Writer’s Note: This article does contain spoilers of Sunday, June 1’s episode of Game of Thrones.
For those who have not read the books, this week’s Game of Thrones episode has made it look like another main character could be killed off. The land of Westeros has certainly made it clear that no character is safe, with Ned Stark being killed off at the end of season one and his son and wife following him two seasons later. However, could the show runners—and more importantly did the author of the books—really kill off yet another main character?
Before going into that, it is worth recapping the previous episode so everyone knows who the potential main character is. There are plenty of them, after all. The potential character is Tyrion Lannister. The end of Sunday’s episode saw Prince Oberyn take on The Mountain. Unfortunately, the prince, also known as the Red Viper, did not make it. He certainly gave it a good try and got what looked like a deathly blow in there, but he did the one thing superheroes are told not to do: give a monologue! Many viewers would have been watching the screen screaming for Oberyn to just kill The Mountain as soon as he had the chance.
The death of Oberyn means one thing for poor Tyrion. He must die. Oberyn was his champion, and his champion failed. By the looks of things The Mountain will not last—and those who have read the books will know the outcome—but it does not matter. Oberyn took his last breath first.
But could Game of Thrones really kill off another main character? Tyrion Lannister has become one of the characters to root for throughout the series. He cares for those around him, and looked after Sansa Stark when she really needed someone. “The Imp,” as the character is otherwise known, has certainly been lucky a number of times, but has continually pulled through much to Cersei and Tywin Lannister’s disgust (and fans’ delight).
There is certainly precedent to kill off a main character. As already mentioned, Ned, Robb and Catelyn Stark have all seen their lives come to a bloody end. However, there is also precedent to save characters. Bran Stark fell but survived with a broken back in the first season, and Arya Stark has constantly come out of fights with her head intact.
Another question would be whether the show runners would really consider killing off the character of the only actor to win an Emmy for the show. Peter Dinklage made people fall in love with Tyrion Lannister, despite the character not being very likeable at first.
Of course, the show runners will follow the plan from the books in most cases. There are exceptions. The Red Wedding included the killing of Robb’s pregnant wife, which never happened in the books. There are chances that the writers will look for a way to keep Dinklage’s character in the show. Would the Game of Thrones writers really kill off another main character, especially one that the fans clearly love and root for to survive to the end?
Opinion by Alexandria Ingham