Game of Thrones is notorious for killing off its main characters and leaving its audience in utter disbelief. There has no doubt been a number of times that you’ve had to pick your jaw up off the floor after the episode cuts to black, with the image of another gruesome death still burning in your eyes. But despite all of these deaths, audiences have yet to turn their backs on the series. In fact, Game of Thrones has easily become one of the most commercially and critically acclaimed TV shows of all time, averaging over 20 million viewers per episode and winning numerous Primetime Emmys.
With Jon Snow taking back Winterfell from the Boltons, and Cersei Lannister blowing up the Great Sept of Baelor, Game of Thrones is really starting to thin the heard as we approach the last few seasons of the show. But have no fear! We predict plenty of bloodshed on the horizon with Daenerys Targaryen finally arriving in Westeros, not to mention that the White Walkers are quickly descending upon the Wall. But before the character deaths continue to pile up, let’s take a look back at the past six seasons.
Can you remember whether or not these Game of Thrones character are alive or dead?
Out of all of Dany’s three dragons, Drogon is easily the most temperamental. But because Dany is unable to lock him up, Drogon is often able to swoop in and save his mother's life... often in the nick of time. Because he has never been imprisoned, Drogon easily becomes the largest of his three siblings. If only the ability to train dragons hadn't been lost in the Doom of Valyria, Drogon might single-handedly be able to take over the Seven Kingdoms.
For all of their so-called power and knowledge, it’s a wonder that this child of the forest was able to survive for over 12,000 years. Leaf is a servant of the Three-Eyed-Raven and an ally to Bran. But when it comes to combat, Leaf is pretty much useless. Sure, she flings around a few fireballs here and there, which take out a few wights, but you would expect just a little bit more magical power from such an ancient race.
Grey Worm is a member of the Unsullied -- which are known to be some of the strongest and most loyal warriors in all of Essos and Westeros. The Unsullied are brutally trained from the age of five-years-old and taught to totally ignore pain. After being liberated by Daenerys Targaryen, Grey Worm becomes the commander of the army of Unsullied. Though he quickly learns that serving the Mother of Dragon is no safe ordeal, especially with the Sons of the Harpy leading a revolt.
Ser Bronn of the Blackwater has fought in a trial by combat, attempted to defend King's Landing from Stannis Baratheon's fleet, and was even poisoned by the Sand Snakes during a secret trip to Dorne. Do you remember if he survived all three ordeals? When we first met Bronn, he was a simple sellsword who just so happens to find himself in the company of one of the richest men in the Seven Kingdoms. Bronn works for Tyrion, and he quickly begins to climb the ladder of success, earning himself a knighthood and a royal marriage prospect in the process.
This gentle giant wouldn’t hurt a fly -- unless Bran just so happened to warg into his massive body so he could tear a number of wights into pieces. Hodor’s life story has been a surprisingly emotional ordeal, as we learn how the simple-minded stableboy, Wylis, transformed into the Hodor that we came to love. It was as close to destiny as anything else we’ve seen on Game of Thrones, and it will be interesting to see if Bran can learn to warg into anyone else aside from his trusty Hodor.
Even though her brother had a rare gift for seeing the future, it is Meera Reed who is able to outlive Jojen. Meera is a traveling companion to Brandon Stark, believing him to be a key player in the impending war against the White Walkers and their army of undead. Meera is quite skilled with a bow and arrow, but unless she finds a never-ending supply of dragon glass arrowheads, she might want to think carefully about going up against any White Walkers.
Out of the six direwolves that are discovered at the beginning of Game of Thrones, only a few remain alive. Ghost is born the runt of the litter, and is thus given to Jon Snow as somewhat of a mock gift, as he is thought to be the bastard of Lord Eddard Stark. Ghost travels with Jon for the Wall when Jon decides to take the black, and in that time Ghost has gone up against wildlings, wights and White Walkers. Has he survived thus far?
