‘Game of Thrones’: The 1 Burning Question the Show Must Answer in Season 8

Fans were shook after Game of Thrones’ stunning seventh season finale. We saw major plot lines move forward, alliances form and fall apart, and a monumental change in the landscape of the Seven Kingdoms.

So much has been set in motion for Season 8. But the penultimate season of HBO’s hit fantasy series also left fans with some pressing unanswered questions — and the series only has a few episodes left to answer them all.

Here, in no particular order, are many of the main story threads that we need to have resolved before we say goodbye to Game of Thrones for good.

1. Is Tormund alive?

Tormund Giantsbane, standing in the snow and talking to a man off-camera.
Tormund Giantsbane’s fate is in question. | HBO

The Season 7 finale of Game of Thrones ended with a literal explosion of ice and fire. The ice dragon formerly known as Viserion destroyed the Wall — you know, the one that’s always kept the White Walkers away from the rest of Westeros’ civilization. And as the Wall came tumbling down, we knew we’d be dealing with entirely new stakes in Season 8.

There are a lot of unknowns with regards to what the Seven Kingdoms will be like without the Wall. But the season’s fiery conclusion also left fans with another huge unanswered question: What happened to Tormund and Beric? The two men — and fan favorite characters — were on the Wall when the Night King approached with his army. And there didn’t seem to be much left, besides rubble, by the time Viserion was done.

But it’s also hard to believe that Game of Thrones would just let the wildling and his compatriot go without a bit more fanfare. After all, Tormund, in particular, still has some unfinished business, especially where Brienne of Tarth is concerned.

2. How will Jon and Dany react to the news about their familial ties?

Daenerys and Jon Snow stand next to each other as they talk on a mountain top.
Daenerys and Jon’s relationship is about to change entirely. l HBO

Game of Thrones fans spent years waiting and wondering whether Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen would ever even meet each other. In Season 7, they finally came face to face. Though their initial meeting was a little awkward, they grew to respect and admire one another. And that admiration coalesced into an airtight partnership, with both sides fully dedicated to defeating the undead.

But their alliance has also become pretty entangled, because they fell for each other — and then fell into bed together in the Season 7 finale. There are many potential problems with Jon and Dany shacking up together in a romantic sense. But the biggest one is obviously that they are related by blood: aunt and nephew, to be specific.

So, one of the biggest questions looming over Season 8 is how the two new lovebirds will react to this revelation. Will they be disgusted that they got down and dirty? Or will they decide that their love for each other is stronger than the familial ties that could break them apart?

3. Why was Tyrion creeping on Jon and Dany?

Jon knocks on Dany's door and she opens it.
Perhaps the most talked-about scene of the season | Giphy

Tyrion Lannister played a crucial role in bringing Jon and Daenerys together in Season 7. He not only helped to arrange their initial meeting, but he counseled the Mother of Dragons to give the King in the North’s perspective some serious consideration. It was clear that Tyrion knew, before they even did, that their eventual partnership would be crucial to the survival of the Seven Kingdoms.

So why did he look so depressed when Jon paid Dany an after-hours visit in the Season 7 finale? It was creepy enough on its own that Tyrion was keeping watch outside the queen’s door. But the look on his face as he watched the two make heart-eyes at each other was equally suspect.

Some fans have theorized that Tyrion is secretly in love with Daenerys. Others, including the episode’s director, think that he might just be concerned about what their romance will mean for Westeros.

But until we hear it from the bastard’s mouth himself, we can’t be sure why he was keeping watch over Dany — or why he was so concerned by what he saw.

4. What does the Hound know about how the Mountain dies?

Sandor Clegane in the snow, turning to look over his right shoulder.
The Hound may know what the future holds for the Mountain. | HBO

In Game of Thrones’ seventh season, the Hound took on a surprising new role — one of a seer of sorts. After witnessing a vision in fire in the Season 7 premiere, he started dropping hints that he had some idea what the future held for his comrades. And in the finale, he approached his estranged brother, Gregor Clegane, and dropped a little wisdom on him, too.

“It’s not how it ends for you, brother,” he told the Mountain. “You know who’s coming for you. You’ve always known.”

It was a moment that was easy to forget in the midst of Cersei Lannister, Jon, and Daenerys meeting for the first time. But it was still intriguing because it hints at the Mountain’s demise — and that perhaps the Cleganes both have some clairvoyant capabilities. The Hound’s warning to his brother also set up an interesting idea for fans to ponder: What will finally take the monstrous warrior down?

5. Where is Ghost?

Jon Snow picks up a baby Ghost.
Where could Ghost be? | Giphy

There was a lot of symbolism at play when the Stark children met their direwolves in Game of Thrones series premiere. Since then, the mystical creatures have fought in their familiars’ honor, and many have died for them.

But two remain living as we head into Season 8: Jon’s Ghost and Arya’s Nymeria. The presence of both direwolves has been a sore spot for some fans. Why introduce them and have them play such an important role, only to then largely drop them from the story? And that’s led some to theorize that the two surviving wolves will play a big role in Season 8’s final battles.

But that presents a bigger question: Where the heck is Ghost? Arya had a chance to briefly reunited with her beloved Nymeria in Season 7. But Jon hasn’t seen hide nor hair of his direwolf since early in Season 6. Where has he been? What has he seen? And can he help Jon defeat the Night King?

6. Can Daenerys actually have more children?

Daenerys Targaryen stands before her throne.
Daenerys may still be able to bear children. | HBO

Daenery’s alleged inability to produce a human heir could prove to be a huge sticking point in her quest to win and keep the Iron Throne. After all, the whole point of ruling the Seven Kingdoms is that you can pass down your legacy for generations.

We’ve been told, since Season 1, that Dany is infertile. But Jon pointed out to her in the Season 7 finale that she might not want to trust the source on that information. After all, she learned that she wouldn’t bear any more children from a healer-witch that didn’t exactly have Dany’s best interests in mind.

It does bring up an interesting point: Can Dany bear children? The son she bore with Khal Drogo was, according to the witch, born a monster. But we can’t even be sure that’s true. Maybe the Mother of Dragons is capable of producing an heir after all. Now that she’s taken a liking to Jon, she’ll likely have ample opportunities to give it a try.

7. Who will win the Iron Throne?

Cersei in all black, wearing a crown, and sitting atop the Iron Throne
Will Cersei Lannister maintain the Iron Throne? | HBO

Since Robert Baratheon died in his unfortunate boar-hunting accident, it’s been the question on everyone’s mind. Who will ultimately sit on the Iron Throne when Game of Thrones ends? Thus far, it’s stayed solely with the Lannisters. But it’s pretty unlikely that Cersei will keep her role as queen through the entirety of Season 8.

So the biggest unanswered question about Season 8 — and really about the entire series — is who will win this crazy game of thrones? Jon, Daenerys, and Gendry can all lay claim to the throne based on their blood ties. But there could be a few game-changing spoilers in the mix, too.

After all, we know it’s not necessarily just blood that will determine who rules. And there’s no guarantee that everyone who could become Westeros’ leader will survive long enough to get that chance.

Follow Katherine Webb on Twitter @prufrox.

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