GoT—Wish List

In honor of the opening of the new season of GAME OF THRONES, I’m initiating a series of blogs. They aren’t prognostications. Picking the Superbowl or World Series winner at the beginning of the season will be easier than picking who’s living and dying in this show. I wish certain characters to survive, not merely season six, but the whole, bloody show.

It’s a short list. 

Of the major characters--meaning POV characters--there are only five. Of the minor characters, two.


Arya Stark. A Stark must survive this conflagration, and until the opening of this season, my money has always been on Ayra. She’s been a better bet over the course of the series because she’s smarter, harder, and freer than her sister, Sansa. She’s learned too much, worked too hard, and suffered too much to die before it’s all over. 

I don’t know if she will become No One and a Faceless Man by the end of the series. I’m not sure she can do that. She has such a strong sense of Self. She knows who she is, who her family is, where she belongs. Being Ayra Stark of Winterfell has sustained her. I’m not sure the House of Black and White is going to beat that out of her.  

Besides, anybody who can stare down Tywin Lannister and earn his respect needs to live.

Daenerys Stormborn. Without her, we have no dragons. Also, without her, we don’t have a series. I do tend to agree with Varys--she’s got the right name and the right temperament to be queen, to unite the Seven Kingdoms. Unlike most people in this series, she can set aside her personal desires and try to do what’s right for the many, her people. She can think and act rationally about the big picture. She hasn’t got used yet to the idea that even right action has consequences, not always favorable ones. Maturity will take care of that.

Samwell Tarly. Samwell is Everyman. A clever Everyman. He’s no craven--contrary to the opinion of the Night’s Watch and his own father. (Lord Randall Tarly, another candidate for worst father ever.) He’s killed a White Walker and a Thenn, but more important, he’s saved Gilly and her baby from Craster and from his supposed brothers of the Night Watch. He’s stood up for Jon Snow. Now, he’s off to Oldtown to become a Maester and go back to the Night’s Watch. To go back and serve like Maester Aemon.

What he’s going to do with Gilly and young Sam, I don’t know.

Samwell is one of the few moral centers we have in this series. He knows that knowledge is power, especially when applied. Sam’s got the courage to act upon it, and has been encouraged so do it, by example in Maester Aemon, and by word from Stannis Baratheon, of all people!

Tyrion Lannister. Speaking of a moral core, Tyrion’s the oddest one of the lot. A dwarf who’s a parricide. There’s no greater sin than killing one or both of your parents. Now, he’s done for both. Kinslaying of the worst order. That’s morality? He’s a slippery bastard, too, but in the best sense.  He’s witty and clever with a good heart and hard head. Varys is right again--he has his father’s instincts for politics. His heart, however, comes from how he’s been treated. Only those who’ve known injustice know what true justice is. He also knows how to say, “Fuck you!” and make it stick.

So, if a Lannister needs to survive, then it’s Tyrion. Besides, it would have Tywin Lannister spinning in his grave. The irony would be awesome.

(That rumbling you hear right now in the background IS Tywin spinning in his grave. The revolutions are increasing. O, how has Cersei’s stupidity proven him right.)

Ser Davos Seaworth. The Onion Knight. He’s another of the voices of reason and morality in a collapsing world. He served Stannis Baratheon with breathtaking loyalty, but not without question. He distrusted the Red Woman, and spoke truth to power about her blood magic. When he wasn’t listened to, he acted upon his conscience. (O, where is Gendry Waters?) He cared for Shireen in the way her parents should’ve done. I’m glad he wasn’t there when Shireen was burned. Stannis probably would’ve had to kill Ser Davos to do it, and yet, he might not have done it. 

Now, he’s going to defend Jon Snow--because he knows the dead are coming.

Now, for the minor characters I wish to see live--Bronn and Lady Olenna. Yes, Ser Bronn of the Blackwater has no illusions about what he is--a sellsword, a hired killer. His aspirations are modest--he wants to die in his own bed in his own keep with his wife and sons about him. The Queen of Thorns fearlessly calls out stupid--and gods be good, there’s more than plenty of it. Besides, killing Joffrey was one for the realm, and good service should be rewarded. Yes, she’s an old lady, so if she must die within the series, she deserves to die safely in her own bed.

So there’s my wish list. It would be unseemly to beg.

Copyright KG Whitehurst