In just a few days, the final season of Game of Thrones kicks off, when we’ll presumably finally get answers to questions still plaguing us. How will Jon react when he discovers his true identity as Aegon Targaryen? Will Tyrion betray the would-be queen to whom he’s pledged his loyalty, Daenerys? Who will sit on the Iron Throne? These are just some of the Game of Thrones questions on the minds of most fans.
But, among those unanswered questions buzzing around our brains, there are a bunch of things some of us might have forgotten we’ve already learned. 67 episodes of labyrinthine plotting and the densest of dense mythology — spread across something close to eight years — will do that.
Below are some of the most notable questions we see the internet at large continuing to ask, having forgotten they’ve already been answered or simply needing a reminder – complete with resolution and input from Fandom’s Game of Thrones fan community, providing a one-stop shop for all the vital details you need going into the show’s swansong season.
Who is Khaleesi’s father?
The show revealed this nugget of information in the first season, and it’s something that we’ve been reminded of throughout: sometimes to align Dany’s behaviour with his, and sometimes to differentiate it. Indeed, Daenerys’ father is none other than King Aerys II Targaryen, also known as ‘The Mad King’, and the ruler to whom the events traced in Game of Thrones can be traced back to.
King Aerys’ nickname came about as a result of the monarch’s increasingly erratic and cruel decrees. Many ascribe his awful behaviour to the grief that followed several of his children dying and his fear of losing the crown. He lost it anyway, of course, along with his life when his Kingsguard, Ser Jaime Lannister, literally stabbed him in the back, earning the Kingslayer his own cool nickname.
It’s revealed during the series, incidentally, that Jaime killed the king not for ambitious reasons, or out of loyalty to his own house, but because Aerys posed a heinous threat to the entire population. Jaime tells Brienne that he slayed the king to stop him burning the city — and its people — to the ground with his store of lethal wildfire.
One fan theory suggests that Bran Stark through his ability to both warg and see/affect past events is responsible for causing the king’s madness, while another theory posits that Aerys isn’t Daenerys’ father at all. Which brings us neatly to the next question…
How are Jon and Khaleesi related? Can she still marry him or bear his child?
According to recent revelations in the show, Jon is the child of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. It’s news Jon is yet to learn but it’s something that two of those closest to him, Bran and Samwell, are both aware of.
The son of the Mad King, Rhaegar is elder brother to Daenerys, while Lyanna is Ned Stark’s sister. Jon, of course, was raised as the bastard son of Ned as he attempted to keep Jon’s true parentage secret. In case you missed it, then, Dany is Jon’s aunt.
We also recently learned that Rhaegar had his marriage to Elia Martell (she who was brutally killed by the Mountain along with her two children before the events of GoT pick up) annulled in order to marry Lyanna, who apparently was the love of his life. That’s right, he didn’t kidnap her as was widely believed – the pair eloped. Jon, then, is not a bastard as previously believed, but a legitimate child – one with a strong claim to the throne that would supersede Dany’s.
So can she still marry him, should the revelations not rock their budding relationship’s very foundations? Well, yes – probably. Don’t despair, because those Targaryens are totally cool with getting wed to their relatives. The Doctrine of Exceptionalism, written by Jaehaerys Targaryen, the longest reigning Targaryen king, permits it. It’s a precept that basically says the family line is so special they can do whatever they want, and whatever they need to do to preserve it. Super convenient, we say, and it certainly allows Jon and Dany to have babies – if she can get pregnant — that we hope have all their fingers and toes.
Indeed, although ‘keeping it in the family’ is frowned upon within Westeros, and Cersei and Jaime have had to keep their incestuous love a secret for most of their lives, there’s no evidence that inbreeding results in deformities in children within the show – aside from the fact that Joffrey turned out to be a sadistic sociopath, if you want to use that as evidence.
Incidentally, there’s a theory doing the rounds that Jon and Dany might be even more closely related than aunt and nephew, which casts doubt on Dany’s parentage. The suggestion is that Rhaegar could in fact be Dany’s father, rather than her brother. The theory goes that Dany was born of Rhaegar’s relationship with Elia Martell, and was sent into hiding just like Jon. Which would make Jon and Dany half-siblings. But maybe don’t buy too much into this – as there’s pretty compelling evidence against it.
