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When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die ... unless you don't die and it's the guy next to you with the surprise death. Game of Thrones Season 8 had a rather amusing start, overall, but Pain Is Coming.
Things are looking grim out there, and it's very possible your favorite characters won't make it out of this alive. That said, it's very possible they will, because Game of Thrones loves to subvert expectations.
Jacob Anderson plays Grey Worm, with Joe Dempsie as Gendry. The two actors have become something of a tag-team in interviews, talking up the final season of Game of Thrones and teasing what's ahead for their well-liked characters. Gendry had a big reunion with Arya Stark in the Season 8 premiere, and he's busy making her a new weapon. Grey Worm is in a relationship with Missandei, Dany's right-hand woman, and the Episode 2 promo showed a glimpse of their romance.
Grey Worm is Team Dany's lead warrior, so it's worth worrying about his future in the epic battle of Winterfell. Jacob Anderson teased heroic deaths ahead, because that's par for the course since Ned Stark in Season 1, but he also warned of some "double bluffs" that might throw you off what you think will happen:
Jacob Anderson: You can never feel never safe on this show. I mean, we could never feel safe. You never know. It doesn't really follow the rules of TV, I mean heroes will [makes throat slash movement].
Joe Dempsie: It also breaks the same rule over and over again and people are still outraged and surprised by it. You know that's how it works.
Jacob Anderson: I feel like this is the thing, they've managed to do this thing where they continued that rule of like your favorite character will die at some point, and then they subvert it again so you're like constantly having to catch up and get double bluffs.
Jacob Anderson's words on the U.K.'s Sunday Brunch show (via Express) may be a big hint. He and Joe Dempsie reiterated the "rule" where heroes get killed off -- The Red Wedding, etc. -- but Anderson noted how fans are caught up on that "rule" at this point, so the showrunners stay ahead of the game by subverting it. Like in the Season 7 finale, when it looked like Sansa Stark was about to put her sister Arya Stark on trial and maybe even kill her -- instead, it was Petyr Baelish who got the chop. Littlefinger was still a favorite character to many, but the way the storyline played out was unexpected.
Grey Worm is one of the characters I'm worried about going into Game of Thrones' big Winterfell battle -- especially with HBO playing up his relationship with Missandei in the Episode 2 promotional material (including the photo above). But I've worried about Grey Worm and Missandei before, and they're still here. Gendry seems like he'll be around for a while, since he and Arya just reunited and got fans hoping they will join the Baratheon and Stark houses, the way King Robert wanted back in the series premiere. But maybe that's the expectation that will be subverted? Could Grey Worm be OK and Gendry dies? Or both die? Or both are fine?
Maisie Williams and Kit Harington were two of the last actors to wrap for Game of Thrones, which led me to think Arya and Jon make it to the end. Maybe that's true, maybe not. I am worried for The Lady of Winterfell, Sansa Stark, since it would be very Sansa 2.0 to sacrifice herself for her home.
So at the moment I'm chiefly worried about Sansa and Grey Worm ... which may mean they'll be fine and a dozen others will die in Episode 3. I also think, based on Emilia Clarke's comments, that Dany doesn't survive the season, although I think she'll survive the Winterfell battle. Not sure what to think for Brienne after Gwendoline Christie's alarming comments. There are too many people to worry about!
Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 2 appears to be the run-up to the great battle, with Jaime Lannister called forth to explain his damn self. He has a lot to explain, but hopefully Dany doesn't waste time going over the "kingslayer" stuff, since someone clearly had to take out The Mad King, and she previously seemed to understand that. Pushing Bran out the window? Yeah, he should pay for that.
Game of Thrones Season 8 continues Sundays at 9 p.m. on HBO. Who are you most worried about dying this season, either in the Winterfell battle or further down the road in the rest of the six-episode final season?