Winter is coming. Or, if you’ve kept up with the teaser trailer for the newest season – winter is finally here.
You don’t have to watch “Game of Thrones” for very long to learn how dangerous it is to get attached to virtually any character – especially if their last name happens to be Stark. From the kings in the North to the rulers in King's Landing, no one is safe in this epic storm of swords.
Leading up to the long-awaited seventh season, we looked back at the timeline of characters who met some of the most untimely endings in this hit series. From your odds of dying to the ways in which you could expect to go, we break down the likelihood of getting in and out of Westeros alive to tell the tale. Curious what the odds might be for any of the remaining characters? Keep reading to find out.
Not every character we meet in “Game of Thrones” is lucky enough to earn a name. Of course, even the ones who do don’t exactly have better odds in HBO’s adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s epic storyline.
Nearly 72% of every named character who crossed the screen over the past six seasons has died before ever finding out who gets to sit on the Iron Throne. If you’re keeping track, that’s almost 3 in 4 characters whom we’ve ever dared to get emotionally invested or ever wondered if they might be “the one.”
While it doesn’t do Catelyn Stark or even Jon Snow’s wildling lover Ygritte any good, women stand a better chance in the world of “Thrones” than men. While almost 65% of named female characters over the show’s run have died in some glorious fashion, more than 76% of male characters have met similar, gruesome fates.
You don’t even have to be human in “Game of Thrones” to win over our hearts and leave us sad, angry, and confused. Many of the animals featured on the show have died, usually right along with their owners. Of the six direwolf pups introduced within the first hour of the first season of “Game of Thrones,” four have died in ways that make us wonder if it really could get any worse. Our fingers are crossed for Ghost and Nymeria to make it out alive.
Our Blades Are Sharp
“Game of Thrones” continues to shock us with new ways of killing characters each season. Just when you thought you’d seen it all in season 4 – when “The Mountain” (spoiler alert) crushed the skull of fan favorite Oberyn Martell with his bare hands – season 5 showed us how Melisandre convinced the would-be King of Westeros, Stannis Baratheon, to burn his daughter at the stake ... which, of course, proved fruitless.
Still, with all of these wild and grim ways to die, good old-fashioned stabbings are still the most popular way to meet the Old Gods and the New in “Game of Thrones”. More than 1 in 3 characters that died were stabbed in one way or another. From every character who died during the Red Wedding (including Talisa, Robb, and Catelyn Stark) to Arya’s season 6 victim, Walder Frey, the odds of dying by sword or knife are relatively high.
Arrows (like the ones Tyrion used to kill Tywin Lannister in season 4) along with explosions (seen in the most recent season finale at the Great Sept of Baelor) have each accounted for nearly 7% of all “Game of Thrones” deaths over the years.
Death by shadow demons or direwolves only accounted for less than 1% of named characters who’ve died in this mad, crazy world.
Places Not to Vacation in Westeros
King’s Landing may be the capital of the Seven Kingdoms, but it’s also the scene of the crime for more than 1 in 5 deaths on the show. Cersei raised the stakes last season by using wildfire to make her point with the Tyrells and the High Sparrow, but the odds are strong even more blood could be shed in King's Landing before all is said and done.
Of course, the darkest tragedies on “Game of Thrones” often involved men and women who visited a Stark. Nearly 14% of named characters over the last six seasons have died at the Stark family home in Winterfell. Like Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun, the giant, and everyone’s favorite psychopath Ramsay Bolton, Winterfell has been another hot location for increasing a character's odds of dying in Westeros.
Characters looking to get out of dodge might consider places like Braavos, the Vale, or even the Eyrie – each of which has been the location of less than 3% of all “Game of Thrones” deaths.
And Now Their Watch Has Ended
Starks may be the first family that comes to mind when thinking of “Game of Thrones” characters who didn’t make it so far, but the Night’s Watch has them beat. A brotherhood by definition, more than 88% of the brothers in black since season 1 are dead. They are the Watchers on the Wall – and in the Battle of Ice and Fire, they also happen to be the most exposed to what’s probably coming next in the show.
Like the Night’s Watch, more named Starks, Lannisters, Tyrells, Martells, and Baratheons are dead than alive. For families like the Boltons and Freys, where every named member of their family has been killed, some houses may be gone forever.
At this moment, only the living Targaryens and Greyjoys outnumber those who’ve died over the last six seasons. Of course, as we’ve learned, anything can happen in season 7.
Don’t Play the Odds
Any way you want to slice it, the chances of survival in “Game of Thrones” are slim to none. Even if everyone watching thinks you’re the show’s main character, you could still lose your head before the first season is even finished. As we’ve seen, male characters are more likely to meet their makers than women – but even direwolves aren’t safe.
We analyzed the publicly available databases on Wikipedia.org and Time.com to see which characters died, lived, and were resurrected in the world of Game of Thrones.
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