As we inch toward Sunday’s night’s premiere of Game of Thrones’ seventh season, it’s time for one of the fandom’s annual hobbies: attempting to predict who exactly will die. This year, we’ve got our work cut out for us. The sixth season culled the show’s cast so much — Pycelle, Margaery Tyrell, Loras Tyrell, Lancel Lannister, the High Septon, and King Tommen all died in a single montage last year — that there’s hardly anyone left to kill off! Still, let’s press forward with our best predictions, unsullied by spoilers. Below, we go through the show’s major characters to decide which will die in the season ahead.
Daenerys Targaryen, Jon Snow, and Tyrion Lannister
Let’s get these ones out of the way first: They are the show’s three heroes and they’re not going to die this year. Next year? Eh, maybe. But the normal rules of drama indicate this trio is safe for the time being. Besides, Jon already died once. What are you trying to do, give the guy an ulcer?
Arya and Sansa Stark
I’d put these two just a tick below the other three, in that I’m pretty sure they’ll survive to the end of the series, but I wouldn’t bet my life on it. (I have so many more GOT posts to write!) According to Maisie Williams, George R.R. Martin promised his wife he wouldn’t kill off either of the Stark sisters, and while showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss aren’t necessarily sworn to honor and obey that vow, you’ve got to think they’ll follow in the author’s footsteps here.
Hard to say what he’s going to do this year besides maybe tell Jon Snow about R+L=J, but he probably isn’t going to die.
Davos Seaworth and Brienne of Tarth
Fan favorites? Hearts of gold? Important enough that their deaths would sting but not so important that the final season would be ruined without them? I’m not saying it’s likely, but I am saying I deserve 100 percent of the credit if either of them expire.
Don’t mind me, I’ve just been over here predicting Grey Worm’s death for years. I swear I don’t have a grudge — #BuyMINDTHEGAPoniTunes — but, come on! A loyal sidekick for the good guys who’s involved in an adorably schmoopy romance and dangerous top-secret missions can be reliably expected to die in most filmed entertainment. One day I’ll be proven right. Just watch.
Speaking of characters who might be too adorable for their own good: If cuteness is a death sentence, this guy is living on borrowed time.
Theon and Yara Greyjoy
These plucky, globe-trotting siblings are set to face off against evil Uncle Euron this year. Judging by their faces in the trailer for season seven, it’s not going to go super well.
Tormund Giantsbane, the Hound, and Beric Dondarrion
According to the trailers, these three tough guys are going to join Jon Snow in a gigantic battle against the White Walkers. That’s not the kind of thing that comes with a zero-percent casualty rate. If I had to pick, I’d guess Beric is most likely to die (if he even can), but otherwise, you’re not making me choose between Tormund and the Hound. I won’t do it.
The Night King
No matter what happens in this battle, though, you can bet the Night King will stick around for the duration. The White Walkers may be an autonomous collective, but they still need some kind of leader to wield supreme executive power.
The newest queen on the Iron Throne is being set up as season seven’s big (human) villain, which certainly puts a large target on her back. But Cersei has been such an integral part of GOT since its inception that it’s hard to believe she’ll die before the final season.
Similarly, Jaime needs to stick around at least until Cersei dies, especially if you believe certain fan theories.
Now we’re cooking with gas! Littlefinger may have wormed his way into Sansa’s good graces again at the end of season six, but his position is untenable. There are plenty of people still around who know how he double-crossed the Starks, and at least one of them (the Hound) just so happens to be heading north. This could be the season Littlefinger’s magical ability to slither himself out of any jam comes to an end.
He is so hot right now. Westeros’s favorite Joshua Jackson doppelgänger seems like the perfect kind of mini-boss for our heroes to defeat in GOT’s penultimate season. Still, the books seem to have a lot planned for Euron in the future, and it may be that season seven is too early for this dread pirate to shuffle off this mortal coil.
Sure, why not?