Game Of Thrones Recap: 12 Biggest Questions Going Into Season 8
Here are our biggest questions going into Game of Thrones season 8. The final season of HBO's megahit series will only be comprised of 6 episodes, though the second half of the season will have its runtimes extended to 80 minutes. Still, with many fan-favorite characters still alive (at least at the beginning), there is a ton of ground season 8 must cover to wrap up the series' multiple storylines.
At the end of Game of Thrones season 7, the Night King used his ice dragon Viserion to burn down a section of the Wall, allowing the Army of the Dead to enter the North. Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow sailed to Winterfell together and consummated their attraction to each other - while Bran Stark announced to Sam Tarly that Jon is really the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, which makes him heir to the Iron Throne. Meanwhile, at King's Landing, Queen Cersei went back on her promise to send the Lannister Army north to fight in the Great War, which prompted Jaime Lannister to abandon his twin sister/lover and ride to Winterfell alone.
The war against the White Walkers is the most important order of business, at least in the first half of season 8, but there are numerous plots to wrap up and characters whose destinies will be revealed (and many of them are expected to die). With so much riding on Game of Thrones season 8, here are the biggest questions we hope to see satisfying answers to.
- This Page: Questions About Jon, Daenerys, and Sansa
- Page 2: Questions About The Lannisters
- Page 3: More Questions About Season 8
How Will The Reveal of Jon Snow's Real Identity Change... Everything?
Game of Thrones begins season 8 in an unusual postion where the fans (and Sam Tarly and Bran Stark) are the only ones who know that Jon Snow was born Aegon Targaryen and that he's heir to the Iron Throne. Most of the characters, including Jon himself, are blissfully unaware - but that won't last long. It's not clear when this bombshell will drop in season 8 but it will inevitably change... everything.
Jon and Daenerys began a love affair with a specific power structure in place: he bent the knee to her and swore fealty as King in the North. Finding out they're really aunt and nephew may not change much from Daenerys' viewpoint since, as a Targaryen, her family is used to incest (Jaime Lannister also may just bemusedly shrug at the news). Jon, however, will have his whole world upended - and so will all of his followers in the North. Will the revelation that Jon is a Targaryen create a divide between those loyal to Dany and those loyal to Jon? Will their relationship suffer or even end because of it? There are so many factors to consider that what happens when everyone knows about Jon is one the most intriguing aspects of season 8.
Will Daenerys Win Over Sansa?
Sansa was already displeased with Jon for going to Dragonstone and then joining the North to Daenerys' war with Cersei (without consulting her). Now, Winterfell is ground zero for the war with the White Walkers and Jon is bringing his girlfriend home to meet his family. We know from a Game of Thrones season 8 first look that Sansa (perhaps begrudgingly) welcomes Daenerys and tells her, "Winterfell is yours, your grace", but will she ever trust the Dragon Queen?
Sansa, who has grown shrewder over the years, is definitely someone who bears watching, especially when everyone finds out Jon is half-Targaryen and the son of Lyanna Stark instead of Ned's. This may strengthen Jon's claim to the Iron Throne but it may also weaken Jon's claim to Winterfell. Will Daenerys win over or become an enemy of Ned Stark's oldest trueborn daughter?
Is Tyrion Going To Sabotage Jon And Daenerys' Relationship?
The last time fans saw Tyrion Lannister in Game of Thrones' season 7 finale, he was lurking with a heartbroken look outside Daenerys' cabin, well aware that she and Jon Snow had succumbed to their passions. This puts Tyrion in an awkward position since, besides being the Hand of the Queen, he's also secretly in love with Dany. The question is whether Tyrion will continue to put his duty to serve Daenerys ahead of his own selfish interests.
After all, at some point, the truth about Jon's true identity will be revealed and it will drastically alter the political landscape - which is Tyrion's domain. If Jon's claim to the Iron Throne proves to be stronger than Daenerys', will Tyrion sabotage their love affair to protect his Queen's rights (while simultaneously maneuvering himself into the romantic picture)? Though Tyrion has always liked and respected Jon, Tyrion's loyalty (and self-interest) lie with Daenerys - unless the Imp betrays the Dragon Queen. No matter what, Tyrion is still a scheming Lannister at heart.
Page 2: Questions About The Lannisters
Will Cersei Really Sit Out The War With The Night King?
Cersei waits in the relative safety of King's Landing to learn who will win the Great War between the Armies of the Dead and the living. Yet it's unlike the Lannister Queen to sit idly by and not take clandestine action to benefit her - she's too much like her late father Tywin to be so passive. So does Cersei really plan to just wait out the Great War and "deal with whatever's left" or does she have further plans set in motion?
We know Euron only pretended to break ties with Cersei at the King's Landing armistice and that he secretly sailed the Iron Fleet to fetch the Golden Company from Essos. We also know Cersei has a deal with the Iron Bank of Braavos and we can also suspect she has ordered Qyburn to create more weapons like the Scorpion to battle any dragons that may arrive at the capital. But since Cersei is pregnant and the preservation of the Lannister family is her only true priority, will she interfere in the Great War to put the odds in her favor when her surviving enemies come for her next?
Is Jaime Lannister Going to Bend the Knee To Daenerys?
