In its seventh season, Game of Thrones is burning through plot faster than Cersei Lannister can burn through an entire carafe of wine.
With only 10 episodes of the HBO drama remaining (yep, you read that correctly), it makes sense that showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff would start wrapping things up at an alarmingly quick pace. After all, there's still an entire war for the future of humanity to come. But it also means that every scene now holds a piece of the endgame puzzle.
Game of Thrones has cut the fat, and no episode is a better example of that than the most recent hour, "The Queen's Justice." There was so much happening that Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen's long-anticipated meeting didn't even feel that momentous — and not one but two important battles took place offscreen. That being said, as the show barrels toward its final season, there's still a lot of questions to be answered.
Why didn't Jon want Daenerys to know he had been resurrected?HBO
The King in the North gave a pointed look to our boy Davos during their uneasy meeting with Daenerys Targaryen in Dragonstone. It appeared as though he didn't want Dany to know that he had been resurrected by Melisandre after taking a knife to the heart, among other important organs, at Castle Black. But why? Simply put, Jon Snow is probably still embarrassed by the whole ordeal. It makes him uncomfortable to go around telling people he DIED and came back to life. Not to mention, Jon hasn't yet dealt with all of the emotional trauma that arguably comes with dying. It also calls into question his abilities as a leader. Remember, he was killed by his own brothers of the Night's Watch. Why should Dany trust him if she has reason to question his loyalty?
Does Daenerys, Mother of Dragons, really think an army of the dead sounds that far-fetched?HBO
Listen, I know that dragons are part of the Targaryen iconography and that Dany had probably heard stories about her family's once-great dynasty from her older brother Viserys in the Free Cities. But I find it hard to believe that a woman who gave birth to three dragons — creatures that hadn't been seen in Westeros for more than 1,000 years — and is also known as The Unburnt because fire literally cannot kill her would scoff at the idea of an army of the undead. Daenerys should know more than anyone that Westerosi folklore isn't something to ignore.
Will the Iron Throne and the monarchy itself eventually be destroyed?HBO
Since this season began, no less that five characters have mentioned how the sins of the father should not reflect on his children. That's a heck of a lot of foreshadowing. In the Season 7 premiere, Jon says that Alys Karstark and Ned Umber, the children of Houses Karstark and Umber, should not be held accountable for their fathers and brothers' mistakes. In "The Queen's Justice," Daenerys asks that Jon not judge her for her father, the Mad King, and his cruelties. In response, Jon asks Dany that she not hold his responsible for an oath of loyalty that Starks made to the Targaryens a thousand years ago.
So, how do you break that vicious cycle? How do you ensure that the sins of those who came before don't foreshadow your own destiny? You tear down the institutions that created it. You get rid of the Iron Throne and the monarchy altogether. You watch it burn.
What's going to happen to Yara?HBO
Euron Greyjoy is a psychopath, so it's really hard to predict his plan here, but knowing what we know about the ironborn, it's possible that Euron offers Yara as a gift to the Drowned God. In doing so, she'd be laid on her back on the beach at low tide, with her arms and legs chained to four stakes, awaiting the tide comes in. It's a slow death. Euron could also rip out her tongue — as he does with all of the crew — and enslave her on his ship, the Silence. Seeing as Euron is a sick fuck, he'll probably want to prolong Yara's misery for as long as he possibly can. Of course, if Daenerys really does end up roasting Euron's fleet, Yara might also be collateral damage.
Was that the last we've seen of Ellaria Sand?HBO
Well, she's not dead. She's just been sentenced to live out the rest of her days next to her daughter's rotting corpse in the dungeons. That being said, I'd be surprised if the show wastes anymore time on Dorne. We've got so many other story lines to wrap up! It's not like there's anyone even around to help her escape. Sleep well, Ellaria.
What the hell does Daenerys do now?HBO
First, Daenerys lost her fleet to Euron Greyjoy. Then, her Unsullied army was fooled by a smart tactical move from Jaime Lannister. She's down three allies — Ellaria Sand, Yara Greyjoy, and Olenna Tyrell. (Remember how nice it was to see a group of powerful women standing over the strategy table at Dragonstone? Yeah, well, that didn't last long.) So what is Daenerys's next move? It's time for her to be a damn dragon. Daenerys needs to send Cersei Lannister a message. The easiest way to do that would be to hop on Drogon and lead an aerial attack against the Lannister army while they make their way back to King's Landing from the Reach. But will she go alone, or will she be forced to bring a few allies with her — like, say, Jon Snow and Tyrion Lannister? You know what they say: "The dragon has three heads."
What's up with Bran?HBO
Bran Stark is the Three-Eyed Raven. He holds the power to unlock the secrets of the universe in his mind, which basically makes him a human computer. "It's like imagining you have all of space and time in your head," Isaac Hempstead-Wright recently told EW.com. "Bran is existing in thousands of planes of existence at any one time. So it’s quite difficult for Bran to have any kind of semblance of personality anymore." Bran Stark is literally the most powerful person on this entire show, so I'm going to need all of you haters to GTFO.
Which characters left on Arya's list will she actually get to kill?HBO
Before Melisandre sailed off to Volantis, she delivered an ominous message to Varys. "I will return, dear Spider. One last time. I have to die in this strange country, just like you." It's clear that the red priestess has seen her own demise in the flames, and a Season 3 run-in between Melisandre and Arya Stark might hold the answer to The Red Woman's fate. "We will meet again," she told the young Stark, before taking Gendry and thereby securing a position on Arya's kill list. Now, Melisandre's visions aren't always trustworthy (just ask Stannis), but this one seems definitive. When Melisandre and Arya do meet again, something tells me the centuries-old follower of the Lord of Light will be meeting the pointy end of some Valyrian steel.
As for the other names on Arya's kill list — Cersei, The Mountain, Beric Dondarrion, Thoros of Myr, and Ilyn Payne — their fates are as certain. Sure, they're probably all going to die, but will Arya be the one doing the deed? She's on her way back to Winterfell to be with her family. She's too far away from King's Landing to cross off Cersei, Ilyn, and The Mountain anytime soon, and Beric and Thoros are en route to Eastwatch-by-the-Sea to meet the White Walkers. With the odds stacked against them, the Night's King may get to cross a few off Arya's list for her.
Does Daenerys even need Tyrion at this point?HBO
Seeing how Daenerys tells him off in the promo for next week's episode ("The Spoils of War"), I'm going to say no. You had ONE JOB, Tyrion!!! "Enough with the clever plans," Dany says to someone who's most likely Tyrion. It's time to unleash the dragon. But with a few major L's on his record, how is Tyrion going to prove to Daenerys that he's the strategist she needs at her side? It's time to head to King's Landing and confront the skeletons in his closet. But good luck trying to get those Dothraki back on the boat.
What's up with all those scrolls in Winterfell?HBO
We're at the point in the series where every bit of dialogue means something. It's laced with foreshadowing. So when the maester tells Sansa and Littlefinger that Maester Luwin kept detailed records of every raven scroll received during his tenure, that's obviously going to impact what's to come. Might there be something Littlefinger doesn't want Sansa to see buried within those records? YES. OF COURSE. LITTLEFINGER IS A SHADY DUDE.