31 unanswered questions the ‘Game of Thrones’ series finale left fans to ponder

Daenerys Targaryen looking at the Iron Throne on

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Daenerys Targaryen looking at the Iron Throne on “Game of Thrones” season eight, episode six.
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Helen Sloan/HBO

  • Warning: Spoilers ahead for the series finale of HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” “The Iron Throne.”
  • From lingering mysteries to possible plot holes and lost characters, we rounded up 31 questions fans are going to have to spend the rest of their lives debating.
  • What happened to Illyrio Mopatis or Kinvara, the high priestess of R’hllor? Where did Drogon go? What happened to Sam’s new family if he became a Maester? All this and more below.
  • Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.

We’re here to parse through questions left lingering after the credits rolled on the last-ever “Game of Thrones” episode.

Some of these are simply food for thought; open-ended questions for which fans might enjoy creating their own answers. Others are plot holes we’ve identified, or are mysteries which have a bigger significance for George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” books.

Keep reading to see the 31 questions we still have about “Game of Thrones.”


Let’s start by reflecting on lost characters. What ever happened to Illyrio Mopatis?

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Roger Allam played Illyrio Mopatis.
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HBO

We last heard of Illyrio on the fifth season premiere when Tyrion and Varys arrived to Essos. Varys and Illyrio had been in cahoots together, plotting to overthrow King Robert Baratheon and install Viserys on the throne.

But their plan went to crap pretty early on, and then Varys pivoted to Daenerys. But what about Illyrio? He vanished from the show’s narrative entirely.

Read more: All 37 character who technically survived all of ‘Game of Thrones’


We missed Jaqen H’ghar and the magic of the Faceless Men this season. But more importantly, why was Jaqen in the Black Cells to begin with?

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Tom Wlaschiha played Jaqen H’ghar.
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HBO

This is one of the mysteries of Martin’s books that has long-plagued readers. Jaqen is a mystical assassin. How did he wind up in the dungeons of King’s Landing, and then get scooped up by Yoren for the Night’s Watch?

He could have clearly gotten himself out of that situation. But what if he was there for a reason? Jaqen – or the nameless, faceless person who wears Jaqen’s face – most certainly still has a role to play in Martin’s books.


Which brings us to a quick sidenote: Why didn’t Arya use her face-changing abilities ever again?

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Arya killed Walder Frey on the seventh season premiere by using a serving girl’s face.
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HBO

It seems like an oversight for Arya to never utilize what’s basically a shape-shifting ability again on the show for its final six episodes. Surely this would have been useful in the war against Cersei Lannister.


What was the deal with Quaithe?

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Quaithe and Jorah on season two, episode seven, “A Man Without Honor.”
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HBO

Quaithe only turned up once on the show, though she has several more premonition-laden scenes with Daenerys in the books. On the second season, she’s seen in Qarth, and helps Jorah help Daenerys track down her missing dragons, giving some foreboding fortune-telling to Jorah as she does so.

Quaithe is one of those mysterious book characters who has a seemingly larger role to play in the story, but was dropped from the show. We’re curious to see if she returns in Martin’s version of the ending.


Daenerys left Daario in charge of the Bay of Dragons. So, uh, how’s that going?

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Daario was last seen on the sixth season finale.
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HBO

Eliminating slavery from an entire continent virtually overnight is no small feat. We’re wondering how the great cities of Essos are holding up, and if Daario became a decent leader. His prior experience was mostly just killing people, not making politically savvy decisions.


What are the followers of the Lord of Light up to now? How did Kinvara, the high priestess of R’hllor, respond to Daenerys Targaryen’s death?

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Kinvara appeared for one single season six scene.
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Helen Sloan/HBO

Kinvara believed Daenerys was “the one who was promised,” a prophesied hero. Kinvara seemed omniscient, but we never heard from her again – only Melisandre.

Was her faith shaken when Daenerys was killed? Or did she consider the prophecy fulfilled when the Night King died?


Speaking of, where did Drogon go? Volantis? Or Valyria?

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Drogon nuzzling his Daenerys Targaryen’s dead body.
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HBO

The main temple of R’hllor is in Volantis, where Kinvara and other priests reside. When King Bran asked if there was word on Drogon, it sounds as if Grand Maester Sam starts to say he was last seen heading east, “towards Volantis.”

Many fans wishing to fill in the blanks for Daenerys and Drogon’s story are hoping this means Daenerys could be revived by the Lord of Light. But within the show’s universe, this power of resurrection was not a well-known ability of the Lord of the Light.

You can read more about why we don’t believe this theory here. We think it’s much more likely Drogon would’ve taken his mother’s body to Valyria.


What would King Bran do if he “found” Drogon?

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Isaac Hempstead Wright as Bran the Broken.
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HBO

As the last dragon, Drogon is theoretically very important. But what does it even matter to King Bran and his council where he went? Would they try to kill him, or control him?


How much of the future can Bran really see and understand?

