This is it, y’all: We’re less than a week away from the final season of Game of Thrones. (How’s that rewatch coming?)
It’s safe to expect some spectacular fights and plot twists in the last six episodes, but what else should you be looking out for?
There are obvious things to keep in mind — like how everyone will react to Jon Snow's true identity, or if Daenerys will become pregnant — but there’s plenty more that the Three-Eyed Raven would want us to remember.
Here are eight things to watch for in the final season of Thrones.
How loyal is the Golden Company to Cersei?
Cersei revealed to Jaime at the end of Season 7 that she planned to betray the Northern coalition by secretly hiring the Golden Company to fight for her. Based on the continent of Essos, the Company is perhaps the best mercenary force in the world, known for never breaking contracts. But this group was founded by an exiled branch of Targaryen bastards, known as the Blackfyres, who were bent on taking the Iron Throne for one of their own. Even if Daenerys is from a rival part of the family, would the Company really side with the Lannisters over her?
What's Melisandre's role in the Great War?
The Red Woman has had an, um, complicated history in Thrones. While she spent many seasons burning people alive — including too-good-for-this-world Shireen Baratheon — Melisandre also brought Jon Snow back to life. We last saw her in Season 7 before she departed to Essos, hinting that she'll return to fight the White Walker threat. What will she bring to the table? The city of Volantis, where she was going, is a stronghold of her faith, so she may bring an army of red priests and soldiers to Westeros. Keep in mind that head priestess Kinvara pledged allegiance to Daenerys' cause in Meereen in Season 6, so Melisandre may not need to do much persuasion.
What is the Night King’s endgame?
Now this seems pretty straightforward: The White Walkers want to kill everybody! But are they really the machine of death they appear to be, or is there something more? Does the Night King have a plan? According to the actor behind him, he at least has a strategy. Vladimir Furdik tells EW that “people will see he has a target he wants to kill, and you will find out who that is.” That’s oddly specific for a figure who's seemingly a force of nature. Furdik adds that there’ll also be a moment between the Night King and Jon that rivals their iconic moment at Hardhome in Season 5 — what could top that?
Will Tyrion betray Daenerys?
This could be a doozy. In the second book of the A Song of Ice and Fire series Thrones is based on, Daenerys is prophesied to suffer three betrayals: one for blood, one for gold, one for love. The first two betrayals are believed to have already happened (most point to the witch Mirri Maz Dur and Ser Jorah, respectfully). Could Tyrion be the third, for love? Tyrion actor Peter Dinklage has said his character does love Daenerys in some way or another, and Tyrion was also watching warily as Jon made his move on the love boat at the end of Season 7, so an element of jealousy may exist. There’s also the fact that Tyrion and Daenerys’ working relationship has been rocky of late. Could the culmination of conflicts in the North push this Lannister to the breaking point, and if so what might he be driven to do?
What’s going on in the rest of Westeros?
As Thrones has reached the end of the Kingsroad, the scale of the plot has narrowed to the main characters and locations, leaving us to wonder about a few great houses and kingdoms in particular. Will we get some resolution to what’s happening in the rest of Westeros? Dorne, for example, is still a powerful kingdom capable of helping our heroes despite the loss of the Sand Snakes — but will we ever see a Dornish character again? Edmure Tully, the last of his family in the Riverlands, is still alive; will he emerge to reestablish his house, or will he rot in a Frey dungeon forever? The Stormlands and the Reach are without established ruling houses; what’s going to happen there? It would certainly be nice to get some answers.
Will Bran Stark fly?
Bran Stark's hope of walking again was part of what drove him to seek out the Three-Eyed Raven. That dream was crushed when he found him at the end of Season 4, but the Raven didn't leave him hanging: "You will never walk again, but you will fly." We've since seen Bran warg into the minds of birds, but could he perhaps warg into the Rolls Royce of air travel, a dragon? At least one of Bran's visions of the past has featured a dragon in flight; could that have been a glimpse into his own future? It would be a welcome development in Bran's increasingly robotic persona.
What’s George’s third “holy s***” moment?
Here’s some food for thought. Before the fourth season of Thrones, showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss realized they would finish the show before George R.R. Martin finished the books. To film an ending for the show based on Martin’s plans, the trio held a secret meeting where Martin broke down the gist of where his story was going. Benioff and Weiss have since said he told them three “holy s*** moments” yet to appear in the books: the burning of princess Shireen, the origin of Hodor's Hodorness and a third moment “from the very end.” We’ll get that moment this final season. If it was enough to shock the showrunners, it ought to blow viewers’ minds.
Will Davos remember he has a wife?
Alright kids, here’s a fun fact: Did you know that Ser Davos Seaworth, avid traveler and loyal adviser to Jon Snow, has a wife? No one would blame you if you didn’t; she hasn’t been mentioned since early in Season 3. Her name is Marya, and Davos hasn’t gone home to see her as long as he's been in the show! While he’s been gallivanting across Westeros, not once has he tried to visit home — even though he’s been in close proximity on multiple occasions! Did he lose his ring when he lost his fingers? Has he forgotten he ever had a wife? Has the show forgotten? Probably, but fingers crossed this egregious failure will be rectified before the Thrones ends.
Game of Thrones' final season premieres Sunday at 8 p.m. on HBO.