Game Of Thrones thrives on speculation. Is Jon Snow alive? When’s Bran coming back? And how’s this whole Dorne storyline going to play out?
Here at The A.V. Club, we decided to steer right into that kind of speculative chatter with a new feature we’ll run before every new Thrones episode. “Who’s going to die this weekend” asks just that, and is backed with expert Vegas-style stats from Benjamin Lee Eckstein, nationally syndicated odds maker and owner of America’s Line, a betting odds website. Each week, he’ll give us odds on who could die on this Sunday’s episode of Game Of Thrones, complete with his rationale behind the numbers. We’ll weigh in, and then bet accordingly with our fake Thrones bucks. Winner gets control of Westeros—or of our office fridge.
The oddsmaker says: They’re both going to go. Davos Seaworth was born in Flea Bottom, so he’s kind of tough, but Alliser Thorne has a lot of people with him. Thorne’s basically like the House Of Trump. They’re well-heeled. They don’t like immigrants. Thorne already has the wall, so he doesn’t have to build one. That said, Melisandre is so freaking crazy and evil, and she was in love with Jon Snow. Thorne killed Jon Snow, so he’ll be killed first. After that, Melisandre might melt Davos, or something.
The A.V. Club says: Thorne seems like a solid bet. Davos has hung in there this far, so we’d be sad to see him go, but you know what they say: All men must die. Maybe just not this week for Davos, though.
The oddsmaker says: He looks like he’s had it. He did what he had to do, which was save Sansa Stark. His mission is accomplished. He doesn’t seem to have any more juice left, or pizzazz.
The A.V. Club says: That’s solid reasoning, and Alfie Allen, who plays Theon, didn’t seem to be making the press rounds prior to the new season of Thrones. Maybe he knew he wouldn’t be around for long.
The oddsmaker says: He’s got the greyscale, so we’re going to have to see how long they can keep him in.
The A.V. Club says: Jorah does have greyscale, but it’s just on his arm for now. He seems like a safe bet to stick around for a few more episodes, but he’ll probably go before the end of the season. How he’ll go—whether by his own sword or by someone else’s—is probably the more interesting bet here.
The oddsmaker says: He really doesn’t need to be there.
The A.V. Club says: While that’s true, if he dies, who becomes king? Jaime Lannister? All of King’s Landing would be thrown into a tizzy, which could be an interesting way to move the story along. Plus, can Cersei really take the death of another one of her kids?
The oddsmaker says: She’s a very bad woman, and a very bad lady.
The A.V. Club says: While what Benjamin says is true, that’s never stopped someone from sticking around on Game Of Thrones. 8-1 seems like solid odds. She probably won’t die this week, but she’ll probably get it eventually.
The oddsmaker says: They didn’t really give him any light in the first episode, and I don’t really think about him.
The A.V. Club says: That rationale is exactly why we think he’s a good bet, especially at these odds. Margaery’s going to break sometime, and wouldn’t the death of her brother be a great way for the High Sparrow to encourage that? Plus, Thrones never thinks twice about killing of “only seen sometimes” characters like this. (See all of the slaughter last week in Dorne.)
The oddsmaker says: He could also be “never-1.” I see him hanging around for quite some time.
The A.V. Club says: That seems about right. Killing Peter Dinklage’s character in episode two of the new season just seems like a dumb call on HBO’s part.
The oddsmaker says: Somebody might spike her or get her, but she’s always coming back some way some how, whether it’s in smoke or fire or whatever.
The A.V. Club says: That’s true, but if she does get spiked and come back as smoke, doesn’t that mean she’s dead? Isn’t Jon Snow dead-dead, at least for now? That’s semantics, for sure, but that’s the kind of arbitrary line-drawing you have to deal with when you’re talking about Game Of Thrones.
Each week, we’ll play along. As per our own rules, we’ve each been allotted $100 fake Westerosi dollars. We can bet whatever we want, whenever we want, but once we lose all our money, we’re out of the game. Whatever we win gets added to our running totals, and can be bet again.
Winner gets some arbitrary prize to be determined later.
This week’s picks are:
Erik Adams: $10 on Alliser Thorne, $10 on Davos Seaworth. “Do I get bonus fake money if they kill each other?”
David Anthony: $35 on Loras Tyrell, $15 on Ellaria Sand. “Goin’ big.”
Danette Chavez: $10 on Alliser Thorne, $10 on Ellaria Sand.
Marah Eakin: $20 on Alliser Thorne.
Josh Modell: $25 on Alliser Thorne.
Caity PenzeyMoog: $20 on Davos Seaworth, $10 on Loras Tyrell. “Playing the Game Of Thrones to win.”
Katie Rife: $10 on Alliser Thorne, $10 on Theon Greyjoy. “A conservative bet.”
John Teti: $20 on Theon Greyjoy.
Nick Wanserski: $20 on Alliser Thorne, $30 on Ellaria Sand. “I’d like to think they’re just going to breeze through Dorne.”