As fans of HBO's world renowned Game of Thrones TV series prepare for the highly anticipated Season 6 premier Sunday 24 April, Paddy Power Sports has opened a Game of Thrones market involving who punters suspect to be the first character killed off this season.
This might seem like a bit of a morbid market considering its purpose is to predict a death, albeit a cinematic one, it's still a bit odd. But fans of Game of Thrones, or GoT, fully understand the prevalence of this market as killing off fan-favourite characters is a trademark of the show and the center of most off season discussions.
Paddy Power Sports has always been on the cusp of specials betting or betting on events outside sports. They continuously find valued specials markets for punters to enjoy in between their tense sports betting. Just last week, Paddy Power opened an outright winner market for the newest season of Britain's Got Talent, a massively gambled event some sports-only punters might not have considered.
So basically, it comes as no surprise one of the world leaders in specials betting is looking to capitalize on the most worshiped TV series on air right now. Like other major non-sports events, Paddy Power is willing to offer a punt on whatever the people are willing to place a punt on, including which favourite character of their's is headed for a gruesome demise.
HBO's Game of Thrones TV series is an adaptation of George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire book series. Due to the nature of the books (at least the first few) coming out ahead of the movies, readers of the book series have always had a leg up on the TV-only fans...until now.
The creators of the TV series have long claimed they planned to deviate from the books in certain aspects to ensure the content for TV is unique and not just a direct translation of the books. Fortunately for the readers, this didn't mean much in the first 4 seasons as the story generally followed along with the books meaning they continued their leg up in terms of knowing what's next.
Then Season 5, which premiered in 2015, touted new story and plot lines not before seen in the books and confirmed as a divergence from the original novels. This sent GoT fans into a whirlwind of emotion. Do they prefer the new to the old? Is it ok to change a story for TV? WHAT'S NEXT!?!
Needless to say the hysteria of the shows growing prominence combined with it's divergence from the original books and the juicy storylines expected to unfold in the 6th season - did we mentioned the whole Jon Snow dead or alive thing? - has GoT fans pretty excited about Sunday.
Before we go on, we'd like to warn potential GoT fanatics that this preview could technically provide some minor spoilers in the sense experts are giving informed odds on who they think will die meaning there is AT LEAST some foundation in the ones listed atop the market.
Anyway, the 'First Character To Die In Series 6' market offered at Paddy Power has only been open for a bit but has had some pretty serious fluctuation since its opening. The initial launch of the market saw the budding star, the High Sparrow, sitting atop the list as favourite to reach his demise first. This came as no surprise considering he is one of two masterminds behind the imprisonment and shaming of the current king's mother and all around terrifying woman, Cersei Lannister.
But as of writing, though the experts might believe he is sure to go, the High Sparrow might not be first. The High Sparrow dropped outside the top 5 favourites and now sits currently listed at 12/1 odds to die first, a sound bet if you think Cersei's revenge will be swift.
The current favourite to exit the show next is the lovable-but-now-hated Olly, currently listed at 5/1, tied with Lancel Lannister, the strongarm of the High Sparrow and former Lannister noble. Lancel has widely been hated by fans since his start on the show and it's unlikely anyone will be surprised to see him go but Olly was once a budding star on the show but found less favor after ending Season 5 with the stabbing of his leader and mentor and all around favourite character Jon Snow.
If you think HBO and the show's creators are just as mad at Olly as you are, then it's no wonder he's the favoruite but if you are familiar with the twists and turns of GoT, it won't be surprising to see come Sunday some random character dies first. Be sure to consider characters like say Brienne of Tarth - listed at 10/1 - Season 5 ended with her murdering one of the "kings" claiming rights to the throne and will sure be on the look out for revenge from his loyal followers.
For all your Game of Thrones betting needs leading up to the big Sunday premier, check out Paddy Power Sports now!