Spoilers for "Game of Thrones" Season 4, episode 8 "The Mountain and the Viper" are contained in this article.
The Red Viper is dead, and with him Tyrion Lannister's hopes of being proven innocent. Does this mean that the Imp will be the next beloved "Game of Thrones" character to die?
That's likely the biggest question viewers had coming out of Sunday, June 1's airing of "The Mountain and the Viper." Just don't hold your breath about getting an answer quickly. It will be surprising to find a resolution to that storyline in next week's "The Watchers on the Wall."
A trailer for Season 4, episode 9 only shows footage from the long-anticipated Wildling attack on the Wall. Since "Game of Thrones" brought back "Blackwater" director Neil Marshall for the episode, chances are the majority of the episode -- if not all of it -- will be focused on Castle Black, just like Season 2, episode 9 only showed the Battle of Blackwater.
Having Tyrion die in that episode would likely overload it. But is Tyrion's situation really hopeless? The majority of "Game of Thrones" characters who have died on the show have made huge mistakes that led to their demise. Ned Stark was too honorable, Khal Drogo was too proud, Robb Stark broke his vow, Joffrey Baratheon was too evil and Oberyn Martell was ruled by his passions.
Though Tyrion has made some mistakes -- not hiding his hatred for Joffrey for one, and not ending his relationship with Shae sooner for another -- none of them are as huge as the previously mentioned errors in judgment. Tyrion has always been one of the smartest characters on the show, and it's hard to imagine his wit failing him this time.
No characters on "Game of Thrones" have plot armor, though. In fact, every time you think a character is too important to die, author George R.R. Martin kills them off (watch out, Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow). It's better to think that everyone is in danger than think anyone is safe, or else you're essentially writing your favorite character a death sentence.
Still, the best "Game of Thrones" deaths are the ones everyone doesn't see coming. And "Game of Thrones" is definitely setting up Tyrion's death. That's why we have a good deal of hope that Tyrion Lannister will -- somehow -- make it out of Season 4 alive.
"Game of Thrones" has two episodes remaining of Season 4. The series airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.