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12th Apr 2019

Predicting how every Game of Thrones character is going to die in the final series

Kyle Picknell

Spoiler alert – this is definitely, definitely exactly how everybody is going to die in the final series of Game of Thrones because I am some kind of Brandon Stark-like warg and even if I wasn’t, I am always right about these kinds of things anyway

Game of Thrones is a show steeped in death, so much so that in the first trailer for the eighth and final series Arya Stark’s voiceover begins with the three words: “I know death”. And fair play to her, she does. She’s like, what? Eleven years old? And she’s already joined a cult of assassins and started cutting throats. And then left the cult and cut even more throats, the throats of other assassins no less, on her way out the door.

This is GoT after all. The show that takes all the things a fried chicken-greased, post-pubescent boy thinks are the coolest in the world – dragons, zombies, ice zombies, swords, a pseudo-political power struggle loosely based on the Wars of the Roses, burly, heaving men, the occasional naked women, senseless violence, ‘epic’ battles (emphasis on ‘epic’) and most of all death, throwing them all into a Zanussi fast-spin cycle with no regard for the outcome; the crispness of the whites or the fading of the colours. Or, in fact, everything turning a vague crimson tint from all the blood.

So far in the series, we have seen people die by way of getting stabbed through the eye, having molten gold poured over their head and being mortally wounded by a wild boar. And that’s just the first series. That’s just the first few episodes.

For instance, it’s in only the ninth episode that Ned Stark, the main fucking character played by Sean Bean, is sentenced to a beheading. Which you knew would eventually happen because, again, played by Sean Bean. Massive clue. But still. Despite that huge giveaway, it was a genuinely shocking moment; he was the original big (and for those that hadn’t read the books, the only) draw for the series back when Game of Thrones felt like a cheap fantasy/horror show about ice zombies that would never really go anywhere.

Ever since that moment, you became aware that this wasn’t like any other show on television at the time. The characters you were growing increasingly attached to were never ever safe – regardless of their billing or importance within the narrative architecture of the story. And especially not if they were being played by Sean Bean.

Since then, we’ve seen things like: Renly Baratheon killed by a shadow (pathetic), the Red Wedding, the pound shop Draco Malfoy getting poisoned, oh god do you remember the Red Wedding, Littlefinger pushing someone through the moon door, seriously how good was the Red Wedding, the Oberyn Martell/The Mountain mutual destruction by simultaneous skull crushing and poison-tipped spear stabbing, Tyrion cross-bowing his father whilst he was sat on the shitter, The Mountain’s reanimation as a pasty-looking fish zombie, all the Sand Snake drama you couldn’t keep up with, just murder after revenge murder after murder after follow-up murder, Jon Snow’s excessive plunging of knives through the heart betrayal by the Night’s Watch mutineers and of course, Jon Snow’s own sulky, pouty resurrection by the hot witch who isn’t actually hot at all and whose real form looks like Neil Warnock.

With all that in mind, the death and rebirth and death and some more death and just a bit more death for good measure, let us now venture forwards in time like young Bran Stark to predict how all the major players are going to meet their grisly ends in the final series. Because why not. You can’t take this show too seriously since they gave Ed Sheeran a cameo. He actually got to say some lines.

Jon Snow

Let’s be honest, at this point Jon Snow is the one character who could actually make it through the final series with all of his vital organs intact. Despite looking like every University rugby soc’s single worst member, the mouthy scrum-half who spends his nights out gradually undoing more and more buttons of his blue linen shirt and starting fights just to hide behind his larger, heavier, mouth-breathing, much uglier mates, the man is seemingly indestructible at this point.

After already being repeatedly stabbed to death by several members of the Night’s Watch and then revived by the Red Priestess Melisandre, who I am still trying to work through my very mixed feelings toward after her transformation into the sulky Cardiff City manager, he is almost crushed to death under the weight of his own men at the Battle of the Bastards.

Alas, he survives that too, along with almost falling off the 700 foot tall The Wall when he climbed it with Ygritte and Tormund and Wildling Gareth Keenan and almost getting killed at Hardhome and almost drowning in the icy waters beyond the wall and almost getting killed by an army of wights before his half-zombie uncle Benjen (or as Jon calls him ‘Benjy’, the little fucking suck-up nerd) appears out of nowhere, 6 seasons since Jon last saw him, to save his life once more.

