Warning: gigantic spoilers ahead for "The Spoils of War" episode of Game of Thrones. If you haven't seen the episode yet, check out some of our other Game of Thrones articles.
Game of Thrones has developed a reputation for killing off its major characters in spectacularly gruesome ways, and few people ever feel entirely safe when it comes to the world of Westeros. In "The Spoils of War," Game of Thrones may have just struck down another big character. Jaime Lannister himself may finally be down for the count.
If Jaime is dead, he at least got to go out in one of the most epic battle sequences Game of Thrones has ever produced. He and the rest of the Lannister army found themselves facing a horde of Dothraki screamers and a gigantic black dragon that was breathing fire everywhere and on everything. The Lannisters were taken completely by surprise as they faced a creature that should have been extinct along with an army the likes of which had never attacked on Westerosi soil. Jaime and Bronn rallied the troops as best they could -- with no small amount of help from Dickon Tarly -- but their army was completely overwhelmed. Luckily, they'd brought the giant scorpion crossbow designed for killing dragons along with them, and Bronn managed a lucky shot on Drogon that took him out of the sky, although it didn't kill him.
Then, in the midst of the chaos of burning men and howling Dothraki, Jaime found himself opposite Daenerys Targaryen as she tried to pull the bolt from Drogon. Jaime plucked a spear out of the ground and charged Dany and Drogon in a perverse kind of joust. Unfortunately for Jaime, Drogon spotted him before he got too close, and he unleashed a plume of fire directly at him. Jaime was spared from being roasted into ash thanks to a timely save from either Dickon or Bronn, who knocked him from his horse and into a deep pool of water that happened to be handy. When last we saw Jaime Lannister, he was sinking through the water, weighed down by armor and seemingly unresponsive. Has the Kingslayer been slain?
It wouldn't be entirely bonkers if the show really did choose "The Spoils of War" to kill off Jaime. Given that the last two seasons are going to be shorter than usual, there aren't actually that many episodes left in the whole series. As much as he's a big character who has been around since the very beginning, he's not one of the major players in the game. If there's a spare Lannister who can be removed from the story, it's Jaime.
This would have made for a pretty fitting death, all things considered. Jaime was a big fan of tournaments and jousts in the beginning of the series. To die in a joust that wasn't for sport would bring his story full circle in an interesting -- if tragic -- way. Besides, he would be burned alive by a Targaryen a couple of decades after he murdered a Targaryen who was trying to burn people alive. Jaime would have lived a Kingslayer but died in his attempt to become a Queenslayer.
There's also the point that the death of Jaime would likely remove all chance of cooperation between Tyrion and Cersei. For all her growing madness, Cersei does love Jaime, and Tyrion in "The Spoils of War" was trying to will his brother not to attempt to joust Dany to death. Cersei and Tyrion love Jaime and might be willing to compromise -- if only a little bit -- if he was in the picture; if he died due to the actions of the queen Tyrion is serving, there would likely be no chance for the surviving Lannister kids, and it would make the showdown between Cersei and her little brother all the more intense (and entertaining).
On a practical note, Jaime was shoved off of a moving horse into a deep body of water while dressed in armor and with a hand made out of gold. He didn't seem conscious as he was sinking, and he could quite easily drown. Even if he somehow manages to escape his armor and surface (with or without help), there are still Dothraki racing around, and Dany brought a group of advisors with her to oversee the battle. Tyrion might be willing to look the other way if he sees Jaime crawl out of the water, but none of the others would be. Dany's not exactly known for showing mercy to people who try to harm her or her dragons. Jaime could very well be dead or about to die.
That said, he could have survived. The show may be ending soon, but there's still a season and a half to go, and Jaime is a kind of wild card in the story. Even if he's allied with Cersei, he's not quite as myopic or driven mad by power as she is, and his bonds with characters like Tyrion and Brienne prove that he has more loyalty than just to Cersei on the Iron Throne. Jaime is also a point-of-view of sorts into the battles of the Seven Kingdoms these days.
Besides, characters have been known to survive against all odds before, and Jaime managed to survive capture by the Northerners, having his hand chopped off, the subsequent fever of having his hand chopped off, jumping into a bear pit, and plenty of other unlikely situations. Would he really be killed off via drowning, especially when Bronn/Dickon went into the water with him? Major characters die on Game of Thrones relatively frequently, but we shouldn't accept them as dead unless we've seen the bodies. Until we see Jaime's water-logged corpse being drawn out of the water, we shouldn't count him out.