Game of Thrones Season 8: Who Lives and Who Dies

Who will survive all the way to the Game of Thrones series finale?

Game of Thrones Season 8 marks the end of a journey that began many, many years ago. Decades for the original fans of George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire.” And as Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss near their endgame, we’ve decided to offer our best educated guesses about who’ll live and who’ll die in the final season. And now that the bodies are hitting the floor, you can follow along what we got wrong or right.

Just remember, valar morghulis.

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The North

Game of Thrones - Jon Snow's Death

Jon Snow (Kit Harington)

Prediction: Dies

Result: Lives

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He may not be King in the North, but he gets to live in the North, which is probably happy enough for him We’re happy to be wrong.

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Daenerys Targaryen in Game of Thrones Season 8

Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke)

Prediction: Lives

Result: Dies

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We really held out hope till the end Dany wouldn’t give in to her family’s vices. Alas, she will always be our favorite monarch (not counting Sansa’s end shot).

Sansa Stark in Game of Thrones Season 8

Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner)

Prediction: Lives

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Result: Lives

How can she not? Sansa Stark has suffered perhaps more than any character and has come out stronger on the other side. She also wears power much more comfortably than her half-brother/cousin Jon Snow. After Jon has fallen, there must be a Stark in Winterfell, and neither Arya or Bran appear equipped or interested in running their childhood home. As Arya says, the title of Lady of Winterfell suits Sansa. Similar to Daenerys, Sansa’s long and cruel road has prepared her for not only surviving but thriving in this unforgiving land, turning her from naive girl to perhaps an overly cynical but cunning young woman. She outmaneuvered Petyr Baelish, and she will ensure that her family and whatever is left of Winterfell lives on to the next generation.

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She would also make an excellent Wardeness of the North.

Game of Thrones - Arya Stark

Arya Stark (Maisie Williams)

Prediction: Lives

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Result: Lives

George R.R. Martin has admitted that his wife told him if he ever killed off Arya Stark, she would divorce him. We believe him too, because we’d be just as mad as she is. Arya Stark alongside Tyrion Lannister might be the best protagonist in the whole series and she deserves better than death or feudal gender-noms servitude.

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For that reason, we suspect after the wars are over, she’ll do what she intended to do back in season 6 while on the run from the House of Black and White: She’ll charter a ship, now with Stark money and influence, and sail west into that great horizon. Like a Westerosi Christopher Columbus, she’ll seek an undiscovered country. In our head-canon, they might even name whatever she finds as Aryica or Aryiana… In any event, her destiny is not to be the lady of a castle or mother to strapping sons. That’s not her. She will follow the beat of her own drum after she knows Sansa and Winterfell is safe and will return one day as a conquering hero, we’re sure. The God of Death inevitably will have business with her, but as she’ll tell him in her own time during season 8, that business is not today.

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Game of Thrones - Bran Stark

Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright)

Prediction: Lives

Result: Lives

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Bran Stark is just coming into his own as the new Three-Eyed Raven. His arc will not be complete until he uses his warging superpowers to complete a few things: prove that Jon Snow is really half-Targaryen to all the world, warg into icy Viserion to stop him from completely totally decimating Winterfell, and fight in the great final battle. Bran is pretty safe since he is destined to replace the Three-Eyed Raven as the old man in the Heart Tree.

Game of Thrones - Tyrion Lannister

Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage)

Prediction: Dies

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Result: Lives

Another we are happy to have gotten wrong.

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Game of Thrones - Tyrion Lannister and Varys

Varys (Conleth Hill)

Prediction: Dies

Result: Dies

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Part of me would like to imagine the delight of Varys surviving to serve Daenerys as the nigh eternal Master of Whispers. He survived the fall of her father, and the fact that he plotted against her while beholden to the man who usurped her family, and has now persevered past her suspicion too. However, the Red Woman said they were both destined to die in this foreign land, and I believed her. Sooner rather than later.

