There’s King in the North, a Queen in the South, a Khaleesi at Sea, and a whole lot of of unanswered questions in between. Game of Thrones‘ sixth season ended with dramatic advancements of the major players across the board, but that doesn’t mean we can see their fates any more clearly than Melisandre could in her infamously fickle fires. We know who Jon’s parents are — will he ever find out? Can the big Stark and Targaryen coalitions last? And where the hell is Euron Greyjoy, anyway?
We’ve combed the Citadel library and come up with 10 major mysteries we’d love for Season Seven to solve for us. It’s longer than Arya Stark’s kill list, but no easier to put to rest.
1. Where and when will Daenerys land?
With what has to be the largest, most varied, and best equipped fighting force in the known world at her back, Daenerys Targaryen will be a force to be reckoned with when she hits Westeros. The question is where exactly that will be. She could make for King’s Landing directly and try for a successful rerun of the Battle of Blackwater Bay — a distinct possibility, since Tyrion Lannister, the city’s savior, is now on her side. But what if her allies Olenna Tyrell or Ellaria Sand need help cleaning up their own backyards in Dorne or the Reach first? What if she runs into trouble at sea, or decides to hit a city in Essos along the way to free more slaves? What if she gets wind of the White Walkers and heads North to join the fray? Just because she’s set sail at last, that doesn’t mean her road to the Iron Throne won’t be a long and winding one.
2. Will Dany’s grand alliance hold up?
Tyrion Lannister loved his niece Myrcella and sent her to Dorne in part to keep her safe; the region’s current ruler, Ellaria Sand, soon poisoned her to death. Both nobles are now allied to the Targaryen cause. If Tyrion finds out — and this is the guy who lists his two chief hobbies as “I drink and I know things,” after all — there could be hell to pay. And that’s just one of the countless potential fault lines in Dany’s coalition of the killing, which includes both ex-slaves, the Dothraki hordes, and three very dangerous women (Ellaria, Olenna Tyrell, and Yara Greyjoy) whose kingdoms all bear respective grudges. That kind of alliance could crack without Cersei Lannister ever setting foot off the Iron Throne.
3. What about the Northern alliance?
We’ve already seen signs that Sansa Stark resents being passed over for the throne of the North in favor of her bastard half-brother Jon Snow. Why she’d be this susceptible to the transparent manipulations of Petyr Baelish, who put the idea that she’s the rightful ruler in her ear to begin with, is unclear — hasn’t this guy fucked her over a million times? Still, that’s a schism to watch out for. And it’s just one among many. The Lords of the Vale have no natural inclination to follow the King in the North; most of them don’t trust their own liege lord, Littlefinger, for that matter. Wildlings and Northmen have been at each other’s throats for millennia. Finally, all it takes is a raven from Cersei to let Ned’s children know that it was their new pal Petyr who betrayed dear old dad.
4. How will Jaime react to Cersei’s reign of terror?
Forget the Starks for a second — Cersei of House Lannister, the First of Her Name, may well have problems closer to home in the form of her own brother. Sent to the Riverlands to fight in their family name, he’s returned to discover his sister on the Iron Throne and their son Tommen dead and gone. Cause of death? Suicide, following the detonation of a massive stockpile of wildfire that killed thousands — exactly the same event Jaime became the Kingslayer to prevent. He murdered a Mad King once; what will he do with his Mad Queen, especially now that there’s no one to stop them from finally going public with their relationship?
5. What’s up with Euron Greyjoy?
“I am the storm, brother. The first storm and the last.” Tough talk from a guy whose first act as King of the Iron Islands, after murdering his older brother Balon for the title, is to have his fleet stolen from him by his niece and nephew. But in George R.R. Martin’s source novels, Euron is a true menace — a maniacal nihilist pirate who dabbles in sorcery and revels in cruelty, like a seafaring Ramsay Bolton with magic powers. And note the similarity between how he describes himself and how Jon Snow describes the White Walkers: “I promise you, friend, the true enemy won’t wait out the storm. He brings the storm.” Is Greyjoy a human agent of the Night King? Is he simply crazy enough to wreak havoc regardless of the consequences? Will his new fleet attack Daenerys or invade Westeros? Whatever his destination, it sure seems like he’s being groomed to be the next big bad guy now that the Boltons and Sparrows are out of the way.
