As we approach the final season of Game of Thrones — premiering Sunday, April 14 on HBO — it’s time to take stock of the situation. Welcome to Westeros: Endgame. There are only six episodes left and an entire war against the Night King’s ferocious forces of the undead to unspool. Who’s on whose side? Which characters have joined the battle against the evils encroaching from beyond The Wall? Who’s staying out of it?
It’s worth noting that as we near the end of Game of Thrones, this is the most condensed the show’s characters have ever been, with fewer faces scattered around the region than ever before. Now, nearly everyone’s clumped together in a few key locations, ready to raise arms against a battalion of ice zombies — though some alliances are stronger than others.
Categorized into some of the biggest factions still standing, here’s a rundown of where the characters are as we head into the saga’s most epic episodes yet, including a couple of faces we haven’t seen in a while who could always pop up one more time…
We’re using the term ‘House Stark’ a bit loosely here, considering Jon Snow, as a bastard, was labeled differently — even as he and his siblings, and their most trusted allies, united against common foes. Recent revelations about Jon’s parentage now put a different spin on things when it comes to the long-standing question of who should ultimately rule, and could lead to turmoil among those who grew up in Winterfell together.
Always thought to be Ned Stark’s bastard son, but in truth the secret legitimate child of Ned’s sister, Lyanna, and Rhaegar Targaryen, Jon was last seen on a ship with Daenerys and her retinue, heading back to Winterfell in order to lead an army against the Night King. During the journey, with neither knowing that Daenerys is, in fact, Jon’s aunt, the two become romantically involved. While Jon still doesn’t know his true parentage, it notably would make his claim to the throne even stronger and likely would have ramifications on several of his alliances, for better or worse.
The older Stark sister was last seen in her home of Winterfell, reunited with siblings Arya and Bran, having been granted rule over the North while Jon Snow was away on urgent diplomatic errands. Most recently, she put Littlefinger on trial for crimes against her family and ordered his execution at Arya’s hands. Sansa and Arya now stand united, having overcome their previous differences. However, it seems possible Sansa and Jon could experience turbulence ahead when it comes to who should be sitting on the throne, particularly now Dany complicates matters…
Notable allies: Arya Stark, Jon Snow, Brienne of Tarth, the houses of the North, the Knights of the Vale and the Riverlands
Now an accomplished killer, with the ability to disguise her identity thanks to her training in the House of Black and White, the younger Stark daughter was also in Winterfell, finally reunited with her family, and readying herself for the fight ahead. Arya recently executed Littlefinger at the behest of her sister Sansa, poetically using the Catspaw Dagger that once belonged to Littlefinger himself, with which he armed the assassin tasked with killing Bran back in Season 1.
Notable allies: Jon Snow, Sansa Stark, Brienne of Tarth
Notable weapons or assets: Needle, Arya’s thin sword, given to her by Jon Snow; a Valyrian steel Catspaw Dagger
Ned and Cat’s son, no longer able to walk but now mystically powerful, is back home with his sisters in Winterfell, and recently used his abilities to peer into the past. In these visions, he saw his aunt, Lyanna Stark, legally marrying Rhaegar, making their son, Jon Snow, a legitimate member of both houses.
Bran also used his warging powers – which allow him to see through the eyes of animals — to view the Night King’s present-day destruction of The Wall, using the eyes of ravens in the vicinity. He was also touched by the Night King during one of his visions. With the rise of his abilities, Bran has grown more emotionally distant from his family.
Notable weapons or assets: His Greenseer and Warg abilities
Brienne of Tarth
Having become loyal to the Stark sisters, the fierce warrior maiden from Tarth, Brienne, is most likely headed back to Winterfell after the Parley in King’s Landing. Her last known act in King’s Landing was urging Jaime, whom she’d forged an unlikely connection with, to convince Cersei to aid them in their fight against the Night King.
Notable allies: Sansa Stark, Arya Stark, Podrick Payne, Jaime Lannister
Notable weapons or assets: Oathbreaker, her Valyrian steel sword, gifted to her by Jaime Lannister
Brienne’s squire, Podrick, accompanied her to King’s Landing for Jon and Daenerys’ meeting with Queen Cersei. He was last seen with Ser Bronn of the Blackwater, though it’s safe to assume that if Brienne traveled back to the North following the Parley, Pod would have as well.
