Game of Thrones didn't used to end on cliffhangers. That wasn't their thing. Back in the early seasons of the show, all the big moments happened in the penultimate episode, and the finale was more of a reset. Then Season 5 happened, with Jon Snow's maybe-death, and everything changed. Season 6 didn't end on a cliffhanger, thankfully, preferring to go with a "Season 4 sailing across the Narrow Sea ending." But this year, the show has gone back, leaving us asking: iIs Beric alive on Game of Thrones?
The irony is, Game of Thrones has made a big deal about characters dying on camera -- if you didn't see it, it didn't happen. So when there are scenes where actors die, but not on camera (Stannis comes to mind) fans think it's a fake out. (Heck, I saw death pools that wouldn't mark Ellaria and Tyene Sand dead, because it didn't happen on camera -- even after the actresses both insisted they were.)
So, although one would think there was no way either Tormund or Beric would survive the destruction of Eastwatch-By-The-Sea (the entire castle fell down), the lack of seeing them plummet means fans think they're still alive. Especially when the scene is cut so that it looks like the Wall fell away...just up to where they were standing, but no further. (About the 4:10 mark in the video below.)
So did Beric and Tormund die? In a new interview, Richard Dormer, the actor who plays Beric, insists he can't answer that.
Well now, that is the question and I'm not allowed to say – that's not a yes or a no... I think it would be a pretty uncool death for both those characters if they did die in the wall. You would expect something a bit more dramatic or to at least see them die.
Here's the thing. If his character was dead... he wouldn't be saying that, nor would he be speaking in that publication. When characters die -- yes even Jon Snow at the end of Season 5 -- they all go to one place: Entertainment Weekly, which has been HBO and the production's publication of choice for all official interviews since the show began.
When Littlefinger died in the finale, Aidan Gillen went to EW and he gave an interview talking about how his time on the show was over. When Ellaria and Tyene were left for dead, they went on EW and confirmed their characters died, just off screen. Every character who dies goes through this process. Neither the actor who plays Tormund, Kristofer Hivju, nor Richard Dormer have done this.
Instead, they are in other publications saying they can't tell us, or, as Hivju said to The Hollywood Reporter recently "They don't know" until they get next year's script. Does that really sound like a pair of actors whose time on the show has come to an end?
Besides, Beric gave us a big old hint about his fate in just the episode prior. Talking to Jon Snow, he insisted that no one knew why the Red God brought him back six times, or Jon Snow the one. That is, until the moment he saw the Night King. Then it all clicked.
In order to defeat the Army of the Dead, they had to cut off the head. That is why he's alive. That's why Jon is alive. The Red God did not save Beric Dondarrion six times for him to tumble to his death from the top of the Wall. Nor did he bring Beric back to be turned into part of the zombie army.
Whatever it is that the Red God wants from Beric, it hasn't happened yet. He's going to keep living until it does, in Season 8.