(This piece is made of spoilers, or things that might be spoilers.) One of the increasingly few pleasures of reading George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire was that you knew who died before people who only watched the show did. It was fun! But although Winter still hasn’t come to most of Westeros (hurry up, Winter!), it has come to book readers, who can no longer feel so smug. Now anyone can die at any time. And we don’t know who will die!
With that in mind, this is the first in a series of blog posts that will run throughout the season guessing which characters will die next, in order of how likely it is that they will die. But first, let’s remember the fallen.
Last week’s casualties, in order of how good they were as characters: Areo Hotah, the 11 Bolton dudes that Brienne wrecked, Doran Martell, Trystane “The Makeout King of Westeros” Martell.
Who will die next, in order of how likely it is that they will die:
1. Balon Greyjoy: Way back in Season 3, Melisandre threw three leeches into a fire: One for Joffrey Baratheon, one for Robb Stark, and one for Balon Greyjoy. Two out of three ain’t bad and, while a Balon Greyjoy death in Season 6 would mean that Mel has some slow-acting magic, it looks like we’re headed to the Iron Islands for a good old fashioned Kingsmoot in the next episode. So RIP Balon, you should have been nicer to your garbage son.
2. Alistair Thorne: I mean, if Jon comes back (and Jon’s coming back), Alistair Thorne can’t live, right? And there’s definitely going to be violence surrounding his corpse, whether it’s resurrected or not. There will be lots of questions about who leads the Night’s Watch after Jon comes back, or even if there is a Night’s Watch after he comes back, but it seems unlikely that Thorne and his fellow conspirators (except maybe Olly) will make it out alive. RIP, you bunch of rats.
3. Lancel Lannister: This little twerp definitely has it coming, Jamie and Cersei are in “Fuck everybody but us” mode/have an indestructible giant corpse on their side, and Lancel is the most high-profile ally of the High Sparrow. If the Lannisters/Tyrells are going to war with the Faith Militant, killing Lancel is where to start. RIP Lancel, you were a little twerp.
4. Melisandre: I have no idea how Jon Snow is coming back but only death can pay for life—the sacrifice of Mel seems likely, especially given that I don’t know what else she has left to do in the series, now that Stannis is dead. So RIP Melisandre, killing Shireen was bad.