When you play the game of thrones...
Game of Thrones season 7 is a few months away yet. However, with just a couple of shortened seasons remaining, this show needs to start tying up some loose ends pretty quickly. There are still a bunch of character arcs that seem to be a long way from resolution - what next for Jon Snow, Cersei, Jaime Lannister - and a handful of heroes or villains that have either gone quiet or disappeared completely. What will happen to them? Will we ever see them again? Or have they just been written off? What follows is a comprehensive guide to the remaining characters in Game of Thrones. If you think of a character who isn't on this list, you can probably assume they're dead. This article is up to date as of the end of Game of Thrones season 6 so... LOOK OUT FOR FALLING SPOILERS AHEAD.
Arya is very much alive, well, and badass. Having languished in Braavos for a couple of seasons in the company of the Faceless men, she has trained as an assassin and broken free from her obligation to The Many Faced God. At the end of season 6 we see her kill off the Waif, who had been tormenting her for a long time, and start working through her revenge list again. During the final episode she serves up a couple of Freys (literally in a pie) to their father Walder, before slitting his throat in retribution for the murder of her family during the Red Wedding.
Likely next move: Arya still doesn't know Sansa or Jon are alive, so she's likely to be heading to King's Landing to try and cross Cersei and Gregor Clagane off her revenge list. Who knows... maybe she'll meet The Hound along the way. Recent reports of David Bradley - who plays Walder Frey - appearing in S7 suggests that Arya will use her latest victim's face to gain access to her next target...
It was looking bleak for Sansa at the start of season 6, but she's now in her best position since season 1. After escaping Ramsay with Theon and reuniting with her half-brother Jon, Sansa plays a key role in the Battle of the Bastards by striking a deal with Littlefinger to secure the services of the Knights of the Vale. They ride in at the last minute to win the battle for Jon and condemn Ramsay to defeat. Sansa watches her arch-tormentor die at the hands of his own dogs with a smile on her face, but that smile fades a little when the Northern houses swear allegiance Jon Snow as "King in the North" rather than her, the rightful heir to Winterfell and a true-born Stark. Still, she's home and surrounded by friends which is as safe as it gets in Game of Thrones.
Likely next move: Will Sansa crave the North for herself, or accept her place by Jon's side? Tough to tell. However, we do know that she has some kind of obligation to Littlefinger now, and he's a cunning chap, so the really interesting thing for Sansa in season 7 is whether she can start to play The Great Game better than Baelish and turn his desires to her advantage.
Left for dead at the start of season 6, King in the North by the end of it. It has been quite a ten-episode swing for Jon Snow. And he doesn't even know (although we, the viewers do) that he's actually a Targaryen and rightful heir to the Iron Throne. Life is looking very rosy for Jon. He's had to earn it, though, by coming back from the dead, hanging his enemies at Castle Black, winning a battle against Ramsay Bolton, and uniting the Northern houses. He does it all while looking super-gloomy in S6 and will likely not cheer up for S7.
Likely next move: Seasons 7 and 8 will revolve around Jon, so expect plenty. He's got a score to settle with the Whitewalkers, a family history to discover, and an aunt to meet. Expect him to fight several battles in the next couple of seasons, deal with the tension between himself and Sansa, and maybe find love again. The hot rumors suggest he'll fall for Daenerys, although Game of Thrones doesn't seem to resolve its plotlines so neatly, so there may even be twists in Jon's romantic life that we're yet to see.
From seasons 1-5, Bran was about as interesting as the cereal he's named after (jokes - but he was still very dull). In season 6 he learns to warg into the past to view history with his own eyes, making him a convenient plot-device for telling stories that pre-date the start of the show. While Bran himself does very little, through him we learn how Ned Stark defeats Ser Arthur Dayne at the Tower of Joy, and that Jon Snow is actually the son of Ned's sister Lyanna. Bran gets careless, though, and allows the Night King and his army of Whitewalkers and zombies to invade his den under the Weirwood tree. This results in the death of Hodor, which is the emotional low-point of season 6. Yes, I did cry, actually.
