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The characters of Game of Thrones head into the Season 7 finale with a clear goal: kill the Night King. But as it has been since the beginning, D.B. Weiss and David Benioff's adaptation of George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire book series is more complex than a simple good-vs-evil fight for survival. There will be backstabbing. There will be power plays. There will be revelations that ripple through the land. There will be 100-mile journeys that only take a day's time to complete. This isn't your daddy's Westeros anymore.
Will Jon Snow convince anyone that Westeros has a White Walker problem?
The Lord of Light resurrected Jon Snow so that he could unite The North, team up with Daenerys, and rally the world for the Long Night. He risked his life flying off to Dragonstone, then risked it again venturing beyond the wall to capture a wight. He'll risk it one more time as he presents his undead evidence to Cersei at the Dragonpit. Will she listen? Will anyone listen? Or will Jon Snow still be begging people to join him back in the North as The Night King and his new pet dragon wipe out humanity forever? This problem sounds awfully familiar, so I'm not sold on a rabid wight convincing the Lannisters.
Will The Hound and The Mountain fight in the Dragonpit?
Each season, we pray for Cleganebowl. Each season, Cleganebowl does not happen. But on Sunday night, the pieces will finally be in place for a WWE-style brawl of the brothers. Sandor "The Hound" Clegane will drag the captured wight into King's Landing's Dragonpit for Jon. The reanimated Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane will loom behind Cersei, ready to throw around his weight if (when?) the meeting devolves into a fight. We can only hope.
Is there more to Cersei's surprise pregnancy than just another kid with Jaime?
There are theories out there in dark corners of Thrones internet that wonder if Westeros' queen is faking her latest spawn to lure an increasingly skeptical Jaime back to her side. The above promo photo for the finale makes me think that's a lot of hooey -- either Cersei studied under Stella Adler and is faking her resting position or she's a naturally pregnant woman. The question remains: is the future baby a complete contrivance to heat up the Cersei-Jaime drama, or could this baby play a larger role in the future? If Dany and Jon end up hooking up (more on that in a second) and giving birth to a child, maybe Cersei's unborn will be a thorn in its side.
Will the Army of the Dead ride ice spiders "as big as hounds"?
I swear to R'hllor, Old Nan, if that story you told in Season 1 doesn't come true now that the war is on...
Will we finally understand what the hell is going on with Sansa and Arya?
Man, I thought I knew these two! Sansa journeyed to hell and back to understand that life isn't all about fancy dresses and marrying rich boys. Inspired by her noble father, Arya went off on her own to become a knight -- and came back a natural born killer. In the episodes leading up to the finale, for the first time since Season 1, their two evolved personalities collided. Now Arya has Sansa on the ropes thanks to some manipulation from Littlefinger. Or does she? After confronting her over an incriminating note, Arya reached for the catspaw dagger and... handed it over to her sister. Is Arya aware of the guy pulling her strings? Is Sansa? Or is this the ultimate intimidation tactic? I need to know, dammit, but I'm also worried the answer is a knife in someone's back.
What was Littlefinger thinking?
The only thing more mystifying than Arya handing off the dagger to Sansa mid-threat is Littlefinger giving it away to Bran, then trying to pal around with Jon Snow in the crypts by talking about his hots for Sansa, as... what, a strategy for getting under everyone's skin? Petyr Baelish is a master manipulator, and his plan to pit Arya and Sansa against one another makes sense on the surface. His earlier moves don't -- but as always, I want to believe in his long game. Maybe he just wanted to see if Bran was awake? Speaking of which...
Will Bran quit sulking like a member of Dashboard Confessional and finally use his powers for good?
Whatever happens between Arya and Sansa could directly impact Bran's transcendence into the all-seeing Three-Eyed Raven. Who knows, maybe Arya slips, stabs him, leaves him gasping for mopey air, and that's the end of Bran. I hope not! The kid clearly has more to do -- his vision of White Walker giants is still unresolved and the possibilities of his warging/greensight powers are endless -- but we're really hoping the Season 7 finale steers him on a path.
Will Bronn get a castle?
Give the man a castle already! He took down a dragon! Someone think of Bronn, the only guy I believe will survive this mess!
Yes, yes, my direwolf-loving needs should have been met with the reunion of Arya and her long-lost pup, Nymeria, earlier this season. But we here at Thrillist feel vicariously lost whenever a Stark (or in this case, a Targaryen-mistaken-as-a-bastard) is without his or her companion. Not all the direwolves made it through seven years of Thrones-ing, but Jon's best pal Ghost is alive... somewhere. We last saw the pet last season when, responding to Melisandre resurrecting Jon, Ghost went, "Rrruuuf?" With Mr. Snow down in King's Landing this is a long shot, but with everyone running around the map at light speed this season, there's reason to hope.
