The Small Council: What longtime Game of Thrones character will die unexpectedly this season?
This post contains spoilers, speculation, and speculation that could amount to spoilers.
Over the past week, Entertainment Weekly rolled out extensive coverage on
. The coverage yielded plenty of stories, including one about an unidentified actor who had been with the show for a while, had read the books, and was surprised to learn that he or she was being bumped off early. Here’s the relevant quote:
As they say on reality shows, eventually a person’s “journal ends”—like it will this season for one cast member (we’ll just call them “an actor”) who has been with the show for several years. In their trailer, Northern Ireland’s seemingly endless rain patters on the roof as this person puts a good face on their situation. They just shot their final
scene. Their death will be as surprising to fans as it was to them.
“It proves you should probably not read the books,” the actor says. “I thought this season I was going to have more to do, and I was really looking forward to that. And then I got my dates from my agent and I thought, ‘That doesn’t tally.’ Because there was no way if they were sticking to the books I should be in it for that number of weeks. It seemed to me they must be writing me out. The showrunners rang me and told me, ‘Your time is up in the series.’ I’m disappointed but you have to accept that the demands of TV are different. I find myself being quite emotional about it. I’m going to miss it. Never mind being a professional, they’re very nice people.”
This week, the Small Council will consider which character might be getting the boot, what it might mean for the series, and generally ruminate on the ever-expanding gap between the show and the books. So basically, we’ll speculate wildly.
threw down the gauntlet last year when they killed off Jojen Reed in “The Children.” Jojen hadn’t died at this point in the story as told in the books, and his demise announced yet another way the show was willing to depart from the original text. Characters, even important(ish) characters like Jojen, could now be killed onscreen even if they hadn’t died on the page, which took away the security blanket cherished by many book-readers.
Having seen that play out, it wasn’t too surprising to learn that more characters who hadn’t yet died in the books would die on the show during the coming season. Determining just who will die is a trickier matter. I love the trail of clues the above interview leaves us. The mystery actor filmed his or her scenes in Northern Ireland (where the producers film, among other things, scenes at Castle Black and Meereen). They have a trailer, they’ve read the books, and they say things like “That doesn’t tally,” which is an idiom I’ve never heard before. Is it English? Irish? Does anybody know?
Anyway, the good nature with which the actor accepts their fate makes me think it’s someone older. After “tallying” through a list of applicable performers in my head, my guess is that it’s Ian McElhinney, the man behind Barristan “the Bold” Selmy.
, so McElhinney would have been surprised to learn that his character was being killed off. If my guess is right, the producers could be thinking of maneuvering Jorah into the role, following his inevitable reconciliation with Daenerys. It would be unfortunate, since McElhinney has been a rock-solid performer. Also, Selmy is a fascinating character, and one of the few people in Westeros who was around to experience the country’s rich history.
Honestly, I hope I’m wrong about this. Who do you guys think might be getting the axe, and what might it mean for the show?
Ani: Dan, “It doesn’t tally” is totes a Brit expression, which isn’t all that surprising, as that only narrows it down to 98% of the cast.
Let’s look at the details, do our best Benedict Cumberbatch, have a few random words fly all around our heads and notice the following: the person has
This is important, because they don’t actually say “since Season 1.” The truth is, very few of the cast from the first season had read the books, and most didn’t attempt it, partly because they didn’t know if the show would be a hit, and partly because they wanted their character’s arc to be organic to the television production. I believe Kit Harington and John Bradley are the exceptions to that rule. It wasn’t until Season 2 that actors who happened to be book superfans started lobbying to get on the show, like Gwendoline Christie. In fact the only ones off the top of my head from Season 1 who I know said they’ve read the books are Alfie Allen (Theon) and Aiden Gillan (Littlefinger.) I know some say they’ve read their own chapters though, like Sophie Turner and Emilia Clarke.
But from that list I think the best suspects are in fact Theon, Aiden and Brienne. Theon’s arc is the only one that still seems to be semi-following the books, but with the suggestion that Ramsey Bolton may march on Stannis, there’s always room for death in battle. Brienne’s entire Book 4 arc was dispensed with in a single scene in the middle of episode 8 last season. What has she left to do, other than wander in circles around the Reach? Perhaps she’ll die from grief from lack of Stoneheart. Meanwhile, Aiden Gillan now exists in a parallel universe to the book story, one where Sansa turned right and revealed who she was to the Lords Declarant instead of left, where she continued to pretend to be Alayne Stone. We cannot know where his story is going, we can only suspect that whatever happens with him will somehow relate to Sansa’s “six on the
Of the three, I don’t believe Littlefinger will die, simply because he’s been far too smart a puppet master to let that happen. Theon and Brienne though? Let’s hope their agents have fallback positions lined up.
David: While both my colleague’s arguments are sound, there can be only one death that will shake the entire
fanbase to its core. And that death is, Samwell Tarley.
Let’s look at the facts, shall we? We know that Jon is going to Hardhome this season, which means that he won’t be sending other men of the Night’s Watch. Whether he will become the 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch before that has set to be seen.
