It's finally here. Nine years of battles, intrigue, dragons, zombies and 500 different people saying "winter is coming" have led us to the final season of HBO's Game of Thrones. The series, of course, is an adaptation of George R. R. Martin's acclaimed books that took off more than anyone probably expected.
Game of Thrones is a program entirely focused on telling us the story of 50+ characters all at once, in different parts of the globe.
So, it's no surprise that everyone I know watched a recap video in order to prepare for Season 8, there's just too much to remember. Stuff like who's still alive, where are they all at, who's aligned with who? It's all over the place, each and every character in the show has gone through their own arcs of growth. But, there is only so much screentime in this final season, and you know that Daenerys gets at least 60 percent of each episode dedicated to her being snarky about her dragons. Plus, an additional 30 percent to Jon Snow telling everyone he doesn't want power while brooding on some cliffside. So with the additional 10 percent that's left, the show staff had to make due and hide details and snippets that progress the arcs of the background characters. This, of course, leads to oodles of fan theories and easter eggs to find. But, if digging for clues isn't your cup of tea, I've got your back. Here's 25 Hidden Plotlines Everyone Missed In Game Of Thrones
25 Tyrion Is Head Over Heels For The Dragon Queen
So, Tyrion loves Danny, sadly that's fact. But, can you blame him? It'd be weirder for Tyrion not to be attracted to someone with such beauty and personality.
Yet, for some odd reason, we're all rooting for Tyrion to hold back this time.
The genius little Lannister is most people's favorite character, and we don't want to see him much such a huge mistake. It was confirmed in the leaked scripts for Season 7 Episode 4: “The brother he loves races towards his probable death at the hands of the queen Tyrion also loves." Hopefully, this is just a loyal/respectful form of love, since Danny is the one who finally showed Tyrion the respect he deserves, but probably not.
24 Jon Snow's Banner Isn't The Same As The Stark's
First of all, whoever the graphic designer is in Westeros, they're doing a bang-up job. Secondly, people who, like Jon Snow, are children of other relationships aren't allowed to fly the banners of their house.
They actually have to reverse the colors if they want to hang their house symbol, which marks them as an unfit heir.
So the Stark's banner, which is a grey wolf on white background, becomes a white wolf on grey for Jon, hence the name "white wolf". It's a neat little detail both George R.R Martin and the show directors didn't have to include, but thankfully did.
23 Gendry Is Technically The Rightful Heir (And A Decent Guy)
Why doesn't Gendry get more love? The guy showed up all the way back in Season 1 as a talented blacksmith that even Ned Stark recognized.
He went through a lot of the same hardships Arya did! He survived Harrenhal with the Mountain, was sold to the Night's Watch by the one he trusted, then sold again to Melisandre by the Brotherhood Without Banners.
Finally, he got stuck rowing a boat by himself for three entire seasons. The guy is Robert Baratheon's only true son and an all-around good guy. Robert always joked that Ned and he should join houses, but now with Gendry and Arya, that just might come true.
22 Maggy The Frog's Prophecy Is Still Relevant
Cersei's prophecy has always played a part in the background, though it doesn't add nearly as much to the story as it does in the books. But, it is one of the reasons Cersei despises Margery Tyrell oh so much.
"You'll be queen, for a time. Then comes another, younger, more beautiful, to cast you down and take all you hold dear."
So, as such, Cersei was out for Margery's blood. But, with things ending up a bit...fiery for the Tyrells, it looks like Maggy the Frog's prophecy was actually referring to Daenerys Targaryen the entire time. Though who knows, it's not gender-specific, maybe pretty boy Jon Snow is the one she was talking about.
21 Ed Sheeran's Character Missing A Bit Of Skin
It's rare to see people in GoT that don't have an acting background. But one such occasion was with Ed Sheeran. Ed played a Lannister soldier on the way to the Twins after Arya treated them all to pie. Well, in the first episode of Season 8, we find out what happened to this plucky lad. The consorts Bronn are...hanging with just keep gossiping about deformed Tarly soldiers after their Dragon encounter.
And, one of the lads they mention is "a ginger named Eddie" who got the majority of his face, eyelids included, melted off.
