So far in the final season of Game of Thrones, two major characters have returned to the fold after missing out on the action for a while.
The first was Ghost, Jon Snow's (Kit Harington) beloved direwolf, who came back into the picture briefly during Season 8's premiere episode and then joined the Dothraki army on the battlefield before disappearing into the dark sea of wights (relax, he's still alive). Before that, Ghost had been MIA since Season 6, when he lay by Jon's bedside until his buddy's body could be revived by the Red Witch. Ghost was subsequently kept away from the field during the Battle of the Bastards, but he made it to the front lines of the Battle of Winterfell because it was an all-hands-and paws-on-deck situation against the Night King's army of wights.
The second was Melisandre (Carice van Houten), who engaged her own mini-redemption tour. Not only did she light the Dothraki's arakhs and the trenches, but she also encouraged Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) to say "not today" to the Night King. After that, her service to the Lord of Light was done, and she let go of the magic that had kept her alive for centuries at long last. Before her return in "The Long Night," she'd been missing since Jon's arrival to Dragonstone in Season 7 but had promised Varys (Conleth Hill) she'd come back.
There are still a lot of characters whose fates are still unknown, though, and since the show seems to be squeezing in as much closure as it can -- we even got a status update on Ed Sheeran's character, for crying out loud -- here are some other characters who might (MIGHT) pop back up in Season 8's final episodes.
It's been a while since the Lord of the Vale showed up on Game of Thrones. He last appeared in the middle of Season 6, when Petyr Baelish (Aidan Gillen) quickly convinced him to send his Knights to protect Sansa (Sophie Turner). Lord Royce (Rupert Vansittart) had of course learned how little his loyalty to the Arryn family meant to young Robyn in the same exchange, so it's no surprise that Royce would jump at the chance to remain by Sansa's side in Season 8. However, we can't imagine Robyn will be too pleased with what's become of his Knights in the Battle of Winterfell, so we'll have to see whether he holds that -- and the execution of his "Uncle Petyr" -- against his cousins if he ever does come back.
After all she did, and all she lost, in the process of getting Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) to safety in Winterfell so that he could help in the fight against White Walkers, Meera was none too pleased to hear Bran say he was now the Three-Eyed Raven and couldn't show proper appreciation for her sacrifices. She left for her family home in Greywater Watch on bad terms with Bran, with plans to be with her family if winter ever reached them. It remains to be seen whether we'll get the closure of knowing what becomes of the remaining Reeds, but here's hoping Meera will finally get a proper thank you before the book is closed on Game of Thrones.
We suspect House Glover quickly came to regret not joining the rest of the North at Winterfell. We all know what happened to the Umbers, and given that Robett decided to stay in Deepwood Motte, which is northwest of Winterfell, there's already a chance that Robett and his house have joined the army of the dead by now. But if he has managed to survive, he'll probably have some 'splaining to do to the Starks for abandoning their cause yet again.
Arya's direwolf is the only other living member of the Starks' litter of pups, and last time we saw her was shortly after Arya's brush with Hot Pie. While trekking north, Arya was surrounded by wolves, but then Nymeria showed up as the clear alpha of the pack, and she and Arya had an exchange that indicated she remembered her from all those years ago. Arya invited Nymeria to come back with her to Winterfell but realized domestication was not in Nymeria's nature. That emotional reunion might've been it for Nymeria on Game of Thrones, but there's certainly still room for her to come back into the picture one last time.
Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) opted not to bring her boyfriend Daario across the Narrow Sea at the end of Season 6 because she knew it'd be more politically savvy to marry someone as a power play. He was instead left to keep the peace in Slaver's Bay, but now, Daenerys could probably use a little help from him and the Second Sons, what with the Dothraki and Unsullied being decimated in the Battle of Winterfell and all.
The last time we saw Hot Pie was in early Season 7, when Arya (Maisie Williams) ran into him at an inn, and he informed her that Jon Snow and Sansa had successfully reclaimed Winterfell for House Stark after winning the Battle of the Bastards. This news inspired Arya to head home, where she would commit an entirely different form of regicide than she'd planned, and she told Hot Pie to avoid being killed, to which he answered, "I will... I'm a survivor." That could easily serve as a full-on wrap for the character, but who knows if his delicious pies, good-natured hospitality, and handy intel might come into use one last time as the story nears its end.
The last time we saw Edmure Tully, he was forced to do Jaime Lannister's (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) bidding by convincing the Black Fish's forces to surrender the Riverlands in Season 6, and all he got to show for it was a return to his prison cell by the Freys. But after Arya took out the entire Frey fam, it stands to reason the Lord of Riverrun might finally be free to take back his family's castle. We really do need an update on the Stark kids' uncle at some point, then, don't we? Perhaps he, too, can earn a little redemption before the end by stocking the Stark/Targaryen crew with some of his family's forces.
After Arya managed to defeat the Waif near the end of Season 6, she left "No One" behind in the Hall of Faces and departed Braavos for Westeros. However, all of his training sessions with Arya would prove to be quite handy to her in her ultimate fight with death, so perhaps she'll find a way to thank him for his successful tutelage one day.
If we don't ever hear about Septa Unella again, it won't be too much of a "shame, shame, shame," but technically we never saw her die. Last we saw, at the tail end of Season 6, Cersei (Lena Headey) left her strapped to a table in the dungeons of King's Landing for the Mountain to do with her what he pleased -- shudder. But Cersei promised that Septa Unella was "not going to die for quite a while," so she could very well still be alive and awaiting rescue.
Here's another one who's been left to suffer in the darkness below the Red Keep. In Season 7, after Euron (Pilou Asbæk) delivered Ellaria and her daughter to Cersei as a token of his loyalty, she exacted revenge against the woman who killed Myrcella by poisoning her own daughter with the same kiss serum. With Ellaria in chains, unable to reach her daughter, Cersei promised she would "live to watch [her] daughter rot, to watch that beautiful face collapse to bone and dust." She'd be force-fed to stay alive, if necessary, so unless Cersei's cruel revenge scheme was more short lived than expected, Ellaria's probably still down there somewhere breathing in her kid's fetid corpse. And since she was allied with Daenerys at the time of her capture, she'd definitely be freed by the Mother of Dragons if Daenerys ever takes control of King's Landing. Big if, though.
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.
PHOTOS: Game of Thrones Season 8