8 Questions the Game of Thrones Finale Needs to Answer

Emilia Clarke stars as Daenerys Targaryen in a scene from Game of Thrones's series finale
Emilia Clarke stars as Daenerys Targaryen in a scene from Game of Thrones's series finale
HBO

Warning: Spoilers for all aired episodes of Game of Thrones ahead.

It's hard to believe there's only one Game of Thrones episode left, but here we are. After last week's episode, "The Bells," fully unleashed the Mad Queen in Daenerys Targaryen, we obviously have a ton of questions about how the current situation within the Seven Kingdoms will resolve itself. But beyond what will happen to Dany, there are still plenty of other questions that need to be addressed in the finale. Here are eight of them.

1. Where will Jon and Daenerys's relationship go from here?

We saw first-hand in the latest episode that Jon Snow was completely betrayed by Daenerys Targaryen. After an awkward scene between the lovers earlier on, the Mother of Dragons later went against her word and burned down King's Landing, murdering hundreds—if not thousands—of innocent people in the process. So where do Jon and Dany stand after the events of last episode? It's hard to imagine that Jon will still be comfortable bending the knee to Dany after her violent actions, but we'll have to get a definitive answer as to where the couple goes from here.

2. Who, if anyone, is the Prince That Was Promised?

The prophesized Prince That Was Promised, an idea Melisandre carried throughout the series, has been predicted by both fans and characters to be a handful of different people (many of whom have already been killed). Whether it's meant to be Jon, Daenerys, or even Arya Stark, The One Who Was Promised is destined to save the world from an "impending darkness." Now we just need to know: Who is it?

3. Will Arya fulfill the rest of her prophecy?

Season 8's Battle of Winterfell concluded with Arya killing the Night King, something we realized she was meant to do all along. Melisandre returned and repeated the same prophecy to Arya that she offered up in the third season: "Brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes. Eyes you'll shut forever," leaving her with just one more person to kill after blue-eyed leader of the army of the dead.

As Cersei Lannister has green eyes, fans had been theorizing that Arya would be the one to kill her. However, with the wicked queen ultimately meeting her demise in a much less satisfying way, there's still someone out there with green eyes for Arya to defeat. Will it be Daenerys, who has blue-green eyes? We need to find out if the prophecy will fully come true.

4. What happened to Yara Greyjoy?

Yara Greyjoy seemed to be essential to Daenerys's fight for the Iron Throne, and Theon Greyjoy explained earlier on in the season that his sister went to take back the Iron Islands in Dany's name. While Daenerys's Mad Queen antics proved she probably didn't need to recruit Yara and her troops, we'd still like to see a proper goodbye for the ironborn. Now that her uncle, Euron Greyjoy, is dead, Yara might not have any reason to return. But we'd still like to see her in the final episode.

5. Will anyone from previous seasons return?

For more than a year, there has been a lot of fan speculation about which characters from previous seasons we might see again before the series ends. Many have suspected that Daario Naharis, Daenerys's former lover—who we last saw in season 6—would return to fight for his queen, while others have predicted the return of Jaqen H'ghar. Nearly all of the remaining characters have people from their past whose reemergence could create a major plot twist. Now we just need to see if it happens.

6. Why was Jon Snow brought back from the dead?

The reason why Melisandre believed Jon was the Prince That Was Promised was because she was able to bring him back from the dead through the Lord of Light in season 6. Apart from any religion, however, it seemed obvious that Jon was brought back for a reason. With just one episode left, we need to know what that reason was, because it couldn't have just been luck.

7. What was the point of the Night King?

A common complaint about season 8 is regarding the Night King, and how little he amounted to after years of buildup. The undead leader and his army were supposed to be the greatest threat in Westerosi history—a threat so dangerous that the plan to defeat him brought the most unlikely of characters together to fight alongside each other. But ever since Arya killed him in "The Long Night," he hasn't been spoken of again—nor has Bran Stark's connection with him. We'd like to get some type of closure on that plot line, or at least hear a mention of the Night King.

8. Who will sit on the Iron Throne?

Of course, the biggest question of all is: Who, if anyone, will sit on the Iron Throne? With Daenerys's poor choices in "The Bells" likely pushing her down the line of viable candidates, Jon Snow seems to be the only logical choice—especially considering that he is the rightful heir. But we all know how much he doesn't want it. In the end, will Jon decide to put his feelings aside for the greater good of the Seven Kingdoms, or will someone else rise up and take the Iron Throne from him? Soon enough, we'll (hopefully) know all.

Friday’s Best Amazon Deals Include Digital Projectors, Ugly Christmas Sweaters, and Speakers

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As a recurring feature, our team combs the web and shares some amazing Amazon deals we’ve turned up. Here’s what caught our eye today, December 4. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers, including Amazon, and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Good luck deal hunting!

