It might not feel like it, but April is coming, which means the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones will soon be a reality. Who will win the ultimate seat on the Iron Throne? Who will be alive to see it? And will Hot Pie still be around to bless the Seven Kingdoms with his culinary talents?
Before HBO unrolls the most important television event on April 14, here’s a rundown of all the major takeaways from season one to seven (and what some of these might tell about season eight), just in case you don’t have time to rewatch all 67 existing episodes.
The very first scene of Game of Thrones is a major clue to the season eight battle that’s long been teased. Recall, the show opens up with three members of the Night’s Watch scouting beyond the Wall and running into some White Walkers. At one point, one of the rangers, Will, turns around and sees a wight created from the body of a child he had seen in an earlier shot. The wight’s eyes are electric blue, which we now know is part of the White Walker DNA.
Ahead of season eight, we know that the Night King and his army are bound for Winterfell. If you’re familiar with the map of The North, you know that he’ll likely pass Last Hearth and Karhold, two strongholds now led by Ned Umber and Alys Karstark, respectively, after Jon assigned them these posts following the Battle of the Bastards. Will the Night King pick up more children-turned-White-Walkers along the way?
The White Walkers love a good symbol. This arrangement of corpses by the White Walkers on the pilot episode was no accident. Those who’ve seen all seven seasons by now know that this pattern was later spotted by Jon at Dragonstone, along with other patterns made by the Children of the Forest. (Another example is the spiral, which is a call back to season three when Jon and Mance Rayder find the Night’s Watch horses arranged as such.) Still, what do they all really mean?
Jaime’s mockery of Jon joining the Night’s Watch will definitely, maybe come back to bite him. One of Jaime and Jon’s first scenes took place at Winterfell, just as Jon was getting ready to head to The Wall.
While at the time it didn’t feel like a terribly exciting moment, this exchange could mean a scene in which Jaime actually means what he says if all goes well for Jon on season eight: “Let me thank you ahead of time for guarding us all from the perils beyond The Wall,” Jaime says to Jon. “Wildings and White Walkers and whatnot. I’m grateful for good, strong men like you for protecting us.” I mean, Jaime’s already seen a wight on season seven, courtesy of Jon, Dany, and their ever-growing team. He’s basically halfway into a sincere apology!
Cersei will never, ever let anyone forget her love for Rhaegar. Season one is where viewers encounter the statue of Lyanna down in the Crypts of Winterfell. At one point, Cersei says to Ned, “Your sister was a corpse, and I was a living girl, and he loved her more than me.” We now know that Lyanna and Rhaegar’s love produced Jon, but does Cersei know this? Don’t be surprised if this information gives her even more determination to win it all.
Syrio Forel, Arya’s sword trainer, was not killed onscreen. Fans have been convinced since the season one episode, “The Pointy End,” that Syrio has secretly been alive this whole time. After seven seasons of training, viewers now know that if a character (and one with lines, no less) does not die onscreen, he or she is likely lingering in the background, cooking up something big. Who knows, maybe Syrio will return to finish Arya’s training so she can finish off her list! Or, he could return to set her back on her path, one that her father would be proud of. (FWIW, GoT showrunners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss told Maisie Williams in 2016 that Syrio is in fact dead. It’s also unlikely that he’s the Faceless Man, which, too bad.)