Game of Thrones - Brienne of Tarth

Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie)

Prediction: Lives

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Result: Lives

Brienne of Tarth is that mythical thing completely alien to Westeros: a perfect knight. She remains ever true to her oaths and her loyalties, and she has completed the seeming impossible by seeing Sansa and Arya both safely returned to Winterfell. She also will survive the onslaught of the ice zombies to come, because Sansa will need strong and trustworthy women to defend Winterfell when spring finally blooms. I do not expect that Brienne will have the romantic happily ever after that so many fans dream for her, yet she will live on, which is something to be happy about.

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Game of Thrones - Podrick Payne

Podrick Payne (Daniel Portman)

Prediction: Lives

Result: Lives

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Nothing better happen to Podrick. Nothing! 

Game of Thrones - Lyanna Mormont

Lyanna Mormont (Bella Ramsey)

Prediction: Lives

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Result: Dies

We didn’t think it possible for David Benioff and D.B. Weiss to kill off essentially their own original creation (Lyanna Mormont is passing name in the books who we’ve yet to meet), but here we are. At least she went out like a champ and did Bear Island proud!

Game of Thrones - Ser Davos Seaworth

Ser Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham)

Prediction: Dies

Result: Lives

To risk sounding like a broken record, it feels so right being so wrong when characters as lovable as the Onion Knight make it to the end of the series still breathing.

Game of Thrones - Tormund Giantsbane

Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju)

Prediction: Dies

Result: Lives

Not only does he live, but he and Jon Snow are going to become like the best bros of all time. Of all time.

Game of Thrones - Beric Dondarrion

Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer)

Prediction: Dies

Result: Dies

As Beric told Jon Snow in season 7, this world is not for them, men who’ve cheated death. Plus, there’s the fact he’s already dead, dead (and for good) in the books. Seems like a sure body for Benioff and Weiss to build foundations upon.

Game of Thrones - The Hound

The Hound (Rory McCann)

Prediction: Dies

Result: Dies

The Hound is a man who longs for a good death with the corpses of a hundred enemies, preferably desecrated, around him. He’ll get it too, although those corspes may be very much alive. As a man who despises fire, he’ll be in a precarious situation when fire is his best defense against an Army of the Dead. Still, he is about as useful in a world of peace as a battle hammer. Whatever world comes next will not be his to make, and the emotional trauma of seeing the Hound dying on the side of a hill again, this time for real while young Arya watches on, is too emotionally-wrenching not to exploit.

Game of Thrones - Ser Jorah Mormont

Ser Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen)

Prediction: Dies

Result: Dies

Ser Jorah was ready to die a happy man. Just last season, he sacrificed a lifetime of pain to defeat Greyscale and return to Daenerys’ services. A hug from the queen he once coveted will have to suffice for all his longing, and now he is committed in her protection to the bitter end. And it was be very bitter as he fell before hordes of the dead, saving the woman he loved from afar and who gave his life purpose. Even Drogon wept for this humble knight of the Friend Zone.

Game of Thrones - Missandei

Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel)

Prediction: Lives

Result: Dies

I figured Daenerys needed at least one major confidant to make it to the end. Now it’s a mystery whether she herself will make it that far, and alas Missandei certainly didn’t.

Game of Thrones - Grey Worm

Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson)

Prediction: Dies

Result: Lives

We are happy he made it to the end of the series. He can think on his many, many sins as well as make a good meaning out of his life after losing Missandei. It isn’t a happily after, but it’s what he deserved as both a punishment and a grace note. Plus, he was playing it way too smart to get the Seven Hells out of Westeros. Thanks, but no thanks.

Game of Thrones - Samwell Tarly

Samwell Tarly (John Bradley)

Prediction: Lives

Result: Lives

Samwell Tarly must live if for no other reason than to show up all those old maesters at Oldtown by writing the definitive history of their era: A Game of Thrones. See what they set up there? Plus, he’s likely to be pardoned from his vows and made Lord of Horn Hill now that his brother and father are dust in the wind.

