WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for the finale of Game of Thrones, "The Iron Throne," which aired Sunday on HBO.
Now that Game of Thrones is over, fans can take comfort knowing Bran the Broken will be ruling over the Seven Kingdoms (or, rather, six as the North has seceded from the greater kingdom) with Tyrion Lannister as his Hand as they try to create a better future than what the Baratheon, Targaryen and Lannister houses accomplished when they governed.
However, the finale didn't answer some of the series' biggest questions. In fact, there are quite a few hanging threads left unresolved that we still need answers to, so with that in mind let's dissect a few of them.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE CRASTER BABIES?
This is something the show didn't really explore after we saw the Night King touching one of Craster's sons in some sacrificial ceremony, turning him into a blue-eyed wight. Many assumed these babies would play a huge role later on, especially after we saw Sam fighting to save a pregnant Gilly from enduring the same tragedy.
Theorists believe these kids rapidly aged and became the long-haired generals we saw with the Night King as he marched on Winterfell, but that's a really big reach. We don't know if the Night King left them somewhere else, possibly to bring the threat of White Walkers back to the Six Kingdoms again in the future, but, sadly, for something that was played up as a huge turning point in the series, the official fate of these babies was surprisingly left unaddressed.
WHY WAS JON SNOW KEPT ALIVE?
In the wake of killing the queen, one has to wonder why the ruthless Unsullied Master of War Grey Worm and his Dothraki allies kept Jon alive. They didn't know, nor would they have cared, that he was Aegon Targaryen and, honestly, given their nature, they should have killed him on the spot.
After all, anyone who betrayed the hostile Daenerys was immediately executed, and it was obvious, with the blood on the ground, that Jon was her murderer. At this point, Dany's armies wouldn't have been about diplomacy but rather carnage and chaos, so, with the woman they would have followed to their deaths now gone, it stands to reason they should have taken Jon's head off then and there. We'll never know why mercy was offered, especially right after Grey Worm made it clear his legion was not about second chances.
WHY WASN'T JON'S SECRET REVEALED?
When Tyrion nominated Bran for king, fans were scratching their heads as to why no one mentioned the person who had the rightful claim to the throne in Jon. Sansa, Arya, Sam and Bran all stayed mum as well, which is shocking because, even though Jon murdered Dany, the throne was his for first refusal due to his lineage as Aegon.
Jon didn't even get a vote on who should step up, and all that hubbub about him being the true heir amounted to nothing. After seeing Varys trying hard to let everyone know the truth, eventually paying the price with his life, we thought folks would see a Targaryen could be a savior once the secret came out. As it stands, Jon's secret disappointingly turned out to be another soap opera-esque plot device that couldn't even get him out of chains or a life sentence.
WHY IS THERE STILL A NIGHT'S WATCH?
Jon has been sent to the Wall to assume duty under the Night's Watch again, but we have no clue why this guard still exists. The threat of the White Walkers is gone, unless Bran knows something else possibly lurks there beyond the snowy North. It may be a case of preventative measures and Bran being proactive, but seeing as we've had no clues of monsters, giants or rogue wildlings there again, it could be Bran was offering Jon a way out and a chance at haven with Tormund's people.
Still, seeing them wandering North left fans asking if they were simply trying to find a home, foraging for food, exploring to see if new enemies were around, or possibly just going out for a morning waltz. Either way, the Night's Watch is there for some big mission but, as it stands, that mission doesn't really exist anymore and we're none the wiser as to their, and Jon's, true purpose at Castle Black.
WHAT HAPPENED TO THE PROPHECIES?
"The Prince Who Was Promised" was another major turning point where the show seemingly lined up with George R.R. Martin's books. When Melisandre brought Jon back to life, we all believed he was this prince who'd kill the threat of the "other," the Night King in the show, and then bring light to Westeros by freeing and ruling it. That prophecy never came true, as Jon ended up with the wildings, making this seem like nothing more than a bedtime story.
As for Arya's prophecy of killing the "green-eyed" threat, we assumed that'd be Daenerys, as Arya already killed the blue-eyed enemy in the Night King. Yet once more, Melisandre's clairvoyance came to naught as Arya simply decided to leave and roam "west of Westeros." Last but not least, the "Valonqar" prophecy Cersei was blighted with about her sibling wrapping hands around her neck when she died seemed to have been reworked so she could die with Jaime trying to comfort her, but, again, it felt like a total cop out and another meaningless piece of drama from a prophecy that meant nothing.
WHAT HAPPENED TO DROGON?
After seeing Jon with Dany's dead body, instead of roasting Aegon, Drogon melted the Iron Throne and flew away with his mother. Sam reported he was last seen heading East, which left Bran eager to use his powers to find the dragon, but fans are already theorizing where the beast went, as the show offered no resolution to Drogon's true destination.
