Game of Thrones has never been afraid to kill off characters, big or small. In the first six seasons, we’ve lost heroes, villains, princes, princesses, kings, queens, and direwolves. No one gets out of Westeros alive… unless you make it to season seven. In a show known for death, we have seen a surprising amount of life in the penultimate season of the show. Until now.
I don’t know who, but someone is getting got in the season finale of GoT. Here are my best guesses at who and why.
Hear me out. I do not want Arya to die, but there isn’t a character on the show whose death would mean more to the remainder of the series. If Arya dies, legions of fans would revolt, cancel HBO, swear off television for 25 minutes, then sign back up to rewatch the series and look for clues leading to her death.
Somewhere between the end of season six and the beginning of season seven, Arya turned into Old Man Logan – a benevolent psychopath who is just itching to murder anyone at this point. Even though this is the version of Arya fans have clamored for, it doesn’t seem to fit. It just seems…off. Her behavior this season has led to theories that this isn’t Arya at all; she is the Waif wearing Arya’s face. While there is no way that’s true, it is a good example of how out of place this version of the character seems, even in this out-of-sync season.
The Stark children reuniting at Winterfell was supposed to be the most pivotal moment of the show – all the surviving kids back at home sleeping in their old beds, rebuilding the Stark name, and restoring balance to Westeros; the high fantasy version of the first Thanksgiving home from college. It turns out, it IS the first Thanksgiving home from college, but in the worst way possible. It’s the Westerosi version of having nothing in common with friends and family, being stuffed back into a high school husk, and dreaming of being anywhere else with anyone else.
The Stark children being back at Winterfell has shown who is pivotal to the story and who is not. Bran cannot die because as strange and first-year-philosophy-major annoying he is, he knows ‘everything.’ He holds all the answers that Jon – a character who famously knows ‘nothing’ – needs.
Sansa cannot die because she is the most tragic figure, and unfortunately, there is another avalanche of tragedy coming straight for her. Sansa has had to suffer the consequences of all other character’s actions.
- Arya’s battle with Joffrey back in season one lead to Sansa’s wolf, Lady, being killed.
- Sansa pleading for her father’s life put the idea in Joffrey’s head to have him executed publically.
- Sansa confirming Lady Olena’s theories about Joffrey led to the plot to kill him at his wedding feast.
- Sansa trusting Littlefinger resulted in him making a deal with the Boltons which led to her horrific marriage to Ramsey.
And on and on and on. Sansa cannot die because the rest of the bad things that will happen in this story will revolve around her, which is why Arya is a leading candidate to get got in the season finale.
Arya is the only character whose journey is conceivably done as of this moment. After avenging her mother and brother by wiping out the Freys, what goals are left for her to achieve? She does not want to rule the North, she does not want to save the realms of men from White Walkers, and she does not want to sit on the Iron Throne. If you do not fall in one of those three categories, your purpose on this show is cloudy at best. She stopped crossing names off her list the minute she chose to go to Winterfell instead of King’s Landing in episode two, Stormborn. If she is not doing that, what exactly is she doing?
My Theory: In episode 6, Beyond The Wall, Arya gives Sansa the catspaw dagger (the one that Littlefinger gave to Bran, who in turn gave it to Arya), so OF COURSE it comes into play in the finale.
Also, she’s holding it on the cover of Entertainment Weekly, which is a dead giveaway:
Arya winds up getting stabbed with the dagger and Sansa is either responsible for her death, or an accomplice to it – as she has been made to be in nearly every major death on this show. Sansa’s involvement in Arya’s death sets up the driving, human, non-ice zombie conflict for the final season: The Stark Implosion aka Who Runs The North?
Arya’s death is the last true gut punch this show can deliver and in a season devoid of gut punches, showrunners Benioff and Weiss are winding up for the liver shot as we speak.
Littlefinger might be the most killable character in the history of television. No one’s death would be more satisfying. He has somehow avoided being murdered every season despite being the enemy of literally every other person he shares the screen with. Littlefinger’s neck has been in a noose all season long. From Bran chillingly spitting Baelish’s words back in his face:
To his absolutely bananas “I Am A Golden God,” balls-tripping soliloquy about fighting everyone in your mind at all times, it is plain to see that his number is up.
No one can ramble about being prepared for everything and not get killed unexpectedly. Not in this show.
