Game Of Thrones: The 7 Biggest Plotlines The Finale Left Hanging
Do Lannisters always pay their debts?
The reaction to the Game of Thrones series finale has evolved in a negative direction since its air date. There was initially a thrill to simply seeing the plot threads resolved, and of knowing where so-and-so ended up after eight seasons. But the more fans think about it and pick it apart, the more they are dissatisfied with it.
The common sentiment is this: It's not so much where everyone ended up, it's that these outcomes unfolded in too short a time. Dany went mad. Jon was exiled. Bran became King of the Six Kingdoms. Plot points that once would have taken a whole season to get to were condensed into half an episode.
And thus, fans are debating whether these major plot turns feel earned, particularly since the final season was only six episodes long. What could this series have been, even with a few more episodes, if it had just let things breathe, and given characters enough time act and react to others' actions?
Adding to this frustration are the multiple plotlines left unresolved by the show's conclusion. To be fair, even if there were five more seasons, there was no way the showrunners could wrap up everything in a way that gave closure to every character, major or minor. But still, here are 7 plotlines that, unless there's some unannounced Game of Thrones sequel spinoff in the works, will remain unresolved.
1. What Happens to Essos, Since Daenerys Is Dead?
Before Daenerys sailed West, she had conquered and become queen to large swaths of the Essos continent. She left Daario in charge, with a modest number of men, and Daario is presumably working hard to keep the peace and navigate the political complexities of Slaver's Bay.
But now that Daenerys is dead, what becomes of the people she liberated, who owe their allegiance to her? It's difficult to believe that Daario will be able to maintain any sort of control over them now that their magical queen is dead, and there are no dragons to serve as an intimidation factor. And Daario might not even try that hard. He was always there for Dany, but he never gave the impression that he was a political player, or believed in Dany's utopian mission to the extent that she did.
Does Meereen revert to its old slavery practices? Do the Unsullied settle down in Naath, or do they eventually return to Essos and tell the people the full extent of what happened? Even if they don't, news travels quickly.
2. Money Owed To The Iron Bank
In Season 7, Cersei established a professional, courteous relationship with Tycho Nestoris, a debt collector for the Iron Bank of Braavos. She paid off the bulk of House Lannister's debt, and was planning to pay off the remainder by using the gold that Jaime seized from Highgarden.
Later, the Lannister forces carrying the money were attacked by Daenerys. And although Lord Tarly confirmed the gold safely made it to King's Landing, the presence of Dany's forces may have prevented getting the gold to Braavos.
Later, we see that Cersei has bought the services of The Golden Company. Does that mean that Braavos has received their gold? Or does that mean that Cersei is spending money she doesn't have?
Regardless, it's odd that the show would feature Tycho Nestoris front and center in Season 7, and then never again. And if QueenCersei died with debt, then would the debt pass to Bran, the new king, or to Tyrion, the new Lord of Casterly Rock? Bronn, the new Master of Coin, might want to make sure the Bank is satisfied before rebuilding the brothels.
3. Status Check On Ellaria Sand?
The last time we saw Ellaria Sand, things weren't going well for her. She was chained in a dungeon in King's Landing, with her dying daughter just out of arm's reach. Cersei claimed that she would force feed Ellaria so that she could watch her daughter rot away.
Which begs the question: did Ellaria survive Daenerys' siege of King's Landing? We got confirmation that Edmure Tully survived imprisonment by House Frey. It would have been nice to know what happened to Ellaria, whether she survived, or the dungeon collapsed, or she figured out a way to kill herself.
4. Where's Drogon?
There is now a mourning, angry dragon just flying around somewhere, which is sort of like misplacing a nuclear bomb and not knowing if it'll blow up at some point. Bran's going to search for him, because as long as Drogon is out there somewhere in the world, the threat of the Targaryens is never truly over. The dragon managed to burn down an entire city by himself. It would be a disaster on the off-chance that anyone else was able to ride or direct him.
There's also some speculation that Daenerys may not be truly dead--that Drogon is flying his mother to Asshai, where a red priestess could revive her. Jon Snow, after all, returned from far more grievous wounds.
This feels unlikely though. Would Drogon have the intelligence to reason out such a solution? Then again, Drogon did somehow realize that the Iron Throne, not Jon, was at fault for his mother's death in the series finale, and subsequently melted it down rather than burning Jon to a crisp.
5. What About The Green Eyes?
Melisandre's prophecy for Arya Stark was that she would defeat enemies with brown eyes, blue eyes, and green eyes. Walder Frey had brown eyes. The Night King had blue eyes. And since both Daenerys and Cersei had green eyes, many viewers assumed that Arya would be the one to kill one or both of them.
As it turns out, Arya killed neither of them, which means the "green eyes" part of the prophecy was left unfulfilled.
Of all the characters left standing, Arya has the most likely spinoff prospects. She is exploring uncharted territory West of Westeros, which means that the showrunners would no longer be beholden to George R.R. Martin's books. And with any luck, there's a green-eyed Big Bad beyond the sea that needs killing.
6. To What Extent Did Bran Plan All This?
Bran's words when he accepted the throne, "Why do you think I've come all this way?" were chilling, if viewed through a cynical lens. If he had foreseen the possibility of himself becoming king, then did he warg into the past or into the minds of different characters to make this possible? How knowingly complicit was Bran in his own crowning? He brainwashed and brain damaged Hodor to protect himself, after all.
It's also a little depressing to realize how much predestination factors into this narrative. How much choice did these characters have in the decisions they made? Samwell would not have known the truth about Jon's lineage if it wasn't for Bran, and we all know the catastrophic chain of events that triggered. And as all-knowing as the Three-Eyed Raven is, one might not trust him to know the difference between allowing fate to take its course, and directing fate in a self-serving direction.
7. Jon's Lineage, And If It Matters
The series ends with the true heir to the Iron Throne, Jon Snow (AKA Aegon Targaryen), disappearing into the wilderness beyond the Wall, forsaking the mantle that was his rightful birthright.
Is that the way this truly ends? Did Varys get any letters out to the public revealing Jon's parentage before Dany executed him? Are Jon, Tyrion, Sansa, and Arya, not to mention anyone else they've already told, going to keep this secret? For how long? It's a political entanglement waiting to happen.
But perhaps this lack of resolution is the entire point. Jon doesn't "deserve" the throne, any more than Bran or any other subject of King's Landing--because blood and inheritance shouldn't have anything to do with it, which is why for the most part, the series finale avoided such talk entirely.
Let's hope the people of Westeros feel this way too, when the truth finally surfaces and rears its ugly head. Grey Worm's going to be mad.