It’s Game of Thrones season, and you know what that means: death. The hit HBO series is well known for many things but mostly its indiscreet killing. Now that we’re in the penultimate season, the clock is ticking, and anyone who hasn’t died yet could at any moment. As Cersei so infamously put it, in the game of thrones, you win or you die--and not everyone can win. Ever since Ned Stark’s execution, we’ve known that anyone can and will die, no matter how important they are. Many of us tune in every Sunday night, anxious that our favorite characters are going to meet a grisly end--and even if they survive, the anxiety never fully goes away because they could always be offed in the next episode or the next season.
There is, however, an upside to the constant slaughter--since, as the Faceless Men like to remind us, all men must die, that doesn’t necessarily mean only the people we like will die. Anyone could die, including the people we hate.
It’s true that resident villains Joffrey Baratheon and Ramsay Bolton are both dead, as well as a bunch of other characters we hate (the Tyrells, anyone?), but that doesn’t mean everyone on our kill list is dead. There are some characters whom we just can’t wait to see kick the bucket--and knowing Game of Thrones, they’re hopefully going to meet a suitably satisfying end. We’ve compiled a list of the surviving characters we love to hate--with any luck, No One will see our list of names and get cracking!
Okay, is it any surprise Petyr Baelish made it onto this list? Seven seasons and Littlefinger is still alive for some ungodly reason. Luckily, it seems that his days are numbered, if his interactions with Sansa are any indication. Even though Sansa claims they need him because of his men, it wouldn’t be difficult to do away with Littlefinger--Robin Arryn is easily swayed, and Bronze Yohn Royce might be more willing to aid the Starks now that he’s aware of the threat beyond the Wall. And just because Littlefinger seems penitent now doesn’t mean he’s going to stay that way, especially if Sansa keeps giving him the cold shoulder. His loyalty is never guaranteed, and sooner or later, he’s going to turn his cloak again for whatever suits him best. The real question is, who’s going to stop him and how? Will Sansa finally set Brienne on him? Will Jon choke the life out of Littlefinger like the trailer implies? No matter what, we’ll be celebrating.
14 Euron Greyjoy
Euron Greyjoy is obviously supposed to be the new Ramsay, and frankly, we’re already over it. Sure, we need a villain to boo, especially now that Ramsay has been turned into Kibbles and Bits, but maybe we could have an actual villain instead of, like, the Game of Thrones version of Jared Leto’s The Joker. Uranus is just boring. He hasn’t said or done anything or threatened to do anything that previous characters haven’t. And sure, it’s really hard to top someone like Ramsay, but he was introduced literally right before Ramsay was killed--couldn’t they make him a little more threatening? Or at the very least, a little more interesting? He’s nowhere near as creepy as his book counterpart, who cuts out the tongues of his brother and his pregnant lover and ties them to the prow of his ship. And sure, Eurotrash Greyjoy may still surprise us, but with his current trajectory, we find that unlikely. Just let Yara kill him already!
Let’s be real here: no matter how you felt about Cersei before, her actions at the end of season 6 gave her some serious villain cred. The queen-regent-turned-queen-regnant has a pretty nasty track record, having been a murderer from the age of eleven. She killed her husband, she turned over numerous people to Qyburn, and, if you read the books, you’ll know she’s responsible for much more than what we see onscreen. Most recently, she blew up an entire religious house full of people, including her daughter-in-law and her cousin/former lover, and she called her late son a traitor because he committed suicide. Cersei’s not just evil anymore; she’s become flat-out unhinged, and her trajectory from this point on is only going to be a trainwreck. She may be Queen of the Seven Kingdoms (or three, as Jaime has so helpfully pointed out), but that’s not going to matter when the white walkers get through the Wall.
12 The Sand Snakes
Ugh, seriously, why are the Sand Snakes still a plot point? How, after their flop of an introduction two seasons ago, are they still here? Just die already! Heck, we don’t even want them to die so much as we just want Weiss and Benioff to write them out completely and just pretend they never existed. The Sand Snakes were never interesting, to begin with, and the fact that they’re still kicking is irritating. They’re not even that essential to Daenerys’s conquest of Westeros, especially if they keep squabbling amongst themselves--if they can’t get along, why should an army unite behind them? Spoiler alert: they shouldn’t.