My Theory: In a show as layered at Game of Thrones, where poetic justice reigns nearly as violently as The King’s/The Queen’s Justice, Littlefinger is the only person in the Seven Kingdoms that doesn’t see his own death coming. I am not sure if it is Arya, Lady Brienne, Podrick Payne, or Sansa finishing him off (my fingers are crossed for Sansa pushing him out of the Moon Door back in the Vale) but Baelish does not get out of this show alive.
THE MOUNTAIN & THE HOUND
CleganeBowl. It is happening. It is the best outcome of the dumbass plot to bring a zombie to King’s Landing because it puts The Hound face-to-face with his brother, The Mountain, for the showdown we have been waiting on for six and six-sevenths seasons.
My Theory: Jon, Dany, and the DragonHive show up at King’s Landing to convince Cersei to join the fight against The Night King. She challenges them to a trial by combat – if they win, she helps; if she wins they bend the knee/die. It’s her champion, The Mountain vs. their champion, The Hound. Their showdown forces the ‘The Living vs. The Dead’ story forward, and wraps up the Hound’s redemption arc altogether.
“The Wall Has Stood For Thousands of Years,” said every character at some point in this show. It is Chekov’s Wall, and baby, it is coming down. The mythology behind this massive structure is it is magic, and the same magic that holds it together is keeping the White Walkers at bay. If the White Walkers are the threat they have been built up to be, they have to actually invade the Seven Kingdoms, which means that thing has to come down.
My Theory: In last season’s The Door, Bran was confronted and touched by the Night King during a dreamlike, three-eyed raven sesh. When he awoke, he had marks on his arm where the Night King had grabbed him, the White Walkers knew where he was, and the magic spell that was protecting the Three-Eyed Raven’s cave was broken. This led to the Night King invading, killing the Three-Eyed Raven, the Children of the Forest, Hodor, and Bran’s direwolf, Summer.
It stands to reason that the magic protecting the cave is also defending The Wall, meaning The Night King can now cross freely after having marked Bran, who traveled under The Wall in the season seven premiere, Dragonstone.
The Wall coming down as the Night King flies over it on his brand new Ice Dragon is going to happen, because that visual is just too much CGI sweetness to pass up.
Remember when Randy Moss all of a sudden was chirping in press conferences about not feeling wanted in New England because he had not gotten a contract extension from the Patriots and the next thing you know he was traded to Tennessee? That’s my prediction for Bronn, only instead of getting traded to Tennessee, he gets violently murdered. There’s only so many times you can mention not getting what you were promised in Westeros before you get horrifically killed.
Please don’t let this happen. Please, please, please don’t let this happen. Enough direwolves have died in the service of the Starks being dumb, short-sighted, irresponsible pet owners. Now that we know Jon is only half Stark on his mother’s side, maybe his stupidity is only half as fatal to dogs, and that will be enough to keep Ghost around. I don’t even care if I never see him again, just don’t let my dude die on – or off – screen.
Oh, That’s Right! They Aren’t Dead Already
C’mon. Dude is basically dead already. The Leader of the Brotherhood without Banners has died six times; one of those was being chopped in half by The Hound. With Thoros of Myr – the Red Priest who has brought him back from the dead repeatedly – having passed away via zombie bear attack/hypothermia, Baric is a dead man walking. I guess technically he already was, but this time, it is for keeps.
My Theory: Baric dies sacrificing himself for Jon. It will be tragic, it will come with some beautiful parting words about dying in service to something greater than ourselves, and it is 100% happening.
He survived to be in the preview for the finale and for that, I am amazed. Not sure how he lives ten minutes past the credit sequence, though.
My Theory: Grey Worm is stuck in Casterly Rock with what is left of the Unsullied/Dany’s fleet of Greyjoys. We have not seen him since the invasion of the Lannister’s ancestral home, and I am pretty sure that is about to change. You know who else we haven’t seen? Euron Greyjoy.
Before the season premiere, Pilou Asbaek, who plays Euron, said his character would make Ramsey Bolton look like a little kid. No better way to do that than by wiping out penis-less Romeo. It has been too long since the scariest villain in Game of Thrones lore was on our screens. It is just too poetic for him not to re-emerge to kill the most stalwart hero.
Valar Morghulis, Grey Worm. All men must die.
More blazing hot theories available at @padraic_oconnor