Game of Thrones wouldn’t be the delightful melange of sex, intrigue and violence we’ve all come to love over the past seven years if it didn’t feature plenty of gruesome and unexpected death scenes. As wonderful as this penultimate season of the show has been so far, it feels like something is missing: we haven’t had a huge shocking death since Jon was stabbed – and that doesn’t really count, because he came back to life two episodes later. Where’s the jaw-dropping head-chopping of Ned Stark, or the horrible massacre that was the Red Wedding? Where’s Oberyn’s skull-crushing final scene?

It’s well known that ‘no one is safe‘ when it comes to Game of Thrones, often to the point where the show feels downright sadistic in crushing our expectations. With the end of the series only 10 episodes away, and given how much fan service we’ve been getting in these past couple of seasons, it’s only natural to expect big twists and impactful deaths coming our way, no?

So without further ado, let’s make some predictions and kill off some characters, shall we?
(Disclaimer: I’ve managed to steer clear of all the unfortunate leaks so far, and intend to keep it that way, so this is pure speculation on my part)

1. Cersei

I must admit, the most shocking turn of events this season has been, for me, Cersei’s consecutive wins since the Baelor BBQ. Surely I wasn’t alone in expecting Jaime to repeat history and slay his sister for doing the exact same thing the Mad King was about to do when Jaime skewered him and earned his Kingslayer reputation. Alas, book-Jaime may be disillusioned with his twin but show-Jaime seems to be very much on board with Cersei, even when she turned full Mad Queen – and with the Valonqar part of Maggy the Frog’s prophecy conveniently absent from the TV version of GoT, I guess I should start to abandon hope that he will be the one to kill her. After all, how much worse can she do than kill a sept-ful of people, directly lead to their son’s suicide, and now promise to marry a horrible man who taunts him every chance he gets?

But surely Cersei has to die this season, doesn’t she? I have to assume that her recent victories were only written into the show to give Euron some purpose and to balance out the rest of the season, when Dany finally utilizes her secret weapons and inevitably makes her big comeback. So who will be the one to kill her? Proximity is definitely a factor in ruling out potential candidates, but seeing as everyone moves at record speed all over Westeros this season, I wouldn’t rule Arya out just yet, nor the Hound, for that matter (although that would be slightly anticlimactic). So who does that leave? Dany, Tyrion and maybe even Jon, but our boy has bigger fish to dry right now. If I had to choose, I’d put my money on Tyrion, but I still maintain that the most fitting death for Cersei would be at the hands of her other brother.

2. Jaime

Speaking of whom: if he does kill his evil twin after all, Jaime probably won’t have much reason left to live and will end up killing himself. Even if he’s not the one to kill the Mad Queen, I just don’t see him getting out of this alive. We’ve already seen him charge the opposing army in the previews, and it doesn’t bode well for Jaime when three dragons are locked and loaded and ready to roast everyone alive.

Whichever way the writers decide to do it, I’m fairly certain he’ll get killed off eventually – in the show, if not the books – for one very simple reason: as much as we’ve come to root for him, he’s still not exactly what you’d call one of the good guys. The fact that he’s remained firmly at Cersei’s side would be enough to make him a villain; he may have come a long way since he shoved Bran out the window in the pilot episode, but is losing a hand enough to balance out the bad karma? Brienne is the only one who’s seen his softer side (other than Tyrion, and the two brothers didn’t exactly part on good terms). Since then, he’s threatened to kill everyone in his path, including Edmure’s baby, to get back to Cersei, and just this week admitted to Olenna that his sister has too strong of a hold on him and he’s reached the point of no return.

As far as I’m concerned, this could go one of two ways: he’ll either finally manage to redeem himself and die a hero death, or he’ll die along with Cersei when Dany and/or Jon win the war.

3. Euron

Not only has Euron appeared too late in the game to have earned any actual plot armor, he’s just too much of a hateful character to make it out of this alive. If no one is safe from an impending dragon attack, then Euron, smug and obnoxious on his wooden ship, is pretty much a sitting duck when Dany decides she’s run out of options and unleashes Drogon, Viseryon and Rhaegal on her enemies.