That’s not to mention the time his wildling cave-rendezvous Ygritte has him at bow-and-arrow-point because they are AT WAR and DOESN’T KILL HIM because he kinda sorta SMILES AT HER.

So Jon clearly isn’t going to die. He just isn’t. But the best way? The most fitting, perfect way for this floppy-haired pretty-boy superhero to finally croak if it did happen?

Nothing badass, nothing noble, or honourable, or brave, or cool. The way Jon Snow should die is… is by finally taking that long-awaited seat on the Iron Throne and then slumping over into himself. “Jon?” they’ll say. “Jon? … Jon are you alright? Jon? JON! JON! JONNNNNN! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!” And as his lifeless body slowly turns cold they will realise. Natural causes. Excrement in his longjohns. Dribble down his chin. Just gone and snuffed it, hasn’t he? Hate to see it. You just hate to see it.

But hey! At least it happened before he started fathering children with his own aunt.

Cause of death: Natural Causes i.e nothing, Jon Snow

Cersei Lannister

Speaking of incest: Other than The Night King, and even that is close enough to become debatable, Cersei Lannister is the least liked central character remaining in the show, the evil, manipulative, occasionally vulnerable Queen of the Seven Kingdoms played to perfection by Lena Headey.

There’d be many fitting ways for her to go – a quick and easy poisoning of her wine, turned upon and murdered by her own Frankenstein’s bodyguard (the aforementioned The Mountain) or even just eaten whole, one single bite, by either of Daenerys’s two remaining dragons. But given that Cersei has been pretty much the main villain since Episode 1 you have to expect more of a catharsis coming from GoT when they do finally banish her to the shadow realm.

My guess is: crushed flat, completely flat, by a giant boulder falling from the sky and splatting her in Wile E. Coyote fashion whilst she’s ruminating on the balcony with a way too tall glass of red, pulling that face Lena Headey pulls, the best face in the entire history of acting, where she very clearly looks as though she is wondering whether to fuck or kill something, the only two options she possesses in her Lannister hardware, I want to kill that small peasant child on the street because it is being noisy but I also want to fuck that lamp because it is gold, etc etc, but all whilst also simultaneously weighing up the whole geopolitical structures of Westeros and calculating her best possible route to complete and total power and, also, showing that distant forlornness and regret etched into her, all the bad decisions of her life held up in the scrunched crevices of her skin, maybe I shouldn’t have had a long, tumultuous, carnal relationship with my brother to stop me feeling quite so horribly alone in the univer- SPLAT.

And now Cersei Lannister is completely two-dimensional and will lie there dying unless someone comes along with a pump to blow her back up into a balloon. Which they won’t, because it’s Cersei. And this is Game of Thrones and not Looney Tunes.

Cause of death: Flattened by a boulder that fell from the sky like Wile E. Coyote

Jaime Lannister

Jaime, Jaime, Jaime, Jaime. Once the bad guy (along with Cersei) after shoving young Brandon Stark out of the tower window in the opening episode, the Kingslayer has redefined himself after a slow-burning heel-face turn that has most recently seen the one-handed blade wielder now abandon his sister (after one last extremely troubling hump), who plans to betray the Targaryen-Stark alliance, and join those forces in the north to fight for the good of mankind. Which is cool. Good on him.

How will he die? Unfortunately, his fate is obvious. It’ll be one last faintly noble act to set him firmly as a hero of the story and complete his character arc.

The best bet is something involving defending Bran Stark from a load of White Walkers a la Hodor, sacrificing his life and righting the wrong he committed at the very beginning of the show.

Or, alternatively, (and this will be loads, loads better) he will revert back to his true self, the arrogant, incestuous Tory child-murderer and betray everyone that had slowly learned to trust him (including the audience). Then Brienne of Tarth will just murder him by way of exclusively using her forehead. And it will be glorious.

Cause of death: Heroic last stand to save Bran/headbutted to death for being a fucking prick by Brienne of Tarth

Tyrion Lannister

Sorry lads, but there is only one way Tyrion is going to go and it is: just forgetting to have a drink one episode and the accumulative hangover will hit him like a tonne of bricks on a cargo train carrying loads of carriages worth of bricks, I don’t know why, presumably to the big brick depository, and he will just die.

The ‘epic’ final battle will be going on, with Jon Snow leading all the men and women of the Seven Kingdoms into one final do-or-die struggle against the mass army of the undead and Tyrion will just be back in the tent, curled up in the foetal position, slowly fading because nobody can nip out down the road to get him a sausage and bacon sandwich and an Irn Bru, the greasy, sugary nutrients his body so desperately and vitally needs so as to not die, because they are all too busy fighting to save the world.

