Since it first aired in 2011, Game of Thrones has become one of the most popular franchises of all time, churning out a spin-off show and video games. During the show’s first four seasons, the storytelling was extremely tight-knit. The plots were intricate and well-thought-out, and the characters were all extremely complex. However, as the series progressed, avid fans couldn’t help but notice a growing number of plot holes, particularly in the final two seasons.
Ironically, these mistakes started appearing as the showrunners began to outpace George R. R. Martin’s novels, as they grappled to continue the story without any material to support them. As a result, the world of Westeros became littered with inconsistencies and illogical character decisions, making some of the biggest build-ups feel like a waste. Here are some of the most glaring plot holes in Game of Thrones.
Stream on Max
10 Euron Greyjoy’s Fleet
Despite only appearing in nine episodes of Game of Thrones, Euron Greyjoy quickly became one of the show’s most hated characters. First appearing in season six, Euron returns to the Iron Islands to reclaim his throne, initially pledging his allegiance to Daenerys before Theon and Yara steal his ships away from him. So, at the start of season seven, Euron instead goes to see Cersei at King’s Landing, where he instead forms an allegiance with her. But during this moment, Euron makes a claim that doesn’t entirely make sense. During his conversation with Cersei, he boasts that he has 1,000 ships, which isn’t plausible given the time frame between seasons.
A Teleporting Fleet
While determining how quickly Euron builds his ships might seem a bit pointless, there are various other plot holes regarding his entire fleet. For example, they practically teleport to wherever is the most convenient place for them to be throughout the final two seasons. Additionally, at one point, he makes a point of highlighting that his crew are all mute, yet when Daenerys burns their ships, they can be heard shouting.
Although these plot holes don’t entirely take away from the larger occurrences within the plot, they do show how badly the show’s writing got towards the end.
9 Cersei’s Pregnancy
One of the biggest plot revelations in Game of Thrones season seven was that Cersei was pregnant, yet again. Given how this is then built up, such as her telling Jaime and Tyrion guessing by her water drinking habits, it’s implied that this pregnancy would have a larger role to play in the build-up to the final season. However, just as quickly as it’s mentioned, it’s forgotten. By the time that season eight rolls around, Cersei is back to drinking wine constantly, and her pregnancy is never mentioned again.
A Manipulation Tactic or Bad Writing?
Lena Heady has previously stated that there were plans to continue this storyline, and that she had shot a traumatic scene in which Cersei suffers from a miscarriage. However, for whatever reason, this was left out entirely. Regardless, it’s not irrational to assume that such an important plot point would be explained in some way or another.
What makes it more terrible is that it also ignores a key prophecy mentioned in the show, in which Cersei was told by Maggy that she would only have three children. Of course, the pregnancy announcement could be viewed as a manipulation tactic to get Jaime and Euron to do anything for her, but even this isn’t strong enough to make it canon.
8 The Night’s Watch Still Existing
In Game of Thrones, the Night’s Watch is a military order which guards the Wall and prevents wildlings and White Walkers from crossing into the Seven Kingdoms. The order was put into place following the last days of the first Long Night, as it became apparent that the Seven Kingdoms would likely face the White Walkers and other dangers again. A majority of those that make up the Night’s Watch’s ranks are often there as a form of punishment, though others volunteer to be there. When rumors of people disappearing beyond the Wall begin to circulate, the Night’s Watch is under increased pressure due to a lack of support.
Why Is the Wall Still Manned?
The majority of the storyline, which takes place at the Wall, is focused on Jon rebuilding the Night’s Watch, in order to make sure they can protect the Seven Kingdoms from the threat of the White Walkers. Of course, by the end of Game of Thrones, the Night King and the White Walkers are defeated, with their threat no longer looming over the Seven Kingdoms.
Combined with the peace between the wildlings and humans, it would make more sense that the Night’s Watch dissolved. Yet, as punishment for killing Daenerys, Jon is sent back to the Wall to resume his duties, with not much else being explained.
7 The Tyrells Being Unable to Defend Highgarden
After Daenerys arrives in Westeros at the beginning of season seven of Game of Thrones, she quickly begins forming allegiances with other houses. One of these houses is the Tyrells, with Olenna offering Daenerys advice on not letting her hand, Tyrion, convince her to take a more peaceful route. As it turns out, Daenerys would have benefited more from listening to Olenna, as shortly after the allegiance is formed, the Tyrell’s forces are eradicated by the Lannisters.
They Lost too Easily
All of this was a result of a rather simple misdirection, which ultimately had dire consequences for Daenerys in terms of winning the war. However, it doesn’t make logical sense that Highgarden would be taken so easily. The Tyrells are known throughout Game of Thrones as being quite a powerful house, having one of the largest armies in the entirety of Westeros.
Yet, Jaime and his forces, who would have already been tired from the war, managed to make it look like their easiest win yet. It felt far too convenient, and almost as though the writers had forgotten everything that made the Tyrells so mighty to begin with.
6 Arya Surviving The Waif
After Arya arrives at the House of Black and White in Braavos, the Waif quickly takes a strong dislike to her. In fact, when Arya made a second failure during her training with Jaqen, the Waif doesn’t hesitate when volunteering to kill her. The Waif then hunts Arya down in a brutal chase sequence, before stabbing her in the stomach multiple times. At first, it doesn’t seem as though Arya will survive these injuries, yet she still manages to escape, get treatment and then kill the Waif before she’s even fully healed.
