Game of Thrones is packed with despicable villains. The very premise of the show is centered around political back-stabbing, literal beheadings, and all manner of atrocities exacted upon the characters we love most.
That being so, we still hope that some of our favorites will survive until the end of the series. And while we know that Game of Thrones specializes in ripping our collective heart out, we can still dream that these particular characters will somehow manage not to die.
1. Tormund Giantsbane
Even after starting out as an adversary, Tormund Giantsbane has quickly endeared himself to fans as the one Wildling with enough sense to ally with Jon Snow and the Night’s Watch. He’s proven himself to be a formidable warrior, a respected leader, and most of all, a trusted ally in the coming war against the White Walkers. Combine that with the relentless shipping of him and Brienne, and we’d be more than a little sad to see him go.
2. Sansa Stark
Sansa Stark wasn’t always a beloved character, starting the series in Season 1 as a spoiled heiress with fantasies of marrying a prince. She’s since been subjected to a series of atrocities, after suffering from intense emotional and physical abuse at the hand of virtually every man she came into contact with.
Now, she’s finally been reunited with what’s left of her family in Winterfell (Bran excepted), and seems poised to finally take control of her life.
3. Daenerys Targaryen
With three full-grown dragons in tow, Daenerys Targaryen is the best hope Westeros has at beating back the impending White Walker invasion. That being so, she’s likely to come up against a good deal of resistance at virtually every turn, giving Game of Thrones plenty of opportunities to tragically kill off the fan favorite.
4. Podrick Payne
Podrick Payen may be more of a background player, but the loyal squire has been a fan-favorite character since he was first introduced as Tyrion’s travel companion and protector. In the seasons since, he’s been accompanying Brienne in her journey to track down the remaining Stark children, and in that time, has stood tall as one of the few morally incorruptible characters Game of Thrones has. Unfortunately, that also seems to set him up for a sudden and heroic death at some point down the line.
5. Davos Seaworth
Davos Seaworth is one of the few people in Game of Thrones who always has an eye on the bigger picture. While the competing families of Westeros are determined to make petty wars among themselves, he’s the guy trying to get everyone to look north, as the White Walkers begin to march toward the Wall. Whether the leaders will actually heed his advice is anyone’s guess, but he remains one of the most important characters in the entire series.
6. Grey Worm
You won’t find a more skilled and loyal warrior than Grey Worm, the head of Daenerys’ Unsullied army. Rescued from slavery by the Khaleesi, he’s devoted his life to fighting in her name, and has been largely successful in that venture throughout his tenure on the series. His budding romance with Missandei makes him that much more sympathetic too, as we continue to hope he survives another season.
7. Brienne of Tarth
Lady Brienne has consistently found herself underestimated by her peers in Westeros, and she’s made a career out of exploiting that. She even bested the Hound in hand-to-hand combat, demonstrating her considerable fighting skills, as well as her determination in the face of adversity. All that being so, it’d be a damn shame if she was ever killed off, especially given her role as a sworn sword for a handful of beloved characters.
8. Jon Snow
Having already almost lost Jon Snow once, it’d be heartbreaking if Game of Thrones took him away a second time. Two seasons ago, we watched helplessly as a group of Night’s Watch mutineers brutally stabbed Jon to death, leaving him to bleed out on the ground. Season 6 quickly resolved that plot twist, when Melisandre managed to literally raise him from the dead. Needless to say, it’ll be tough coping with all that again should things take an unfortunate turn for the new King in the North.
9. Lyanna Mormont
There are few Northerners as tough as young Lyanna Mormont. Even as a child, she’s managed to successfully rally her kinsmen around Jon Snow, and has made a habit out of emphatically voicing her opinions whenever she sees fit. All we can really do now is hope that we get exponentially more of her as Game of Thrones winds to a close.
10. Tyrion Lannister
You didn’t really think we weren’t going to include the consensus fan-favorite character, did you? Tyrion Lannister has consistently fallen into the “if he dies, we riot” category for Game of Thrones fans, right up with Daryl Dixon on The Walking Dead. Should Tyrion ever bite the dust, the series would be worse off for it in the end.
Follow Nick on Twitter @NickNorthwest.
Check out Entertainment Cheat Sheet on Facebook!