‘Game of Thrones’ season finale: Who will win and who will die?

“When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die,” rasped Cersei back in Season 1. And it’s this battle of life vs. death that remains one of the most prominent themes in “Game of Thrones.” Though there have only been a few minor deaths this season, I’m predicting we’ll see many more before the final credits roll. After reading my analysis, make your predictions for next week’s season finale and you could win our prize of a $100 Amazon gift certificate. It’s fun and easy, so start now by scrolling down and predicting who will die next.

Who will die on ‘Game of Thrones’? See exclusive predictions

SER MERYN TRANT vs. ARYA
“The Dance of Dragons” saw Arya straying from her duties as a faceless man to follow Ser Meryn Trant around Braavos. You’ll remember that in Season 1, Meryn was the knight of the Kingsguard dispatched to take Arya into custody, only to be blocked by her sword-fighting instructor, Syrio Forel. Finally confronted with one of the people she vows to kill, and with her growing status as a trained assassin, Arya is within striking distance.

THE NIGHT’S WATCH and OLLY vs. JON and SAM
Upon his return from Hardhome, the expression that falls across Jon Snow’s face when he meets the gaze of Olly is indicative of the rise and fall of tension between the Lord Commander and the Night’s Watch. While his brothers at The Wall seem merely offended by the presence of their longstanding enemy, it’s Olly that is taking it personal with what appears to be a deepening anger toward Jon. And Sam seems caught somewhere in the middle, putting him in danger as well.

SANSA and BRIENNE vs. THE BOLTONS vs. REEK
Winterfell is a mess and there’s no telling how Sansa’s storyline will wrap up this season, if at all. Brienne is still outside the gates, waiting to save her. Roose is still, for all intents and purposes, imprisoning her and Ramsay, though he may be away from the castle, is still torturing her. Should Brienne finally get word of how much danger Sansa is in, and get within the gates, I’d count Brienne, Sansa, Roose, Ramsay and Podrick all in mortally precarious positions.

CERSEI vs. MARGAERY vs. THE SPARROWS
While both Cersei and Margaery remain in solitary confinement, the danger to their lives at the hands of the Sparrows is still wildly unclear. Surely the season can’t end on the women being asked to beg for forgiveness, and if either or both continue to decline to acknowledge the crimes they’re being charged with, it’s possible they meet more than just a slap of a spoon. Is capital punishment one of the rights bestowed upon the Sparrows from the gods?

DAENERYS and THE QUEENSGUARD vs. THE SONS OF THE HARPY
Dany and Drogon are free from the rebellion in Meereen, but the Queen’s absence leaves Jorah, Tyrion, Daario, Missandei and Grey Worm without a protector. It didn’t look like Drogon’s attack on the Sons of the Harpy in the pits was so effective that it wiped them all out, so unless Dany returns to save them, we may see Dany with one less advisor by her side before the season closes.

And if those five weren’t enough, there are still plenty of other characters’ fates to consider. Will Davos make it to the Wall? Did Jaime find a new ally in Ellaria, or will she turn on him before he leaves Dorne? Have the Greyjoys completely abandoned Theon? Is Bran still stuck in a tree? With so many storylines still left open, the finale can and probably will go in any direction.

Be sure to visit our predictions center and make/update your forecasts for the season finale, titled “Mother’s Mercy,” before voting closes Sunday at 5 p.m. PT. The eligible user with the highest prediction accuracy and most points will win a $100 Amazon gift certificate.

‘Game of Thrones’ contest: Did you predict [spoiler]’s fiery death in ‘The Dance of Dragons’?

Every time a new user casts their votes, the overall odds are automatically updated at Gold Derby, resulting in updated rankings on our death charts. Have YOU voted yet?

Where do you stand on our overall Season 5 leaderboard?

Currently, there is a six-way tie for first place at the top of our leaderboard, as Emmy Runner, Benutty, SamEckmann, Matt Morse, LuisAlbertoQH and Kmaderby85 are all at impressive 90% prediction accuracy for the season.

In the event of a tie at season’s end, our $100 prize will be awarded to the eligible user with the highest point score.

Right now, Emmy Runner has the most points (12,027) thanks to locking in the best odds at the right time. View Emmy Runner’s predictions by clicking here.

Remember that coming out on top doesn’t just mean answering that week’s questions correctly. You also have to use your three big bets (500 points and two of 200 points) strategically to score the most game points. If you bet on a longshot who pulls off an upset, you can really rack up the points, so don’t take them for granted.

To vote for who you think will die on “Game of Thrones,” drag your choices over from the left to the right and rank them in order, one through five. We’ve separated all 36 characters into three groups of 12 — MAIN, RECURRING, MINOR — so you have multiple chances each week to guess who’ll die next.

You can continue to update and change your predictions throughout the week, just click “Save Predictions” when you’ve settled on your choice.

Join the fiery fan discussion in our ‘Game of Thrones’ forum

Average Gold Derby users just like YOU often turn out to be our smartest prognosticators, so it’s important that you give us your predictions. You can change them later as often as you like.

We are forecasting everything from the results on TV shows like “Game of Thrones” and “Survivor” to the winners of the Emmy Awards and more.

Get started by making your prediction as to which main character will die using our easy drag-and-drop menu below. And be sure to sound off on the current season of “Game of Thrones” in Gold Derby’s TV forum.

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