Features and Columns · TV

The Game of Thrones Death Panic Index

By  · Published on June 2nd, 2016

Are you worried about your favorite characters dying? This won’t help.

It’s been a few seasons since we’ve done a good Death Index for Game of Thrones. And with season 6 entering its home stretch, there’s no better time than the present. In the past, we’ve polled staffers, readers, and friends of the site to get a gauge on who everyone expects to die before the season is out. This time around, we’ve changed our methodology.

Instead of simply throwing a bunch of predictions against the wall (pun intended) to see which ones will stick, we’re attacking this from the perspective of the most powerful force in Game of Thrones fandom: anxiety.

Below is our first ever Game of Thrones Death Panic Index, charting two things for a number of candidates: How Much We Want Them to Be Gone and How Likely They Are to Be Gone. Further down, we’ll walk through every candidate individually.

  1. Ser Davos Seaworth: The Onion Knight is so low on the “How Much We Want Them Gone” axis that he’s off the chart. No one wants him dead, save for the truly wicked. Everyone likes Davos and he’s just starting to find some purpose again as Sansa’s right-hand man. Though beware, this often means someone is about to go. Probably in season 7, though.
  2. Brienne of Tarth: No way they kill off Brienne right after she just met Tormund Giantsbane, the love of her life with whom she should have a million burly babies, right? Right? Guys?
  3. Cersei Lannister: The show wouldn’t be the same without Cersei drinking and scheming, but at some point she’s got to go. King’s Landing is small potatoes compared to what’s happening in The North and if there’s anyone who doesn’t need to be around for the big battle of Ice and Fire, it’s Cersei.
  4. Littlefinger: He deserves to go after what he did to Sansa, regardless of how well he knew Ramsay. But if we know one thing about Lord Baelish, it’s that he’s a survivor of the chaos he creates. He’s probably going to make it out of this season. Unless he crosses Sansa again. If so, the queen shall slay.
  5. King Tommen: Poor kid. He just wants to hang out naked all day with his Queen and Ser Pounce. Now he’s caught between his mother and the High Sparrow, a battle that isn’t going to end without bloodshed. Will the Sweet Boy King be caught in the crossfire? Yeah, probably.
  6. Ser Loras Tyrell: Does anyone really want Ser Loras dead? Except maybe the suits over at Marvel and Netflix, who need Finn Jones for a few seasons, there isn’t a lot of ire being directed at the Knight of Flowers. Unless you’re Cersei, who hates everyone but her children and her brother. Maybe Loras will end up as The Faith’s champion in Cersei’s trial by combat and be turned into a grape by Zombie Mountain.
  7. Ghost the Direwolf: It’s been a rough season for direwolves. In the span of a few episodes, we lost half of the remaining Stark wolves. Now it’s just Ghost and Arya’s wolf Nymeria, who we can only assume is in the Riverlands assembling a pack. With a big battle coming for Jon, Ghost is in danger of being the next heroic lupus mortuus est. No one wants this, but Game of Thrones might do it anyway.
  8. Dolorous Edd: Of Jon’s remaining friends in this world, it’s down to Edd and Sam. With Sam off stealing family heirlooms, Edd has been left to tend to whatever’s left of the Night’s Watch. There’s just no way any of those Bros at The Wall make it when the army of the dead arrives. Sorry, Edd. You always knew this would happen though, didn’t you?
  9. Rickon Stark: The youngest wolf is mostly an innocent, but with actor Art Parkinson growing into his NBA-level height it’s not necessary to keep Rickon around. Oh, and he’s in the custody of a psychopath who likes to flay people and light them on fire. Will we miss Rickon? No. Most people were probably surprised to see him again at all. Will we mourn him? Sure. He’s no Hodor, but he’s a kid.
  10. The Wall: One of the long-running theories about season 6 is that The Wall won’t be standing when it’s all over. This comes from fan theories, debunked plot leaks, and some wishful thinking. But think about it: in order for The Night King and his crew to get to the realms of men, that magical wall might have to come down. Now that Bran (who has the propensity to break magical enchantment barriers) is headed back there, it’s all playing perfectly toward the Charge of the Ice Brigade. It was built by Bran the Builder, it shall be unbuilt by Bran the Destroyer.
  11. Ramsay Bolton: If this dude makes it through the Battle of the Bastards, there might be riots. Melisandre didn’t reach into the black abyss of nothingness and pull Jon Snow’s goddamn soul back for nothing. She’s seen him in the flames, earning a great victory on the battlements of Winterfell. If there’s ever a prophecy that Game of Thrones fans want to come true, it’s this one. Ramsay, you’ve been fun, but we hope you go and we hope it hurts. A lot.

Death and destruction. The two things we’ve come to expect from Game of Thrones, especially when we get down to the final 4 episodes of any particular season. Will there be a Red Wedding-level betrayal before the season is out? We didn’t even include Walder Frey on our Index. Because let’s face it, he’s so far off this chart’s vertical axis that it would be a white space wasteland. We also didn’t include people like Daenerys, Tyrion, or any of their dragon buddies. Not everyone has to die in season 6. There’s always season 7 (and maybe season 8).

Read More: Game of Thrones coverage

Who do you have at the top of your own Death Wish List? Which of your favorites are the source of the most concern?


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Neil Miller is the persistently-bearded Publisher of Film School Rejects, Nonfics, and One Perfect Shot. He's also the Executive Producer of the One Perfect Shot TV show (currently streaming on HBO Max) and the co-host of Trial By Content on The Ringer Podcast Network. He can be found on Twitter here: @rejects (He/Him)