As a wise man from Braavos once said, Valar Morghulis. In fact, as Game of Thrones enters its final season, many many men, women and children are expected to die, whether from the White Walkers or the warmongering Cersei.
But which characters are most likely to meet their fate in the final episodes? Maesters from Australia have calculated the key indicators of survival in the HBO series in a study of all the 186 characters killed off in the first seven seasons of the show.
And the character they think is in real danger: Daenerys Targaryen. That’s because they found those with the greatest chance of survival were those who had switched allegiance at least once, something the Mother of Dragons hasn’t done yet.
That’s right, staying true to one course and refusing to compromise on your values is a certified way to getting killed off.
The study – in which the researchers watched all 67 episodes of the show’s seven seasons – also found that prominent female characters were more likely to survive than their male counterparts.
This all bolds well for Cersei Lannister, the current queen of Westeros, who has switched allegiances and backstabbed others several times.
What about the men? As he switched allegiances and bent the knee to Daenerys in season seven, Jon Snow has now limited his chance of dying (but remember, he has already died once).
And although previously loyal, Jaime Lannister has greatly increased his chance of survival by turning his back on his sister/lover at the end of season seven. Tyrion, who also abandoned his family (and killed his father) similarly has a pretty good chance of survival.
Overall, the study also found that a massive 56.4% of the show’s 330 important characters – an important character being a human (no White Walkers or direwolves) listed in either the opening or closing credits – had died. Furthermore, 14% of characters were also killed off in their first hour of screen time.
Of all deaths, 63% were caused by assault, 24.4% by operations of war, 11.8% by burns, and 4.8% by poisoning. And there was one death by “crushing injury of head” (poor Oberyn).
Exactly how well this data represents the last season we’ll have to see (suffocating in a swarm of wights wasn’t listed as a cause of death), but it gives us plenty of reason to think any deaths on the way are likely to be brutal. And we’re all here for it.
Game of Thrones returns to HBO and Sky Atlantic in April 2019