10 Surprising Facts About Wham!’s 'Last Christmas'

Michael Putland/Getty Images
Michael Putland/Getty Images

Over the course of his illustrious career, George Michael gave the world many gifts. One that keeps on giving is “Last Christmas,” the 1984 holiday classic by Wham!, Michael's pop duo with Andrew Ridgeley. “Last Christmas” is such a uniquely beloved song that it inspired a 2019 film of the same name. That’s just one interesting part of the “Last Christmas” story. Read on for 10 fascinating facts about this seasonal synth-pop favorite.

1. George Michael wrote "Last Christmas" in his childhood bedroom.

“Last Christmas” was born one day in 1984 when George Michael and Wham! bandmate Andrew Ridgeley were visiting Michael’s parents. While they were sitting around watching TV, Michael suddenly dashed upstairs to his childhood bedroom and composed the modern Xmas classic in about an hour. “George had performed musical alchemy, distilling the essence of Christmas into music,” Ridgeley said. “Adding a lyric which told the tale of betrayed love was a masterstroke and, as he did so often, he touched hearts."

2. “Last Christmas” isn’t really a Christmas song.

There’s nothing in “Last Christmas” about Santa, reindeer, trees, snow, or anything we typically associate with the holiday. Rather, the song is about a failed romance that just happens to have begun on December 25, when Michael gave someone his heart, and ended on December 26, when this ungrateful person “gave it away.”

3. George Michael wrote and produced the song—but that’s not all.

Dave Hogan/Getty Images

By the time Wham! recorded “Last Christmas” in August (yes, August) 1984, Michael had taken full control of the group. In addition to writing and producing the song, Michael insisted on playing the Roland Juno-60 synth in the studio. “George wasn’t a musician,” engineer Chris Porter said. “It was a laborious process, because he was literally playing the keyboards with two or three fingers.” Michael even jangled those sweet sleigh bells himself.

4. “Last Christmas” didn’t reach #1 on the UK charts.

As the movie Love Actually reminds us, scoring a Christmas #1 in the UK is a really big deal. Unfortunately, “Last Christmas” didn’t give Wham! that honor. It stalled at #2, and to this day it has the distinction of being the highest-selling UK single of all time to not reach #1.

5. George Michael sang on the song that kept “Last Christmas” at #2.

“Last Christmas” was bested on the UK charts by Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas,” an all-star charity single benefiting Ethiopian famine relief. Michael sang on “Do They Know It’s Christmas,” and was so committed to the cause that he donated his profits from “Last Christmas” to helping the African nation.

6. George Michael was sued for plagiarism over “Last Christmas.”

In the mid-1980s, the publishing company Dick James Music sued George Michael on behalf of the writers of “Can’t Smile Without You,” a schmaltzy love song recorded by The Carpenters and Barry Manilow, among others. According to Chris Porter, the recording engineer on “Last Christmas,” the suit was dismissed after a musicologist presented 60-plus songs that have a similar chord progression and melody.

7. "Last Christmas" has been covered by a lot of other artists.

Michael Putland/Getty Images

Jimmy Eat World, Hilary Duff, Good Charlotte, Ariana Grande, Carly Rae Jepsen, Gwen Stefani, and Taylor Swift are just a few of the artists who’ve covered “Last Christmas” over the years. The strangest rendition may be the 2006 dance version by the Swedish CGI character Crazy Frog, which reached #16 on the UK charts.

8. Some people make a concerted effort to avoid hearing “Last Christmas.”

While millions of people delight in hearing “Last Christmas” every year, an internet game called Whamageddon encourages players to avoid the song from December 1 to 24. The rules are simple: Once you hear the original Wham! version of “Last Christmas” (remixes and covers don’t count), you’re out. You then admit defeat on social media with the hashtag #Whamageddon and wait for your friends to suffer the same fate. Note: The rules prohibit you from “deliberately sending your friends to Whamhalla.”

9. “Last Christmas” finally charted in America following George Michael’s death in 2016.

Back in 1984, “Last Christmas” wasn’t released as a commercial single in the United States, and therefore it wasn’t eligible for the Billboard Hot 100 chart. However, Billboard changed its rules in 1998, and in the wake of George Michael’s unexpected death on Christmas Day 2016, the song finally made its Hot 100 debut. In December 2018, it reentered the charts and peaked at #25.

10. George Michael was involved in 2019's Last Christmas movie.

November 2019 saw the release of Paul Feig's Last Christmas, a romantic comedy inspired by the song starring Game of Thrones's Emilia Clarke. Producer David Livingstone came up with the idea while George Michael was still alive, and when he pitched the pop star on the project, he was given the greenlight—with one condition: Michael stipulated that actress and author Emma Thompson write the movie. Thompson co-authored the story and the screenplay, and she even wound up playing a supporting role.