Bastardbowl 2016: I may be embarrassing myself just a bit.

Are Watchers and Winter trying to compete to see who can give us the heaviest spoilers? Because this latest news from Watchers is really quite impressive. Here we go!

You know that big Northern battle everyone’s been talking about? It keeps coming up in the news. For a little while we were told to call it the “Battle of Six Armies,” but then more recently we heard that the production is actually calling it “the Battle of the Bastards.” JON SNOW TOTALLY RIPS OUT RAMSAY BOLTON’S GUTS WITH A RUSTY SPEAR, EVERYONE. You heard it first from me!

*ahem*

We can confirm that Sansa Stark will be there, and that Sophie Turner was seen filming alongside the battlefield. The battlefield has a few Starks, actually, if you count Jon.

Stark reunion! Yes! I hope it’s bigger than Sansa and Jon, but we WILL be seeing at least a little bit of the Stark kids finding each other!

Contrary to some rumors, our source did not see any White Walker performers filming or any sign that there would be White White action in the battle.

Humans only. Except for one thing, a bit later…

The battle will have real casualties and we’ll be saying goodbye to some characters.

Ramsay Bolton will be displaying at least two bodies upside down on X-crosses, burning during battle. They are known characters.

You know what that means.

I need to work on my Death List some more. Now everyone’s talking about who the casualties may be.

There will be more giant action- we mean an actual giant. Possibly Wun Wun, but who can tell when he’s not on set! Attack scenes involving a giant (that wasn’t there, of course) were filmed. The good old ball-on-the-stick was standing in for the giant on set.

Humans only, EXCEPT for at least one giant. Oh, boy!

Now, of course, we get to figure out which known faces are among the body count of the Battle of the Bastards. The comment thread on the Watchers post is already well over 400. And the discussion is mostly about who lives and who dies. You know I’m going to join in the fun, yes?

Rather than list all the characters I think may die, I will instead talk about which ones I think are least likely to die, among all the names currently coming up in discussion. This is where I might embarrass myself, because I’ve already had bad experiences in making negative predictions. In this case, though, they’re not really negative predictions, because I have other ideas of what’ll happen to them.

Here are the characters that I think will NOT die in the Battle of the Bastards.
Jon Snow. He’s already died once and come back. He’ll live to talk about the battle.
Sansa. No, Sansa will not be among the casualties. Sansa is on my list of characters most likely to survive the series, and how do I explain why? No matter what else she may be, Sansa is most notable as a survivor. She knows how to make compromises, recognize her limitations and choose her battles, and that is how she lived long enough to grieve her parents and brother. But then there was that jump off the castle wall with Theon, and how do I explain that? Her escape via suicide attempt was about survival of identity. She said to Myranda: “If I’m going to die, let it happen while there’s still some of me left.” IOW, she wouldn’t let Ramsay do to her as he’d done to Theon. Ramsay wouldn’t have killed her right off, but he would have destroyed the person she was. There’s more than one kind of death, and the situation facing Sansa was that one death or other was inevitable, so she held hands with Theon and chose the death that would allow her to be remembered as Ned Stark’s daughter rather than Ramsay Bolton’s creature.
Barring extenuating circumstances like that, though? Sansa is mainly focused on keeping herself alive, and she knows how to do it. She’ll be well-protected at the site of that battle.
Melisandre. She said to Stannis: “I have seen myself walking along the battlements of Winterfell.” I suspect that’ll be after the battle that puts Winterfell back under the control of the Starks, not before. If Melisandre dies—and I won’t shed any tears for her—it’ll be later.
Stannis. No, we will not see Stannis among the casualties in this battle, because Stannis is already dead. Yes, he is really dead. Brienne gave him a quick death. Maybe not a very neat death, but she didn’t let him linger.
We won’t see Selyse’s dead body on the battlefield, either. If Stannis’s soldiers didn’t get her body properly disposed of after she was found hanging, her corpse has become too decomposed to use for Ramsay’s purposes.
Brienne. She’s also on my list of characters likely to see the end of the series, and not just because I love her like the sister I always wanted. Besides, she won’t be anywhere near the site of this battle. She could be heading north again at this point, but she won’t make it that far before the battle takes place.
Podrick. I know I’ve argued for the possibility of Podrick dying this season, but if he does, it won’t be in a Northern battle, it’ll be in some Riverlands bullshit. Either way, he won’t make it that far north any sooner than Brienne.
Arya. Also not close enough to be killed in this battle. The rumors we have on Arya is that she returns to the Riverlands, and from the filming info we have, that’ll take place in Ep8 at the earliest. I’m open to her making her way north as quick as she can, but if she reaches her siblings, it’ll be post-battle.
Jaime. Another one on my list of characters who’ll live to see the end. Also nowhere near the site of battle in Ep9. I’m open to him and Brienne heading north together after they leave Riverrun, assuming that storm-out-of-the-tent scene isn’t the last they see of each other for the season, but they won’t be present for the big battle. The siege of Riverrun will meet Jaime’s battle quota for the season. If he and Brienne get far north enough to interact with the Starks, it’ll be Ep10.
Littlefinger. I certainly won’t shed any tears for him, either, but the Northern battle simply doesn’t seem like a thematically appropriate setting for his death. For one, he’s clever enough to keep himself out of the way of a battle. If he dies, I think he’ll get a more Tywin-like death. It’ll be in a moment of vulnerability, when most men reasonably expect not to be attacked, and he’ll be killed by someone he thought he could control. I’m open to Sansa killing him, but if so, she’ll be sneaky about it. Come to think of it, I’m open to Sansa killing him while the battle rages on. But in that case, they’d be safely indoors and out of the way of the fighting.
Robert Arryn. Who would be so foolish as to bring that defenseless boy anywhere near a battle? If he dies (which is entirely likely), it’ll be from natural causes. He’s never been a healthy boy.

More ideas coming right up!