Predicting who dies in Game of Thrones is a fool’s errand, especially considering that everyone is fair game and whoever you are absolutely sure can’t die is probably the one who will die next. Throughout five seasons of the show, we’ve seen main characters drop like flies while seemingly insignificant characters have stuck around to make a huge impact on Westeros; and then they die, and the cycle repeats itself. Basically, if you’re attached to anyone on Game of Thrones, you’re watching it wrong.
With Season 6 premiering this month, we thought we’d take a look at the main players left standing and figure out who’s going to bite the dust sooner rather than later. We’re taking a calculated, scientific, fact-based approach to making character survival odds; which is to say, we’re probably wrong. So with the knowledge that SPOILERS for the first five seasons of Game of Thrones follow, here’s the odds-on favorites of the 13 Characters Most Likely to Die in Game of Thrones Season 6.
13 Daenerys Targaryen – 25000/1
Keeping in mind that these are the same odds we would have given Jon before Season 5 (and during, and even with one minute left in the finale), we think that Daenerys is Game of Thrones’ one true unkillable character. Which may seem strange considering that she’s so far removed from everything else we’ve seen on the show, but that’s exactly why she’s so unkillable. She’s been a major driving force in the story since the pilot, and to kill her off now – before she has a chance to cross the narrow sea – would be a waste of five years of groundwork laid and it would just plain make no sense.
Daenerys, aside from being the biggest longshot to die in this season or any other, is also the odds-on favorite to win the game of thrones and rule Westeros; until something horrible inevitably happens to her. With her innate ability to rule, her likability, and her rightful claim to the Iron Throne, Daenerys is perhaps the most essential character in all of Game of Thrones; she’s the hinge that the entire series turns on. Without Daenerys there would be no strategy to be played, no wars to be fought, no worrying of what will come next to Westeros. Without Daenerys, Game of Thrones becomes 99 Ways to Kill Main Characters, and that’s something that we would (hopefully) not want to watch. That’s why Daenerys Targaryen won’t die.
12 Tyrion Lannister – 3000/1
Tyrion will live forever and end up sitting on the Iron Throne, co-ruling with his wife Daenerys and with all the Starks at his side as rulers of the North, and all treachery will be banished from Westeros as Jon Snow and Sam Tarly kill every last White Walker and make a long-lasting Summertime peace. That’s the show we want to watch, but we know it will never come. We know Tyrion will meet just as bitter of a fate as those before him; we just don’t want to believe it. Not here and not now. That’s why we’re giving him 3000/1 odds to die this season, because we refuse to believe it’s going to happen. He's too damn loveable.
Maybe Tyrion could’ve died in Season 2 at the Battle of the Blackwater. Maybe he could’ve died in Season 4 when Oberyn lost his battle by combat. Maybe. But now, Tyrion’s come too far. He’s too essential to the Winter that’s coming. He finally has something to live for, and to see that end would be the biggest injustice this show has ever served us. Forget that Peter Dinklage is the show’s biggest star, and that killing him off would be a major blow to the ratings; Game of Thrones doesn’t care about Hollywood realities (plus, you could've said the same thing about Sean Bean back in Season 1, and we all saw how that turned out). The only thing it cares about is shattering our dreams and ruining our lives with death, and that’s why we’re sure that Tyrion will die eventually. It just won’t be this season. It can’t be. No way.
11 Bran Stark – 1000/1
One of the biggest longshots on this list, as we go into Season 6 Bran looks like he’ll be playing a big part in the madness that’s to come. Having sat out all of Season 5 to train with the Three-Eyed Raven, Bran is now ready to emerge with full control of his warg abilities. And considering how powerful he can be, it seems like a waste to kill Bran off before his storyline has a chance to pay off.
One of the last surviving Starks, Bran is primed to replace Robb as the head of the Stark household and take back the North with honor. He’s got Hodor, he’s got the ability to control any living (or perhaps undead) creature with his mind, and he’s got the motivation to do it all; what with the trail of dead Starks the world left in his wake. Of course, he could be brutally killed this season, negating everything he’s worked toward and leaving the world in a much sorrier sort. After all, who will be able to climb inside the mind of one of Daenerys’ dragons and stop cities from burning to the ground if not for Bran?
10 Sansa Stark – 50/1
Sansa’s had a rough life since leaving Winterfell, and some could argue that death would have been the better option for her. After watching her husband-to-be arrange the beheading of her beloved father, followed by untold physical and mental abuse at the hands of Joffrey, not to mention hearing news of her family being killed off one by one, Sansa’s life in King's Landing wasn’t a pretty one. But when it looked like she had finally escaped treachery thanks to Littlefinger, Sansa ended up back in the hands of a monster, having been wed to – and promptly raped by – Ramsay Bolton.
