Game of Thrones season eight: the crucial questions we need answered in the final series
- Credit: HBO
The countdown is on until Game of Thrones returns for its eighth and last-ever series - here are the five big questions that the final series needs to answer in order to satisfy die-hard fans.
Game of Thrones is known for many things: intense bloody violence, enough nudity to make a viewing with your parents ill-advised and plots that raise so many questions that the internet is practically bursting with speculation and fan theories.
While the last season of the epic fantasy series finally filled in a few blanks - at long last we got confirmation of Jon Snow's parentage - there are still plenty of unanswered mysteries which are keeping legions of fans preoccupied with mapping out character locations and theorising as to how you defeat a giant undead ice dragon.
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Here are the five questions that the final season of Game of Thrones needs to answer – but before we begin, please note, what follows is dark and full of spoilers: Game of Thrones is coming…
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1) What is Cersei's next move?
If she didn't already hold the title, then last season Cersei Lannister cemented herself as television's most loathed villain. After agreeing to form an alliance with Jon and Daenerys to fend off the approaching white walker threat, she quickly revealed to twin Jamie that she in fact had other plans, hoping to use the icy distraction to solidify her grip on the iron throne. Hoping to pick off her weakened rivals in the aftermath of the battle with the Night King's forces, Cersei has hired the mercenary army the Golden Company, her next move is anybody's guess. She's without Jamie to be her voice of reason, as he abandoned her side to honour the agreement made with Jon and Dany, so she's utterly unpredictable going in the final season.
2) What else will Sam find in the citadel books?
Samwell Tarly has come a long way from the meek Night's Watch recruit we met in season one, he's now killed a white walker, cured Jorah of greyscale and stole a load of ancient books from the Citadel. These books already gave Sam a strong hint of Jon's true linage, before Bran confirmed what fans had long suspected, so what other revelations are hidden in those dusty tomes? A method of killing the Night King? The location of a secret stash of Valyrian steel? The secret recipe to Hot Pie's very special gravy?
3) Is CleganeBowl finally going to happen?
The Mountain v the Hound: it's the stuff of fantasy legend, and while last season cruelly teased us with the possibility, surely in this final season it has to happen. Sandor (the Hound) and Gregor (the Mountain) Clegane may be brothers but their hatred for each other runs deep. While the two did have a non lethal tussle back in season one, a final, to the death, confrontation between the siblings has long been anticipated by fans. With the Mountain telling his long-loathed brother: 'you know who's coming for you. You've always known,' in last season's finale it seems soon we might at last get our answer as to who would win in a fight.
4) Will the witch's prophecy come true?
All fantasy tales contain some form of prophecy, and Game of Thrones is no different. The big foretelling in the world of Westeros relates to Cersei and her eventually demise. The season five premiere showed us a young Cersei encountering an old hag, Maggy the Frog, who told her she'd wed the king - which she did - and that she'd have three children who would all die, which they have. The witch also spoke of a younger, more beautiful, queen who would cast her down, speculated to be one Daenerys Targaryen. In the books it's also prophesied that Cersei's little brother would ultimately kill her, though the show omitted that part so it may not apply here. After her manipulation and cruelty across the whole series many fans are eager to see Cersei's fall, and if Maggy's prophecy continues to come true it may be just around the corner.
5) Who will sit on the iron throne?
This is the big one, the question that has been debated and theorised about more than any other. When the dust settles and the game of thrones is complete, who will be perched on the iron throne? We're long past the war of five kings, we've seen rulers like Robert Baratheon and young Tommen met their end and some of us are still not over the fact we'll never see Robb Stark on the throne. There's several houses still making a claim for the most prised seat in Westeros but perhaps in the end it'll be a frozen ruler who presides over the seven kingdoms. Or knowing Game of Thrones the iron throne will probably be destroyed and everyone will die in a, cruel, final act twist.
* Game of Thrones season eight, episode one is going to be airing on HBO and Sky Atlantic at the same time as part of a Transatlantic simulcast. In America, HBO will screen the show on Sunday (April 14) at 9pm Eastern Standard Time (ET) and in the UK, this is Monday, April 15 2am (British Summer Time) BST and repeated at 9pm BST. Game of Thrones season eight episode one will then start will also be available to stream on NOW TV. All episode of Game of Thrones will be airing on a weekly basis.