Movies & TV

Every Game of Thrones Question That's Been Answered Since the Series Finale

In the one year since the final episode of Season Eight, we now better know what happened to Drogon, Arya, Jon, and others.
IMAGE ELAINE CHUNG
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It was one year ago that millions of fans watched Arya sail off into the unknown, Jon ride into the north, and Bran take his place on the Iron Throne. Yet, time has not quelled the anger for that disappointing series finale. Nor has it calmed the excitable fans who have spent the last months sifting through the destruction of Westeros for what really happened to these beloved characters. And since the Game of Thrones Season Eight finale on May 19, 2019, fans have come up with some pretty compelling theories that answer some of those lingering questions.

Where Did Drogon Go With Daenerys?

One of the major questions that lingered after the Game of Thrones Season Eight finale was about where Drogon flew with Daenerys' body after she was killed by Jon. Near the end of the episode Samwell Tarly points out that Drogon was last seen flying east. As John Bradley, who plays Sam on the show, told me after the episode, that can't mean anything good:

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[Drogon] is probably going to get up to his adventures presumably he's still fueled by grief and the bitterness of that. And I think that if you can think of it as there's still a dragon out there that's fueled by anger and fueled by grief and stills got a sense of bitterness then nobody is going to quite sleep easy in their beds.

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One Reddit fan theory suggested that Drogon is taking Daenerys to Asshai, where she will be resurrected and become the Undead Dragon Queen of the Shadowlands. And, as we all know, a Red Priestess like Melisandre from Asshai has the ability to resurrect a person.

Why Did Drogon Burn the Iron Throne?

Along with wondering where Drogon flew with Daenerys's body, fans also couldn't figure out why he torched the Iron Throne. The first main theory is that the dragon realized the throne symbolized Daenerys's quest for power and burned it in a poetic act of defiance. The second is that he thought the pointy chair killed his queen. It turns out it was neither. A script from the episode released on the Emmy awards website last year revealed what Drogon's motives actually were:

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We look over Jon’s shoulder as the fire sweeps toward the throne ? not the target of Drogon’s wrath, just a dumb bystander caught up in the conflagration. We look through the blades of the throne as the flames engulf it, and blast the wall behind it. We see the throne in the flames, turning red, then white, then beginning to lose its form. We get tight shots of the details melting in silhouette: the armrests, the iconic fan of swords on the backrest. The fire stops. The smoke clears revealing a puddle of smoldering slag where the throne once stood. Who will sit on the Iron Throne? No one.

Photo by HBO.
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What Did Arya Stark Find West of Westeros?

In the series finale, after successfully killing the Night King, Arya Stark tells her siblings that "I'm not going back north." As she explains, all of the maps stop at the edge of Westeros, and she wants to answer the question: "What's west of Westeros?"

As the Game of Thrones wiki explains of the exploration of the continent:

In the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, the Sunset Sea is considered vast and uncrossable, though some ironborn claim to have found more substantial land in the far west. These claims are usually disbelieved.

The most famous explorer of the Sunset Sea was King Brandon Stark (the unknown number of his line), who sailed west with the most of the Northern fleet to find new lands and was never seen again. His son, Brandon the Burner, burned the remaining ships in grief and fury. The North has had no significant strength at sea since this time.

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But in the year since, fans have dug deep into George R.R. Martin's books and ancillary material to find a little more detail about what Arya could find. Martin has confirmed that the planet on which Westeros is located is indeed round, meaning Arya could potentially sail to the other side of the continent. Fans have also pointed to a story about Elissa Farman from Martin's Fire & Blood, a history of the Targaryen House. Elissa was a noblewoman and adventurer who, hundreds of years before the events of Game of Thrones, set sail across the Sunset Sea and was supposedly never seen again. However, as the Game of Thrones wiki notes: "Many years later, during his second great voyage on Sea Snake, Corlys Velaryon believed he saw the old, weathered Sun Chaser in Asshai. It is therefore possible that Elissa reached Essos by sailing west from Westeros."

So, it's entirely possible that Arya's adventure led her to circumnavigate the world, and possibly even find out what happened to Elissa, who, by the way, stole the three eggs that eventually became Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion.

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Photo by HBO.

Where Did Jon Snow Go?

Having killed his lover-turned-tyrant, Jon Snow rode into the north with Ghost and the wildlings to live out the rest of his days. As we know, this was a preferable fate to getting beheaded for assassinating Daenerys Targaryen, and it appeared to be a peaceful ending for our brooding hero. We saw a sprout poking up through the snow, implying that spring might be coming to the north, and in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter shortly after the finale, Kit Harington confirmed that things were good for Jon. “Seeing him go beyond the Wall back to something true, something honest, something pure with these people he was always told he belongs with—the Free Folk—it felt to me like he was finally free," he said. "Instead of being chained and sent to the Wall, it felt like he was set free. It was a really sweet ending. As much as he had done a horrible thing [in killing Daenerys], as much as he had felt that pain, the actual ending for him was finally being released.”

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Photo by HBO.

What Was Bran Doing This Whole Time? Is He Evil, Worthless, or Both?

As it so often does, time travel presented a number of storytelling conundrums in the final season of Game of Thrones. Despite knowing everything that has happened and is currently happening all over the world, Bran did very little to stop the deaths of countless humans. He failed to prevent a civil war, but at the end of the day, it turned out pretty well for him. He became king. In the final episode, he implies that he traveled to King's Landing in order to be crowned the next king of Westeros. This led fans to speculate if his intentions throughout all of this were self-serving, and all this carnage was so he could be king. However, in the months after the conclusion, actor Isaac Hempstead Wright has attempted to explain Bran's powers. "I don’t think Bran knows exactly what will happen in the future," the actor said at San Diego Comic Con 2019. "His vision of the future is slightly cloudier." He also explained to the New York Times:

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"As I understand it, Bran can’t exactly see the future. I think he can have inklings ... The very purpose of the Three-Eyed Raven is to be the one who is wise, and still, and careful enough to handle this information and not just go blabbering it about, because that would affect the outcome ... He’s very cautious with what he reveals to people, because he’s aware that time has to unfold naturally."

This provides a little bit of clarity for why Bran did what he did and his motives in becoming king—he's not quite as evil as he initially seemed. And for anyone who was annoyed with Bran for doing very little during the Battle of Winterfell, Season Eight scripts released last summer revealed that he was actually warging into a flock of birds to monitor all of the actions of the enemy army, essentially scouting for the humans and providing valuable intel.

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Photo by HBO.

What Happened With Cersei's Baby? Was She Really Pregnant?

Throughout the final seasons of Game of Thrones, Cersei claims that she is pregnant with another child—though this is never confirmed before she dies in the final season. She told Jaime and Tyrion near the end of Season Seven she was expecting, but it was unclear if this was a ploy to gain the sympathy of her brothers or if she was actually pregnant with Jaime's child. Throughout Season Eight, Cersei never appeared to be pregnant, even though she also told Euron that she was carrying his child. Again, this could have been a tactic to keep his loyalty, as he wanted to father a king. And during an interview last year, actress Lena Headey explained there was a scene cut from the season that confirmed that Cersei was at one time actually pregnant. "We shot a scene that never made it into Season 7, which was where I lose the baby. It was a really kind of traumatic, great moment for Cersei that never made it in," Headey said, adding that the moment would have "served Cersei differently" in Season Eight.

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This story originally appeared on Esquire.com. Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.

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Matt Miller
Matt Miller is the Associate Culture Editor for Esquire.com
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