Game of Thrones has come to a divisive conclusion. With as many story threads as it had open heading into its final season, it seemed clear that the HBO series might not manage to tie up each of them. However, some of those story threads had been brewing for years, essentially seeming to build the main plot of the show. Still, several of those stories turned about to be little more than worthless.
Spoilers for the series finale of Game of Thrones follow. Major spoilers!
With the Game of Thrones being said and done with in Westeros, there is a leader in King's Landing in the form of Bran Stark, and many characters have gone their separate ways. The biggest question regarding who will end up in charge was offered a definitive conclusion, however, many of the mysteries and story points along the way seemed over-looked.
We're going to to leave out the elephants Cersei kept talking about but none of us ever saw, so below are some of the Game of Thrones story lines and details which prompted the biggest conversations and fan theories that the show ultimately snubbed when it came to payoff time...
There is no bigger hype beast in the world of Game of Thrones (or the television landscape as a whole, in recent years) than the Night King. The icy, powerful, and mysterious creature earned a heavy dose of buzz in the years leading to the final season of Game of Thrones. A vague description of the character was given years ago when the Children of the Forest created him as a beast who wants to wipe out all living beings but, still, fans wanted something more meaningful. They wanted something of any meaning at all, really.
When it came down to it, the climax involving the Night King's story was ineffective. There was no identity reveal. He didn't come with much of a cost. The mysterious being showed up at Winterfell in an episode many fans could hardly see due to its dark setting and was easily killed by Arya Stark. The moment was tremendous, one of the more epic beats in the entire series, but after digesting Arya's kill the fans realized that the Night King was essentially meaningless.
The creatures which were teased from the earliest scene of the entire series did little else than kill a couple of characters, just to kill them, before getting killed themselves with no worthy explanation in regards to their motivations.
Like the Night King, Euron Greyjoy's entire purpose turned out to be one which would simply thin out the army of Daenerys Targaryen. It seemed he might be the wedge which drove Cersei Lannister and Jaime Lannister apart but ultimately they ended up in each other's arms.
Euron Greyjoy seemed like her was going to be a formidable foe for Dany's army. It seemed like the Iron Fleet would be integral to Cersei's efforts in defending King's Landing, especially after the Night King's purpose appeared to be thinning that same herd. Instead, Euron took out one dragon only to be easily defeated the next time Daenerys dropped in.
His purpose may never have needed to be much more but, at the same time, the show could have done without him and ended up with a very similar result. Some payoff for Euron's would have been welcome.
Arya Stark developed the skill to wear the faces of her victims a couple of seasons back. It was one of the more slowly paced narratives of the series but paid off in dividends when she wiped out Walder Frey and his clan. However, the prophecy seemed to claim that Arya would wear faces of brown eyes, blue eyes, and green eyes. Not only that, but fans were reminded of this potential prophecy in the final season when Melisandre and Arya discussed it!
As it turned out, Arya Stark didn't much care to slap on another face during the last war. She might have put on a White Walker get up as a means to get close to the Night King and kill him but we can't even be sure about that because the episode did not explicitly show us as much.
So, where was Arya's Many-Faced God in the final season? Why didn't this ability get used in any rewarding way for the story? Is it coming the Arya Stark spin-off series fans are clamoring for?
Remember when it was revealed, as many theories suspected based on narratives and story beats which would ultimately payoff, that Jon Snow was actually the child of Rhaegon Targaryen and Lyanna Stark, giving him the best claim to the Iron Throne? Remember when it seemed like he might have to act on such a claim and everyone would be thrilled to see Ned Stark's bastard come out on top? Yeah, that was a nice time.
Instead, Jon Snow's claim to the throne was merely one of several supplements which helped Daenerys lose her mind and burn down King's Landing so that she could be killed in the series finale. Jon's snow meant very little in the end, especially considering he ended up north of the wall where there is no lingering threat. Daenerys didn't even distance herself from Jon when she found about his claim, let alone kill him after she had lost her mind.
Jon's claim to the throne was then rendered entirely meaningless when the leaders in Westeros decided the leaders of the six major houses would elect a leader going forward.
Speaking of Jon Snow, was he the Prince that was Promised? Is there no Prince to fulfill that prophecy which the Lord of Light had been preaching to Melisandre? It seemed like she was on top of things when she managed to save the day at the Battle of Winterfell but, then again, she has been wrong before.
If Jon Snow was the Prince that was Promised, he fulfilled his duty of freeing the people of an impending darkness when he killed the Mad Queen. Many suspected this would be a Prince who would have to kill the Night King, so is Arya actually the Princess that was Promised? Who knows.
Varys was killed in the penultimate episode of Game of Thrones. His death came as a result of sharing the secret that Jon Snow had a rightful claim to the throne. As established earlier in this piece, that claim was essentially meaningless in the end, but it played a part in destroying Dany's mentality.
If Daenerys was always destined to follow in the Mad King's path, Varys died for nothing. He spread the word of Jon's claim to the throne but no one was acting to enforce it or prevent it, not even Dany. When he was seen writing a slew of notes with the information on it, where did those notes go? Did they go nowhere? Did they not matter?
Why did Vary have to die, at all?
What did you think of the Game of Thrones series finale? Did the HBO series stick the landing by playing it safe with the Stark family or were you hoping for some more payoff in the end?