Sandor Clegane is another character that you might not know the fate of if you stopped watching the show at a certain point in time. The character has the distinction of disappearing then popping back up when you least expect him. His face was badly burned as a child by his brother, Gregor, making him extremely fearful of fire. He was a servant of House Lannister, often referred to as Joffrey's Dog or the Hound, until he flees King's Landing during the Battle of the Blackwater.
The Waif may be a servant of the Many-Faced God, but she still seems to take way too much pleasure in the pain of her students. While under the tutelage of the Waif, Arya is beaten, bloodied and blinded, much to the Waif’s delight. The teacher and student eventually become mortal enemies, and while the Waif is able to stab Arya in the belly many times, she isn't able to kill Arya entirely. Does this Faceless "Man" survive the wrath of Arya Stark?
Qhorin Halfhand is a ranger of the Night’s Watch who was stationed at the Shadow Tower. Qhorin leads a search party, along with Jon Snow, to track Mance Rayder’s movements through the Frostfang Mountains. After being ambushed, Qhorin secretly tells Jon Snow to become a wildling so he can learn everything he can about their planned attack on the Wall before reporting back to Castle Black. Qhorin allows Jon Snow to "betray" him in a last ditch attempt to save his brothers of the Watch.
Let's give Rickon the benefit of the doubt and say that this Stark has had a hard life. Both his parents were taken from him at a young age, and he is forced to flee Winterfell with his slightly older brother, Bran, to avoid being killed by Theon Greyjoy and the sinister Ramsay Bolton. Rickon is the youngest of the Stark children, but that doesn't mean his foes want him any less dead so they can keep the North for themselves.
Mirri Maz Duur
Mirri Maz Duur is a Lhazareen woman whose life is spared by Daenerys Targaryen after her village is overrun by Khal Drogo’s khalasar. After Drogo is wounded, Dany employs Mirri’s help as a maegi to heal her husband. This results in Drogo living in a vegetative state because of Mirri Maz Duur’s use of black magic, and Dany eventually discovers that the slave was more interested in taking vengeance on Drogo, rather than saving his life. Thus, Dany is forced to contemplate Mirri's fate.
If you’re a fan of the series, you know full well what the punishment is for deserting the Night’s Watch. The trick here is that you have to remember all the way back to episode one of the series to remember the fate of Will -- a Ranger of the Night’s Watch who stumbles upon a group of wights lead by a White Walker. Will is able to escape south of the Wall, making it all the way to Winterfell, where he is eventually captured by Ned Stark's bannermen and forced to explain his desertion.
Maester Aemon is one of the few characters on Game of Thrones that isn't constantly brawling with someone else or plotting their death. Rather refreshing, isn’t it? Instead, the maester is over 100 years old, and many of those years he has spent on the Wall despite his royal Targaryen blood. As of late, Aemon acted as an ally to both Jon Snow and Samwell Tarly, two men who were otherwise seen as fools to the other elders on the Wall.
The Red Wedding was undoubtedly one of the most satisfying turn of events on Game of Thrones. The psychopathic child king was so ruthless that pretty much any character (along with the entire audience) would have wanted him off of the Iron Throne. King Joffrey is particularly hated by his uncle, Tyrion Lannister, who believes that the cruel king will be the death of them all. Joffrey has few allies outside of his mother and a number of his personal guards who enjoy the violence that the king lets them carry out.
Tywin Lannister is one of the most well put together and stoic characters on the entire series. He has a deep fondness for his eldest son, Jamie, and extreme contempt for his youngest child, Tyrion. Tywin isn't one to let emotions get the better of him, but he lets his hatred of Tyrion underestimate the dwarf's intelligence on a number of occasions. For the first few seasons of the show, this head of House Lannister largely controls the actions of all three of his children.
Renly Baratheon is the younger brother of both King Robert and Lord Stannis. He rules at Storm's End and marries the beautiful and extremely wealthy Margaery Tyrell (though in reality he is much more interested in her brother, Loras). Following King Robert's death, Renly proclaims that the king's children are illegitimate, and that he will take the Iron Throne for himself and away from the Lannisters. The only problem is that Stannis would technically be next in line for the crown.
