Game of Thrones is a show that we both love and hate. We got together to examine what keeps us watching and who we most want to see die next.
What keeps you watching Game of Thrones?
Wendy Browne: Masochism. But seriously. I am and have always been invested in these characters from both book and show and I do want to see what happens after all this time. I don’t believe GRRM actually had that figured out because his writing lost all focus, but I am curious to see what conclusions the HBO writers come to. I have been so pleased with the way they have handled things since shedding the chains of the books. There are a few extraneous elements that they haven’t been able to fully excise, but the laser focus back on the throne and who will take it has been a big factor in my rejuvenated interest.
Vernieda Vergara: I’m a longtime reader of the books — since they first started coming out, actually. Once upon a time, I was a big-time fan (we’re talking massive trivia nerd here), but I’ve become so frustrated with everything about the series. The long, multi-year gaps between books. (Don’t think I’ve forgotten that A Dance with Dragons was supposed to come out the year after A Feast for Crows!) The increasingly bloated cast. How the plot just seemed to slow down. Ugh.
I do actually think GRRM had a general idea of how he wanted the series to end, but maybe not the exact paths to get there. I’m thrilled the show is past the book timeline now, which means we’re getting the hyper-streamlined TV treatment. That’s fine with me. Once the show is over, I can say goodbye to this series forever.
Zainabb Hull: I watch the show with a friend, it’s like a thing we do. We get pizza, gasp and yell at the screen a lot, and we end every season’s first episode with, “OK so nothing’s happened yet.” I think after that debacle with Sansa (we all know the one) my main reason for continuing with the show is this peak bonding time.
And I still want to see Littlefinger fuck shit up, I guess.
Francesca Lyn: At first I was a super enthusiastic fan. I have read all of the books. I have made recipes from A Feast of Ice and Fire: The Official Game of Thrones Companion Cookbook. I recently realized that my relationship with Game of Thrones has now spanned three romantic relationships. But I think it is mostly because I am a completionist with most television shows. These last few episodes have reinvigorated my love of the show. Also, I needed to see R + L = J realized because the books are taking ages!
Corissa Haury: After reading the books, and sticking with the show for seven years now, I feel like I need to see what happens. We’re beyond what GRRM has written, as Wendy and Vernieda say. Seeing the future of Westeros is definitely a motivator for me. I want to see my favorite characters succeed, and everyone I dislike get their comeuppance. I doubt that will happen, but it’s interesting to be along for the ride.
It’s also such a beautiful show, visually. I love to see the set, the acting, the dedication to the story that everyone involved in creating the show has. Seeing characters evolve, seeing the world change and grow in ways I could have never anticipated, keeps me hooked.
Clara Mae: At this point? The Stark kids. I just want to see them make it out of this ok.
Who do you MOST want to see die this year? And who do you think will actually die this year?
Wendy: Everyone. Leave the world to the Night King. No one in Westeros deserves anything.
Vernieda: The most? Littlefinger, for sure. I’m so done with his creeper ways. And now that Arya’s on her way to Winterfell, I’m pretty sure he will die by the end of the season.
Zainabb: I kinda just want to see all my faves survive to the end. I know Euron and Cersei (and… the Night King, I guess? I keep forgetting about that dude) are the Big Bads but I’m kinda loving Cersei’s return to being a stone cold bitch. Euron’s a creep but mostly I don’t like him because I love Yara and Theon so completely and he’s the biggest threat to them.
Littlefinger needs to leave Sansa the hell alone but I still can’t help but love him, just because he’s so perfectly made for this world and these politics. I want him to make it to the end because to me, Littlefinger epitomises Game of Thrones – but the action is ramping up a lot more now and politics is taking a bit of a backseat, so he’ll probably be dead by the end of the season.
If I want anyone to die, it’s probably Ser Jorah. I actually thought he had already died.
Francesca: I agree with Vernieda about Littlefinger. I’m tired of his antics. I really love Arya and I want to see her enact her revenge on Cersei. Plus I am a Sand Snake apologist and want them to somehow survive. Maybe Arya will save them?