Some believe he went to Pentos, where Dany first experienced liberation with Khal Drogo; others think he went back to Dragonstone to rest with no more Targaryens left to rule there; while others believe he went back to Valyria in Essos, where his ancestors came from. Truth is, no one knows for sure, although there's good money Drogon may have "buried" Dany at one of these places and returned to Meereen where he loved to wander the wild countryside, stealing livestock and flaying kids.
WHERE DID THE DOTHRAKI GO?
Grey Worm, heartbroken and somewhat defeated after losing Dany and Missandei, took his Unsullied to Naath, the home where Missandei promised they'd have better days. But as the ships sailed off, we're not sure if the Dothraki soldiers were on them, too.
They're a wild army, so it's hard to also see them assimilating into Westeros and abiding in an orderly fashion, especially after their queen was assassinated. The show really doesn't give them closure and treats the warriors like plot tools just meant to further Dany's ambitions, similar to good ole' Daario Naharis, whose storyline was dropped like a hot potato and never returned to the fray. Ultimately, the Dothraki deserved a better ending, especially after they were the first to be massacred in the war at Winterfell.
WHY WAS BRAN'S WARGING UNDERPLAYED?
In the books, the Starks being able to warg (or transfer their consciousness into their direwolves) is a big deal. But in the show, only Bran seems to be able to do so, and it's just limited to ravens and humans (see: Hodor). One mystery we'd love a response to is why couldn't he do it to another animal, maybe even a dragon, as everyone hoped.
With Bran looking for Drogon now, it's clear he'll take to the skies and use ravens to scout, but it really feels like warging was an aspect of the Stark household severely underplayed, which leaves us confused as to what Bran was doing when he went into his trance as the Night King came knocking at Winterfell.
Given how the story ended, it seems he may have fast-forwarded to the future and possibly looked at the outcome of the series. Sadly, Bran's abilities really left us clamoring for him to do something a bit more exciting rather than just being a library on a wheelchair.
WHAT'S THE TRUE PURPOSE OF THE IRON BANK?
Cersei used the raid on Highgarden to pay off the debt to the Iron Bank of Braavos so she could keep Westeros in its good graces. This led to another loan for the Golden Company, but we still really don't know what exactly was the purpose of this financial institute. Who else were they financing in these wars? Because if King's Landing and all of Westeros fell, they wouldn't have their biggest client anymore, right? It's weird to see them looking after selective kingdoms and not all, and what's even crazier is we don't know what their relationship is to Bran's regime.
Clearly, as Tyrion said at the end, funds are needed to rebuild and provide Westeros with food and clean water, which is where Bronn (the Master of Coin) comes in. But, again, what about that second loan Cersei took out? The Iron Bank came off as yet another deus ex machina just to give Cersei some underwhelming sellswords, and we're yet again left in the dark about an organization that should have had a much bigger role in the show, especially in dictating the politics of the throne.
WHO FILLS OUT BRAN'S COUNCIL?
The small council under Bran the Broken comprises of Tyrion as Hand, Lord Davos Seaworth as Master of Ships, Lord Bronn as Master of Coin, what appears to be Maester Samwell Tarly and, last but not least, Lord Commander Brienne of the Kingsguard. But, as Bran indicated at the meeting, the council was still missing a few key positions: Master of Whisperers, Master of Laws and Master of War.
Grey Worm abdicated his role as new Master of War when Bran took over, and Tyrion will definitely be looking for someone worthy to fill the void Varys the Spider left as Master of Whisperers. In short, it seems these posts were left vacant as there simply weren't enough significant characters (sorry, Ser Podrick) lingering around to justify a promotion. Still, fans would have loved to know who'd complete the inner circle because, clearly, Bran and Tyrion need people they trust as they rebuild the wheel.
WHY DIDN'T DORNE JOIN THE WAR?
The Martells suffered greatly under Cersei and the throne on the whole in years gone by. When Oberyn had his head squashed by the Mountain and Ellaria Sand was taken prisoner by Cersei to pay for her daughters' sins and poisoning Myrcella, we were eagerly waiting for the spear-wielding Dorne army to join Jon and Dany's alliance and add to the list of those who wanted Cersei dead.
Yet Dorne's treated as an afterthought, with Varys making a passing comment in the final season about a new prince being appointed. This unnamed leader shows up in the finale to vote for a new king, but we're left with no clue as to what Dorne's been up to lately and why the kingdom pops up randomly when the war is done. The Dornish army was revered for producing soldiers like Oberyn, so some explanation as to why they didn't come to the fore would have been nice, even if it's because they wanted an uneasy peace with King's Landing and Cersei at the time.
Game of Thrones stars Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister, Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister, Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen, Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark, Maisie Williams as Arya Stark and Kit Harington as Jon Snow.