We’re hoping they kick the bucket sooner rather than later because anything they do at this point will only detract from the story. Unbowed, Unbent, and Unbroken they may be, but we’d pay dearly to see them un-alive.
11 The Night King
It should go without saying, but we really, really hope we get to see Jon Snow take down the leader of the white walkers and their army of wights. He’s easily the biggest bad of the series--the final boss, as it were. Cersei, Euron, and Littlefinger are nothing compared to the Night King--politics don’t matter when the fate of the human race is at stake.
With that being said, we can’t really imagine a scenario where the Night King wins. That would just be lame. Sure, Game of Thrones is grimdark, but if eight seasons of emotional investment are just going to end with the white walkers destroying all mankind, well, we’d have a bone to pick with the creators. We're confident that Jon Snow is going to use his Valyrian steel sword to kill the Night King--or it's possible Sam the Slayer will use his family’s greatsword. Maybe we’ll even see the dragons destroy him. The possibilities are endless!
10 Daario Naharis
Okay, maybe death is a bit harsh. It’s not that we necessarily want Daario Naharis to die; we just think that particular loose end could have been tied up a little tighter. We’re supposed to believe that Daenerys left her sellsword boy toy behind to just casually manage an entire country while she’s off to conquer Westeros? And what’s more, we’re supposed to believe that said sellsword boy toy isn’t going to run Meereen into the ground? He has zero experience and interest in running a country--his involvement literally just stems from wanting to bone Dany. Now that Daenerys is a continent away and has bigger fish to fry, is Daario actually going to respect her wishes and keep the peace in Meereen? Probably not. Meereen is either going to overthrow his Second Sons and form their own government, or Daario is going to get bored and swan away on some new adventure. Maybe he’ll even try to win Daenerys back.
9 Jorah Mormont
Look, Jorah Mormont is basically on death’s doorstep anyway. The man has a disease that only children have been able to survive, and it’s spreading fast. Unfortunately, we know he still has a part to play, or else he would’ve died in season 6, and they wouldn’t have paid Iain Glen to return for another season.
So, why exactly is Jorah still around? And why is he in Oldtown of all places?
Our guess is that while he’s researching a treatment for Greyscale (sure, like no one else in Westeros has done that before), he’ll come across vital information. Perhaps, he and Sam will work together in mining the dragonglass from Dragonstone. Maybe he’ll even go on to fight for his khaleesi once more, using his newfound knowledge of dragonglass to defeat the White Walkers.
Mostly, we just hope he dies.
8 Jaime Lannister
Here’s the thing: Jaime is really only interesting around certain characters. Cersei is not one of those characters. In fact, Cersei brings out the worst in her twin. Now that Brienne is back in Winterfell and Bronn is nowhere to be found, Jaime’s just hanging around Cersei’s side and... well, not doing much of anything except getting into a pissing contest with Euron. And unless he plans on joining back up with Brienne or Tyrion or taking another road trip with Bronn, we’d rather he just stop... you know... existing.
Unfortunately, Jaime probably isn’t going to die anytime soon. There’s a lot of speculation going around that he’s going to be the valonqar who wraps his hands around Cersei’s throat and chokes the life from her, and we really can’t imagine the showrunners getting rid of Cersei until near the very end, which means we’re stuck with Jaime for the foreseeable future.
Honestly, we’ve got mixed feelings about Melisandre. On the one hand, she brought Jon Snow back to life. On the other, she did convince a man to burn his own daughter and only heir at the stake, which indirectly caused the suicide of his wife and his own death. Melisandre hasn’t done a lot since bringing back Jon--she’s mostly just moped around the fire and offered Jon the occasional gem of mystical wisdom. This doesn’t look terribly promising for her season seven trajectory. We know from the season seven trailer that Melisandre makes it to Dragonstone at some point, which means she probably allies herself with Daenerys--but if Jon and Davos run into her there, that will definitely create some problems since Davos is out for blood. Maybe Davos will want vengeance for Shireen and kill the Red Woman. Maybe something will happen to the ruby choker that keeps her immortal. Who knows?
6 The Mountain
Come on, you can’t deny that you want to see Frankenstein’s monster die for real. Gregor Clegane was always a terrifying character because of his brute strength and his devotion to the Lannisters, but now, he’s even more terrifying because he’s a walking science experiment. He survived death once--but will he survive it a second time?
