Back when "Lost" was on the air, showrunners Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse promised fans that one character would definitely make it out of the series alive: Vincent the dog.
George R.R. Martin, the mastermind behind "A Song of Ice and Fire" and HBO's subsequent "Game of Thrones," will make no such promises. In his world, the animal sidekick isn't safe; it gets its head lopped off and sewn onto its master's corpse.
So when we caught up with Martin in New York this week, where he was promoting his new book "The World of Ice and Fire," we weren't shocked to learn that there isn't a single character in the "Thrones" universe whose safety he'll guarantee.
"I'm not going to make any guarantees," he said. "There are people who make it out of this book alive, certainly, but I'm not going to tell you who that is."
Martin's lips are sealed not just because he wants to keep readers on the edge of their seats, but also because in some cases, characters' fates remain undetermined; after all, Martin still has two novels left to write.
"Most of the major characters, I know where they're going. I know who is going to live and who is going to die and where they're going to be at the end of the book — the major characters," he said. "Some of the minor characters I don't know that. I'll discover that in the writing. But even with the major characters, I reserve the right to change my mind."
Martin added that in some cases, characters who are alive and thriving in the books won't enjoy the same fate on the "Game of Thrones" show.
"[Showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss] have already killed a number of characters in the show who are still alive in the books," he said. "Even if your favorite character is alive and healthy in the books, there's no guarantee that they're going to make it out of the next season of the TV show."
Which "Game of Thrones" characters will die next?