The night before the Battle of the Bastards, Davos Seaworth and Tormund Giantsbane had a conversation about the people they served, and how it didn’t really pay off. “Maybe that’s our mistake: believing in kings” said the Onion Knight. “Jon Snow is not a king” replied Tormund.
But things have changed since then, on Game of Thrones. Jon Snow is now very much a king, and not only that, but the actual heir to the Iron Throne. The consequences of him bending the knee to Daenerys still remain to be seen.
Point is, Davos is once again following a monarch, albeit a very different one than Stannis Baratheon, and essentially serving as Jon’s adviser. He’s not a fighter, but his mind is sharp and his loyalty can’t be bought.
Ser Jorah Mormont is in a similar position: although Tyrion Lannister was chosen as Dany’s Hand of the Queen, he’s still one of her trusted advisors and a member of her Queensguard. His motives are different than Davos, since he’s following Daenerys because of the (unrequited) love he feels for her, but after a hard fall from grace and narrowly escaping the greyscale disease, he most certainly won’t betray her ever again.
The odd one out in the trio of characters I’ll talk about in this article is Ser Bronn of the fucking Blackwater. He’s not loyal and he doesn’t do things for love, but for the promise of riches and (eventually) a big castle. After leaving Tyrion to his fate, when it seemed like no one would help the disgraced Lannister to fight Gregor Clegane, he ended up as Jaime Lannister’s companion and right-hand man (quite literally). Bronn didn’t follow Jaime to Winterfell at the end of the seventh season, but I think we haven’t seen the last of him just yet.
Two of them follow leaders and one is after the money, but all three will soon have to deal with the undead problem that is coming from the North.
Will they live to see the end of the war and a new beginning for Westeros? Will Bronn finally get his castle? Or is a tragic fate awaiting for some or all of them? As with previous Endgame articles, I’ll be making educated guesses and predictions for what’s going to be the future of these beloved sidekick characters.
SER DAVOS SEAWORTH
When I read A Clash of Kings, Davos quickly turned into one of my favorite characters. I couldn’t help but to pity him in a way, since he wanted to be loyal to Stannis but that meant doing things he didn’t necessarily agree with, especially when Melisandre was involved.
The inspired casting of Liam Cunningham (truly, what would be of this show without Nina Gold?), and the news that Neil Marshall would be the one to tackle “Blackwater” (the ninth episode of Season 2) prompted me to revisit the director’s Centurion from 2010 and get a small taste of what to expect.
The episode was incredible (even more so when having in mind that the scale and the budget of the show were much smaller back in 2012) but alas, as in the books, the Wildfire prevented Davos from seeing much action and tragically took his son’s life.
In the novels, Davos has seven sons (four of whom die during the Battle of the Blackwater Bay) but I assume the number was reduced both to keep things more manageable and so the role of Shireen Baratheon as Davos’s surrogate daughter of sorts would have more of an impact.
His wife, Marya Seaworth, has so far remained “off-screen” in both mediums. She has been mentioned (and not by name) just a couple of times in the screen adaptation, and I have to admit it’s something that bugs me a bit. Sure enough, Davos can’t just tell Jon he’s taking a break and departing to go see his wife, but he’s been away from home for so long you’d have to wonder if Mrs. Seaworth doesn’t deserve an award for being the most patient person in the Seven Kingdoms. Even small moments such as him sending a letter or money (or both) to his wife would go a long way in letting viewers know the relationship is alive and well, and that Davos still has someone he loves and is looking after her.
It’s perhaps unnecessary, but it’d hardly take up a lot of screen time and in a coming final season that all but guarantees there’ll be no short amount of character deaths, it would be another reason to feel worried about a possible grim fate for Davos.
Davos is currently en route to White Harbor, along with Jon and Dany’s forces. The road to Winterfell should be safe enough, it’s when they reach the Stark castle that things will start to go south for everyone involved.
Even though he admits he’s not much of a fighter, Davos is brave and doesn’t hesitate in taking action when necessary. Luckily, he hasn’t been forced to fight his way out of a bad situation just yet, but that may change when the army of the dead attacks Winterfell.
