Hours prior to the Season 8 premiere of "Game of Thrones," I decided to create a “GoT Death Pool” with my friends and family, complete with a list of characters and our individual predictions for whether each of these characters would be alive, dead or a wight by the end of the series.

Shortly after that, many of those friends and family members asked me to explain my answers—at which point it dawned on me that some fans may not have caught on to some of the subtle lines that I took as classic foreshadow.

Ask and you shall receive. Many of the characters I’ve predicted to kick it over the next five weeks are based on some of these earlier scenes:

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BRIENNE OF TARTH

The Scene: Season 2, Episode 7

Brienne:   “Who wants to die defending a Lannister?”

More evidence: Season 5, Episode 3

Brienne:   “Nothing is more hateful than failing to protect the one you love.”

The Theory:  Honestly, I think this one is self-explanatory. Who wants to die defending a Lannister? Brienne.  Brienne does.

 

JAIME LANNISTER

The Scene: Season 5, Episode 4

Bronn:   “I’ve had an exciting life; I want my death to be boring. How would you want to go?”

Jaime:   “In the arms of the woman I love.”

More evidence: Season 7, Episode 3

Olenna Tyrell:   “You really do love her. You poor fool. She will be the end of you…If she’s driven you this far, it’s gone beyond your control…She’s a disease. I regret my role in spreading it. You will, too.”

The Theory:

Again self-explanatory. Cersei will be the end of Jaime—whether he dies trying to kill Cersei or the actions done out of love for her (crippling Bran Stark, destroying Dany’s allies and making an attempt on her life, etc.) ultimately get him killed. Who knows—maybe “the woman he loves” is really Brienne these days...regardless, he’s a goner.

 

ARYA STARK

The Scene: Season 3, Episode 6

Melisandre:   “I see a darkness in you, and in that darkness eyes staring back at me. Brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes—eyes you will shut forever. We will meet again.”

The Theory:

When Arya went blind in the end of Season 5, it seemed that Mel’s prophecy had been fulfilled. But alas, Arya’s eyes (so many colors due to all her faces) did not shut forever, and the two certainly did not meet again…yet.

 

MELISANDRE, THE “RED WOMAN”  

The Scene: Season 7, Episode 3

Melisandre:   “I’ve done my part…My time whispering in the ears of kings has come to an end…I will return, dear Spider, one last time. I have to die in this strange country.”

More Evidence: Season 6, Episode 10

Jon Snow:   “Ride south today. If you return to the North, I’ll have you hanged as a murderer.”

Ser Davos:   “If you ever come back this way, I will execute you myself.”

The Theory:

Whatever Mel is seeing in the fire, it’s telling her she’s meant to die by the end of all this. “I’ve been ready to die for many years,” she tells Jon shortly after revealing how old she actually is. “If the Lord was done with me, so be it, but he’s not…You know the Army of the Dead will be upon us soon, and you know I can help you win that war.”

My guess is she’ll come back just long enough to contribute substantially to the war before she dies—maybe, hopefully, at the hands of Ser Davos.

 

LORD VARYS, "THE SPIDER"

The Scene: Season 7, Episode 3 (continued from above)

Melisandre:   “I will return, dear Spider, one last time. I have to die in this strange country—just like you.”

The Theory:

In multiple seasons, Varys describes what it was like to be cut, but explains that the voice he heard in the flames was even more terrifying. Although he despises magic and all who wield it, the voice in the flames that day revealed some task or prophecy we still don’t know about. Mel is not the first to point this out, yet Varys always seems surprised when a Red Priestess admits to knowing what it was that he heard.

In a sinister, untrusting tone, Kinvara—the Red Priestess that Varys and Tyrion recruited to help bring peace back to Meereen—alludes to this as well:

More evidence: Season 6, Episode 5

Kinvara:   “Do you remember what you heard that night when the sorcerer tossed your parts in the fire? You heard a voice call out from the flames…Should I tell you what the voice said? Should I tell you the name of the one who spoke? We both serve the same queen. If you are her true friend, you have nothing to fear from me.”

