This is as active an episode the Game of Thrones Mortality Pool will have without any notable deaths. Sure, hundreds, maybe thousands of casualties came in the form of Lannister, Tarly, and Dothraki nobodies. And yes, the fates of Jaime, Randyll, and Bronn were ambiguous. But we can’t say definitively that any named character met the Many-Faced God on Sunday night, so we can’t award any points this week. A bummer.
Let’s go through the potential victims of the extremely underwhelmingly named “Loot Train Attack” one by one. I’ve already explained why I don’t think Jaime is dying just yet, even if he looks like a goner in that river. The gist of my argument is this: He’s too important to die now, and if the showrunners were writing him off, they wouldn’t bother to have him escape Drogon’s flames just to sink to the bottom of the Blackwater Rush. If Jaime’s time to die was Sunday, he’d have gone out in a blaze of glory.
Bronn looked like a goner when that tracking shot on him began. (Aside: How cool was that shot?!?) The Dothraki trooper hunting Bronn down had the clear upper hand, but he couldn’t have known that Bronn was about to whip out the giant crossbow — which is called a scorpion — on him. Bronn’s with Jaime in the Blackwater Rush now, but he was wearing less armor than the Kingslayer and has double the number of hands to swim with. He appears to be OK.
Meanwhile, is this Randyll Tarly?
Some viewers thought it might be, given his bald dome. But Randyll can be seen wearing different armor just moments before the battle begins. And even if this is Randyll and not some anonymous foot soldier, he appears to make it into the river quickly enough to be only severely maimed, not dead.
Dickon isn’t seen after he saves Jaime’s life, and we know that Dany and Tyrion are safe. The only other named character on the battlefield was Drogon, and he left it alive, obviously. (Unless Qyburn poisoned those arrows. Just food for thought …)
Generally, if you’re asking, “is so-and-so dead?” on Game of Thrones, the answer is “no.” The only real exception was Stannis’s death in the Season 5 finale, and I don’t think that last shot of Jaime sinking into the depths of the river was meant to echo that moment.
But! Just to cover our bases, if any of these characters wash up dead in next week’s episode, we’ll award the points for that episode. (And I’ll eat as much crow as necessary.) So if you think Jaime, Randyll, Bronn, or Dickon died in the battle, pick them next week.
The Hall of Faces
Speaking of that group, while Jaime was picked by only 7 percent of players, Randyll, Bronn, and Dickon all cracked the top 10 most-picked characters this week. After ending the last episode in precarious situations, Grey Worm and Yara were the two most popular picks, but they didn’t even appear in this episode. Viserion and Rhaegal also broke into the top 20 for the first time; is a dragon death on the horizon? Here’s the rest of the top 10:
- Grey Worm (40.3 percent)
- Yara Greyjoy (36.4 percent)
- Randyll Tarly (34.3 percent)
- Petyr Baelish (33.0 percent)
- Dickon Tarly (29.8 percent)
- Bronn (28.1 percent)
- Viserion (22.7 percent)
- Ellaria Sand (22.7 percent)
- Theon Greyjoy (14.1 percent)
- Rhaegal (12.4 percent)
Meanwhile, the bottom 10 features the usual suspects, like the Night King, Dany, Tyrion, and Sam Tarly. The Night King loses his crown as the lowest selection for the first time in our pool—all hail Sam, the safest character in Westeros!
T50. Gilly (1.8 percent)
T50. Alys Karstark (1.8 percent)
T50. Ned Umber (1.8 percent)
53. Ghost (1.7 percent)
54. Cersei Lannister (1.4 percent)
55. Lyanna Mormont (1.1 percent)
56. Daenerys Targaryen (1.1 percent)
57. Tyrion Lannister (0.5 percent)
58. The Night King (0.5 percent)
59. Sam Tarly (0.3 percent)
The Wars to Come
“Bran saw the Night King and his army marching towards Eastwatch,” Jon says in the preview for Episode 5. This appears to be the episode where the action returns to the North; we knew that the White Walkers had to return at some point.
The wildlings—excuse me, the Free Folk—are holding down Eastwatch after Jon sent them to the castle on the Wall in the premiere. “Looks like we’re the Night’s Watch now,” Tormund quipped then. Something tells me he won’t be so chipper if an army of wights knocks at the door.
The Hound, along with Beric Dondarrion and Thoros of Myr, could also be in the area. We last saw that trio near the Riverlands, traveling north into the cold. That’s when Sandor looked into Thoros’s flames and saw the Wall and a castle “where the wall meets the sea.” That’s Eastwatch. Then Sandor sees the army of the dead on the march. This was also in the premiere. All three are searching for some greater purpose in Westeros, and if they choose to head toward the Wall, they could have met up with Tormund by now — and be in the same danger.
“Bad things are coming,” says Davos as the trailer ends. Don’t expect next week to be as quiet as this one, at least as far as deaths are concerned.
Disclosure: HBO is an initial investor in The Ringer.