There's a reason HBO's pinnacle fantasy series truly took the world by storm. It brings you into an epic realm of knights, night kings, and dragons, but at the end of the day, tells stories of flawed and complex characters navigating family, power, and their purpose in the world.
Alas, once I reached the series finale, I was reminded of what all that hubbub was about after the show's controversial end. In my humble opinion, Game of Thrones is one of the best shows of all time, but indeed the conclusion leaves you feeling kind of...confused.
Now that my rewatch has ended, I'm rounding up eight questions that the Three-Eyed Raven himself could not answer about that finale:
1. Why didn't Arya use her Faceless Man training more?
This little talent seems like it has the potential to be a major game-changer in the game of thrones.
Since Arya is set on marking Cersei off of her list (you know, the list of people she wants to murder), I was hoping that she would end up using this gift somewhere in the Red Keep. Perhaps, she could've taken the face of Qyburn or someone else close to Cersei in order to complete her mission. Instead, the only real moment she uses her newfound skill is when she transforms into Walder Frey, the lord responsible for that horrific Red Wedding, and kills all of the men who helped slaughter her mother and brother.
It's a total justice moment for Arya, but all of the training she underwent back in Braavos seems to lose its purpose from here on out. Her fighting skills are put to good use when she kills the Night King, but the whole "stealing faces" situation seems like it had wasted potential.
2. Why didn't Bran use his warg abilities more?
It seems as though this storyline might be headed toward something bigger, but we never see Bran warg into a dragon or any other creature that does something pertinent for the plot.
Even stranger, he seems to be warging around consistently as the Three-Eyed Raven — judging by his creepy eyes whenever someone finds him in a room — though we aren't totally clear on what he's up to. Is he looking into the past? Is he taking a nice leisurely flight around Westeros as a crow? I do not know.
3. Why did Jaime abandon his redemption arc and return to Cersei?
With an attack on King's Landing looming, Jaime returns to the city and decides to go back to Cersei.
It feels like his entire redemption arc is thrown out of that tower window, as he relapses back into his old self just in time to be buried alive in rubble. The things we do for love, I guess...
4. What was the point of Jon Snow being a Targaryen?
Despite the weird romance that's blooming, Jon's true parentage doesn't seem too surprising. He's already been established as a natural-born leader, so this plot twist sets us up to believe that maybe Jon Snow is a good contender for the iron throne.
Instead, the series finale has Bran/Three-Eyed Raven chosen as king, and Jon is shipped off to the Night's Watch because he murdered his mad queen/lover/aunt for the greater good. Hot mess!
I can appreciate that this twist gave us some pretty hefty plot, but wonder why they bothered to make Jon a Targaryen at all if his new birthright meant nothing in the end.
5. Who is the "prince that was promised" from Melisandre's prophecy?
So who was the actual promised savior? TBD.
Jon Snow is at the forefront of the victory against the Night King, so it seems like he could be the promised prince? On the other hand, Bran is an all-knowing Three-Eyed Raven who is now the ruler of Westeros. Does that mean it could be him? Consider me baffled.
6. So, did the Three-Eyed Raven win the game of thrones?
With no heir to the throne in sight during the finale episode, Bran is decided to be the next king of Westeros. But also, it's not Bran. Not really.
Don't get me wrong, it seems very useful to have a monarch who knows everything, but I guess the Three-Eyed Raven is the one true king?
7. Why did Daenerys Targaryen forget her entire life's work?
By the time Dany makes it to Westeros, she's faced with a slew of new problems and moral challenges, but it's not until Season 8 that we really see her character change quite abruptly.
After years of liberating cities and claiming she's not mad like her father (who they aptly called the Mad King), she decides to burn an entire city of innocent civilians — even though the opposing side just surrendered.
Knowing the outcome while watching this series for a second time had me hoping that I would find some justification for this ending. Dany does watch her BFF get beheaded around the same time she finds out her lover is her nephew, so I guess that would make anyone act a bit rash. But still, this hasty mental decline seemed a little too out of character and has me wanting to ask the writers: Why?
8. What is the Night's Watch watching for now?
Maybe the Night's Watch will relocate. Arya, who is planning to venture west, says she doesn't know what's west of Westeros, so maybe there's a new ominous force lurking over on that side of the earth.
This show has left me with many questions, but this one is top priority.
Honorable Mention: What happened to Hot Pie?
He also nicknames Winterfell "Winterhell" and is just the very best.
He inadvertently helps Brienne of Tarth and Podrick Payne locate Arya in Season 4 after they stop at his inn to dine, and then appears once more during Season 7. Again, he acts as an unwitting barer of important news and informs Arya that her brother Jon Snow is alive and in the north. Before they part ways one final time, Hot Pie notes that it's a good thing they're both survivors.
Alright, this is a pretty decent ending for Hot Pie, but I still wish we would've seen this gem rise to the ranks of star baker in the final episode. I need closure.