We’ve been given no clues as to what Varys heard in the flames. We know only that Varys is loyal to the realm. He believes that Dany is the people’s “last best chance” at a better world—but he’s been known to change his mind about these things, and he wasn’t too happy in Season 7 to hear about her decision to execute the Tarly men.

In other words, if Varys decides Jon Snow is the rightful heir to the throne and is therefore not Dany's "true friend," well then there’s this:

More evidence: Season 7, Episode 2

Daenerys:   “If he dislikes one monarch, he conspires to crown the next one. What kind of servant is that?”

Varys:   “The kind the realm needs…You wish to know where my loyalties lie? Not with any king or queen, but with the people…”

Daenerys:   “If you ever think I’m failing the people, you won’t conspire behind my back. You’ll look me in the eye as you have done today and you will tell me how I’m failing them…If you ever betray me, I’ll burn you alive.”

 

JON SNOW

The Scene: Season 6, Episode 9

Jon:   “If I fall, don’t bring me back.”

Melisandre:   “I’ll have to try.”

The theory:  

Melisandre returned to Volantis in Season 7 after bringing Jon and Daenerys (“ice and fire,” as she puts it) together. She acknowledges that neither Jon nor Davos ever wants to see her again; but after bringing Jon back to life in Season 6, Melisandre also knows for certain that the Lord of Light wants Jon alive, even if she's not going to be the one to keep him that way.

We still have no clue what Mel is doing in Volantis—only that she will return “one last time.” There’s a good chance her mission in Volantis is to recruit other Red Priests and Priestesses so that in the event Jon dies again, Mel or the others can attempt to bring him back. After all, Beric Dondarrion has been brought back six times.

Moral of the story: Jon Snow dies, Jon Snow comes back.

 

BERIC DONDARRION

The Scene: Season 7, Episode 6

Beric (to Jon):   “The Lord brought you back. He brought me back. No one else, just us. Did he do it to watch us freeze to death?”

The Hound:   “Careful, Beric. Your priest is gone; this is your last life.”

Beric:   “I’ve been waiting for the end for a long time. Maybe the Lord brought me here to find it.”

The Theory:

Beric might not be considered a main character, but we cannot discount his importance. The Lord of Light has brought him back six times, and we only have five episodes left to learn why. Beric seems to think he’ll die to fulfill his purpose and wonders in this conversation whether his purpose is to kill the Night King. If that’s the case, he obviously failed, but there will be more chances.

 

CERSEI LANNISTER

The Scene: Season 1, Episode 7

Cersei:   “Jaime and I are more than brother and sister. We shared a womb. We came into this world together. We belong together.”

The Theory:

There’s no question about it: the twins came into this world together, so it’s only fitting that they will leave it together as well.

 

DAENERYS STORMBORN OF THE HOUSE TARGARYEN, FIRST OF HER NAME, QUEEN OF THE ANDALS AND THE FIRST MEN, PROTECTOR OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS, KHALEESI OF THE GREAT GRASS SEA, QUEEN OF MEEREEN, THE UNBURNT, THE BREAKER OF CHAINS AND MOTHER OF DRAGONS.

The Scene: Season 2, Episode 10

En route to rescue her dragons from the House of the Undying, Daenerys happens upon a vision of King’s Landing, and specifically the Red Keep. The Keep is destroyed, covered in ashes or snow, but the Iron Throne lies at the end of the hall unharmed. Dany is unable to touch it before her dragons call out for their mother, snapping her back to reality.

The Theory:

Maybe this is a long shot, but my interpretation of this scene is that it indicates Dany will never reach the Iron Throne. In the same vision, she sees herself beyond The Wall—somewhere she has now been—followed by a tent inside which she finds her dead husband and unborn child, now grown. Dany briefly wonders whether she is dead and is momentarily happy about it despite the mission at hand. She also revealed more than once in Season 7 that Westeros does not feel like home to her. Take that as you may.