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Isaac Hempstead Wright plays Bran Stark, the Three-Eyed Raven, on “Game of Thrones.”
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Helen Sloan/HBO

During his weirwood tree visions, Bran saw the future at least twice – once when he saw Cersei’s wildfire explosion and again when he saw a dragon flying over King’s Landing.

Then on the series finale he implied to Tyrion that he had come south to accept the kingship, knowing ahead of time it would be suggested.

But can he see the future all the time, or just occasionally? Because if it’s the former, then his lack of action against the destruction of King’s Landing is quite abhorrent. But it seems as if the show was intentionally vague on this point for a reason.

Read more: The actor who plays Bran Stark explains part of how his powers work on ‘Game of Thrones’


Did King Bran change the rules of celibacy for maesters? Or does Sam now just have a free pass for rule breaking?

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Ser Davos and Maester Sam at the Small Council meeting.
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HBO

Sam, the youngest Grand Maester in Westerosi history, has a baby on the way with Gilly. And we’d hope they would get married and raise their two children as a family.

But there was no sight of Gilly or baby Sam on the finale, nor any provided explanation for Sam being both a maester and a family man. Maybe Bran changed the rules, or granted Sam an exemption.

We’re hoping Brienne and Podrick get exemptions too, since Kingsguard knights are supposed to be celibate as well but these two deserve happy, loving partners in life.


What books did Sam steal from the Citadel, and what was in them?

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Gilly reading a book page that talks about Azor Ahai.
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Helen Sloan/HBO

While we’re on the topic of rule-breaking, we’d really love to know what histories and lore were inside the ancient, locked-behind-gates-because-they’re-so-important books Sam took on the seventh season finale.

In one photo released by HBO (above), we can see Gilly reading a book about the Azor Ahai prophecy, a legend which tells of a hero who kills his great love by stabbing her through the heart in order to help prevent a coming darkness. Sound familiar?

You can read our full explainer here on how Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen fulfilled this prophecy. Unfortunately, no one else on the show ever talked about this book or this legend.


Jon Snow is a living legend in his own right now. But how many people in Westeros know about his Targaryen parentage?

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Kit Harington and Conleth Hill as Jon and Varys on “Game of Thrones.”
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Helen Sloan/HBO

Jon Snow, the once King in the North, the Queenslayer, the Bastard of Winterfell. His name is already known far and wide – but what about the fact that he’s also the only surviving Targaryen in the world, the prince born to Rhaegar and Lyanna?

Is that now widespread information? Varys was shown writing numerous letters about Jon’s royal blood, but we don’t know how many were sent or to whom.


Who got Casterly Rock?

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Casterly Rock was shown for the first time on the seventh season.
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HBO

Tyrion is Hand of the King once again, but made no mention of House Lannister’s ancestral castle. Is he also Lord of the Westerlands and Warden of the West? That used to be one of his dearest dreams.


Is the Iron Bank going to try and collect Cersei’s debt from King Bran?

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Mark Gattis played Tycho Nestoris.
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Helen Sloan/HBO

Cersei borrowed money from the Iron Bank of Braavos in order to hire the Golden Company (which might go down in Westerosi history as one of the worst investments of all time).

We know they tried to collect on King Robert’s debt even after he had died. Will they do the same to King Bran?


Can the White Walkers ever come back?

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A White Walker as seen on season five.
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Courtesy HBO

The show established information about the White Walkers not contained in Martin’s published books, including the existence of the Night King.

With the both the death of the Night King and the extinction of the Children of the Forest, does that mean White Walkers will never be able to exist again?


If the answer is no, then why have the Night’s Watch anymore?

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Rangers leaving Castle Black on the pilot episode of “Game of Thrones.”
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HBO

Tyrion had a rather weak answer for Jon when he asked if there was still a Night’s Watch.

“The world will always need a home for bastards and broken men,” Tyrion told Jon.

OK, but what are they supposed to do at the Wall? They no longer need to defend that border from White Walkers, and the Free Folk are currently at peace with Westeros. It seems strange to still have an entire oath-sworn order of men who are guarding the realm from a nonexistent threat.


Where did Jon go, and why?

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Kit Harington as Jon Snow on the series finale of “Game of Thrones.”
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HBO

Seeing as the Night’s Watch has virtually no purpose anymore, it made sense to see Jon ride away from Castle Black with Tormund and the Free Folk. Based on the way this scene was staged, it felt to us as if that was Jon’s final goodbye to his former home.

He probably going to settle with the Free Folk beyond the Wall, and live out his days far away from the realm. Is he effectively the new King Beyond the Wall?


Does this mean Jon is in permanent exile?

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Jon and Tormund leading the Free Folk back north beyond the Wall.
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HBO

If he was ordered to join the Night’s Watch but then deserted his post, that would mean Jon cannot return to Westeros without the threat of execution hanging over him.

We know Grey Worm and the Unsullied are far away in Naath (Missandei’s home), but Yara Greyjoy made it clear she wanted Jon Snow’s head. He probably can’t ever return south of the Wall again.


