Game of Bones: All The Characters Who Need To Die In Season Eight
"What do we say to the Lord of Death?" Arya's sword trainer Syrio Forel asks her back in series one. "Not today," she replies. As we approach the eighth and final series (spinoffs not included), a more fitting answer might be: "What the hell have you been waiting for?"
It's no secret that as the blockbuster fantasy series has outpaced its source material it's lost some of the blood-thirst that made it so appealing and original. Major character that were once fair game have seen themselves rescued from the firing line in increasingly convenient ways, and the death count has been reserved for cowering extras.
Here, we round up the heads that really need to roll. Remember: “When you play a Game of Thrones you win or you die,” and in most cases, we preferably want the latter.
One thing is for sure: a Lannister needs to die soon, and Jamie seems to be the one who's already used up his nine lives. Last season, Bronn rugby tackled him out of the path of dragon fire while in previously outings he's escape capture and survived an amputation. A lot of people are tipping Cersei to slit her brother's throat before, presumably, taking a nonchalant sip of a fine Dorne red. As the only person left Westeros who doesn't entirely hate her, that would certainly deliver on the Shakespearian tragedies the show was once famous for.
There are no major fan theories about what secrets might be up Theon's sleeve in season eight and you'd have be driven mad by greyscale to suggest he'll end up on the Iron Throne. Having hobbled into season eight, now sans a vital appendage, at this point it's kinder to put the Iron born Prince out of his misery. He doesn't deserve anything too torturous, so something swift and vaguely noble would be good. Maybe throwing himself in front of a horse to save Sansa one last time.
Brienne of Tarth
Originally an eccentric fringe figure on the show, as Game of Thrones has evolved to bring the message of female empowerment front and centre Brienne of Tarth's stock has risen to make her one of the most badass characters on the show. But even #girlbosses must die, and it after spending the entire series devoting herself to protecting others, she's the most likely to step up and sacrifice herself for someone else. Not without putting up a good fight first, obviously.
Having already cheated death once, Jon Snow is living on borrowed time. Last season saw him confront the horrors beyond The Wall and sleep with the most beautiful woman in Westeros (admittedly his aunt, but still), so as we enter the final chapter it feels his bucket list is probably complete. Theories abound that Jon Snow is the Prince That Was Promised and that, as Azor Ahai, he will kill Daenerys in order to defeat the Night King. So what better way to keep fans guessing than chop his head off in episode one?
Time is running our for Arya to complete her shopping list of murder victims as the final season approaches. Will she be the one to stick the knife into Cersei? Are they really going to write her father's executioner Ser Ilyn Payne back into the show so she can tick off her to-do list? It seems unlikely. The Hound, however, gives her a solid shot at vengeance and chance to finish off what she started by leaving him for dead.
Greyworm became the posterboy of Westeros after season seven's very woke sex scene. He enters season eight ready to defend Daenerys' position, but at what cost? As we know from Jon Snow's Wildling love ending with an arrow, romance in Westeros is short-lived, and Greyworm seems far more likely to kick the bucket than Missandei who won't be on the frontline. Odds are there won't be three eunuchs making it to the end of the show. Theon we've covered and Varys is unlikely to be outsmarted.
Poor Samwell Tarly. He just wants to live a quiet life away from the warring world and bury his head in a book. Some suggest he is the unlikely ultimate hero who will slay the Night King with Heartsban, others predict his role is to write the history that becomes Game of Thrones. If you think his sweet cherubic face and noble intentions mean he's safe from the sword then you clearly weren't paying attention to Hodor
This story originally appeared on Esquire.co.uk.
* Minor edits have been made by the Esquiremag.ph editors.