Game of thrones has never been about giving readers or viewers what they most want. Its author and screenwriters prefer to build fan expectations, then overturn them for narrative impact and, sometimes, pure shock value. Yet, fans maintain hope that at least a few of the characters will reach a satisfying, well-deserved ending. So it’s time for the return of Game of Thrones Hope Chest, the weekly poll where we put all of our hopes together in one place. We aren’t asking what you think is going to happen on Game of Thrones. We’re asking: what do you most hope to see happen?
This week, we’re talking about character deaths. For some fans, there are certainly good reasons to hope some Game of Thrones characters die in the upcoming Battle of Winterfell, like to give the show stakes and drama and to complete obvious redemption arcs they’ve been working toward for years. Brienne of Tarth and Beric Dondarrion have both arguably reached narrative endpoints: she’s achieved the recognition and equality she’s unwittingly been working toward for seven seasons, while he’s come back from the dead so many times now that he needs a final death to make all the non-deaths meaningful.
Others, like Tormund Giantsbane (with his awful nursing stories) and Grey Worm (who everyone thinks is due to die because he just dared to lay out his retirement plans), may be fan favorites, but they aren’t core to the final confrontation and they have a good chance of dying for drama, as the showrunners whittle a sprawling cast down to its essentials. Still, others (Varys, Davos, Podrick, Gendry, and so forth) seem to fall into the category of “the showrunners don’t care about these characters at all, don’t know where to take them, and might kill them off in a half-assed attempt to make them relevant again.”
As always, Game of Thrones Hope Chest isn’t about what you think might happen; it’s about what you want to happen. A few really central characters, like Jon Snow, Cersei Lannister, and Daenerys Targaryen, need to survive the Battle of Winterfell to keep other plotlines in the air through the end of the series, so we’re leaving them off the table here. But which of these other characters would you be most upset to see go? Who do you personally need to see standing after the Battle of Winterfell, even if everyone else is over and done?
WHO DO YOU MOST WANT TO SEE SURVIVE THE BATTLE OF WINTERFELL?