Whip out your Arya-style Game of Thrones death list because another big death could be coming our way on HBO's trip around the world of Westeros. While Season 7 of the show has already given us some major character departures, we still haven't had that big "OMG" death akin to Ned losing his melon or the shock of the Red Wedding. That being said, is another of our beloved Starks heading for an early grave on #GameofThrones?
With Ned, Robb, Catelyn, and Rickon all kicking the bucket, our Stark numbers have dwindled somewhat since we first stepped foot in Winterfell all those years ago. Now, a worrying theory plucked from the past puts another wolf's head on the chopping block before the show trudges off into an icy wasteland at the end of Season 8.
The 'Stark' Reality Of War
Unfortunately it isn't Bran Stark and his Beatles haircut that we are tipping for a farewell; it is presumed that our time-traveling troublemaker will be wheeling on out of Winterfell alive and (not) kicking in the show's finale. Arya Stark is also expected to continue her Kill Bill skills to join those exclusive ranks of "I survived HBO's Game of Thrones," and we are under no illusions that half-Stark Jon Snow will be hitting the slab again. So, this leaves only fiery red-head Sansa Stark in the firing line. Would showrunners #DavidBenioff and #DBWeiss really kill our Little Bird? Well, if #GeorgeRRMartin's original manuscript is anything to go off, quite possibly, yes!
Heading back to 1993, Martin's pitch for the saga focussed on five main characters — Bran, Arya, Jon, Tyrion, and Daenerys — the author writes:
"Five central characters will make it through all three volumes, however, growing from children to adults and changing the world and themselves in the process. In a sense, my trilogy is almost a generational saga, telling the life stories of these five characters, three men and two women. The five key players are Tyrion Lannister, Daenerys Targaryen, and three of the children of Winterfell, Arya, Bran, and the bastard Jon Snow."
Considering that these have also become the de facto leads of the show, it is no wonder that the author saw them as being so important. Outside of this exclusive group, characters like Cersei, Varys, Jaime, and even Sansa are all high profile, but it is hard to see what role they will play in the endgame. While Martin doesn't explicitly say that these are the ONLY five people in Westeros to survive, it certainly hints that the rest of our fan-favorites could be in trouble during the show's final run. To be honest, given Martin's stab-happy mentality, even the big five could find that their days are numbered. In that classic R.R. Martin style, his pitch also reminds us:
"The cast will not always remain the same. Old characters will die, and new ones will be introduced. Some of the fatalities will include sympathetic viewpoint characters. I want the reader to feel that no one is ever completely safe, not even the characters who seem to be the heroes. The suspense always ratchets up a notch when you know that any character can die at any time."
I'm A Survivor
It is also interesting to note that Martin himself doesn't state that the pitch is his ironclad idea for where the story goes. Admittedly, a lot of the storylines have made their way into the books and the show that we have come to love, but ideas like an Arya/Jon/Tyrion love triangle have thankfully never come to pass. We could quite easily see Jon and Dany rule the Iron Throne together and leave Sansa at the family homestead to rule as the Queen in the North — an idea that Season 7 is certainly setting up well.
The Lady of Winterfell currently finds herself surrounded by some pretty sticky characters; even Sansa's own sister seems to be butting heads with the fearless female. Also, let's not forget Sansa's game of cat and mouse with the slippery Petyr Baelish. Personally, I can't see Littlefinger getting one over on our hardened heroine, and if Sansa can survive Joffrey, Cersei, and Ramsay, I'm sure she can defeat a creepy pervert with a porno tash and a raised eyebrow.
Remember that this is Game of Thrones and anything can change. Even if it once was, Sansa's death isn't necessarily set in stone, but can you just imagine the mic drop moment of Sansa's demise? Thrown from the Winterfell battlements, devoured by White Walkers, or even torched by an ice dragon would all be major Sansa deaths that would have everyone's tongues wagging in the Seven Kingdoms — keep 'em peeled Thrones fans.
Check out the trailer for "Death is the Enemy" and don't forget our poll below: