From a story standpoint, among currently living characters, who do you think should still be alive at the end of the show and who should die by the end of the show? I’m just going to focus on characters who have a chance of dying because some characters are just going to live so why speculate. I mean Lyanna Mormont is a fan favorite whose death would destroy the internet. She’s not dying. Podrick Payne and Gilly can’t die because killing them off would be like killing off a kitten. Meera Reed is effectively written off the show so we’ll probably never see her again so again, no death. But here is how I rank who could possibly die with those I think should live at the top to those I think who should die at the bottom:
1. Tyrion Lannister: The most beloved character on the show should live. Killing him serves no story purpose other than to be shocking for the purpose of being shocking.
2. Jon Snow: He and Daenerys are probably closest to being the main characters of the story. He’s already died once, so another death isn’t very meaningful. The show could kill him off but I don't think it should.
3. Bran Stark: I can’t stand Bran post-season 3, so I’m loathe to say that he should live because thematically, the GOT universe needs a Three-Eyed Raven like the Marvel Universe needs Watchers.
4. Yara Greyjoy: A Greyjoy needs to survive the series, and Yara makes more sense from a story perspective to survive than Theon.
5. Tormund Giantsbane: He’s the only real face of the Wildling people and so should live.
6. and 7. Arya Stark and Sansa Stark: Thematically, it wouldn’t be that shocking if one of them died, but if you ever wanted to do a spinoff series with some of these current characters, these two would make sense to be in that series.
8. Brienne of Tarth: She’s gone through so much, she deserves to live.
9. Missandei: She’s one of my favorites so I don’t want her to die, but I could see the show killing her off after some Daenerys strategic mistake to push more hate onto Cersei.
10. Gendry: He’s the last Baratheon even though he’s a bastard. He doesn’t have enough fans that killing him off serves any real dramatic purpose.
11. Davos Seaworth: He potentially falls into the Lyana Mormont category of being too beloved to kill off, but his mortality is far more obvious. I think his death would feel cheap though, somehow too easy to milk.
12. Samwell Tarly: He’s highly unlikely to die, but there’s a chance. His death would be extremely shocking and dramatic, but in terms of his dramatic function, he shouldn’t die.
13. Bronn: Like Davos, his death would be powerful and painful, but somehow not fitting, but since he’s a warrior, not quite as manipulative.
14. Grey Worm: I don’t think he should die, but his death would be pretty powerful.
15. Cersei Lannister: She will almost certainly die, but I think it would be more emotionally resonant if she lives and Jaime dies indirectly by her hand. She would suffer more by knowing everyone in her family is dead except her hated Tyrion.
16. Theon Greyjoy: At this point, Theon has gone through so much suffering that killing him off wouldn’t be that big a deal, but he could die in a sacrifice that redeems himself more than he already has.
17. Daenerys Targaryen: The show is known for major characters dying. Of the really big ones remaining – Daenerys, Jon, Arya, Sansa, and Tyrion – Daenerys dying makes the most sense from a dramatic point of view – someone big dies before the Night King and Cersei are taken down. Jon’s already died, Tyrion and Sansa aren’t warriors and so aren’t so likely to be in a position to die, which leaves Daenerys and Arya. Between those two, Daenerys has more dramatic stakes in the main story.
18. Jaime Lannister: Jaime’s entire storyline is about finding the honor that alludes him. He could find it in a good death.
19. Melisandre: She’s already supposed to die by her own prophecy and it’d make sense given her responsibility for Shireen’s death, one of the most outrageous deaths in the series.
19. Varys: As Melisandre prophesied, he’s going to die. Might as well show it.
20. The Hound: Story-wise, it would make sense if he dies in the process of killing his brother, especially fighting at Arya’s side.
21. Jorah Mormont: His unrequited love has nowhere to go now that Daenerys and Jon are together and so his death will add to his tragic end.
22. The Mountain: He’s got to die. It’s a given. The main villain’s right-hand always has to buy the farm before the end of the story.