Brienne, The Hound, and Other Game of Thrones Characters Who Deserve a Satisfying Ending

Everyone is dying to know when the whole of Westeros will learn the identity of the rightful heir to the Seven Kingdoms—and whether they’ll survive long enough to do anything about it—but Game of Thrones isn’t just about the big players for the Iron Throne. Along with tuning in to find out if the Night King will be defeated (please let him be defeated!) I can’t wait to find out what will happen to all the other characters who have been with us for the better part of seven (almost eight!) seasons. Will Podrick finally become a proper knight? Will Tormund succeed in wooing Brienne? Will Hot Pie become the Royal Baker for the last monarch left standing?

Here are my Season Eight hopes for the characters who have supported our heroes on their journeys, and have often been heroes in their own right…


Gilly (and Little Sam)

Screenshot: HBO

Gilly and Little Sam are the only known characters with blood ties to several—if not most of—the White Walkers. We do not know if the transformation process from human to creepy ice creature completely eliminates the ties of blood—but perhaps this season will tell. To me, Gilly feels like the key to something important yet unexpected…perhaps her family ties will offer certain secret powers that could overthrow the Night King. Or maybe she will just continue to fact-drop more killer trivia about the long-ago High Septon’s BMs.

Gilly came to Winterfell at the end of Season 7, and given her proven ability to unearth hugely important information in her reading, perhaps she’ll be able to dig into the Stark’s library and bring key secrets about the Long Night to light at the eleventh hour…

Season Eight Hero-possibility Scale: 10/10
Potential Power Move: Auntie-scolding a White Walker


Hot Pie

Screenshot: HBO

Hot Pie is my kind of chef: He cares about the end product. He cares about the time and effort it takes to brown butter before making the crust. He cares about the using the right ingredients, and how that extra attention adds to the final flavor.

As of now, he is a man literally at the crossroads between King’s Landing and the North. Perhaps Hot Pie will see Jaime as he rides north to keep his promises. Perhaps Hot Pie will feed Jaime a meal so humbling that it will lead the Kingslayer to bend the knee to a new queen. After all, a warm pie can go a long way toward mending a broken heart.

Hero-possibility Scale: 6/10
Power Move: Pastry power…plus his firm belief that “I’m a survivor.”


Brienne of Tarth

Screenshot: HBO

As a swordswoman, she’s taken on Jaime Lannister. She’s also taken on The Hound. Interestingly, in Season 7, she came pretty close to being bested by Arya (at least in a practice round). It appears Brienne will stand side by side with all of these former sparring partners as they unite to take on the army of the dead. After all, she and Arya are the only known women who currently wield Valyrian steel blades.

Perhaps Brienne will be the one to finally take on the Night King…perhaps he will be one more man she knocks to the dust.

Hero-possibility scale: 10/10
Power Move: Legs for days and a kick that won’t quit


Tormund Giantsbane

Screenshot: HBO

As the Season Eight trailers have revealed, Tormund lives! Though how he escaped ice dragon fire and avoided being crushed by the crumbling Wall remains something of a mystery. I imagine Tormund will tell the tall tale as soon as he’s able to rejoin his king, and that Jon will be delighted to have him back in the fold—after all, who would be left to ask the truly uncomfortable questions if Tormond joined the army of the dead?

I hope that in the end, this wildling warrior lives to again taste the snowflakes north of the wall. Perhaps he will finally win over Brienne and together they’ll have the largest baby the Citadel’s Maesters have ever seen. Perhaps—as he once rapturously told the Hound—their children really will conquer the world.

Hero-possibility Scale: N/A—the free-people don’t trust fractions
Power Move: Giant monster babies?


Podrick Payne

Screenshot: HBO

Podrick has been a squire since he first appeared on the show way back in Season 2. And while he still seems to have trouble sparring effectively for more than thirty seconds at a time, Brienne has deemed him a capable fighter at the end of Season 7. Will the squire finally become a true knight? Is this the season where Pod will at last parry with purpose? Will a blade made of dragonglass turn him into the warrior the north needs? I sure hope so. He’s worked so hard!

Hero-possibility Scale: 7/10
Power Move: Tossing Brienne a Valyrian steel sword just when it is needed most



Screenshot: HBO

Ser Bronn of the Blackwater is a man who wants us all to believe he’s only interested in finally getting his castle and filling it with an ungodly amount of gold, but in spite of his insistence, he seems capable of basic decency all on his own (though he’d probably deny it). He navigates the strained relationship between Jaime and Tyrion and even facilitates moments of family bonding. He bravely knocks the older Lannister brother out of the way of an imminent dragon attack and then drags him to safety across a river. Bronn might be cynical, but he’s also a man who reminds us that not all battles are won on the battlefield.  I hope that he will finally get his castle. I hope that getting his heart’s desire will bring him joy.

Hero-possibility Scale: 8/10
Power Move: Facilitating brotherly therapy sessions for the Lannister boys


Grey Worm

Screenshot: HBO

Grey Worm spent a significant amount of time marching all over Westeros in Season 7, but now he is back with his Queen and Missandei—though he’s been as silent as ever since he left Casterly Rock.

