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Why You Didn't See These Characters In The Final Season Of GoT

George R.R. Martin created a sprawling world with not one, but two fully populated continents. That's a lot of characters to keep track of. Even with the show being comparatively shorter than the books, there have been hundreds of named faces with parts to play in the great and often bloody game of thrones. Contrary to what some may believe, this isn't "The Jon and Dany Show." They are but small parts in a greater, breathing, living world.

As the HBO adaptation comes to a close, we're going to take stock of the characters left behind. Surprisingly, not all of them are dead — just forgotten while fan favorites fought off the Long Night and rode around on dragons. We totally get why you may not have spared a thought for whatever happened to Edmure Tully — we had bigger fish to fry (namely Euron Greyjoy). But super fans with a knack for remembering obscure names can't help but wonder where in the world these characters wandered off to.

Daario Naharis

Long before sparks flew between Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen, the Dragon Queen had another lover... and we're not talking about the dearly departed Khal Drogo. Daario Naharis was at one time a lieutenant of the sellsword company the Second Sons. He proved his loyalty to Dany by killing his commanders and taking control of the group in her name, swearing to serve her. Why betray his own men? Because he had a big old crush on Daenerys Targaryen, Breaker of Chains. Having been a slave in the fighting pits himself, he eventually bought his freedom. After promising his sword and his heart to Dany, he and the Second Sons sieged Yunkai.

As Dany and her army took over the cities of Slaver's Bay, Daario got more and more flirty, eventually earning himself a place in her bed. As a queen, however, Dany's marriage would have to be a political one made for the sake of power, rather than love. So, as much as Daario's knife flips and pretty boy looks amused her, Dany never quite returned his ardent declarations of affection. This is why she left him behind in Essos to help rule in her stead — his presence in Westeros would only make her position awkward and her eventual husband uneasy. Dany broke her ties with him at Tyrion's prompting, leaving Daario Naharis lovesick in Essos for the events of the final season.


Remember back when the most heartbreaking thing about Game of Thrones was a scene straight out of Old Yeller? Ah, good times. Strain your memory, dear reader, and think all the way back to season one, when Arya was somehow even smaller than she is now. She and Sansa got along about as well as cats and dogs, Sansa enamored with Prince Joffrey Baratheon (barf) and Arya ever the tomboy. They both loved their overgrown direwolf puppies, however, and were heartbroken when Sansa's Lady was put down and Arya's Nymeria shooed off because of one itty bitty bite.

Each of the Stark children had their own direwolf at one time, most succumbing to the same tragic fates of their masters. We know Ghost is still alive, finally getting the pets he deserved in our final glimpse of the huge, battle scarred wolf. And we also know that somewhere in the Riverlands, a direwolf named Nymeria hunts. When Arya ran into the direwolf and her newfound pack on her way back to Winterfell, the creature recognized her enough to call off the attack. Nymeria is wild now, so as cool as it would have been for Arya to have returned home with her sick skills and a direwolf, Arya recognized that Nymeria had her own family now and wasn't about to take her away from them.

Meera Reed

Don't remember Meera Reed? Well, you should. Without her, Bran wouldn't have made it back to Winterfell in order to freak out his sisters and reveal the great big secret of the series as the dead-eyed Three-Eyed Raven. Meera and her brother Jojen Reed found Bran and his little brother Rickon back when they were fleeing from Theon's disastrous sack of Winterfell. These two, with their knowledge of warging and Greensight, put Bran on the path to becoming the Three-Eyed Raven beyond the Wall, risking life and limb to protect him.

Meera was tough as nails and an uncanny archer, but in the end was unable to save her brother from wights. She does get points for patiently sitting in a creepy, cold cave during Bran's trips into the past and then getting him back in one piece to Winterfell. With winter and the White Walkers coming south, she tells Bran that she intends to go home to Greywater Watch to be with her family. Bran looks at her blankly and thanks her. Understandably frustrated, Meera reminds him that without the sacrifices of her brother, Summer the direwolf, and the loveable lump Hodor, he would have died. He counters that Bran Stark did die — long live the Three-Eyed Raven. So, after all that, Meera has taken a well deserved rest and gone home, staying out of the ensuing drama of the final season.

The Children of the Forest

Speaking of legendary magical creatures, what ever happened to the Children of the Forest? They are, after all, largely to blame for the whole undead army situation. These childlike, elfish things populated the whole of Westeros before the time of the First Men. Bran discovered in a vision that they had created the White Walkers as a deterrent against the invading humans. They more or less lost the war and were forced into the wilds and beyond the Wall.

They have magical powers, but those powers are apparently null and void against the might of the Night King. They were unable to help out in the final stand of humanity against the dead because the Children of the Forest are gone. Their last holdout had apparently been in the roots of a weirwood tree where the previous Three-Eyed Raven rested. When the wights came after Bran, the final handful of Children sacrificed themselves so that Bran, the memory of the land, would survive. So, yeah, blame Bran as to why we don't have dragons, direwolves, and elves teaming up against the dead in the Battle of Winterfell.