6. What’s Sam gonna do all season?
Samwell Tarly’s character arc last season was so happy it may as well have been a rainbow. He defied his awful father, stole his ancestral Valyrian steel sword, and brought his girlfriend Gilly and adopted son to the maesters’ Citadel and the largest library in Westeros. So … now what? Surely he can’t just sit around and read for seven episodes, nor serve as a human infodump by digging up knowledge about the White Walkers. Something’s gotta happen down there. Could Euron decide to sack the city to gain access to its treasure trove of ancient wisdom — or simply to see the world burn? Or could Sam be recalled to Jon Snow’s side now that his old friend’s situation has so drastically changed?
7. What will Arya do next?
She escaped Braavos and the Faceless Men, but not without bringing a little bit of their magic murder mojo with her. Now Arya has crossed another name off her kill list by cutting Walder Frey’s throat after stuffing it full of cannibal pie. What’s next on her agenda? Her current stomping grounds, the Riverlands, are full of people she’s surely dying to run into. Her number-one frenemy, the Hound, is back in the game. Melisandre, banished from the North and a target for kidnapping the Stark girl’s old pal Gendry, is headed in that direction, and actually prophesied that they’d meet again. Beric Dondarrion and his Brotherhood are the people who sold the handsome young bastard to the Red Woman to begin with. Brienne of Tarth has sworn to protect her whether she likes it or not. And don’t forget Nymeria, the direwolf she set free back in Season One to spare her from being put to sleep by the Lannisters. Speaking of whom, Cersei and Jaime better watch their step as well. Who will she encounter — and will she continue her evolution into the Westerosi Punisher, or pull back from the brink?
8. And what about all those other loose-end characters?
Season Six ended with three major centers of power firmly consolidated: Cersei in King’s Landing, Dany on the open waters, and Jon at Winterfell. Most of the major characters who managed, somehow, to survive are in one of those three camps. But as Euron and Arya indicate, there are still some unaccounted for. Has the Hound joined the Brotherhood’s crusade for truth, justice, and the Westerosi way? If Brienne and Melisandre don’t encounter Arya, where will their travels take them? Ser Jorah Mormont’s still out there, searching for a cure for greyscale. Even Gendry, King Robert’s bastard, is roaming around somewhere, and with an usurper like Cersei on the Iron Throne his royal bloodline has become more important than ever. There aren’t a lot of loose ends left, but any of them could be pulled at any moment.
9. Will Jon Snow find out about his true parentage?
Ned Stark promised he’d tell Jon about his mother, but Ned’s dead, baby. So are the White Wolf’s real mother and father, Ned’s sister Lyanna and Dany’s older brother Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. What was the truth of their relationship? Was it the violent abduction that rebellious Robert Baratheon claimed it to be, or a doomed romance destined to produce “the prince that was promised” to fight against the Long Night? And who’s around to tell Jon any of this, even if it were known for sure? A psychic message from his brother — er, cousin — Bran is the best bet, but who knows if it’ll work, how King Jon will react to what he’s learned, or how other power players like Daenerys and Tyrion will be affected by such a revelation.
10. Will the Wall fall?
It’s Chekov’s landmark. The towering, sprawling structure that shields the realms of men from the White Walkers and their undead army has pretty much got to fall for the big battle we’ve all been waiting for to finally happen. (If it doesn’t, and the dead don’t go any further … well, what’s the point?) It’s not a question of if so much as how and when.
First, the how: Right now it’s as poorly defended as ever, with only the ragtag remnants of the Night’s Watch and a single psychic child, Bran Stark, on the front line. Meanwhile, “good” zombie Benjen Stark explained that it’s made as much of spells as of ice, and the dead can’t pass. Will that spell be broken by the devil’s mark on Bran’s arm from where the Night King touched him? What about the shattered horn Sam found way back in Season Two, which in the books seems likely to be the Horn of Winter, a magic device capable of blowing the whole thing away? Is that thing even still around, or is it collecting dust in a propmaster’s closet someplace?
Then there’s the when: Normally we’d assume GoT would save an event of that magnitude for (in increasing order of likelihood) its eighth, tenth, or ninth episode of the season — the typical time slots for shit going down. But Season Seven is slated to be just seven episodes long, which gives the showrunners the freedom to play with their usual storytelling rhythms. For all we know, the Wall could collapse in the season premiere. But it’s all but impossible to imagine them waiting till the eighth and final season to take it out. Winter is here, and that ice can’t hold it back for much longer.