Where did the Dothraki go?

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Dothraki were shown in the King’s Landing port on the series finale.
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HBO

We saw Dothraki walking around the King’s Landing docks, so it’s possible they were boarding ships to once again cross the “poison water” and return to their home in Essos.


Who was the new “Prince of Dorne”?

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This new prince was next to Yara at the dragonpit.
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HBO

Varys mentioned there was a new Prince of Dorne, and we saw him at the dragonpit council meeting, but we still don’t know who he is or how he was elected (after Ellaria Sand eradicated the entire Martell line).

Read more: Here’s every ‘Game of Thrones’ character who was present for King Bran’s election


What happened to Ellaria Sand and Septa Unella?

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Ellaria was last shown on the seventh season.
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Helen Sloan/HBO

Last we heard, they were both being kept alive by Cersei and tortured in the dungeons of King’s Landing. Were they killed when Daenerys attacked the Red Keep? Or did someone rescue them?

For now, we’re keeping them on our list of every character who technically survived the whole series.


What will happen to the Iron Islands? Will they stay a part of the Six Kingdoms?

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Gemma Whelan plays Yara Greyjoy.
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HBO

Yara Greyjoy had asked for her people’s independence from Queen Daenerys, and it was granted. Will she really go back to ruling as part of the Six Kingdoms? Or would she, like Sansa, ask to defect?


How will the independence of the North work?

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Sansa Stark on the “Game of Thrones” series finale.
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HBO

Queen Sansa would likely need to arrange trade with the South, and establish new borders. Will they communicate regularly with the Six Kingdoms, or keep to themselves?

Read more: 6 symbolic details you might have missed in the design of Sansa’s coronation gown


Where is Nymeria with her pack of wolves?

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Nymeria was last seen on the seventh season.
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HBO

We were blessed with one final scene of Ghost, Jon Snow’s direwolf, but what about Arya’s beloved creature? She’s roaming wild, just like Arya going off on her own adventure, but we’d love to know where Nymeria is (and how massive she’s gotten).


What did the Lord of Light want with Jon? Why was he brought back?

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Jon Snow’s death and resurrection was an underwhelming plot point.
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HBO

Beric Dondarrion was resurrected so he could eventually save Arya, and therefore help her kill the Night King. But what was Jon’s true purpose?

Bringing Daenerys north to help in the fight? Eventually killing Daenerys? The show never explicitly addresses Jon’s connection to the Lord of Light again.


Where in the world was Howland Reed this whole time?

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Howland Reed was with young Ned at the Tower of Joy, seen on a flashback on season six.
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HBO

Howland Reed, one of Ned Stark’s oldest friends and one of the only people present at Jon Snow’s birth, was alive and in the North this entire time.

Why didn’t he go to the Stark children himself, instead of sending Jojen and Meera? Why didn’t anyone think to talk to him about the bombshell of Jon Snow’s parentage reveal?


Why did Rhaegar and Lyanna have their secret wedding in the first place without considering the horrific consequences?

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Rhaegar and Lyanna, Jon Snow’s parents.
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HBO

Rhaegar and Lyanna’s love story is still shrouded in mystery. Their seemingly impulsive choice to marry had devastating, deadly consequences for generations. Did they realize this? Book readers have reason to believe Rhaegar may have been acting for the sake of fulfilling a prophecy, but you can read more on that here.

Read more: Everything we know about Jon Snow’s mysterious true father on ‘Game of Thrones’


How or why did both of Rhaegar’s sons get named Aegon?

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Kit Harington as Jon Snow on “Game of Thrones.”
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Helen Sloan/HBO

When Jon Snow’s name was revealed, some fans were surprised or confused. Rhaegar already had a son named Aegon, after all.

Did Lyanna pick that name after she heard that the other baby Aegon was killed? Or did Rhaegar just really want more Aegons in the world?


Why did the show bother ret-conning Daenerys’ infertility on the seventh season?

Daenerys Targaryen looking at the Iron Throne on

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Daenerys Targaryen looking at the Iron Throne on “Game of Thrones” season eight, episode six.
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Helen Sloan/HBO

Throughout the penultimate season, the show made mention of Daenerys Targaryen’s inability to have children even though that part of Mirri Maz Duur’s “curse” was left out on season one.

So why bother bringing it up again? We were sure this was because they were planning on having Daenerys get pregnant, but then she didn’t. This was a strange thread to bring up and then drop.


Who was the Prince or Princess That Was Promised?

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Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow on the “Game of Thrones” series finale.
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Helen Sloan/HBO

This prophecy came up several times throughout the series, and left fans with the ability to make the case that it was either Arya Stark (for killing the Night King) or Jon Snow (for killing Daenerys) or maybe just a mixed bag of both. Read more on that prophecy and its fulfillment here.

For more “Game of Thrones” insights and analysis of all the best moments in the series, preorder “The Unofficial Guide to ‘Game of Thrones'” now.