This is how Tyrion Lannister will go, unfortunately.

Cause of death: Really really really really really bad hangover combined with lack of Irn Bru

Daenerys Targaryen

It is – and stay with me on this – it is quite difficult to imagine a woman who has birthed dragons and consequently has two large dragon bois guarding her 24/7 as though she is the most precious thing there is, more precious even than a Tinder match you have even the slightest emotional connection with, more precious than antimatter, dying.

Like… realistically, how can she die? There is Viserion, the dragon lost to the White Walkers and since handily converted into an ice dragon by the Night King, which still shoots fire somehow, except the fire is blue because ‘ice dragon’, but, using simple dragon mathematics (2 dragons > a single dragon), we can rule it out as her cause of death. That leaves us with one option and one option alone. That option is: simply not dying.

Cause of death: No, sorry, she has (two) dragons. She isn’t dying. Maybe ageing will get her eventually. Maybe. But judging by Emilia Clarke’s radiant skin even that seems unlikely. 

Arya Stark

Right, sorry, but Arya Stark is an eleven-year-old with a sword like a wand. A sword like a chalkboard pointer. She is going to die literally immediately after she comes up against anyone half decent at fighting. It is absolutely shocking that nobody has managed to cut her down yet.

In Year 7 I was continually and relentlessly defeated by an hour and a half of algebra and a mild breakout of acne, let alone a grown man with a dagger. Someone just slash her up already. This is a joke. No, no I do not give a fuck about her training with the Faceless Men. That was a pyramid scheme disguised as an assassin’s cult. She spent most of the time selling oysters out of a wheelbarrow. Open your eyes people.

Cause of death: Fighting someone who just doesn’t care that she is, in fact, a small child

Sansa Stark

Sansa Stark is essentially Game of Thrones’ ragged chew-toy, the character who, more than anybody else, has been psychologically and emotionally and physically tormented by the other players in the grand Westeros hellscape where everyone gets psychologically and emotionally and physically tormented at least a little bit.

She’s the one who has had to watch her dog killed and then her father killed and then see her father’s head on a pike and then almost marry Joffrey, the guy who did it, and then get sexually assaulted and then watch him marry someone else and then have Littlefinger very creepily and repeatedly hit on her and then get kidnapped and then sexually assaulted and kidnapped again.

Sansa’s life has been complete and utter shit so far, a completely miserable existence, and it is only now that after being reunited with Jon and Arya again in Winterfell that she has been granted even the remotest sense of normality. Do you know what that means? She is going to be killed off in the most unnecessarily tragic circumstances imaginable.

The most unnecessarily tragic circumstances imaginable? Not even participating in the final battle but watching it from atop the castle defences and getting hit with a Night King icicle spear from 500 yards away. Literally the very first death. Bang. Right through the heart. Sorry Sansa. At least the suffering is over now.

Cause of death: A new PB for the Night King in the ice javelin

The Hound

The Hound is, and I can’t stress this enough, the single best character in the show. At this point he’s pretty much the only person we should care about and the only person that, through everything, has continually shown the perfect balance of a) very occasionally doing a good thing to make you forget about his entire life spent doing almost exclusively bad things and b) still being able to go on murderous rampages to violently kill all the people that he thinks have wronged him or somebody he likes.

As a result, the only fitting end for Ser Sandor Clegane is to go down in a blaze of glory. A lot/almost all of his story arc has revolved around his fear of fire (very, very good writing – look at his scars! From being burned! As a child! He hates fire! Like he really doesn’t like it!) so one can only assume that he gets toasted to a crisp.

By the dragons? Nah, too easy. Having put in a monumental ‘big lad up top’ shift in defeating the White Walkers, killing thousands of them singlehandedly like an angry Jon Parkin in armour, he will end the day by lighting a victory cigar, a spark of which will be blown by the wind into the haystack he just happens to be sitting upon, thus immolating The Hound as he sits atop a fiery throne.

Cause of death: Fire, obviously. Obviously it will be fire

The Night King

Technically the Night King is already dead. The obvious course of action that is going to take place in the final season is that Jon Snow slays the Night King, so that isn’t going to happen. Instead, it’s going to be a Harry Potter style long-con and Samwell Tarly, the Neville Longbottom of the Game of Thrones universe, will come up good at the very end and snatch all the glory away from the other characters.

