If there's one thing "Game of Thrones" is notorious for — besides dragons and incest — it's a willingness to kill off beloved characters who we previously thought of as protagonists. And with a big battle coming up in this Sunday's episode, it's not looking great for anyone. There are only four episodes left this season to kill off most of these characters, and so many of them are not long for this world.
Here's a list of some of the show's main (and supporting) characters, in order of the likelihood that they'll die.
Brienne of Tarth
She had a really nice moment last week, and is on the front lines of the battle this week. Brienne will probably die.
Theon and/or Bran
Thanks to our favourite weird three-eyed raven goth teen, we now know that the Night King wants Bran. The plan is to leave him out in the woods as bait, where his buddy-turned-betrayer-turned-no one really knows Theon Greyjoy will protect him.
He came to Sansa's rescue during the Ramsey Bolton season, and saved his sister Yara in the season premiere. Dying while defending Bran would be a solid redemption arc for Theon. But maybe that's too simple for this show. What's more of a punishment for Theon at this point: dying heroically, or living a genital-free existence with his guilt hanging over him?
Whatever the heck is going on with Bran, he seems pretty important to the plot, and don't we need to understand his weird situation better before he dies? On the other hand, this Polygon article is called "Bran has to die for Game of Thrones to realize its most important themes."
Everyone's favourite sassy child is brave and strong and hilarious, but, but she's also a 12-year-old in a terrifying zombie battle. It's hard to see her surviving this.
(Bonus: Bella Ramsey, the actress who plays Lyanna, told The Cut that what she'll miss most about playing the character is getting "the opportunity to stand up in front of a load of grown men and shame them." Legend.)
Researchers in Germany who didn't feel nerdy enough just enjoying the show also built an algorithm to determine the most likely characters to die. They found sellsword and Tyron's buddy Bronn the most likely to die, with a 93.5 per cent chance. He's survived a number of battles so far, but how long can that streak realistically keep going?
Love you, Tormund, and would get drunk with you and hear your outlandish stories anytime! But much like Bronn, you're a legendary fighter who might not make it through this fight.
Same for Grey Worm, although his stories would be less fun and more depressing.
His catch-up with Arya last week isn't boding well for him.
Does he have much left to do at this point in the series?
Her time has to be up, right? There's no way Cersei, unloved and having alienated literally every person besides a guy she has had sex with but also hates, will end up on the Iron Throne. "You win or you die," as she so famously said. We know she's going to die, we just don't know when.
It could be this week, if one popular fan theory comes true. Last week when we saw the army of wights approaching Winterfell, the Night King wasn't among them. Could he be headed towards King's Landing instead? If so, Cersei's gone.
They seem to be setting her up for failure this season — no one likes her at Winterfell, Sam thinks she unfairly killed his family, even Jorah thinks she's vindictive. In our very humble opinion, she isn't likely to live to the end. But will this be the battle that kills her? It seems unlikely, but you truly never know.
Nah, his story probably isn't over yet: many theories exist saying that he might kill the Night King (he is the Kingslayer, after all), or that he might kill Cersei. Or will Arya kill Cersei wearing Jaime's face?
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Like Brienne, Arya also had a good week last week, which doesn't bode well. But the show wouldn't have spent so long building up her face-swapping powers only to barely show them, right?
We'd like to think Sansa, the true MVP is safe. We hope Sam's doing alright. And we'd like to believe that Tyrion, Varys, Gilly, and everyone else hiding in the crypts are safe, despite the theories that maybe the crypts are where the wights will attack first. But truly, none of us actually know anything.
Drink your wine and sing your sad songs, because it's essentially guaranteed that a character you love is dying real soon.
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