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Assessing The Safety of Every ‘Game of Thrones’ Hero Heading Into The Battle of Winterfell


Editor’s Note: Major spoilers & plot details for ‘Game of Thrones’ final season will follow.

HBO’s Emmy Award-winning fantasy drama Game of Thrones is currently on the cusp of its bloodiest episode ever, and with that new standard-setting devastation comes increased levels of speculation.

What’s the North’s defense plan? Is Dany going to be riding a dragon? Where is the Night King going? Doesn’t Bran ever get chilly sitting around in the courtyard?

But most importantly, the thought on everyone’s mind is a simple one: who is going to survive?

As longtime Game of Thrones fans know, heading into the Battle of Winterfell expecting all of your favorite characters to come out the other side alive is a fool’s errand, so with that in mind, we assessed the safety of all the Westerosi heroes heading into the climactic Battle of Winterfell.

In Big Trouble

These are the characters whose survival I’m *severely* concerned about heading into the Battle of Winterfell.

Theon Greyjoy – Theon Greyjoy tops the list of characters most likely to die and I don’t think anyone disagrees. Now that he’s made his way back to Winterfell to finally right all of his wrongs from the past, he’s as good as dead. Oh, he also sacrificed to protect Bran from the Night King, which is bold, to say the least.

Jaime Lannister – He’s made peace with his brother, Daenerys, and the Starks. He disavowed Cersei and he knighted Brienne. Jaime Lannister’s character arc is now officially closed, and therefore, is likely pegged for death.

Grey Worm – Always an ancillary character, Grey Worm is the prime example of a character whose death would hit home emotionally but not really impact the plot.

Brienne of Tarth – the moment Brienne got knighted, her fate was ultimately sealed. Brienne, always feared but never respected, has finally earned the respect of the one man who never gave her any: Jaime.

Gendry Baratheon – Once a forgotten character, Gendry has been built up quite a lot in the past season — especially the past episode — which has us worried about the fate of the lone remaining Baratheon.

Beric Dondarrion – Similar to Grey Worm, the death of a character like Beric would offer emotional weight without plot significance.

Dolorous Edd: Oh yeah … donezo.


A total toss up. The people in this category have as good of a chance at living as they do dying.

Daenerys Targaryen – Arguably the most difficult character to predict, Dany’s plot armor is as light as it’s ever been now that her character knows Jon is actually the heir to the Iron Throne.

That, combined with the fact that she’ll likely be on the back of a dragon in the heat of battle, leaves Daenerys in quite the precarious position.

The Hound – The Hound, although close to coming full circle, still has one mountain-sized personal demon to slay before it’s all said and done.

Bronn – Last we saw of Bronn, he was being tasked by Qyburn (via Cersei) to go kill her traitorous brothers … who also happen to be Bronn’s best friends. And anyone who has been following along with the Bronn character knows there’s just no way he takes a shot at the Lannister Brothers. And THAT means he’ll be fighting with them, which means he’s right in the sight of death.

It wouldn’t be shocking, at all, if Bronn heads north under the guise of killing one of the Lannisters, only to end up saving one of them.

Jorah Mormont – Given the sweet moment he had in A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms where Samwell Tarley gave him his house sword, Jorah’s prospects heading into this battle aren’t great, especially considering his likely proximity to Daenerys.

Davos Seaworth – Davos is one of those characters whose death wouldn’t really make any narrative sense but would still fell like a kick in the gut all the same. Notoriously not a fighter, the only situation where we can see Davos biting the dust is if he has to sacrifice himself for others.

Podrick Payne – Trust me, I want nothing more than to see Podrick make it out alive. After all, with his new found sword skills, it’s certainly possible. However, similar to the likes of Grey Worm and Beric Dondarrion, killing Pod would carry maximum emotional weight without having to sacrifice the plot.

Probably (Hopefully) Safe

It’s tough to imagine a scenario where these characters die with three episodes remaining.

Jon Snow – it’s just tough to see the show’s protagonist bite the dust with three episodes left. Especially considering his newly discovered parentage makes him the true heir to the Iron Throne.

Sansa Stark – Sansa seems like she has the strongest chance of surviving out of all remaining characters, as I struggle to see a narrative reason for her death in the Battle of Winterfell.

Arya Stark – Arya is going to find herself in deep at the Battle of Winterfell, no doubt about it, but her combination of badassery and plot armor makes her a likely candidate for survival.

Tyrion Lannister – There’s a reason Game of Thrones has been reminding everyone of Tyrion’s recent strategic mistakes, and that’s because he’s going to be coming in clutch AF during the Battle of Winterfell. Plus, given he’s still yet to have resolution with Cersei — his true enemy — his character arc remains incomplete.

Cersei Lannister – While this one seems relatively obvious, recent fan theories about the Night King’s whereabouts during the Battle of Winterfell have made Cersei’s survival less of a guarantee than previously believed. Still, it appears Game of Thrones is positioning her as the ultimate villain, which would require her surviving another few episodes.

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