The season five finale of Game of Thrones left viewers with plenty to think about. While the most talked about mystery was—and still is—whether or not Jon Snow is dead, several other characters were involved in their own suspenseful cliffhangers. From Arya’s punishment at the House of Black and White to Sansa and Theon’s desperate escape attempt, there was no shortage of unresolved storylines for fans to theorize about. Here are five of the show’s biggest unanswered questions that have nothing to do with the fate of the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch.
Write to Megan McCluskey at email@example.com.
Where is Daenerys being taken?
After escaping the fighting pit massacre of Meereen on the back of Drogon, Daenerys found herself in a tricky situation in the season five finale. Unable to convince her dragon to fly her back home, Dany was left to fend for herself and was soon surrounded by a band of Dothraki. In her final scene of the season, viewers saw her purposefully drop a ring on the ground as the warriors closed in on her.
Cue the first season six trailer, which shows the Mother of Dragons trudging along with the Dothraki, seemingly imprisoned by her former people. So where are the riders of Essos taking her? Considering she is a former khaleesi, there’s a good chance they are leading her to the Dothraki city of Vaes Dothrak to join the dosh khaleen, a group of khal’s widows who serve as soothsayers and religious leaders.
Viewers met the crones of the dosh khaleen back in season one’s “A Golden Crown” when they watched a then-pregnant Daenerys eat an entire horse heart and declared her and Drogo’s son would be “the Stallion Who Mounts the World,” a great khal prophesied in Dothraki religion.
What has Bran been up to?
The season four finale saw Bran finally meeting the human embodiment of the three-eyed raven he had been dreaming about since season one—an old man entwined with the roots of the giant weirwood tree—who cryptically informed him that although he will never walk again, he will fly. Since then, the second youngest Stark has been conspicuously missing from the on-screen action, leaving fans to wonder what he’s been doing inside the magical cave beyond the Wall.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, the actor who plays Bran, Isaac Hempstead Wright, explained that showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss chose to leave him out of season five in order to fast-forward through the majority of his psychic schooling. “I would have just been sitting in a cave going, ‘Oh, I can nearly do it now,'” he said.
The 17-year-old actor also revealed that Bran’s return will be a game changer in the fight against the White Walkers. “Previously Bran’s seen tiny glimpses of future or past but never has he been very much in control in the situation,” he said. “Now we’re given looks into very important events in the past, present and future of this world and Bran is beginning to piece them together like a detective, almost as if he’s watching the show. Equally, he’s now discovering how crucial he could be in the Great War. It’s quite Inception-y.”
Is Arya permanently blind?
After using her newfound shapeshifting abilities to cross Ser Meryn Trant’s name off of her list, Arya returned to the House of Black and White only to find that she wasn’t going to get off easy for stealing a life from the Many-Faced God. As punishment for her crime, Arya’s sight was taken away from her—an obstacle that will surely present a whole new set of challenges for the young Stark in season six.
Arya’s current state of blindness seems to be a fitting culmination of her journey thus far, as the series has used eyes as a motif for her character for quite some time. When she confronted Melisandre about taking Gendry away back in season three, the red priestess seemed to foresee Arya’s future. “I see a darkness in you,” she told her. “And in that darkness eyes staring back at me—brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes—eyes you’ll shut forever.”
While Arya probably didn’t expect that one of those sets of eyes would be her own, it’s still unclear if her sightlessness is permanent. In the most recent trailer for the show, Jaqen H’ghar explains that she has been given a second chance, but only time will tell if she will use it to complete her training to become “no one.”
Maisie Williams, the actress who plays Arya, recently told Entertainment Weekly that her character is at the center of the action in the upcoming season. “Arya is being more physical again, but she’s blind,” she said. “So her training has progressed even more but it’s on a more physical level and a more technical level because she’s lost her eyes.”
Where will Sansa and Theon go?
Although a recently released clip from the season six premiere shows that they survived their leap off Winterfell’s ramparts, Sansa and Theon still have a long way to go before they’re out of Ramsay’s sadistic reach. But if anyone has the ability to slip through the North unnoticed, it’s probably these two, who both grew up exploring the very area they’re now trying to escape.
There’s also the hope that Brienne of Tarth decided to stick around after leaving her lookout spot to finally exact her revenge on Stannis, in which case she and Podrick could help lead them to safety. However, seeing as that sort of fortuitous meeting hardly ever happens in the world of Game of Thrones, it seems probable that the pair will be on their own.
To their knowledge, there are only a few places left in Westeros that remain Stark-friendly. Petyr Baelish, a.k.a. Littlefinger, is still in control of the Vale—and seemingly still as enamored with Sansa as ever—making a trip to the Eyrie a viable option. There’s also Rickon, who has been holed up at Last Hearth, the seat of House Umber, with Osha since season three, and would certainly be willing to take in his sister.
And last but not least, there’s Castle Black. As far as Sansa knows, Jon is still the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch and the only person in a position of power that she truly trusts. While this is no longer the case—at least for now—heading to the Wall may seem like the best option to the two runaways.
What are the White Walkers' motives?
Fans got their first real look at the power of the White Walkers in season five’s “Hardhome” when they unleashed a horde of wights on an unsuspecting Wildling settlement. After easily massacring the majority of the village, viewers watched the Night’s King stare at a retreating Jon Snow as he resurrected the dead, making his army stronger than ever.
However, while it’s clear that the White Walkers are a force to be reckoned with, their actual motives remain a bit fuzzy. Since it’s doubtful they want to wipe out the entire population of Westeros just for kicks, there must be a reason they’ve chosen this moment to begin their advance on the Wall.
Unfortunately, the only man who seemed to truly understand just how big of a threat the Seven Kingdoms will soon be up against was last seen being stabbed to death by his Night’s Watch brothers in the last moments of the season five finale. But whether Jon is actually dead or not, it seems as though others will soon be well aware of the evil that lurks beyond the Wall. As Ser Davos Seaworth says in the show’s most recent trailer, “The real war is between the living and the dead, and make no mistake, the dead are coming.”