The series finale of Game of Thrones was nothing if not controversial.
Not only for how ended, but also in the way it ended without a satisfying resolution of certain plot lines.
In many cases, plot lines were either completely ignored or the explanation given was so insufficient it spawned a whole host of unanswered questions. Here are 7 questions that left viewers scratching their heads.
Why is There Still a Night’s Watch?
The entire purpose of the Night’s Watch was to police Wildlings and keep an eye out for White Walkers. By the series finale, the Wildlings are allies, the Night King and his army are no more so what’s the point of a watch now? One line of dialogue—”The world will always need a place for bastards and broken men.”—was not a sufficient answer. Originally we understand that the Watch is both a place to protect Westeros and a place to banish criminals. Now that the beyond-the-wall threats have been eliminated, is Castle Black nothing more than a penal colony? And can you still get your head lopped off for going AWOL?
How Did Daenerys Become Darth Vader?
Without question, the downward spiral of Daenerys is one of the most controversial aspects of the final season. Seemingly without warning, everybody’s favorite Khaleesi morphed into an unrecognizable rage-monster, the likes of which only previously seen in a galaxy far far away. She fell so far, so fast that it left many viewers completely baffled. Daenerys spent nearly eight seasons winning over not only allies but much of the GoT viewership as well. Burning King’s Landing to the ground after the city surrendered was just so out of character that not even a beheaded Missandei could adequately justify it.
Why Couldn’t Jon Be King, Again?
As the last surviving Targaryen, Jon Snow had the best claim to the throne. More importantly, this paragon of virtue not only went on a one-man crusade to save the Seven Kingdoms but often did so at great personal loss and peril. In the end, Jon always did the right thing, and what did he get for all his noble self-sacrifice? Banishment to a frozen wasteland to perform an obsolete job. This left many viewers confused, asking, “Wait…what?”
In light of his achievements—one of which was coming back from the dead—the feeble protests of Greyworm and Yara Greyjoy paled in comparison and did not offer sufficient enough explanation to keep Jon off the newly-melted Iron Throne. We probably shouldn’t be surprised, though. The last man to put down a rabid Targaryen didn’t get many thanks either.
How Long Did Bran Know He Was to be King?
Given his response when asked if he’d accept the position—”Why do you think I came all this way?”—Bran did indeed know he was to be king, but when did he know it? A season before Bran said, “I can never be lord of anything. I am the Three-Eye Raven.” This contradiction casts all of Bran’s motives into question. Did he purposely plant the seeds of Dany’s nervous breakdown by sharing what he knew about Jon’s parentage? Did he foresee the burning of King’s Landing and did nothing to stop it?
Was Cersei Really Pregnant?
Cersei led both Jaime and Euron Greyjoy to believe that she was baking their bun in her oven, but was either even true? Cersei met her crushing end before showing signs of pregnancy, and viewers were left without resolution. Was she really in the family way or was her supposed pregnancy just another Cersei-patented manipulation?
Who Was the Prince(ss) Who Was Promised?
From early on, there was much discussion about the Prince (or Princess) who would bring the end of the long night with the help of his sword Lightbringer. Melisandre originally proclaimed Stannis as the PWWP, but then came to believe it was Jon Snow. The Red Witch also told Dany that she would play a role in the prophecy. By the end of the show, there was still no definitive answer. Did John fulfill the prophecy by killing Daenerys? Or was Arya the fabled one and the dagger used to kill the Night King the Lightbringer of the legend?
What Happened To…?
By the end of the series, there were several characters that simply vanished, leaving viewers to wonder what happened to them.
Ellaria Sand was last spotted in the dungeon of the Red Keep, chained to a wall by Cersei, but after that? Nada. In fact, until an unknown prince showed up in the final episode, Dorne wasn’t even discussed. Was Ellaria dead prior to the destruction of the Red Keep, or did she meet Cersei and Jaime’s buried-alive fate?
Meera Reed dragged Bran beyond the wall and back again, watching her brother die in the process. After an emotionless goodbye with Bran in Season 7, Meera and any mention of the ever-loyal Stark bannermen, the Reeds, went the way of Keyser Soze. “And like that…poof…(s)he’s gone.”