We asked the community whether they think Daenerys’ parentage could be false. All felt that this was one twist too far:
“Dany is not Rhaegar’s daughter. She has a pretty big story about being born in a storm and killing her mother [in the process]. Also, the only way this would happen is [if] Rhaegar made love with his mom, which is just not gonna happen, with the fact that Rhaegar was actually a cool guy.” — Willem Smith
What are the Khaleesi’s titles? How does she introduce herself?
Daenerys is fond of introducing herself by her full list of titles. And why wouldn’t she be? She operates within a strict patriarchy that struggles to recognise women as anything other than sex object or mother. It makes sense that she would constantly want to/need to remind people of her achievements and her standing. However, it is a mouthful. Even Jon gave her the side-eye when they met for the first time last season, as Missandei reeled off each one. Ser Davos hilariously drawing attention to what he and Jon were both thinking when he introduced his companion: “This is Jon Snow,” he says, before pausing. “He’s King in the North”.
So, first, her title in full, according to Missandei who recounted it most recently, in front of Dany herself: Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen, Rightful Heir to the Iron Throne, Rightful Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Protector of the Seven Kingdoms, the Mother of Dragons, the Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, the Unburnt, the Breaker of Chains.
Let’s break down all of those titles and how she earned them…
Daenerys Stormborn of House Targaryen – Dany was born at Dragonstone, after her mother Rhaella was sent away to avoid the Sack of King’s Landing. The name Stormborn was given to her as a result of a storm raging outside as she was brought into the world. The storm destroyed a number of the Targaryen fleet’s ships.
Rightful Heir to the Iron Throne – Let’s not forget that this is from her perspective. Largely considered to be the last surviving Targaryen, and believing this herself, Daenerys is of the thinking that her claim to the throne is unshakable. But, her father Aerys II, the Mad King, was deposed from the throne in what’s deemed to be a fair war, with Robert Baratheon taking the hotseat in his place – though Robert’s Rebellion is said to be based on a lie…
With that, the revelations that Jon Snow is actually the son of Rhaegar Targaryen, supplanting Dany’s claim as rightful heir, mean that, of all her titles, this is the most contentious.
Rightful Queen of the Andals and the First Men — Whoever sits on the Iron Throne possesses this title since it refers to the ruler of the Seven Kingdoms, the unified realm of the continent of Westeros. The Andals and the First Men are the two largest ethnic groups in Westeros, with the Andals having invaded from Essos 6,000 years prior to the events of GoT, and most present-day Westeros inhabitants descended from them.
The First Men, meanwhile are the original human inhabitants of Westeros, who colonized the land after all but wiping out the Children of the Forest. In turn, the First Men were conquered by the Andals — within the south of the continent, at least. With the Andals failing to take the North, present-day northerners consequently have the greatest amount of First Men blood, despite bloodlines blending over the years.
Protector of the Seven Kingdoms — This title tends to go hand in hand with the previous – and means that Dany is assuming the role of commander of the armies of the realm, alongside rule.
It was Aegon Targaryen who united the formerly disparate kingdoms into one fealty. The kingdoms are: The Crownlands, currently ruled by Cersei Lannister from the Iron Throne at Kings Landing; The Vale; Dorne; The North; The Riverlands; The Reach – where Highgarden is located; The Westerlands, home to Casterly Rock; and The Iron Islands.
Mother of Dragons — Daenerys calls three dragons, which she named Drogon, Rhaegal and Viserion (after her husband and brothers) her children. She basically hatched them from their eggs from within Khal Drogo’s funeral pyre.
Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea — The Great Grass Sea is a region in Essos where the Dothraki roam. Dany was bestowed with this title when she married Khal Drogo – and according to Dothraki custom, keeps it even in the event of his death. Following his death, she continued to rule over the few of his 40,000-strong tribe who remained loyal. The couple’s stillborn son was believed to be the Stallion Who Mounts the World, and when Dany burned the Dosh Kaleen temple and emerged from the flames unscathed (again), the entire Dothraki horde bent the knee to her. Making Dany herself the Stallion.
