TV Reviews

Who’s still alive in ‘Game of Thrones’?

Yes, the time is almost upon us, friends. Game of Thrones returns in just 2 days for its final collection of episodes, and the question on everybody’s lips is “Who is going to win?”. Well before we can work that out, we need to work out who is even still alive. I have therefore taken the liberty of compiling the main cast members who are in Game of Thrones Season 8 and still able to take the Throne, as well as containing a handy recap of where we left these characters at the end of Season 7. For the uninitiated, Game of Thrones is a conflict that began with the murder of Robert Arryn. The King at the time, Robert Baratheon, had gained the throne himself after succeeding in a rebellion against the Mad King Aerys Targaryen. Since then, a whole lot of middle has happened, and over 100 characters have been killed off, so you can understand why we have trouble keeping up.

Tyrion Lannister

Once the shunned son of Tywin Lannister, Tyrion is the witty and fiercely intelligent younger sibling of twins Cersei and Jaime. Over the course of the series he married Sansa Stark, was sentenced to death for the murder of his nephew Joffrey (which he hadn’t done), was released by his brother Jaime, killed his father and ex-lover and fled to Pentos. While in Pentos, Tyrion eventually enters the employ of Daenerys Targaryen, a claimant for the throne of Westeros. Initially acting as her advisor, he was promoted to Hand of the Queen in Season 6 and accompanied Dany as she journeyed to Westeros. Tyrion encouraged Dany to ally herself with Jon Snow, the King in the North. While Tyrion gives Dany sage advice, she has been known to ignore him, such as when she unleashed her dragons against the Lannister forces. At the end of Season 7, Tyrion is still working on Dany’s side, though he has convinced Cersei that the White Walkers are more troublesome than the fight for the Game of Thrones.

What are Tyrion’s chances of sitting on the Iron Throne?
I’d wager not especially high. As yet, he doesn’t have any claim to the throne personally. He is not blood related to anybody who sat on the throne – that we know of – certain fan theories suggest differently. His chances of survival, however, are fairly high considering in George R. R. Martin’s original brief named him, Dany, Jon, Arya and Bran as the only characters alive at the end of the series. While lots of elements of Martin’s original brief have not come to pass, it’s important to note that all of these characters are still alive.

Jaime Lannister

Jaime has spent the previous seasons being loyal to the House of Lannister. However, the end of last season saw him betraying his twin sister (and lover) Cersei by marching North to aid in the fight against the Night King.

What are Jaime’s chances of sitting on the Iron Throne?
Unless literally everybody else dies, I’d say not terribly likely. A good swordhand, he might be, but he has literally no claim. It looks more than likely that Jaime will die this series, probably redeeming himself by sacrificing himself, and he may well be the one to take down Cersei. Speaking of…

Cersei Lannister

Cersei has been through an awful lot in the past 7 seasons, including the death of her father, her husband and all three of her children. Ultimately, this has resulted in her currently sitting on the Iron Throne. Her final decision has been to betray Dany and Jon by pledging an alliance while the White Walker threat is dealt with while having no intention of actually assisting. Will this decision come back to haunt her?

What are Cersei’s chances of sitting on the Iron Throne?
Well, I mean, she is already sitting on the throne. The chances of her still being on the throne at the end of the next series are incredibly slim, however. There is still a very damning prophecy against Cersei out there, not to mention her lack of support within the Seven Kingdoms. I’d say it’s highly probably that Cersei will die before the end of Season 8.

