3 burning questions going into the 'Game of Thrones' finale: Who will kill Daenerys? Who will sit on the Iron Throne? Does everyone get a horse?

Ethan Alter
Senior Writer, Yahoo Entertainment

Out of the ashes of King’s Landing, a new ruler is destined to rise in next Sunday’s series finale of Game of Thrones. But the identity of that ruler is very much in flux. Although the Iron Throne was Daenerys Targaryen’s prize for the taking after she and Drogon decimated the Iron Fleet and the Golden Company, her sudden, sharp turn into Mad Queen territory is going to complicate her allegiances. Westeros’s crown isn’t the only thing weighing on our minds, though. Here are three burning questions we have after the cataclysmic events of the penultimate episode, “The Bells.”

Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones. (Photo: Courtesy of HBO)

What’s up with Arya’s horse?

Arya Stark after the Battle of King's Landing in "The Bells" episode of Game of Thrones. (Photo: Helen Sloan/HBO)

The youngest Stark daughter has long been one of Westeros’s most skilled death-dodgers, but there were several moments during the Battle of King’s Landing where the grim reaper appeared to catch up with her. Racing through the city’s labyrinthian streets mere steps ahead of deadly dragonfire blasts, Arya’s survival never seemed less guaranteed. And, in fact, some speculated on Twitter that she did indeed go to her final reward, as evidenced by her dreamlike encounter with a white steed amongst the ruins. For the record, Maisie Williams has said that Arya is alone in her last scene, and a solitary ride to the afterlife seems like a fitting ending for this particular warrior.

At the same time, this assassin also has unfinished business in the form of Melisandre’s prophecy, which states that she’s destined to close a pair of green eyes forever. Originally, it was assumed those eyes belonged to Cersei, but Jaime Lannister and a collapsing castle shut those peepers permanently. That leaves green-eyed Daenerys, whose destructive fury Arya witnessed firsthand as King’s Landing burned. In this reading, Arya isn’t dead... she has become Death, complete with the requisite pale horse.

Who will become the Queenslayer?

Arya certainly has the resources and the motive to bring Daenerys’s reign to a quick end. But there are still other character in play who have the ability to fulfill Melisandre’s prophecy should the need arise. For what it’s worth, oddsmakers are placing their bets on Jon Snow to take on the mantle of Queenslayer, with U.S.-Bookies naming him a 1/5 favorite. For all of Jon’s reluctance to involve himself in the affairs of the state, his dourer-than-usual expression as he watched Dany destroy King’s Landing suggested no small amount of recognition that he’d have to act and act soon.

After Jon and Arya, the next likeliest candidates are Tyrion and Sansa, whose respective odds sit at 3/1 and 4/1. The fact that Sansa is still at Winterfell inhibits her ability to get close enough to Daenerys to end her life — although people do seem to be zipping around Westeros awfully quick these days. Tyrion’s already on shaky ground with his queen after she learned he blabbed Jon’s secret to Varys, resulting in the Spider’s fiery demise. And if she discovers that he freed Jaime Lannister to help Cersei escape King’s Landing, he’ll have a date with Drogon as well.

Not for nothing, but Varys left behind a road map for how Tyrion might kill Daenerys before he meets his maker. The first scene of “The Bells” revealed that the Master of Whispers had possibly been trying to poison Dany with the assistance of a young kitchen worker, Martha. Poison proved to be King Joffrey’s downfall, and it could topple another aspiring tyrant.

Will anyone sit on the Iron Throne?

There’s one possibility we haven’t considered: Maybe there’s no need for a Queenslayer because there’s no throne left for a Queen to sit on. By taking Missandei’s last word to heart, and burning King’s Landing to the ground, Daenerys may have been using fire to purify rather than punish. So far, the pursuit of the throne has brought every House in Westeros — including her own — little more than destruction and death. Destroying the seat of imperial power would theoretically usher in the dawn of a new, possibly more democratic age and make the Mad Queen’s actions look logical in hindsight.

Even if this idea doesn’t occur to Daenerys, there are those who believe that the destruction of the Iron Throne is ultimately where the show has been heading all along. That’s an argument that’s been advanced on Redditamong other outlets, and you know that Jon Snow would be all for it since he’d much rather roam the North than wear the crown. Instead, the Iron Throne will pass into Westeros’s history, which happens to be the dominion of the Three-Eyed Raven. And hey, that finale would definitely satisfy oddsmakers, who have picked Bran Stark as the ultimate winner in the game of thrones.

Video: The Mad Queen Reigns on Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO.

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