The Unburnt — Twice in the series has Dany emerged from flames unburned. But it was the first occasion, after she walked away from her husband’s funeral pyre – the same fire at which she burned Mirri Maz Duur, the maegi responsible for Drogo and her unborn child’s deaths – that earned her the title from her followers who witnessed the event.
Breaker of Chains — This references Dany’s status as freer of slaves. She made it her mission to abolish slavery – which certainly didn’t come easily. Dany first earned the title on freeing the Unsullied and commanding them to free the slaves of Yunkai and Astapor. As she moved onto Meereen, she was met with resistance and eventually the Sons of the Harpy waged a campaign of terror in movement against her. Ultimately, Slaver’s Bay, the name given to the area incorporating all three cities, was renamed Bay of Dragons.
What are Bran Stark’s powers? Can he see the future?
Bran is a warg, which means he has the exceptional ability of entering the minds of animals, experiencing their senses and sometimes controlling their movements. Other characters we’ve seen in the series with this ability include the wildling Orell, who transferred his consciousness into an eagle as his human form perished (at the hands of Jon Snow), and a member of Styr’s Thenn tribe, killed by Samwell Tarly.
Bran is also a greenseer, which means he can see the past, or the present — a key ability of the Three-Eyed Raven. As for the future, everything Bran has seen to date has been an event that has already happened or is happening in the moment via the eyes of an animal. So, he’s not omniscient and can’t predict the outcome of the war to come, as far as we know. However, we have seen him affect the future when he’s visited the past.
In Season 6, Episode 5, called ‘The Door’, we saw that Bran was responsible for screwing up Hodor’s mind when he had a vision that transported him to the past. As Bran watched a young Hodor – real name Wyllis – interact with a young Ned Stark, the present connected with the past. When Bran warged into present-day Hodor while still flexing his greensight ability, young Wyllis began to have a fit, repeating the phrase ‘Hold the door’ over and over — the command shouted to his future self by Meera instructing him to hold back the Night King’s army of wights. The phrase ultimately becomes truncated to ‘Hodor’, and Wyllis is left permanently damaged by the event, only able to say ‘Hodor’ thereafter, and turning him into the character we know.
There was also the moment when Bran visited the Tower of Joy, and the scene of Jon’s birth to his aunt, Lyanna. Bran calls out to his father, Ned, who can’t see him but stops for a moment as if he’s heard his future son’s call. Did Bran subconsciously prepare Ned to take in Jon as his son?
We asked the community how they think Bran’s powers will play into Season 8:
“I think [he]’ll be needed to defeat Euron and Cersei, if not the White Walkers (though likely them as well).” — Crazychick08
“Hopefully, he’ll warg into The Mountain.” — Kinnikuwarui
“He’ll become like Frodo in The Lord Of The Rings, he’ll see the coming danger and advise everyone else how to avoid it.” — Aragorn Skywalker Of House Stark
“I believe that Bran will be able to use his powers of warging to spy on the Night King, the White Walkers, and the army of the dead and use the sight to discover how the First Men and the Children of the Forest defeated the White Walkers thousands of years ago in the first Long Night. This time, however, Bran will figure out how to defeat them for good so that they do not rise again thousands of years later.” — Reddyredcp
Where are the direwolves?
In the first episode of Game of Thrones, Ned Stark (with Robb, Bran, Theon and Jon) comes across a litter of orphaned direwolf puppies. The direwolf represents House Stark, taking pride of place on the family’s sigil. Thought to be extinct, they keep the pups, and each one is adopted by a different Stark child. Jon gets Ghost, the albino runt of the litter, and one of only two still alive at this point in the series.
Ghost is currently safe and sound at Winterfell, presumably shortly to be reunited with his master in Season 8. Arya’s direwolf, Nymeria, is the other still alive. Arya had a chance meeting with Nymeria in the woods on the way to Winterfell in Season 7, at which point Arya tried to encourage her to come with her. However, Nymeria, who was with a pack, instead turned tail and left, with Arya realizing that her path now led elsewhere; the implication being that Nymeria is now as untamable as Arya herself.
