At some point during another blood-soaked Game of Thrones season finale, the thought occurred to me (and many others, I expect): how long until literally no one from the pilot is left alive? The show is, after all, famous for killing off its main characters left, right, and center, and there’s only so many they can slaughter before we’re left with an entirely new cast.
To answer this question, we took the highly scientific approach of watching the show’s pilot again to see how many of the characters we meet in that episode are, indeed, still with us five seasons later. And so, in order of appearance…
Bran Stark Is he still alive? Presumably? We haven’t seen him for a season, and the last time we did see him, he was wandering around the land north of the Wall, but as far as we know he’s still breathing.
Robb Stark Is he still alive? Nope. The Red Wedding put paid to him, much to everyone’s horror.
Jon Snow Is he still alive? Not unless some sort of miracle happens between now and the beginning of next season. His death at the hands of the eternally shitful Ser Alliser Thorne was the most shocking moment of last night’s season finale, and a fatal reminder of the fact that Jon was too much like his father — noble, honest, and honorable gets you nowhere in Westeros.
Ned Stark Is he still alive? No — he was separated from his head at the end of the show’s first season, in what was the first demonstration of the fact that Game of Thrones wasn’t afraid to kill anyone and everyone.
Catelyn Stark Is she still alive? No. Red Wedding, again. Ugh.
Sansa Stark Is she still alive? Against all odds, yes — assuming, of course, that jumping off the Winterfell battlements into a snow drift didn’t prove too optimistic an escape plan.
Arya Stark Is she still alive? Damn right, bless her. (We’re crossing our fingers that the weird blindness inflicted on her isn’t permanent, because that really would be some bullshit.)
Ser Rodrick Cassel Is he still alive? No. Good job, Theon, you clown.
Theon Greyjoy Is he still alive? Yes. Well, sort of. Reek is alive and well, but the brash, vain boy called Theon died somewhere in a ghastly dungeon, strapped to a cross and left to the mercy of a psychopath.
Jaime Lannister Is he still alive? Yeah. Minus a hand, older and sadder, but alive.
Cersei Lannister Is she still alive? Yes. Just like basically everyone in the Game of Thrones universe, things have gotten significantly worse for her, but she’s not done for yet.
Maester Luwin Is he still alive? No. He gets stabbed by an Ironborn type at the end of Theon’s disastrous attempt to take and hold Winterfell.
Joffrey Baratheon Is he still alive? NO! Sometimes things do go right.
The Hound Is he still alive? Nope. We never see him die, in fairness, but he was left for dead by Arya at the end of Season 4, and we’ve been given no reason to believe he survived.
Robert Baratheon Is he still alive? No. His getting himself killed by a boar is part of what put this whole sorry business in motion.
Rickon Stark Is he still alive? Same deal as Bran — we haven’t seen him for a season, but the last we saw of him, he was still alive and well.
Tyrion Lannister Is he still alive? Indeed he is. If he ever does get killed off, at least 86% of the motivation to keep watching Game of Thrones will die with him.
Ros Is she still alive? No. She gets used for target practice by Joffrey, the sadistic little shit.
Daenerys Targaryen Is she still alive? Yes, although why one would wander off from one’s dragon in the middle of nowhere remains open to question.
Viserys Targaryen Is he still alive? Nope. Unlike his sister, things worked out very badly indeed for the odious Viserys, and he was lamented by precisely no one when Khal Drogo poured a pot of molten gold on his head.
Khal Drogo Is he still alive? No. Despite his air of indestructibility, he gets put paid to by a nasty infection and a nefarious witch.
Ser Jorah Marmont Is he still alive? For now. That grayscale looks like a nasty business, though.
Final scorecard: Discounting minor characters like the hapless dudes who manage to get slaughtered by a White Walker before the opening credits even roll, we meet 22 characters in the show’s pilot. Five seasons later, there are ten of them left, which makes for a score of 45%.