What Finn Jones as Marvel's 'Iron Fist' Might Mean for 'Game of Thrones'

Will his role as Marvel's newest superhero come at the expense of HBO's Emmy-winning fantasy show?
Macall B. Polay/HBO

Deep in the heart of the mystical city of K'un-Lun lies the answer to one of life's great mysteries: "What will happen to Loras Tyrell?"

No, there's no secret passage between the Marvel Universe's martial arts haven and the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, the fantasy realm at the heart of HBO's Game of Thrones. But there is a big connection between these worlds all the same: Finn Jones, the actor chosen to star in the title role of Marvel's upcoming Netflix series Iron Fist — and better known to Thrones viewers as Ser Loras.

There are some interesting commonalities between Loras and Danny Rand, the hero at the heart of Marvel's new story. Both men come from wealthy families, and both are extraordinarily gifted warriors, as two examples. But the similarities between the characters are much less interesting than what the existence of one role means for the other.

Put simply, if Finn Jones is headlining a Marvel series, are his days as Loras Tyrell numbered?

Outside of the work involved in starring as Danny Rand (both on his own Netflix show, and as part of The Defenders, an event series aimed at aligning Netflix heroes Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist against a common enemy a la The Avengers), there's reason to believe that Jones is not long for the world of Westeros, based on his character's current predicament on the show.

When last we saw him in season five, Loras was in the custody of the High Sparrow, the figurehead of a dangerous and militant new religious movement operating from within King's Landing. He was set to stand trial for having sexual relationships with men, as well as for perjury — a crime that also placed his sister Margaery behind bars. Even without Iron Fist in the mix, fans would be wise to worry for Loras, given the track record of other main characters put on trial throughout Thrones history; it typically does not work out well, or at least not without a heavy amount of bloodshed.

For any Loras fans seeking comfort in the A Song of Ice and Fire novels on which Thrones is based, there isn't much to find. In the fourth book A Feast for Crows, Loras is mortally injured during a siege on Dragonstone, the seat of House Baratheon — allegedly injured, at least. His wounds are only reported, not seen, but if accurate, the description of the damage is extensive: Loras is said to have been mutilated with boiling oil and other assorted weapons, rendering a frightful image of the man commonly known as the Knight of Flowers.

Such an outcome isn't entirely likely for Thrones, however. For one, the Baratheon threat no longer exists, thanks to Stannis' death at the hands of Brienne of Tarth, and his army's defeat against House Bolton in the North. It's not impossible that the show could kill or badly injure Loras in a non-Baratheon assault (Riverrun, perhaps?), but it doesn't seem plausible, given Loras' current incarceration.

What is plausible, however, is Loras does not survive his trial — and if he does, and somehow manages to become a free man, it's not a stretch to imagine him protecting his fellow imprisoned sibling in a Trial by Combat against political rival Cersei Lannister. In that scenario, Loras would likely do battle against Ser Robert Strong, the Frankensteined version of Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane — and if that's where things are headed, it's not a good sign for Loras, based on Clegane's last Trial by Combat.

Other possibilities exist, ranging from entirely unimaginable scenarios to the most obvious one: Loras will live, and Iron Fist won't impact the character in any noticeable way. After all, Loras is not exactly a central figure on Thrones, even if he's a beloved one. There's reason to believe Finn Jones could still appear on Thrones from time to time, even with his commitments to Marvel.

Then again, while considering Jones' new role within the House of Ideas, it's best to also consider the House of Black and White, the death-dealing operation at the heart of Game of Thrones' season six marketing campaign. There, the rule of an Iron Fist matters very little when held up against the House's ominous words: "Valar morghulis." All men must die, and right now, all fans should prepare for Loras to embrace that High Valyrian saying.

Game of Thrones returns on April 24 on HBO.

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