The four Stark direwolves that are now deceased include Lady, Sansa’s pet who was executed by Ned Stark at the behest of Cersei Lannister. She demanded retribution for Nymeria biting her son, Joffrey, during the incident with Arya and Mycah, the butcher’s boy. With Nymeria nowhere to be found after Arya secretly sent her away, Lady paid the price – something that drove a wedge between Sansa and Arya.
Grey Wind, meanwhile, was killed at the Red Wedding before his head was horrifically stitched to Robb Stark’s dead body by the Freys, and Rickon’s beloved Shaggydog was skinned by Ramsey Bolton. Summer sacrificed himself to buy Bran more escape time from the wights.
We asked the community whether the direwolves will play a significant role in Season 8:
“Yes, in protecting the Starks while they fight the White Walkers.” — Crazychick08
“There’s no way the direwolves won’t fight alongside the Starks.” — Kinnikuwarui
“The direwolves are just as important to the Starks as the dragons are to Daenerys Targaryen. In S7, Arya encountered her former direwolf Nymeria and her wolf pack in a forest while traveling north. Perhaps when the Starks need help, Nymeria and her wolf pack will come to their aid. Ghost will remain by Jon’s side and may be symbolic of Jon’s Stark side as the dragon Rhaegal, named after Jon’s father Rhaegar, is symbolic of his Targaryen side. I think it would be really cool for Ghost and Rhaegal to meet!” — Reddyredcp
What is the Cleganebowl theory and where did it start?
‘Cleganebowl’ is a fan-coined term created to hype up the eventual, theorized, mano-a-mano bout between the brothers Clegane; aka Sandor and Gregor; aka The Mountain and The Hound.
In both the books and the series, the siblings hate one another. When they were children, Gregor shoved Sandor’s face into burning coals, scarring him brutally, all because the younger boy played with one of his toys without permission. Gregor would eventually become a hideously corrupt knight, committing torture, rape and brutal, bloody murder, including infanticide.
In the books, it’s implied that Sandor eventually retires his ‘Hound’ mantle, retreating to a quiet monastery in the Riverlands. For fans of Sandor’s redemption, this is their happy ending for the character. However, in the series, all things point towards the anticipated ‘Battle of the Bros’, which could well come to pass in the final season. Having watched Sandor’s transition from remorseless child killer (the reason he ends up on Arya’s kill list) to likeable and relatively moralistic man (in contrast to other low-lifes, tyrants and manipulators in the series), plenty of fans want to see the salty-tongued Sandor face off against Queen Cersei’s reanimated killing machine.
We asked the community whether they think Cleganebowl will happen:
“I honestly think the Hound will lose Cleganebowl and Arya will kill the Mountain. I think the Hound was talking about either Arya or the Dead coming for the Mountain, not him.” — Willem Smith
“[I want this to happen] More than anything, though I wouldn’t mind if it wasn’t one-on-one. Sandor may need help against Gregor 2.0.” — Kinnikuwarui
“I’d LOVE to see Cleganebowl happen and I think it probably will happen; they’re in the same part of Westeros, there’s SERIOUSLY bad blood between them and they’re fighting on opposing sides.” — Aragorn Skywalker Of House Stark
Which dragon does Khaleesi ride? Which one was murdered? Are her dragons weak?
Dany rides Drogon. Viserion is the one felled by the Night King and then brought back as an ice-dragon. Heading into Season 8, Dany’s remaining dragon children, Drogon and Rhaegal, are in fighting shape and far from weak. Although Viserion was speared and brought down into the icy depths by the Night King before being reanimated, Drogon was able to take a direct shot from Qyburn’s scorpion during the Battle of the Goldroad in Season 7 without any lasting damage. During the episode, Drogon alone decimated Jaime’s troops.