So that's what happened to Sheeran's minor character. Good to know since the scene he debuted in, while enjoyable, didn't much serve the plot.
20 Euron's Crew Is Set To "Mute"
There is a lot of plotlines, details, and even characters that are only in the books. Lady Stoneheart is removed entirely, Dario looks much less absurd in the show, and Euron is basically a different character.
In the books, Euron is an eyepatched, charismatic, yet psychopathic pirate who is bent on causing chaos.
The contrast between him and his crew in the books is staggering, mostly because they're all mute. Euron cuts the tongues out of all of them as a means of preventing mutiny. And the best part is, this is actually in the show as well! Euron's whole crew is mute, and it gives the name of his ship "Silence" an all new meaning.
19 Varys Is Thrown Off By Magic (Presumably)
Other than Tyrion, I'm pretty confident in saying Varys is my favorite character in Game of Thrones. This eunuch is one of the best out there in terms of playing the political game. Varys is always scheming, not for himself, but for the citizens of Westeros. But, Season 7 & 8 have Varys perturbed.
The calm, collected ex-Spymaster has been irritated, moody, and overall distant in most of his scenes lately.
My guess is it's because of all the fantastical elements suddenly at play in Westeros. Dragons, zombies, and magic spells are suddenly at work. Plus Melisandre let him know that he's destined to perish in Westeros. In any case, Varys is acting differently. Seems like all this magic is making him remember painful things.
18 Stark Direwolves Are Representations Of Their Owners
The Direwolf pups work well as a way to show that the Starks are Northerners through and through. But, they also have their own stories. Plus, in the books, all the Starks can warg into their Direwolves.
The show represents this connection, sort of, by making the wolves similar to their owners.
For example, Nymeria, like Arya won't be domesticated by her environment and resorts to her true nature. Ghost is a loner just like Jon, different from his family yet special in his own way. Grey Wind, like Rob, is too nieve, trusting, and proud, which leads to his downfall. These creatures are their own characters, yet at the same time, they're perfect representations of the Starks.
17 Daenerys' Vision Finally Coming True?
So if you're a fan of the series, I'm sure you remember Daenerys' visit to the House of the Undying in Season 2. It's a scene that's been dissected for years, but what is the hidden plotline there?
Well first, Danny reaches out for the throne, but doesn't take it, does that mean she never truly becomes Queen of Westeros?
Secondly, the snow is a nod towards the Long Night, but what if it actually implies a conflict between her and Jon Snow? Now that we see them together in Season 8, this makes more sense. But, what if that isn't snow? Rather it's ash, and the vision is simply saying she'll go mad with Dragonfire just like the Mad King? I'm sure this Season will finally fill us in.
16 Tyrion's Tongue Might Get Snipped
George R. R. Martin has a pretty specific way of showing character growth. He likes to take away a person's defining feature, rip it out from them, and force them to confront themselves to grow.
He did this with Theon's honor and literal manhood, Bran's legs, and even Arya's sight (for a time).
And, there are theories that it might be Tyrion's time to lose something. There have been many hints, threats, and allusions to Tyrion losing his tongue, having it cut out as some sort of symbolic act. And the more time goes on, the more I believe it just might come to pass. But, here's hoping out star Lannister can keep making amazing quotes until the end of the final Season. Fingers crossed.
15 Yara Is The First Iron Island Queen
The Greyjoys are an interesting bunch. This entire group of people has been in the background since the beginning of the events in GoT, so I don't blame anyone for missing parts of their story.
Namely, that Yara Greyjoy isn't just an overall awesome leader/warrior, she's also the first Queen of the Iron Islands.
Never before (at least that I could find) has there been a female monarch there. Yara's the first, and the show glosses over it more than it should. In addition, Yara is working hard to improve their reputation in Westeros' eyes. Until now the Iron Islands have always been known to house dirty, betraying scoundrels. But Yara is working to make them into respectable naval soldiers. I get that it's easy to ignore this stuff considering what else is happening, but still.
14 Wun-Wun Was The Last Of The Giants (In The Show)
Oh man just thinking about poor Wun-Wun (or Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun) brings a tear to my eye. So, you might've missed the literal passing of a species in Game of Thrones beneath all the dragons and zombies.
