Normally, people don’t pine for winter. We’d rather be barbecuing in the hot sun of summertime, enjoying the flowery blossoms of springtime, or breathing in the crisp air of a tranquil autumnal evening.
But these aren’t normal times. Indeed, we have been waiting for winter for a long time.
And now – finally – it is here. The final season of Game of Thrones will begin on Sunday, April 14, after an 1.5-year delay from the previous season, and the many countless times that characters on the show have uttered the phrase “winter is coming.”
We asked you for your predictions on who will survive winter. Now we’re here to give you ours.
In one corner, we have Scott Simpson, Marketing Specialist and member of the George R.R. Martin fan club. In the other, we have Chris Armstrong, Director of Marketing and a firm believer that there hasn’t been a decent fantasy book written since The Hobbit.
Quick bio: Thinks he’s the bastard son of Ned Stark, but he’s really the brother (or cousin? We’ve lost track) of the high-born Daenerys Targaryen. If he had a Facebook page, he would probably have “it’s complicated” as his relationship status.
Scott: He’ll stay alive. His natural disposition is to brood until the end of time. He also has to stick around and tell every single character who ignored his warnings about the threat beyond the Wall, “I told you so.” Which, coincidentally, will be the new motto of House Stark (or Targaryen?).
Chris: Agreed. He’ll stay alive. But somehow, he’ll lose all his hair.
Quick bio: Mother of dragons. Lover of Jon Snow. Breaker of Horses. Liberator of Slaves. Thane of Cawdor.
Chris: She’ll stay alive and finally achieve her destiny of sitting on the Iron Throne.
Scott: You haven’t watched this show in the last 7 years, have you? There’s no justice here. Fire may not be able to kill a dragon – but ice surely can. The Mother of Dragons has built herself up high enough to take a nasty fall. Oh, and it will make Jon Snow brood some more, which fits his character.
Status: Et tu, Jon Snow? Dead
Quick bio: The youngest Lannister sibling who has managed to survive all sorts of death-defying feats.
Scott: He’s too beloved by fans to live. The writers like to hurt us. Sometimes I think they do it just for fun.
Chris: I hate to say it, but I agree with Scott on this one. With each passing season, and each scene featuring Tyrion, we cheer for him to stay alive, and when he makes it, we know there is still common decency somewhere in this world. But that’s just where the writers want us to be: they’re going to bring us down. Hard. It will be really tough to think of a reason to get up the next morning after Tyrion goes.
Scott: Agreed, the sun won’t really shine as bright. The songs of birds won’t be as pleasant.
Chris: It will probably be the moment when Western Civilization truly loses its innocence.
Scott: Excuse me, I’ve got something in my eye…
Chris: Me too. Let’s take a break.
Quick bio: The combination and culmination of every single evil female villain from literature, from the witch in “Hansel and Gretel” to Cruella De Vil.
Chris: Please kill her. Please.
Scott: Oh, she dead.
Quick bio: The token incestuous antihero that’s included in any fantasy book.
Scott: Cersei and Jaime do everything together – so they might as well die together. I think the whole family is going under just so Tywin can roll over in his grave.
Chris: Disagree. After Cersei dies, the spell that Jaime is under will break and he will marry Sansa Stark, finally uniting the two noble Houses.
Scott: Does your Panglossian nature know no bounds, Chris?
Chris: Is that a line from the show?
Status: Dead, along with his entire character arc.
Quick bio: Because this is a family website, we really shouldn’t talk about the things she’s been through. But let’s just say she’s gone from living with a sociopath to living with a psychopath.
Chris: She’ll die, but in the midst of a battle that the Living seemed destined to lose. Her death will inspire a rallying in the war against the Dead, and the Living will come out victorious. A meaningful death.
Scott: She’ll stay alive. She’s been through enough, okay!
Quick bio: A plucky fighter, and has a macabre talent of wearing other people’s faces.
