The final season of Game of Thrones has taken over our Sunday nights, our Twitter feeds, and pretty much every other aspect of our waking lives. It only makes sense that some of that obsession might seep into our sleep. If you’ve been having dreams about Game of Thrones characters dying, you may fear your dreams are dark and full of spoilers. But hold your horses, Three-eyed Raven. There are some fairly rational explanations as to why you’re dreaming about your favorite characters getting offed.
In general, it’s not uncommon to have dreams about death. Whether that’s your brain processing a death that has already happened (RIP Lyanna Mormont) or the death of someone still living who you care about (Arya, you better not do me like that), a dream about death is not, scientifically speaking, any kind of omen or sign.
After last week’s “The Long Night” episode of Game of Thrones, trying to keep track of who’s died this season in Game of Thrones has become nearly impossible. The death toll is in the tens of thousands after the Night King’s army took out all the Dothraki army in on fell frozen swoop. (Unfortunately, there is no Dothraki word for “thank you” so I’ll just say, “ur a real one, Dothraki army.”)
Plus, we just saw the death of the show’s foremost Big Bad. (Sashay away, Night King.) To paraphrase Cersei, “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die or you dream about death because literally everyone is dying all the time.”
You’re Probably Just Bummed The End Is Near
Jeffrey Sumber, M.A., M.T.S., L.C.P.C., a psychotherapist and author in Chicago, spoke to HuffPost about the meaning of death dreams. Sumber said when you dream about death, in general, it could signify “the symbolic ending of something, whether that’s a phase, a job or a relationship.”
You’ve spend 70 episodes, 70+ hours, eight seasons, and over eight years watching these characters grow, learn, fight, having different faces, die, come back to life, and hopefully not die for real. That’s not counting the amount of time you may have spent reading the books, scouring the internet for fan theories, Googling family trees, and writing Brienne and Tormund fan fiction.
Something you’ve spent a lot of time thinking about is coming to an end. It’s natural for your brain to want to process that.
It Might Be Linked To Anxiety And Stress
Death, for obvious reasons, is a stressful, anxiety-inducing subject. In an interview with Mirror, dream expert Delphi Ellis explained, “Death dreams can be caused by anxiety, particularly if we have heard news of a passing or there is someone precious on our mind.” Maybe you just watched a particularly tense scene with Khaleesi passive-aggressively squinting and you felt that on an emotional level. If you’re feeling anxious and stressed, a dream may be your brain’s way of processing that.
Nightmares can be also reaction to stress. Perhaps worry about work is manifesting itself in nightmares about Arya and Nymeria dying. Your dreams about death say more about the quality of sleep you’re having than who is actually going to die before the season finale.
Maybe You’re Just Ready To Close This Chapter
Death dreams may reveal a desire to “terminate something in life,” according to a MentalFloss interview with Lauren Lawrence, host of Celebrity Nightmares Decoded and writer on dream analysis. Listen, Game of Thrones has been a long ass journey. We’ve braved Joffreys and Ramsays and lots of gratuitous boobs. It makes sense that your brain is exhausted and ready for something new. (Plus, the second seasons of Big Little Lies is starting soon and I only have so much mental capacity for prestige drama.)
To reiterate the obvious: as Sumber noted to HuffPost, a dream about someone dying “does not, however, suggest that [a person] will actually die imminently.” For that, you’ll just need to Google, “which Game of Thrones characters will probably die.”