Notable allies: Brienne of Tarth, Tyrion Lannister, Bronn
Former hand to Stannis Baratheon during Stannis’ chaotic quest for the Iron Throne, Ser Davos is now an advisor to Jon Snow. He’s now traveling from Dragonstone to the North, via ship, as part of Jon and Daenerys’ combined forces. Previous to this, he was instrumental in recruiting Gendry for the trek behind The Wall to kidnap a wight to present as evidence to Queen Cersei.
Notable allies: Jon Snow, Sansa Stark, Daenerys Targaryen, Tyrion Lannister, Gendry
The head of House Mormont and leader of Bear Island may be a child but she bears enough grit and determination to put the harshest of warriors to shame. Lyanna was last seen in Winterfell, right before Jon Snow left to meet with Daenerys in Dragonstone. She has pledged her loyalty to Jon as the King in the North.
Notable allies: Jon Snow, Sansa Stark
This lord and bannerman of House Arryn from the Eyrie was at Winterfell, having been present for Littlefinger’s execution. Lord Royce was placed in charge of young Robin Arryn after the death of his mother, Lady Lysa (sister of Catelyn Stark, and Sansa’s aunt), and had always been suspicious of Littlefinger’s motives when it came to procuring power in The Vale — suspicions which, of course, turned out to be well founded.
Notable allies: Jon Snow, Sansa Stark, Arya Stark
Jon’s direwolf is in, or around, Winterfell, left behind by Jon when he traveled to Dragonstone to meet Daenerys. Ghost, who was the white runt of the litter discovered by House Stark, and currently one of the two wolves still alive of the original six, has followed Jon on his many adventures at, and beyond, The Wall.
While still a member of the Night’s Watch, and a Maester-in-training, Jon Snow’s close friend has made it clear where his allegiance lies, and has left his studies in Oldtown and traveled to Winterfell. There he conversed with Bran, revealing that he’d discovered that Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen were legally married, making all of Robert’s Rebellion a lie, and changing the game for Jon and Dany.
Notable allies: Jon Snow, Bran Stark, Gilly, Eddison Tollett
Notable weapons or assets: Knowledge gained from reading countless books as well as Heartsbane, a Valyrian steel sword, dragonglass
The love of Sam’s life is currently in Winterfell, having traveled with Sam after he left the Citadel in Oldtown. She has a toddler son, Sam, who is also her half-sibling.
Notable allies: Samwell Tarly, Jon Snow, Eddison Tollett
The Lannisters have long played a crucial role in Westeros and Cersei Lannister and those working at her behest mean to keep it that way. Operating from the Westerosi capital of King’s Landing, they have recently made an unlikely partnership with their enemies… but one built around a lie.
Now officially the Queen of Westeros after her last remaining son, Tommen, killed himself, Cersei is in King’s Landing, staying put after the Parley in the Dragonpit. However, instead of supporting Jon and Daenerys’ troops in the North, as she promised, she is secretly plotting with Euron Greyjoy, having sent him to hire an army of mercenaries, the Golden Company of Essos, to defeat whoever is left after the fight with the Night King’s legion of the dead. She is currently pregnant (or so she says), yet again, with her twin brother Jaime’s baby.
Notable allies: Euron Greyjoy, Qyburn, The Mountain
Notable weapons or assets: As Queen, Cersei has command over the Lannister army as well as incredible money and resources — recently bolstered by the plundered gold of Highgarden — to secure more fighters. She also has Qyburn’s unsettling pseudo-science, and reserves of wildfire, at her disposal
Theon’s mad uncle faked being afraid of the wight at the Dragonpit Parley in King’s Landing so that he could fool everyone into thinking he was retreating back to the Iron Islands. In truth, he was sailing the Iron Fleet to Essos so that he can recruit the Golden Company mercenaries to fight on behalf of Queen Cersei against the combined forces of Daenerys and Jon Snow.
