Considering the show’s notorious blood lust, it should come as a pretty big surprise that there are close to thirty main characters who were introduced in the first season who haven’t actually been killed off yet.
Given George RR Martin’s penchant for killing great characters off for effect and ensuring that nobody trusts that major characters will be spared thanks to conventional narrative privilege, that sounds implausible at best, but here we are.
Over the course of the past six seasons, we’ve seen the roster of characters swell hugely – with some of the show’s most interesting characters not debuting until later seasons (Davos, Tormund, Stannis…), but through it all, there’s been a rich vein of survivors who have somehow defied the Grim Reaper’s inevitable touch.
Whether they’ll stay alive for long once the new season debuts remains to be seen, but for now these enduring heroes and villains deserve special praise. And some far more than others.