In the books, Jon sends Sam and Gilly, along with Mance’s baby, to escort Maester Aemon to Oldtown. The other reason he did this was to get Mance’s baby away from Melisandre, who wanted to sacrifice the tyke because of his royal blood. In the show, there is a completely different story to deal with. Mance doesn’t have a baby…in fact, the only baby at the Wall is Gilly’s child.
Sam also has aspirations of becoming a Maester, but that hasn’t been touched on in the show. Sam has been Jon’s right hand man since Jon returned from his stint as a fake wildling. How better to shock and awe Game of Thrones fans than by killing the most lovable and adored character on the show…besides Ser Pounce, of course.
John Bradley has stated that this season will see Sam deal with his growing relationship with Gilly, and that Stannis and he may not see eye to eye. My theory is that in some sad and tragic way, Sam will be killed. Whether it’s by fire and Melisandre or some sort of betrayal at the Wall, I just don’t think everyone’s favorite aspiring wizard will make it out of Season 5 alive.
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I agree with David. My first thought was Sam when I heard the news as well.
I gazed into the flames and they told me it would definitely be Barristan, so I’m about 85-90% sure that it’s him.
It’s obviously Barristen and obviously not Sam, Brienne or Theon, you dumbies. The person said that they had read the books and were expecting a larger role this season, yet were shocked to see that they were killed off instead. There’s the old saying if the shoe fits, and Barristen fits it perfectly. Theon has had lots of interviews and has a big season ahead of him, which eliminates him because of the “big season ahead of him” part. It’s obviously not Sam, terrible guess, as he has more to do with the bigger picture of the story and they haven’t introduced his dad yet, who they have mentioned several times over the seasons and even name dropped and talked multiple times about how cruel he is. Wow what a bad guess. Perhaps a just as bad guess is Brienne, she doesn’t fit what the person being interviewed said at all. The person being interviewed also implied that they haven’t done much up until this point and were expecting MORE to do, only Barristen fits. Sam, Brienne, and Theon don’t at all. You should be ashamed of yourselves for coming up with such horrible answers when the obvious truth is it’s Selmy. He’s a minor (yet cool) character that could easily be replaced by having someone else take up what he does in the books. IT’S SELMY
In the trailer we see Little Finger and Sansa make there way to winterfell…. could it be possible that Sansa will fall into the role of “Arya Stark” who Ramsay is too marry… and that little finger is killed upon his arrival maybe?
David (Razor) Harris Posted March 20, 2015 at 2:12 pm
I respect your opinion, no need to be so nasty about it though =) and it’s *Dummies =)
Interesting speculation. I would be a bit dissapointed if the character dying turned out to just be Barristan. He’s such a minor character in the show.
Roose Bolton. I think the show version of Ramsay will murder him early on so he can inherit the North. He’s been around since season 2, and he’s a character they can easily lose and make Ramsay the main antagonist. I got the distinct impression last season that Roose signed his own death warrant by legitimising Ramsay, and was surprised that isn’t what transpired when I subsequently read the last two books.
While we’re on the subject, there’s a lot of speculation that Sansa will take the role of ‘fake Arya/Jeyne Poole’, but I don’t agree 100% on this (I think Myranda will assume the identity of Arya and marry Ramsay). I think she will actually take the roles of Lady Dustin(?) in that she will bond with Reek/Theon, and Wyman Manderly (in that she will do some covert manipulation/revenge while there – Frey pie?). I do think, though, that it is her that Theon helps escape Winterfell when things go awry.
I also think Grey Worm, Barristan Selmy,Tormund Giantsbane and Bronn are characters that are still alive in the books but aren’t likely to make it out of this season alive.
Doran\'s Gouty Foot Posted March 20, 2015 at 2:36 pm
If you look at the trailers for Season 5 and you see the Sons of the Harpy circling Dany and her party, Barristan is missing…
There is a clue everyone is ignoring. Northern Ireland. McElhinney was doing his filming in Croatia. Croatia is Meereen. There is no reason why he would be in a trailer in N. Ireland. Plot wise, could I see him being killed off? Sure. Jorah could sort of take his place. Also, I suspect that in the books Daario is going to betray and kill him which could be moved up to the events of the show. He is the obvious second betrayal.
So, who does that leave? Brienne, Bronn and Sam. All are easily fair game.
Although Sam films in Iceland–but his character is due to be on the move if the books are followed, but I think Braavos is in Croatia. Bronn is a good candidate, but it is questionable because the final scene is shot in N. Ireland. I am not sure if he would have filmed there, although it is possible. But I think Brienne is the best bet because her story is kind of going nowhere, and without LS and Jamie in Dorne, I am not even sure where it can go.
Also, its completely possible that more than one of these characters can die.
It will be Mance IMO. Killing off Selmy makes no sense.
The actor says they were expecting to do more this season. That takes out Sam, as hes done interviews regarding his development this season. Maybe Mance, but Mance’s actor doesnt strike me as someone who would read the books. It will be either Bronn or Selmy, to raise the stakes in the Dorne or the Sons of the Harpy plot lines. My money is on Selmy, as nothing really happens in Mereeen until the pit.
