HBO’s Game of Thrones is ending. Well, there’s a prequel spin-off arriving in 2020, but after that, it’s over. Come to think of it, there were a handful of other prequel spin-offs in development as well that could potentially make it to the screen one day too. OK, so Game of Thrones will not disappear from the face of the earth, but this iteration of it—the one built upon George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels—will most certainly end this year with six blockbuster episodes.
That is not a lot of time at all to wrap up all of the lingering loose ends, plot mysteries and character questions that hang all over this worldwide sensation. So ahead of the eighth and final season, here are the five major resolutions we want to see.
What Will Happen Between Jon and Daenerys?
Game of Thrones—the only TV show in history that convinced its fans to actively root for incest. That’s certainly an…accomplishment? Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) are GoT‘s resident hero protagonists, so their coupling makes a certain amount of sense. But how will the truth of their connection—they’re aunt and nephew (ew)—affect their relationship and the power structure of Westeros?
“From a dramatic standpoint, it makes things interesting, because the story is no longer about who Jon’s parents are,” co-showrunner D.B. Weiss told TV Guide last month. “It’s about what happens when Jon finds out.” Harington senses the news won’t be well-received by his know-nothing on-screen counterpart.
“Jon is someone who plays by the book. He cannot lie,” Harington said in the same interview. “Finding out about Dany would be very hard for him.” It’s also a wrench thrown into works of Daenerys’ years-in-the-making plans.
“Daenerys’ lifelong dream has been to avenge her family and claim her rightful seat on the Iron Throne,” Clarke said. “She truly loves Jon. Were she to find out about his title, it would cut deep.”
Their dynamic has become the crux of the series, so its development alongside this bombshell reveal will have lasting ramifications.
What Does the New World Hold for Arya?
Not only has sweet and innocent tomboy Arya (Maisie Williams) grown up into a savage assassin, she’s also expressed multiple times that she actually derives pleasure from her revenge killings. As satisfying as it is for audiences to see her annihilate the Freys, it’s depressing to think this is all Arya has on a character level—a blood thirst and a kill list. Regardless of how badass she is, that’s a very sad arc.
It remains to be seen if she can carve out an identity for herself outside of her devotion to vengeance. Can reconnecting with her family and presumably seeing Jon this season break her single focus, or is she locked into this path of death without deviation? If it’s the latter, it’s hard to discern a role for Arya in a post-war Westero,s should the good guys win, which raises the possibility of her not making it to the end. If there’s still something more within Arya, finding a new path will be fascinating to watch.
Will Bran Ever Make Himself Useful?
For anyone who followed our recaps of Season 7, you already know we’re not fans of Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright). His rage-inducing vagueness and overall creeper levels have grown beyond frustrating after a half-dozen years of doing nothing. His character will be the show’s greatest disappointment if his entire story has been building toward him just Maury Poviching-ing Jon and Dany.
But he could redeem his confounding character arc with a major late game Hail Mary, such as warging into a dragon or wonking around with time. Basically he just needs to do something, anything, that has an actual impact on the story and overarching conflict. Please, we’re begging you, HBO.
And before you say it, no, Bran is not the Night King.
How Will CleganeBowl Go Down?
CleganeBowl, as fans have dubbed it, is the inevitable culmination of the violent sibling rivalry between Sandor Clegane and his brother Gregor a.k.a The Mountain. Should it come to fruition—and at this point, there’s little doubt it will—it promises to be one of GoT‘s finest fight scenes. Get hyped.
Will the Night King Be Defeated?
Martin has promised a “bittersweet” ending to his novels, so it’s safe to expect a similar conclusion to the show. One popular theory that we ascribe to is tied to the legends of Azor Ahai and the Prince(ss) that Was Promised.
It is widely believed that either or both Jon and Dany will fulfill the prophecy. But a fitting act of poetic justice would be for Dany, long thought by outsiders to be a fire-breathing warlord who would lay waste to Westeros, to sacrifice herself in order to defeat the Night King. The selfless act would highlight the reality that she was never a conqueror, but a liberator. It would also fulfill her promise to “break the wheel” in the most spectacular fashion. And, let’s be honest, seeing Jon die again just wouldn’t do much for us.
Game of Thrones returns to HBO on April 14.