Scott: Arya will take 3 arrows to different vital organs and have her arm cut off, but she will somehow manage to be entirely fine and kill a baker’s dozen white walkers with a twig. The showrunners have given her too much plot armor.
Chris: I disagree. She’s already dead. At one point in a battle when everyone else is dead, she’ll remove her face and underneath will be….Joffery Baratheon.
Scott: Do you have to make everything about Scooby-Doo, Chris?
Chris: Yes. Yes, I do.
Quick bio: He fell out of a window, then was carried around by a guy named Hodor, and somewhere in there he found he was blessed with The Sight.
Chris: He’ll survive. But we’ll only see him for, like, three minutes in the final season.
Scott: He’ll be alive, but as a tree. Not sure if you call that living.
Status: Alive and King...for some reason.
Quick bio: Overall he’s a good guy, but he did basically lose Winterfell and betrayed the very family who raised him. But as any guy can tell you, he’s definitely done his penance for all that.
Scott: He’ll die, but I think Theon is going to get a serious redemption arc, while dying. Sort of like Boromir in Lord of the Rings…who played him again?
Chris: Agree, he’ll die. Mostly because I don’t think anyone really likes this guy anymore. C’mon man, grow a backbone.
Status: Got a serious redemption arc while dying.
Quick bio: We first met him at the Wall, where he befriended Jon Snow, and then he went into training as a Meister.
Chris: I think Sam will die, at the exact moment when he reunites with Jon. Because, again, the writers are big meanies.
Scott: Samwell probably should have died 30 times already. If he was going to die, he would be long gone.
Status: Alive. He cried a lot, but he's still alive.
Brienne of Tarth
Quick bio: Tall. Really tall.
Scott: She’s going to die protecting one of both Stark girls, finally fulfilling her oath to Lady Catelyn.
Chris: She’ll become a zombie and will destroy half an army before coming face-to-face with Jaime Lannister on the battlefield. Somewhere in her cold zombie heart, she’ll recognize the man she loves, and in that fleeting instant, Jaime will slay her with a sword made with dragonglass. You only hurt the ones you love.
Status: Alive and a Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.
Quick bio: You know how in every political thriller there’s a guy who’s really manipulative who knows everything and controls all the characters like puppets? That’s Varys.
Chris: He’ll survive. The dude knows how to get by in Westeros.
Scott: Dead. I don’t think anyone will shed a tear.
Quick bio: A smuggler turned nobleman who has a knack for cutting through all the lies and telling it like it is.
Scott: Dead. Although really, I’m just preparing myself for the worst, I really don’t want anything bad to happen to the Onion Knight.
Chris: Yes, he’ll die unfortunately. And I think it will be totally by accident. Like he slips off a chair while reaching for a scroll or something.
Status: Alive (praise be)
Quick bio: The Hound. ‘Nuff said.
Chris: Not sure you can really kill this guy. He’s like a zombie, but still mortal…? Does that make sense?
Scott: No, it doesn’t. But I don’t think he’ll die either. It’s lame to pretend to kill a guy just to kill him later. Two words, Clegane Bowl, and Sandor is coming out victorious (get hype).
Status: Dead, but he died so Cleganebowl could live.
The Night King
Quick bio: Not since Marcel Marceau has an actor totally owned each scene he’s in by saying absolutely nothing.
Scott: He stays “alive.” My hot take – there’s going to be a truce. Someone did something they weren’t supposed to (looking at you, blood magic enthusiasts) and broke an ancient pact between the Living and the Dead. Jon will make similar pact will be made to end the war. The Night King will go home and watch the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the comfort of his igloo.
Chris: He lives. This guy is obviously Ned Stark in zombie form. He’ll come back to life and re-assume the throne at Winterfell.
Scott: You know nothing, Chris Armstrong.
Status: Incredibly dead.
In the end, none of us really know. Like all other fans, we’re just speculating.
Congratulations to Lisa and Abel Verde, the winners of our Survive Winter promotion! Thanks to everyone who entered.