Jaime finally grew disgusted with Cersei's treachery and broke from his sweet sister. The Kingslayer ended season 7 riding to Winterfell, but without the Lannister army the Queen promised would join the army of the living. But when Jaime abandoned Cersei, he may well have irrevocably ended their relationship and his loyalty to the Iron Throne. Does this mean he would bend the knee to Daenerys?
We don't know what is in Jaime's heart and whether his loyalty truly has shifted during the long ride to Winterfell. The Kingslayer is also far from the most popular and trusted man in Westeros, though his brother Tyrion still loves him and Brienne would vouch for his character. Jaime may be one of the characters who dies fighting the Night King, but if he survives to wage a second war against his twin sister, will he do so under the Targaryen banner?
What Will The Golden Company Do In Season 8?
The Golden Company are said to be the finest mercenary army money can buy and Queen Cersei spent quite a bit of the gold she took from wiping out House Tyrell to pay for their services. It seems the Golden Company and their leader, Harry Strickland, are Cersei's ace-in-the-hole against whoever wins the Great War and rides south looking to take the Iron Throne. But how good is the Golden Company, really? Will Cersei's gold be enough payment if White Walkers attack from the North? Considering she does still have the Lannister Army, did Cersei hire the 10,000 warriors of the Golden Company for a heretofore unknown reason?
Will The Cleganebowl Still Happen?
A final showdown between the Clegane brothers, Sandor and Ser Gregor, has been something fans have anticipated since Game of Thrones season 1. In the season 7 finale, "The Dragon and the Wolf", Sandor came face-to-face with his zombified older sibling for the first time since season 1 and voiced his intentions for violence: "You know what's coming for you. You've always known."
The final season will be the last chance to see them finally square off in what's been dubbed the "Cleganebowl" and fans are hoping for a clash as memorable as the Mountain's duel with the Red Viper in season 4, which led to Ser Gregor's "resurrection" by Qyburn. But if the Cleganebowl does occur at last, who will triumph? Or will both brothers ultimately take each other out and put an end to the House of Clegane?
What Will Bran's Powers Be Used For?
Brandon Stark became the Three-Eyed Raven in Game of Thrones season 6 but his ability to see at all points in the past, present, and future may have greater ramifications than just learning the truth about Jon Snow's parents. In a previous vision, Bran saw the creation of the Night King by the Children of the Forest and, in turn, the Night King was able to see Bran in the vision. Somehow the two are linked (possibly because of the theory that the Starks and White Walkers have a common origin).
As the Three-Eyed Raven, Bran can't physically fight in the Great War but that doesn't mean his powers won't have a greater role to play. What role will that be, and whether it will lead to the defeat of the Night King, remains to be seen. But one cool possibility to look out for: as a Warg, Bran might be able to take control of the Night King's ice dragon Viserion!
Will Jaqen H'Ghar Reappear?
Arya Stark may feel safe now that she's back in her home of Winterfell surrounded by her family but the youngest Stark daughter may have something else to worry about besides White Walkers: the Faceless Men. After learning the arts of wearing people's faces and becoming an assassin, Arya didn't leave the House of Black and White under the best of circumstances. Will the Faceless Men - or specifically the one Arya once knew as Jaqen H'Ghar - reappear in Game of Thrones season 8 or is a girl safe from any retribution from the Faceless Men?
Will We Return To Essos In Season 8?
When Daenerys arrived in Westeros in season 7 both she and Game of Thrones seemingly left Essos behind. Yet many of the series' most compelling moments and characters - from Dany's journey to Arya's quest to become a Faceless Man - occurred in the sprawling and exotic continent across the Narrow Sea. Is time spent in Essos really a thing of the series' past?
At the very least, fans expect to see Euron Greyjoy's Iron Fleet ferry the Golden Company from Essos to Westeros to fight for Cersei. However, fans haven't heard from Daario Naharis since Daenerys left him in charge of Meereen when she departed for Westeros. Will Daario and the Second Sons also cross the Narrow Sea and ride to his Khaleesi's rescue at some point in season 8?
How Will Melisandre And Varys Die In Westeros As She Predicted?
Melisandre left for Volantis in Game of Thrones season 7, but not before making an ominous declaration that both she and Varys "will die in this strange country". This means the Red Woman is certain to return to Westeros one final time in season 8 and she expects her incredibly long life will come to its end, at last. But how will Melisandre die and will she meet the same fate as Varys? Does the red priestess have one final bidding to perform for the Lord of Light - and to whose benefit?
Who Will Sit On The Iron Throne (And Will It Still Exist)?
Game of Thrones season 8 has been focused on the Great War in the North against the White Walkers but no matter who wins and who dies, as the season 8 poster reminds fans, the Iron Throne is the final goal. The final question season 8 has to answer is who will sit upon the Iron Throne and rule Westeros when it's all said and done? Will Daenerys achieve her goal and become the Queen she was born to be or will Jon Snow find himself King of Westeros? Alternately, will Cersei achieve her ultimate victory and wipe out her enemies in the name of House Lannister?
Another question to ponder: Will there still even be an Iron Throne when it's all over? When she was trapped in the House of the Undying in season 2, Daenerys saw a vision of the Red Keep's throne room that was engulfed in winter - was this a sign that the Iron Throne will no longer exist at the end of the series? Daenerys has long promised to "break the wheel" if she becomes Queen - could Game of Thrones ultimately end with the Iron Throne destroyed, creating a new culture in Westeros?
Game of Thrones season 8 airs Sundays @ 9pm on HBO.