so do we need Bran anymore at all?
7. Who Dies: Grey Worm, Davos Or Brienne?
“The Bells” included the kind of major character deaths we thought we’d get in “The Long Night,” but because nearly everyone escaped the Battle of Winterfell alive, it means that some characters who are on borrowed time are still out there. I can only assume some of them won’t make it until the end (I’m looking at you Dothraki Number 32).
Grey Worm, Davos, and Brienne were all expected to die during the Battle of Winterfell but didn’t. Brienne sat out the siege of King’s Landing, but going in, you could have assumed either Grey Worm or Davos wouldn’t have made it out alive. But nope! They survived that one as well. Davos might be the oldest man alive in Westeros, if not the luckiest.
With the show ending, which one of these characters will be dead by the time the final credits roll?
Grey Worm: Very Likely
He’s all Daenerys has left and he will follow her until the very end. But what is the very end?
Now that she has effectively won, does that mean his service time is up? Back when he was making plans with Missandei, they talked about an end date and it feels like this was the end date they were talking about. He had pledged to fight for Daenerys to help her retake Westeros and she’s done that.
However, like I said, Grey Worm is Daenerys’ last remaining ally from her time abroad. She’s going to rely on him now more than ever and I think given Missendei’s death, he’d be okay with that. That would then put him directly in the way of anyone trying to get at her (ahem, Arya.)
If Daenerys dies, Grey Worm dies.
Davos: Eh, Somewhat Likely
I don’t even know what Davos does now. He’s more loyal to Jon than Daenerys, so if Jon switches sides, you’d think Davos would as well. It’s at this point in any good mob movie where the number twos start getting wacked and Davos is probably the last number two standing.
Jon could survive but it might be at the cost of losing Davos.
Go home to your wife, Davos. Die of old age. No one would think any less of you.
Brienne: Not Likely
Brienne would be put in harm’s way only if Sansa elects to head south, which doesn’t seem possible at this point. She needs to stay as far away from Daenerys as possible. If Daenerys brings the fight to Winterfell, I’d be worried about Sansa.
I don’t see that happening though.
I think Brienne is safe.
Who Makes One Last Appearance: Yara Greyjoy, Gendry, Or Tormund And/Or Ghost?
Okay, I think at least two of these characters have a chance of showing up again.
Yara: Very Likely
Yara has retaken the Iron Islands, and with Euron dead, she can lead the Iron Born without having to deal with an insurrection—well, at least for the time being. The Iron Born are terrible people who are best described as cruel and bitter little assholes. It’s only a matter of time before someone over there tries to lay claim to the throne. Until that happens, though, Yara is in charge.
Let’s say a third battle were to happen, one between Jon and Daenerys. If this happens and Yara gets the call, which side does she go with? She doesn’t have much love for the Starks and had previously aligned herself with Daenerys. Would that hold?
I just feel like we’ll see Yara again (or at least hear from her again). This season has loved to make things happen off the screen and this could be another one of those times where the action happens elsewhere and then we hear about it later.
Tormund and/or Ghost: Somewhat Likely
A necessary distinction here is that yes, Tormund and Ghost were headed north, but not until a storm cleared. That could mean that they might still be in Winterfell when news of the siege breaks. They’re both loyal to Jon, so if they think he needs their help, they’ll stick around.
I can’t see them heading south but I can see them being around if Jon were to make it back home to Winterfell.
Gendry: Not Likely, But Maybe a Little Likely
I think we got a proper send-off for Gendry when Daenerys made him Lord Gendry of Storm’s End in “The Last of the Starks.” From a story perspective, what else does he have to offer?
Well, you would think that he might feel compelled to be loyal to Daenerys seeing as how she was the one who made him legit, and if a potential Daenerys/Jon confrontation happens and lines are drawn, does Gendry side with the woman who legitimized him or the cousin of the woman he loves?
If we hear from Gendry again, it’ll be because all hell has broken loose and we have our third battle of the season, one that would look a lot like Captain America: Civil War.
Either way, I’m ready. Let’s do this.