The Battle of Winterfell is here. Season 8, Episode 2 was all about the preparations, and it ended with the White Walkers arriving at Winterfell. Season 8, Episode 3 will focus entirely on the battle.
With most of the characters now in the North ready to fight the dead, we’ve got to face facts: There’s no way they’re all making it out of this alive. Let’s take a look at who is most likely to bite it…
1. Ser Jorah Mormont
Poor old J-Bear. He can never get a break. He’s never going to get Daenerys to love him in the way he wants. And he’s no longer her chief adviser — although he did give her some excellent advice in Season 8, Episode 2. All that’s left is for him to die for her, really. Which will leave Dany more friendless and vulnerable for the inevitable drama over the Iron Throne in the second half of the season.
2. Grey Worm
As soon as Grey Worm and Missandei started making plans for their happy future together at the end of the war, you just knew one or both of them was about to die. It seems likely at this stage that one will be left behind to mourn the other, and logically Grey Worm will probably be the one to go, since he will be in the midst of the fighting. It will also strip down Dany’s defences even further.
Is there a chance all of Dany’s key fighting men will die in this battle? Yes, and an extremely high one at that, I think. The Dothraki will be at the front of the fighting, so it’s not looking good for any of them, and especially Qhono, the only one left with an actual recognizable character.
4. Ser Beric Dondarrion
This character is long dead in the books, so he’s definitely overstayed his welcome. He’s pretty disposable in the grand scheme of things. The only reason he might survive is that he has to fulfil some kind of story function that Lady Stoneheart does in the books.
For those who don’t know (book spoilers!!!!) — Beric transfers his lifeforce into Catelyn Stark after the Red Wedding, and she then becomes the vengeful Lady Stoneheart. Perhaps in the show, Beric will give the kiss of life to someone else — like Jon, maybe? Imagine if that’s Lady Stoneheart’s ultimate purpose…ooft.
Then again, maybe Beric has lived this long to kill a few White Walkers and then die.
5. Ser Brienne of Tarth
Going into the season, I thought Brienne had a pretty high chance of survival. But her happy moment in Season 8, Episode 2 has me very worried. It’s just like Game of Thrones to give a character her lifelong dream before killing her off. And her death would further Jaime’s emotional journey. It would frankly make me furious, but I’m preparing for the worst.
Speaking of furious, I said I would riot if Ghost was brought back for a split second in Season 8, Episode 2 only to be immediately killed off. Well, let’s just say I’m getting my pitchfork ready, because there’s a very, very high chance this is going to happen. The showrunners have treated his character as completely unimportant, yet they know his death will have an emotional impact on the audience. He’s a goner.
We already lost one dragon to the Night King. It seems likely we’ll lose at least one more in this next fight with him. Between Drogon and Rhaegal, the latter is probably the most likely to die. It would once again leave Dany more vulnerable.
8. Podrick Payne
I love Pod but honestly there’s not many more places his character can go. He’s someone who people will be sad to lose, but who is not super important in the endgame. He sang his song, he’ll fight his fight…and then he’ll probably die.
Like Brienne, Gendry got his happy moment (*cough*) in Season 8, Episode 2, and all the dragonglass weapons are presumably done by now. So unless he’s going to end up on the Iron Throne as the last Baratheon, he’s dead for sure. (Grabbing two pitchforks just in case.)
10. Tormund Giantsbane
How will we get by without Tormund? But I suspect we’ll have to. He’s another character whose death will be impactful, but who isn’t significant in the grand scheme of things (except in our hearts).
11. Theon Greyjoy
What better way to complete Theon’s redemption arc than have him sacrifice his life protecting the family — and specifically, the boy — he betrayed and hurt the most? Theon will go down for Bran, and he’ll finally be at peace. Unless…the Night King resurrects him? Eek.
12. Literally everyone in the crypt
Gilly and Little Sam were two characters who I thought would survive this season for sure, but the emphasis on the safety of the crypts in Season 8, Episode 2 made me realize they were anything but safe. And that’s exactly where Gilly and Little Sam will be. Along with the brave little girl Gilly and Ser Davos were talking to this week, as well as Varys, who is definitely dying soon. Whether they’ll be killed as a result of the dead in the crypts rising, we’ll have to wait and see.
As for the rest of the characters, I think they have a pretty good chance of surviving the battle. After all, there’s still three episodes to go after next week — there has to be someone left to drive them!
How long they live after the battle is another matter entirely…
Image and Source: Buzzfeed
Emilia Clarke defends Dany’s reaction to Jon’s parentage
Now it was Daenerys’ turn to get some devastating news in the dimly lit cavernous crypts of Winterfell.
In the second episode of season 8 of Game of Thrones, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms,” Jon Snow (Kit Harington) revealed his parentage to Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) while standing by the statue of his mother, Lyanna Stark.
Since discovering he’s the secret son of Prince Rhaegar and the true Iron Throne heir in the season 8 premiere, Jon has mostly been upset that he’s rather closely related to the woman he loves and that he’s not actually Ned Stark’s son. But Dany quickly focused on one aspect of the news in particular: That Jon has a better claim to rule Westeros, and her reaction appeared to surprise and disturb him (“If it were true, it would make you the last male heir of House Targaryen,” she said. “You’d have a claim to the Iron Throne”). (And, in fact, a better claim).
Clarke spoke up for Dany’s response, noting that — from her character’s perspective — instantly focusing on to threat to her claim to rule the Seven Kingdoms rather than how it impacts her relationship with Jon makes total sense given her personal and family history.
“The related thing, to her, is so normal,” Clarke explains to EW. “She could have easily married her brother. It’s not a thing. It’s a thing for Jon, but let’s just forget about that. The main thing is we’re up for the same promotion and I’ve been working for it for my entire existence.”
Literally, Clarke notes, from the moment Daenerys was born reclaiming her inheritance has been her focus, and now she’s closer than she’s ever been to obtaining it.
“This is my whole existence,” Clarke emphasized. “Since birth! Dany literally was brought into this world going: RUN! These f—ers [in Westeros] have f—ed everything up. Now it’s, ‘You’re our only hope.’ There’s so much she’s taken on in her duty in life to rectify. There’s so much she’s seen and witnessed and been through and lost and suffered and hurt to get here… and Jon doesn’t even want it!”
The episode’s writer, Bryan Cogman, says in our interview breaking down episode 2’s biggest moments that Clarke and Harington both nailed this “very difficult” scene.
“What really upsets Jon is that he’s a blood relative to the woman he’s in love with,” Cogman says. “Jon is taken aback when essentially the first thing she says is acknowledging that he has a claim to the Iron Throne. Kit and Emilia play it beautifully. It’s a very difficult scene to pull off; so much has to go on behind the eyes.”
Of course, any further discussion of their romance or the future of Westeros leadership was then interrupted by a horn announcing that the Army of the Dead is now at the gates of Winterfell, and the greatest battle in the show’s history is about to commence. Fans are now left with a cliffhanger moment until next week’s super-sized 80-minute episode.
Last week, EW spoke to Harington about his reaction to getting the news in the premiere. “That’s the thing I love about Jon, his purity,” Harington says. “He doesn’t f—ing want [the Iron Throne]. He doesn’t want that f—ing information. He doesn’t want to know. He has no ambition for the throne. He’s never wanted that. The end of the world might be coming soon but at least he’s in love with somebody and knows who he is, and then comes this sledgehammer.… If Jon could go back in time and say: ‘Whatever you’re about to say, don’t tell me,’ he would. He’d happily be in ignorance.”