Over and over again, “Game of Thrones” tells us that all men must die. (Jury’s out on the women.) And, in Season 8, it seems like they all pretty much will.
The second episode of the final season felt like a goodbye wave to many of the characters we’ve come to know and love before they inevitably take their final bows during the Battle of Winterfell. Really, no one is safe. Asked whether the castle’s crypts actually were a good place to be — as we have been repeatedly assured on the show — writer Bryan Cogman told HuffPost, “No comment.” With that being said, here are the people most likely in jeopardy in Episode 3:
Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen)
Why: Jorah received the Valyrian steel sword Heartsbane from Samwell Tarly (John Bradley) in Episode 2, which means he may be going up against some White Walkers fairly soon.
Damning quote: Sam to Jorah: “I’ll see you when it’s through.”
Early obit: It’s been a long road for Jorah the Andal. Before the series started, he sold poachers to slavers and fled from Westeros to avoid being beheaded for it. He then spied for Varys (Conleth Hill), was discovered and banished by Daenerys (Emilia Clarke), contracted greyscale, found a treatment and, finally, made his way back into Dany’s inner circle as her King of the Friendzone, giving her some (last?) pieces of advice. He once lost the honor to carry his family’s sword, and after now receiving Sam’s family sword, his story seems to be coming to an end.
Odds of dying: Khal it more than maybe.
Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen)
Why: Theon returned to Winterfell to fight for the Starks once again after betraying their trust and invading their home on behalf of the Greyjoys in Season 2.
Damning quote: Theon to Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright): “I took this castle from you. Let me defend you now.”
Early obit: After being raised alongside the Stark children at Winterfell, Theon decided to take his dad’s side and betray the King in the North, Robb (Richard Madden). He invaded Winterfell and burned two innocent children alive, pretending they were Bran and Rickon (Art Parkinson), before Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon) eventually took him prisoner — forcing him to become “Reek.” Following rounds of verbal and physical torture at the hands of Ramsay, Theon realized the true weight of what he had done and later helped Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) escape the Bolton bastard’s clutches. He fought alongside his sister, Yara (Gemma Whelan), for a few seasons, but soon enough came to appreciate both his Stark and Ironborn roots. He’s now in the North, ready to fight for the Starks once more. This arc alone is good enough proof that Theon will die protecting the Three-Eyed Raven, aka Bran, in a battle with the Night King and his army.
Odds of dying: “What is dead may never die.” That being said, R.I.P., Theon.
Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau)
Why: Jaime was granted permission to fight for the living at Winterfell and even knighted Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie), solidifying his hard-fought title as a man of honor … who’s probably going to die.
Damning quote: Jaime to Brienne: “I’m not the fighter I used to be, but I’d be honored to serve under your command if you’ll have me.”
Early obit: At the beginning of the series, Jaime was decidedly not a virtuous man. He was famous for stabbing Mad King Aerys Targaryen in the back after swearing to protect him and then pushed a 10-year-old Bran out of a window, leaving the boy paralyzed. But ― particularly thanks to a lengthy journey with Brienne ― Jaime eventually becomes a better man, a person who understands what loyalty truly means. He decided to, finally, leave his sister and lover Cersei (Lena Headey) in the dust and fight for the survival of Westeros alongside his former opponents. And it’s momentous.
Odds of dying: Bran did tell Jaime he wasn’t sure if there’d be an “afterwards.”
Grey Worm and/or Missandei (Jacob Anderson and Nathalie Emmanuel)
Why: If you’re booking your Carnival Cruise to the beach before the big battle, odds are you aren’t making it there.
Damning quotes: Missandei: “I’d like to see the beaches again.”
Grey Worm: “Then I will take you there.”
Early obits: Grey Worm and Missandei came onto the scene in Season 3, as a result of Dany’s sack of Astapor, and since then have become two of her most trusted advisers. Despite Grey Worm being Unsullied — part of a group of warrior eunuchs — the pair also found love in a hopeless place. To be honest, it’s all just too happy. No one should be this happy on “Game of Thrones,” and that’s why their journeys may come to an end.
Odds of dying: Don’t make any nonrefundable payments on that vacay just yet.
Ser Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie)
Why: Having waited for years to feel seen and respected, Brienne is knighted by Jaime in an emotional ceremony in Episode 2 — making her death seem inevitable.
Damning quote: Jaime to Brienne: “Arise, Brienne of Tarth, a Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.”
Early obit: In “Game of Thrones,” Brienne is one of the only characters to never be anything but loyal ― first to Renly Baratheon (Gethin Anthony), then to Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley) and now to Sansa, as honor demanded. She is a warrior unlike any other in Westeros — remember when she beat the crap out of the Hound (Rory McCann)?! — and will no doubt go down defending those she loves.
Odds of dying: “In the name of the Warrior, I charge you to be brave.”
All the People in the Crypts
Why: There’s been a lot of talk about ― and in ― the crypts over the past two episodes. It all seems to allude to the idea that something big is about to go down below Winterfell ― potentially involving a whole lot of dead Starks.
Damning quote[s]: Gendry (Joe Dempsie) to Arya (Maisie Williams): “It’s going to be safer down in the crypt, you know?”
