It also obviously contains spoilers for the Game of Thrones series finale, so read at your own risk.
Game of Thrones has come to an end after eight seasons. During its run, the HBO series developed a reputation for ruthlessly killing off a large number of characters. But in the end, close to three dozen named characters were left standing.
Some of these characters hadn’t been seen in many seasons, or only in flashbacks (we’re looking at you, Howland Reed), but since their deaths were never shown or discussed on screen we’re presuming them to be alive.
Keep reading for a look at all the named characters who technically survived all eight seasons of Game of Thrones.
Jon Snow’s story on “Game of Thrones” concluded with him back in the true North.
The only living descendant of both House Stark and Targaryen, Jon Snow left behind the Seven Kingdoms and went back beyond the Wall to live out his days with the Free Folk and his direwolf, Ghost.
Which means, of course, Ghost lives on too.
On the pilot episode of Game of Thrones, we met six total direwolf pups: Grey Wind, Lady, Summer, Nymeria, Shaggy Dog, and Ghost. All but two of the direwolves were killed off on the show.
We last saw Nymeria on the seventh season when the wolf pack surrounded Arya in the forest. At first, Arya wanted Nymeria to come to Winterfell with her. But she realised Nymeria was no longer a domesticated pet, just as Arya herself wasn’t a highborn young woman who played by the rules.
Tormund Giantsbane is a living legend among the wildlings.
Once an enemy of the Jon Snow and the Night’s Watch, Tormund ended his story on Game of Thrones as a heroic leader of the Free Folk.
Tyrion Lannister is the last of his great house and Hand of the King once more.
After serving both House Lannister and Targaryen, both to tragic consequence, Tyrion was named Hand of the King to Bran Stark.
Brandon Stark, also known as the Three-Eyed Raven, was crowned King of the Seven Kingdoms.
Now the most powerful living person in the world (that we know of), King Bran has greensight and skinchanging abilities, and was chosen as the new ruler of Westeros by the end of Game of Thrones.
Arya Stark set out to explore the world.
Back on the sixth season of Game of Thrones, Arya Stark told her new friend Lady Crane that she’d like to find out “what’s west of Westeros” some day. That wish came true when she lived until the very end, and set sail in the finale’s closing moments.
Sansa Stark was crowned the Queen in the North.
At the beginning of the series, Sansa wanted nothing more than to leave Winterfell and go be a lady in the royal court of King’s Landing. But by the finale, Sansa had risen to power in the North and reclaimed her family home. There must always be a Stark in Winterfell, after all.
Ser Brienne of Tarth took Jaime Lannister’s place as the commander of the Kingsguard.
Years after she stood by Jaime in the Red Keep and looked at the White Book (in which all the recorded deeds of kingsguard are kept), Ser Brienne of Tarth was named as head of the Kingsguard for Bran Stark.
Podrick Payne, Ser Brienne’s loyal squire, was made a knight of the Kingsguard as well.
Ever the hard worker and honorable young man, Podrick stayed by Brienne’s side in King’s Landing after they both survived the Battle of Winterfell. He’s now “Ser” Podrick, and stays close by Bran’s side.
Though Samwell Tarly never formally finished his training as a maester on the show, he is now serving King Bran.
Once a man of the Night’s Watch who dreamt of being a wizard and was mocked for being a self-named coward, Sam survived the whole series and lived out his days serving King Bran.
We can assume he and Gilly eventually married, but nonetheless they became a family.
Gilly survived to raise her two boys with Sam.
Gilly, Sam, little Sam, and their new baby are the only family on all of Game of Thrones who made it to the end without new death or tragedy plaguing their nuclear unit.
Sam’s mother, Melessa Tarly, also made it through to the end.
The whole Tarly family was introduced to the audience on the sixth season when Sam brought Gilly home to Horn Hill. Though his brother and father were executed by Daenerys on the seventh season, the Tarly women were spared.
