23 Burning Game of Thrones Questions That May Never Be Answered
It has been some weeks since the season 7 finale of HBO's series adaptation of Game of Thrones. For many fans, the wait for season 8 is already biting at the nerves.
Intrigues and plot twists have been ripe and ongoing since this series commenced back in 2011. Along the way we have seen countless villains rise just to plunge to their deserving rewards. Numerous favorite characters have triumphed and then perished. Romance has bloomed and old hatreds have turned murderous. Kingdoms have fallen, dead men have been resurrected, fanatics have raged, and old alliances have broken while new ones created. The White Walker (wight) army is on the march and their threat overshadows every petty, ugly feud between kingdoms. We have been introduced to so many characters that it truly takes a scoreboard to keep up with them. Or, at least, frequent visits to online GoT Wiki fandom sites.
For fans, these things are what makes the story so alluring. Despite the plot and character differences between the show and the original book series, the show's writers still put out strong work. All the same, viewers do have questions about the individual character narratives, plot twists, and so forth. Some of these questions do eventually get answered—even if it requires re-watching a confusing episode just to fully understand what you failed to catch the first go 'round.
There are, however, some questions which I suspect will never be addressed or answered. Perhaps it is that these questions are considered too unimportant to the writers to be concerned with? Or maybe, their unfolding tale is just a bit too convoluted already for them to consider going that extra mile and explaining what needs to be explained? Whatever the reason, I truly fear that once the series ends, these questions will remain afloat, untouched by any reasonable, logical explanation and thereby leaving viewers forever in states of personal quandary. I will still love the show, no doubts there, but it'd be satisfying to have every unanswered detail finally squared up.
The following are my questions that beg to be answered—23 of them to be exact. Spoiler alert, these questions may give away pertinent details about several episodes, so if you are a viewer of GoT but are not caught up through season 7, remember that you have been duly warned.
23. About Those Mammoths
With practically every major and minor house in Westeros including some wondrous animal in their family crest or herald, why hasn't someone taken the mammoth as their symbol? A woolly mammoth is every bit as awesome as a dire wolf, and I certainly feel one would make an easier to housebreak pet than some fire-breathing, child-eating dragon. As far as having a gigantically proportioned pet can go, anyway. So why the dissing of the noble mammoth?
22. Arya vs Lyranna: Who Would Win In A Fight?
This question will probably never even be broached on GoT, but admit it - you have wondered. Arya Stark with her agile, combat maneuvers pitted against Lyanna Mormont with her non-nonsense glower. As skilled and experienced a fighter as Arya is - dodging, jumping and killing in the dark with her beloved Needle- my money would have to go on Lyanna. I think once miffed, this child's glacial glare could freeze even the deadest wight in its tracks.
21. About Melisandre's Shadow Baby
Ok, I know little baby Shadow was the love-child of priestess Melisandre and Stannis Baratheon, and that he was supposed to serve some higher purpose according to Melisandre's religious beliefs. But what exactly was that purpose? And where did this disembodied, wraith-like baby go after its momentous birth? Is he just floating around Westeros, a lost soul among the living, looking eternally for some caring couple to adopt and love him just the way he is? Just tragic to think about. At least Shadow escaped his half-sister's gruesome fate. Dammit, Stannis, you win the worst-father-of-the-year award FOREVER!!!
20. Do The Giants Have Their Own Kingdom?
If not, where do they come from? How many of them exist? Are there lady giants? How about baby giants? What do they eat? What kind of homes do they live in? Do avalanches start when they make love? How do they find enough animal skins all the way up in the bitter north to make their clothing? Do they use monstrous icicles to sew those clothes? What do they use for toilet tissue????
19. Why Can't Jorah Mormont Take A Hint?
The adage she's just not that into you has never been truer than when it comes to the relationship between Jorah and Daenerys.This has not stopped Jorah from pursuing a romance with the dragon queen like a neglected and affection-starved puppy dog.
Seriously GoT writers, this situation has gone from sad to pathetic. Jorah is a nice guy. He's attractive. He's good with a lengthy blade. He's also a much better catch than some of the mercenary-minded low-lives that have caught Dani's eye. So either explain to us why Jorah doesn't have more self respect - OR give this poor guy a break and for the love of the Seven, give him the backbone to just move on!