 

BRAN STARK

The Scene: Season 4, Episode 5

Jojen:   “Meera and I, even Hodor, we’re only here to guide you…You have to make it. This isn’t the end, not for you. Not yet.”

Meera:   “How will we know the end?”

Jojen (seeing his own death in a vision):   “You’ll know.”

The Theory:

Maybe Bran doesn’t meet his end during the next five episodes of “Game of Thrones.” (For the record, I’m 50/50 on whether Bran will die by the end of the series.) But the point is that eventually, some day, when he’s nearing his end, he’ll know.

 

A message moving forward:

Just to clarify, this list does not even nearly cover all of the characters who will likely die in the final season—only the characters whose deaths I believe were foreshadowed in previous seasons.

This also does not reflect the already deceased characters whose deaths were foreshadowed. Anyone who did not see the Red Wedding coming should take a quick re-watch of Season 3. If nothing else, it will prove the writers are keen on foreshadowing deaths.

And on that note…

 

Bonus characters:

TYRION LANNISTER and SER BRONN OF THE BLACKWATER

The Theory:

Tyrion has always been on my list of characters to die this season, but I haven’t had any specific evidence to back this one up. I’m not certain that I buy into this particular theory, but for the sake of sharing—some fans believe that Tyrion’s death was foreshadowed in the season opener on April 14, and here's why:

  • Ned Stark beheaded Men of the Night’s Watch on the orders of King Robert and was later beheaded.
  • King Robert ordered the murder of Sansa’s direwolf and was later killed by an innocent animal.
  • Roose Bolton stabbed Robb Stark in the heart and was later stabbed to death.
  • Ramsey Bolton killed multiple people with his hounds and the same hounds later killed him. 
  • Walder Frey's son slit Catelyn Stark’s throat and Catelyn’s daughter later slit Lord Walder's throat. 
  • Olenna Tyrell poisoned Joffrey and was later killed with poisoned.
  • Ellaria Sand killed Myrcella with poison and her daughter was later killed with the same poison.

The list goes on; and although this last example was meant to as poetic justice on Cersei’s part, many fans believe there is a theme here...Tyrion killed his father with a crossbow and now Cersei has fashioned a similar weapon for Bronn to use against both of her brothers—but with another intentional emphasis on The Imp.

Again, I think the Tyrion theory is a stretch, but it felt necessary to point these out.

Although I’m sure the deaths listed above were all intentional coincidences, there are still plenty of characters who have not been killed off as poetically. Take Stannis, for instance, whom we would all have been happy to see burned alive.

Personally, Bronn was my prediction for being the first character to die this season—and, frankly, I thought that prediction was gold when Qyburn first surprised him at the brothel.

I still find it more likely he will refuse to do Cersei’s bidding, and I still find it likely that his death is coming sooner rather than later. (Perhaps he’ll try to take out Cersei with the crossbow instead and die in the process?)


THE DRAGONS

If we are going based on the Tyrion theory, it might be worth mentioning that the same could be said for Viserion, the ice dragon. Viserion was named after Dany's brother, Viserys Targaryen, who was burned alive by her late husband, Khal Drogo; and the dragon Dany feels closest to, Drogon, was named for Khal Drogo. After seeing all of the parallels between the Season 8 and Season 1 openers, it wouldn't be all that surprising to see the writers mirror this Season 1 highlight by having Drogon kill Viserion with dragon fire. 

Drogon, on the other hand, seems to always be in the line of fire (no pun intended), and the new opening credits suggest that Qyburn is in the midst of rebuilding his Scorpion, the weapon used against Drogon in Season 7. Khal Drogo ultimately died from a wound he sustained while defending Daenerys, so that can't be good news for Drogon either.

Luckily, we don’t have to wait much longer to find out. 

Need a recap of last week's episode before Sunday night?  Click HERE to read more.