Game of Thrones is beloved by so many fans the world over but one thing is for sure: there are a lot of deaths. In this piece, we will uncover the top 20 deaths in the GoT series, and we plan to leave no stone (or throne) unturned. These deaths aren’t necessarily the most ground breaking deaths in terms of narrative but some which just rocked viewers or came out of nowhere.
Proceed with caution. Warning, spoilers ahead!
Let’s start off this article way back in season one with episode six “A Golden Crown.” No one liked Viserys; he treated his sister like an object and all he spoke about was his right to the throne. He died when Khal Drogo decided he’d heard enough out of him and poured molten gold over his head.
His death was deserved in the way a character’s death can be deserved. It wasn’t shocking that he was killed, but the way he was killed is undoubtedly something that makes most viewers turn away or cringe. He can’t say he didn’t get the crown he wanted, though.
Shae’s death was a strange one that hit most fans in weird places. On the one hand, she was the only person that Tyrion could trust, and their blossoming romance was actually very sweet (something that is difficult to find in Game of Thrones).
On the other hand, she slept with Tywin, betrayed Tyrion’s trust, and testified against him at his trial. We suppose the shocking element here was witnessing Tyrion strangle the woman he loved because she had wounded him so greatly. If you don’t recall, this takes place in season four, with the episode entitled “The Children”.
Irri was the one who helped Daenerys transition into Dothraki culture. They were extremely close, and unlike Daenerys’ other handmaiden, Irri did not betray her. She died when the dragons were stolen while Daenerys and the remainder of their tribe were in Qarth during season 2.
Irri’s death was shocking because we really didn’t expect the writers of Game of Thrones to keep making things so difficult for Daenerys, the first two seasons were so quick and full of horrible events that it almost seemed like they were going to give the mother of dragons a break and then… Well.
Mycah’s death gave us the first real look at how much of a monster Joffrey would be later on in the series. The second episode of the whole show and he orders a boy to be killed because he’s a prideful piece of work that didn’t like Arya fighting back against him.
The Hound may have killed Mycah, but all fans can agree that Joffrey is the creature behind the deaths of so many, and the Hound was following orders (no matter how unpleasant). We know, however, that the Hound has many ups and downs during the series.
Possibly one of the most “I wish I didn’t see that” moments in Game of Thrones. Talisa was the wife of Robb Stark; they married soon after the Battle of Oxcross had concluded. The Red Wedding saw the deaths of many, and several of those many were shocking deaths to behold.
But Talisa wasn’t just killed. She was explicitly stabbed in the stomach while pregnant, with the person who murdered her and her unborn child knowing that she was pregnant (Lothar Frey, if you’ve forgotten). And Robb had to watch as he lost two people at once.
By the time we’d reached the point of Khal Drogo’s death, he and Daenerys had truly grown to love each other. We’ll say nothing of how he treated her when they first met, or how the Dothraki treat women in general, but they were building a life together. Ten episodes of absolute mayhem into this series, and instead of a murder, we have a mercy killing.
After MirriMaz Burr’s spell left Khal Drogo in a catatonic state where he could not move or speak, Daenerys reached a point where she could no longer witness the one she loved suffer so severely, and thus, she suffocated him as they lay curled up together.
Seven deaths into this list and Tywin is next. His death was unexpected because it didn’t seem like anyone had the guts to end this misery-causing man once and for all. He, like Joffrey, was an absolute tyrant, and another of Game of Throne’s main villains.
Of all the ways he could have been killed, season four saw his demise when Tyrion came to him as he was sitting on a different kind of throne (the toilet) and shot him with a crossbow arrow.
We’re all very aware that he’s alive again, but the way Jon Snow died in the first place was extremely unwarranted. A man who has never been treated fairly in his entire life just trying to make peace and ensure that others are treated as they should be and not wronged because they are different or misunderstood.
Jon Snow was left to die in the snow (ironic, we know) after being stabbed by members of the Night’s Watch who didn’t agree with his opinions on Wildlings. We all genuinely thought it was over when they aired episode ten of season five, but fans are glad he was brought back.
A fantastic fighter who didn’t care for politics and risked everything to ensure that Arya was able to escape without being seen. If it wasn’t for Yoren, Arya might never have made it as far as she has. Arya wasn’t the only child he saved, Yoren was murdered by Ser Amory Lorch when the Lannister’s men came looking for Robert Baratheon’s son.
Yoren died in season two, episode three. It was a shame to lose a character who actually had his head together more than a lot of other characters. He was bright and entirely unconcerned with any throne in the known world.
Jojen’s death was very unexpected. For fans who have read the books, you’ll know that his character survives the attack that killed him in the series during season four, episode ten. Because of the events surrounding his death, the whole moment was swift, and the audience had little time to process it.