Many fans have predicted Cleganebowl--a throwdown between Gregor and his younger brother, Sandor “The Hound”--later this season. We’re not even sure if such an event is going to happen--Sandor is currently headed north with the Brotherhood while Gregor is protecting Cersei down in King’s Landing--but if it does, we can’t say for certain who would win. It doesn’t seem likely that either brother is going to survive the series, and if they face off with one another, at least one of them is surely going to die. Let’s hope it’s Gregor!
Behind every evil queen is an evil, disgraced doctor who likes to experiment on live bodies.
While Cersei is definitely the one issuing all the commands, Qyburn is the brains of the outfit. He was the one who turned Gregor Clegane into Frankenstein’s monster, took control of Varys’s little birds, and he and Cersei both came up with the idea to blow up the sept, which eventually made her Queen--and you can bet Qyburn will be whispering in her ear the whole time. Qyburn, as the astute of you may recall, was thrown out of the Citadel for experimenting on people who were still alive. In the books, he takes this experimentation a step further by torturing people sent to him by Cersei. One of them is the Blue Bard, Margaery’s minstrel who's tortured into falsely accusing several men of being Margaery’s lovers. Another is Falyse Stokeworth, a woman who irritates Cersei and who she gives to Qyburn to do with as he pleases.
4 Randyll Tarly
Seriously, screw this guy. Sam’s dad is a d!ck with a capital D. For those who don’t remember, Samwell Tarly is the eldest Tarly child and was supposed to be the heir to Horn Hill. His father, however, considered him too soft and not worthy of being Lord of Horn Hill. When Randyll saw that his second son, Dickon, was strong and sturdy and everything Randyll wanted from a son, he told Sam that he was to announce he was taking the black and joining the Night’s Watch--and if Sam didn't agree, then Randyll would take him on a hunt, and Sam would “fall from his saddle” and break his neck. Sam was forced to choose between joining the Night’s Watch and dying.
No wonder family dinner is so awkward.
We’d really love to see Randyll get his just desserts, and we’re hoping that’ll happen later this season.
3 Robin Arryn
While Joffrey was definitely the most obnoxious boy on Game of Thrones, Robin could (and still can) give him a run for his money. The son of Jon Arryn and Lysa Tully, Robin became Lord of the Vale as a small child when his father was poisoned by his own wife. Lysa hinted that the murder was the work of the Lannisters, took her son, and fled to the Vale, where they gradually became more and more unhinged. As a result, Robin became an obnoxious, spoiled brat who has an obsession with breastfeeding and making people “fly.” The show doesn’t seem to care about him so much now that Littlefinger has control of the Vale army, but we’re guessing that’s going to change pretty soon. In the books, Littlefinger is slowly poisoning Robin, and while Winterfell is pretty far from the Eyrie, it’s not entirely impossible for Littlefinger to pursue a similar course of action in the show.
2 Bronze Yohn Royce
Bronze Yohn Royce didn’t appear to be more than a minor character when we first met him in season four, and we wish he’d stayed that way. Old, pompous, and xenophobic, Yohn Royce is just a boring, blustering nuisance. Lord Royce originally appeared alongside Lady Waynwood to make an inquiry into the death of Lysa Arryn. When we next saw him in season 5, Robin Arryn was being left in his care while Littlefinger took Sansa north to marry Ramsay Bolton. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the last we’d see of Bronze Yohn. He appeared again in season 6 to try to dissuade Robin from sending reinforcements to Sansa, and now it appears he’s going to stay in Winterfell. This could spell trouble, since so much depends on him--if Sansa, Jon, or Littlefinger alienates him, he could take the Vale army back home and leave the Northerners vulnerable to the white walkers.
1 Ed Sheeran
Out of everything we expected this season, Ed Sheeran sitting in a wood surrounded by soft boys who sing indie songs and make blackberry wine was absolutely not one of them. It was leaked some months ago that Ed Sheeran was making a cameo on the show as a surprise for Maisie Williams, who's a huge fan of his. Fans speculated that he would take on a minor role that got killed off by Arya, but no one predicted that she’d stumble upon him in the woods, singing a soft hipster version of “Hands of Gold Are Always Cold.”
Though many fans were surprised and delighted at the popular singer’s appearance, many others were furious, feeling that his appearance was pandering and took away from the integrity of the show (as if a show that gives us up-close shots of an infected ballsack has any integrity). Some fans have denounced Sheeran’s appearance so badly that they actually drove him off of Twitter.