Even if Euron does make it back to Kings Landing and tries to make the wedding happen, I don’t see how Jaime would let that brute lay a hand on his sister and not kill him (or have the Mountain squash him like a bug).

4. Littlefinger

Surely Petyr has overstayed his welcome, hasn’t he? The scheming mastermind seems a little bit off his game these past couple of seasons, and his attempts to control Sansa don’t seem to be working all that well.

With Bran at Winterfell and Sansa apparently immune to his dubious charms, it’s only a matter of time before he gets his comeuppance – provided Bran stops being a dick and starts having a few crucial visions about, oh, I don’t know, how LITTLEFINGER BETRAYED HIS FATHER? I’d love to see Sansa carry out the sentence, but if Arya has made it to Winterfell by then, I wouldn’t mind if our little trained assassin needled the slimy, smug asshole.

5. Jorah

We all know how sadistic George RR Martin and the showrunners can be when it comes to squashing our hopes, so what would be more on par with their M.O. than to give us a cured Sir Jorah Mormont only to kill him off later, probably in a heroic gesture to save his beloved Khaleesi?

If they REALLY want to twist the knife, they’ll keep him alive long enough to make it to the North and help Jon, be welcomed back into the fold and get a pardon, and then die his hero death and break our collective hearts.

6. Melisandre and Varys

I’m grouping those two together because of their loaded conversation in this week’s episode. Melisandre has done horrible things since she first appeared on the show, and bringing Jon back to life hasn’t really redeemed her in my eyes. Besides, if the Red Priestess herself can predict her own death, who am I to argue? Hopefully her trip to Volantis will be a short one, and she’ll find her way back north again, because I seem to recall her name on a certain someone’s death list.

Both Varys and Melisandre were conspicuously absent during Jon and Dany’s initial meeting, which was obviously just a plot device to build the tension and enhance the vibe of mutual dislike between the two Targaryens. If only they’d been there, they’d have offered corroboration to Jon’s story about the White Walkers and facilitated some kind of agreement.

If Varys’s motivation is, indeed, the good of the realm, I can see him go one of two ways in the coming episodes: Now that the alliances he helped forge are dead in the water, he could make another trip to the mainland to search for new allies or attempt to broker some kind of deal with the opposing side, get arrested the minute he steps foot on Kings Landing – after all, his little birds are under Qyburn’s control these days – and be executed for treason. Or, he could realize that the real danger is in the North, side with Jon and break his vow to Dany to never betray her (or simply voice his disagreement) and get roasted by her children.

7. Grey Worm

Aside from good ol’ Sir Jorah Friendzone, this is the only death prediction that makes me sad. Still, based on what we’ve seen on the show, Grey Worm’s days seem to be numbered: his conquest of Casterly Rock is bound to be short-lived, and with his fleet destroyed and no way to escape back to Dragonstone, I can only see him having the hero death he deserves as he tries to defend the castle against the Lannister & Tarly armies. Besides, his character development over the past few episodes and the culmination of his romance with Missandei pretty much spell it out: our sweet eunuch is most likely a goner.

8. The Mountain

Okay, this is wishful thinking rather than an actual prediction, because at this point I don’t see how we’ll get the CleganeBowl we’ve all been rooting for, and anyone else killing The Mountain just wouldn’t feel right.

I don’t think zombie-Gregor would leave his post as Cersei’s bodyguard at this point, and having Dany’s dragons do the deed just wouldn’t be satisfactory enough. Unless, of course, Arya somehow finds her way down south, kills the queen, and Qyburn sends him after her, allowing for a chance meeting with his brother somewhere up North.

I realize I’ve basically just killed off every villain (and a few peripheral characters), and a lot of these predictions probably won’t come true in the next three episodes, but I have to believe that the human villains need to start making way for the real evil force in the north, no? As evil as Cersei is, she’s no match for the Night King, and with just six episodes in the final season, I’m hoping we’ll get a lot more of Dany, Jon and the white walkers than the usual Westeros drama.