Some may have read the title to this article and assumed that I was confused and in need of a calendar. But for those whom the title made perfect sense you are either:
1. Living in the southern hemisphere or
2. A fan of Game of Thrones
If you are not a fan and have no interest in the show, you can stop reading here if you’d like because this article will hold little meaning for you. If you’re not a fan but intend to start reading the books and/or watching the show, you might also want to stop reading because this article contains a few spoilers. For the rest of you, please read on…
I admit it. I’m a relative newcomer to the Game of Thrones… well, let’s call it a phenomenon. And no, I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to call it a phenomenon. This show and the books have taken the world by storm. Viewership seems to be only rivaled by AMC’s The Walking Dead. And although I’m late to the game, (no pun intended) I have fallen in love just as much as fans from season 1. (At this point I should establish that if you’re a fan of the books please just chill out. I’m sure the books are better. Written fiction is almost always better than the screen adaptation. This article is about the show.) And now that the start of the fifth season is on the horizon, I’m really getting pumped up. Of course, the question on my mind is the same as everyone else: Who will die this season?
Like most fans of the show, I’m rooting for Tyrion Lannister to slip under the death radar of author George R. R. Martin and showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss. Some may say he’s safe because he has not been killed in the books or because he’s such a fan favorite, but those of us who watch the show know better. All Men Must Die. And Martin has said recently that characters who have not died in the books will die this season in the show. That’s just great. Because nothing makes my day more than getting firmly attached to a character only to watch them suffer a horrible death on the show. Yes, fans know better than to bond too closely with any character, but it can be difficult to keep one’s distance. The characters are written so well and most are developed into very realistic personalities. When you like someone on the show, you really like them. And if you hate someone (Die Joffrey, die!) you really hate them. It is the characters that drive the show as much as the plot. The only saving grace is that the show provides a host of characters from which to choose.
I’ve compiled my list of characters that I want to see live through season 5 (And a few that I don’t). It may surprise you.
Who needs to live?
Tyrion Lannister – No real explanation needed here. He’s smart, he’s funny, he drinks a bit too much and he’s a dwarf. What more do you need? Well there is more. In a world consumed by lust, greed, gluttony, insanity, revenge, murder, incest and an unquenchable desire for power, Tyrion stands out as one of the few minds not corrupted by the afore-mentioned evils. Sure he enjoys his drink and a fine wench or three, but compared to his fellow Westerosians, he’s practically a saint. He is as close to a moral compass as we’ll probably ever get now that Ned Stark is gone. So long live Tyrion.
Arya Stark – Arya is a survivor. She’s gone from a silly little tomboy to a clever and potentially deadly adversary. Don’t let her diminuative size fool you. She’s a killer in the making. She’s also a Stark and since there are so few left, one can only hope she survives to avenge her family.
Jon Snow – Sure, he knows nothing, but he’s learning. He’s a skilled warrior and one of the few that truly understands how dire the warning “Winter is Coming” really is. Jon can be a leader and sooner rather than later, Westeros will need him.
Daenerys Targaryen – While I have mixed feelings about the Queen of Dragons, it’s clear she needs to stick around. She is going to be one of the driving forces in Westeros soon enough and it most likely will take her dragons to fight off the White Walkers when they descend from the north. She can be annoying but she’s also demonstrated that she has morals and that is something that is severely lacking in Westeros. She would make a good queen and I’m fairly certain she’ll live.
Cersei Lannister – What? Surprised I would choose her to live? She’s so… so… rotten. And that’s exactly why she’s needed. With Tywin taking a dirt nap (and I assume he’s dead from the crossbow bolts Tyrion shot into him while on the loo) the story is missing a major bad guy. Sure, there is Petyr Baelish and Ramsay Bolton and Walder Frey, but those characters don’t have the driving force to be majorly wicked. Cersei is a Queen B and takes treachery to a whole new level. She’s one of the only major league baddies left and I really love to hate her. Cersei must stay.
Jaime Lannister – What’s Cersei without her loving brother? And yet, Jaime is not the evil equivalent of his sister. While he has his moments of being despicable, he’s got redeeming qualities and is a pivotal character that could change the tides either way. Besides, one handed characters are always interesting. Just ask Luke Skywalker or Captain Hook.
The Mountain – A nearly indestructible killing machine? The fantasy version of The Terminator? The Mountain is one big rude dude and he’s only going to get better. After nearly being defeated and killed by the Viper, it appears that Gregor Clegane will rise again, even more evil and destructive than before (thanks to some medieval modifications). He’s the thing that can scare a man into soiling himself if his path is crossed. He doesn’t even need to have a personality. He’s a walking dispenser of death and destruction and that’s good enough for me.
Lord Varys – He’s slippery and not to be trusted, yet in many ways he’s more trustworthy than most in the capital. His web of spies and his insight into the happenings of the realm help grease the wheels of all those who maneuver for power. And while he has allegiances to no one, he may be one of the few that truly wants what is best for Westeros. Plus, most stories should have at least one chubby bald eunuch.
Hodor – Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor… Hodor Hodor Hodor. Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor. Hodor Hodor Hodor Hodor? Hodor.
Who can die?
Stannis Baratheon – I never cared for this character and although his forces are now in the north and will play a part in the fight against the White Walkers, Stannis does not need to live. He’s boring and two dimensional and adds as much flavor to the soup as cold water. Let Melissandre manipulate someone else.
Sansa Stark – Ok, she’s finally started to become slightly interesting now that she’s begun to develop the beginnings of a spine, but she’s still weak and whiney and annoying. She’s only acted upon and never seems to affect change on her own. She’s window dressing and serves no apparent purpose. Toss her through the Moon Door and see if she can fly.
Theon Greyjoy – For the love of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, just let him die. Yeah, he’s a coward and traitor but I think anyone would agree that he’s paid the price for his sins. While he may have yet a part to play in Ramsay’s twisted plan (whatever that may be) he’s become a sniveling, addle-brained version of Gollum with no direction of his own. I think he’s a perfect candidate for death and one that would cause little sadness among fans. Goodbye Reek.
As I understand it, HBO wants at least 10 seasons of GoT (gotta milk that cash cow until her udders are dry) and I’m ok with that. I think they should treat it like a game of Last Man Standing. The final episode would feature the only cast member to survive living in Westeros all by him (or her) self. And if I’m going to watch all 10 seasons, that last remaining character better be Tyrion! Are you listening HBO?
Valar Morghulis (except Tyrion)