Incidentally, while Drogon is named after Dany’s husband, Drogo, and Viserion her brother, Viserys, Rhaegal is named after the brother she never knew, Rhaegar – who we also now know to be Jon’s father. With Rhaegal currently riderless, and Jon a Targaryen – a legitimate one at that – we could see the former Snow take to the saddle in Season 8, and ride his father’s namesake.
Why is Euron Greyjoy so feared? Why is he so evil? Who has he killed?
Euron has proven himself to be a master manipulator and ruthless captain of his ship, The Silence. In both the books and series, those who served on his vessel got their tongues ripped out by him. Not exactly reasonable behavior. He also threw his brother, Balon, off a bridge to his death.
On a larger scale, he’s a pro at warmongering too. Before the events of the series, he orchestrated the bold Raid on Lannisport which saw Tywin Lannister’s entire fleet burned at anchor, resulting in the Greyjoys taking control of Westeros’s western seas and coasts for a while.
There’s more than a hint of insanity about Theon and Yara’s unhinged uncle, and it’s documented that he did once lose his mind while in exile, as a pirate. His crew had to tie him to the mast to stop him from throwing himself overboard. It was after this that he removed their tongues, later saying he “needed silence”. If Euron does indeed have a deathwish, this would make him very dangerous. “What is dead may never die,” as the ironborn saying goes.
Euron has a bloated, delusional, sense of self-importance which not only contributes to the fear he instils but also goes some way towards explaining his evil actions. When Balon accuses him of mocking the Drowned God, Euron tells his brother before killing him that he is the Drowned God — because, from Oldtown to Qarth, whenever men see his sails, they pray. He goes on to say: “I am the storm – the first storm, and the last.”
Euron has also brutally killed two of the Sand Snakes, nailing Obara’s body to the front of his niece Yara’s ship, Black Wind, and hanging Nymeria’s from the bowsprit. He captured Ellaria and her surviving daughter, Tyene, to deliver to Cersei for her to take her revenge for their assassination of her daughter, Myrcella. Euron gleefully paraded the prisoners through King’s Landing.
He’s now aligned with Cersei to take over Westeros, and if they prevail, she has promised to marry him. Intent on seizing power for himself by using a queen to achieve his ambitions, he has proven himself to be manipulative, deceitful and cunning – and more of a master at all than sadists Ramsay Bolton and Joffrey Baratheon put together.
We asked the community what the worst thing about Euron is:
“I guess with everything that’s changed in translation from the books, it’d be that he killed his own brother — certainly unacceptable anywhere else in Westeros.” — Crazychick08
“The worst thing about Euron is the mystery of what the madman’s endgame is.” — Kinnikuwarui
“His savagery. The man’s a maniac.” — LordOfTheNeverThere
“Euron is downright evil, murdering his own family in his thirst for greater power. At least Stannis killed Renly because he would have been a usurper, being his younger brother, and Tyrion killed Tywin after suffering years of his torment and abuse, culminating in his father’s sentencing of his own son to death. Euron will stop at nothing to get what he wants, and what he wants, he has no right to. He (and Cersei) will go as far as to let the White Walkers, the greatest, truest enemy to all the living, slaughter everyone if it means they can somehow come out on top. He’s entirely selfish and the Emperor Palpatine of Westeros, plotting and murdering his way to the top.” — Reddyredcp
What happened to Cersei Lannister’s children? Does this mean she isn’t pregnant? What did the prophecy say?
Cersei Lannister was married to the king, Robert Baratheon, but was really in love with her brother, Jamie Lannister. Under Robert’s nose, the siblings conceived three children together: Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen. But all would die young.
Joffrey, a virulent little creep, was poisoned by Lady Olenna Tyrell and Petyr Baelish. Myrcella, a sweet-natured girl, was also poisoned – but this time by Ellaria Sand in retaliation for the death of her lover, Oberyn Martell, at the hands of the Lannisters. Young Tommen, meanwhile, jumped out of a window when he found out that his wife, Margaery Tyrell, was wiped out in the destruction of the Great Sept of Baelor — a plan hatched, and enacted, by Cersei.
