Updated: 19th April 2018

Game of Thrones: who’s next in line to die?

Will Ramsay Bolton survive the Battle of the Bastards? Will Cersei Lannister blow up Kings Landing? As we approach the season finale, we place bets on the most doomed people in Westeros

Traditionally the second-to-last episode of a Game of Thrones season is the one where something huge, tragic and unexpected happens. Episode nine saw Ned Starks beheading in season one, the Red Wedding in season three, and Daenerys riding off on her dragon in season five. In seasons two and four we had the Battle of Blackwater Bay and the Siege of the Wall episodes entirely devoted to a battle. Based on those patterns and this weeks episode title Battle of the Bastards I would guess that the entire hour will be spent on Jon Snow and Sansa Starks foolish fight against Ramsay Bolton to take Winterfell.

Huge and inevitably tragic the Battle of the Bastards. Photograph: HBO

Since people spend billions every year betting on fantasy sports, why shouldnt we bet on a fantasy television show? Lets take a look at who has the best chance of making it to season seven and whos most likely to die.

Knocking on deaths door

Almost guaranteed to die? Ramsay Bolton. Photograph: HBO

It seems that Ramsay Bolton is almost guaranteed to die in the Battle of the Bastards because, hey, Jon Snow already died. If I had to guess, well see Littlefinger and the Knights of the Vale swoop in and save the day just as Tywin Lannisters troops did at Blackwater Bay and Stannis Baratheons did at The Wall. The biggest question is who is going to kill Ramsay, and how? Please let it be Sansa.

Of course, some characters on the Stark side will bite it too, almost certainly someone we really like but who isnt a central figure. My money is on Ser Davos Seaworth, Tormund or that giant. Melisandre isnt a bad shout, but shes been sidelined since resurrecting Jon Snow so her narrative usefulness may be at an end. And of course, Ramsay still has Rickon Stark in his dungeon; I have a sneaking suspicion he will suffer the same fate as his direwolf.

Since were almost certain to spend episode nine in battle, we wont even visit Kings Landing, so Cersei and Tommen probably wont get a minute of screen time and certainly not their final farewell until episode 10. But in the finale, there is a good chance that both Tommen and Cersei will die. A popular fan theory has it that Cersei will blow up Kings Landing rather than face trial, now that her son has outlawed trial by combat. Most of this is based on prophecy.

Will Cersei blow Kings Landing to kingdom come? Photograph: HBO

First of all, Maggy the Frog told Cersei that all of her children would die before her, so Tommen seems doomed. In season two, Daenerys had a vision in which she walked through the throne room in the Red Keep after it appears to have been bombed, perhaps by Cersei. In episode five of this season, Bran Stark also had a vision of the Mad Kings wildfire stores under the city and Kings Landing being besieged by its green flame, so perhaps that is what will come to pass.

If Cersei does blow up Kings Landing, look out for a whole host of casualties including the High Sparrow, Lancel Lannister and that mean lady who rings the shame bell.

50:50 chance

Is Sansa Stark a goner? Photograph: HBO

While there have to be some losses on the Stark side, a shocking one would be Sansa, though it seems unfair for her to die after all shes suffered. Also, if Jon hopes to keep the North hell need an official Stark heir at the head of the army.

If and when Littlefinger shows up to the battle, his life could well be in danger. Once Sansa and Jon have his knights to help them win their war, theres no need to keep him around especially after the danger he put Sansa in. Hes angered so many people; this battle would be the perfect time to take him off the board. But Littlefinger is always crafty, so he could weasel his way out of it.

Over in Kings Landing, it depends on how big Cerseis bomb is and, indeed, whether or not it happens. It could take down Margaery Tyrell who is the queen, but I can also see her surviving so the Tyrells could try to seize the crown. Jaime Lannister, still at Riverrun when we last saw him, has a chance of getting caught up in it too. Some believe hell have to kill Cersei, just as he killed the Mad King to stop him from blowing up the city, and then will kill himself.

With all the attention paid to Euron Greyjoys claim to the Salt Throne in the Iron Islands, we will inevitably see more of their story in the final episode. He may finally catch up to his niece and nephew Yara and Theon. If he does, theyre as good as dead but I bet they make it to Meereen before he does and will be under Danys protection.

Not a chance in the Seven Hells

Is Daenerys Targaryen the safest person in the Seven Kingdoms? Photograph: HBO

Jon Snow is the safest person in all of Westeros. They wouldnt have gone through all the drama of hiding his initial death just to kill him off a season later. Even if they did, who would believe it this time around?

Arya Stark is also safe, since shell spend the final two episodes travelling back to Westeros. In fact, we might have seen the last of her until the beginning of next season, with her storyline at a natural end after leaving Braavos and little for her to accomplish until she returns home. I would love to see her come back to kill Walder Frey in the final episode though.

Nothing will happen to Daenerys or Tyrion either. They both have a whole lot of story ahead of them as they make their way across the sea to conquer Westeros. Killing them now would be ludicrous.

Then there are those who arent anywhere near the action: The Hound, Sam, Bronn and Olenna Tyrell. This could also include Brienne of Tarth and Podrick if they dont make it back to Winterfell for the battle. But if theres one really safe bet its on Jon Snows direwolf Ghost. They cant possibly kill off another one of those pups.

Read more: <a href="https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2016/jun/16/game-of-thrones-whos-next-in-line-to-die-battle-of-the-bastards">http://www.theguardian.com/us</a>