Corissa: I’m definitely with Francesca and Vernieda, I think Littlefinger has done enough politicking for one show. He always seems to weasel his way out of dying, but I think it’s his time. Euron also needs to die, I’m tired of him picking on Yara. She should be the Queen of the Iron Islands and he knows it. I also want to see the Night King die, and I do want to see Jaime kill Cersei. I think he’s destined to, as a reflection of when he killed the Mad King.
I worry that someone huge like Jaime, Missandei, Grey Worm, Ser Davos, Tyrion or Brienne will die, and I love all of them so I hope they live. But I do think one of them will die. I’m a bit afraid that Wendy’s right and they’ll all die…
Clara: After episode 4, I’m just going to say it: Jaime and Bron. With the amount of time we have left, it feels like their characters have mostly stagnated; what else do they have to tell us that we don’t already know? And do I care? Last season I was rooting for Jaime to really confront his sister but this entire season has given me little hope that’s going to happen. Bron is just…boring.
Jaime is literally the directors’ pet though, so I have little hope he’s ever actually going to die. I can realistically see Littlefinger actually going this season — which I am absolutely hoping for — and I don’t know. These showrunners are terrible arseholes, so maybe Greyworm, Podrick, or any of the other female characters are going to go too, sigh.
What was the most satisfying death in recent Thrones memory?
Wendy: Olenna Tyrell. I am upset that she is gone, but she played her own version of the game well and went out like a boss. Drink every glass of wine like it is your last.
Vernieda: The Queen of Thorns. I’m sad she’s gone but damn, what a way to go. Chugging down wine and roasting everyone on her way out.
Zainabb: Yep, agreed. I knew at the end of last season that Olenna Tyrell was unlikely to last much longer so I was all prepared to be devastated after that scene with Jaime. Instead, I came away happier than I think I’ve ever been watching this show. She went out as she lived — with a poison tongue (literally) that brings down her enemies even at her last.
Francesca: I agree with Wendy, Vernida, and Zainabb. Olenna Tyrell’s death was epic. She went out the way she lived, on her own terms and with no regrets.
I also really loved Walder Frey’s death. She put his sons in a pie!
Corissa: The most recent satisfying death was definitely Ramsey Bolton for me. I know it was last season and everything, but I hated him so much and I felt like we had to wait so long for him to die. Olenna’s death was great, but I don’t know that it was satisfying. Her whole story with losing her family was quite sad to me.
Clara: Definitely agree with Ramsey and Walder Frey. It was the payback we waited seasons for, and it’s what allowed the Starks to finally, really come home.
What does your happy dead Thrones ending look like?
Wendy: See above re: Night King.
Vernieda: Littlefinger poked full of holes by Needle. I feel like Sansa should figure into this death somehow, but I can’t quite visualize it.
Wendy: Oh oh pick me!! I want Sansa to marry Robin Arryn then fling both the bratty kid and Littlefinger out of the Moon Gate, leaving her in control of the Vale.
Zainabb: Could Yara and Dany hook up and kill their enemies with fire? I’m conflicted because I don’t even want Cersei to die, really. Maybe everyone could chill at King’s Landing with whatever Bran’s on?
Francesca: I want to see Tyrion on a dragon roasting some ice zombies!
Corissa: A peasant rebellion that sweeps Westeros into a frenzy that crushes the Night King and his army, and all of the major houses. Then the peasants destroy feudal society and live happily ever after. Though it would also be cute to see Jon and Daenerys have adorable babies that ride adorable dragon babies… Or something.
Clara: I’m actually kind of with Zainabb in that I don’t particularly need to see Cersei die. It’s complicated! She’s a terrible, terrible person but she’s also been through a lot of terrible shit herself, largely at the hands of her father, husband, and other men. I don’t know; I don’t want to say I want her to find peace, because she’s done too much bad to ever truly deserve that. But maybe in the end she would be happier in death, being with her children again. Those really were the only people she truly loved.
I mean realistically? All the leaders should die, Jon can go back to sleep, and they finally leave the land to the people. Monarchies are terribly overrated.