Notable allies: Cersei Lannister, Qyburn
Notable weapons or assets: As the current ruler of the Iron Islands, Euron controls the most powerful fleet of ships in all of Westeros; he also holds Yara Greyjoy prisoner, giving him leverage over Theon
The Red Keep’s malicious Maester is in King’s Landing, last seen at the Dragonpit, witnessing the reanimated ferocity of the wight Jon brought with him from beyond The Wall – which filled him with scheming wonder. Now that Cersei suspects that something dire happened to Daenerys’ third, missing dragon and sees it as a sign that the beasts are vulnerable, Qyburn would likely be her go-to man for ideas regarding defeating dragons. Particularly since he had some success against Dany’s dragon in battle with his contraption, the Scorpion.
Notable allies: Cersei Lannister, The Mountain, Euron Greyjoy
Notable weapons or assets: Exiled from Oldtown for cruel experimentation on humans, Qyburn is interested in forbidden science; in particular, the reanimation of the dead, which helped him bring The Mountain back from the brink.
Still walking — and decimating — despite his own grievous injuries in battle, thanks to Qyburn’s dark skills, Cersei’s mammoth guardian is in King’s Landing, at Cersei’s side. When Jaime moved to leave her, disgusted by her lies, the Mountain, aka Ser Gregor Clegane, stood in his path. Cersei opted to spare Jaime, ordering The Mountain to stand down. During the Parley, the Mountain also had a tense face-off with the brother he hates, Sandor, otherwise known as the Hound.
Notable allies: Cersei Lannister, Qyburn
Notable weapons or assets: Now even more of a mindless brute than before Qyburn’s unethical tinkering, the Mountain is still powerful enough to kill a foe with a single swing of his blade or a simple squeeze of his hands
QUEEN OF DRAGONS
During her years in Essos, Daenerys Targaryen surrounded herself with a surrogate family of supporters, ranging from malicious mercenaries and former slaves to Westerosian exiles. She became Queen of Meereen, burning the slave trade to a crisp, readying herself for her reign and mustering her might to finally sail to Westeros for a crack at the Iron Throne. But when she arrived, she found a threat far more deadly than the Lannisters awaiting her…
The daughter of King Aerys the Mad, and thought to be the last remaining heir to the Targaryen dynasty, Daenerys was last seen on a ship, with Jon Snow and her entourage, sailing from Dragonstone to the North so that she could lead a combined army of Northerners and wildlings into battle against the Night King. She has two dragons left — Drogon and Rhaegal — as her third, Viserion, was killed, and resurrected, by the Night King and now acts as her enemy’s flying mount. During their journey, she and Jon became lovers, not knowing that Jon is her nephew. Once the truth is out, will Daenerys see Jon as an enemy, considering he’ll have more of a legitimate claim to the Iron Throne? Or will it bond them even further?
Notable allies: Jon Snow, Tyrion Lannister, Missandei, Grey Worm, Jorah Mormont, Davos Seaworth, Varys
Notable weapons or assets: Daenerys commands the Unsullied and the Dothraki Raiders, as well as two full-sized, fire-breathing dragons; her Targaryen blood also make her impervious to fire
Tywin Lannister’s dwarf son left the Parley in King’s Landing believing he now had Cersei’s support in the upcoming war with the Night King. Having become trusted counsel to Daenerys, Tyrion then accompanied Dany, Jon, and other members of her court in their journey to Winterfell. Tyrion spotted Jon and Daenerys entering a cabin together, and realizing their relationship was now a romantic one, seemed concerned, if the look on his face was anything to go by, about the possible ramifications. What steps might he take going forward? We weren’t privy to the very end of his meeting with Cersei.
It’s worth noting that the House of the Undying’s prophecy stated that Dany will be betrayed three times — once for love, once for gold and once for blood. We’ve seen two notable betrayals — when Jorah spied on her in exchange for a royal pardon and when the witch, Mirri Maz Duur, double-crossed her resulting in the death of her unborn child, and ultimately her husband, Khal Drogo, too. So we’re due for one more duplicitous act: one carried out “for love.”
Notable allies: Daenerys Targaryen, Jorah Mormont, Missandei, Grey Worm, Jon Snow, Davos Seaworth, Varys
Notable weapons or assets: Tyrion wields a cunning strategist’s mind
Drogon and Rhaegal
Daenerys’ two remaining dragons, the massive fire-breathing monsters that they are, are presumably near their mother, flying in the skies above the ships escorting her from Dragonstone to White Harbor. When only the two of them were present at the Dragonpit Parley, it caused Cersei to correctly suspect that some harm had come to the third, and that Daenerys’ dragons were beatable.
