Game of Thrones has never been about giving readers or viewers what they most want. Its author and screenwriters prefer to build fan expectations, then overturn them for narrative impact — and sometimes for pure shock value. And yet fans maintain hope that at least a few of the characters will reach a satisfying, well-deserved ending. That’s why there’s Game of Thrones Hope Chest, a new weekly poll where we put all our hopes together in one place. We aren’t asking what you think is going to happen on Game of Thrones, we’re asking: what do you most hope to see happen?
This week, we consider the final shot of season 7, episode 4, which has Jaime Lannister plummeting into a suspiciously deep channel of water after a failed attack on Daenerys and her dragon Drogon. It looks like a tragic death scene — he’s wearing heavy armor, and that water goes down forever — but for the most part, internet pundits aren’t buying it. He’s too major a character, we too obviously don’t see a clear death moment, and besides, a previous poll here shows that a sizable minority of viewers are hoping he’ll hang around long enough to murder his sister Cersei. There are plenty of theories about how he’ll survive, but fans of the show are pretty sure he’ll survive.
But this chapter-closing “Oh no, he’s dead” cliffhanger is old hat on Game of Thrones, where characters frequently appear to be dead, and then resurface later. Unless you actually see a body, it’s wise to not presume someone’s down for the count just yet. Fans are still hoping to see a reappearance of Arya Stark’s sword instructor (or, euphemistically, “dancing master”) Syrio Forel, presumed dead but not seen dead back in season one. Stannis Baratheon is almost certainly dead — he was last seen badly wounded, with Brienne of Tarth swinging a sword on him for having murdered her beloved lord Renly with blood magic. She later confirmed his death, and she’s possibly the most honorable character left on the show… and yet the scene cuts away from the actual moment of his death, which has left the door open for plenty of speculation. Our friends over at Fantasizr, who are counting up the points on Game of Game of Thrones, consider Tyene Sand and Olenna Tyrell dead, even though both were poisoned and not seen dead onscreen.
Some of these characters, sadly, have been confirmed as dead in interviews, by the showrunners or by the actors, whose contracts ended at a certain point. But we’re not going to tell you which ones, because we don’t want to ruin your fun. Game of Thrones Hope Chest isn’t about what’s most likely to happen, it’s about what you want to see happen.
Which probably-dead-but-just-possibly-not character do you most want to see return to Game of Thrones?
Gendry (last seen complaining he can’t row or swim as he heads to sea)
Craster’s daughter-wives (last seen heading into the wilderness)
Brynden Tully, the Blackfish (declared to have died offscreen)
Edmure Tully (taken captive at the Red Wedding, not seen when Arya’s revenge happens)
Ser Pounce, the kitten
Someone else entirely
590 votes total