I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if he ends up sacrificing himself to save someone else (maybe Jon, one of the Stark siblings or Daenerys?), and gets later turned into a wight by the Night King for an extra heartbreak. Other than the dragon Viserion, so far no character the audience may care about has been “zombified” (that we know at least, since a wight Hodor may be around, waiting for his appearance). It wouldn’t be a happy ending for the Onion Knight, but it’d be a bold move from the screenwriters and the pulling of our heartstrings would be guaranteed.
Davos could also die later in the season, during the battle at King’s Landing. It wouldn’t be any less tragic, but it’d be also ironic in a way since he doesn’t feel any love whatsoever for the city, despite it’s the place where he was born. Twice he has eluded death in there during the show’s run, not counting all the times he had to avoid the Royal Fleet during his years as a smuggler, so third time could be the charm, so to speak.
If this happens, Salladhor Saan’s joke could turn prophetic in the sense he could turn up to gather Davos’s bones and deliver them to Marya. Salladhor is such a minor character he has only appeared (briefly) in three episodes, but I trust most people will remember about him.
The best outcome for him is not only to survive the war, but also to be on the winning side by the time everything is said and done. If Daenerys becomes sole queen or marries Jon, then it’s to be expected that Tyrion remains the Hand of the King and Davos won’t hold that position, but he could remain as an adviser or be given the command of either the Royal Fleet or the Master of Coin position. After all, he did help to find the coin for Stannis’s campaign and has more than enough political savvy, not to mention he’d be relatively safe, not having to deal with weapons or find himself in a battlefield anymore.
Should he choose instead to go back home to his wife, I would expect him to receive a fair reward for his service, at least enough coin to retire and live peacefully, or even a new house. It’s a fate Ser Barristan would’ve derided, since he wanted to die as a knight, but I doubt the Onion Knight would reject that kind of gift.
SER JORAH MORMONT
The story of the former lord of Bear Island has been full of ups and downs. You just have to give him this much: no matter how hard life punches him down, he always finds a way to get up and keep going.
I was very happy to see Iain Glen during the first season of the show (and in the following seasons since then) since I’m rather fond of his performances in the Resident Evil films. In those he’s a big ham and he chews up the scenery like it’s nobody’s business, but it’s the total opposite when it comes to playing Jorah. Certainly, to embody different characters is literally his job as an actor, but many performers out there are rather one-note or struggle when trying to convey certain emotions.
When Barristan finds out about Jorah’s betrayal and Dany banishes him from Meereen, you can feel his hurt and regret. The second time he’s expelled from the city is even worse, he doesn’t even argue about it, the look in his eyes say everything.
Any less than that, and the moment he finally returns to Daenerys’s service in Season 7 wouldn’t have felt as important, despite lasting for less than a minute. Glen sells it, and I couldn’t help but to cheer when Jorah and Dany share a hug.
You wouldn’t expect such a performance from someone who attacks people with his tentacle fingers in a zombie movie, is what I’m saying.
Like Davos, Jorah had a handful of close calls during the show’s run, but luck has been on his side. Most recently, Sam cured him of a disease that otherwise would’ve consumed him, and he also managed to survive the wight hunt beyond the Wall. To come this far in a story that has no shortage of violent deaths is quite an achievement, so if Jorah’s destined to die in the final season, he deserves to go out with a bang.
After fighting the army of the dead, he knows what to expect from the wights and won’t be taken by surprise when the White Walkers arrive to attack Winterfell. I would bet he’s going to survive the first major battle of Season 8, so Team Dany is mostly intact for the showdown at King’s Landing (if anything, I don’t think poor Grey Worm will survive, but I could be wrong. A happy ending for him and Missandei would be nice, but then again, this is GoT). And not only that, but I’m guessing he’s going to have a one-on-one fight against one of the Walkers. He already fought a Dothraki and won, so offing a White Walker too would be quite the addition to his record, and he would join the small group of people who have managed to kill one of such creatures (currently Sam, Jon and Meera).
If the Walker either beats Jorah or manages to gravely injure him before dying, then that’s one hell of a way to go out. Not succumbing to a disease or getting killed in a fighting pit by a nameless slave, but facing a creature that was commonly believed to exist only in stories for children.