Disgraced knight-turned-disgraced advisor to Daenerys, Jorah is also traveling from Dragonstone to the North, via ship, as part of Jon and Daenerys’ combined forces. Sea travel wasn’t his idea though, as he made a failed attempt to convince Daenerys to fly to Winterfell on a dragon, for what he believed would be safer passage. How will Jorah be received at Winterfell now, after so long, considering it was Ned Stark who wanted him executed for slave trading? Or will Jorah’s past be overlooked due to the impending crisis? And, in true soap-opera style, how will he react to news of Jon and Dany’s blossoming relationship?
Notable allies: Daenerys Targaryen, Tyrion Lannister, Missandei, Grey Worm, Jon Snow, Davos Seaworth
The leader of the Unsullied, Grey Worm was traveling with the rest of his soldiers on ships from Dragonstone to White Harbor, as part of Daenerys and Jon’s unified army. He is currently still in a romantic relationship with Daenerys’ advisor, Missandei, despite being a eunuch.
Notable allies: Daenerys Targaryen, Tyrion Lannister, Missandei, Jorah Mormont, Jon Snow, Davos Seaworth
Notable weapons or assets: Grey Worm leads one of the world’s fiercest armies, the Unsullied
As Daenerys’ handmaiden and aid, Missandei is traveling with Daenerys, as part of a fleet headed to White Harbor carrying Daenerys and Jon’s combined forces to defeat the Night King. She has begun a romantic relationship with Grey Worm, the captain of Daenerys’ Unsullied army.
Notable allies: Daenerys Targaryen, Tyrion Lannister, Grey Worm, Jorah Mormont, Jon Snow, Davos Seaworth
Notable weapons or assets: She speaks 19 languages
A “Master of Whispers” who seemingly plays all sides, Varys is now counseling Daenerys and, like many others, was sailing from Dragonstone to White Harbor as part of the effort to protect the North from the Night King’s army. When it comes to the good of the realm, what will Varys do when the truth of Jon Snow’s parentage comes to light? Will he shift his allegiance over to Jon, as the rightful heir to the Iron Throne?
Notable allies: Daenerys Targaryen, Tyrion Lannister, Missandei, Grey Worm, Jorah Mormont, Jon Snow, Davos Seaworth, Melisandre
Notable weapons or assets: His little birds
KING OF COLD
Created by the Children of the Forest, to be used as weapons in a war against the First Men, the White Walkers swiftly turned on their makers, scheming to conquer the world, turning all realms into lands of the dead. The Night King was the first White Walker, and now he controls an undead army who number over a hundred thousand. Innocent souls, former soldiers, giants, bears, and dragons all rot under his command as he breaches The Wall and invades the North…
The Night King
This wicked warlord from an icy realm led his undead army into the North, riding atop a reanimated wight version of the dragon Viserion, whom the Night King had killed in battle. He was last spotted at Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, as Viserion’s blue-hued fire breath destroyed a giant portion of The Wall, as well as Eastwatch itself.
Was the Night King somehow able to circumvent the magic infused in The Wall, meant to keep the undead from crossing into the North? When he touched Bran, it allowed him to pass through the magic protecting the Three-Eyed Raven, so perhaps when Bran passed through the wall it opened the magical door to the undead enemy. Or was it just as simple as finding a weapon, like Viserion, that could knock down The Wall? As Benjen Stark once told Bran and Meera, regarding The Wall, “while it stands, the dead cannot pass.” And now there’s a great big portion that ain’t standing no more…
Notable weapons or assets: Along with his ability to create White Walker generals, the Night King commands the army of the undead, which includes wights in all forms — humans, giants, animals, and dragons; he also hurls — with pinpoint accuracy — massive ice javelins great distances, which are powerful enough to fell a giant dragon with a single hit
Slain by a javelin thrown by the Night King, the third of Daenerys’ dragons is now a reanimated wight, loyal to the Night King and acting as his flying mount. This vile version of Viserion was last seen making it possible for the Night King to break through The Wall, blasting through the easternmost part of the massive barrier with his blue fire breath.