We see Jamie and Cersei getting jiggy once more in Season 7, and Cersei later suggests that she is pregnant by Jaime for a fourth time, apparently ensuring a new line of Lannisters. But there are plenty of fans who believe it’s all a Machiavellian scheme and she’s not really pregnant.
As a child, Cersei’s future was read by the fortune teller, Maggy, whose dark prophecy foretold that Cersei will be queen for a time, until a younger model casts her down, and takes all that she holds dear. The prophecy stated that Cersei would have three children.
“Gold will be their crowns, gold their shrouds,” laughed Maggy, predicting the death of all three. But what the prophecy doesn’t take into account is the child she had with Robert, who Cersei told Catelyn about – her firstborn — and who died as an infant from a fever. Maggy could, of course, simply have been focusing on the children Cersei had with Jaime – and the ‘gold crowns’ reference could actually be referring to their typical golden Lannister hair.
We asked the community whether they believe Cersei is pregnant:
“I think she believes she’s pregnant — whether or not she actually is or whether or not it’ll matter is another thing. Cersei’s almost certainly doomed.” — Crazychick08
“Yes, although I think her baby will not survive birth or infancy.” — LordOfTheNeverThere
“Yes, but whether she lives long enough to give birth to the child is a completely different story.” — Greater Good
What happened to Gendry?
Robert Baratheon’s bastard son, Gendry, was saved from Melisandre’s blood magic, and certain death, by Ser Davos Seaworth who spirited him away at the end of Season 3. He gave him a boat, telling him to get as far away as possible and hide. Gendry did just that, rowing out of the narrative for a long time — three entire seasons — until he was retrieved by Davos in Season 7 to help in the expedition beyond the Wall to capture a wight as proof to Cersei that the army of the undead exists, and war is coming. With Gendry gone for so long, and so much happening on Game of Thrones, perhaps it’s not surprising that some fans have forgotten we did indeed finally see him again.
Afrer his return, Gendry was once again working as a blacksmith in King’s Landing under-the-radar. His weapon-forging skills, not to mention his pace and fighting abilities, will no doubt be tapped by Jon and Dany in Season 8 for the war against the Night King.
Where is Euron Greyjoy going? Where is he saying he’s going? Why did he leave and what is he planning?
So. Many. Questions. About. Euron.
Uncle Euron said publicly at the Parley at the Dragonpit that he’s heading home to the Iron Islands with his formidable fleet, because he’s never seen anything as scary as a wight. And if they can’t swim, which Jon confirmed, he’ll be safe back home. But Euron had actually conspired with Cersei to travel to Essos in order to recruit mercenaries from the Golden Company for a planned battle against Dany and her armies.
We asked the community who they think Euron will kill in Season 8:
“This may just be a fantasy, but I wouldn’t be surprised if Euron kills Cersei in Season 8. I don’t think either of them intends on following through with this marriage idea, if they were ever serious about it in the first place. Cersei generally disposes of allies when they are no longer useful to her, and Euron may just be going along until he has a clear shot at real power.
SPOILER AHEAD FOR THOSE WHO HAVEN’T READ THE BOOKS:
“I also think that Euron could be the “valonqar”, [another element] from Maggy the Frog’s prophecy. He fits the little brother qualification as the younger sibling of Balon, and Cersei is so preoccupied with thinking that Tyrion is the candidate she would never suspect that a supposed ally would betray her in that fashion. Taking my fantasy even further, I’ve envisioned them in a situation where Euron has Cersei unexpectedly cornered, she is genuinely shocked and angered at his apparent betrayal, but he just laughs and says some version of “you dumb c—” before proceeding to choke the life out of her (which would also fit in with his “two good hands” remark from the episode “Dragonstone”). — Gotlvr87
While so much has been answered going into the final season, there’s still plenty to be revealed in Season 8’s six longer-length episodes – with, presumably, a bunch of shocking twists thrown into the mix set to topple anything that’s gone before. The season kicks off on April 14, with the entire series wrapping up once and for all this May. For the characters in Game of Thrones, winter might be just about here, but for all of us watching, it’s all eyes on spring.