A dysfunctional band of heroes puts aside their differences to unite and face a larger threat. This may sound like it's The Avengers or Guardians of the Galaxy, but it's the newest twist in Game of Thrones. The latest episode, "Eastwatch," saw an array of characters teaming up to go beyond the Wall and kidnap a White Walker.
As per Tyrion Lannister's plan, the captive dead man will be used to convince the Seven Kingdoms of the threat posed by the Night King and Army of the Dead, uniting those ready to face the danger and eliminating those who do not. The team embarking on this mission is led by Jon Snow, Gendry, Jorah Mormont, Tormund Giantsbane, the Hound, Beric Dondarrion and Thoros of Myr.
Season 7 has been a unique season in terms of death. Five out of seven episodes into the season, massive numbers of soldiers have died in battles, while only a few named characters of note have perished. The only dead character that fans generally had a strong connection to was Olenna Tyrell. The Queen of Thorns owned her death scene, going out in such triumphant fashion that it didn't have the devastating effect of fan favorites getting killed like those at the Red Wedding.
The story is due for a death of a character fans really care about, a death that doesn't end as triumphantly as Olenna's. The perilous mission beyond the Wall will very likely result in at least one such death. Let's take a look at the brave men placing their lives on the line as they venture beyond the Wall and their chances at survival.
Jon is the character least likely to die on this mission. He's the only member of the group other than Tormund that's faced the Army of the Dead before, and the only one of them to have killed a White Walker. From a narrative perspective, there's way too much of Jon's story left to be told for him to die here.
Chances of Dying: 0/5
Gendry is by far the least experienced fighter of the group. He certainly showed he could handle himself in "Eastwatch" with his hammer — a nice tribute to his father Robert Baratheon, whose preferred weapon was a warhammer — but that doesn't change his lack of experience. Still, Gendry's got a lot of heart and ferocity. Above all, it seems like an odd choice to kill him only one episode after bringing him back from such a lengthy absence. There's still all that Dragonglass that needs to be forged into weapons and hopefully a reunion with Arya as well.
Chances of Dying: 1/5
It's always seemed like Jorah isn't destined to survive to the end and will perish in service to his beloved Daenerys. He's managed to survive Greyscale and the fighting pits of Meereen. Now, he fights the Army of the Dead on a mission for Daenerys. Furthermore, he's voyaging into the lands his father Jeor Mormont once dared as Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, focused on saving the Seven Kingdoms from the terrors beyond the Wall. Dying on this mission could be a fitting end for Jorah both as Jeor Mormont's son and his undying dedication to Daenerys.
At the same time, it feels like there's more to come with Jorah and Daenerys based on how brief their reunion was. That goodbye with Tyrion also seemed to bode more to come between them. It would certainly be cruel to kill Jorah so shortly after reuniting with Daenerys and being cured of Greyscale. However, he may not be so lucky to survive both the Stone Men and Army of the Dead.
Chances of Dying: 3/5
Tormund is an invaluable character in that he is the only known face left among the wildlings. Their numbers have seriously dwindled, but they're still an important group, as they are the only ones other than Jon and a handful of men in the Night's Watch to have faced the Army of the Dead.
Without Tormund, the wildlings become a faceless group and will pretty much disappear from the show. Tormund knows the lands beyond the Wall better than anyone and is only rivaled by Jon with experience facing White Walkers and wights. Plus, it's too soon to kill the potential Brienne-Tormund romance. Then again, if Tormund is going to die, fighting in "the real North" to save his people is the way he would want to go.
Chances of Dying: 1/5
The Hound has had one of the strangest journeys on #GameofThrones. He started off as a dutiful soldier for Joffrey and the Lannisters, tried to profit off ransoming Arya Stark to rich relatives but ended up nearly dying to protect her, then returned from his near-death experience to a peaceful way of life before joining the Brotherhood Without Banners and their journey to the Wall. Killing the innocent butcher's boy Mycah at the beginning of Season 1 put him in a low place and he's slowly climbed up a path of redemption.
While fans are still clamoring for the Hound to face his brother, the Mountain, in #Cleganebowl, dying on this mission could be the perfect way to culminate the redemption of the Hound. From the man Joffrey called "dog" to a man making the choice to fight for the greater good of the Seven Kingdoms, it would seem that the Hound's slow journey to redemption could be complete.
Experience against the Army of the Dead may be nonexistent for the Hound up to this point, but he is arguably the best warrior in the group. A satisfying redemption arc aside, his fighting prowess is definitely in his favor despite the change in enemy. A reunion with Arya and Sansa would be awesome considering how he helped them in earlier seasons and how they've developed since, but it's not a narrative necessity that will guarantee his survival.
Chances of Dying: 3.5/5
Beric is the only character other than Jon Snow that's been brought back to life on the show. In fact, Beric has been brought back to life numerous times. Both Beric and Thoros of Myr believe it's because the Lord of Light has a purpose for Beric. This is clearly the culmination of that purpose. It would certainly stand to reason that Beric has survived so he can play an integral role in this mission, even though it will likely result in a final death that he will not come back from. He's well-equipped for this fight with his flaming sword.
Perhaps Beric will be the one to make the necessary sacrifice to capture a White Walker or wight, choosing the nature of his final death for the greater good and future of humanity. Beric's death is likely but it wouldn't have the emotional impact of the aforementioned characters.
Chances of Dying: 4/5
Thoros Of Myr
Thoros is the only member of this group audiences haven't seen fight before. His fighting is legendary, though. In Season 3, Jorah recounted to Barristan Selmy how Thoros and his flaming sword was the first to breach the siege at Pyke during the Greyjoy Rebellion. Like Beric, Thoros believes the Lord of Light has kept him alive for a reason. For the same reasons, Thoros is just as likely to die as Beric.
It seems unlikely that both Lord of Light worshipers, armed with their flaming swords, and without the emotional investment fans have in these other characters will both die, but one of them almost certainly will.
Chances of Dying: 4/5
Witness the mission beyond the Wall on Sunday, August 20 on #HBO.
Who do you think will die in the mission beyond the Wall? Share your prediction in the comments below.