Slowly but surely, the battle for the Iron Throne found nearly everyone choosing a side — but not everyone’s role is as firmly defined as of yet. Some floaters abound. Whether noble, dangerous, or somewhere in between, these are the ones who don’t as cleanly line up with any one House or realm. Some now simply fight for all of humanity. And some would avoid fighting altogether.
Cersei’s twin brother, longtime lover, and now father to their fourth child, was last seen riding to the North from King’s Landing right as the region saw its first snowfall in decades. After discovering that Cersei had lied about using Lannister forces to protect the realm from the Night King, he left her side to fulfill his promise of fighting with Jon and Daenerys.
Notable allies: Daenerys Targaryen, Jon Snow, Tyrion Lannister, Brienne of Tarth
Notable weapons or assets: Jaime’s fighting skills aren’t what they used to be, given the loss of his right hand, but he’s still better than most; he carries with him Widow’s Wail, a Valyrian steel sword that belonged to son Joffrey before his death
Son of Balon Greyjoy, though raised by Ned Stark in Winterfell, Theon was last seen on Dragonstone convincing Yara’s supporters — who thought of Theon as a coward for abandoning her — to follow him on a rescue mission to save his sister. Theon won their support by defeating an Ironborn warrior named Harrag in a fight. Finding courage after a conversation with Jon, who assured Theon that he was both a Greyjoy and a Stark, Theon’s now on a mission to save his sister. But where will he head? He thinks Euron’s retreating to the Iron Islands when Euron is really sailing to Essos to buy the services of the Golden Company. Also, Theon only commands a few ships compared to the massive numbers of Euron’s Iron Fleet.
Notable allies: Jon Snow, Sansa Stark, Yara Greyjoy
Theon’s tough-as-nails sister is currently being held prisoner by her uncle Euron. Her whereabouts are unknown, as she could be among Euron’s Iron Fleet, held within one of the ships, or back at the Iron Islands in a cell.
Notable allies: Theon Greyjoy
Notable weapons or assets: Yara is a natural fighter and born leader, strong enough to have support among many in the Iron Islands, despite their inherent chauvinism
The sassy sellsword-turned-knight, Bronn was last seen in King’s Landing, escorting Tyrion and others to the Dragonpit, and then leaving with Podrick when the discussions finally began. It’s unknown where he’s headed next, though one thing is usually certain: Bronn will do what’s best for Bronn. Does this entail sticking around King’s Landing and remaining in the service of Cersei? Or will he join Jaime, Tyrion, and the rest in the North, fighting the Night King?
Notable allies: Jaime Lannister, Tyrion Lannister, Podrick Payne
Notable weapons or assets: Bronn is one of the best fighters in Westeros
The late Stannis Baratheon’s Red Priestess was last seen on Dragonstone, informing Varys that, due to her failures, she was leaving for Volantis and was done “whispering in the ears of kings.” Despite this, she also shared that her fate was to ultimately die in Westeros, hinting that she’d be back before the war was done.
Notable weapons or assets: Using the Lord of Light’s magic, Melisandre can see visions of the future in the flames as well as resurrect people from the dead, give birth to a Shadow (the smoke-monster assassin that killed Renly Baratheon), and seemingly use leaches and royal blood to kill enemies (as she did using Gendry during the War of the Five Kings)
Arya’s old friend is still at the Inn at the Crossroads, in the Riverlands, baking delicious bread. Reuniting with Arya after years apart, it was Hot Pie that informed her that the Boltons were defeated and that Jon Snow now ruled Winterfell.
Notable allies: Arya Stark, Gendry
Notable weapons or assets: Browning the butter before making the dough
King Joffrey’s former guard, once nearly killed by Brienne of Tarth, was at the Dragonpit Parley to present the wight to Cersei, as evidence of the Night King’s army. He then boarded one of Jon and Daenerys’ ships, sailing back to the North. While in King’s Landing, he was reunited with Brienne of Tarth, who’d once nearly killed him, and learned from her that Arya Stark was still alive — and a capable warrior. He also confronted his brother, the Mountain, and reminded him that the two of them had unfinished business, also telling him: “You know who’s coming for you; you’ve always known”.