Can Greyworm possibly escape Casterly Rock?
The trailer for "The Dragon and the Wolf" opens with the Unsullied commander back on the battlefield and ready for action. Has he really been at Casterly Rock waiting for Euron Greyjoy's fleet this entire time? Jon went from Winterfell to Dragonstone to Eastwatch and now King's Landing in the time it took those boats to dock and confront Greyworm's trapped soldiers? Maybe we're missing something here. But as cool as the fight might be, we'll need Thrones to show its work on this one.
Will Jon and Daenerys "make love"?
The end of Season 7's penultimate episode, "Beyond the Wall," concluded with Jon Snow, shirtless and laying in bed, consoling Dany, who just lost her beloved child Viserion. The moment is tender and sweet. Like a Season 7 raven, the hook-up potential went from "if" to "when" in 2.4 seconds. So when? Or are we totally misreading the situation and the Jon-Daenerys romance will go unfulfilled all the way to the Long Night, when the Night King may take one, or both, of their lives? Give us something, finale. SOMETHING.
Will Jaime and Brienne "make love"?
OK, make love might be a strong jump in this relationship, but with Brienne back to King's Landing, a relationship that's been relegated to extended gazing and flirtatious banter is back in play -- and at a time when Cersei is asserting as much dominance over her brother-lover as possible. If the two don't strike up a physical relationship while waiting for peace accords to solidify, the rapport could infuriate Cersei to a breaking point, changing the dynamics forever. Whatever happens, I think we can agree Tormund is going to be PISSED.
How will Sam and Gilly use their newfound knowledge that they don't seem to realize they possess?
In the season's fifth episode, "Eastwatch," everyone's favorite child-rearing couple bid The Citadel goodbye after getting fed up with the maesters' lack of respect for the incoming apocalypse. Where'd they go? Having received a raven about the incoming White Walker attack, it's logical that the couple would head to Winterfell to meet up with Jon -- who won't be there. Depending on what happens to Arya and Sansa's dagger, and whether Bran's feeling "inspired," any of the Stark kids may be able to connect the dots between Gilly's revelation and Jon Snow's true parentage. That is if Gilly even knows what she's sitting on. How would this come up? We obsess every episode over R+L=J, but it's entirely unclear how the truth would ever come to light.
Will Theon save Yara (or jump ship a second time)?
PTSD sent him plunging into the depths during Euron's invasion way back in the second episode. Now Theon is on Dragonstone. Can this guy finally redeem himself? I'm not wondering, I'm begging -- please let Theon pick himself up and do some good for once. We assume Yara is being held at King's Landing, which could make a breakout difficult at the moment (everyone's playing nice at the Dragonpit, remember), but perhaps Euron took her out for an evil spin, leaving the door open for Theon to swoop in and get his vengeance. Or maybe he'll jump off another boat.
Could Melisandre return to Westeros?
The second episode also featured the reappearance of Melisandre, who washed ashore Dragonstone to tell Dany and company that they need to fetch Jon Snow, the real keystone of this magical world. In her few short scenes, she also told Varys that the two of them would most certainly die in Westeros. Melisandre is not the life of the party. But the line echoes through the season, and with very few deaths thus far, one wonders if Melisandre could return to the main continent in time to meet her end in the finale. Unless it's Varys' time.
Will Hodor show up as a wight in the Night King's army?
Hodor held the door and died a brave man. Bran would feel bad about it, but he's too busy smoking cigarettes and reading Keats poems in the corner. While I know I should let shocking deaths be shocking deaths, I can't help but wonder if Hodor could return -- in the scariest way possible. We know the rules of how a dead body like Hodor's would be revived with icy blue eyes, and we've seen name characters (specifically Wun Wun the giant) return. Seeing his old pal on the battlefield could certainly wake Bran (and viewers) the hell up.
The debate is raging at the Thrillist offices: does a White Walker dragon still breathe fire? Or does he breathe blue fire? Or does he breathe ice? Or does he breathe icy hot? Assuming "The Dragon and the Wolf" makes good on the final reveal in "Beyond the Wall," we'll hopefully know this before the end of the night.
What happens when a White Walker meets a member of its living family? Specifically, what happens when a dragon White Walker meets his mom?
Speaking of undead Viserion, is the dragon truly dead inside or just dead on the outside? Is there room for recovery? Having seen the zombie polar bear last episode, one can't help but wonder (one being me) if the beast lost all of his instincts by going full Walker or if a mother's warm love could melt his snow-covered soul and return him to ass-burning form.
Will Ed Sheeran show up again?
Ha. Real funny. They wouldn't. Right...?
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Matt Patches is the Executive Entertainment Editor of Thrillist. He previously wrote for Grantland, Esquire.com, and Vulture. Find him on Twitter @misterpatches.