RIP Ser Pounce! Is this the most diabolical Game of Thrones death yet?

Thanks for the memories ... Ser Pounce in Game of Thrones.

There is one reason, and one reason only, to be excited about the final series of Game of Thrones. To watch all manner of epic dragon battles? To see who wins in a generations-long contest of good against evil? No. You are only excited about Game of Thronesbecause you want to see what happens to Ser Pounce the cat.

Because the world of Game of Thrones is craven and bloodthirsty, isn’t it? It’s a quagmire of violence and busted ethics. Everyone in Game of Thrones, even the ones we side with, are warped and broken and monstrous. But not Ser Pounce. Ser Pounce is the one true source of goodness left on Game of Thrones. His presence alone slices through the murk like a sword of blazing virtue. His … What’s that? He’s dead?

Apparently, heartbreakingly, so. Game of Thrones showrunners DB Weiss and David Benioff have announced that Ser Pounce will not be appearing in the show’s final series, because he is no longer of this Earth. “Cersei hated the name ‘Ser Pounce’ so much she could not allow him to survive,” they’ve said, according to EW. “So she came up with her most diabolical [execution]. Ser Pounce’s death was so horrible we couldn’t even put it on the air.”

This is a tragedy. Sure, some will claim this is less a canonical death and more an on-the-fly explanation by two people who’d forgotten Ser Pounce was even on Game of Thrones. But I think differently. I’m taking Weiss and Benioff at their word, and I’m appalled. At least with the Red Wedding we got to see the extent of the brutality. But this? This is much worse. We’re left to imagine all the sickest things Cersei did to that poor cat. All the ways he was tortured. All the boiling liquids he was dipped into. All the blades that were stuck into his eyeballs. It’s horrendous. I’m in mourning.

But at the same time, this offscreen death does have consequences for the final series. This means that we have to see Cersei Lannister as the big villain of the last few episodes, surely. Yes, the Night King has an army of unkillable super-strong zombies that are hellbent on extinguishing an entire species, but he never tortured a cat. And not just any cat, either, but Ser Pounce; Game of Thrones’ final remaining symbol of innocence. Cersei must fry for this. Truly, hanging is too good for her.

Killing Ser Pounce means we have to see Cersei Lannister as the big villain of the final season, surely.
 Killing Ser Pounce means we have to see Cersei Lannister as the big villain of the final season, surely. Photograph: AP

What’s the point? What’s the point of watching Game of Thrones any more, now that its best character is dead? Everyone else is too awful to contemplate. The trippy crow boy? Awful. Dragon lady? Awful? The massive gnome? Awful. Lil’ D’Artagnan? Awful. They’re all awful. None of them possess even a tenth of the character that Ser Pounce demonstrated.

Still, at least we have our memories. Our fond memories of all the good times we had with Ser Pounce. Like the time he turned up in season four, jumping up on the bed just as Margery was about to have sex with a child. Or the time when … actually, no, that was the only time Ser Pounce was ever seen, wasn’t it? Oh well, at least we had that.

I remain hopeful that this is all just misdirection on the part of the showrunners, though. We’re all too accustomed to the visual grammar of peak TV to truly believe that a character has died unless we see the body. We’ve been fooled too many times for that.

And even if Ser Pounce really did die, Game of Thrones is a show that’s explicitly about resurrection. With that in mind, I’m 90% sure that we’ll see Ser Pounce again, and he’ll be a little feline White Walker, and he’ll slash Cersei’s throat with his claws and everyone will cheer. This has to happen, right?