Kit Harington Kit Harington

[Editor's Note: Although the following mentions portions of the books upon which Game of Thrones is based, it does not contain spoilers from beyond Season 4. Fans of the books, please keep the comments section spoiler-free or indicate if your comment contains spoilers. Thank you!]

Game of Thrones may have ended its fourth season in a singularly satisfying way, but fans are already feeling bereft of their weekly dose of intrigue and backstabbing.

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Only the show's return or perhaps author George R.R. Martin releasing another chapter can truly help alleviate our Westerosi withdrawal symptoms. In an attempt to keep the spirit of the series alive until then, offers up Game of Thrones' biggest unsolved mysteries as food for thought (lovingly prepared by Hot Pie) and discussion:

1. When is winter coming? The Starks of Winterfell keep bleating about this so-called winter, but so far, it only remains a motto on their House's sigil. Although when it arrives is utmost in the characters' minds, we as viewers may wonder why it matters so much. Consider this: For reasons as yet unknown, Westeros experiences seasons of indeterminate length, and lately has been enjoying a summer for the last nine years (yes, even in Winterfell). Such a long summer, however, presages an even longer and more debilitating winter. It does not seem like a coincidence that many of the major mystical occurrences that we've seen lately — such as the return of the White Walkers — occur up in the wintry north. Therefore, we take this as a sign that winter will not only hit soon (whatever that may mean in TV time) but that it will also bring with it more magical-versus-mundane concerns.

2. Who is Jon Snow's mother?
According to Thrones lore, showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss had to answer this question to George R.R. Martin's satisfaction before he allowed them to adapt his book series for the small screen. Ned Stark (Sean Bean) claimed that he fathered the bastard Jon (Kit Harington) while away from his wife during wartime. Ned also promised to reveal the mother's identity to Jon when they met again, but unfortunately Ned met an unfortunate demise. Fans of the books (who also caught a very telling one-line reference from Oberyn Martell on the series) believe that the question of Jon Snow's parentage is much more complex than that, however. All signs point to a rather interesting lineage for our favorite bastard, but instead of sharing them, for now we welcome your theories.

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3. What do the White Walkers want? The White Walkers appear to be a race of magical beings that can freeze anything with a touch, reanimate corpses into wights and create what appear to be new White Walkers from humans. They also appreciate macabre horse-corpse art, can be killed by dragonglass and are enough of a threat that the Wall was built to prevent their return to Westeros. Do they want revenge? Do they want to rule Westeros? Do they want to spread winter everywhere? How many are there? They appear to be evil, but then again, nothing is exactly black and white in Westeros.

4. Is Stannis really the Lord's Chosen? Melisandre (Carice van Houten). the red priestess of the Lord of Light, claims that Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane) is the prophesied Lord's Chosen because he pulled the sword Lightbringer from a fire. But is this one of Melisandre's many hoaxes that she boasted about during her bathtub confessional? The sword that Stannis has emits light, but it does not radiate heat as Lightbringer should. If Stannis is not in fact the Lord's Chosen, then who is? Is Melisandre really working for the Lord of Light?

5. Who is the three-eyed raven? Well, well, well! The three-eyed raven who has been plaguing Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) with prophetic dreams and cryptic statements turns out to be a man who lives beneath a tree up north. He promises Bran that although he won't walk again, he will fly.


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6. Where in the world is ______? The series has introduced many characters, which is why it's so easy to forget the ones who are currently MIA and not actually confirmed dead. In particular, we're most interested in the whereabouts of the following characters: Benjen Stark (Joseph Mawle), Jon Snow's uncle who went missing while ranging north of the Wall; Brynden Tully (Clive Russell), the uncle of Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley) who escaped the Red Wedding massacre when he went outside to relieve himself; Jaquen H'ghar (Tom Wlaschiha and Patrick O'Kane), a Braavosi who killed men for Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) and gave her a special coin; Gendry (Joe Dempsie), one of King Robert's surviving bastards who was last seen rowing for his life away from Dragonstone; and Nymeria, Arya's direwolf that she set free.

7. What did Podrick do? As far as Thrones mysteries go, this has little to no bearing on who will eventually sit on the Iron Throne (or so we think!). But we can't help but wonder what "hard to describe" skill that the earnest squire (Daniel Portman) demonstrated to please three of Littlefinger's most practiced whores so much that they returned the money he offered them to help relieve him of his virginity.

Share your best theories and guesses below. Are there any other mysteries that we missed?

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