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Ladies and gentlemen, now presenting: the Eastwatch Eight — or Seven, if we’re unpeeling the Onion Knight from the equation.
In the final moments of “Eastwatch,” the fifth episode of Game of Thrones‘ seventh season, Jon Snow (Kit Harington) finds himself marching off to war against the White Walkers with six allies in tow, all of whom are very familiar quantities for fans of the series: Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen), Gendry of Flea Bottom (Joe Dempsie), Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju), Sandor Clegane (Rory McCann), Thoros of Myr (Paul Kaye), and Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer). Hanging back at Eastwatch, but still close enough to the frontline should the occasion call for a short-fingered friend: Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham).
After a quick mental scan of previous Game of Thrones episodes, it’s hard to imagine a more riveting lineup of Westeros warriors than the seven men currently trekking out into the winter wilderness, plus the reliable Davos holding down the fort nearby. Sadly, it’s quite easy to imagine one or more of these warriors dying as soon as they meet the White Walkers head on.
Eight men, eight seasons, eight episodes — it’s all that stands between us and the Game of Thrones finish line. It’s getting to be about that time for the show to start culling the cast, removing beloved players from the board in brutal fashion. It doesn’t help that Jon and his men are racing off to battle just in time for season seven’s penultimate episode, which is normally the time when Game of Thrones kicks things up several notches. (Think: Ned Stark’s beheading in season one, the Battle of the Blackwater in season two, and the Red Wedding in season three as three examples.)
With that said, somebody from this illustrious crew is going to die next week. Before it goes down, here’s how we’re ranking these individuals, from most likely to least likely to die in episode six.
8. Beric Dondarrion
The Lightning Lord has died several times already. What’s one more death? Except we fully expect this death to be the final nail in the coffin for the Brotherhood Without Banners’ leader. The title of next week’s episode, “Death Is the Enemy,” comes directly from Beric’s own mouth. At least someone has to die in this installment, and the person whose entire story revolves around coming back to life over and over again for some unknown Northern purpose is the decisive odds-on favorite.
7. Thoros of Myr
Nobody rocks a top knot quite like this sardonic red priest, but memorable hair can only take you so far. As the person responsible for breathing life back into the lungs of Beric on multiple occasions, Thoros adds a mystical quality to this band of heroes. Unfortunately, he won’t be able to apply that same skill to himself if he winds up on the wrong side of a White Walker attack. If Game of Thrones is at least partly about the collision of ice and fire, it only makes sense for a red priest to eventually fall against a frozen enemy. The time for such a fall is almost upon us.
6. Jorah Mormont
He survived Greyscale, thanks to Samwell Tarly (John Bradley). He lived long enough to enjoy a warm welcome home from Daenerys (Emilia Clarke). But now, as his late father would say, his watch may be coming to an end. Jorah is back in the North, putting him close enough to his family’s home. He had a touching scene with Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) in this past week’s episode, and more than a few emotional moments with his Khaleesi. Losing Jorah to the White Walker threat could be just the thing that causes Dany to refocus her efforts on fighting the dead. Hate to say it, but it’s not looking good for Jorah the Andal.
5. Tormund Giantsbane
It would break the hearts of Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) and Tormund shippers everywhere, but on the bright side, isn’t it better to have loved and lost than to never have loved at all? In any case, the ferocious Free Folk commander is our lone representative of the wildlings, so losing him would also mean losing our one and only face for that section of the story. With that said, Tormund’s death could pave the way for a wildling from the books to emerge on the show: Val, anyone? It’s wishful thinking, but in the face of such grim odds, the Free Folk can use all the wishes they can get.
4. Davos Seaworth
The Onion Knight isn’t even in the fight. So he’ll be all right, right? Well, we hope! By his own admission, he’s not much with a sword. If he’s forced to venture out into the wild to save his king, we could be looking at the end of the line for Ser Davos. He’s one of the show’s sturdiest and most morally centered characters, too, which makes him an ideal candidate to see things through until the end of the line — but it’s also why he would be such a tragic figure to lose at this point in the series.
3. Jon Snow
Make no mistake: the King in the North will survive until the final season of the series, if not necessarily through the end of the series. But that doesn’t mean he can’t die again, if only for a little while. Before the season began, we floated out a theory about Jon’s second death, and his second resurrection, this time thanks to Beric. We’re sticking with the theory until proven otherwise.
2. Gendry Baratheon
Why bring King Robert’s sole surviving son back into the mix after a three-season absence, only for him to die one episode later? He’s a political lightning rod, with so much rich history between his own father and both Jon’s biological and adoptive fathers. As a blacksmith, Gendry is a likely candidate to forge weapons made from dragonglass, crucial in the war against the White Walkers. He’s pretty much the surest bet of any of these characters to survive the coming battle, second only to one man…
1. The Hound
It’s simple: Sandor Clegane does not die until he faces off against his undead brother in battle. The Clegane Bowl is happening. It is known.
Watch the video below for the Game of Thrones cast’s preview of season seven’s battles.
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