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‘Game of Thrones’ Mortality Pool Update: Jon and Friends Almost All Survive

Three characters died in “Beyond the Wall,” and two were surprises

Beric, Tormund, and the Hound carrying a wight HBO

After Jon Snow’s band of misfits ran off into the tundra to kidnap a skeleton, it seemed like we’d have plenty of points to add to the Mortality Pool. It’s true, blood was shed north of the Wall, but only three named characters met their ends: Thoros of Myr, Benjen Stark, and Viserion.

Considering the precarious nature of their mission, only three casualties feels like a stunning success. Let’s take stock of the damage.

And Now Their Watch Has Ended

If anyone was going to die in this episode, Thoros seemed a likely bet. The Red Priest and his six-times-undead companion, Beric Dondarrion, made a sudden and brief reappearance last season after being absent for Seasons 4 and 5. Given their smaller roles on the show, those two would have been the least-missed of the companions to trek north. And now Thoros, mauled by a belligerent ice bear and subsequently frozen overnight, is out of the game. Beric made it back, but with Thoros gone, he’s on his last life … literally.

Benjen Stark is the opposite: His surprise showing meant his death was, too, a surprise. He rode in just in time to save Jon, but apparently had “no time” to jump on the back of a horse to save himself. Mr. Deus Ex Machina is no more—any Stark kid should be wary of traveling north of the Wall from here on out.

We’ll never know why the Night King targeted Viserion, a moving target in the distance, rather than Drogon, who was sitting on the ground with the Mother of Dragons herself on his back. But the Night King shot his shot, and Viserion is dead because of it. Well, not dead dead, but for the purposes of the Mortality Pool, his situation counts as a death. From our rule book:

If a character comes back as a wight, they’re considered dead. Reanimated as a mindless ice zombie just isn’t the same as being alive.

RIP Viserion. Thanks for balancing the odds in the coming “dragons vs. zombies” war, which is now a “dragons vs. zombies and another dragon” war.

The Hall of Faces

We had some cheaters this week. Sunday’s episode leaked early, and it would appear that some players in our pool took advantage. While most picks were centered around Jon’s ranging party, 30.5 percent of participants picked Benjen Stark. Another 21.5 percent picked Viserion, while only 8 percent chose Rhaegal. And 5.4 percent of participants earned the maximum 12 points for three character deaths. These are peculiar numbers, but there’s nothing we can do here to stop leaks. If you think someone in your pool cheated, please taunt them mercilessly. Shame! Shame! Shame!

Here’s the top 10:1. Thoros of Myr (77.7 percent)

2. Beric Dondarrion (71.7 percent)

3. Tormund (55.0 percent)

4. Jorah Mormont (54.0 percent)

5. Gendry (36.5 percent)

6. Sandor Clegane (34.2 percent)

7. Benjen Stark (30.5 percent)

8. Viserion (21.5 percent)

9. Petyr Baelish (16.0 percent)

10. Davos Seaworth (12.4 percent)

Meanwhile, with most picks concentrated north of the Wall, 20 different characters were selected by less than 1 percent of players this week. Congratulations to Ned Umber and Lyanna Mormont, who have claimed the throne as the safest characters in Westeros. Here are the bottom 10 selections from this week:

T47. Edmure Tully (0.6 percent)

T47. Cley Cerwyn (0.6 percent)

T49. Daario Naharis (0.6 percent)

T49. Salladhor Saan (0.6 percent)

51. Tyrion Lannister (0.5 percent)

52. Archmaester Ebrose (0.5 percent)

53. Daenerys Targaryen (0.4 percent)

54. Sam Tarly (0.4 percent)

55. Alys Karstark (0.3 percent)

T56. Lyanna Mormont (0.2 percent)

T56. Ned Umber (0.2 percent)

The Wars to Come

“There is only one war that matters,” Jon says in the trailer for the season finale. “And it is here.”I think Cersei will agree, but not about which war Jon is talking about. It’s basically a given she’ll try to lay a trap for everyone who comes to this meeting, right? From the trailer, it would appear that Jon, Tyrion, Davos, Podrick, Brienne, Missandei, Jorah, and even Theon are there. On the other side of the aisle, we see Cersei, Jaime, and Qyburn. Meanwhile the Mountain, the Hound, Gendry, Varys, Euron, Yara, and a host of other characters could be there as well. They’re all in danger. And that’s to say nothing about other characters in Westeros who might meet their demise in the finale—Arya, a highly skilled assassin, is on the loose in Winterfell, after all. Choose carefully.

Disclosure: HBO is an initial investor in The Ringer.