18. Are All The Women In Dorne Vicious, Petty, Out-of-control Back-stabbers?
There's certainly something to say for avenging your loved ones, but not attacking or killing loved ones just because you're in a foul mood. And the routine violence from the Sand sisters-in-arms tends to make viewers wonder if chronic extreme PMS just isn't the norm for the females of Dorne?
17. Why Did Shae Betray Tyrion?
Viewers went a long time hooraying the relationship between Tyrion Lannister and the pretty Shae. He treated her like a goddess and she stood by him through thick and thin..until that moment she lied like a dog during the bogus murder trial after he was accused of killing his own nephew. Then, as if to add insult to injury, Shae jumped into bed with Tyrion's father, the same vile guy that wanted him found guilty! This was one of the biggest WTF? moments in the series so far, and I doubt any of us will be content until we know why.
16. How Often Do You Have To Feed A Dragon?
Science tells us birds are descended from dinosaurs, and apparently dragons are some type of winged dinosaur descendants as well. So if a bird has to eat three times its own body weight per day or it starves, are dragons perforced to follow the same dietary requirements? Or, are they more like the serpent descendants of dinosaurs? You know, snakes, which go for long periods of time between meals. And while I'm asking, what does Dani feed her “children”? I know she once let them enjoy the taste of human heads, but I don't think human heads are easily obtainable from your average pet store. For that matter, neither the Dothrakis nor anyone in Westeros has even mentioned where a pet store may be found, so...?
15. Nihilism vs Afterlife
If Jon Snow is right and there is no life after death, how did Daenerys get a ghostly visit from her dead husband and baby?
Maybe this is just another case of You know nothing, Jon Snow?
14. If The Jealous Waif Really Wanted Arya Out Of The Way
Why didn't she just poke Arya's eyes out with that pole carried around to torment her? By the time the green-eyed monster hit the Waif hard, poor Arya was already blind. Sure, her hearing and sense of timing protected Arya sometimes, but most of the time these beatings left her bleeding and broken. Since it was clear the Waif wanted her rival permanently out of the way, why didn't she just poke Arya's eyes out when the girl very plainly couldn't see it coming? Arya would have been left useless as an assassin for the Faceless God and no longer a threat to the Waif's envious designs.
Of course, if fan speculation is onto something, maybe the Waif actually is Arya's subconscious and I need not even ponder this one? Hm..
13. Why Didn't King Robert Baratheon Just Take Another Woman To Marry?
King Robert admittedly did not love Cersei. He had ears and eyes and knew like everyone else in King's Landing that his wife's golden-haired babies were fathered by her golden-haired brother. Robert was very obviously not impotent; he already had illegitimate kids scattered across the kingdom. He could certainly have put Cersei aside and taken another wife to birth the legitimate heirs he desired.
Some might say Robert stayed with Cersei because he wanted to stay in good with Lannister money. However, if easy currency was his aim, he could just as easily married the daughter of one of the Iron Bank CEO's. So why did he remain with a woman he didn't love and who made a cuckold of him at every opportunity? Makes no sense to this viewer! Yet, in all truth had Robert not suffered the convenient death that satisfied Cersei's plans, none of us would have had the satisfaction of watching Joffery -Cersei's degenerate son and heir to Robert's throne- assassinated in such a fittingly horrible manner.
12. Who The Heck Runs The Iron Bank Of Braavos?
The agendas of these guys are more mysterious than those of the Faceless Men, although I suppose the super rich can afford a luxurious measure of opacity. Sure, we occasionally see the suits at the Iron Bank in action; whenever a primary character needs a loan, or when the bankers are trying to decide which major faction to put their precious money behind. Other than this, viewers know so little about this cabal of filthy rich social engineers. When you think about it, the goings on within the Iron Bank may be closer to real world politics than anything else in the entire series.
