By Eliana Dockterman
March 5, 2019

Game of Thrones set the stakes high early on by killing off Ned Stark, the ostensible main character, in the show’s first season. Since then, more than 100 characters have died over the show’s brutal seven seasons. (If your memory is fuzzy, here’s a comprehensive list of every single character who wound up on the wrong end of a sword or a dragon.)

But dozens of beloved characters have survived—or been resurrected—long enough to face the White Walkers in Game of Thrones season 8. Given the show’s history of violence and the scale of what’s to come, it’s likely that few will survive that fight. After all, most fans seem to agree that the fate of Westeros lies in the hands of Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen and their possible offspring.

But plenty of other characters have proven themselves to be survivors and could play surprising roles in the fight, like Melisandre or The Mountain. Meanwhile, plenty of characters have dangling plot lines that the show may try to wrap up before the end, like the imprisoned Yara Greyjoy or the Faceless Man, Jaqen H’ghar, who may yet reappear in Arya’s life. And the recently released Game of Thrones season 8 trailer revealed that Beric Dondarrion and Tormund Giantsbane, who many thought were dead at the end of season 7, are actually still alive.

Here are all the people who are still breathing headed into the show’s highly-anticipated final season, which premieres April 14.

Jon Snow

Helen Sloan—HBO

Jon Snow (Kit Harington) managed to capture a Wight and bring it to Cersei to prove that the creatures—and by proxy, the White Walkers—do exist. Having survived yet another encounter with the Night King, he is now headed back to his home of Winterfell—with his new lover (and, unbeknownst to him, his aunt) Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) in tow.

Daenerys Targaryen

Emilia Clarke in Game of Thrones

Daenerys may have lost one of her dragons while saving Jon Snow beyond the Wall, but she survived the encounter with the Night King and his army. After brokering an uneasy alliance with Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey), she is now headed to Winterfell with Jon.

Cersei Lannister

Helen Sloan—HBO

The Queen of the Seven Kingdoms has lost all of her children over the course of the series but still managed to elevate herself to queen. She now claims that she is pregnant. She reveals to Jaime (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) that she intends to double-cross Daenerys and let the Mother of Dragons’ forces tire themselves out fighting the White Walkers before attacking Daenerys herself.

Tyrion Lannister


After arranging a meeting between Daenerys and Cersei, Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) is on his way to Winterfell with Jon and Daenerys, though he is concerned about the Mother of Dragon’s romantic entanglement with Jon.

Sansa Stark


After warning Jon about bending the knee to Daenerys, Sansa (Sophie Turner) takes over the day-to-day operations in Winterfell. She executes Littlefinger for conspiring against her family and currently rules over the North.

Ayra Stark

Maisie Williams in Game of Thrones
Helen Sloan/courtesy of HBO.

Arya (Maisie Williams) returns to Winterfell after avenging the death of her family members by killing Walder Frey. She and Sansa eventually decide to work together with their brother Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) as a wolf pack to survive.

Bran Stark

Isaac Hempstead Wright as Bran Stark
Helen Sloan—HBO.

After arriving in Winterfell, Bran reveals that Jon is the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark to Samwell Tarly (John Bradley). He then uses his powers to watch the Night King destroy a large part of the Wall and march south toward Winterfell.

Jaime Lannister

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau in Game of Thrones
Helen Sloan—HBO.

Disgusted with Cersei’s plan to attack Daenerys and Jon Snow when the fate of the entire realm is at stake—shades of the Mad King—Jaime walks out of King’s Landing. He rides to the North.

Brienne of Tarth

Brienne of Tarth with the Oathkeeper.

Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) witnesses the meeting between Jon, Daenerys and Cersei in Winterfell. When Cersei initially refuses to help Daenerys and Jon, Brienne pleads with Jaime to talk to his sister. She is now heading back to Winterfell.

Theon Greyjoy

Macall B. Polay—HBO

After his sister Yara (Gemma Whelan) is captured by their uncle Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk), Theon (Alfie Allen) rallies the Ironborn to help him save Yara by proving himself in a battle. He is now sailing to the Seven Kingdoms to try to save her.

Samwell Tarly

John Bradley in Game of Thrones
Helen Sloan/courtesy of HBO

Sam leaves the Citadel to tell Jon Snow that he has both Targaryen and Stark blood. He arrives at Winterfell where he and Bran piece together that Jon is the rightful heir to the Iron Throne.

Davos Seaworth

Liam Cunningham in Game of Thrones
Helen Sloan—HBO

Ser Davos (Liam Cunningham) accompanies Jon Snow and Daenerys to their meeting with Cersei. He is currently on the ship back to Winterfell.

The Mountain

Hafthor Julius Bjornsson as the Mountain in HBO's Game of Thrones

When Jaime challenges Cersei, she implicitly threatens to have The Mountain (Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson) kill Jaime. However, Jaime calls her bluff and leaves King’s Landing. The Mountain remains with Cersei.


Conleth Hill in Game of Thrones
Helen Sloan—HBO

Varys (Conleth Hill) attended the negotiations with Cersei in the Dragonpit and is traveling with Jon and Daenerys back to Winterfell.

Jorah Mormont

Helen Sloan/HBO

With Sam’s help, Jorah (Iain Glen) cures his Dragonscale. He accompanies Jon first on his mission beyond the Wall to secure a wight and then to King’s Landing to negotiate with Cersei. He is currently sailing back to Winterfell.