Assuming the Bear Knight makes it out alive from Winterfell, King’s Landing could be the place where his story wraps for good. My main problem with this scenario is that I don’t think there’s a clear opponent for Jorah here. The Mountain will surely fight either Sandor (because GET HYPE) or Arya, so that leaves us with Bronn (!) or Jaime, if the latter decides to ditch his honor for love and go back to Cersei’s side.
I favor the Bronn option, because even if Jaime changing his mind yet again is believable, I feel it would negate the growth of his character, being finally free of Cersei’s influence that is. The conversation with Olenna showed he’s aware of the horrible deeds he has done for love, and that it may be too late to change his ways, but then the finale set us up for some change in his character. He’s following Brienne’s advice (fuck loyalty!) and is doing the right thing for once. It would be a shame if that is reversed.
Fighting the former sellsword makes sense in my opinion. They’re both Season 1 veterans and beloved characters, so the audience will be once again divided in who they are going to root for. Bronn fights dirty but Jorah has years of experience and has fought against a wide variety of enemies, both alive and undead, so some cheap tactics aren’t going to faze him. And yet, I think Bronn could win the fight for dramatic purposes. We’re in for some big losses and not all the heroes are bound to keep their plot armor. The final season’s gotta have one nasty bite so the final victory doesn’t come off as easily earned.
Jaime being the opponent would be an interesting juxtaposition of lovers fighting for their queens, though one has been apparently discarded and the other’s love wasn’t meant to be. While I give the Bronn scenario a 50/50 possibility for each fighter, in this one I think the balance would tip in Jaime’s favor, since he’s one of the main characters (whereas Jorah is supporting one) and because such an action would definitely confirm that he’s irredeemable. Of course, when we take into account that Jaime lacks his right hand and his fighting skills are poorer as a result, he’d need a lot of luck or the unexpected help of someone else to win the round.
Jorah making it to the very end isn’t very likely, I feel it in my bones, but I would definitely be glad if it happens. If this turns out to be the case, I sense that Jorah could become the commander of Dany’s Queensguard, and follow Selmy’s footsteps in a way, remaining a fierce and skilled knight despite his old age. His entry in the White Book (if it still exists after the war) could be perhaps unmatchable, considering all his deeds in the name of his queen.
Keeping Bronn around has been one of the best decisions the showrunners have made. He went MIA in the novels (and it remains to be seen if he’s ever coming back, considering he’s settled down and is currently living large in his own castle) but the promises of riches and a fancy place to live haven’t materialized yet in the adaptation, so he has gone nowhere.
I’ve praised both Cunningham and Glen’s acting chops, and Flynn’s not getting any less. From the moment he showed up in the first season of Game of Thrones, he turned into a fan favorite. Bronn’s not afraid to speak his mind and has such a big sense of humor that it’s no surprise he became one of Tyrion’s best friends at the time. Jerome radiates charisma and has some killer comedic timing, but also knows how to turn his character into a serious threat. Despite his clownish attitude, we shouldn’t forget Bronn isn’t a good person but someone who would kill a baby for the right price, no questions asked.
Keeping it true to the nature of sellswords, Bronn’s loyalty doesn’t lie with people but with the money. He was Tyrion’s friend up to the moment the so-called “Imp” found himself in some deep shit, and Bronn had to choose between fighting the Mountain or marrying Lollys. Although he made some good points (“Aye, I’m your friend…and when have you ever risked your life for me?”), still the sellsword preferred to not risk it, even if it meant that Tyrion would die.
Then he trained and followed Jaime, facing even greater dangers than during his time with Tyrion. Just surviving the battle against Dany and saving Jaime from drowning should make him eligible for one of the biggest castles available. And yet, when Jaime departed to Winterfell, Bronn didn’t follow him. We don’t know if Jaime asked him to, but I’m assuming the son of “you wouldn’t know him” chose to end their partnership, as he said after Daenerys roasted them quite literally: “Dragons are where our partnership ends. I’m not gonna be around when those things start spitting fire on King’s Landing.”