Likely next move: Expect Bran to continue his role as walking (wait, no) plot device. Through him we'll likely see more of Jon Snow's past, and the pair will probably reunite in season 7. Oh, and by crossing the Wall while the Night King's mark is upon him... Bran may inadvertently dispel the magic that keeps the undead at bay, allowing the Whitewalkers to swarm through Castle Black and head south.
Season 6 was a difficult time for Cersei. At the start she loses her daughter Myrcella, as Jaime returns to King's Landing with nothing but her corpse. She loses her grip on power as the High Sparrow outsmarts her at every turn, only to strike the final blow in episode 10 when she destroys the Sept of Baelor with most of her enemies inside. Smart move. Sadly, her joy is tainted when Tommen - suffering the loss of Maergery - kills himself by leaping out of a window. Still, Cersei cheers herself up by torturing Septa Unella to death before taking her place on the Iron Throne.
Likely next move: Cersei will make alliances that keep her on the Iron Throne, so she'll bring in the Tarlys and anyone else who wants a piece of power (probably Euron Greyjoy's fleet). She'll be a poor ruler, as she has proven in the past, and may even alienate Jaime by the end of season 7.
Season 6 was unkind to the Kingslayer. He returns home with a dead daughter, and is swiftly sent away again by Cersei to reclaim Riverrun from the Blackfish, who stubbornly refuses to leave. Jaime is belittled by not only the Blackfish, but also the High Sparrow, and while he's at The Twins, Walder Frey makes an unflattering comparison between himself and Jaime. While he suffers no actual defeats, Jaime's ego is crushed flat during season 6. It forces him to question is life choices, making him ripe for redemption in S7.
Likely next move: Jaime will return to King's Landing and probably argue with his sister. While the pair are waaaaaay too close, this could be the moment that sees Jaime turn against Cersei. Maybe. The other option is that he helps her defend King's Landing against the incoming attack from Daenerys, or that he returns to Casterly Rock to fight the war from there.
Season 6 is an unusually quiet one for Tyrion, but he ends up in a great place. Left to rule Meereen in Daenerys' absence, Tyrion finds that Westeros diplomacy doesn't always work in the East. He does recruit the services of a Fire Priestess to help quell insurrection in the absence of the Queen, but he fails to make a deal with the Slave Masters and war eventually comes to the city. Good job Daenerys arrives just in time to bail him out. In one of Tyrion's most touching scenes, he is made 'Hand of the Queen' during episode 10, and he's last seen on the ships sailing with his Queen to Westeros.
Likely next move: Tyrion's tactical savvy will play a key role in Daenerys' conquest of Westeros, so he'll feature heavily. He's unlikely to actually fight, but will probably be pivotal in negotiating more allies for the Targaryen army once it lands in the West.
Dany is on her way to Westeros! Finally, after six seasons in exile, the last (ish) Targaryen is heading back to claim the Iron Throne. After roasting all the Khals at Vaes Dothrak, she gains the support of the Dothraki and adds them to her already impressive army. She then returns to Meereen just in time to save it from attack by the Slave Masters, and to accept the gift of a fleet of ships from Theon and Yara Greyjoy. She's last seen - with all three dragons in support - sailing to Westeros. I wouldn't bet against her claiming the Iron Throne in season 7 or 8...
Likely next move: War. Dany is heading to war. Her eventual goal is King's Landing, but she's unlikely to head straight there. She'll likely want to gain allies in Westeros before making the final attack, and may well meet up with Jon Snow by the end of season 7. Her dragons will burn plenty of things... perhaps even some Whitewalkers?
Theon is another one of the 'winners' from season 6. After helping Sansa escape Winterfell, he parts company with her and heads home to be with his sister Yara. Ok, so they're driven off the Iron Islands by mad uncle Euron, and forced into exile, but Theon eventually ends up in the service of Daenerys Targaryen who has amassed a fleet and army large enough to invade Westeros. More than this, we actually start to feel sorry for Theon who seems to have genuinely repented for his actions earlier in the show. He appears to have shaken off much of the Reek aspect of his character too, so we could see him take a bolder role in season 7.
Likely next move: He was last seen on a ship, sailing to Westeros with a few thousand others. Oh, and some dragons too. War lies in Theon's future, but I suspect his personal redemption will serve only to make a potential death in season 7 more emotional.