11. Why Did The Maesters Ban The Remedy For Greyscale Disease Because Of A Couple Of Alleged Trial Set-Backs?
The Maesters are supposed to be the most learned and wisest men in Westeros, yet they deemed the ancient treatment for Greyscale so dangerous they locked away the written formula and prohibited anyone from using it. It took Samwell Tarly -a mere Maester-in-training- to have the guts to steal this formula and use it to heal Jorah. And what precisely did this high-risk treatment entail? Cutting off the diseased skin and disinfecting the healthy tissue underneath. Oh, wow, how scary. It's just a darned good thing there isn't a need for epinephrine in Westeros or this coterie of Martin Shkreli's would have the populace dropping like flies.
10. When Did They Start Feeding Jet Fuel To Messenger Ravens?
There was a time when these trained ravens took days, sometimes weeks, to carry a single message from one person to another in Westeros. However, in "Beyond the Wall", episode six of season 7, we find out these birds can fly like supersonic jets when it's convenient for a major character. When Jon Snow's warrior party ventured beyond the Wall to look for a wight, they soon found themselves trapped on a frozen lake encircled by the White Walker army. Snow sends young Gendry all the way back to Eastwatch with the mission of having a Maester send a SOS message to Dani. Poor Gendry arrives at the Eastwatch gate and faints from exhaustion. But soon we see the ravens have been released, carrying messages all the way across the known world to Dani in balmy Dragonstone. Within minutes of receiving this message, Dani and her dragons arrive where Snow and party have taken refuge on a clot of earth, and are just barely, holding out against the army.
No doubt, this is a dramatic moment in the series. But considering the distance -hundreds, maybe thousands of miles- between beyond the Wall and Dragonstone, the whole scenario is more than a little far-fetched. Even had Gendry not required time to recuperate in order to get the Maester to have the message inked to parchment and tied to a bird's leg, and if a dragon's flying speed could break the speed of sound (and had Dani worn oxygen and mask to keep her alive while traveling at this kind of speed), there is just no way a little raven could have flown fast enough to deliver the message before Snow's party became wights themselves. Love the ravens, but no way.
9. About Jaime Lannister's Golden Hand
After Locke cuts off Jaime’s sword hand in season 4, Cersei presents her brother/lover with a shiny new prosthetic one. But it is made of gold. Gold is HEAVY. Jaime Lannister is a soldier. Anyone lugging around a golden hand for any lengthy period of time (and we all know Jaime has), is going to experience some level of posture and coordination problems. But to this day, Jaime walks, rides a horse, engages in battle and makes the move on his sister without a single discernible impediment.
But still I have to ask (since if Jaime ever falls down a well, he'll sink like a bowling ball): as plastic and rubber aren’t building materials known in the world of GoT, why didn’t anyone think of making Jaime a lightweight wooden hand?
8. And Speaking Of Wood, How Do The Ironborn Manage To Build Ships?
The sturdy inhabitants of the Iron Islands are proud to live by their own rules and their fleet is known as the fiercest in the seven kingdoms. Yet, by all visuals we have of their homeland, the Iron Islands apparently have only three things going for them: rock, beach and more rock. So exactly how have these rugged people established themselves as not only fearsome seafarers but also artisans of ship-building? Even if they stole every piece of wood from a neighboring kingdom, they'd have to travel to gods--know-where to bring back enough lumber to construct a single ship. And yet, the usurper pirate Euron Greyjoy managed to get Ironborn followers to build a giant ship in a matter of days. Uh...HOW???
7. Will Theon Greyjoy Get His Miracle Healing, Too?
Meme makers aren't the only ones to comment on Theon Greyjoy's "handicap"; every diehard GoT fan wants to know when the poor guy gets his turn at a miraculous healing?
Yes, Theon made his share of poor ethical choices in the past, but so has practically everyone on the show. He deserves his miracle as much as the next flawed yet highly redeemable character. Besides, before Ramsay Bolton got hold of him, Theon boasted a reputation as Westeros' most physically endowed lover. We fangirls want him back in the proverbial saddle and asap!
6. If The Wall Was Designed To Protect The Known Worlds
from things dangerous and nasty lurking in the great north, and if dragonglass kills White Walkers, then why didn't the architects use dragonglass in the construction? At least they could have plastered The Wall with powdered dragonglass, right? Or, if there wasn't enough dragonglass to cover that monstrosity of a keep, at least used a shard of dragonglass as the keystone? Now I am no mason or architect, but if that Wall is as ancient as everyone says it is, then the designers surely had first-hand knowledge about White Walkers and dragonglass.
