2:30 pm EDT, April 19, 2019

‘Game of Thrones’ season 8 death watch: Who we think will survive to the very end

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Last week we told you who should be sitting on the Iron Throne at the end of it all. Now it’s all about who is even gonna survive Game of Thrones season 8.

Every moment of Game of Thrones season 8 that passes gets us closer and closer to the end, and we know there are going to be more than a few character deaths along the way.

But rather than freaking out about how many of our favorites are going to meet their maker this season, we decided it would be so much more fun (and less anxiety-inducing) to think positively. SOMEONE has to survive this mess, even if it’s the Night King.

Who we think will survive the ‘Game of Thrones’

Arya Stark

Written by: Kristen Kranz

Sansa and Arya may have taken two very different paths back to Winterfell, but they’ve both been through a lot. Arya had a little more control over her destiny than Sansa, and that’s precisely why she will survive this crazy show and any twists and turns season 8 may throw at her.

Arya learned pretty quickly that she would have to take her survival into her own hands. She absorbed knowledge and experiences from everyone she came across, whether it was the Hound, Tywin Lannister, Jaqen H’ghar, or just about any nameless person.

And now, she is reunited with her siblings and is perfectly positioned to be the one to make it through any and all threats that come her way. She is one of very few characters who have never underestimated Cersei. She respects the threat the white walkers pose to everyone in Westeros. Add in her particular set of skills and willingness to do whatever it takes, and Arya’s survival looks better and better.

Ultimately, everyone’s survival depends on harnessing all the power of Westeros and turning it loose on the Army of the Dead. Arya is less a soldier and more an assassin, so I can see her setting her sights on taking out the Night King, which could pose a real threat to her survival. But, she’s already survived so much that I think this Stark will be standing when all is said and done.

Sansa Stark

Written by: Shana O’Neil

Sansa Stark started as a naive young lady who dreamt of being queen. She’s certainly learned a great deal about the world since then. Sansa’s education started the day her father was beheaded. Her lessons came at the hands of brutal men like Joffrey and Ramsay Bolton, not to mention the cunning Peter Baelish. She watched Cersei play the Game up close and those lessons left their mark.

Everything in Sansa’s life has brought her to this moment in time. She doesn’t want to be queen. She wants to help her people. She cares more about her people and Winterfell than anything else — a far cry from the girl who wanted nothing but to run away and be a queen. She’s taken the lessons of the last seven seasons and she’s learned them all. Painfully and deeply. She’s been tested.

In the end, no one’s been through what Sansa’s been through and it’s why I think she’ll outlast everyone to take the throne.

Tyrion Lannister

Written by: Karen Rought

The stakes are certainly stacked against Tyrion when it comes to making it to the end of Game of Thrones. It’s true that he’s a fan-favorite, but GoT isn’t exactly afraid of killing those off — especially since this is the final season. Plus, Cersei is out for his head, and we all know she’s willing to do anything to keep her crown. Killing off her least favorite brother won’t be an issue.

But Tyrion is smart. He knows politics and warfare and people because he’s seen the world up close. Growing up a Lannister means he understands how power works, and he knows how to keep himself useful. Tyrion doesn’t really operate in the gray anymore (he’s strictly team Good Guy these days), but he’s not exactly a hero either. He knows staying alive is more important than dying a noble death because at least you can live to fight another day.

Tyrion’s biggest asset is his brain, so it’s unlikely he’ll be taking to the battlefield like some of the other characters. He’ll be in the war room, doing his best to keep as many people alive as possible. When all is said and done, I doubt Tyrion will be without his bumps and bruises, but I also think he’ll find a way to keep going. For the sake of his queen, all of Westeros, and my heart, I hope that’s true.

Jon Snow

Written by: Sonya Field

Despite everyone’s best efforts, Jon Snow is still alive and kicking on Game of Thrones season 8. At this point it seems like Jon must just be unable to die. He’s taken a knife to the heart and come back alive.

And last season everyone seemed sure he was a goner after being surrounded by white walkers, including Dany, but somehow still managed to survive?! It really doesn’t make sense that he’s still alive, which only leads me to believe that he will still be around by the end of the season.

Not to mention that Jon is literally the son of ice and fire as the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. Even if his character doesn’t seem to have as much fight in him as some of the others, his sisters Arya and Sansa for example, it looks like all signs point to him being the surviving “hero” at the end of this all.

Brienne of Tarth

Written by: Lelanie Seyffer

Brienne surviving the show makes sense both in terms of her character and the narrative. She has both the strength and skill to more than hold her own against any opponent, whether they be dead or alive, and enough trust and loyalty to all the right people to stay alive within the political framework of the show.

Narratively, her survival in the face of other character’s deaths (such as Jaime) has a lot of potential for tension and tragedy — two things on which Game of Thrones certainly places a premium. Likewise, while the earlier seasons focused a lot on the power of men, the latter half of the show has mainly highlighted the strength of women. Having Brienne — a female knight who spent much of the earlier seasons denigrated because of her gender — survive the most powerful male warriors would further that thematic thread in this last season. Plus, she needs to stay alive for the future of Westeros — she’s the only one fit to become the head of Sansa’s Queensguard when Sansa rightfully ends up on the Iron Throne.

Samwell Tarly

Written by: Natalie Fisher

Who lives, who dies, who tells your story? If you’re a major player in Westeros, the answer to that final question is Samwell Tarly. We don’t know exactly what the future will hold for Sam — whether he’ll become King Aegon VI’s Grand Maester, Lord Tarly of Horn Hill, his promised path as Maester of the Watch, or something else. But a future he shall have, because Sam is our most reliable narrator.

Sam has always been one of the show’s only truly ethically sound characters. There is a reason besides their friendship for why Sam, rather than Bran or anyone else, had to be the person who told Jon about his heritage in as many words. Sam has been developed as a Keeper of Truth — the kind of character you show a perspective of, or give information to deliver when you want the audience to know it’s factually true and/or narratively correct.

And what does that mean? Well, for starters, right now it’s proof that Dany is problematic-to-crazy: having Sam vocalize his concerns is a huge sign that the audience should also be questioning her. But in the long run, it means that he is the person best suited to tell those generations yet to come about all that happened. He’s so clearly the character tasked with telling the story, and telling it just and true. That’s why he has to survive — as our historian.

Gendry (Waters?) (Baratheon?)

Written by: Nasim Mansuri

Westeros’ unsung hero must survive until the very end. Since he was very young, Gendry was forced to fight for survival against forces much stronger than him who wanted to see him dead — all because he was Robert Baratheon’s bastard. He survived the bastard purge of Kingslanding, he survived the Lannister soldiers, he survived Harrenhall, he survived Melisandre, and he even survived meeting the army of the dead. His entire life has been about survival, and he still hasn’t gotten a chance to shine.

Now, in the final season, Gendry is perfectly positioned to make a name for himself beyond his parentage. Allied with some of the most powerful and intelligent characters, he’ll be able to get far, and leave a better legacy to his name than Robert Baratheon did. So he must survive… for poetic justice’s sake. He could become a leader in the new Westeros, and I don’t see that happening thoroughly enough this season if his story will abruptly be cut short by a death. The only way for Gendry to fulfill his destiny is to stay alive; not necessarily becoming King, but finally receiving the glory he deserves.

Who do you think will survive ‘Game of Thrones’ season 8?

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