With Game Of Thrones’ return comes the return of our horribly morbid dead pool, You Win Or You Die. Each week, with the help of the talented and genial Benjamin Eckstein, oddsmaker and owner of America’s Line, we’ll be placing bets on who we think will make it through the coming weekend’s episode of Thrones. We’ll also bet on other plot points and aspects of the show, just because we like gambling with completely fictional money. At the end of the season, just one A.V. Clubber will sit on our own completely non-existent throne. If you’re so inclined, you can play along at home via reader Craig R. Wright’s TV Deadpool site. May the odds be ever in your favor.
2-1 Anybody with the last name Sand
Eckstein the oddsmaker says: The daughters are bad girls, and that’s why. I think the mother will be around for a while.
The A.V. Club says: If someone’s got to go this week, it might as well be them.
3-1 Nymeria, Arya’s direwolf
Eckstein the oddsmaker says: Ghost will never die, but Arya’s direwolf might get it.
The A.V. Club says: We haven’t even seen Nymeria since season one. Her showing up in this episode just to die would be a twist none of us would see coming.
Eckstein the oddsmaker says: Enough with the smoke already.
The A.V. Club says: She’s on her own and heading south. Who knows what perils will befall her on the way?
12-1 Brienne Of Tarth
Eckstein the oddsmaker says: I will cry, but the big girl has to go.
The A.V. Club says: First of all, we see what you did there, Benjamin, and we like it. On the other hand, we won’t like Brienne’s death, and we don’t like these odds.
12-2 Petyr Baelish
Eckstein the oddsmaker says: He reminds me of a young Donald Trump.
The A.V. Club says: Like Donald Trump, we think he’ll unfortunately be sticking around for at least the foreseeable future.
Eckstein the oddsmaker says: He’s getting old, and doesn’t have the fire anymore.
The A.V. Club says: He has to die eventually, but we’re not sure it’ll be this week.
25-1 Bran Stark
Eckstein the oddsmaker says: He might die, but he won’t really die, because he’ll go back in time to be Bran The Builder of the wall.
The A.V. Club says: Bran’s in a bad spot, but it seems unlikely that Thrones will just off another Stark week one.
50-1 Jaime Lannister
Eckstein the oddsmaker says: He still has a sister that he wants to date.
The A.V. Club says: First of all, gross. He’s probably not going this week, though. He has too much to do still.
100-1 Cersei or Arya
Eckstein the oddsmaker says: These ladies ain’t going anywhere. Girl power, baby!
The A.V. Club says: Cersei just got on the throne, so she’s not going anywhere. Same thing for Arya, who exists on pure vengeance.
Never-1 Sansa, Tyrion, Daenerys, or Jon Snow
Eckstein the oddsmaker says: It’s not going to happen.
The A.V. Club says: It’s tempting to throw our money behind one of these and then just win the game automatically, but Eckstein’s probably right here.
Prophecies for profit:
Note: Bets placed here stay active throughout the course of the show.
Who emerges victorious in the battle of The Mountain v. The Hound?
2-1 The Hound
5-1 The Mountain Wins
10-1 Someone else.
Eckstein the oddsmaker says: I think it’ll be Volcano, their half brother.
The A.V. Club says: We’d certainly like it to be The Hound, but can The Mountain even be killed?
3-1 Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen will sit on the throne together at the end of the show.
Over/under on episodes in which Cersei remains on the Iron Throne: 8.5
Over/under on how many episodes until Jon Snow’s true parentage is revealed to him: 5.5
Over/under on total deaths (of named characters) this week: 3.5
We’re each starting with $100 Westerosi bucks, and our picks this week are:
Erik Adams: $20 on the Cersei under, $80 on the total deaths under.
Danette Chavez: $10 on the total deaths under.
Marah Eakin—last year’s victor: $20 on the total deaths under, $10 on Davos, $10 on Brienne, and $10 on a Sand.
Leo Garcia: $65 on under. Season Bets: $5 on Cersei’s under. $5 on Jon’s parentage under. $2 on The Hound in Clegane Bowl I.
Alex McLevy: $30 bucks on the over of total deaths this episode. “Blood is going to spill, but it ain’t gonna be anyone we care about—not yet, anyway.”
Josh Modell: $60 on the under.
John Teti: $10 on Melisandre and $50 on the total-deaths under.
Grace Thomas: $20 on the over, $10 on Davos, and $5 on Jon Snow’s parentage being revealed in under 5.5 episodes.
Emi Tolibas: $25 on the over for total episode deaths.
Caitlin PenzeyMoog: $40 on the total deaths under, $5 on the Cersei under, $5 on a Sand, $5 on the under of Jon’s parentage, $5 on The Hound beating The Mountain.
Kristi-Lynn Jacovino: $5 on Melisandre, $5 for the over of total named deaths, $15 for under 8.5 episodes for Cersei gone from the throne, and why not add $15 for the under on Jon’s parentage.
Karl Blomberg: $20 on total deaths—under. $10 on Cersei on the throne—over.