Game of Thrones - Gilly

Gilly (Hannah Murray)

Prediction: Lives

Result: Lives

Why would they kill off Gilly? That would just be too cruel. She’ll make a lovely lady of Horn Hill!

Game of Thrones - Gendry

Gendry (Joe Dempsie)

Prediction: Lives

Result: Lives

Not only will Gendry live, but the lad shall thrive, dammit! He will carry on the Baratheon name after Daenerys or Jon grants him full rights, and as he takes over Storm’s End with a hammer in his hand while the ghost of ol’ Bobby Baratheon will be laughing, gregariously, somewhere out there in the ether.

Game of Thrones - Theon Greyjoy

Theon Greyjoy, Née Reek (Alfie Allen)

Prediction: Dies

Result: Dies

It was really the only way to redeem himself at this point, no?

Game of Thrones - Yara Greyjoy

Yara Greyjoy (Gemma Whelan)

Prediction: Lives

Result: Lives

Theon is lost, and lest the Greyjoy line is too, Yara will live on to again bend the knee to Daenerys and salvage the reputation of her wretched family.

Game of Thrones - Euron Greyjoy

Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk)

Prediction: Dies

Result: Dies

You really think he is walking out of season 8 as anything but a corpse?

Game of Thrones - Dolorous Edd

Dolorous Edd (Ben Crompton)

Prediction: Lives

Result: Dies

We suspected he’d be fairly safe as the last remaining brother of the Night’s Watch who is a significant character (Sam is obviously getting a pardon and becoming Lord of Horn Hill). Alas, it was not meant to be, and at last his watch has ended.

Game of Thrones - Meera Reed

Meera Reed (Ellie Kendrick)

Prediction: Lives

Result: Lives

Not only will she live, but she’ll rather uncerimoniously not be included in season 8, which is odd as I suspect she has a much bigger role to play in the books where her father is alive and well, and can prove that Jon Snow is really Rhaegar and Lyanna’s son.

Game of Thrones - Ser Jaime Lannister

Ser Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau)

Prediction: Dies

Result: Dies

Jaime Lannister’s fate appears destined to be a tragic one. The fact he rides North alone–hence why he is at the bottom of this character listing–suggests how precarious his place has become in the world. In his desire to finally live up to his early optimism and ideals, he has rid himself of the love of a sister who also holds the power of his home and lands. Now he will fight the good fight, but far away from anyone who might care if he lives or dies in that fight, sans Brienne.

Shippers will hope that can be enough for both of them, but I believe like all the Lannisters, Jaime is on a one-way road to perdition. Whether he has a hand in Cersei’s death or not, I suspect both will exit the world around the same time, just as how they entered it.

The South

Game of Thrones - Queen Cersei Lannister

Queen Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey)

Prediction: Dies

Result: Dies

The Many-Faced God of Death has long been due a life from the Red Keep, and in Season 8 he will collect. Indeed, Cersei Lannister has appeared doomed for many seasons now. In the last season alone, it felt like Benioff and Weiss had to bend logic for her to survive as long as she could with her enemies to the south in Highgarden and Dorne strangely and suddenly having no defenses. However, she has the full weight of the North and conquering Dragon Queen against her, as well as an Army of the Dead about to ravage southward. She has also proven to be a poor monarch, gaining her crown by blowing up thousands of her subjects. She seems as destined for a bloody end, just like the last Mad King to rule the Seven Kingdoms.

read more: Ranking All the Game of Thrones Villains

So the question isn’t so much if she will meet her demise in season 8, but how. Cersei has always feared that her undoing would be Tyrion Lannister, because Maggy the Frog, a witch she visited as a girl, suggested she’d be strangled by her “valonqar” (Valyrian for little brother). However, Jaime is also younger than her, if only by several minutes. Like many fans, I suspect her death could be at the hands of her lover who will duplicate his act of mercy for King’s Landing when he killed Aerys II, save that in this instance he’d follow the ruler to the other side in suicide. He would, after all, be murdering the mother of his children.

