In all the excitement of Game of Thrones season 6, we obsessed over theories and prophecies and history, then did it again and again (and then some more)—to the extent that we never stopped to look back on the previously unanswered questions that drove us nuts in the earlier seasons.
So whether you're an avid watcher with a patchy memory or someone who's missed a few vital episodes, let us put your mind at ease. All those questions that you had restless nights over? SOLVED.
1. Who killed Jon Arryn?
We never met Hand of the King Jon Arryn (apart from his corpse in episode one), father figure to Robert Baratheon and Ned Stark. He was presumed to have died of natural causes, but we eventually discovered that it was actually his wife Lysa, Catelyn's petty sister. Petyr Baelish encouraged her to lace Jon's wine with the poison "Tears of Lys" and then send a letter to Catelyn accusing House Lannister of the assassination.Why? Half to be a dick and half to push the Seven Kingdoms into a state of chaos from which he could personally benefit. The fact that Jon had uncovered the truth about Robert's children actually being Jaime's the night before his death was apparently just a coincidence. Or was it? We're still confused.
2. Who killed Robert Baratheon?
While the people of Westeros believed that Robert died from wounds sustained during a tussle with a wild boar, it was actually his wife Cersei who orchestrated his death. She ordered her cousin/lover Lancel to supply Robert with "stronger than usual" wine (probably poisoned) that inevitably led to his unfortunate encounter with the boar.
3. Who sent that assassin to stab the comatose Bran?
Back in season one, while Bran was in a coma after being pushed out of a window by Jaime, an assassin attempted to kill him in his bed. (He was stopped by Catelyn and Summer the direwolf.) The assassin carried a rare dagger with a dragonbone hilt and a Valyrian steel blade. Littlefinger claimed the dagger belonged to Tyrion, fuelling the conflict between the Starks and Lannisters. Annoyingly, it was never actually revealed on screen who ordered the hit on Bran.
In the books, however, it is heavily implied that Joffrey ordered the killing, and that Littlefinger simply lied about Tyrion being the owner of the dagger to further his mischievous ends. When Joffrey used a new sword to cut up a book Tyrion gave him for a present, he says, "I am no stranger to Valyrian steel", leading Tyrion to deduce that out of the three likely culprits, it could only be Joffrey, as Jaime would be too proud to send an assassin and that Cersei would be too cunning to use a traceable knife. As for motive, Tyrion figured Joffrey was trying to impress his "father" Robert. Even Jaime later admitted to Tyrion that he assumed Joffrey was behind the attempt.
4. Why did Jaime kill the Mad King?
Back in the early episodes, Jaime was treated like (and acted like a) massive dick who killed the so-called Mad King despite having sworn by the holiest oaths to protect the king as a member of the Kingsguard, earning the nickname "Kingslayer" in the process.
Later, Jaime explained to Brienne that he was forced to stab the King in the back after he threatened to burn the kingdom and everyone in it using wildfire—a fact confirmed by Bran's visions in season six. So not such a dick, really. Pretty honourable, in fact.
5. Who are Jon Snow's parents?
FINALLY, after speculation that hung around longer than an awkward drunk uncle, GoT confirmed Jon's true parents. Well, one of them anyway. Ned Stark is not Jon's father. Rather, his dying sister Lyanna gave birth to him, having been knocked up by (presumably) Rhaegar Targaryen. Ned then took Jon in, claiming him as his own bastard son in order to protect him from the Baratheons, who wanted all Targaryens killed.
6. Who killed Joffrey?
Although Tyrion was suspected by Cersei of killing that evil little douche, it was actually Olenna Tyrell and Petyr Baelish who conspired to murder him. Littlefinger ordered that drunk former knight Dontos The Fool (we're not being mean, that was his name) to give Sansa a necklace strung with seven amethysts containing "The Strangler" poison.
Olenna then toyed with Sansa's hair at the feast, sneakily taking one of the crystals to spike Joffrey's drink. Catch her in the act in the video below and look out for the missing crystal by the end. She admits the murder to Margaery later in the series.
7. What happened to Benjen Stark?
Ever since Benjen's horse arrived without him back at Castle Black back in season one, we were left wondering whether we'd ever see Ned's bro again. Finally, we now know he's alive and well. Sort of. He rescued Bran and Meera north of the Wall on the request of the Three-Eyed Raven.
He explained that he was attacked by the White Walkers beyond the Wall, and had an ice sword shoved into his stomach and left for dead. The Children of the Forest saved him and stopped him becoming a WW by piercing him with a piece of dragonglass. Handy. However, "ancient spells" in the Wall stopped him passing through it and reuniting with Jon.
8. Is there wildfire hidden under King's Landing?
For ages it was rumoured that the Mad King's wildfire stash was still hidden underneath King's Landing, but it wasn't confirmed until Qyburn and his little birds finally discovered the highly explosive liquid at the end of season six. They used it to Cersei's benefit by blowing up the Great Sept of Baelor, taking out the High Sparrow and countless other people. Is there any more left? Only time will tell, but we kind of feel like that card's been played now.
9. Why does Hodor only say "Hodor"?
This was a mystery we wish they had never answered, purely because of how brutal it was. It turns out that Hodor was a stable boy named Wylis until he suddenly began convulsing and shouting the words "Hold the door!" over and over until it became scrambled into "Hodor". The reason? A present-day Bran visited the past in a vision but needed to warg into Wylis/Hodor in order to keep out the White Walkers for as long as possible. Hearing Meera's screams of "Hold the door!", the young Wylis's mind became stuck in time and led to a life-long debility. Heartbreaking.
10. Who is the Night King?
We met the so-called Night King, leader of the White Walkers, several times. But we had no idea who he was or where he came from. In season six, one of Bran's visions of the past revealed part of who he is. Or rather was. He was an unnamed First Man who was captured by the Children of the Forest. Leaf pressed a dragonglass dagger into his chest, causing his eyes to turn blue and turning him into the first of the White Walkers. This was as an attempt by the Children to defend themselves against the invading First Men, but it kinda backfired.
From: Digital Spy UK