Plenty of characters met their end during the Battle of Winterfell, but a lot fewer than maybe most of us expected.
Rather than go through a blow by blow of the battle, let’s just look at those who have left us.
He is one of the few who was around from the very beginning and whose actions were consistently righteous, so it was a little tough to see him go. But at least he went out doing what he loves most — saving Khaleesi from getting killed and being embraced by her in a totally platonic way.
He has saved her on multiple occasions before (remember that wine merchant who tried to poison her in season 1? Remember the Sons of the Harpy?) and was called into action again after Daenerys was separated from Drogon and plopped into the middle of the battlefield.
Dany had to take up arms herself and the two of them were able to fend off their share of the dead until Jorah finally succumbed to stab wounds by the wights.
It was quite a journey for Theon over the years. He suffered unspeakable humiliation at the hands of Ramsay Bolton but was able to get some redemption by returning to his old home and defending Winterfell in a respectful manner.
He’s also the answer to a trivia question that they’ll be talking about in the pubs and brothels of the Seven Kingdoms for the rest of the time — who was the Night King’s final victim?
That would be Theon, who, after doing an admirable job protecting Bran in the Godswood, faced down his fate when the army of the dead approached and he had no more flaming arrows to fire.
“You’re a good man,” Bran tells a teary-eyed Theon moments before Theon makes his ultimately fruitless charge at the Night King. RIP Theon — at least you went out as Theon and not Reek.
The young, fiery head of House Mormont stayed true to herself to the end. She refused her cousin Jorah’s advice to wait out the battle in the crypts and was shouting commands as the army of the dead made its advances.
She met her demise when a wight giant made its way into the castle grounds and scooped her up and crushed her to death. She was able to stab him in his eye with her dragonglass spear and kill him as her final action. (She was also briefly resurrected by the Night King.)
One of the last remaining originals from Jon Snow’s Night’s Watch class didn’t survive the big battle.
Maybe the preeminent “what’s his deal, exactly?” character in the show. He was in the Brotherhood Without Banners, which was one of those early-middle season storylines that never really seemed to fit in with whatever else was going on. We know that he was killed a whole bunch of times and brought back to life by Thoros of Myr after each one of those deaths.
With Thoros gone, Beric knew his days were numbered and he seemed at peace with that. His flaming sword shined some welcome light on things and he was crucial to helping Arya survive this battle. “The Lord of the Light brought him back for a purpose,” Melisandre said as he fell to his death. “Now that purpose has been served.”
Speaking of the Red Woman, she knew that her final hours were upon her as she rode back into Winterfell. Her journey to serve the Lord of Light and save the living had some poor decisions (sacrificing Shireen remains one of the biggest downers in the show’s run) but bringing Jon Snow back from the dead and identifying Arya as the savior left her mission fulfilled.
With the White Walkers vanquished, and wanting finally to call it a day after living for a few centuries, she wasted no time in taking off her ruby necklace and collapsing to her death right outside the Winterfell castle.
A whole lot of Dothraki and Unsullied
Seeing the entire Dothraki horde get wiped out in under a minute could not have inspired too much confidence for the defenders of Winterfell. These nameless battlefield losses will surely play a bigger factor in the final few episodes, as the Dany/Jon forces have been decimated as they face an upcoming battle with Cersei and her newly recruited army.
The Washington Post