When you play the Game of Thrones, you win or you die — and let's be honest, usually it's the latter.
Anyone who's watched HBO's award-winning fantasy series knows that Westeros is one place where it's unwise to ever get too attached to anyone, and that even the apparent heroes of the story aren't immune from getting their heads lopped off at a moment's notice. That's been true since the show's very first season, and it's only gotten worse with each passing year.
But with Game of Thrones now in its penultimate season, it's getting easier to predict* who we're going to say goodbye to sooner rather than later, and who's going to still be around for the premiere of Season 8. Below, we've rounded up everyone on and off the chopping block, in reverse order of how much you should be preparing for their funerals.
*Accuracy not guaranteed.
If you buy the increasingly popular theory that Tyrion is half Targaryen and/or destined to play a part in the final, fiery showdown against the undead army coming down from the North, then he should be safe for the foreseeable future.
Granted, Game of Thrones has a well-earned reputation for killing off its heroes when you least expect it — but this late in the game, Daenerys' death is going to be a series-ending showstopper if it happens at all.
Not even the monsters in the Game of Thrones writing room would put Sansa through six seasons of hell only to kill her off in the seventh. Nope. (Next season, however, all bets are off.)
Despite occupying a high-risk position as both Cersei's bodyguard and a member of one of the most loathed families in Westeros, Jaime's arc pretty much requires that he reckon with his reputation as the Kingslayer before he dies — which means that his survival this season will likely hinge on the schedule surrounding Daenerys' play for the throne.
Has Theon suffered enough, and redeemed himself adequately, to live out the rest of his days as best a wiener-less man in Westeros can? Or is he going to commit a noble act of sacrifice in the impending battle at Dragonstone — and take Euron down with him — so that Yara can emerge as Queen of the Iron Islands? This one could go either way.
Brienne of Tarth
Because we can't have nice things, the more guaranteed Sansa's survival, the more likely a noble death is for Brienne... eventually, anyway. On the bright side, it looks like she'll be around at least long enough to get a little taste of the North from Tormund, if you know what we're saying.
As Cersei herself pointed out, a critical mass of folks in Westeros would be happy to see her dead, if they're not actively plotting her murder — and she doesn't even know yet that Arya Stark, wizard assassin, is getting ever closer to crossing Cersei's name off her kill list. Add to that the fact that the person sitting on the Iron Throne at the start of a season is almost always toppled off by the end of it, and the Queen's death is looking likely.
Why does the Lord of Light keep bringing Beric back? So he can die spectacularly about five minutes from now, when the first wave of undead warriors arrives in the North looking for a fight.
If you thought that the folks from Winterfell had suffered enough to last them the rest of their time onscreen... uh, have you seen this show? The chances of all remaining Starks being alive come the end of this season is slim, and Arya's character arc is so tangled up with death at this point that her own seems all but inevitable. So while we don't want her to die, we reserve the right not to be surprised if her quest to kill Cersei ends up being a suicide mission.
Why kill off Jon Snow this season? Heck, why not? The only thing more provocative than murdering a beloved main character is doing it twice — especially when he doesn't have to stay dead.
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.