Carice van Houten as Melisandre
Helen Sloan—HBO

On Dragonstone, Melisandre (Carice van Houten) tells Varys that she must return to Westeros because her fate is to die there. That’s the last time she appears in season 7.

Euron Greyjoy

Pilou Asbæk and Gemma Whelan in Game of Thrones
Macall B. Polay/courtesy of HBO

Euron says during the meeting in the Dragonpit that he is going to return to the Iron Islands and wait out the war away from the White Walkers since they can’t swim. Cersei later reveals to Jaime that Euron is in fact procuring soldiers from the Golden Company for her.

The Hound

Helen Sloan—HBO

After threatening his brother, The Mountain, and demonstrating the Wight’s abilities to Cersei, The Hound (Rory McCann) sails to Winterfell.


Macall B. Polay—HBO

Bronn (Jerome Flynn), leading a group of Lannister soldiers, greets Tyrion, Jon and their allies in King’s Landing and escorts them to the Dragonpit. Tyrion offers to pay Bronn to join their side, and Bronn declines. Bronn and Podrick leave the Dragonpit before the meeting begins.

Tormund Giantsbane

Kristofer Hivju and Gwendoline Christie in Game of Thrones
Helen Sloan/courtesy of HBO

Tormund (Kristofer Hivju) is guarding Eastwatch when the Night King orders the ice dragon to destroy the wall. But a recent trailer for the final season revealed that he did indeed survive the attack, though it is unclear how.


Helen Sloan—HBO

When Jon’s forces are overwhelmed beyond the Wall, Gendry (Joe Dempsie) runs back to Eastwatch to send a raven to Daenerys. He collapses before the wall and conveys the message to Davos.

Yara Greyjoy


Yara is captured by her uncle, Euron Greyjoy, and paraded through the streets of King’s Landing. She is taken away by guards to be imprisoned. Theon rallies the Ironborn to try to save her.

Grey Worm

Nathalie Emmanuel as Missandei and Jacob Anderson as Grey Worm.
Helen Sloan—HBO.

After leading the Unsullied to King’s Landing to ensure a peaceful parlay between the two queens and intimidate Cersei, Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) returns with Daenerys’ army to Dragonstone.


Nathalie Emmanuel in Game of Thrones
Macall B. Polay/courtesy of HBO

After the meeting with Cersei, Missendei (Nathalie Emmanuel) sails with Daenerys to Winterfell.

Daario Naharis

Michiel Huisman as Daario Naharis
Macall B. Polay / HBO

Daenerys asks Daario (Michiel Huisman) and the Second Sons to stay in Meereen to keep the peace while a democratic government is established.

Jaqen H’ghar


Arya traps Jaqen (Tom Wlaschiha) and points her sword at him in the House of Black and White. He allows her to leave while also taking back her identity as Arya Stark.

Beric Dondarrion

Helen Sloan—HBO

Beric (Richard Dormer) is guarding Eastwatch when the Night King arrives with his dragon. In the Game of Thrones season 8 trailer, it’s revealed that he lived to fight another day.

Meera Reed

Ellie Kendrick in Game of Thrones
Helen Sloan/HBO

After bringing Bran to Winterfell, Meera (Ellie Kendrick) tells Bran that she has to return to her family home, Greywater Watch, before the White Walkers arrive. She observes that the real Bran died in the cave of the Three-Eyed Raven and then leaves.

Podrick Payne


Podrick (Daniel Portman) reunites with Bronn and Tyrion at King’s Landing during the meeting between Daenerys and Cersei. He leaves the Dragonpit with Bronn but presumably accompanies Brienne back to Winterfell after the tête-à-tête.


Hannah Murray in Game of Thrones
Helen Sloan—HBO

Gilly (Hannah Murray) travels from Old Town to Winterfell with Sam in order to tell Jon about his true parentage.

Lyanna Mormont

Bella Ramsey in Game of Thrones
Helen Sloan—HBO

Lyanna (Bella Ramsey) stays behind with Sansa when Jon Snow goes to Dragonstone to appeal to Daenerys.

Ellaria Sand


After Euron captures Ellaria (Indira Varma), Cersei imprisons Ellaria with her daughter, Tyene (Rosabell Laurenti Sellers). Cersei poisons Tyene and tells Ellaria that she will be kept alive to watch her daughter die and decompose.


Helen Sloan—HBO

Qyburn (Anton Lesser) tells Cersei she is pregnant before the meeting in the Dragonpit. He accompanies her to that meeting and examines the Wight that Jon Snow brings there. He presumably accompanies Cersei back to the castle afterward.

Robin Arryn

Robin, following the advice of Littlefinger, sends the Vale armies to help his cousin Sansa fight the Boltons. It’s unclear who is counseling Robin now that Littlefinger is dead.

Hot Pie

Ben Hawkey and Maisie Williams in Game of Thrones
Helen Sloan—HBO.

Hot Pie (Ben Hawkey) tells Arya that Jon Snow defeated the Boltons at the Battle of the Bastards, and Arya decides to travel home to her family rather than to King’s Landing to kill Cersei. She warns Hot Pie to be careful, and he says he’s a survivor.

Eddison Tollett

Ben Crompton in Game of Thrones
Helen Sloan—HBO

We last saw Jon Snow’s longtime companion Edd (Ben Crompton) greeting Meera and Bran on the Northern side of the Wall. It looks like he’s alive and leading the Night’s Watch, according to a recent trailer for the final season.

Write to Eliana Dockterman at


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