Daenerys Targaryen

Dany begins the series as an exiled member of the Targaryen family in Essos. She is married off to Khal Drogo, a Dothraki warlord, but he dies. Fortunately, however, Dany has three dragons. Continuing to lead the khalasar, Dany slowly gains power in the form of an army of freed slaves and countless ships. Most of her storylines revolve around her ruling of kingdoms and cities within Essos, being called the Mother of Dragons, as well as the Breaker of Chains, etc. Basically, she doesn’t believe in slaves. She takes Tyrion into her service. An uprising by the Sons of the Harpy causes Dany to temporarily flee on Drogon’s back, leaving her stranded in the Dothraki Sea and temporarily is taken to Vaes Dothrak where widows of Khals must live. Dany destroys the temple with fire and then returns to Meereen to find that slavers have reneged on their agreement to free their slaves, leading to Dany burning the slavers with all three of her dragons. Yara and Theon swear their allegiance to Dany provided that Yara becomes Queen of the Iron Islands instead of Euron. Meanwhile, Olenna Tyrell and Ellaria Sand also pledge loyalty to Dany. Dany finally sets off to Westeros and lands at Dragonstone. She succeeds in taking Casterly Rock and attacks Lannister forces with her dragons. She tries to have an ally in the form of Jon Snow but he says that the White Walkers are more of a threat than the Game of Thrones are. Dany has to save Jon beyond the Wall when the Night King and an army of the dead attack them and loses one of her dragons, Viserion. Dany promises to help Jon defeat the White Walkers and they travel to Cersei to gain a truce. Jon and Dany give in to their feelings for each other, unaware that they are actually related. Meanwhile, Viserion rises as a wight and destroys the Wall.

What are Dany’s chances of sitting on the Iron Throne?
I think fairly high. In addition to being one of the five characters spared by Martin, she is also in line by blood. However, Jon is more immediately in line to become ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. However, Targaryen’s have previous been married to their brothers and sisters, so aunt and nephew isn’t wholly out of the realms of possibility.

Jon Snow

Jon’s story is a little bit easier to explain. He is introduced as Ned Stark’s bastard son, Jon is shipped off the Night’s Watch in the first season. There he discovers the White Walkers’ existence. He also has multiple storylines involving the wildings, who are people who live north of the Wall. Ultimately, this storyline doesn’t go particularly far, but Jon is (much later) made Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch. Jon makes the discovery that Valyrian steel can destroy White Walkers completely. Jon suffers a mutiny and is stabbed to death, but Melisandre revives him. Jon is forced to execute those who betrayed him and leaves the Watch. He helps half-sister Sansa to defeat Ramsay Bolton, who she has married. Bolton kills Jon’s half-brother Rickon, leading to a battle between the two forces, which is ended when House Arryn arrives to aid Jon. Back in control of Winterfell, Jon is declared the King in the North. Jon goes to meet Dany as he discovers that there is a large supply of obsidian underneath Dragonstone, but he refuses to swear fealty to her. Jon goes north of the Wall in order to capture a wight to prove the existence of the White Walkers. He needs saving by Dany and one of her dragons is lost, but they convince Cersei to an alliance until the White Walker threat is eliminated. Meanwhile, Bran discovers that Jon is actually a Targaryen; the son of Rhaegar Targaryen (Dany’s older brother) and Lyanna Stark (Ned Stark’s sister), making him closer in line to the throne than Dany is.

What are the chances of Jon sitting on the Iron Throne?
Well, at this point, it seems that Jon is the obvious choice. He seems to be a favourite of Martin’s, having been one of the first characters cast for the TV series, as well as one of the characters destined to survive the entire events. However, at this point, it almost seems to obvious – and it seems beyond the scope of the showrunners to do something predictable. And perhaps the most predictable thing for them to do is for Jon to win?

Davos Seaworth

I mean, there’s no point in me recapping Davos. He’s not going to sit on the Iron Throne. He used to be loyal to Stannis and is now on Jon’s side.

Sansa Stark

Sansa has undergone a lot of growth since the beginning of the series. Originally, she was a naive young girl with aspirations of marrying the dashing Prince Joffrey. Since then, she has married Tyrion Lannister and her family have been brutally slaughtered. Following Joffrey’s murder, Sansa fled King’s Landing with the help of Lord Baelish and arrived at the Eyrie to be protected by Lysa Arryn (Sansa’s aunt). Lysa tries to kill Sansa, but Baelish pushes Lysa to her death instead. Baelish organises for Sansa to marry Ramsay Bolton. Following the marriage, Sansa is raped by him and continues this throughout their marriage. Theon Greyjoy helps Sansa to escape and she enters the protection of Brienne of Tarth. Jon defeats Ramsay and Sansa watches gleefully as he is eaten by dogs. Sansa is left as regent of the North when Jon leaves and soon Arya and Bran return to Winterfell. Baelish tries to drive a wedge between Sansa and Arya, but Sansa and Arya join forces to have him executed. Sansa and Arya vow to remain on the same side in order to survive the Game of Thrones.

