Fans of HBO’s epic fantasy series “Game of Thrones” no doubt realize that the series is a violent one. They know that, during the medieval-like time period in which the series is set, everyone was at risk of dying from something, be it plagues, war or thumbs to the eyes. Everyone also knows that George R.R. Martin likes to kill off his characters (have you heard about what happened to his childhood turtles?), so viewers are not exactly surprised anymore when someone they love is killed off in a brutal way.
One of the more interesting bits of information about this upcoming season is that a character who is still alive in the book series will be killed on the show, meaning that, technically, anyone could be lost. But not every character on the show is as killable as the rest. Kill the characters mentioned below, and you risk losing some viewership, losing some great actors and losing some of the better story lines. Here’s why.
Killable, But Please Don’t:
Cersei LannisterSo we know Cersei is a bitch. She’s conspired to murder children, her own husband and even an adorable wolf pup. But Cersei’s undeniable will and intelligence are what make her vengeance so much fun to watch. Sure she’s a total monster, but like Meryl Streep in “The Devil Wears Prada” or Moriarty on “Sherlock,” Cersei’s evil gives “Game of Thrones” a bit of a clever kick. Not everything has to be solved with swords and bloodshed; her commands and scheming are another way of gaining power. The way things are going, it doesn’t look promising that Cersei will live to see the end of this saga, and she’s definitely a killable character, but taking her away would make the show much less fun.
How awesome is Grey Worm? Unlike many of Daenerys Targaryen’s compatriots, Grey Worm really has no ulterior motives, no unquenchable feelings for her and no desire to help her just to spite others. He simply wants to serve the woman that freed him, and he kept the atrocious name he was given in honor of her. Grey Worm is also an amazing fighter; what he lacks in stature he makes up for with swiftness and skill. Noble creatures like Grey Worm don’t last long when people are scheming and betraying, but Grey Worm’s loss would mean we can’t count on anyone who is inherently “good” to survive. Plus he’s got something cute going on with Missandei and, despite his castration, we’d like to see where that leads.
Brienne of Tarth
It’s indisputable that this show needs every feminist spark it can get, and what’s more feminist in the world of Westeros, than a female knight who dusts off insults hurled at her about her height or her visage so she can set out on an epic quest? Brienne of Tarth isn’t noble by birth, but she’s probably the most noble character on the show. Not only that, she was the catalyst for Jaime Lannister’s ongoing redemption. However, now that she’s lost Arya Stark, and Catelyn Stark (the woman who ordered her on her quest) is dead, we’re not sure where Brienne is headed next, which makes her vulnerable to the axe. That said, killing her off would mean that show loses a lot of its girl power.
Hard to Get Over:
Even though he knows nothing, Jon Snow seems destined to rule, at least at The Wall. But few good things come to those who try and run the show with honor and fairness. While Snow has resorted to a little treachery in the past, his devotion is to serving the Night’s Watch honorably. He’s one of the few characters who are genuinely good, and losing him would mean yet another “good guy” gone. Snow definitely gets mopey, and he occasionally suffers from some self-afflicted woe, but there are too few Starks left (even if he is a bastard) to take Jon Snow away as well.
Jaime Lannister is on a path of redemption that, if cut short, would just be a damned shame. Ignoring the series’ controversial interpretation (and questionable direction) of Season 4’s sex scene/rape scene between he and Cersei, Jaime has taken a turn for the better, acting more and more honorably since losing his hand. Jaime’s charm is becoming an admirable quality, rather than an accompaniment to his smarm. We’d very much like to see how his transformation plays out.
Another character going through a drastic transformation is Sansa Stark: Her father was beheaded right in front of her, for a time she was engaged to an evil teenage monster, her mother and brother were massacred and she was forced to marry the dwarf of House Lannister. Season 4 Sansa was depressed, frightened and seemingly at death’s (moon) door, thanks to her psycho aunt. But with Aunt Lysa gone, Sansa has nothing left to lose and has decided to start playing the game. In a look fans are calling “Darth Sansa,” her darker hair and darker wardrobe are signs of Sansa finally making some calculated moves of her own, and frankly, we’d like to see just how dark Sansa can get.
Must Stay Alive:
Tyrion Lannister has been bringing joy to viewers since Season 1, when he slapped an entitled little brat named Prince Joffrey across the face. Since then, his bitter and drunken demeanor have provided for some of the best comedic lines on the show. But Tyrion has grown from being the comic relief into a character that we truly root for. As audiences have discovered just how foul his family is, Tyrion has stood out as the moral compass of the Lannisters. He’s willing to do what it takes to rise above his foes, but unlike his sister and father, he doesn’t do so at the detriment of the innocent or the “cripples, bastards and broken things,” for whom he has a tender spot in his heart. If we’d want to see anyone in Westeros on the Iron Throne, it would be him.
But attempts on Tyrion’s life have been numerous. Should someone succeed, not only would the show lose one of its few comedic touches, it would also be losing the brilliant abilities of Peter Dinklage, the series’ only actor who has taken home any trophies for the show. Tyrion’s finally escaped his dreaded family, so it would be devastating if he wasn’t given a shot to succeed outside Westeros, and judging from HBO’s poster art, we predict he’ll be meeting up with the next character on this list.
So much awful has happened to Daenerys Targaryen, the Mother of Dragons. First, she was sold into a marriage by her vicious brother. Then, the husband she eventually grew to love died from a cut… a cut! After losing her baby, wandering the desert and having her dragons stolen, Daenerys finally amassed an army and took a few cities of her own. Though her hold isn’t quite firm, Dany has grown into a smart ruler, albeit one who occasionally makes mistakes. She’s not a character that audiences like to watch suffer — rather, she’s a character that audiences like to watch enact epic revenge.
Yet, reclaiming the throne for House Targaryen would be the “happy ending” that George R.R. Martin isn’t presumably known for, and while we can hope she succeeds, it doesn’t always seem promising. Should Daenerys expire during her quest to become a queen, Westeros would lose a potentially just ruler and audiences would lose a pretty badass character on the show. Also, with Dany gone, we’re not sure we can rely on the dragons to stick around, and the dragons are awesome, so that is not an option.
Like Daenerys, “Game of Thrones” fans crave the opportunity to watch Arya Stark enact some sweet, sweet revenge on those who have wronged her and her family. While Sansa appears to be taking a more political, strategic route to potentially get that job done, Arya has a more existential quest before her, following in the footsteps of her idol, the faceless assassin Jaqen H’ghar. Like everyone on the show, Arya has almost died several times, but like a scrappy squirrel she’s bounded back, learning more and more along the way. Shows usually suffer from focusing too much story line on children, but Arya’s journey, plotting and questionable mental health at this point make the show more interesting. The death of Arya Stark would be the most tragic, not only because she’s still only a child, but also because we actually want to watch her grow up.