The Starks might have their reunion soon, but they probably won’t all make it out alive. Here are the Starks most likely to survive.
Game of Thrones has followed the Stark family from the very beginning, when they were all together and we couldn’t imagine all the horrible ways they would be separated from each other. Seven seasons later, we’ve lost half the family, but we may finally be seeing the survivors come together again… although it’s not in very nice circumstances.
But it’s hard to believe that everyone in the family will make it out of Season 7 unscathed, when, as said by one of our writers, there’s an “unfortunate precedent that no Stark reunion can unfold without tragedy.” With only one season to go after this one, it’s very likely that a major death will serve to give momentum to the final season, and define who ultimately gets the audience’s full loyalty (and that of Westeros). But whose death will it be?
From least likely to most likely to survive, here are the Starks and their storylines.
Bran’s purpose in the story wasn’t quite clear for a long time, although there clearly was magic pushing him towards the main plot, but last season changed things. He’s now the only person we know of that’s in possession of information about Jon’s true parentage; information that may very well turn the tides of the war for the Seven Kingdoms, for better or for worse.
It’s time that Bran finally be reunited with his family, and find his place in House Stark with his newfound abilities. It would be amazing to see his powers and Arya’s come together — that could really give their House added edge in the coming battles. But will he live long enough?
We really hope that Bran can live a fulfilling life once all the fighting is over. But while his new powers give him amazing abilities, and he may save the day before the end, magic has all but taken over his life, and that has to have its consequences. Once his purpose is spent, much like Jojen before him, he too might die.
For a long time, Sansa had only one purpose: to survive. From Joffrey’s macabre games to Ramsay’s torment, she’s probably had the worst time out of all her siblings in the last few seasons, stripped away of agency and constantly being used by others to fulfill their aspirations. It’s only now that she’s finally able to take back the power and rain down vengeance on everyone who has wronged her.
But Littlefinger is still alive and close, and his machinations are dangerous to become involved in. While he might profess to love her because of her mother, he’s a ruthless person and a creep, and his advice is just be another way to manipulate her. As family dynamics between Sansa and Jon shift and they find themselves leading the North, Sansa has to define what her motivations are — will she stand with her brother (cousin!) no matter how that might take away from her personal aspirations? Or will she stand for herself, and probably perish along with Littlefinger?
In the end, the greatest danger to Sansa may be her pride. Hopefully, the things that she’s learned so far will help her avoid the same pitfall that haunted her childhood, but it’s hard to blame her — she’s had injustice after injustice inflicted upon her, and we just want to see her triumph.
As the Starks converge at Winterfell, it feels like Sansa’s story is coming to an end, unless she makes truly revolutionary choices (like marrying her cousin, perhaps?). As she herself says in the trailer: The lone wolf dies but the pack survives.
With still most of the people left in her kill list, there’s still great reason to think that Arya will make it through this season as she slices her way through society in search of revenge… and her siblings.
But Arya’s decisions won’t come without a price. She’s already very different from the noble, strong-hearted little girl she used to be, battle-hardened and truly a force to reckon with. Her newfound ruthlessness will certainly come in handy in the dangerous times to come, but how does it fit with the values House Stark once stood for? It’s hard to imagine that Ned would be happy with the assassin she’s become, were he alive (but of course, there’s a reason Arya is alive, and Ned is not.)
It’s hard to imagine Arya taking part in Westeros’ society of political intrigue once the game of thrones is over. Her way of helping Jon succeed might involve something truly unheard of — but with her motivations probably reaching their end once her enemies are all dead, it’s hard to imagine what might happen after that.
In the end, Arya may have seen and done too much to ever be able to return to normalcy. Everything she has done since leaving King’s Landing has been in pursuit of her family and a list of people to kill… and she’s more than likely to sacrifice herself for the sake of taking down that list, once that family is found.
(On the other hand, it would be an unexpected but interesting ending to have battle-hardened Arya be the only remaining Stark.)
Jon Snow by far has a huge amount of potential for the throne in Westeros at the moment. After everything he’s been through, he’s finally amassed an army and become King of the North, with some amazing people at his side, like Sansa and Lyanna Mormont.
Ironically, Jon isn’t officially a real Stark yet, and the only person who knows for sure that he’s related to the Targaryens is Bran. While we definitely want him to know the truth, because his lineage is a key strength when it comes to having a claim over the Iron Throne, who knows how his people will react to that revelation? The Starks and the Targaryens have never been friends, and have historically contradicted each other pretty violently when it comes to ideology. The revelation that Jon is a Targaryen could go both ways: it might give Jon added favor in the eyes of the people, or seal a terrible fate.
But Jon has a great track record when it comes to death. Even if he does come face to face with such opposition, he might conquer it again. Or maybe Jon will die rather poetically, nobly, conscious that it really is his time now… and that another Stark is there to take on what he leaves behind.
Still, the underdog narrative of the rejected bastard who becomes King is very strong, even in a show as unpredictable as Game of Thrones, and it’s hard to imagine Jon meeting an untimely and unfair death — especially after we were already put through that so recently.
Who do you think will survive this season?
Game of Thrones Season 7 premieres on Sunday, July 16 at 9:00 p.m. on HBO.