SPOILER ALERT: The world of Westeros is a dangerous place (Essos isn't much better, for that matter). Not even the most popular characters on HBO's Game of Thrones are safe and, of course, winter is still coming. Here is an up-to-date list of the major deaths, murders, dismemberments and general blood-letting that the TV show version of Game of Thrones has to offer.
Ship outside of Sunspear
Just when Jaime finally gets a chance to shed some light on a dark secret, his daughter is ripped from his grasp by the vengeful poison of Oberyn Martell’s embittered lover, Ellaria Sand. Renewing the hatred between the Martells and the Lannisters, Myrcella’s death looks to be a powder keg that could lead to war.
The insidious Meryn Trant’s story ends in misery as Arya catches up with him at a brothel in Braavos. Even though Arya was supposed to give up her former life, she can’t resist the urge to delve into a little revenge and a chance to cross a name off her list.
Outside of Winterfell
Stannis’ bid for the throne ends in total defeat after Melisandre abandons his cause and his men are routed on the doorstep of Winterfell. Though Brienne has some work left to do with Oathkeeper, she gets a chance to avenge Renly’s death while finishing off Stannis, leaving the North appears to be firmly in the hands of the Boltons.
The Night's Watch
A Shakespearean climax to season five ends with the brothers of the Night’s Watch turning on Lord Commander Jon Snow, with young Olly playing the Brutus to Jon’s Julius Caesar. Though the rumors are running wild about just how dead Jon Snow actually is, the scene still plays out as one of the most brutal betrayals in Game of Thrones history.
Hizdahr zo Loraq
Sons of the Harpy
Just when we thought Daenerys was ready to stabilize her control of Meereen, her political alliance with Hizdahr zo Loraq goes up in smoke when the Sons of the Harpy ruin the reopening of the fighting pits and murder Dany’s betrothed. With Dany’s plans getting foiled and Hizdahr not able to control the Sons of the Harpy, chaos again reigns supreme in Meereen.
Princess Shireen Baratheon
Melisandre, King Stannis
On the road to Winterfell
Burned at the stake
In one of the most brutal deaths in Game of Thrones history, Princess Shireen ends up on the losing end of Melisandre’s obsession with making sacrifices to the Red God, leaving Stannis chasing his ambition deep into the dark side.
Ser Barristan Selmy
Sons of the Harpy
After spending seasons with a sheathed sword, Ser Barristan the Bold finally gets a chance to get into the action and showcase why he was one of the most feared knights in Westeros, seemingly saving Grey Worm in the process. But while slicing through a horde of Sons of the Harpy, Barristan falls before getting a chance to see another Targaryen on the throne, leaving Queen Daenerys in a tough spot after a major blow to her main forces.
Castle Black, The Wall
Newly ascended Lord Commander Jon Snow at last gets a chance to follow in his father’s footsteps, shortening the loathsome Janos Slynt by a head to point out just who is in charge at Castle Black. Though he doesn’t even know that he was executing the man who betrayed poor Eddard, Jon’s conversion into the hard-nosed new commander of the Night’s Watch comes with a bit of ironic justice that happens all too seldom in Westeros.
Castle Black, The Wall
Determined to burn alive rather than bend a knee to Stannis, Mance Rayder appears all set to give in to the flames when he suddenly gets taken out by a merciful arrow, adding Jon Snow to the list of kingslayers in Westeros by a technicality. Potentially taking a page from Daniel Day-Lewis in “The Last of the Mohicans,” Jon Snow’s boldest move to date closes out the reign of the King Beyond the Wall with a challenge to Melisandre’s Lord of Light.
Tower of the Hand, King’s Landing
The most powerful man in Westeros goes down in a heap of inglory, shot to death by the crossbow of his own son in the privy. After creating a fearsome reputation built upon cunning and force, Tywin ends up undone by the very urges he despised in Tyrion, leaving the world to wonder whether he actually did fill his chamber pot with gold.
Ygritte, Grenn and Pyp
A young archer, giants, random wildlings
Arrows, a furious giant
Ygritte once again teaches Jon Snow that he knows nothing when she gets taken out in the battle between Mance Rayder’s forces and the Night’s Watch. The loveable dimwits Pip and Grenn also fall while Janos Slynt shows his true colors and Jon takes a leadership role amidst the chaos.
Prince Oberyn Martell
The Mountain, Gregor Clegane
After putting on a show by taking down the Mountain in public trial by combat, Prince Oberyn’s patented hubris costs him his life in a brutal reversal of fortune. With a stunned Tyrion quickly given a death sentence, Oberyn’s demise ranks as one of the most shocking moments in the series and added another disturbing chapter to the Mountain’s infamous legacy.
