If you've ever thought that Game of Thrones was cool, but that it would be a better series if it had its own ragtag team of heroes teaming up to save the world, then last Sunday's "Eastwatch" must have felt like Christmas morning.
The end of the jam-packed episode, the fifth of the season, played out like the middle-of-the-movie-sequence in which our heroes team up and suit up to take on the Big Bad. It was the show's version of the Fellowship beginning its journey to Mount Doom. It was like they were a surlier, colder, less tech-y version of the Avengers. Hell, Gendry (Joe Dempsie), who made his first appearance on the series since getting in his infamous rowboat in Season 3, even had a cool hammer.
But the sad truth is — and Sean Bean can back us up on this — it's not likely that everyone is going to survive the trip beyond the Wall to capture a wight as proof of the existence of White Walkers. This is a suicide mission for at least one of our favorite characters, which is a shame since some of them have just found (or re-found) their purpose. To make matters worse, we're also not sure this mission is even going to matter much in the end, since Cersei (Lena Headey) has had a dead man by her side for a few seasons now. Will she be shaken to her core by the knowledge of an army of the dead? We're not so sure.
Still, since we have to wait until Sunday to find out what actually happens north of the Wall, we have plenty of time to discuss who's probably going to die in the name of this dangerous plan. Below we've ranked the seven men in this ragtag crew by their likelihood of dying, from most likely to least likely to die. Do you agree?
7. Tormund Giantsbane
Look, we don't like this anymore than you do. In fact, if an army of the dead was advancing on Tormund (Kristofer Hivju) and we were there, there are several people we would push in front of him to save his life. That's how much we adore Tormund and everything his character brings to the series as the fearless leader of the Free Folk (his crush on Gwendoline Christie's Brienne is just the icing on a very awesome cake). But Game of Thrones has never spared our feelings and it's not likely going to start now, in the penultimate episode of the penultimate season. While Tormund's death would put Jon (Kit Harington) down a significant, powerful ally and remove one of the few faces fans recognize among the Free Folk, we're still not sold on him making it out alive. Plus, if you go in expecting the worst and it doesn't come to pass, then the entire mission is not a total failure, right?
6. Beric Dondarrion
Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer), the leader of the Brotherhood Without Banners, has already died six times, so what's one more? Just kidding. Sort of. Beric dying is probably the most obvious option, because the Lord of Light could just bring him back a seventh time via the prayers of Thoros of Myr (Paul Kaye). If this were the case, though, it would lessen the stakes of the episode considerably. This is why we're betting that should Beric not survive the coming battle, this will likely be his final death. He's already lost so much — each time he's revived he is less and less the man he used to be — so it wouldn't be all that surprising if there's just nothing to bring back this time.
5. Thoros of Myr
It isn't that we have no faith in Thoros to survive — quite the contrary, since he's a proven warrior. No, the reason Thoros and his top knot rank so high on this list is because of what he brings to the group versus what the men below him bring to the group. At this point, the four men below him seem to have more story left in them than Thoros has in him — and if he dies, perhaps Beric might not be too far behind? And not to be a d--k about it, but it's not like Thoros is the only person with the ability to bring people back from the dead anymore.
4. Jorah Mormont
It's probably wishful thinking on our part that led to Jorah (Iain Glen) being this low on the list, but it would be really tragic if Game of Thrones killed off his character at this point. The dude just survived the horrifying effects of greyscale and enjoyed an emotional reunion with Daenerys (Emilia Clarke). Would the writers really kill him so soon? His death would certainly be a personal and powerful blow to Dany — and one that might push her to finally use her dragons the way we all wish she would — but it would be nothing short of a jerk move by the writers. And come on, the guy just got new clothes! Poor Jorah had to wear the same stinky, soiled clothes for six seasons; if he were to be struck down by the army of the dead before properly enjoying his new duds, that would be a shame.
Given what we know about Gendry and his impressive skills, we would bet that sweet hammer of his that Robert Baratheon's last remaining bastard son survives the coming battle. Even if Jon doesn't currently need Gendry's skills as a blacksmith north of the Wall, there still exists the possibility that he could be forging the weapons needed to kill the White Walkers, especially if it turns out he can rework — or even forge — Valyrian steel. So yeah, we're pretty sure Gendry is safe this time.
2. The Hound
There is no way the Hound (Rory McCann) is going to die before he faces off against the Mountain, who just so happens to be the aforementioned dead man by Cersei's side. Plus, if there's any one man who could survive this battle just by sheer strength of will, it's the Hound.
1. Jon Snow
This one seems pretty simple: Jon Snow isn't going to die until the final season of Game of Thrones, if he dies at all. His role in the upcoming war against the dead — he is almost certainly one of three dragon riders — is simply too important for him to perish now. Plus, we've only just discovered hard evidence that Jon is not a bastard child but the true Targaryen heir, since Rhaeger had his first marriage annulled so he could wed another. Even if Sam (John Bradley) doesn't care about this seemingly insignificant detail, the show's fans certainly understand the enormous implications it carries. So until that secret is revealed and addressed, we're confident in saying that Jon won't die. (Plus, even if he did, someone would just bring him back again.)
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.