Other scenarios include that her fear of a younger queen having been misplaced on Margaery, as the real menace she faces came from the east in the form of Queen Daenerys. There is also the amusing idea of her being fed to the White Walkers like any who deny natural forces beyond their control. There really are many satisfying ways for Cersei to meet her fate, ergo it’ll probably be a surprising and unexpectedly depressing one, in keeping with the monkey’s paw-styled storytelling of George R.R. Martin. No matter how it happens though, one thing is clear: Cersei Lannister must die.

You can read more of our theories for Cersei’s final fate right here.

Game of Thrones - Ser Bronn of the Blackwater

Ser Bronn of the Blackwater (Jerome Flynn)

Prediction: Lives

Result: Lives

Like any good cockroach, Bronn will outlive us all.

Game of Thrones - Ser Gregor Clegane

Ser Gregor Clegane (Hafþor Julius Bjornsson)

Prediction: Dies (Again?)

Result: Dies

Does this really count since he kind of already died the long way sometime near the beginning of season 5? Yes, the Red Viper made sure even if he did not win their duel—though he technically didn’t lose until he decided to showboat—that the Mountain would not walk away from his injuries. Nevertheless, Clegane rose again from the seeming dead as a Franken-Mountain Monster. My guess is that he will kill many, many, many of Cersei’s enemies before they finally put him back in the ground for good.

Game of Thrones - Qyburn

Qyburn (Anton Lesser)

Prediction: Dies

Result: Dies

Whoever is left alive when this is all over will not want this madman around. His fate is tied to Cersei’s, and well…

Game of Thrones - Edmure Tully

Edmure Tully (Tobias Menzies)

Prediction: Lives

Result: Lives

Assuming we even see him again in season 8, this poor and anemic lord will live on. Someone must carry on as patron lord of the riverlands, and for better or worse they’re stuck with Edmure since all the other Tullys (and blessedly the Freys) are dead. We could see Sansa or Jon putting in a good word for him so that some form of the old world carries over into the new one.

The Enchanted

Game of Thrones - Melisandre

Melisandre (Carice van Houten)

Prediction: Dies

Result: Dies

How easy it would be to forget her. But oh, yes, Melisandre still has a role to play in this tale. I’m of two minds about Melisandre’s fate. She could be left until season 8 like so many others. After all, she’s survived everything else for more decades (or centuries) than any of us previously realized! But I’m taken back to Melisandre’s nightmarish visions of Arya. She knows Arya may come to punch her ticket one day. And the Stark girl more than likely will. Ser Davos also has it out for the red witch, so should their paths converge in the latter half of the season (and they will), Melisandre’s fate will likely be as cold as the fiery one she inflicted on poor, sweet Shireen.

Game of Thrones - Daenerys and Jon with Drogon and Rhaegal

Drogon and Rhaegal

Prediction: Dies

Rhaegal Result: Dies

Drogon Result: Lives

For there to be peace, dragons must leave this world again. Just as the majestic beasts that gave the Targaryens unchecked power 300 years ago eventually faded away, Drogon and Rhaegal will quite probably die in this season, leaving Westeros once more a land ruled by men instead of magic. These also might be the most painful deaths to watch if losing Viserion was any indication.

Game of Thrones - The Night King

The Night King

Prediction: Lives

Result: Dies

We clearly put too much stock into the idea of the Night King being a metaphor for climate change or at least mother nature. You cannot kill nature, but for the sake of all that is decent in the world, you can slay Night Kings, and here we are.

So, there are our predictions for Game of Thrones Season 8. Agree? Disagree? Did we miss a character whose fate still needs a wager? Let me know in the comment section below or on Twitter.

David Crow is the Film Section Editor at Den of Geek. He’s also a member of the Online Film Critics Society. Read more of his work here. You can follow him on Twitter @DCrowsNest.