But, the Giants, for all we know, are fully extinct now.
People constantly forget that the Night's Watch took out plenty of Giants and even Wooly Mammoths when the wildlings came through/over the wall. So for the last of their kind to align himself with a known crow? True growth for the species. It's just too bad that it led to his eventual demise at the hands of Ramsey Bolton. But, considering we've already seen some zombie-style big boys, we'll be sure to see some more Giants before this final season wraps up.
13 The Mormonts Are Everywhere
There are tons of houses and families to remember in Game of Thrones. But one house that is all over, yet never in the forefront, is House Mormont. There's the ex-captain of the Nights Watch Jeor Mormont, Ser Jorah Mormont firstborn of the family, and now Lyanna Mormont, the current head of the family and an absolute natural born leader. All of these are proud, loyal, and honorable people.
We forget about the Mormonts, but they fight for the realm more so than any other family I can think of.
Now we just have to see if that's enough for Lyanna to be okay with Jorah being back on this side of the ocean.
12 Daenerys' May Or May Not Have Children
Can Daenerys have children or not? It seems like even the show can't decide. Back when Danny was married to Khal Drogo, she asked the witch Mirri Maz Duur to save his life. In exchange for using the "life force" of Danny's unborn child, Drogo came back. But, he was an empty shell, alive, but not really "there". Duur then essentially told Danny she couldn't have kids anymore.
That should've been the end of it right? But it keeps coming up, in almost every single scene with Daenerys it seems.
People bring up her potential heir, or that her dragons are her kids, or she mentions she'll never have children. Though Jon Snow seems confident that she can, for some odd reason.
11 Hot Pie's Still Kickin'
So I went back and watched most of Hot Pie's scenes, and I've got to say, I love the hefty little chef. Hot Pie's not the brightest, kindest, or strongest kid around, but he's a survivor. This is a kid who stared down the Mountain just because he was told to. Yes, even in Season 8, Hot Pie is still alive and kicking.
This hulking baker has some pretty tangible growth as far as characters grow. He started as a bully but ends up being one of the most empathetic characters left.
And let me tell you, Hot Pie's baking skills have gotten a major upgrade over time. I mean just look at the difference between those two bread loaves! I'm hungry just looking at them.
10 Littlefinger Started Almost Every Conflict
Lord Petyr Baelish, otherwise known as Littlefinger, has been a prominent character in the HBO show since Season 1. He's known for being one of the most devious and silver-tongued characters out there, comparable to characters like Varys.
In fact, for all his creepy flaws, Petyr is so adept at manipulation that people often forget he's caused most of the conflicts within the show.
Certainly, he started the War of the Five Kings along with most of the horrifying events Sansa had to go through. Littlefinger is a master manipulator and a true scumbag, but before he got axed by Arya, people kind of forgot just how much he had influenced up to this point. Heck, he even predicted Shae, Tywin, and Joffrey's deaths before they even happened back in Season 4.
9 The Hound's Growth And Predictions
This is one of my favorite callbacks in the entirety of the show. Way back when Arya was traveling with the Hound, they spent the night at some farmers home. To keep it short, the man offers the pay the Hound but Clegane steals it instead.
Arya confronts him and the Hound simply says that they'll be gone when Winter comes anyway.
Well, later, Clegane ends back up at this house while traveling North with the Brotherhood. And, sadly, his prediction came true. The farmer and daughter have both passed. Clegane, a kinder man now, buries them outside while attempting to recite the funeral rites of The Seven. It's also a nod to a fan theory in the books where The Hound may have become a gravedigger instead.
8 Arya Gearing Up To Fight White Walkers
Arya is about as cool as they come now. Though the character was always interesting to watch because of her constant defiance in the face of societal pressure. Every single person she met wanted her to become some weak little lady noble. But Arya became an assassin instead, and one of the best out there.
Now, with all her skill, she's back at Winterfell, probably to help Jon Snow in his war against the forces.
And, just to tease us, they just keep dropping hints that Arya might fight a White Walker. She's suddenly got a Valerian Steel Dagger and is requesting Gendry build her a special dragonglass weapon. Heck, considering that taking out the Night King takes out all of the White Walkers, Arya might just try to assassinate him before a war even begins!