Will Grey Worm learn to channel his fear of losing Missandei while he fights for the living? Will he come to understand that caring for the lives of others is what makes the fight truly worthwhile? Perhaps at the end of all things, when peace finally comes (if it comes), he and Missandei can see the Isle of Naath together.

Hero-possibility Scale: Limitless
Power Move: Sneaky spear jabs


Lyanna Mormont

Screenshot: HBO

A small girl stronger than most of the men who surround her, Lyanna is the most formidable bannerwoman in the north. She has declared that she will train the women of her house alongside the men, but will she also take up her sword in the battle to come? Perhaps Arya will lend Lady Mormont her new Valyrian steel dagger. Or maybe she’ll have some custom-made bear claws fashioned out of dragonglass—that would be *my* accessory of choice, if I was the lady of Bear Island.

Hero-possibility Scale: 8/10
Power Move: A stern scowl, and steely resolve that bolsters everyone around her


Sandor Clegane (The Hound)

Screenshot: HBO

A hard man redeemed, he has seen visions sent by the Lord of Light in the fire…his experiences have changed him, but how will the rest of his story play out? Is he still The Hound, or his own man, or maybe even a potential convert to the god of Beric Dondarrion?

Perhaps Clegane will join forces with Brienne and Arya to defeat his brother, The Mountain—or maybe he will do it all on his own. Perhaps he’ll surprise us all by forgiving his brother and moving across the sea to live a new life in service of others. (But honestly, I kind of hope not—all I want to see is him take down his brother in the battle we’ve all been waiting for…)

Hero-possibility Scale: 9/10
Power Move (option 1): Newfound kindness
Power Move (option 2): Totally justified fratricide


Beric Dondarrion

Screenshot: HBO

With one eye and a heart that (literally) will not quit, Beric has come this far across Westeros as a faithful servant to the Lord of Light. He has lost his priest, Thoros, but perhaps there are other followers of R’hllor who could still resurrect Beric if need be? If not, he’s down to his last life, and ready to make it count.

Will his ability to resuscitate allow him to infiltrate the army of the dead and get nearest the White Walkers? Will he bring orange flames to a place where only icy blue eyes—and blue fire—burn?

Hero-possibility Scale: 8/10
Power Move: A final death at the right moment



Screenshot: HBO

Once upon a time, I remember wishing that it would be Gendry who would finally sit atop the Iron Throne, hoping that the boy from Flea Bottom could save the Seven Kingdoms.

Now he’s back, having grown into an impetuous man who can’t keep his mouth shut even when The Onion Knight tells him to. (But really, who can lie when Jon Snow is staring earnestly past your eyes and straight into your soul?) Not sure about his chances (or his interest) when it comes to the throne, but he’s proved himself to be a helpful ally, and as the apprentice to a blacksmith who could re-work and re-forge Valyrian steel—can Gendry do the same? Perhaps thanks to him, there will be a few more blades that can best the Night King.

Hero-possibility Scale: 7/10
Power Move: Yelling “Hammer Time!” as he delivers a death blow


Yara Greyjoy

Screenshot: HBO

She is the woman most likely to maintain a peaceful rulership of the Iron Islands. Yara is beloved and respected by those who follow her. Her brother, Theon, is finally on his way to rescue her, after one final beating that may have knocked the cowardice out of him. Right now, we do not know if she has been taken to Essos by her uncle or if she has been left in Kings Landing. Perhaps she will sink part of Uncle Euron’s fleet before the Gold Company makes it half way to Westeros. Or perhaps she will seduce a lonely Cersei and slit her throat.

Hero-possibility Scale: 8/10
Power Move: Continuing to believe in her brother



Screenshot: HBO

We’ve been told that Melisandre will return to and die in Westeros, but she remains haunted, questioning the path she has taken to achieve the ends of the Lord of Light. With Beric Dondarion currently priestless, perhaps she is the one with the power to resurrect the right men (or women!) and bring light to the forthcoming Long Night.

Hero-possibility Scale: 6/10
Power Move: A creepy-but-effective beauty routine, and the ability to learn from past mistakes


Bonus Heroes: Ghost and Nymeria

Screenshot: HBO

While we only briefly saw Nymeria in Season 7—and didn’t see Ghost at all!—they are both alive in the north of Westeros—and Nymeria has a whole wolf pack at her side. Will Nymeria join Ghost in Winterfell? Will we see the wolves in battle once more? Perhaps Nymeria will join the march as Jon and Daenerys ride to Winterfell, and the surviving direwolves will finally be reunited with the remaining Starks as they face down the undead together.

Hero-possibility Scale: 8/10 (times two!)
Power Move: Long jumps and sharp teeth


In the forthcoming season, I know some heroes will live and many heroes will die, and the best that we can hope for is some sort of closure for all our favorite characters. Most of all, though, I hope that Hot Pie is the one to cook the victory feast.

Jaclyn Adomeit writes historical fiction, speculative fiction, and comics. In her spare time, she befriends stray cats and daylights as an environmental engineer. She can be found on FacebookTwitter, and her website.


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