What are the chances of Sansa sitting on the Iron Throne?
I’d say slim. It’s noticeable that she is the only Stark left who isn’t on Martin’s list. It breaks my heart because I love Sansa and she has come a long way, but I do not think she is meant to make it to the end of the season.

Arya Stark

Arya is another character who has undergone tremendous growth. Unlike Sansa, who was captured in King’s Landing, Arya managed to escape the Red Keep and eventually becomes an assassin by training at the House of Black and White in Braavos. She is temporarily turned blind, but soon rebels against the ways of the House of Black and White and returns to Westeros. She murders Lord Walder Frey after making him unwittingly eat his sons in a pie in order to avenge her older brother Robb and her mother Catelyn’s deaths at his hand. Arya has also developed some sort of magical ability to wear other people’s faces that she learnt while becoming an assassin, and uses this to great effect. She eventually ends up in Winterfell and slits Baelish’s throat at the culmination of his attempted manipulation of her and her sister.

What are the chances of Arya sitting on the Iron Throne?
Slim. But will she survive? Almost definitely.

Theon Greyjoy

Nope.

Missandei

Aw, Missandei is a gem. She’s been at Dany’s side since Season 3 when she was liberated from slavery in Astapor. She is brilliant at languages and has a flourishing relationship with Grey Worm, a member of the Unsullied. Missandei is frankly quite brilliant, but she is firmly a member of Dany’s entourage. The chances of her being the one to sit on the Iron Throne are microscopic.

Brienne of Tarth

Brienne has switched sides so often she probably has whiplash. She was originally devoted to Renly Baratheon (remember him?) but he was killed by Stannis, so Brienne next swore allegiance to Catelyn. She was tasked with returning Jaime to King’s Landing in exchange for Sansa and Arya. By the time that she actually got to King’s Landing, however, neither of them were there so she set off in order to find them and protect them. She had several misses, such as running into Arya when she was with the Hound and then losing her again, and trying to convince Sansa to come with her while she was being protected by Baelish. By Season 7, however, Brienne is firmly in the employ of the Starks. Good news.

What are the chances of Brienne sitting on the Iron Throne?
Brienne seems much more of a follower than a leader. She’s not even in the running, Mark. She doesn’t want it. Let it go. Why did you even do this sort of a system? There are very few actual contenders for the throne, you know?

Samwell Tarly

Originally a member of the Night’s Watch, Samwell has subsequently found love in the form of Gilly. At the end of Season 6, they ended up at the Citadel and Samwell spent much time reading books. In Season 7, he becomes annoyed at being on the sidelines and steals scrolls about the White Walkers and arrives at Winterfell. When talking to Bran about Jon’s true parentage, Samwell reveals that Rhaegar had an annulment to marry another woman, meaning that Jon is a legitimate Targaryen and therefore heir to the Iron Throne.

What are the –
Oh my god, stop. He’s not going to sit on the Throne. What are you doing anymore?

I shall rephrase – will he survive?
Fuck knows. Samwell is good for delivering plot points, but so is Bran. So one of them has to go otherwise us viewings won’t have dramatic foresight, which is always fun.

Bran Stark

I personally find Bran quite annoying and my favourite season so far was the one that he just casually wasn’t in. But ignoring that, he is the Three Eyed Raven, meaning that he can see into the past – and we’ve even seen hints of him interacting with the past, such as in the case of poor Hodor. Bran mostly spends his time now being enigmatic and talking about events he has seen. It’s great. He has so much emotion.

Will he survive?
Annoyingly, probably so. George R R Martin seems to like him and invest a lot of time on him in the books, so it may be quite likely that he sees it through to the end.

