Warning: This post contains spoilers for the sixth season of Game of Thrones.
Following an action-packed ninth episode that saw Jon Snow and Sansa Stark retake Winterfell after defeating Ramsay Bolton in the "Battle of the Bastards," the finale of Game of Thrones' sixth season has a lot to live up to. With a number of major storylines still up in the air, "The Winds of Winter" will need to make good use of every moment of its extended 69-minute runtime to have a chance at meeting viewer expectations.
So before we enter the long night that is the 10-month hiatus between seasons, let's hope Thrones resolves at least a few of these unanswered questions.
Will Melisandre be punished?
Thanks to Davos's discovery of Shireen's wooden stag amidst the remnants of the pyre on which the little girl was burned to death, it seems as though the jig may finally be up for Melisandre. In the promo for Sunday's episode, we see the confrontation between Davos and the Red Woman coming to a head, as the Onion Knight orders her to tell Jon about sacrificing Shireen to the Lord of Light. However, what remains to be seen is what exactly Jon will do with this information.
"It’s a game changer, him finding that," Liam Cunningham — who plays Davos — told the Huffington Post. "He’s put two and two together. He knows what Melisandre’s done. He knows she’s been burning people, most of it off screen, since Season 2 after The Battle of Blackwater. He knows that’s part of her M.O. But we have a little bit of unfinished business to take care of, and that will reveal itself."
While it seems unlikely Jon will condemn Melisandre to death — considering she's the reason he is alive — it's also doubtful he will take kindly to the idea that she murdered an innocent child. The former Lord Commander is going to have a big decision to make.
Where will Arya go?
After defeating the Waif and basically telling Jaqen to stick his Faceless Men training where the sun don't shine, Arya is finally headed back to Westeros. However, her exact destination is still unclear. If she's planning on crossing some more names off her kill list, there's a few different locales — such as King's Landing and the Riverlands — that seem like great starting points.
On the other hand, if she's gotten word that Jon and Sansa have retaken Winterfell, she may be willing to put her quest for vengeance on hold in order to reunite with her family — a scene we're sure every Thrones' fan would love to see.
Will Daenerys finally sail for Westeros?
She has her fleet. She has her army. She has her three full-grown dragons. If Dany doesn't make her move at this point, we don't know if she ever will.
What does Littlefinger want?
Having never seen Littlefinger help anyone without expecting something in return, it's hard to imagine he won't soon be cashing in on rallying the Knights of the Vale to the Stark cause. It's also hard to imagine that something in return won't be Sansa's hand in marriage.
Earlier in the season, Aidan Gillen — who plays Littlefinger — told Entertainment Weekly that he believes his character's feelings for Sansa are genuine. "There’s a level of atonement in relation to Sansa and my misjudgment of Ramsay Bolton," he said. "A lot of what I’m up to is atonement and really trying to align myself [with] the right people — though, I guess, I’m always doing that! I left Sansa married to a psychopath. It’s probably the one time we’ve seen Littlefinger slip up. He really didn’t know about him. He should have."
However, that doesn't change the fact that marrying Sansa at this point in time would not only fulfill his creepy obsession with the red-haired Stark women, but also give him yet another major political foothold in Westeros. "You know what I want," he tells Sansa in the preview for Sunday's episode — and we think we do too.
Who are Jon's parents?
After a Tower of Joy flashback that many felt teased the reveal of Jon's true parentage, viewers have been anxiously awaiting to see if the conclusion of the scene will finally confirm the fan-favorite R+L=J theory — i.e., that Jon is not actually Ned Stark’s bastard, but rather the child of Lyanna and Rhaegar Targaryen.
Combine that with the fact that Bran now has total access to all of the Three-Eyed Raven's visions of the past, and it seems like the finale may be the perfect time for an eleventh-hour introduction of a new Targaryen.
What will happen in King's Landing?
Without her ace-in-the-hole of sending the zombified Mountain into a trial by combat, Cersei seems doomed to face an even more monstrous punishment than a walk of atonement following her judgement for her crimes against the Faith. However, we highly doubt the Queen Mother will go down without a fight. If foreshadowing tells us anything, it seems as though Cersei is destined to follow in the footsteps of the Mad King and attempt to burn King's Landing to the ground with the stores of wildfire hidden under the city.
Not to mention that Margaery also seems ready to go to whatever lengths necessary to rescue her brother Loras from the High Sparrow's clutches.