Ed Sheeran

Why was it that Podrick, always full of surprises, sang us "Jenny of Oldstones" when we have previously been serenaded on screen by British pop sensation Ed Sheeran himself? In a rather controversial cameo, Sheeran appeared as a Lannister soldier during the seventh season, sharing a fireside meal with Arya. Actress Maisie Williams was apparently more than a little starstruck, but Sheeran's character wasn't destined to stick around.

When "Eddie" appeared, he was part of the Lannister forces sent to the Riverlands after chaos ensued because of Arya's assassination of Lord Walder Frey. As part of the Lion's army, he then helped with the sack of Highgarden (not that we saw him taking part in it). We know that those in gold and red armor met with a fiery fate on the Goldroad when Dany, the Dothraki, and Drogon absolutely routed the wagon train. Remember those eerie shots of men turning to ash under the incredible heat of dragon fire? Poor Ed Sheeran probably ruined his singing voice screaming for his life as the dragon roared and the Dothraki screamed. 

At the beginning of the final season, a trio of brothel girls are gossiping about the battle while dispassionately servicing Bronn. "That boy Eddie came back with his face burned right off. He's got no eyelids now," says one, revealing Ed "Eddie" Sheeran's fate.

Hot Pie

Back in the simple times of the first season, the plan was for Arya to make it to her favorite brother Jon at the Wall by pretending to be an orphan boy among other orphan boys being taken into the Night's Watch, like Gendry and Hot Pie. We know Gendry's true name, but we have no idea what Hot Pie's is. He earned the moniker "Hot Pie" with baking skills that would make him a contender in the Great Westerosi Baking Show. He made Arya an adorable — if not a mite bit malformed — direwolf loaf before she departed with the Hound.

When Arya returned to Westeros in season 7, she reunited with Hot Pie at the crossroads inn that adopted him after thoroughly enjoying his tasty treats. He got Arya up to speed on all the big news, like how Jon Snow somehow became King in the North. This piece of information was one of the reasons why she ultimately decided to return to Winterfell rather than seek revenge against Cersei in King's Landing. Would he be joining her? No way. Arya told Hot Pie not to get killed, and in turn he assured her that he was "a survivor like her," so fighting the dead and taking on the queen wouldn't exactly be a priority for him.

The Sand Snakes

Once upon a time, Dorne was a part of the game of thrones. The desert lands at the southernmost tip of Westeros have a history of isolationist policies, its culture markedly different from that of the rest of the Seven Kingdoms. Dorne's ruling house Martell had been united with the Targaryens through the marriage of Elia Martell to Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. During Robert's Rebellion, she and her children were killed by the Mountain. When her brother Oberyn tried to avenge her death, he too was killed by the Mountain in front of his paramour, Ellaria Sand.

Ellaria Sand had a permanent grudge against the Lannisters from that day forward. Staging a coup, she and Oberyn's illegitimate daughters known as the Sand Snakes killed the remainder of the ruling family and Myrcella Baratheon. They joined with Dany and the Tyrells, effectively making an anti-Lannister super alliance. Yara Greyjoy, already sworn to Dany, took her ships to pick up Dorne's army. That's where evil uncle Euron came in, taking the ships and delivering the Sand Snakes to Cersei. 

Cersei had a creative sense of vengeance, and decided to use the same poison that Ellaria had used on her daughter on Ellaria's daughter Tyene. What's worse is that Cersei left them in the same dungeon, wanting Ellaria to watch as her daughter rotted away. Yikes. So, if she wasn't liberated prior to Dany's destruction of the Red Keep, then it's safe to say that she's buried in the same rubble as Cersei and Jaime.

Stannis Baratheon

Okay, conspiracy theory time. Remember Stannis Baratheon? He was one of the biggest contenders for the Iron Throne back when everyone was still alive. Brother to the late Robert Baratheon, he had a tenuous claim to the throne, but he had something of a PR problem. Teamed up with Melisandre, the Red Woman, he got into all sorts of black magic and blood magic. Their horrifying shadow baby killed his own brother, Renly.

Brienne of Tarth was sworn to guard Renly, whom she loved, but even Valyrian steel can't cut through shadow. She swore vengeance on Stannis and finally got it when she found him after a failed battle with the Boltons. She swung Oathkeeper... and the screen went black. Did she kill him? Was Stannis dead? Ramsay Bolton said so, but we've been trained not to trust death unless we see the heads roll ourselves. Game of Thrones isn't above miraculous resurrections, so some fans may have held on to the idea that Stannis would return. It was even rumored that actor Stephen Dillane would be making a season 8 appearance.

Psych. Stannis Baratheon is well and truly dead. Brienne didn't hold back, and we're clueless as to why the episode did. We've seen beheadings before — why not show us Stannis'? There are theories around the 'net that this ambiguous beheading was done in order to leave open the possibility of his return. Maybe Melisandre would miss him enough to pull another reanimation.