Ahead of the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones, EW investigates some of the lingering misunderstandings, misconceptions, and mysteries of HBO’s epic fantasy.

What are Bran’s abilities?

Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) possesses the ability of “greensight,” which initially manifested in the form of strange prophetic dreams — in one of them Bran first encountered the Three-Eyed Raven (Max von Sydow) in his symbolic bird form. Once he found the Three-Eyed Raven, Bran learned how to project his consciousness backward in time to witness any event in the history of Westeros. Bran also possesses the related abilities of a “warg,” which allow him to take over the bodies of animals, like his direwolf Summer, or of dimwitted humans like Hodor (Kristian Nairn). But questions persist about the extent of these abilities. Why could the Night King (Vladimir Furdik) touch him on one of his sightseeing trips? Most importantly, could he take control of a dragon…?

Credit: Helen Sloan/HBO

At this point, who’s the rightful heir to the Throne?

If Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) still holds the Iron Throne when she gives birth, her child will become the heir apparent. Everyone not allied with her sees Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) as the rightful heir to the throne, but they are missing some very important information.

How much time has passed in the realm of the show since the pilot?

Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy) arrived in Winterfell in the year 298 A.C. (After the Conquest). Each season since is supposed to have lasted a year, which means that the Night King burned down the Wall in 304 A.C., with the last season set to begin shortly thereafter.

Do Craster’s babies grow up to be White Walkers?

While Craster’s (Robert Pugh) daughters become his wives and sex slaves, his sons are taken away and left at a strange altar for the White Walkers. It is unclear what exactly happens to them, but it’s heavily implied that the Night King takes these babies and transforms them into White Walkers. Since wights are created from dead bodies touched by White Walkers, it follows that actual White Walkers may need to be created from living humans. They have a strong bond with the one who created them, because whenever a White Walker is killed, all the wights they created are destroyed as well. According to Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer), this means that killing the Night King will wipe out the entire undead army since “he turned them all.”

What is the magic within the Wall?

According to myth, after the Long Night the legendary Stark ancestor Brandon the Builder constructed the Wall with the help of giants and the Children of the Forest, who helped wove some extremely powerful magic into its foundations. Benjen Stark (Joseph Mawle) tells Bran and Meera (Ellie Kendrick) that “while it stands, the dead cannot pass.” In any case, now that the Wall has been destroyed, its magic is probably broken.

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Game of Thrones

HBO's epic fantasy drama based on George R.R. Martin's novel series A Song of Ice and Fire.

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