Fans are already discussing season seven of Game Of Thrones with eager anticipation, even though we’ve got at least eight months to wait. Actually, rumour has it that the fact that winter finally arrived (it’s not coming anymore, guys) may actually delay season seven. There’s no more summer or fall in the show, which means they can’t really start filming new content for a while unless they want to go the Alejandro G. Inarritu route from The Revenant and travel the world in search of snowy climates.
So yes, unfortunately it could be closer to a year between now and the release of the seventh (and supposedly second-to-last) season of HBO’s hit drama. But that still doesn’t mean it’s too early to speculate about the upcoming drama. And all the best Thrones speculation begins with George R.R. Martin’s favourite part of life: death.
Heading into this last season, there were actually betting odds posted on which character would die first. For the record, Lancel Lannister and Olly were at the top of the list, and while both did perish in season six, neither was the first to die. But the question now is what a list like this might look like heading into season seven’s action. Who is likeliest to die moving forward? I’m not going to bother with actual odds, and the betting markets haven’t come out with any yet, but here are five characters who are probably in big trouble the next time Thrones airs.
If you’re more of a casual viewer, Euron Greyjoy is Theon’s gruff, bearded uncle — the one who came out of nowhere to murder Theon’s father and drown himself, because that’s how you become king of the Iron Islands. A lot of people think Euron is going to play a major role moving forward, and there’s even a pretty convincing theory out there that he’ll be the one to break The Wall. But he’s also undeniably reckless and seems to be dangerously ambitious. Though the Greyjoys are supposed to be deadly at sea, he’s also trying to take on the world without any allies, whereas other powerful forces seem to be lining up alongside one another. Euron seems destined for a pretty rough crash in season seven.
I know, I know. Littlefinger is too clever to wind up dead. I’ve believed that through six seasons, and going a step further, I believe one of George R.R. Martin’s favourite tropes is that of the wise and clever triumphing while the physically strong falter. There’s a reason characters like Tyrion, Varys, Littlefinger, Arya, and Cersei have survived while so many strong lords and soldiers have fallen. But Littlefinger may have reached the end of his rope toward the end of season six, because at long last he’s put his trust in someone who’s fully aware he can’t be trusted. Sansa Stark (and to a lesser extent Jon Snow) have the upper hand, and the way Sansa was acting toward the end of the season, she won’t hesitate to do Littlefinger in if necessary.
A Clegane Brother
“Cleganebowl” was one of the most popular theories going around as season six developed, though this was one theory that left fans disappointed. The idea was that Sandor Clegane (The Hound) would wind up fighting for the Faith in Cersei’s trial by combat, and against his brother Gregor (The Mountain). The theory got a huge boost when The Hound took up company with a bunch of church-building holy folk, but was then squashed when the Faith refused to grant a trial by combat at all (thanks for that, Tommen). However, both characters are still alive and if we’ve learned anything about Game Of Thrones now that the show has surpassed the books it’s that HBO is more into crowd-pleasing than Martin. It feels inevitable for these two hulking brothers to square off once and for all, and one of them is going down.
Jorah is an interesting case for HBO to solve. He’s a character that was probably meant to be cast aside at one point or another, and yet actor Iain Glen has proven to be a pretty compelling presence on screen. His love for Daenerys is also the closest thing to a classic unfulfilled TV romance that we have, which means there’s some incentive to have him stick around. But it’s exceedingly unlikely that he actually winds up with Dany, so it may be most convenient for him to dramatically sacrifice himself for her cause. Plus, he has a (mostly) incurable disease already.
The Queen Of Thorns has become a fan favourite, largely because she makes a habit of putting obnoxious characters in their respective places. But at this point her house has been devastated, and she’s basically an old woman on her own in a world at war. She’s also the mortal enemy of the Queen, and though she appears to be under the protection of the Martells in Dorne, she doesn’t seem to have much to offer in an alliance at this point. Olenna Tyrell can handle herself — she’s one of those clever ones who’s stayed alive — but with Varys and the Sandsnakes swirling around her along with Cersei out to kill her, her time might be short.
Time will tell what happens with these five characters. If George R.R. Martin’s old assertion that his “Song of Ice and Fire” would end as some sort of wasteland with most major characters having been killed, perhaps these are only a few of the people we’ll see dying off next year. But even if the series proves lighter on deaths than many expect, these five are in dangerous positions.