Sandor “The Hound” Clegane

He doesn’t give a shit about the Iron Throne. He’s probably going to die, though, but you don’t want to be on the wrong side of him, that’s for sure. At this point, he is on Jon and Dany’s side.

Varys

Cunning and manipulative, Varys has somehow managed to survive the past 7 years by being generally quite slippery. He’s a less vindictive version of Lord Baelish who essentially knows everything there is to know about everyone. He is currently on Jon and Dany’s side, but he has shifted allegiances several times before.

Melisandre

Melisandre is a priestess of the god R’hllor. She generally goes around talking about “The prince that was promised”. She can’t be considered wholly reliable however, because she used to think that this was Stannis and even persuaded him to burn his own daughter at the stake before he ultimately ended up dying. She now believes that it’s Jon. She’s already revealed, right before leaving for Volantis, that she will make one final journey to Westeros to die. So that’s her out of the picture, but she’ll probably do some enigmatic crap before she pops it.

Tormund

So Tormund was a wildling leader some time ago. The latest season saw him aid Jon in his mission to capture a wight, and he then remained at the Wall while the others travelled to King’s Landing. At the end of the season, Tormund was at the Wall when the Night King attacked with his forces, leading us to believe that Tormund was stranded at the top of the Wall. His chances of survival don’t look great, but since he’s listed as part of the main cast that suggests he might have survived this initial attack long enough to tell somebody else.

Gilly

Gilly is rescued from her father Craster by Samwell in Season 2 and she is responsible for Samwell discovering Rhaegar and Elia Martell’s annulment so that he could marry Lyanna Stark. She is presently also in Winterfell. Gilly’s survival chances aren’t especially high, probably because of the fact that she is always lugging around a baby (who never seems to age?). I like her though.

Bronn

A hired hand, he is Team Lannister. His loyalty comes at a price, however, and he will swap sides at the drop of a hat.

Gendry

Gendry accompanied Arya throughout the first few seasons, after he had to flee King’s Landing as one of Robert Baratheon’s bastard children. He was later captured by Stannis Baratheon, but Davos helped him to escape. He was absent from screens for Seasons 4 – 6, but cropped back up in Season 7 working as a blacksmith right back where he started. Davos finds him to recruit him for the White Walker mission. Gendry is the one who has to run back to ask for Dany’s help against the army of the dead.

Jorah Mormont

A kind of creepy companion to Dany, Jorah follows her around for the first few series until he is revealed as a spy on behalf of Varys. Jorah subsequently develops greyscale and tries to get back into Dany’s good books. When she discovers his greyscale, she orders that he get it cured so that she can have his counsel once more once she has taken the Iron Throne. Jorah then journeys to the Citadel and is secretly helped by Samwell to have his greyscale removed. He journeys back to Dany who employs him once more and goes on the White Walker mission. He returns in one piece and remains on Dany’s side of the war.


So there we have it, a (not so helpful) list of the survivors thus far in Game of Thrones. It seems that most of the people on this list are on the side of Dany and Jon, though there are lots of supporting characters who are backing up the Lannister side of things. Ultimately, at the moment, there are only really two claimants to the Iron Throne – being Cersei and Dany. However, with Jon’s parentage yet to be revealed and some more troublesome characters in the midst, who knows what will happen in the next six episodes? One thing’s for sure, I’m not sure it can be predicted – especially not with the Night King in the mix. Nevertheless, I am writing my list of which of the main cast I expect to survive the final six.


Mark’s wall of prediction

Tyrion Lannister
Jaime Lannister
Cersei Lannister
Daenerys Targaryen
Jon Snow

Davos Seaworth
Sansa Stark
Arya Stark
Theon Greyjoy
Missandei
Brienne of Tarth
Samwell Tarly
Bran Stark
The Hound
Varys
Melisandre
Tormund Giantsbane
Gilly

Bronn
Gendry
Jorah Mormont

Tune in on Monday to find out how many of Mark’s predictions have already been disproved: if Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is anything to go by, pretty much all of them will be wrong. It’s a good job I’m not a betting man!

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