After betraying his father, the Starks, and being brutally tortured by Ramsay Bolton, Theon Greyjoy (also known as Reek) has no doubt wished for death dozens of times over. Theon was a ward of Ned Stark, which is pretty much another word for hostage. He was given to the Starks following his father's rebellion, as a kind of promise that House Greyjoy would stay in line. Of course, that hasn't been the case, and Theon has constantly found his life being threatened since he decided to betray the Starks.
After falling for Jon Snow, Ygritte is eventually betrayed by her lover when Jon proves that he will always be more crow than wildling. Ygritte, on the other hand, is a Free Folk through-and-through, and she has no choice but to continue with the wildling’s planned attack on Castle Black. This brings the former lovers face-to-face in the midst of battle. Jon seems to accept that Ygritte has the drop on him. But Ygritte seems as though she can't release the string. Does this red-headed wildling make it out of Castle Black alive?
The fact of the matter is if you serve on the Night’s Watch, you’re death will not be pretty. If you’re not killed by the wights, or the wildling, or the White Walkers, or the bitter cold, one of your own men will probably put a sword through you. You are surrounded by murderers, robbers, and rapists, after all. Lord Commander Mormont, AKA The Old Bear, discovers that he has lost control over his own men when a gang of mutineers stages a coup at Craster’s Keep.
If you stopped watching Game of Thrones after season five (and also stopped using the Internet for that matter), you may have never learned the true fate of Jon Snow. After serving as the 988th Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, Jon decides to make a truce with the wildlings, much to the distaste of many of his men. Snow is betrayed by his fellow brothers of the Nights Watch, who seek to put the much older Ser Alliser Throne into power instead.
Brienne of Tarth
Brienne of Tarth has crossed swords with some of the most renowned fighters in the Seven Kingdoms — including the Kingslayer and the Hound. But despite being a female, she almost always emerges from battle in better shape than her male opponents. Brienne may have been born heir to a beautiful island in the Narrow Sea, was she was ultimately meant to serve. She’s pledged her allegiance to Renly Baratheon, Catelyn Stark and now, Sansa Stark. Brienne’s unfaltering honor could very well be her downfall.
Despite his old age, Barristan the Bold is still considered one of the greatest swordsman in the Seven Kingdoms. After being disgraced by King Joffrey, Barristan decides to serve Queen Daenerys with the hopes that she will overthrow the Lannisters. Barristan’s honor is without question, and he fights valiantly against the Sons of the Harpy, who seek to push Daenerys out of power. Barristan is also a trusted advisor, as he had a long history of observing the ins and outs of the royal families in King's Landing.
By all rights, Melisandre should have died centuries ago (the Red Priestess is over 400 years old, after all). But Melisandre’s devotion to the Lord of Light has granted her the powers of prolonged life and the ability to see the future in the flames. Though she doesn’t always know the lord’s intentions, Melisandre’s powers are undeniable at times. She correctly predicts the deaths of a number of “kings,” and is able to bring Jon Snow back from the dead. But will Melisandre live forever or is she dead already?
Shireen is the daughter of Stannis Baratheon and Selyse Florent. She is extremely bright for her age, taking a fondness to the legends of Westeros and Essos and reading about them in books. She even teaches Davos, one of her father's closest confidents, how to read. Shireen is considered a bit of an outcast by many because of her greyscale, which covers half of her face but ended up sparing her life. She thinks of her father fondly, and will do anything to try and brighten his cold demeanor.
Oberyn Martell's arrival in King's Landing really threw the Lannisters (and the audience) for a loop. Oberyn seems to have little interest in playing the game of thrones, so long as he can enjoy the pick of the litter at King's Landing finest whore houses. He is, however, extremely interested in justice... but he'd settle for revenge as well. Before the events of the show, Oberyn's sister and her children were brutally murdered by the Mountain, and Oberyn suspects that Tywin Lannister gave the gruesome order.