Gilly (Hannah Murray) to the little Northern girl: “I’m going to be in the crypt with my son and I’d feel a lot better with you down there to protect us.”
Jon Snow (Kit Harington) to Bran: “We’ll put you in the crypt where it’s safest.”
Dany to Tyrion (Peter Dinklage): “Ser Davos (Liam Cunningham) is perfectly capable of waving a torch on his own, you’ll be in the crypt … you’re here because of your mind. If we survive, I’ll need it.”
Sam about Gilly and little Sam: “They’ll be safe, down in the crypt.”
Jorah to Lyanna Mormont (Bella Ramsey): “You’ll be safer in the crypt. These things we’re fighting…”
Early obit: Tyrion. Sansa. Varys. Gilly. Little Sam. Missandei. Unless these characters figure out a way to save not only the children but themselves, the White Walker destruction will be a whole lot bigger than anticipated. Think about it: Dead bodies of past Starks equal more bodies for the Night King’s army. We don’t think the Starks will necessarily be so friendly this time around…
Odds of dying: As the young northern girl tells Davos, “All right, I’ll defend the crypt then.” So maybe everyone will make it out alive. Or not. Probably. Maybe?
Gendry (Joe Dempsie)
Why: He just slept with his old pal, Arya. So, of course he’s going to die.
Damning quote: Gendry about the White Walkers: “You want to know what they’re like? Death. That’s what they’re like.”
Early obit: Gendry is the blacksmithing bastard son of the late King Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy). After being treated to leech therapy by Melisandre (Carice van Houten) — a king’s blood is magical, of course — Gendry eventually rowed his way home to King’s Landing before being summoned by Davos to fight the dead beyond the Wall. (Instead of fighting, he did a lot of running, but, you get it.) Now, he’s making weapons for the North to defend all of mankind — and he’ll fight alongside his new love, Arya.
Odds of dying: “We’re probably going to die soon,” Arya tells him, so 10/10.
Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer)
Why: Beric is mostly used as a side character these days, so it looks like his flaming sword is about to be extinguished.
Damning quote: Beric: “The Lord of Light has brought us together all the same. This is his moment.”
Early obit: Beric led the Brotherhood without Banners in the earlier seasons of the show, even winding up on Arya’s list at one point after selling her now friend-with-benefits Gendry to Melisandre. His most notable contribution has been proving to us that people in “Game of Thrones” can come back from the dead, seeing as he was revived six different times by Thoros of Myr (Paul Kaye). With Thoros having exited the game in Season 7, there’s likely to be no resurrections this time.
Odds of dying: If the wights don’t get him, the Hound will chuck him over the castle wall.
Eddison Tollett (Ben Crompton)
Why: When you note that you and your friends are some of the last left of the Night’s Watch, and your friends are both waaay more popular than you, you can probably bet that you’re the next to go.
Daming quote: Edd: “Last man left, burn the rest of us.”
Early obit: Eddison, aka Dolorous Edd, is a brother of the Night’s Watch and friends with Sam Tarly and Jon Snow. He’s been in the thick of it since the beginning, taking command of the Wall during the Battle of Castle Black and going with Jon to Hardhome. Edd took over as commander of the Night’s Watch following Jon’s resurrection and has now made it to the Battle of Winterfell, where he’s probably not going to make it out.
Odds of dying: And now his watch is ended.
Podrick (Daniel Portman)
Why: You can’t sing such a sad and beautiful song over a montage of characters (possibly) heading to their deaths and expect to make it out alive.
Damning quote: Singing “never wanted to leave” a million times.
Early obit: Podrick started as Tyrion’s squire during the War of the Five Kings, even saving his life during the Battle of the Blackwater. As a gift, Tyrion took him to a brothel, where the employees apparently liked him so much they didn’t want him to pay for his time. (Precisely why remains one of the biggest mysteries of the show.) He later joined the service of Brienne, learning to fight under her command and proving himself a faithful companion. Yet, as Brienne noted, he still had a lot to learn before the Battle of Winterfell.
Odds of dying: It appears we’re never going to find out why the ladies like Pod so much…
Lyanna Mormont (Bella Ramsey)
Why: She’s definitely going to hunt down the biggest White Walker she can find.
Damning quote: “I will not hide underground. I pledged to fight for the North, and I will fight.”
Early obit: The head of House Mormont came into our lives in Season 6 and permanently found a place in our hearts after declaring Jon Snow the King in the North. She’s been telling the grownups what to do ever since, and she’ll continue to be a fan favorite from this day until her last day.
Odds of dying: We might get one more Lyanna speech before it’s done.
Tormund Giantsbane (Kristofer Hivju)
Why: He’s been getting by on Giant’s Milk for too long already.
Damning quote: “We’re all going to die, but at least we die together.”
Early obit: Tormund, once a Wildling set on killing members of the Night’s Watch, has since become a strong supporter and friend of Jon Snow, onetime Night’s Watch commander. He purportedly got his name after suckling at the teat of a giant for three months. Also, he’s a purported bear enthusiast.
Odds of dying: There’s a bigger chance of Brienne having romantic feelings for Tormund than him making it out of the Battle of Winterfell.