All men must die, especially during the final season of Game of Thrones. The hit HBO series infamously kills off major characters left and right, doing so even early on in the series’ run. Now that the story is coming to a close, it’s going to be an absolute bloodbath.
Theoretically, just about anyone could bite the dust next season. But there are certain characters we think are definitely more in danger than others. Here’s a look at the Game of Thrones characters who will likely die in Season 8. (We’re not going to talk about The Night King, whose death feels so inevitable that it’s not even really worth discussing.)
1. Cersei Lannister
When it comes to characters who could die, a good place to start would be the person whose death has actually been prophesied: Cersei Lannister.
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Fans will recall that when Cersei was younger, a witch predicted that she would have three children, all of whom would die. This turned out to be completely accurate (the fact that Cersei is apparently pregnant again complicates things, though).
But another part of the prophecy was that Cersei herself would die; the witch claimed that a “Valonqar” would choke Cersei to death. The word “Valonqar” means “little brother” in Valyrian, so it’s kind of understandable why Cersei is so distrustful of her little brother, Tyrion — although she may want to keep an eye on Jaime since he’s technically younger than her by a few minutes.
2. Jaime Lannister
Speaking of Lannisters, if Cersei is going to die in Season 8, it also seems somewhat likely that Jaime will have to go too.
A prevalent theory among fans is that Jaime will be the one to kill Cersei. This could mean that history repeats itself, and Jaime is once again forced to kill a ruler who has gone mad. It would also be an ironic twist since Cersei spent years misinterpreting the Valonqar prophecy to be about Tyrion when it was about Jaime all along.
But Cersei is hardly one to go down without a fight. So this could be a situation where Jaime sacrifices himself to take Cersei down, whether it’s that Cersei strikes back as she’s dying or orders The Mountain to do it for her. Either way, the perfect end to Jaime’s arc might be for him to give his own life to save Westeros, willing to let the kingdom hate him as a Queenslayer for the greater good.
3. Gregor Clegane
At this point, it seems pretty likely that “Cleganebowl” is actually going to happen in Season 8. That term refers to fans’ desire to see a fight between Sandor Clegane, a.k.a. The Hound, and Gregor Clegane, a.k.a. The Mountain.
The two brothers are bitter enemies, and a potential showdown between them has been teased before, especially during the Season 7 finale. At some point during the final season, the two Clegane brothers will likely go head-to-head, either in an official trial by combat situation or just a personal duel.
If so, it would be fairly repetitive for another showdown with The Mountain to end with Gregor surprisingly defeating the hero. So we predict that Sandor will emerge victorious and finally defeat his brother in Season 8. It’s possible that both men will die in the battle, but at the very least, we think Gregor is going down.
4. Theon & Euron Greyjoy
When we last left Theon Greyjoy, he was heading out on a mission to save his sister Yara, who has been captured by their uncle, Euron Greyjoy. Winning her back is going to be quite a challenge.
Theon’s arc for these past few seasons has been leading up to a grand redemption and a regaining of his autonomy. After his betrayal of the Starks made the audience despise him, we became more sympathetic upon seeing Theon pay for his crimes at the hands of Ramsay Bolton and repent by helping to save Sansa Stark. But he is still a broken man, and when Euron initially captured Yara, he fled.
It would be tremendously unsatisfying if this arc ended with Theon failing to rescue Yara. But him getting his sister back and them escaping unharmed also seems a bit too neat for Game of Thrones. We predict that Theon saves Yara and kills Euron, dying in the process. But because he has won back some of his sense of self, it will feel more like a victory than a defeat.
5. Grey Worm
During the final battle, at least one major character in every army will probably die. And on Daenerys’ side, the biggest candidate would have to be Grey Worm.
Grey Worm is the commander of the Unsullied, and as these soldiers prepare to take on an army of magical zombies, they’re definitely going to have some difficulties, especially now that Daenerys is down a dragon. It would be absurd if the Unsullied didn’t at least take some major losses in the battle. And if the show wants to deliver a real gut punch, it would kill off Grey Worm.
This would end up being part of the reason the show spent so much time on Grey Worm’s relationship with Missandei: to give us someone in the Unsullied army to really connect with so that we’re more devasted when he, and many of his fellow soldiers, die.
Speaking of characters who are in serious need of redemption, there’s Melisandre. Back in Season 5, Stannis Baratheon burned his own daughter alive because of Melisandre’s advice. This advice turned out to be tragically misinformed.
Melisandre has since decided that she was wrong about Stannis being the Prince Who Was Promised. But she was banished after Jon Snow found out about the death of Shireen. In Season 7, she helped facilitate the meeting between Jon and Daenerys. But she then predicted in a conversation with Varys that both of them would die in Westeros.
It was unclear when that would happen, but Season 8 seems like a fair bet. It’s possible Melisandre will redeem herself in death, but something else worth considering is that all the way back in Season 3, Melisandre predicted that she and Arya will meet again. It would be weird if that scene was put in there but they never met again. So maybe it will be Arya who finally does Melisandre in.
Next: This character will likely get a grand, heroic death in Season 8.
7. Beric Dondarrion
Beric Dondarrion has been brought back to life six times now, theoretically due to the power of the Lord of Light. But for a character who has been resurrected, he hasn’t done that much of significance yet; most recently, he accompanied Jon and the gang north of The Wall in Season 7.
In that episode, Beric admitted that he isn’t entirely sure what the Lord of Light wants from him. But he knows he’s going to keep fighting.
One would imagine that in a story like this, someone like George R.R. Maritn would have a plan for Beric and wouldn’t write in a character who can magically come back to life for no reason at all. He seems like someone who could get a heroic death in the final battle, using his flaming sword to take down some White Walkers. But now that Thoros of Myr is dead, if Beric goes down, it’s for good this time.
8. Daenerys Targaryen
We’ve arrived at the big one. Daenerys Targaryen, one of the heroes of Game of Thrones since the beginning, is likely going to meet a tragic end in Season 8. There are many reasons this has to happen. One is the fact that for a story that in the beginning was so focused on subverting fantasy cliches, Daenerys ending up on the Iron Throne feels way too much like a fantasy cliche.
But another reason comes down to the prophecy of The Prince That Was Promised. This person would be Azor Ahai reborn, and Azor Ahai defeated the White Walkers by plunging his sword into his wife. A popular theory goes that if Jon, The Prince That Was Promised, wants to defeat the Night King, he’ll need to do the same thing and kill Daenerys.
It’s still possible that it’s Daenerys herself who is the Princess Who Was Promised. But based on all the foreshadowing in both the show and the books, we probably shouldn’t get too attached to the idea of Daenerys making it out of this story alive.