In my humble opinion, those architects sacrificed practicality for grandiose, forbidding visual effect. Grandiose, forbidding visual effect is fine if your aim is to build a wall to keep Wildings from crossing over the border and stealing jobs away from native-born mercenaries, corrupt noblemen and paid assassins. But if you want a wall that will protect the entire civilized world from the walking dead, practicality counts. Be patriotic; use 100% Westeros-mined dragonglass.
5. Just What Kind Of Treatments Did Qyburn Perform On Sir Gregor?
We all have our suspicions about the ethics (or lack of ethics) surrounding ex-Maester Qyburn's medicinal treatments for Sir Gregor, aka the Mountain. Not that any of us really felt sorry for the brutish bully when Oberyn poisoned him with a venom-doused spear. But Qyburn's treatment left the big guy twice as horrifying as he looked before, so naturally we want to know what the heck kind of medicine, magic or downright quackery was involved?
4. Wouldn't It Make More Sense For Bran Stark, In His Role As The 3-Eyed Raven,
to have the ability to see the future as well as the past and present? If you are a walker between the realms and only visit two dimensions in time, you might as well be called the two-eyed raven, right?
3. What Kind Of Place Would Westeros Be If Samwell Tarly Sat On The Iron Throne?
This is probably the easiest question of all, because the answer would have to be a resounding much, much better! But alas, we will likely never know because it is unlikely this smartest, most courageous and certainly most virtuous among still-living adult characters (besides Lady Brienne of Tarth) also happens to be overweight. Let's face it, in a world where television creatives value lithe and a certain type of beauty over character nobility, Sam will be lucky to inherit the title of Lord Tarly from his snob of a dead father. But this won't prevent me from crossing my fingers in hopes of King Samwell ascending the Iron Throne, with his sweetheart Queen Gilly right by his side.
2. Will Hodor Be Stuck In A Time Travel Loop Forever?
The character of Hodor, the gentle giant of a man only able to utter a single word, was a huge fan favorite. And it is with regret to say that from the viewpoint of quantum physics, Hodor's life was a vivid demonstration of the casual loop paradox concept. If you don't understand this concept, let's break it down:
Wylis (the name which Hodor was given by his parents) was a normal boy living in Winterfell. His carefree childhood changed altogether when he was struck by a seizure. This seizure incited in his brain auditory and visual memories. These memories, however, were not the typical kind caused by epilepsy. Instead, the memories were of a future event, more precisely, the event later in his life when he sacrifices himself so Bran and Meera may escape attacking wights. Meera's repeated urgent plea for this now grown man to, "hold the door!" echoed backward in time, and into childhood consciousness, to the moment of his seizure. During the seizure, Wylis repeated these three remembered words; his recitation growing faster and faster until in his uttering the they fused into a single word, "Hodor!" Wylis was left a feeble-minded shell of the once healthy child he had been, unable to say anything except for that one world. Subsequently, the effects of the past event naturally directed the course of his life, leading to the future event which caused the past event.
This kind of loop paradox is like a set of perpetual motion balls. They will perform the exact same motion every time, unless some subtle outside interference makes contact and forces them onto a different course. It is a pleasant thought to hope such an outside interference will touch the life of our beloved Wylis/Hodor. Otherwise, he is fated to repeat the same events again and again.
1. Will Brienne And Tormund Get Together?
Does Brienne of Tarth get any butterflies in her stomach when looking at Tormund Giantsbane the Wildling? I know, Tormund is no refined and suave Jaime Lannister, and yes this last season left us wondering if Tormund even made it out alive after the wight-dragon assault on the Wall. But Tormund has had eyes for the lovely war-maiden since season 6, so by golly I want to know if she harbors any mutual feelings whatsoever! Is a sweet romance in the works? How about wedding bells? Will we see a nursery full of big, brawny, blonde-haired and red-bearded babies? Sigh, the anticipation of finding out is pure torture!!!
Because it's true love..
Questions & Answers
© 2017 Beth Perry