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Ranking the Survival Odds of GAME OF THRONES’ Wight Hunters

Warning: This post contains spoilers for Game of Thrones seventh season.

Between the show’s frequent offing of characters, the group’s poorly planned excursion, and the size of the White Walker army, there’s no way that every member of Jon Snow’s wight-hunting Magnificent Seven is going to come back alive. Because we want to steel ourselves against inevitable heartbreak, we’re going to give the odds for each of them surviving.

This isn’t just a consideration of battle acumen–we’re looking at each character’s role in the greater Game of Thrones story, both thus far and going forward, to determine what their individual chances are. (Note: We have not read any season spoilers or leaked information, so these odds are based entirely on what we have seen from the show and what we think will happen.)

Without further ado, here are the survival rankings for the “Westerosi Magnificent Seven,” beginning with those least likely to make it out alive.


We’d be worried about Thoros–an older, alcoholic, fire-loving red priest who has lived most of his life in warm climates–surviving beyond the Wall under the best of circumstances, and this trek is far from the best circumstances. While we’ve always loved Thoros, it’s hard to ignore that of these seven characters he has been the least consequential part of the show. The Brotherhood Without Banners has only appeared in nine episodes out of the first 75, in only three out of seven seasons, and his biggest contribution has been as the man who prays Beric Dondarrion back to life. Thoros is funnier and more interesting than Beric, but Thoros is not even the most important person in his own story.

Survival Chances: 20%

Verdict: The night is dark and full of dead red priests.


Beric Dondarrion has actually appeared in one more episode than Thoros has. That appearance in season one was so important this is what he looked like at the time.

I swear to the old gods and the new that’s Beric Dondarrion.

Unlike Thoros, though, Beric’s own story of constantly dying and being resurrected is incredibly relevant to a show where the army of the dead is marching on the living, and in which the current King in the North and rightful heir to the Iron Thrones was also killed and brought back by a red priestess.

Season seven’s premiere included a conversation between Beric and The Hound over why the unremarkable Beric would have been given this incredible gift, and Beric admitted he had no answer. We have a theory on what that purpose might be (sorry, we don’t want to spoil The Hound’s section yet), and unfortunately for Beric it includes him dying once more, but this time without a “Get Out of Death Free” card since Thoros might not be around to bring him back.

Survival Chances: 30%

Verdict: Beric’s tired of living, so he’ll be happy to hear he’ll soon be dead for good.


Tormund is an experienced warrior who knows what it takes to survive beyond the Wall, and after Hardhome he understands how to face down a White Walker attack and make it out alive. He’s also been an important character, supporting Jon on numerous occasions when Jon’s needed him most.

But what purpose is he serving now? He’s leading a small wildling force at Eastwatch, which we don’t expect to be a major matter if/when the White Walkers march beyond the Wall. And if the show really wants us to experience a meaningful loss from this group, killing the beloved Tormund would certainly do that.

If this wasn’t a TV show we’d argue Tormund is the most likely to survive this mission. But it is (right?), and we have a bad feeling he could be the part of this story that leaves us in a salty puddle.

Survival Chances: 40%

Verdict: Don’t even talk to us right now.


Jorah goes away. Jorah comes back. Jorah goes away. Jorah comes back. That’s like his thing. So would Game of Thrones really have him miraculously come back from a certain greyscale death sentence only to then immediately kill him off?

Read that question again, but this time do it while imagining young Wylis screaming, “Hold the door.”

Of course this show would do that to us! In fact, we have a bad feeling it has an even worse fate than death planned for Jorah. The only thing keeping our hope alive that he’ll make it back safely is the idea he now has some special greyscale immunity to the army of the dead. We don’t know how that would work (uh… magic?), but it’s something.

Survival Chances: 50%

Verdict: You’d owe the Iron Bank a lot of gold if you bet against Jorah every time he left Daenerys, but this time feels like a coin flip.


That’s the last time we saw Gendry before Sunday night’s episode, when Davos found him in back in Flea Bottom working as a blacksmith, was the season three finale. It’s been a long, interminable wait, but at least he came back with a bang. Rather, a thump–two of them to be exact, when he showed he is truly his father’s son by using a Robert Baratheon-like war hammer to strike down two gold cloaks. What followed this brutal display was Gendry and Jon Snow bonding over their shared youth experiences and mutual love of John Stamos, and Gendry joining the King of the North’s troop to fight the dead.

But would the show finally bring him back after 44 episodes only to kill him in the very next episode? Did you even read the Jorah section? The difference is that, unlike with Jorah, whose death and potential “return” would make for a major moment in Daenerys’ story, Gendry dying here would play as gratuitous. Still, since he hasn’t been a major character for a long time, it’s hard to give him anything close to great odds.

Survival Chances: 60%

Verdict: Gendry, born a bastard but the only hope for the future of House Baratheron, will live to see another day and help forge dragonglass weapons to fight the White Walkers. We hope.


A big reason we think Beric is likely to end up dead on this mission is because we think he could give up his life to bring back the Hound, in a little theory we gave the very subtle, very understated name of Zombie Cleganebowl. The show has been hinting at a major future role for Sandor Clegane. He almost died once and survived, and despite hating fire, the Lord of Light–or something else of great power–let him see accurate visions in the flames. Plus, while we know not every possible reunion the show hints at comes to fruition, but we can’t shake the feeling his story with Arya isn’t over yet. (Of course, there is a chance that could be because his becoming a wight will mean she does finally have to take him off her list.)

Survival Chances: 85%

Verdict: The Hound, baptized in fire and too tough to die, will survive his trek into the cold and ice of the North to fulfill some greater purpose.


We know Game of Thrones is more than okay with destroying us emotionally, but the show isn’t nihilistic. That’s exactly how we’d describe following up Gilly’s monumental revelation–that Jon isn’t a bastard, but is really the rightful heir to the Iron Thrones as the legal son of Rhaegar Targaryen–by killing him off. Especially with seven episodes left in the series.

Nothing about that would make sense, which is why, even before you add in every other major reason why he would never die at this point, Jon is the absolute safest, best bet to survive this crazy wight-capturing mission.

Survival Chances: 95%

Verdict: You may be asking, “Seven bloody hells! How can it not be 100%?” Because there is a small chance that Jon’s parentage, resurrection, and importance to the story can backfire on all of us. What if he’s destined to be the new Night King? What if his song of ice and fire makes him even more dangerous to the living? Fire kills men just as easily as ice. We definitely wouldn’t bet on this happening, but we can’t dismiss it entirely. Especially when there’s no way this trip has a magnificent end for all seven of them.

What do you think the chances of survival are for each of them and why? Give us your odds in the comments below.

Images: HBO

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