The last time we saw Sansa things were looking up, however, as she and Reek had jumped from the castle tower in Winterfell and look to start Season 6 on the run, away from the horrors that have befallen them. With that in mind, we have a sinking feeling in our stomachs that Sansa just isn’t meant to be happy, and death could be around the corner for the eldest surviving Stark. While it would be a tragedy to see Sansa cut down after coming so close to freedom, Game of Thrones deals in tragedies, so don’t expect a happy ending here. Having said that, we still hope against hope that Sansa will have a part to play in the coming years of Westeros, and we want to see her reunited with family members she assumed to be dead as well as get revenge on those who have made her life a living hell.
9 Cersei Lannister – 20/1
Season 6 doesn’t look like it’s going to be friendly to anyone involved in incestuous relationships, as Cersei doesn’t seem to have the power to survive this year unscathed. After her image and self-perception suffered a demoralizing blow with her walk of shame in the Season 5 finale, we’re expecting Cersei to up the battle against her enemies and make sweeping changes to King’s Landing through her son, King Tommen.
But Tommen is getting older, and with Margaery’s help he will hopefully see the destructive tendencies of Cersei and root them out once and for all. With no remaining power or respect in the capital, Cersei will surely lash out and make a fatal mistake. It’s the death we’re most looking forward to, seeing as Cersei is a vile and vengeful character that has caused untold amounts of pain to the characters that we love. But considering how excited we are to see Cersei cease to be living, we have to consider the fact that that’s exactly why she’ll stay alive and healthy for a long time to come. The good ones always die, and the evil bitches stay alive longer than anyone.
8 Jaime Lannister – 15/1
Over five seasons of Game of Thrones, Jaime Lannister has never really been in mortal danger, which is why the odds are 15/1 against him making it out of Season 6 alive. It’s a fact of life in Westeros that no one lives long, especially when your nickname is Kingslayer and most people that know you want you dead for one reason or another. So while Jaime may have survived a behanding and a trip to Dorne, he’s also one of the last remaining major characters that can conceivably be killed without requiring a reworking of the whole series.
If you think about it, Jaime hasn’t had much impact on things in Westeros as of late. Since returning to King’s Landing with the help of Brienne, Jaime has more or less shuffled around without any real purpose. His side-story in Dorne last season was self-contained and largely useless, and with his father removed from the picture, all that’s left for Jaime to do is secretly sleep with his sister. And that’s not a good enough reason to stay alive in the world of Game of Thrones. While it would still be a shock to see a character that we love to love and hate to hate as much as Jaime die, it’s something that this series has trained us to expect and prepare for. So watch out, Jaime, we’re ready for you.
7 Brienne of Tarth – 7/1
Watching Brienne die will not be pretty, and we know she won’t go out without a fight, but we can’t help but think that the end of the road is coming for Brienne the Beauty. Loyal to a fault and worthy of all our Game of Thrones fan-fiction, Brienne entered our hearts as the no-nonsense Kingsguard to Renly Baratheon and will most likely exit our hearts in an unfair fashion; dead and buried at the hands of someone that we hate. Please David Benioff and D. B. Weiss, just don’t let it be Jaime who kills her.
Watching Brienne meet her end will be one of the more difficult things we’ll have to face on Game of Thrones, especially considering how close Brienne is to saving Sansa and finally carrying out the oath that she made to Cat. But we all know that there are no happy endings in this show and Brienne will probably drop sometime before she’s able to keep her oath. And that’s what will hurt most of all; the woman that lives for her honor will be destroyed before she has a chance to prove it.
6 Tommen Baratheon – 6/1
Given the proclivity of Baratheons to die, Tommen seems next in line to be unseated as King, which will set the next war for the Iron Throne in motion if he is unable to conceive a son before then. Ever the innocent boy who was thrust into a life he didn’t expect, Tommen is actually the least hated of those living in King’s Landing, and he could – if given the chance – emerge as a good King one day. But with his mother pulling his strings and his age playing a factor in his incompetence, King Tommen will likely go the way of the last two “Baratheon” kings, although this time it will be a lot harder to swallow.
The fact that Tommen genuinely loves Margaery, and that Margaery could, potentially, one day love Tommen, makes it all the worse when we think about how Tommen will die. Will it be at the hands of the Tyrells? Will his powerless ruling be his own undoing? Will he be a casualty of his Lannister lineage, despite him being one of the last innocent Lannisters? We don’t know, but what we do know is that when Tommen goes it’s not going to be off-screen like Robert or satisfying like Joffrey, it’s going to be a conflicting mess of emotions as someone who thinks they’re doing the right thing ends the life of a boy who was just trying to do the right thing, despite all the wrong things being done around him.
5 Samwell Tarly – 5/1
With Jon Snow (presumably, maybe, conceivably, possibly) dead at Castle Black, and Maester Aemon having passed away earlier in Season 5, who is left to protect Samwell Tarly from the backstabbing (and front-stabbing) thugs that now make up the Night’s Watch? No one, that’s who, and that’s why we’re not feeling good about Sam’s chances of survival past Season 6.