How do I know this? Because Samwell Tarly has spent the last series off in the middle of nowhere reading books and scrubbing Greyscale off Jorah. That’s how. He is clearly going to pull something special out of arse when push comes to shove against the Night King. And everyone will wonder why they were all so worried about him in the first place.

Samwell Tarly, remember, is the guy who got caught alone behind the wall by the White Walker army and managed to evade a literal certain death by… hiding behind a large rock! Do you remember that? Honestly, go and watch the last five minutes. Season 2, Episode 10 – ‘Valar Morghulis’.

Cause of death: A Samwell Tarly nonsense

Bran Stark

Bran Stark and Bran Stark’s story arc are – if you are a normal person – the least exciting thing about Game of Thrones by quite some distance. The whole ‘Bran has visions and oh look, the Night King is aware of his presence and is looking at him FUCK’ thing is just shamelessly ripped off from Frodo and Sauron in Lord of the Rings and I have absolutely no time for it, to be honest. Neither should you.

However, he is now the Three-Eyed Raven and will be crucial in the final battle against the army of the dead. But, that being said, he has bored us stiff for seven seasons now and deserves a fate much worse than death.

Cause of death: None, but is forced to live in that fucking tree or whatever and suffer visions of Jaime and Cersei going at it in the Winterfell tower – an event he now suddenly and hideously remembers – for the rest of eternity

Grey Worm

Grey Worm is basically the only #goodlad in the series so I’m sorry folks but he isn’t dying until I’m ready for him to die, which is long after he leads the Unsullied units in the final battle against The Night King, kills a load of White Walkers, survives, and sails away with his love, and the single most attractive person in the Seven Kingdoms, Missandei, living a long and joyous life in Essos somewhere. Then, and only then, can he pass away quietly in his sleep. He might even grow back his dick at some point, somehow, idk. Surely there’s a Maester out there who can help our boy out? To all the Maesters out there: please stop resurrecting bastards, help Grey Worm get little Grey Worm back. Not that he even needs it, amirite Missandei? 😉

Cause of death: A long happy life of happiness. He will die of being possibly too happy, if such a thing were biologically feasible

Samwell Tarly

As already established, Samwell Tarly will, unthinkably, defeat the Night King. And it will be a crippling disappointment. After eight long seasons and far too many scenes involving Bran Stark, the White Walkers – who have been advancing forward in either a tediously slow trudge or a full-blown sprint across the snow depending on what suited the tv show’s producers best during that particular season – will finally descend upon the Seven Kingdoms and this bloke (^this bloke^), with the exact same neckbeard every single Monster-drinking Computer Science undergrad has, will defeat them because – and wait for it – because he was the only fucker in the entire goddamn world they live in to think about maybe possibly going to read a book so he could learn something on how to beat an enemy nobody actually knows anything about. It’s not exactly Sun Tzu’s Art of War is it lads. It’s just the basics, yeah?

Jon Snow was too busy almost dying all the time, Daenerys was too busy raising her dragons and sacking cities, Cersei was too busy drinking wine and staring at things wondering whether she’d like to murder and/or have intercourse with them, Jaime was too busy being a dick and then not being a dick but then still kinda being a dick, Tyrion was constantly on the piss, fair play to him, don’t blame him one bit actually, Arya was too busy fucking about in a cult and selling oysters, Sansa was too busy getting emotionally brutalised, The Hound was too busy being terrified of candles, Bran was too busy taking shrooms with his pals in the woods, Grey Worm was too busy standing in his armour and being really, really quiet (what a vibe by the way), all meaning that it was left to this guy, the Game of Thrones Samwise Gamgee, the Game of Thrones Neville Longbottom, the Game of Thrones outsider who – oh look he doesn’t like violence and he’s fat and he can’t swing a sword what a loser! but oh no wait he has other traits like… being really kind and intelligent! who knew! what a crazy world this is! – turned about to be the real hero all along.

How will he die? I don’t know, but I do know this: he will die as the saviour of Westeros and this whole thing, just like Lost before it and just like Breaking Bad, will have been a monumental fucking waste of time. All I know is that this is going to happen and that I will die forever bitter about the ending of Game of Thrones. But still! Looking forward to the final season guys! Can’t wait to finish the journey with all of you!

God I hate that I like this show.