Game of Thrones is nearing the end of Season 7, and all signs point toward the Great War against the White Walkers and their wights beginning sooner rather than later. Last week's "Spoils of War" ended with Jon Snow taking a ragtag team of characters from across the Seven Kingdoms on a mission beyond the Wall. Their goal is to grab a wight and bring it back to show Cersei so that she will finally believe that the forthcoming invasion of the White Walkers is really happening and not just a ploy by her enemies. It's a desperate plan with relatively slim odds of success without the group potentially taking some heavy losses.
So, in preparation for the big episode that will likely end with at least one significant death, we've broken down the characters who went beyond the Wall and their odds of success, ranked from least likely to die to most likely to die. Take a look!
8. Jon Snow
Why He Might Die: Well, Jon is one of the group going beyond the Wall, so he's technically in the running to die. Despite his big comeback from death, we haven't seen any indication that he's now immortal, so it's not like he's physically incapable of dying. Besides, Thoros of Myr is part of the group, and he's been resurrecting Beric Dondarrion for years. Jon could hypothetically die and then be brought back again.
Why He Might Live: Jon Snow is one of arguably two or three main characters of the series, and we still have a whole season waiting after the end of Season 7. He might get injured or come close to death again, but he's not going anywhere before the end. He doesn't even know his own secret identity yet! No need to worry about this guy.
7. The Hound
Why He Might Die: The Hound has spent seven seasons walking around Westeros with a hideous burn scar on his face, clearly still traumatized by what his brother did to him as a child. Wouldn't it be fitting in a way if the man who fears fire is killed by ice zombies in the far north? Besides, the Hound has been on the road to redemption throughout the series. Dying for an undeniably good cause could be a respectable way to go.
Why He Might Not: For one thing, we still haven't gotten the brother vs. brother showdown between the Hound and the undead Mountain. For another thing, he's just plain hard to kill. The Hound is one of the biggest and most experienced fighters to join the expedition beyond the Wall. He could probably muscle his way through a whole horde himself.
6. Ser Jorah Mormont
Why He Might Die: Ser Jorah has been cheating death for years now, even recently surviving the disease that kills almost every adult who contracts it. His luck is bound to run out sooner or later, and it wouldn't be too much of a shock if Game of Thrones decided to reward his against-all-odds return to his beloved Dany with an unceremonious death in the snow, miles and miles from Dragonstone. Now that Dany has made it to Westeros, his time in her story may be over.
Why He Might Not: Despite his betrayal, Ser Jorah has been one of Dany's closest and most trusted friends throughout the series. If Game of Thrones does kill him off, the odds are that Dany will be handy to really amp up the heartbreak. He may die at some point, but probably not in the North just yet.
5. Tormund Giantsbane
Why He Might Die: Tormund is a rare Game of Thrones character who can function as fighter, deliverer of exposition, and comic relief. That said, he's also a character who can pretty much lift out of the narrative now that Jon has more allies willing to help him out. The hardened wilding dying beyond the Wall could prove to the survivors that there's no way the folks south of the Wall could possibly survive without banding together, so his death could even be useful in its own way.
Why He Might Not: Tormund is Jon's main connection to the thousands of wildlings currently residing in Westeros. If Tormund is gone, Jon might have a hard time dealing with the wildlings, and there's not really enough time left in the series for Jon to have to deal with troublesome wildlings yet again.
Why He Might Die: The long-lost Gendry finally made his way back into the story in Season 7 after he rowed away from Dragonstone back in Season 3. From a practical standpoint, as somebody who spent most of his life in King's Landing, he's probably the least prepared of the whole group for battle in the cold and snow of North. His death would be a big enough deal to matter to fans, but not so big that the story would be crippled by his loss.
Why He Might Not: Would Game of Thrones kill off Gendry so soon after bringing him back? He's the last living person with Baratheon blood, and Tyrion has emphasized the importance of preserving the great houses of the Seven Kingdoms; perhaps Jon or Dany could be persuaded to legitimize him as a Baratheon at the end of the show. There is still a stag in the opening credits' gyroscope.
3. Thoros of Myr
Why He Might Die: Thoros may have simply outlived his usefulness on Game of Thrones. In fact, his ability to bring folks back from the dead may be what dooms him in Season 7 beyond the Wall. If somebody who can resurrect the dead is still alive, viewers might not worry so much about the rest of the group. If the priest with the resurrecting powers bites the dust... well, the action would get real pretty quickly. Thoros dying could be more effective than Thoros living.
Why He Might Not: Conversely, if the show goes so far as to kill Jon or the Hound beyond the Wall, it probably needs Thoros alive to bring them back. His odds of survival aren't great, but we should't start mourning him yet.
2. Beric Dondarrion
Why He Might Die: Beric Dondarrion has gotten plenty of chances to live; it's time for him to die. His death would give viewers reason to start worrying about Jon, as it would be definitive proof that death still comes to those who have been resurrected, and he hasn't served much of a purpose on the show since the Brotherhood Without Banners lost Arya. Recruiting the Hound was about the Hound, not Beric. It would be a big enough death to have an emotional impact, but not so big that we'd be devastated. The show can go on just fine without Beric.
Why He Might Not: His flaming sword looks pretty awesome in the promo for the episode. Maybe the show won't want to kill off the guy with the awesome sword.
1. All The Spare Wildlings
Why They Might Die: Let's be honest: the spare wildlings are toast. Any nameless characters on what basically amounts to a suicide mission are not coming back, whether they freeze to death or are ripped to shreds by wights or are skewered by White Walkers. Whatever random wildlings Tormund brings with him beyond the Wall on Jon's mission will probably die spectacularly gruesome deaths that raise the stakes for all the named characters. We shouldn't get attached to any wildlings who have never appeared on the show before.
Why They Might Not Die: Nope, these guys are definitely all dying.