Always the wise yin to Jon’s brave yang, it’ll be tough to watch Sam carry on after finding out that his best friend has been killed in cold blood by his own Brothers of the Night’s Watch. Without much authority figures over at Castle Black, we don’t expect Sam to stick around very long to find out what happens when a group of thieves, rapists, and killers gain control over an ancient order that is meant to serve as humanity's first line of defence against what’s beyond The Wall. So with Sam most likely heading south along with Little Sam and Gilly, we feel that Sam has escaped enough inescapable near-death encounters and his time has come. We’re not looking forward to one of the last good men to die a miserable death, but when it happens we will be sure to honor Sam the way none of his brothers will. By burning his body and reciting these words; “And now his watch is ended.”
4 Hodor – 4/1
One of the likeliest candidates for a Game of Thrones-sendoff is Hodor, the gentle giant that warmed all of our hearts, and will most likely shatter them into a million irreparable pieces once he meets his bloody end. Nothing but pure goodness, Hodor perfectly fits the criteria of the classic Thrones death; he’s someone we would rather kills ourselves for than see die. And that’s probably why he won’t make it through Season 6 alive.
Now tasked with carrying around a more mature Bran Stark and caring for his well-being, the battles that Bran will no doubt find himself in don’t bode too well for Hodor. Whether Bran finds himself warging into a stranger or into Hodor himself, we can still (tragically) imagine Hodor’s unassuming face as some terrible person or another decides that he needs to die. Perhaps he’ll die a hero, saving Bran from peril, or perhaps he’ll die a simple coward, unsure of how to protect himself or what’s going on around him. The one thing we do know is that when Hodor dies, we revolt.
3 Loras Tyrell – 4/1
Last we saw Loras he was carted away by the High Sparrow to serve time for crimes of perversion. Though the newly militarized Faith of the Seven is going to have some trouble staying in power now that they’ve imprisoned and shamed Cersei, there’s a fine line that will need to be walked between her wiping out the Faith and keeping Loras right where she wants him; rotting in a dungeon.
There’s no doubt that Loras and Margaery’s freedom will be a big plot point in Season 6, but we assume that the major turning point will be Loras’ death at the hands of the Sparrows. The only male heir to Highgarden, Loras is an important spoke in the wheel of Westeros, and his inevitable death won’t be forgotten by the Tyrells. Though we’d love to live in a world where Loras is free to enjoy his life with his freedom intact, we just don’t see that happening; and that’s aside from the fact that the actor who plays Loras, Finn Jones, will be portraying Iron Fist in Netflix’s new series, which isn’t exactly a promising sign for his continued presence in King’s Landing.
2 High Sparrow – 3/1
It’s safe to say that if you get on Cersei’s bad side, you’re not going to live to see what her good side looks like. That’s bad news for the High Sparrow, who, last season, made an enemy out of Cersei in a way that no one before him has ever been able to do. It’s too bad we don’t necessarily like the High Sparrow – what with his locking up Margaery and Loras – because anyone who can ruin Cersei’s life the way he did should be getting some sort of medal.
Regardless, there’s very little chance that the High Sparrow will live to see the day that the Faith of the Seven is fully restored around Westeros, as his enemies hold more power than he can ever dream of. It’s a tough place to be in when you preach peace and understanding, but we have a feeling that the High Sparrow knows exactly what’s coming to him, and that he won’t be afraid when it does. Which will make this one of the rare Game of Thrones deaths that isn’t tragic or revenge-soaked, but rather just necessary and inevitable; we’re sure it will be brutal no matter what though.
1 Jorah Mormont – 2/1
Sadly sitting on the opposite end of the spectrum from his unrequited love Daenerys is Jorah Mormont. The odds-on favorite to die at some point during the course of Season 6, the future doesn’t look bright for Jorah after his encounter with the Stone Men of Old Valyria left him with a nasty case of Greyscale. While he’s currently only inflicted on his wrist, Jorah’s hiding his problem from those around him definitely don’t bode well for him finding a cure and halting the disease a la Shireen Baratheon.
Since no one who watches Game of Thrones can’t appreciate a good, wise fun-fact from Jorah about one thing or another, Jorah’s banishment by Daenerys has left us wishing the two of them can come to a happy resolution the results in Jorah’s eventually being Hand to her Queen. And since the last time Jorah and Daenerys saw each other Jorah harpooned her would-be assassin in the chest, things are looking up for our hopes and dreams. We just know that as soon as Daenerys finds her way back to Jorah and continues her quest to the Iron Throne, Jorah won’t be able to go on and he will be banished once again on account of his Greyscale; we just hope he doesn’t take anyone else with him.
Which character deaths do you think we got wrong? Are there any we missed? Let us know in the comments!