By Ben Travers | Indiewire April 24, 2014 at 10:42AM
In a series with as much bloodlust as "Game of Thrones," no one is safe. So who's next? Indiewire ranks the characters most likely to be killed off every week -- with the person most at risk at the top -- based on circumstance, evidence, and plain 'ol gut feelings. Obviously, readers of the books already know what's coming, so please don't spoil it for those of us too busy, lazy, or simply disinclined to pick up the hefty novels. Without further ado, the unlucky few:
1) Tyrion Lannister
Direct evidence: Circumstances did not improve for last week's best bet to bite the proverbial bullet in "Breaker of Chains." Tyrion learned he was being denied virtually all access to anyone who could defend him properly in the upcoming trial. His wife has disappeared, painting him as even more guilty than he previously thought. Bronn is being denied access and treated with almost equal suspicion as a collaborator (though his lack of appearance in the episode forced him off this list). His father is serving as a judge against him and is rounding up more like-minded men to put his son to a quick and unjust death. Perhaps the most damning evidence is in Tyrion's head. The lovelorn Master of Coin has all but given up, mentally and symbolically (check out the above picture where Tyrion is hiding from the only ray of light creeping into his dark cell).
Circumstantial evidence: The best hope Tyrion has is that everything seems stacked against him. "Game of Thrones" very much enjoys pulling the rug out from underneath its viewers, and, while his death would be deeply depressing, it wouldn't exactly come as a shock. His survival just might, especially when it's so hard to see how he might pull it off right now.
2) Tywin Lannister
Direct evidence: Tywin's trust of newcomer Prince Oberyn doesn't bode well for the old man. While he's been the Hand of the King for some time now and knows how to take care of himself, the young blood has something up his sleeve. There's simply no way he trusts the man he held responsible for the death of his family. The deal they struck, while a savvy political move by Tywin to align his family with a dragon slayer, rings false otherwise. Tywin is up to no good -- or good, if somehow he saves Tyrion as a judge in his trial -- but something is most certainly afoot.
Circumstantial evidence: If Tywin's deal looks bad, his actions bode far worse for the elderly ruler. His posturing to the new King so quickly after the old, young King died makes him look even more pompous than usual. A sword in the belly would deflate that inflated ego, an equalizing action if not an entirely just one by the showrunners.
3) Cersei Lannister
Direct evidence: After all that's happened, Cersei needs to be under 24/7 suicide watch. Her son is dead. The man she once loved has turned into a monster, and that man was her brother so things weren't looking up in the romance department to begin with. She despises her brother-in-law and her dad doesn't care enough about her to even acknowledge her objections to teaching the new King in front of the old King's dead body, aka his grandson. Cersei very well could be the next to go, even if she seems too evil to off herself (villains rarely do the work for the heroes).
Circumstantial evidence: It doesn't feel like Cersei's going anywhere. The typical end for "Game of Thrones" characters doesn't seem to align with "not with a bang, but a whisper." They certainly favor a loud, showy exit for anyone who's going to bite the dust. Ironically enough, the same theory that would save Cersei applies to her most hated enemy, Tyrion, as well: if she died now, it would be a death of acceptance more than a fight.
4) Jaime Lannister
Direct evidence: Jaime didn't just burn his bridge with the "Game of Thrones" fandom and virtually all pop culture writers by inexplicably raping Cersei last week -- he also might have fully broke ties with the Lannisters. His sister will/better want nothing to do with him. His father made him the sword to start the season, but seems to have soured over his ability to protect anyone. Sam Adams had a similar theory over on Criticwire regarding the infamous rape scene, giving it added weight. Jaime could be the next to go, and I doubt anyone would complain.
Circumstantial evidence: Why not? He deserves it. Rape, attempted child murder, and general prickishness overwhelm any favor he earned while standing up for Brienne over most of the third season. It doesn't feel likely at this point considering last week's director didn't feel Jaime did anything wrong, but let's hope he only said that to throw us off the scent.
5) Prince Tommen Baratheon
Direct evidence: The young boy-who-would-be-king has been named the heir apparent by Tywin Lannister. That means he's got a target on his back and pretty much everyone is looking for a bullseye. Good luck, kid.
Circumstantial evidence: Though not that many named children end up dying on "Game of Thrones" (Bran survived his fall; the kid who warned the Night's Watch was the only person to survive the Wilding's attack), the writers/George R.R. Martin have proven nothing is out of bounds in concern to good taste. The quick disposal of the next king would be a somewhat surprising turn of events and seems much more likely than the wimpy-voiced blondie assuming the throne.
Wild Card - Sansa Stark
She's a target of the Lannisters, but appears to be out of their reach for the moment, and their reign seems to be coming to an end anyway. Sansa has been rescued or kidnapped by the man who killed her would-be husband (back in the day) and is either living large on a freakin' boat or scared to death trapped at sea, depending on her perspective. Either way, Littlefinger wouldn't have gone to all that effort to save her if he was simply planning to kill her himself. Sansa doesn't really belong on this list any more than anyone else in the "Game of Thrones" universe, so her inclusion is purely a gut feeling.