7 Qyburn's Been All Over
Since I've been going back and watching old episodes, I'm starting to realize Qyburn is one of my favorite characters. He's been around since Season 3, and he's had quite the journey. Qyburn was first found in Harrenhal after Gregor Clegane abandons it a bloody mess.
He's one of the only survivors and is saved by Rob and Catelyn Stark.
Which is something I forgot, Qyburns served on both sides. He's worked for the Starks, Boltons, and now Lannisters. Yet he's always moving forward. This is a man who started as a disgraced, failed maester yet somehow ended up Hand to the Queen of Westeros.
6 Jon And Theon Suddenly Have More In Common
Theon's dual family dilemma might just mirror what Jon's about to face. If you remember, Theon/Reek was constantly at odds in his mind, he wanted to be faithful to both the Starks and the Greyjoys.
But, because of that constant battle, he never truly felt like a part of either one.
This imbalance played a huge part in the negative side of his story, leading him to make most of his mistakes. That is, until a conversation with Jon Snow in Season 7, where Jon says he's part of both and that's okay. But, now that Jon knows he's both Targaryen and Stark, will he follow his own advice, or fall from grace as well?
5 Who Is Azor Ahai?
So the Azor Ahai plotline isn't nearly as important in the show as it is in the books, yet, it's still there. All of the Red Priests speak of this "Prince That Was Promised" in the HBO show and new details surface every season.
The most crucial aspect is that Azor Ahai is born under a crimson star, and there have been plenty of "crimson stars" throughout the show.
Stannis must have had one since Melisandre followed him, Ned Stark's Sword had a star on the pommel and Jon was technically born from Lyanna Stark Under it, heck even Daenerys awakened her dragons under one. It's been teased since the early episodes, but I'm guessing we'll finally get closure on who this "Prince or Princess" is in the final season.
4 The Golden Company Arrives, Without Elephants Sadly
The Golden Company is a mercenary group that fans of the books have been waiting to see in the show for a long time. Cersei's hinted to them in almost every interaction with the Iron Bank, and the show finally bit the bullet and brought them over from Essos in the first episode of Season 8.
Now in the books, the Golden Company has some serious ties to the Targaryen and Blackfire houses, but the show version is a bit simpler.
It'll be exciting to see whether they have some sort of secret agenda towards Daenerys or if they're simply just hired goons. Either way, no elephants, so that's a bummer.
3 Robert Baratheon Had A Fatal Touch
This is a pretty early game little detail/plotline, but it's one of my favorite so I'm slapping it on here. Robert Baratheon has a touch of death. In the first episode of the entire series, he comes to Winterfell.
This is, of course, to take Ned Stark to his doom, inadvertently of course.
In any case, he starts the visit off by greeting the whole family. But, it turns out ever single Stark he embraces in this scene meets an end. Ned, Catelyn, Rickon, and Rob all make contact with the King of Westeros here, and all of them meet their maker later on in the show.
2 Westeros Is Looking Mighty Sunny This Season
And, speaking of Euron's crew, there is actually one lad on the ship who you just might recognize. Granted he's only on the screen for a couple of seconds before he takes an arrow through the head, sadly.
But, eagle-eyed viewers will recognize Rob McElhenney as one of the Silence crew members Theon takes out while recusing Yara.
It's a fun little cameo much in the same vein as Ed Sheeran's, and I can only hope it gets an easter egg nod in the same sort of way Sheeran's Lannister character did later in Season 8. Maybe have Bronn's consorts talk about the character again.
1 Cersei's Already Reached Her Offspring Quota
And finally, let's finish this off by circling back around to the monster in the South, Cersei Lannister. When we talked about her earlier, we brought up the prophecy she was told at a young age. But one detail in the prophecy many people missed is that Maggy tells Cersei she'll have exactly three children.
No more, no less, exactly three.
And, with the revelations at the end of Season 7 and now in Season 8, this bit of the prophecy is more relevant than ever. If Cersei's already met her quota for children, what's going to happen to her, or her child before the pregnancy comes to term? Sure Cersei deserves whatever comes her way, but her unborn child is innocent.