How Did She Live?
Of course, Arya is a central part of Game of Thrones, and no avid fan would want to see another Stark die. But the entire ordeal feels too far-fetched, and leaves holes in other parts of the story. For example, during the Red Wedding, Talisa suffers the exact same injuries of Arya, and yet she dies within seconds of receiving them.
Even more strangely, Arya’s injuries from the Waif are actually a lot worse than Talisa’s. Because of this, it makes no sense how Arya would have survived this encounter. There are some cool fan theories that suggest the Waif is actually Arya, using her face, which probably would have been a better route to go down than what viewers got.
5 Melisandre’s Necklace
Game of Thrones season six revealed a major twist about Melisandre, after throwing hints about the character’s true age throughout the show beforehand. During a brief scene, Melisandre takes off her iconic necklace, aging her significantly from a young woman to an elderly one. Before this moment, it could have been assumed that her immense power was what kept her looking so young throughout the years, but showing her true age added more depth to her character. However, her necklace being the only thing that kept her young, creates a rather big plot hole.
Is the Necklace Magical or Not?
In the fourth season of Game of Thrones, there’s a scene where Melisandre is taking a bath without the necklace. Yet, despite not wearing it, she still has her youthful features. This is made worse by the fact that Melisandre dies by taking her necklace off for a final time at the end of the Long Night, so it seems careless that the showrunners forgot such a critical detail about her character.
As a whole, it makes the writing and, more importantly, the magic on the show feel incredibly inconsistent, making it harder to feel immersed within the world as a viewer.
4 Cersei Blowing Up the Great Sept of Bailor Unnoticed
At the end of season 6 of Game of Thrones, Cersei orchestrates the destruction of the Great Sept of Bailor by blowing it up using wildfire. The scene itself is one of the best in the show, and it perfectly builds up the tension as the audience anticipates what’s going to happen next. However, after the explosion has happened, there is little to no afterthought about the implications of what Cersei has done. Instead, the only person who is really affected by it is Tommen, who takes his own life, grieving over Margaery.
It’s Basically Never Mentioned Again
It’s bad enough that no one held Cersei accountable for what she had done, but it’s even more ridiculous that everyone was ok with her crowning herself as Queen of the Seven Kingdoms afterward. The entire premise of the show is based on who has a true claim to the throne, and Cersei essentially usurps Tommen without having any claim at all, making the rest of the show feel wasteful.
Given how popular the High Sparrow was with the smallfolk, and how important the Great Sept was, it logically makes no sense that she’d be able to remain in any sort of power. This is especially true, given that the Faith of the Seven still exists in Westeros.
3 The Entirety of Beyond the Wall
While “Beyond the Wall” is definitely one of the most gripping episodes of Game of Thrones, it is riddled with plot holes. It follows Jon and his raiding party, as they venture over the Wall in order to capture a White Walker to prove that they’re a threat to the Seven Kingdoms.
However, they encounter grave danger on their journey, leaving Gendry to have to rush back and seek help from Daenerys. This is when the first major plot hole occurs, as not only does Gendry pass the message to Daenerys quickly, but she also arrives there in no time at all.
A Strange Topography
As the group waits for Daenerys to arrive, they sit stuck on a block of ice, with water being the only thing keeping the wights away as they can’t swim. Yet, at the end of the episode, the wights have managed to attach chains to Viserion’s dead body to haul the dragon out of the water. If it was possible for them to do that, it doesn’t make sense why they weren’t able to attack Jon and the others as they were stranded.
2 The Night King’s Motives
Part of what makes the Night King such an effective villain is the layer of mystery surrounding him, but it still would have been good to learn more about his motive for conquering the Seven Kingdoms. During season six, episode five, “The Door,” it is revealed to Bran that the Night King was once a man, and was created by the Children of the Forest. However, not much else is explained beyond this, and it can only be implied that he was tasked with destroying men because they were killing the Children of the Forest.
They Writers Wrote Themselves Into a Corner With The Night King
Yet there are still a few other things about his character that make him even more intriguing. For example, throughout the show, the Night King leaves behind various mysterious symbols which are never explained. Additionally, there’s no backstory to his role in the first Long Night, or why he went away for so long afterward. Given that the Night King doesn’t exist in the books, it feels as though the showrunners didn’t really understand themselves where they wanted to take this character.
Each of George R. R. Martin’s characters are very complex, and even the most minor side characters based on his work stand out more than the Night King, which is ironic given that he is the main villain that the show is centered around.
1 The Prince That Was Promised
One of the major prophecies that comes up in Game of Thrones came from Aegon the Conqueror, who claimed that the prince who was promised, would be the savior of the Seven Kingdoms against the White Walkers. It is a major driving force behind the show, which makes it even weirder that it is never explicitly stated who it is. For example, at moments, it hints that Daenerys could be the one prophesized, given that the translation could also mean princess. But then it also implies that it could be Jon Snow, Arya, or even Bran.
A Broken Promise
Even today, there are still thousands of theories online about who the prophecy could be about, and the lack of a conclusive answer is one of the biggest plot holes that the show has to offer. The only thing that potentially hints at it being Jon more so than others is the fact that he is named after Aegon Targaryen, which nicely brings the prophecy full circle again in the end. However, Jon Targaryan lineage also feels wasteful in the grand scheme of the plot, feeling more like an afterthought to push Daenerys to the point of madness.