Talla Tarly, Sam’s sweet little sister, also made it through to the end.
With Sam now living in the capital, Talla is the sole Tarly child left in Horn Hill.
Ser Bronn of the Blackwater miraculously outlived most other soldiers on the show and was made Lord of the Reach.
Bronn got his way, and was named Lord of Highgarden and the Reach, and Master of Coin to boot. Now he’ll serve under Tyrion Lannister in King’s Landing.
Lollys Stokeworth was once engaged to Bronn, but now she’s likely living out her days in Westeros with another man.
Cersei bribed Bronn away from Tyrion at the end of the fourth season by promising him a marriage to a highborn girl, Lollys Stokeworth. But then Jaime turned up and dragged Bronn away on a mission to Dorne. So Lollys was left unmarried, but also out of harm’s way for the rest of the series.
Lord Robin Arryn of the Vale sat out the show’s multiple battles, but returned to help name Bran the King.
The young Lord Arryn was a sickly boy when we first met him, and he never got the hang of sword fighting. He was off screen for most of the sixth season and the entirety of the seventh, only returning for a closing part of the series finale.
Lord Yohn Royce will live out his days serving House Arryn and the North.
When young Lord Arryn was clearly too inexperienced to truly rule the Vale, Littlefinger put Yohn Royce in charge of helping the boy.
Ser Davos Seaworth is perhaps the luckiest survivor of them all.
The Onion Knight, who had little skill with a sword, survived the Battle of the Blackwater, the Battle of the Bastards, the Battle of Winterfell, and the sack of King’s Landing. Now he’s Master of Ships and serving under King Bran.
Grey Worm sailed off to the Isle of Naath, to fulfill his promise to Missandei.
Before she was killed, Grey Worm told Missandei he and the Unsullied would help protect her people (since they are a peaceful society who don’t wage war). Based on his last scene, it seems as if Grey Worm will keep the promise.
Drogon is the last living dragon in the world.
The birth of Daenerys’ three dragons on the first season finale marked one of the biggest re-introductions of magic to Westeros. But her tragic downfall came with a heavy price, and now Drogon is the last dragon (though we don’t know where he went).
Yara Greyjoy is the last of her great house.
Like many of the former ruling houses of Westeros, the Greyjoys were all but extinguished. Yara remains as the sole Greyjoy, ruling the Iron Islands now that her brother, uncle, and father are all dead.
Gendry Baratheon is part of the next generation of leaders in Westeros.
Before her death, Daenerys Targaryen legitimised Gendry and named him Lord of Storm’s End. Now he’ll help rule the Seven Kingdoms as he oversees the Stormlands.
Meera Reed told Bran she needed to be with her family, and we never saw her again.
Back on the seventh season, Meera brought Bran to Winterfell and then left to go be with her father in their home in the Neck (the southernmost part of the North). Since we never saw her again, we’re going to assume the Reeds survived the season eight wars.
Which means Howland Reed, Ned Stark’s best friend, is still alive.
We only ever saw Howland in a flashback, when Bran Stark had a vision of Ned and his friend going to the Tower of Joy and finding Lyanna Stark in her bed of blood. It’s safe to assume Howland knew the truth about Jon Snow’s parentage all along. But as an adult, he never turned up to speak with any of his dead best friend’s children.
There was a man present at the Dragonpit on the finale who we thought might be Howland, but he never spoke at that important meeting so it’s hard to be sure.
Edmure Tully is also the last surviving member of his house.
Before the series finale, Edmure Tully was last seen on the sixth season, when he was brought back to the Twins and imprisoned by the Freys once again. But when Arya Stark turned up on the seventh season premiere to kill all of the Frey men, no mention of her uncle was made.
He turned up at the Dragonpit for the council of lords, though, so we know he got out of there somehow.
Cersei promised to keep Ellaria Sand alive in her dungeons.
