Through the seasons, Game of Thrones has gripped us with a number of surprising, gory, satisfying, horrifying deaths. There’s a reason it’s rated 18, and it’s not just the sex scenes. So without further ado, and in preparation for the new season, we’ve listed our top deaths in reverse order.
First off, we have Ygritte’s heart-breaking death. We knew that these star-crossed lovers were never going to be together as long as Jon was still in the Night’s Watch, yet we couldn’t help but be surprised when Ygritte died. Maybe we expected she might die in the fight at The Wall, but nobody thought it would be little Ollie who would be the one to do it. That was certainly the first step on the road to hating that kid…
#6 – A Crown For A King
Less of a heart-breaker and more of a “hallelujah!” moment. We spent the entirety of season one watching Viserys abuse Danaerys mentally, physically, and sexually. He called her stupid, told her he would let all 40,000 of Drogo’s army rape her if it meant getting his crown, and we see in their first scene that he twisted her nipples, so we know he has probably done worse to Danaerys before. Any book readers out there will know that the night before her wedding to Khal Drogo, he tried to get into her room, and was only stopped from raping his sister by the guards Illyrio had placed at her door. Viserys was a nasty piece of work – vicious, delusional, entitled, whiny, every bit the son the The Mad King. When you hear his backstory and everything he had to do to keep himself and his sister safe and fed, you almost feel sorry for him, and then he whips out a sword, points it at his sister’s unborn child, and that feeling of pity is gone. It was a crown he wanted, and a crown he got. One of the most satisfying moments on season one was seeing this loser get what he deserved.
#5 – “I have only ever loved one woman, all my life… your sister”
Another really satisfying death was that of Catelyn Stark’s sister, Lysa Arryn. The crazy breast-feeding mother of 8-year-old Lord of the Vale, Robin, Lysa has a lonely existence. Following the loss of her husband and a number of miscarriages, it’s no wonder Lysa lost her mind. She became a hermit, isolating herself in her high castle in the mountains, paranoid, protective, and incredibly irritating. When Catelyn arrives in The Vale with prisoner Tyrion in tow, we meet and quickly come to dislike this annoying, irrational woman. So when she becomes jealous of Sansa and almost pushes her out of the Moon Door, she became all the more dislikeable. But that moment was so satisfying when Baelish softly tells her that he has only ever loved one woman all his life, and we see the joy on her face turn to horror as he confesses his love for her sister and pushes her out of the Moon Door. Yes, we were a little surprised that Baelish would actually do his own dirty work. But after threatening to push her own niece to her death for tempting her lover, we don’t really feel it’s totally unjust.
#4 – Jon Snow’s death?
While there are lots of disputes regarding whether Jon really dies in this scene, and whether that death was permanent (*cough* Jon has to die and be resurrected to satisfy the prophecy about Azor Ahai, The Prince That Was Promised, and save Westeros, *cough*), it is clear that this scene was a massive shock for fans everywhere. Nobody wanted the hot brooding hero to die, especially not after finally proving his loyalty to the Watch by leaving Ygritte and declining Stannis’ offer to be made Lord of Winterfell. And what made it worse, was the way they baited him with “news” of his sister to get him outside so that the little traitor Ollie and the rest of them could kill him. If we didn’t hate Ollie before, we do now. I, personally, am really looking forward to seeing what happens with Jon in the new season. Will he be resurrected by Melisandre, the way the Red Priest Thoros of Myr resurrected Beric Dondarrion in season 2? Will he just come back as a wight? Or maybe he will warg into Ghost as he dies, living on as a direwolf? I can’t wait to find out.
#3 – That one time a guy died because he monologued
For me, The Mountain and The Viper is one of my favourite scenes of the whole show. Modern TV and movies have taught us to expect vengeance to be obtained by the just, and Disney in particular has taught us to expect happy endings, but this scene is just another example of how different Game of Thrones is. We go into this scene really hopeful that Oberyn Martell will be able to have his revenge for the death of his sister, niece and nephew, and exonerate Tyrion at the same time. He certainly has plenty of confidence in his ability to do just that – which just filled us with dread. But as soon as Oberyn knocked the Mountain down, and put his poisoned spear through Clegane’s leg, I was relieved, my dread gone. I thought that Oberyn had a chance. And then he started monologuing. He just kept pacing, like a feral animal, and demanding the truth from Clegane over and over, and getting more and more bold and complacent, filling me with more and more dread. I doubt I was the only one sat there thinking “shut up Oberyn and just kill him!”. In the end, it was just Oberyn’s mind that was blown, ours were too (teehee).
One of the most iconic moments of the entire series was the first real moment where we realised that this show wasn’t like other shows. Again, this was a scene that showed us that we shouldn’t expect sunshine and rainbows and knights in shining armour riding off into the sunset with their beloved. We had all hoped that somehow, the honourable Starks would come out on top. We had hoped that Ned would bargain his way out without compromising his honour, and that he would reveal the Lannisters for what they are. But, it was only Joffrey that showed what he was, when he surprised us with Ned’s execution, single-handedly starting a war for the Iron Throne. It was one of the most shocking moments of the season, which made #1 on our list all the more satisfying.
#1 – Joffrey Lannister “Baratheon”
And the crowning glory, the best of all the deaths in the show, is the one that conformed to the mantra “what goes around, comes around”. After seasons of watching the incestuous bastard Joffrey parade around abusing people, shooting prostitutes, having his lackies beat innocent girls, and just generally being a vicious psychopath, finally we had a Disney moment when Joffrey was poisoned. I remember watching this scene and actually grinning, I was so pleased.
What was even better was that Sansa appears to have unwittingly transported the poison into the wedding – Ser Dontos’ necklace which was “missing” a gem after Lady Tyrell “adjusted” it for her. And then Lady Tyrell was sat right next to the happy couple and in reach of Joffrey’s cup right before he began to choke… Without even realising it, Sansa had her revenge. Sansa carried in the poison and Olenna slipped it into Joffrey’s drink, and nobody works it out, ever. The perfect crime, the perfect murder for the most hated character in the show… until maybe Ramsay. But maybe that’s something we still have to look forward to, perhaps?
So there you have it. Our top seven Game of Thrones deaths.
We also have a few honourable mentions:
- Sam growing a pair by killing a White Walker
- Tyrion killing Tywin on the loo with his own crossbow
- Arya pretending to be Meryn Trant’s child prostitute and then killing him
- Shireen Baratheon’s burning as a sacrifice for the Lord of Light
- Renly’s death by Melisandre’s smokey shadow baby
What did you think of Leah’s Top 7? Do you agree? Let us know @UCLanPluto or leave a comment below!