'Game of Thrones' May Kill Jaime in Episode 3 Only to Bring Him Back Again

Plenty of theories out there posit that Jaime Lannister could be Azor Ahai and/or the “valonqar” who kills Cersei, but it’s just as likely he might wind up dead in the next episode at the Great Battle of Winterfell in Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 3.

We’ve been speculating about who will die at the Great Battle of Winterfell in Episode 3, and other than Theon Greyjoy, who’s putting himself directly in the path of the Night King by protecting Bran Stark, perhaps the single most vulnerable character in the upcoming battle is going to be Ser Jaime Lannister.

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“I’m not the fighter I used to be,” Jaime tells Brienne early in “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” as he volunteers to fight under her command in the left flank. Jaime may have been the greatest fighter of his time when he was young and able-bodied, but since losing his hand, he’s been reduced to a shell of his former Kingslayer self. He managed to survive the Battle of the Goldroad in Season 7 despite some reckless behavior trying to kill Daenerys, but that was only with Bronn’s help.

Game of Thrones Season 8 Jaime Brienne
Jaime and Brienne speaking outside Winterfell in 'Game of Thrones' Season 8, Episode 2.

Despite wielding one of the few Valyrian steel swords out there, Jaime is at a great disadvantage. Of all the heroic characters fighting in the upcoming battle, he’s probably the least capable. He’ll be fighting by Brienne, who’ll do her best to protect him if it comes to that, but their regiment is in a vulnerable position in the upcoming battle.

When they speak outside the Winterfell gates, Jaime remarks to Brienne that she’s commanding the “left flank.” We don’t know that many explicit details about the war plans other than using Bran as bait for the Night King. But Brienne will lead a regiment of Stark troops on the left side of the battlefield with Jaime under her command. The Knights of the Vale will seemingly serve as a frontline for them.

Game of Thrones Battle of Winterfell Map
Based on the war table plans and Brienne's conversation with Jaime, here's where they should be in the upcoming battle.

In the Season 8, Episode 3 trailer, we see Brienne screaming “stand your ground.” So at some point, the army of the dead reaches her regiment. Whether or not she and Jaime survive depends entirely on whether Jon and Dany can take down the Night King fast enough. Of all the regiments on the field fighting for the living, Brienne’s left flank is the single furthest one from the Winterfell gate.

Do they even have the option of retreat? Probably not, in which case Jaime and Brienne could die together. If Jaime does die, however, his face could live on.

Harpers Bazaar reported that Jaime Lannister actor Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is getting paid more than $1 million per episode to appear in all six episodes of Game of Thrones Season 8. Normally, this would immediately discredit a theory about Jaime dying in Episode 3. Yet, this is Westeros, a mysterious land where people like Arya Stark enthusiastically wear the faces of the dead to trick people and murder their enemies.

Some fan theories and supposed leaks assert that after Jaime dies, Arya will wear his face and use it to kill Cersei, hopefully completing her infamous murder list in the process. This would definitely qualify for the valonqar prophecy. Not only is Arya herself a younger sibling, but Jaime is Cersei’s “little brother” by a matter of minutes.

WATCH: The Las Vegas odds on who will die first at the Battle of Winterfell

It also seems possible that GoT Season 8, Episode 3 might make it seem like Jaime lives and Arya dies, only to have the opposite happen. Arya might “live” as Jaime for the rest of the seasons until she successfully kills Cersei in the finale, only to unmask herself in the final moments. If that seems like shameless misdirection, remember that Game of Thrones led us to believe throughout Season 7 that Arya and Sansa were turning on each other only for them to unite and kill Littlefinger at the last possible moment.

If this is how things play out, then it could technically still mean that Coster-Waldau appears even if his character is dead. Only on Game of Thrones, right?

Game of Thrones Season 8 airs Sunday nights on HBO at 9 p.m. Eastern.