Game of Thrones Season 5 had an almost comically high death toll: Mance Rayder died in the very first episode and Night’s Watch slimeball Janos Slynt followed him shortly after. In the middle of the season, Barriston Selmy and Maester Aemon Targaryen both added gloom just in case we forgot that All Men Must Die. Then, to cap everything off, the season ended with the six-way threat of Stannis Baratheon, his creepy wife, his adorable daughter, Meryn Trant, Myrcella Baratheon (really Lannister), and Jon Snow biting it. Maybe. Probably not.
But regardless of whether that last death turns out to be permanent, Season 6 will surely knock more names off the show’s hit list. Here are the most likely candidates for early graves.
1. Davos Seaworth
Davos is the closest thing we have to another Ned Stark: He’s a fundamentally decent, honorable man. He does the right thing and stands up for what he believes in, even when it costs him fingers. He’s also learned to read from the most adorable and tragically doomed tutor in the Seven Kingdoms. It’s shocking he’s managed to survive this long.
As a man who is far too good for Westeros, he’s living on borrowed time. Considering the fact that he is guarding Jon Snow’s body in Season 6 and invoking the wrath of The Night’s Watch, we predict his time will be up shortly.
2. Jorah Mormont
As Jorah is slowly but surely turning into a rock-zombie, his death isn’t an “if” so much as a “when.” Recall that in his trip through Valyria with Tyrion in Season 5, one of the Stone Men touched him, thus afflicting him with Greyscale. He’s keeping it a secret for now, but there’s no doubt it will come out on his road trip with Daario Naharis in Season 6. He will probably bring Daario down with him, in a two-for-one special death deal.
3. Loras Tyrell
Like Jorah, Loras is pretty much a sure candidate for death. Season 5 left him in a dire position, imprisoned by the Faith Militant because of his penchant for sword swallowing, as his delightful grandmother calls it. But also, Finn Jones is busy wearing drug rugs on the set of Netflix’s Iron Fist. The verdict is in: the Knight of Flowers is toast.
4. Ramsay Bolton
Ramsay has terrorized the people of Westeros for three seasons now, but Season 6 is when we’ll finally get to see him go. Game of Thrones loves its sadists, but the show doesn’t usually let them overstay their welcome. Joffrey only lasted three seasons and two episodes, and he was particularly unbearable toward the end. Ramsay has reached that point with his rape of Sansa and his too-easy defeat of Stannis’s forces. In the ninth episode of Season 6 — traditionally “shit goes down o’clock” on GoT — Jon Snow will defeat him in The Battle of The Bastards.
Lest you think that sounds too optimistic, recall that George R.R. Martin’s final novel — currently planned as A Dream of Spring — was originally called A Time For Wolves. The Starks will be making a comeback, and Jon will be King of The North. If you’re still skeptical this isn’t dark enough for GoT, Jon could very well win this battle but lose the final war. But that’s another reason Ramsay will go: As the show’s episode count is winding down and the endgame draws closer, there’s no more time to fuck around with petty human antagonists. It’s time to get to the real threat. The long night comes, and the dead come with it.
5. Brienne of Tarth
Aside from being generally awesome, Brienne is one of the best examples of how Game of Thrones is unparalleled at nuanced female characters, when it wants to be. Loyal, honorable, and chivalrous, she’s the show’s truest knight, and her death would be a tragedy. But that’s precisely why she’ll go: Every season must have at least one death with emotional impact. Ramsay’s will make us cheer, Loras’s will make us shrug, Jorah’s won’t be surprising. Brienne will aid Davos in providing Season 6 with emotional shocking deaths. Hopefully she’ll reunite with Jaime before she goes, and squeeze in some more bonding with Podrick.
Additional wild-card death options could be Jaime and Cersei — though they’ll likely be saved until the final season. If Brienne dies, it’s likely Podrick Payne could go with her, and Margaery Tyrell’s fate remains up in the air. As Season 6 approaches, only one thing is certain: Valar Morghulis.