Jojen’s sister, Meera, is the one who kills him but it’s a mercy killing because Jojen was already dying from the wounds he got from the wight who stabbed him while they were running. Jojen was a character we were invested in because he could empathize with Bran and his visions.
Ser Rodrik Cassel
Rodrik’s death was cruel. He was loyal to the Stark family and extremely close to Bran and Rickon. Theon murdered him in front of the boys by beheading him during the Fall of Winterfell.
He was a loyal servant and master-at-arms for the Winterfell, a kind man with a rough exterior but a warm heart. To kill him in front of two young boys said a lot about Theon’s character, and it was definitely something we all wished Bran and Rickon didn’t have to see.
There are some theories that say Syrio survived the attack, but considering that his death was in season one, the majority of us have given up hope that he survived at all. Syrio was Arya’s “dance” instructor, who taught her the way of the sword and how to fight. Without him, Arya wouldn’t be the person she is, and she wouldn’t have any of her sword skills.
Syrio was charming. He had absolutely no issues training Arya in the sword, even though she was a girl. It didn’t matter to him. He saved her from being captured when the Lannisters came calling for her family. Arya took revenge for the fandom later on when she brutally murdered Meryn Trant, who is assumed to have killed Syrio when he was delaying Arya’s capture.
Ros worked for Littlefinger while also spying for Varys. She did her best to survive in a place where she knew how easy it was to find yourself on someone’s hit list. In season three, she revealed Littlefinger’s plans to help Sansa escape, but when Littlefinger found out, he gave her over to Joffrey.
Joffrey, being as possessive about Sansa as he was, decided that he wanted to try something new with Ros. He made sure she was tied to his bedposts before he shot her several times with his crossbow. This was his first personal kill of the series, and it was horrific to watch, especially when you look back at his previous dealings with Ros and Daisy.
Maester Aemon was the Grand Maester at Castle Black. He joined the men of the Night’s Watch to get out from under the politics that had taken over Westeros. Unlike many in the watch, he was always loyal to Jon Snow.
Aemon wasn’t killed but died of old age. It hit the viewers hard because he was such a kind soul and he helped Samwell Tarly find his place in the Watch, as well as his confidence. It’s rare that a character in Game of Thrones makes it to old age.
King Robert Baratheon
Though Robert wasn’t exactly fit to lead his kingdom, he did give viewers the comedy that the show sorely needed. In a series filled with so much death and so many awful situations, we can look back at Robert and smile at the king who died while hunting drunk.
Readers may recall precisely why he was drunk – the wine was offered to him by Lancel, his squire, under orders from Cersei. They wanted Robert out of the way, and it was all too easy considering his penchant for drinking all the time.
Tommen was Cersei’s youngest son, and though he wasn’t quite ready to take on his father’s throne when he died, he was building up towards it. Unlike the other rulers in the kingdoms, Tommen was kind and just; but he didn’t know the true nature of his mother.
Tommen chose to fall from a window in the Red Keep once he heard about the death and destruction caused by the wildfire explosion that Cersei orchestrated. He lost so much in that fire, including his wife, and he simply couldn’t handle it. Cersei is responsible for his death, however indirectly.
Margaery truly had one of the best hearts of the series. She was a master at manipulation, but was kind to the people of King’s Landing, and spent moments talking with Sansa. She immediately recognized Cersei for the kind of person she was, and many believe that Margaery would have been a good ruler.
Unfortunately, she burned to death in the wildfire explosion that we mentioned above. It was no wonder that Joffrey was as horrific as he was when you consider his parents and their behavior.
Rickon, like Bran, was on the run for a long time. He barely spoke and the audience didn’t really know him, but he was there, and the way he died was utterly underhanded. During season six, episode nine, Ramsay Bolton shot him in the back while giving him over to Jon Snow.
He died in front of his brother. The worst thing was that Rickon was missing for a lot of the series and it seemed like he came back to die and torment Jon Snow.
Robb’s death scene was drawn out and brutal. He was a man of honor that tried his best to lead his armies in the name of his family and defend the innocent. He followed his heart, going as far as to marry for love.
His death took place during the Red Wedding. He watched his wife and unborn child die in front of him, after being shot with multiple arrows, himself. After he was stabbed in the heart in front of his mother, and everyone else had died, his direwolf’s head was placed on his, and his corpse was paraded around.
Finally, Catelyn. Having just watched her son be stabbed in the heart, Catelyn has her throat slit. She fought so hard throughout the entire scene to defend her family and try to escape. The way the scene was written, it looked like she was going to make it.
Special mention to Ned Stark whose death still affects fans today.