SPOILER ALERT: Warning, this article contains finale spoilers from Season 7, Episode 7 of Game of Thrones, entitled “The Dragon and The Wolf.” Proceed at your own risk.
Well, that’s another season of Game of Thrones done and dusted. Sure, there were cliffhangers that left us all anxious for Season 8 – such as what happened to Tormund and Beric during the attack on the Wall. And what will happen to Theon now he’s vowed to go and rescue his sister? But there are other pressing questions which we wouldn’t call cliffhangers but which we didn’t get answers to. These are they:
What’s Melisandre Up To?
Last seen at Dragonstone, she made a beeline for Daenerys after having been banished from the north by Jon. She tells Dany that The Prince That Was Promised could just as likely be a woman as a man, since the High Valyrian word for “prince” is gender neutral.
She also tells Dany that both she and Jon have roles to play in the coming war.
With the finale culminating in Jon and Dany enjoying a romantic liaison, Melisandre’s work is most definitely done where bringing these two together is concerned.
However, she wasn’t seen again after telling Varys she was off to Volantis. He advised her not to return, and that’s when she let slip that both she and Varys will die in Westeros.
With Beric’s Red Priest Thoros of Myr now dead, Melisandre will likely prove to be a vital player next season. The Prince That Was Promised is yet to be revealed, so she’ll presumably be integral to this plot line.
She’s also responsible for bringing Jon back from the dead – will she be required to exercise her mystical powers to resurrect him, or somebody else, again? Could she be recruiting more Red Priests in Volantis? We’ll have to wait and see.
What’s Varys Still Doing Around Anyway?
Varys has been largely pointless in Season 7. But does he still have a role to play next season? We know his death is coming, à la Melisandre’s prediction, but aside from that, will he be instrumental in any major happenings?
Varys knows everything about everyone, due to his network of “Little Birds.” And although everybody’s secrets are pretty much all in the open now, he still keeps his hand in the spying game. It’s via Varys that Dany learns of the loss of Olenna Tyrell and Highgarden, and what happened at Casterly Rock. But surely there’s more of a role for Varys than that of spymaster.
With his background plotting against monarchs, his machinations could come into play again in Season 8. Currently aligned with Daenerys, he’s nothing if not untrustworthy. Despite Tyrion’s assertions he’s proved his loyalty, he could yet turn against her.
Varys has certainly voiced his concerns about Dany to Tyrion, because of her similarities to her father, the Mad King. He felt that Aerys was a bad ruler. And he’s made no secret of the fact that he believes “incompetence should not be rewarded with blind loyalty.”
What’s the Significance of Tyrion Seeing Dany and Jon?
If you were left open-mouthed by that love scene between Daenerys and Jon, you’re not alone. Number one, it was steamy. Number two, this was a nephew getting it on with his aunt. Admittedly unwittingly. But still. Ew. It’s nothing we haven’t seen before, of course. Game of Thrones started with an incest plot and continues the theme through the penultimate season and into the eighth.
But what ramifications will there be once the new lovers discover Jon’s true identity? Incest is an accepted practice in the Targaryen bloodline, if not in Westeros, so maybe they’ll shrug their shoulders and get on with it.
What we’re arguably more interested in learning, though, is why we saw Tyrion witness Jon entering Dany’s chambers. It’s got to have implications. Knowledge is power, as they say, and he now knows something nobody else does. It’s bound to come in useful for him. Could he be about to betray Daenerys?
Who is the Night King?
There’s been speculation over who the Night King actually is. One fan theory goes that it’s actually Bran. We know that the Night King was created by the Children of the Forest as the first White Walker.
The White Walkers were originally First Men, transformed to protect the Westerosi Children of the Forest from the invading humans of Essos.
We know that the people of the North are more closely related to the First Men than those from the south. Could it be that the Night King is an ancestor of one of our favourite characters? Or is he actually Bran? It’s not as outlandish as it sounds, if Bran somehow used his time-travel abilities to go back to that moment in time, only to end up getting trapped.
They would have to explain why he’s so intent on death and destruction, of course, but signs such as the similarity of Bran’s clothes to the Night King’s attire do point to this possibility.
How Cunning is the Night King Actually?
Let’s disregard the Night King’s real identity for a moment. What people are more concerned about right now is the impending doom he threatens. He’s just breached the Wall and is about to march his army through Westeros leaving devastation in his wake.
This season, we’ve discovered his stellar javelin skills, when he accurately launched a spear right at Viserion’s weak spot. But there was something fishy about that entire battle that makes us think it was all part of a very shrewd plan. It was all so convenient. The Night King and his undead army trapped Jon’s hunting party and then lay in wait. He seemed to know they’d send a raven and that Daenerys would fly to the rescue, dragons in tow. Did he set Jon up?
It definitely seems that way. He needed a dragon in order to penetrate the Wall, and he brought the necessary spears and chains to carry out the task of killing and capturing Viserion. Before bringing him back to life. Will we see more of the Night King’s crafty strategizing in Season 8? Perhaps, although how necessary cunning plans are now that the army of the dead is through the Wall will depend largely on the battle plans of the living.