Game of Thrones has set up what promises to be a penultimate episode for the ages, but before we let ourselves get too excited about Jon Snow and the Snow Patrol's battle with the undead up north, we have to address the fifth episode of the season, "Eastwatch." Sure, it was mostly filler — and a ton of plot — but at least Gendry is back!!! That's one question that has finally been answered by the gods. Now let's take a look at the rest of them.
Is Jon Snow the son of Rhaegar Targaryen?
While it's not 100 percent confirmed (yet), from what we’ve been able to piece together with the information available, all signs point to yes. Last season, we learned that Jon was the son of Lyanna Stark, who died shortly after giving birth to baby Jon in the Tower of Joy, located near the Red Mountains of Dorne. Ned promised his dying sister that he would raise the baby as his own. But who is Jon’s father? There’s really only two possibilities: Robert Baratheon or Rhaegar Targaryen, the former Crown Prince of Westeros.
Wait, but didn't Rhaegar already have two children?
He sure did! Rhaegar and Elia had two children; a daughter named Rhaenys, and a son, Aegon. Both pregnancies nearly killed Princess Elia, so the odds of having a third child were unlikely. In George R.R. Martin's A Clash of Kings, Daenerys has a vision of her late brother in the House of the Undying. In it, she sees Rhaegar and a woman who is supposedly Elia with baby Aegon. "He is the Prince that was Promised, and his is the song of ice and fire," Rhaegar says. Then, looking directly to Daenerys, he adds, "There must be one more ... the dragon has three heads."
Does Jon Stark actually think Tyrion's plan is going to work?
So he wants to kidnap a wight and bring it south of the wall to King’s Landing to essentially throw on Cersei’s doorstep and say, “TOLDJA!” But even if the Snow Patrol is able to capture one of the undead, how would they keep it, uh, animated long enough to make it to King’s Landing? Unless Daenerys wants to take it for a ride on the Drogon express, that thing isn’t going to make it. Also, who says Cersei is even going to care? Cersei wants nothing more than to kill her enemies — including both Jon and Daenerys — and an army of undead sure seems like the perfect opportunity to wipe them off the chess board, permanently. Cersei is unreasonable. There’s no way she's going to willingly go along with this, and I’m not even sure Jaime could convince her to play nice at this point.
Which members of the Snow Patrol will be killed?
Despite the odds, Jon is going to survive this suicide mission. I'd wager that The Hound will also make it out unscathed, since we're way overdue for some Cleganebowl action. Davos is fine, since he's smart enough to stay behind at Eastwatch-by-the-Sea. We just got Gendry back, so I'm pretty sure fans would be rioting in the streets if he goes down north of the Wall. Let's not forget he's also the only highly skilled blacksmith Team Jon has at this point, and he could come in mighty handy when it comes to forging weapons out of dragonglass and Valyrian steel. That leaves Tormund, Jorah, Thoros of Myr, and Beric Dondarrion.
Will Daenerys come to the rescue?
The most satisfying end to the Snow Patrol’s excursion up north would be for a woman to show up with her dragons and save the day. Given the uncertain look Daenerys gave Jon as he and his men left for Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, she’s probably going to do it. This, of course, would probably mean that not all of Dany’s dragons will be making it home to Dragonstone. It has long been theorized that one of the her dragons — most likely Viserion or Rhaegal — would be turned into a dragon wight by the Night King. It seems like the most obvious way to even the playing field in the Great War to come.
Is there any chance Cersei will become the Night's Queen?
If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em. It may sound crazy, but this is exactly the kind of tactical move Cersei would pull. There's no way Cersei is going to make it to the end of Game of Thrones alive, and that's OK when there's an army of undead en route to King's Landing. Remember Maggy the Frog's prophecy that said Cersei would die at the hand of the valongar (High Valyrian for "little brother")? She could very well die. But the Night King could always revive her.
Is Arya really that stupid?
She has to know she’s getting played by Littlefinger. If two years in Braavos taught he anything, it’s not to trust slimy white men. Littlefinger clearly wants to break the sisters apart, and knowing that Arya has a bit of a temper, something Sansa is already weary of, this is the perfect opportunity for him to create chaos in Winterfell. Arya found the raven scroll that Sansa wrote to Robb under duress in Season 1, and she's understandably upset. But she also doesn't know the full story, something that could be entirely avoided if Sansa and Arya actually talked to each other. If all this drama leads to an actual tender moment between the Stark sisters, then I could live with Littlefinger’s machinations. His days are numbered anyway.
Is Cersei really pregnant?
Sure, Cersei could be manipulating Jaime with a faux pregnancy, but I don't think that's it. She's been having hushed conversations with Qyburn, and Jaime did overhear her tell the former maester that whatever he had concocted for her wouldn't be needed anymore. Of course if she actually is pregnant then her unborn child probably won't survive to full term. The prophecy stated that Cersei would bear only three children.
Is fermented crab really the answer to impotence?
According to Davos, fermented crab is the go-to solution for impotence across the Seven Kingdoms, but is there any actual science behind that claim? I couldn't get in touch with any maesters by press time, and nothing on the internet suggests that fermented crab meat is a natural aphrodisiac.
Why is time moving so fast?
When Benioff and Weiss first revealed that the final two seasons of Game of Thrones would be shorter than their predecessors, I was optimistic. Here are two guys that have a plan! They know exactly how they want to end things, and they don't want to waste any time on filler! But watching this penultimate season, I'm struck by how quickly things are moving. Too quickly. Maybe Benioff and Weiss didn't have a concrete plan so much as they just really want to be done with Game of Thrones.