If there is one thing any Game of Thrones fan knows, it is to not get too attached to any character on the show. For some reason George R.R. Martin gets his kicks from killing any character the audience holds close or dear, repeatedly and unexpectedly, so it can be hard to be a fan. Recently, I was thinking about his talent for destroying fictional characters I like, and I thought to myself, “why can’t I do that?” As a medical student, I quite literally spend my entire day learning of the myriad of ways that people die. It doesn’t look so hard: One enzyme here, one substance there, genetics, bad lifestyle, bam – dead. Because of this, I decided I would beat George R.R. Martin at his own game and kill his fictional characters by plausible means.
1. Jon Snow- Hypothermia
I simply have no idea how this guy walks around the cold lands without getting frostbite. I get it, he wears a ton of Bear fur, however, even bears hibernate in the winter because living in the cold sucks. Moreover, looking at the landscape, the cold he experiences isn’t just Michigan “Golly gee it’s cold”, it’s Russia, “My tears are freezing to my face!” cold. Forget about “wildlings”, this guy is one poorly timed nap away from getting killed.
2. Jaime Lannister- Sepsis
In one episode, Jamie Lannister gets his hand cut off and is then given the most rudimentary medical treatment (e.g. dirty cotton and rope) and boom, he’s good. That’s absurd. Even after the guy survives the shock of losing his hand, this guy’s stump of an arm is just a step away from a petri dish in terms of its ability to grow bacteria. This only gets worse as it becomes clear that nobody is changing his dressings, as the cotton that surrounds his hand gets progressively browner, and as he is repeatedly shoved in the mud. How he hasn’t died, much less had the rest of his arm succumb to gangrene, is about as believable as dragons.
3. Samwell Tarly- CHF
If this guy gets pain in his chest that radiates down his left arm, I told you so.
4. Tyrion Lannister- Liver failure and/or Syphillis
Ah yes, the debutante with a heart of gold. Unfortunately, drinking obscene amounts of alcohol while having unprotected sex with a variety of prostitutes in multiple towns is a recipe for disaster. The fact that he is not as yellow as an oompa-loompa while losing his vibratory senses is beyond me. Hopefully magic is as effective as penicillin or else he’s a goner (penicillicus G!… wait, wrong universe).
5. Tywin Lannister- Prostate Cancer
Tywin needs to take some time off from leading armies, shadow controlling the kingdom, and being a general bosshog, and get himself a prostate exam. He’s not the spry old man he used to be. He’s starting to lose his spunk for leading armies to slaughter innocent villagers and conquering other fiefdoms. I’m just saying that I wouldn’t be surprised if Tywin Lannister is going to the bathroom for prolonged periods of time in season 4.
6. Theon Greyjoy- … you know why.
7. Daenerys Targaryan- Pregnancy
Surprise. It turns out that for a young, healthy, fertile woman in medieval times, pregnancy was one of the most dangerous things she could do. Let’s not forget her last pregnancy was delivered in a dirty tent in the desert. Infection, hemorrhage, placenta previa etc.; the list of complications that can occur during this time is massive, and last time I checked none of their treatments include included dragons or witch doctors.
8. Joffrey Barothean- Karma
Okay, okay, karma isn’t actually a disease, and this is obviously outside of my medical expertise, but come on. This kid has it coming.