Fall through the Moon Door
Sending his childhood love plummeting to her death, Littlefinger swiftly takes control of the Eyrie and silences the only other person who knows the truth about the murder of Jon Arryn. If there was any doubt left about Littlefinger’s nature, it fell right through the Moon Door along with Lysa and gave Sansa a little push towards the dark side.
Jon Snow, Hodor
Sword fight; snapped neck
In a rare bit of justice, the legend of Gin Alley gets a sword through the back of the head from Jon Snow as the Night’s Watch retakes Craster’s Keep. Meanwhile, Bran wargs into Hodor and promptly snaps the neck of the nefarious Locke, narrowly avoiding a meeting with the Night’s Watch and sending Bran and company on a seemingly suicidal mission north of the Wall.
King Joffrey Baratheon
Lady Olenna Tyrell, Littlefinger
In a fan favorite moment, Joffrey’s delusional reign promptly ends at his own wedding when he slugs down some poison and seemingly chokes on his pigeon pie. While the crown passed to the easily moldable Tommen, Sansa was finally whisked away from the capital and Tyrion blamed for a murder he only wished he had actually committed. Meanwhile, Littlefinger seals a pact with the Tyrells and it becomes pretty clear that it’s always the play to decline wedding reservations in Westeros.
Arya goes from a bold little girl to a stone-cold gangster to cap the first episode of season four. Finally with a chance to cross a name off of her list herself, Arya showed that there was still some hope for Starkian revenge when she stabs Polliver to death with Needle in a tavern brawl.
Walder Frey, Roose Bolton’s men
The Twins, Riverlands
Killed along with her son, Robb Stark, at the Red Wedding.
Walder Frey, Roose Bolton’s men
The Twins, Riverlands
Arrows and daggers
The Young Wolf meets his doom in infamous fashion, butchered along with his own men and mother in the first of a few disturbing weddings in Westeros. Bringing the turn cloak Boltons into power in the North, the Red Wedding all but wiped the Starks off the map and gave Tywin one less enemy to silence. The highest fan-rated episode so far in the series, the “Rains of Castamere” showed “Game of Thrones” at its most bold and brutal, even daring to sprinkle in some dark humor into the tragedy.
Jeor Mormont; Craster
While no one was likely sad to see the twisted Craster take a deadly dagger to the throat, the Old Bear Jeor Mormont was also struck down in a cowardly act that left the Night’s Watch in shambles. Sending Sam and Gilly on the run, both Rast and Karl helped to fill the shoes of Craster as two of the most despicable characters in the series.
Entering into the tear-jerker category, Maester Luwin’s senseless murder by iron born Dagmer epitomized the collateral damage effect of war torn Westeros. Though he did get to expire in the Godswood of Winterfell after seeing Bran and Rickon to relative safety, Luwin’s demise ranks as one of the most unfortunate in a long line of hideous Westerosi deaths.
Mathos (Davos’ son)
Blackwater Bay, King’s Landing
After nervously leading his pious son Mathos into battle, Davos ends up on the wrong side of Tyrion’s trick with the wildfire and watches his son burn alive along with Stannis’ main fleet. Though Davos would narrowly escape with his life, King’s Landing essentially holds thanks to a mad pyromancer and a well-placed flaming arrow from Bronn.
Ser Amory Lorch
Off the King’s Road
The hard-nosed man of the Watch meets his end in a gasp of bravery and defiance, sending Arya even deeper into her nightmare while being rounded up for imprisonment in Harrenhal. Though Yoren’s screen time was brief, he was around just long enough to teach Arya a few dirty tricks about the real world by the time his watch came to an end.
Sansa gets a dose of Joffreality when he makes her look at the piked head of Septa Mordane, who was killed for no real reason at all after Ned’s beheading. Though it was getting more and more obvious that Joffrey was a lost cause, his stunt with Sansa’s childhood tutor fully announced the presence of another mad king sitting the Iron Throne.
Ilyn Payne, King Joffrey
In arguably the series-defining moment so far, Lord Eddard Stark gives up his renowned honor for the safety of his girls, only to be betrayed by Joffrey and publicly beheaded for treason on the steps of the Great Sept of Baelor. All characters were simultaneously declared fair game for the chopping block and all-out war between the North and the South became inevitable.
King Robert Baratheon
Drunken hunting accident
The death of hilariously profane drunkard King Robert showcased some of the “Game of Thrones” staples, including murmurs of poisoning and a massive political shakeup that sent waves throughout Westeros. Though Robert had his revenge on the boar, the realm passed to the insidious Joffrey and the buffer between the Lannisters and Starks died along with the king.
The pretender Viserys’ short reign comes to a close when Khal Drogo finally gives him a crown of molten gold. In addition to being one of the most gruesome deaths in the series, Viserys’ demise left Daenerys as the last of the known living dragons and swept aside one of the series’ most loathed characters.