5 Things That Need to Happen in the Next Game of Thrones Episode

Helen Sloan, HBO
Helen Sloan, HBO

The Long Night” was the much anticipated third episode of Game of Thrones's final season, which included the pivotal Battle of Winterfell—the largest battle in television history, and an undertaking that required the show’s cast to film in frigid conditions in Northern Ireland for 55 nights. The result was a larger-than-life, 82-minute bloodbath that forced fans to say goodbye to a few well-loved characters.

With the battle against the Night King and his army of the dead now over (unless there's any truth to a new fan theory that just began circulating), here are five things that need to happen in the next episode of Game of Thrones.

1. Arya needs to reunite with Sansa and Jon.

Arya Stark, a.k.a the Little Assassin That Could, pulled a fast one on the audience when she attacked the Night King from behind and plunged a Valyrian steel dagger into him. Her entire character arc had led to this pivotal moment, with her extensive battle training and advice from Jon Snow way back in the first season to “stick them with the pointy end” coming full circle as she saved the day. In the coming episode, we have to see her reunite with all those she loves who made it through the Battle of Winterfell alive, including Sansa and, of course, Jon.

2. We need confirmation that the entire Army of the Dead is actually defeated.

While we would love to believe that defeating the undead was really as simple as Arya stabbing the Night King, something about it feels too good to be true. Unless there’s a far more menacing army coming, we need confirmation to feel safe in Westeros—especially given the show’s track record of resurrecting once-dead characters.

3. Cersei needs to make her grand entrance.

We have yet to see Cersei Lannister take on Winterfell as promised this season, but the teaser for next week’s episode seems to hint that the evil queen's meet-up with everyone else may be fast approaching. Whether it’s in the north or at King’s Landing, Cersei will be back. The real question remains, though: Did she ever get her elephants?

4. We need to Learn the identity of Azor Ahai/The Prince That Was Promised.

This is one of the most popular jumping-off points for fan theories this season, as Melisandre (a.k.a. the Red Woman) predicted that this character would be the one to save Westeros. While the most popular theories designate this prophecy being fulfilled by Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, or a combination of the two, "The Long Night" potentially brought Arya into the mix as well.

5. Jon and Daenerys need to define their relationship.

While audiences have known that Jon is Dany's nephew since the end of season 7, the on-screen couple only learned the truth at the beginning of season 8. Since Jon awkwardly dropped the bomb right before the army of the dead arrived at Winterfell, there’s a lot to be said between the two characters in terms of deciding what this means for their relationship.

The Battle of Winterfell was everything we had hoped for, but it somehow feels like there are now even more loose ends to be tied up. With the main plot point and enemy of the season appearing to be defeated only halfway through, we have to wonder what is going to come in the final three episodes.

Mifflin Madness: Who Is the Greatest Character on The Office? It's Time to Vote

Steve Carell, as Michael Scott, hands out a well-deserved Dundie Award on The Office.
Steve Carell, as Michael Scott, hands out a well-deserved Dundie Award on The Office.

Your years of watching (and re-watching) The Office, which just celebrated its 15th anniversary, have all led up to this moment. Welcome to Mifflin Madness—Mental Floss's cutthroat competition to determine The Office's greatest character. Is Michael Scott the boss you most love to hate? Or did Kevin Malone suck you in with his giant pot of chili?

You have 24 hours to cast your vote for each round on Twitter before the bracket is updated and half of the chosen characters are eliminated.

The full bracket is below, followed by the round one and round two winners. You can cast your round three vote(s) here. Be sure to check back on Monday at 4 p.m. ET to see if your favorite Dunder Mifflin employee has advanced to the next round. 

Round One

Round Two

Round Three

The Office Planned to Break Up Jim and Pam in the Final Season—Then (Smartly) Thought Better of It

Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski star in The Office.
Jenna Fischer and John Krasinski star in The Office.
NBCUniversal Media, LLC

Jim Halpert and Pam Beesly's relationship in The Office was truly a romance for the ages. Fans were delighted when, in Season 3—after years of flirting—John Krasinski and Jenna Fischer’s characters finally got together. But an alternative plan for the show’s ninth and final season saw the couple going their separate ways.

Season 9 saw one of the most stressful storylines the show had to offer when Jim took a job in Philadelphia and Pam struggled to take care of their children on her own back in Scranton, putting intense strain on their otherwise seemingly perfect relationship. In one unforgettable scene, a particularly tense phone call between the couple ends with Pam in tears. Fischer’s character then turns to someone off camera named Brian for advice.

As Collider reports, Pam and Jim's relationship could have taken a turn for worse in the final season—and the writers had planned it that way. As recounted in Andy Greene's new book, The Office: The Untold Story of the Greatest Sitcom of the 2000s, series creator Greg Daniels sat down with each of the show's stars before starting the final season to discuss where their characters would go. John Krasinski, who played Jim, pitched the idea of putting Jim and Pam’s relationship on thin ice. According to Krasinski:

"My whole pitch to Greg was that we’ve done so much with Jim and Pam, and now, after marriage and kids, there was a bit of a lull there, I think, for them about what they wanted to do … And I said to Greg, ‘It would be really interesting to see how that split will affect two people that you know so well.'"

Several writers weighed in with ideas about how they might handle a split between Jim and Pam from a narrative standpoint—though not everyone was on the same page.

Warren Lieberstein, a writer on the series, remembered when the idea of bringing Brian—the documentary crew's boom operator—into the mix. “[This] was something that came up in Season 5, I think," Lieberstein said. "What if that character had been secretly there the entire time and predated the relationship with Jim and had been a shoulder that she cried on for years?’ It just seemed very intriguing." Apparently, the writers thought breaking the fourth wall would jeopardize the show, so they saved it for the last season.

Writer Owen Ellickson said there was even some talk of Pam and Brian “maybe hooking up a little bit," but the negative response to the storyline led the writers to "pull the ripcord on [Pam and Jim's separation] because it was so painful to fans of the show." Ellickson said that they backtracked so quickly, they even had to re-edit certain episodes that had already been shot to nix the idea of Jim and Pam splitting up. Which is something the show's millions of fans will be forever grateful for.