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Game Of Thrones Characters Who Shouldn't Be Alive

In the latest season of Game of Thrones, characters dropped like flies. There were assassinations, armies of the dead, battles where the ground ran red with blood, and an explosive season finale. Fan favorites and despised villains alike were killed off in one of the deadliest seasons yet. Yet, despite the bodies piled high at the writers' feet, several characters managed to defy the odds and make it to season seven. Here are the characters whose survival surprised us the most.

[DANGER - HERE BE SPOILERS! It should go without saying, but the article below discusses major plot points from season six on Game of Thrones. You've been warned.]

Theon Greyjoy

Theon has had a rough time of it—For several seasons now, we've watched the slow-motion trainwreck that he's made of his life. After Theon and Sansa escaped Winterfell, few fans expected them to stay free for long. When Theon tells Sansa he was going home, we thought he would end up flayed alive. But it turns out the youngest Greyjoy is full of surprises. Not only did Theon break free of his "Reek" identity and survive the journey back to the Iron Islands, he found the courage to speak for Yara at the Kingsmoot, steal the Iron Fleet out from his murderous uncle, and sail across the world to meet the Dragon Queen. Theon may not believe that he deserves redemption, but he may get it nonetheless.

The Hound

First of all, it's amazing that the Hound is even alive. We know—people have been theorizing about it ever since A Feast for Crows was published, but it was hard to believe until we actually saw Sandor swinging that axe. Once he appeared, the Internet went nuts—screaming that "CleganeBowl" was all but confirmed: the Hound would fight for the Faith, the Mountain would fight for Cersei, and may the most badass brother win.

Then Tommen denied his mother a trial by combat, and we felt a great disturbance in the Twitterverse, as if millions of voices cried out, and were suddenly silenced. We aren't giving up on the idea of an epic showdown between the brothers Clegane, but it definitely won't happen the way fan theorists originally thought. Get your chickens ready for season seven—what is hype may never die, but rises again, harder and stronger.

Arya Stark

Arya, you definitely shouldn't have survived this season. You crossed the Faceless Men and then made a series of totally obvious moves that led the Waif right to you. Internet apologists endlessly tried to spin the situation, claiming that it wasn't actually you who got stabbed, or that falling into a sewage-filled canal with a gaping wound in your gut was all part of your master plan. In episode eight ("No One"), we finally learn that you were actually just being very stupid, and you only managed to survive by the skin of your teeth. We love you, Arya, but you should know better than that by now. Please don't scare us like this again. Also, please go save your uncle Edmure and then find your Hound buddy so you two can hilariously squabble over everything again. Oh, and kill his brother, don't forget that.

Jon Snow

We never believed that Jon would stay dead after the Season 5 finale, despite Kit Harrington's claims to the contrary. We didn't, however, consider the possibility that he'd die again right away—at least not until Melisandre brought it up just before the Battle of the Bastards. When Jon lets Ramsay goad him into an ill-advised charge, and then when he's trampled by his own men, we really thought it was over for that glorious man-bun and the head attached to it. Who would bring a beloved character back to life, just to kill them off again a short while later? George R.R. Martin, that's who, and just to chuckle with glee while our collective minds exploded. Some people just want to watch the world burn.

Ghost and Nymeria

This was a bad season for the direwolves. First, Shaggydog's head was tossed around with a meat hook by Lord Umber. (Sidenote: Tormund, you are forever our main man after you literally bit open the Smalljon's jugular during the battle.) After Summer made his suicidal and completely ineffective leap at the Wights during "The Door," we figured that Ghost and Nymeria were probably not long for this world. Thankfully, HBO ran out of budget before they could CGI them into early graves.


Ever since Melisandre showed up at Castle Black, we've been waiting for it to happen. When Davos finally found Shireen's scorched stag figurine on the eve of battle, we practically squealed with delight. But to be completely honest, the actual confrontation was a bit of a let down. Davos was awesome in his righteous fury, but Jon seemed pretty disinterested in the death of an innocent little girl he knew. His exile sentence was underwhelming, and much better than Mel deserved. I mean, we're talking about the guy who hung a boy and three others in cold blood, and then forced himself to watch as they died. We expected him to whip out Longclaw right there, and instead, we got the mopey, doe-eyed version of this:

Bran and Meera

Just like a rebellious kid sneaking out, Bran goes snooping in the weirwood visions without his mentor and quickly finds out that yes, the night is dark and full of terrors. The Night King marks him, which somehow leads the White Walkers right to their hiding place AND negates all the spells that previously held the undead at bay. Bran's actions result in the deaths of the Children of the Forest, his direwolf, the Three-Eyed Raven, and Hodor.

A mere few days later, with only Meera and his undead uncle Benjen to protect Bran, the Night King and his army of the dead are nowhere to be found, and the supernatural tracking beacon seems to be forgotten. Also, Bran seems strangely unrepentant about his actions, hardly pausing to reflect on the consequences of what he's done. Isn't that just like a teenager?

Dolorous Edd and the rest of the Night's Watch

After Jon left Castle Black for good, we thought the Night's Watch was done for. Dolorous Edd as Lord Commander over a handful of boys and gnarled old men? Seven save us all. After the White Walkers attacked the cave, we were sure their next target would be the weakened garrison at Castle Black, but Benjen explained how the magic of the Wall keeps them out, at least for now. What we really want to know is this: what happens when Bran—a Stark of Winterfell who has been marked by the Night King—attempts to cross through the magical barriers of the Wall? We're not sure, but it definitely won't be pretty.