You may have forgotten this minor character from a few seasons back, but Arya Stark certainly hasn’t. Yoren is a recruiting officer of the Night’s Watch, who just so happens to be in King’s Landing at the time of Ned’s execution. He helps Arya escape from the city and disguises her as a lowborn boy. Yoren is an honorable man who values the North and the Night’s Watch above all else. This is exactly what ends up getting him into a bit of a quagmire with Ser Amory Lorch, after Yoren refuses to bend to the wills of House Lannister.
Jorah Mormont is vastly complex character. He seems to have little want for fame or riches, and instead, he seeks to advise Daenerys on how to become a rule and one day take back the Seven Kingdoms. However, it is eventually relieved that Jorah was a traitor to Dany, who secretly sold information to Varys in exchange for a royal pardon. But Jorah has undoubtedly come to love Dany, and deeply regretted his lies. It's an understatement to say that Jorah's life took a sudden turn for the worst.
Cersei Lannister was wife to King Robert Baratheon, who survived him when he was mortally wounded while hunting a boar drunk. It's an understatement to say that Cersei didn't miss her husband, as she has been deeply in love with her twin brother, Jaime, for most of her life. In fact, her three children, Joffrey, Tommen and Myrcella are all born of incest. The gods apparently frown down upon this, which may explain why all of her children have undergone violent deaths.
Lysa Arryn is the widow of Jon Arryn, the Hand of King Robert Baratheon who is killed just before the start of the series. While many believe that Jon died of a sickness, others believe that it was the Lannisters who did him in. But, in reality, it is actually Lysa along with the help of Littlefinger who poison Jon. After his death, Lysa holes herself up in the Eyrie, wanting little to do with the going-ons in the Seven Kingdoms.
Beric Dondarrion has indeed died. But that doesn’t mean he’s dead. Or is he? In the world of a Song of Ice and Fire, if you want to extend your lifespan you’d better start worshipping the Lord of Light, who has brought Beric Dondarrion back to life on at least six occasions. The only time this is shown on screen is when the Lightning Lord faces off against the Hound in a trial by combat. The Hound cuts Beric almost in two, but does the Lord of Light continue to bring this member of the brotherhood back?
Maester Luwin served at Winterfell under House Stark, and he was present when the castle was overtaken by House Greyjoy. Luwin wasn’t just wise, but extremely patient. He attempted to convince Theon to right his wrongs on multiple occasions but his advice was never headed by the temperamental Greyjoy. Luwin develops a fondness for Bran following the boy's accident, and he makes it his personal mission to teach Bran that his life still has value even if he can't become a knight.
After suffering an embarrassing defeat from the Boltons while trying to take Winterfell, Stannis is shown limping through a forest, badly wounded from battle. Brienne of Tarth stumbles upon the defeated king, who she has been meaning to execute ever since she witnessed the mysterious death of his younger brother, Renly. Stannis's journey to the Iron Throne has certainly been a hard one. Though he may be the rightful king, he lacks the charisma to inspire a large following. So far as we know, this character's fate has been different in the books.
On a show filled with backstabbers, two-timers, and turncloaks, Lord Petyr Baelish may be the most accomplished liar of them all. Even though everyone knows Littlefinger is a master manipulator, know one can seem to figure out his allegiance or true agenda, and for one reason or another, everyone thinks they can use Littlefinger to their advantage. Littlefinger has been slowing climbing the ladder of power, rising to the Lord of Harrenhal and the Lord Protector of the Vale — pretty impressive for the head of a minor house.
You don't even need to watch Game of Thrones to know what becomes of Lord Eddard Stark. You just have to have seen any Sean Bean movie... ever. Ned Stark is the husband of Catelyn, and the father of Robb, Sansa, Arya, Bran and Rickon. He raises Jon Snow and Theon Greyjoy as if they were his own. Ned Stark may be the most honorable man in the Seven Kingdoms, which won't do him any favors when he's up against the Lannisters.