Four major characters apparently met their ends in last night's Game of Thrones series four finale. And at least three of them look like they certainly won't be coming back.
Jojen Reed, stabbed multiple times by a reanimated skeleton, then put out of his misery by his sister: dead.
Tyrion's former lover Shae, strangled by The Imp with her own necklace in his father's bed: dead.
And Tywin Lannister himself, shot with a crossbow by Tyrion while in the privvy: well, there's no living that one down...
But what of the fourth, apparently ambiguous, death? What about the Hound?
Arya Stark's captor/protector was thrashed to within an inch of his life by a raging Brienne of Tarth before being knocked down a rocky slope. He's clearly convinced it's over for him - he pleads with Arya to kill him. But she refuses, and when we leave him he's still very much alive. Knowing the twists and turns that Game of Thrones loves throwing at us, could there perhaps be a comeback on the cards for The Hound?
Director Alex Graves says the scene is absolutely not intended to be ambiguous.
“The Hound, as I told the story … he’s gone," Graves told Entertainment Weekly. "How is he going to survive that?
"The real point of it was that [Arya] walks away, it wasn’t that it’s left open ended.”
So that appears to be that. No hope for The Hound. No vengeful showdown with his brother The Mountain. And suddenly a lot more chicken to go round Westeros.