Either that, or he decided to stay in the queen’s good graces, rather than go to the north to freeze, fight zombies and possibly part with the chance of ever getting a reward for his services. As we saw in the Season 7 finale (“The Dragon and the Wolf”), he was still in King’s Landing, helping Jaime to prepare everything for the political summit, debating about cocks and telling Tyrion that he’s just fine, looking after himself (hard to say if jokingly or not).
To me it’s clear that he doesn’t intend to follow Jaime, or we would have seen two horses riding to Winterfell instead of only one.
Despite not ever interacting with Cersei on-screen (and I’m not expecting that to change in the final season since Jerome Flynn and Lena Headey avoid each other on set for personal reasons), I think Bronn will be involved in preparing the defense of the city and will possibly fight alongside his fellow sellswords of the Golden Company when the time comes.
One of my predictions is that he’s going to fight (and possibly kill) Jorah Mormont, but there are other possible candidates, including Grey Worm, Beric Dondarrion and Tormund Giantsbane. Each one of them would probably give the sellsword a hard time, and any death would be really sad for the fans (especially if it’s Tormund), but there’s another fight that I think would be rather dramatic, and that is against Brienne and Pod.
Bronn doesn’t have a history with Brienne, so I don’t think he’d care much about fighting her, but Pod is one of his friends from the Tyrion days, and the squire’s loyalties lie with the Maid of Tarth.
As it happened with the fight against the Hound, this could be a rather epic combat, a “what if” situation that I don’t think would happen in the novels, but wouldn’t feel out of place in the screen adaptation. Honestly, I don’t think Brienne would lose the match, but Pod could very well bite it: Bronn could put his feelings aside and kill him to provoke Brienne or Podrick could suddenly intervene to take a hit meant for her. If the latter happens, Bronn could feel surprised or stunned, and an enraged Brienne could off him while he’s distracted.
A fight with Jaime is also possible, should he choose to remain in Dany’s side, but wouldn’t be much of a match. Bronn easily disarmed Jaime when they were training, so a fight using swords with an edge could easily go really bad for the Kingslayer. As Bronn himself said “If you fight with an edge blade, I’ll have to. And if I fight with an edge blade, I’ll have no one left to pay me.” (Season 4, Episode 2 “The Lion and the Rose”).
That said, Jaime could be lucky, or he could manage to whack his former partner’s face with his golden hand.
The boring (of sorts) but crowd-pleasing alternative to all the possible violent ends is that Bronn makes good on his promise of staying away, doesn’t get into any important conflict and makes it to the end unscathed, but that’s a bit doubtful in my opinion. He’s already been involved in some major battles, and he’s skipping the biggest one yet?
Bronn could also decide to help Tyrion and his friends, to make up for abandoning him to his fate in Season 3, though it would feel somewhat out of character for the sellsword to do something out of the kindness of his heart, if there’s any. Tyrion would have to make good on his promise of topping whatever Cersei’s offer is.
Nonetheless, if he lives to see the end of the Great War, I do hope he finally gets his long-desired castle. He may be an evil bastard with no conscience and no heart, but I’ll be damned if he isn’t one of the most memorable characters to come from the imagination of George R.R. Martin and brought to life so perfectly by the screenwriters and the performance of Jerome Flynn.
The way I see it, none of these three characters have a clear path ahead, and there’s a lot we can speculate about. They may be secondary players in the Game of Thrones, but all three have their share of passionate fans who no doubt are expecting a satisfying conclusion to their stories. If it depended on me, I would probably go easy on all of them, since I am a big softy and a part of me doesn’t want to see these characters meeting a cruel end. I certainly don’t envy the writers’ position of having to slay some of their darlings.
With only six episodes to go and a lot of ground to cover, it’s going to be hard for the writers to give each character a worthy sendoff. Osha and Jojen Reed, and even the Waif spring to mind when I think in disappointing deaths, and there are really divisive ones like Barristan or Stannis (which were very well made in my opinion), but the show hits the target more often than it misses.
And so we finish with another round of predictions, and we inch ever closer to the final season of Game of Thrones. It’s still months away from us, but time moves faster than it seems and soon we’ll see for ourselves how right (or how wrong!) we were in all of our theories.