Season 7 of Game of Thrones is almost upon us, and with it another parade of gory battles, simmering sex scenes, and tragic deaths.
It’s that last part I want to touch on here. Who will die in the seventh season of a show that’s never flinched from killing its characters off in gruesome, merciless fashion?
Sometimes these deaths are to be mourned: Ned losing his head; Robb, Catelyn, Talisa and her unborn child at the Red Wedding; poor Rickon with an arrow to the back. Or Oberyn Martell, in the midst of his grand soliloquy of condemnation. Pop.
Sometimes these deaths are to be rejoiced: Joffrey’s bulging eyes as the poison took him; Tyrion settling his daddy issues in the latrine; the hideous Ramsay Bolton becoming dog food.
We may not know who will meet their maker this time around, but we can make some educated guesses. After all, only one thing is certain when it comes to Game of Thrones:
There will be blood.
Cersei is a much more complicated character in the show than in the books, where she’s almost entirely loathsome. Here, we can at least sympathize with her loss. All her children dead. Years in an abusive, loveless marriage. Your only true love is your brother.
These aren’t easy things to reconcile, but now that she’s gone full Mario Puzo and burned up the great sept, killing hundreds within it and directly causing her last remaining child to kill himself, there’s not much left to empathize with. She’s a villain, if a badly outnumbered one.
I wrote about Cersei having some tricks up her sleeve in my Season 7 predictions article, but I don’t think that her tricks will save her. We need one main cast death in Season 7, and Cersei is the perfect choice. We need to make room for the final battle between good and evil, ice and fire, in Season 8, and we can’t have wicked queens hanging about in King’s Landing. The real question is who will kill her? Jaime? Arya? Or will she take her own life?
Actually, this might be a good time to look at Cersei’s prophecy, given to her by Maggy the Frog. In it she tells Cersei:
Aye. Queen you shall be… until there comes another, younger and more beautiful, to cast you down and take all that you hold dear.
This might help explain Cersei’s deep distrust of both Sansa and Margaery, but it’s almost without question referring to Danaerys.
Maggy also says:
And when your tears have drowned you, the valonqar shall wrap his hands about your pale white throat and choke the life from you.
Valonqar is High Valyrian for little brother which would also help explain Cersei’s hatred for Tyrion, and implies that Tyrion will be her killer. Then again, these prophecies have a way of twisting things up; they’re often as much about misdirection than truth.
Quite frankly, I don’t think Jorah deserves to survive this show. He’s been a right bastard to just about everyone, and he makes more sense as a redeemed and tragic hero than as…just some old man pining away for a teenage princess.
Jorah, you may recall, was exiled for selling slaves, the very thing Dany wanted to end in Slaver’s Bay. He then sought a free pass home by spying on Danaerys for Robert Baratheon. (I want to call him Bobby Baratheon, but I’ll refrain. For now.) Then he used Tyrion as a barganing chip to get back into Dany’s good graces when she, too, exiled him.
Now he’s come down with greyscale, Game of Thrones’s version of leprosy, though much worse. Dany ordered him to go find a cure at the end of Season 6, after he revealed his malady and his love for her.
I think he won’t find one. So far, only Stannis was able to find a cure, and he used every resource at his disposal so that he could save his daughter, the princess Shireen, before burning her a few years later at the stake. The bastard. I wish Stannis could die a second time.
In any case, I don’t think Jorah will be so lucky. Instead, I think he’ll return to Dany a third time, save her life a third time, and die in the process. It’s a fitting end for a miserable wretch.
Short of killing Stannis twice, we can at least kill the Red Witch who warped and twisted his ambition against him, causing the middle Baratheon to kill his younger brother and his little girl. I want Davos to do it, but I’m not sure this show is as just as all that.
I do think Melisandre will die. She’s one of two Red Priests that matter in this story, but she’s only managed one good deed: Raise Jon Snow from the dead. The rest? Mostly burning children at the stake so she could get half-baked visions of the future and lead Stannis on a fool’s quest, straight to his death. She may want the good guys to win, but she’s willing to do any horrible thing to achieve her goal. As Stannis’s defeat should help illustrate, the ends don’t always justify the means.
So how will she die? I think she goes south to meet up with Dany, and I think things go poorly for her there. Maybe she becomes dragon food. Or maybe Dany has her executed. Maybe I’m wrong and she’ll last until Season 8.
4. The Mountain
As I noted in my predictions piece. I think Cleganebowl is finally happening. Somehow, I think that Sandor will leave the Brotherhood Without Banners, and he and Arya Stark will head to King’s Landing to cross off the remaining names on her kill list. That includes Gregor, his giant, ruthless brother, and Queen Cersei, long may she reign. Or not, as the case may be.
My prediction is that Sandor, the younger, smaller, gentler, and now less undead brother will kill his vile big brother in a battle more epic than any that’s come before it. Except maybe the Mountain vs the Viper. That one will always be hard to top.
Finally the Mountain will be dead. There’s just one catch…
5. The Hound
Yeah, the Hound is also going to die. He’s a broken man. He’s almost past caring whether or not he survives. He’ll kill his brother, but not before receiving a fatal wound—maybe even poison. The Clegane name will end, and good riddance. The Hound may have never been the bad guy his brother was, and he’s grown to be a good man over time. But he’s done his share of terrible things.
Still, I realize this will be painful—but some “good guys” have to die this season also. I know the show has killed off plenty of our favorites already, but we still have to be sad and distraught in Season 7 because, well, this is Game of Thrones. Maybe Sandor will save Arya in the process, though I’m not sure if she’ll need saving anymore at this point. Maybe he’ll just get sweet revenge on his terrible brother.
Euron may or may not have a major role to play in this story going forward, either as an ally of Cersei or a binder of dragons, but I can’t imagine he’s long for this world. Theon’s mad uncle will come and cause problems, but like a match he’ll burn out quickly.
As with Cersei, I think the show needs to wrap up its mortal wars in time for a final showdown in Season 8 between the living and the dead, and Euron will need to make way for that.
If he does manage to steal Dany’s dragons, I would expect that conflict to wrap up by the end of the season. I could be wrong, though, about him even having the Horn or allying with Cersei. But either way, I don’t see him lasting as a major villain in the show.
7. Tormund Giantsbane
No! Not Tormund! All I want for Tormund is for him and Brienne to get together and have lots and lots of giant babies.
And that’s exactly why I think he’s a goner in Season 7. As with the Hound, we need lovable characters to die also, not just bad guys (and gals.) But the show can’t very well kill Jon again, or really any more Starks because it’s just too cruel at this point. I don’t see Tyrion dying either, and so the list of good guys to knock off has become rather slim.
Davos is another possibility, but my gut tells me it’ll be Tormund.