This cryptic line has some fans wondering if Cleganebowl (the two brothers finally facing off) will happen at all, and who exactly he’s referring to. Could the Hound have seen his brother’s fate? We know he is now able to see visions in the fire after peering into the flames at the request of Red Priest, Thoros of Myr…
Notable allies: Arya Stark, Beric Dondarrion, Jon Snow, Jorah Mormont, Tormund Giantsbane, Gendry
Notable weapons or assets: The Hound, though fearful of fire, is one of the realm’s most vicious warriors
This wooly wildling, who became allies with Jon Snow, was at the top of The Wall at Eastwatch-by-the-Sea when it was destroyed along with the easternmost portion of The Wall, after the Night King had Viserion blast it to bits with his blue fire breath. His fate is currently unknown.
Notable allies: Jon Snow, Beric Dondarrion, The Hound, Jorah Mormont, Gendry, Brienne of Tarth
Notable weapons or assets: Tormund is the leader of the wildling army and a savagely skilled warrior
A wasteland warrior who’s died many times – and was repeatedly brought back thanks to the Lord of Light – Beric was now on his last life after Red Priest Thoros of Myr perished during a mission beyond The Wall. Beric was at Eastwatch-by-the-Sea when it, along with a massive portion of The Wall, collapsed due to an attack by the Night King and his horde. Beric’s fate is unknown at this time.
Notable allies: Jon Snow, Tormund Giantsbane, The Hound, Jorah Mormont, Gendry
Notable weapons or assets: Beric, using the Lord of Light’s magic, can cause his sword to be covered in flames
Now aware that he’s the bastard son of King Robert Baratheon, the blacksmith Gendry was last seen at Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, having embarked on a mission with Jon Snow and his team to track down and capture a wight. When Jon and the others were surrounded by the Night King’s army, Gendry was tasked with running back to Eastwatch so that a raven could be sent to Daenerys. It’s not known if he remained at The Wall or headed elsewhere afterward. If he’s headed to Winterfell, then a long-awaited reunion with Arya Stark is on the horizon.
Notable allies: Arya Stark, Davos Seaworth, Tyrion Lannister, Jon Snow, Tormund Giantsbane, The Hound, Beric Dondarrion, Jorah Mormont
Notable weapons or assets: Gendry is a fast runner; he also wields a warhammer in battle when the situation calls for it
Also known as Dolorous Edd, Jon’s longtime friend, now Night’s Watch Lord Commander, is at Castle Black. Will he and the rest of the Night’s Watch have to fall back now that the Night King has breached The Wall in the east?
Notable allies: Jon Snow, Samwell Tarly, Bran Stark
Notable weapons or assets: Eddison is the acting Lord Commander, calling the shots for the remaining members of the Night’s Watch
Daenerys’ former lover is back in Meereen. On her behest, he and the Second Sons are keeping the peace there. Will he remain in Essos once word gets out that Daenerys is facing an undead legion or will he head to Westeros to aid the Queen he loves?
Notable allies: Daenerys Targaryen, Tyrion Lannister, Jorah Mormont, Missandei, Grey Worm, Varys
Notable weapons or assets: Daario is a foolhardy but ferocious fighter
This ‘Faceless Man’ who serves the Many-Faced God is in Braavos, in the House of Black and White. Or…is he? Does Jaqen, as a single entity, really exist anywhere? How do you track a killer who could be anyone at any time?
Notable allies: Arya Stark (although he did order her death)
Notable weapons or assets: As a Faceless Man, Jaqen is a ruthless assassin capable of assuming anyone’s form
Sent into the wild long ago so that she wouldn’t be put down for biting Joffrey, Arya’s direwolf, Nymeria, is now the leader of a pack of wolves in the woods somewhere between the Inn at the Crossroads and Winterfell. Arya and Nymeria were briefly reunited before Nymeria turned tail with her pack and walked off into the woods. Arya had asked her to return to Winterfell with her, but after the direwolf departed, she said, “That’s not you.” A callback to the first season when Arya told her father that a life as the wife of a lord and lady of a castle wasn’t her, this is Arya recognising that Nymeria’s path leads elsewhere. Both Arya and Nymeria are now too wild to be tamed — but could the direwolf show up again with her pack? It certainly feels like they could yet have a part to play before the story’s end.
Season 8 of Game of Thrones premieres on April 14.