The Battle of Winterfell was gruesome and fans knew many, many beloved characters faced certain death going into the episode. But the final ranking of Game of Thrones players after the Battle of Winterfell was pretty surprising, with plenty of twists in the 80-minute episode. From whole armies sacrificing themselves for the mission at hand to Jon and Dany just not doing very much, the Battle of Winterfell turned out an impressive group of unsuspecting heroes. Plus in Jon and Dany's defense, they didn't know dragon fire would be completely useless in taking out the Night King.
The final main character death count claimed Dolorous Edd, Lyanna Mormont, Beric Dondarrion, Theon Greyjoy, Jorah Mormont, and Melisandre, almost all of whom played a key role in moving the plot forward to its ultimate end point, with Arya Stark killing the Night King. Showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss revealed in HBO's "Inside the Episode" vignette that writers have known Arya — not Jon — would be the one to kill the Night King for about three years now. It was a surprise for Arya to be the one to finish Jon's war, of course, but that's how the Game of Thrones works. Here's a non-exhaustive ranking of the MVPs in the Battle of Winterfell, from those who played the biggest part to those who sacrificed themselves for the heroes.