With a huge cast and complex storylines—not to mention plenty of grisly deaths–’Game of Thrones’ is a natural for betting. The obvious questions are ‘who’s next to die’ and ‘how will they die’ but the show has an almost limitless array of narrative components well suited to setting odds and taking sports betting prop bets.
We asked 10,000 U.S. Game of Thrones fans on Facebook, Who would be the first character to die in Season 7?
The results may surprise you.
|Brienne of Tarth||446||4.46||+7500|
Method of First On-Screen Death in Season 7?
White Walker: +150
Sword/Axe (Not Beheading): +200
Arrow/Crossbow Bolt: +250
Burnt by Fire: +450
Any Magic: +750
Sacrificed (Lord of Light): +950
Hired Assassin: +1750
Thrown through the Moon Door: +2500
Trial by Combat: +3500
Head Crushed: +7500
Buried in Books of the Citadel: +7500Arya Stark’s First Kill in Season 7?
Thoros of Myr: +210
Beric Dondarrion: +300
Ilyn Payne: +450
Cersei Lannister: +750
Gregor The Mountain Clegane: +1500
Sandor The Hound Clegane: +2100
Religion of the Final Ruler of the 7 Kingdoms?
The Faith of the Seven: +250
Lord of Light: +350
Old Gods of the Forest: +450
The Many Faced God of Death: +950
Great Stallion: +2750
The Drowned God: +2750
Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 1 US viewership (per Nielsen Ratings)?
Over 8 million: -150
Under 8 million: +120
Will Game of Thrones Episode 1 draw more US viewers than the Season 6 Finale (8.9 million)?
It’s not the first TV series to attract betting attention. The notion of betting on a TV show plotline begin several decades ago and focused not on who would be killed, but who pulled the trigger. In the summer of 1980 the dominant question among pop culture aficionados was ‘Who shot J.R. Ewing?’ on the hit TV series ‘Dallas’. The villainous Texas oilman played by Larry Hagman ‘took a bullet’ from an unknown assailant in the final episode of the season leaving both his condition—and the identity of the shooter—up in the air until the start of the following season.
Out in Las Vegas at the nondescript but highly influential Castaways sportsbook a bookmaking legend named Sonny Reizner decided to hang some odds on the ‘Dallas’ cliffhanger. He posted odds on every character that would have a reason to shoot J.R. (which was most of them). He also set numbers on ‘real people’ including then-Dallas Cowboys’ head coach Tom Landry as +50000 (500 to 1) long shot and even J.R. himself (+1500 or 15 to 1).
Setting odds on unusual betting propositions was a Reizner trademark. He was always putting up lines on a wide range of topics from elections to where comet Kohoutek would land. The ‘Who Shot J.R’ prop created an international media frenzy. It also caught the attention of Nevada’s Gaming Control Board who put an end to the fun and ordered that the line taken down and all bets refunded. After that, gambling regulations were amended to specified that licensed sportsbooks in the ‘Silver State’ could only take action on sporting events.
With the advent of the Internet and online betting sites, Reizner’s brainchild was reborn. ‘Novelty props’ have always been popular in the legal bookmaking shops of Great Britain and the digital revolution brought this type of wager to a worldwide audience. The first popular TV show for betting was ‘The Sopranos’ which lent itself to the same ‘next to be killed’ dynamic but without the numerous cast members and highly involved motivations for murder offered by ‘Game of Thrones’.