On the seventh season, after Ellaria and her daughter Tyene were captured, Cersei chained them both in the dungeons of the Red Keep and poisoned Tyene. She then said Ellaria would be kept alive, forced to watch her daughter’s body slowly rotting.
Did Ellaria survive Daenerys’ attack on the castle? We never saw Ellaria again, so in our minds she’s technically still alive.
The same case happened with Septa Unella.
Cersei also told Septa Unella, on the sixth season finale, that she wouldn’t be dying soon. Instead, the Mountain was brought in to torment her. We never heard from Septa Unella again, which means there’s a chance she’s still alive, too.
Archmaester Ebrose sat out the conflicts of the realm entirely.
We never saw the archmaester again after Sam left Oldtown on the sixth season finale, though Sam mentioned him when we saw the book, “A Song of Ice and Fire,” at the small council meeting.
Ebrose had dismissed Sam’s concerns about the threat of the White Walkers, believing the realm would survive. He was right, in his own warped way, even if he was unhelpful.
There is a real-life reason why Ser Ilyn Payne was cut from the show, even though he never died.
Wilko Johnson played royal executioner Ser Ilyn Payne for the first two seasons of Game of Thrones, but he was diagnosed with cancer and chose to step back from the show. (This is partly why Bronn was given a larger story line starting with the fourth season.)
Johnson’s cancer went into remission in 2014, but Ser Ilyn remained off screen for the rest of the series and therefore technically survived the whole show.
Across the Narrow Sea, Daario Naharis is presumably alive and overseeing the Bay of Dragons.
Daenerys left Daario in Meereen on the sixth season finale, telling him he had to keep the peace of a newly freed city. We never heard from him again, so hopefully Daario was able to keep slavery from coming back to this part of Essos.
Jaqen H’ghar is still in Braavos among the Faceless Men.
Jaqen gave Arya Stark a smile when she departed from the House of Black and White on the sixth season finale, and we never saw him again. Jaqen was a big part of Arya Stark’s training to become the deadly assassin we saw on the eighth season, even if she never used her Faceless Man magic again.
Tyncho Nestoris lost the Iron Bank some money when he lent out funds to Cersei, but at least he’s still alive.
We last saw Tycho on the seventh season, when Cersei negotiated a new loan between the Crown and the Iron Bank. Cersei had used the money reaped from Highgarden to pay back her existing debt, but then borrowed more money in order to hire the Golden Company.
Tycho was never seen again, but it’s likely the Iron Bank had to just take the loss when Cersei and the Golden Company were destroyed by Daenerys Targaryen’s armies.
Illyrio Mopatis was one of the original schemers on the series.
First introduced on the pilot of the series, Illyrio was one of the men working with Varys to bring Viserys Targaryen to power. When that plan failed, they instead focused on Daenerys. Illyrio was mentioned on the fifth season premiere when Varys was speaking with Tyrion, but we never saw him again.
Kinvara, the high priestess of R’hllor, is presumably still leading her religious followers in Essos.
Varys and Tyrion met Kinvara on the sixth season of Game of Thrones when she came to Meereen. She told them Daenerys Targaryen was the prophesied hero who would vanquish darkness and purge non-believers.
We never heard from her again, but with the Night King defeated and Daenerys dead, the Lord of Light’s followers might be back to square one in Essos.
Salladhor Saan was brought back to Stannis Baratheon’s cause, but we never saw his fate.
Ser Davos recruited Salladhor back into Stannis‘ army before they went to the Wall to help the Night’s Watch, but he was never heard from again. Perhaps he snuck away on one of his ships once more. Either way, the pirate technically never died on the series.
Hot Pie is still cooking up delicious pastries at the Inn at the Crossroads.
Hot Pie was Gendry and Arya’s loyal friend for seasons two and three of the show. We last saw him on the seventh season, when Arya indulged in one of his signature pies at the inn where he works.
In our minds, Arya will visit the Inn of the Crossroads from time to time and reminisce with Hot Pie about their tumultuous childhoods.