*Spoilers for the whole of Game of Thrones season 7*
At the culmination of the breathtaking climax to Game of Thrones Season 7 last year, things were left compellingly poised in Westeros.
The Night King has breached The Wall and is marching on the North.
Most factions have united to face the threat, but Euron and Cersei remain hostile.
And Jon and Daenerys are now lovers – which raises several huge potential complications.
Here are the big questions that remain ahead of the final season.
Will Bran and Sam tell Jon the truth?
The Stark seer and the Tarly book-worm have confirmed that Jon is the legitimate son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. And therefore the true heir to the iron throne.
Of course, telling him would bring its own complications. And it’s tempting to wonder if they will decide to keep the news to themselves, for a time, when they see Jon and Dany are together.
What will be the reaction, if they do?
The revelation that Jon has been having sex with his aunt could be uncomfortable, to say the least. And Daenerys might not react kindly to the news that her lover supercedes her own claim.
Would they reconcile with the truth, accept it and move on together? Or would it tear them apart?
Are Beric and Tormund dead?
Beric has had almost as many lives as a cat. And Tormund survived overwhelming odds North of The Wall.
But it is hard to see how they could have survived The Night King blasting his way through Eastwatch on his new undead dragon. We saw the wall topple where they stood. Though we didn’t see their bodies, so perhaps there is still faint hope.
Will Euron betray Cersei?
Though Cersei has sent the Iron Islands’ tyrant to collect The Golden Company and bring them to Westeros, he really can’t be trusted.
She’s been wielding him as a useful tool. But Euron is no fool, and may turn. She ordered him to sit down when he tried to intimidate Tyrion. She’s supposedly pregnant with Jaime’s child. There are all manner of reasons why their alliance could end bloodily.
Is Cersei actually pregnant?
This is an interesting one. Cersei very deliberately hinted to Tyrion that she was during their meeting. She’s tried to use it as a means to sway Jaime.
But there’s always the potential possibility that it’s a lie. Designed to manipulate others.
Will we see war elephants?
The Golden Company are on their way to fight for Cersei. And as well as swords and horses, they’re bringing war elephants too.
Imagine a large-scale battle involving the beasts. A certain Lord Of The Rings scene comes to mind…
Will Cersei ask Qyburn to find a way to control the undead?
Qyburn’s fascination with the zombie brought to King’s Landing was clear to see.
He already re-animated The Mountain, and he now has bits of the Wight to experiment with. A dastardly science-led scheme could be about to emerge.
What will Bronn do?
Last seen taking Podrick for a drink, the loveable “jumped up cut-throat” – who took centre-stage in an unforgettable moment this season – has a decision to make.
Tyrion tried to sway him over to Daenerys’ side when they met. Jaime has now left King’s Landing.
Perhaps Bronn too could venture North. If Cersei doesn’t tempt him with a sack-full of gold and the keys to Casterly Rock, that is…
What impact will Jon bending the knee have?
The North and the Vale were very uneasy at the prospect of a pact with Daenerys.
Once it’s clear Jon and the Dragon Queen are together, it could lead to discord. Will Glover and Royce rebel?
Will Jon and Daenerys trust Jaime?
Jaime has abandoned Cersei and is determined to keep his promise to aid the fight against the Night King.
Brienne will likely vouch for him. And he does have a useful Valyrian steel sword. But Jon will be wary of the man who tried to kill Bran, and he also slew Daenerys’ father.
Can Theon redeem himself?
Yara’s brother is determined to rescue her from Euron’s clutches, after he abandoned her earlier this season.
With a newfound sense of strength and a crew behind him, his chances might look slim – but it’s just possible he can pull it off.
How will the fight against the Night King unfold?
Even with an army of Northerners and Wildlings, a horde of Dothraki, the Unsullied and two dragons, taking down The Night King will not be easy.
Especially as he has his own winged beast – and every casualty will be turned to serve him.
Could Bran play a part? Will Jon face him in single combat? How will the Dothraki cope with snow? We’re braced for a titanic clash, regardless.
Will it take all season?
It’s unlikely that someone will take out The Night King with a lucky dragon-glass arrow in the very first episode.
But it’s hard to see that confrontation being sustained all six episodes.
Perhaps the “great war” will be resolved after several instalments, before whoever is left marches south to face Cersei, Euron, and the Golden Company.
Is Ghost ever coming back?
Jon’s faithful direwolf has been conspicuous by his absence this season. Hopefully the CGI budget can stretch to a scene or two next time around.
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