There are only two episodes left of Game of Thrones — around three hours’ worth of runtime, total. So it is perhaps a bit surprising that most of the show’s main characters are still alive.
But that’s not to say that no blood has been spilled. Episode four, “The Last of the Starks,” ended with the death of Daenerys Targaryen’s trusted adviser and friend Missandei, as Cersei Lannister ordered her gigantic, maybe undead bodyguard the Mountain to behead Missandei as Daenerys, Grey Worm, Tyrion looked on. (Daenerys also lost one of her two remaining dragons in the episode, when Rhaegal was shot out of the sky by Euron Greyjoy.)
Missandei’s execution, the latest in a series of personal and political losses for Daenerys, has set up an inevitable clash between Daenerys and Cersei. But the risk of death isn’t just limited to the two rival queens — there will be plenty of bloodshed to go around.
Here’s which characters are safe and which ones should be careful heading into episode five:
Safe: Anyone who’s up North
Now that the Night King and the Army of the Dead have been vanquished, the North is a pretty safe place to be. That’s mainly because Daenerys Targaryen and Cersei Lannister’s armies are facing off against each other at King’s Landing, in the South. Unless someone dies of a broken heart (sorry, Brienne and Ghost) everyone in the region should be safe.
In Trouble: Anyone who’s at King’s Landing
When Game of Thrones left off, Missandei used her last words to scream “dracarys,” which literally translates to dragonfire in High Valryian, and the command Daenerys uses when directing Drogon to unleash his fire breath. Having recently lost two of her closest friends in Missandei and Ser Jorah, in addition to her dragon Rhaegal and large swaths of her Dothraki cavalry and her Unsullied army, it sure seems like Daenerys will express her frustration by lashing out at Cersei and King’s Landing. And the impending arrivals of Jaime Lannister, Jon Snow, Arya Stark, and the Hound will only add more danger and potential casualties.
Cersei and Jaime Lannister: Throughout Game of Thrones, even in moments where they’ve argued or been disgusted with each other, Cersei and Jaime a.k.a. the show’s pair of twin sibling lovers, have always found their way back together. And with Daenerys’s attack on King’s Landing looming and Jaime having just ditched Brienne to travel to King’s Landing himself, it’s safe to assume thee two are about to reunite once again. But depending on how you read Jaime’s final scene with Brienne, he may be planning to kill his sister rather than jump back into bed with her. Although that will only happen if Arya Stark doesn’t get to her first.
Euron Greyjoy: Since Game of Thrones has been on the air, only two people have ever killed a dragon: The all-powerful and seeming unstoppable Night King, and the seafaring vulgarian Euron Greyjoy. During the Battle at Winterfell, Daenerys torched the Night King with some good old-fashioned dracarys, only to find out was fireproof; I expect Euron to endure a similar scenario, but with a much different result. It feels like a safe bet that Daenerys will revenge-torch Euron, and that’ll be the end of his dragon-slaying and Cersei-wooing ways.
Daenerys Targaryen: The writers and directors on Game of Thrones seem to have fully committed to making Daenerys Targaryen the Mad Queen, a vicious, bloodthirsty ruler who feels she is destined to take the Iron Throne, no matter the cost. The question then becomes: Who takes her down, considering she’s armed with a dragon? I’m wagering, because of the tragedy factor involved, that Jon Snow will end up sacrificing both himself and his love to take out his girlfriend-aunt.
Varys: Daenerys’s father Aerys was called the Mad King because he burned those who he believed to be disloyal. If she follows in his footsteps, the first target on her list will probably be Varys, as the Master of Whispers has been very vocal lately about the need to oust her as queen.
The Mountain and the Hound: It seems like fate that the Cleganes will end up dueling each other, as the Hound continues to suffer from the trauma his brother inflicted on him during their childhood. I’m guessing the Hound will win and end the Mountain’s story for good.