And in the books in the battle of fire it feels like he will die gloriously in battle. Brienne will meet Jaime before the end, else it doesnt advance the story for anyone to just kill her out of the blue. Theon has a big part still.
What longtime Game of Thrones actor will die unexpectedly this season?
Absolutely none, I hope. You may have meant to have said “character” there.
As for the locations, the exteriors of Meereen and King’s Landing (possibly Braavos and Pentos as well) are in Croatia but the interiors are pretty much all filmed in Belfast. The Wall/Castle Black set is also in Northern Ireland. Saying it’s Northern Ireland doesn’t really narrow it down at all, as almost all of the actors film there at some point.
I would say that it’s a strong possibility that it is:
I would then say that it’s possible (and far more shocking, but also more unlikely) that it is:
Stannis, Jaime, Samwell, Brienne and Theon and/or Ramsay.
The only characters I would say are 100% safe going out of the season are:
Daenerys, Arya, Cersei and Tyrion. Well, and Hodor, Bran and Meera of course, since I doubt they’d off any of them off-screen :)
Of course, the whole thing could be an enormous double bluff:
It might be Kit and HBO are going to ramp up the whole “Jon is dead and off the show,” angle before “surprise”-resurrecting him.
Bronn and Mance don’t fit. Mance you could make a case for him fitting actually but he
“dies” in the books so that isn’t anything new. Also, highly unlikely that Hinds read the books (unless one of you has proof that he has). Bronn doesn’t fit because he doesn’t have anything to do in the next books. The actor specifically said that he expected a bigger role based off of reading the books, Bronn would be the exact opposite of that. You guys, they gave us clues to who it would be so pay attention to the clues. It is Selmy, he fits it perfectly. That’s not to say that other characters won’t die but in this specific instance it’s Selmy no doubt about it. Just wait and see you morons who think otherwise
Saw this in a People article , but that doesn’t mean that the EW interview is talking about the same person
“Anyone fond of the Wildlings – look away now, since the leader of the pack, Mance Rayder (Ciarán Hinds), burns to his death at Castle Black, refusing to kneel to the King of the North, Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane). Of course, it’s Melisandre (Carice van Houten), priestess of the Lord of Light (and a pyromaniac witch), who gets to strike the match. “
I agree with James, it’s Barristen for sure. He wasn’t seen in any of the pics or trailer footage of Daznak’s Pit.
With Barristen dead, Danny will need someone that knows Westeros…which is why she’ll reconcile with Jorah and allow Tyrion to join her entourage.
Tyrion will die. He will fill the part of Quentyn Martell, will try to wed Dany, gets rejected, try to free the dragons and get burn.
Martin Bryant Posted March 20, 2015 at 5:08 pm
Bronn.. is the logical candidate a fan favorite – companion now of Jaimie (another thing for him to lose).. he’s going down.
If they kill off Barristan, then why even have him on the show in the first place? The most important thing he does is running Meereen when Dany is off in the desert.
We see Sam on the same boat as Jon, Tormund and Dolorous Edd in the second trailer when they’re arriving at Hardhome. So it is likely that his slow chubby legs betray him when shit goes down and the walkers come bustin’ through the gates. I will totally laugh if Sam gets eaten by a wight or a walker, that look on his face will be priceless. He did, after all, escape them at the end of season 2 miraculously, so the second time will be the walkers’ charm (evil laughter)
To me the one major character left who I think is most expendable is Bronn, because he’s basically done in the books.
After that it would be Mormont, they could take him out of the show and he wouldn’t be missed.
The only other character that makes sense to me is Brienne because of the way they’ve changed her story in the show. Since they’re sending Jaime to Dorne and there’s no Lady Stoneheart there really isn’t much use for Brienne, but her character is probably more popular than Bronn and Mormont and Christie is probably costing HBO less than Flynn and Glen so I could see where she stays and ends up being the new leader of the BWB.
Every other major character still has something left to do in the books.
Cersei, Bran, Arya, Sansa, Jaime, Varys, Tyrion, Dany, Littlefinger, Melisandre, Stannis, Theon, Asha (Yara), Selmy, Samwell
Interesting interview with Ian McElhinney may shed some light: http://csatimes.co.in/dojma/295/ian-mcelhinney-barristan-selmy/
It is an english expression which has its origins in medieval accounting. A ‘Tally” is the total after adding up a bill or an account. ‘That does not tally” means that it doesn’t add up properly.
FYI, Not all Meereen scenes are done in Croatia or Spain! The indoor scenes are all in studio in N. Ireland, so the part of the story saying the actor sitting in trailer in rainy N Ireland doesnt mean you get to exclude the characters who are in Meereen or elsewhere!
The key line is that the actor was looking forward to having more to do. That immediately rules out the likes of Brienne, Sam and Theon who have been minor-major characters with lots to do for several years. They could still be killed off but they are not this actor
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