back to top

An Ultimate Ranking Of The 33 Most Shocking Deaths On "Game Of Thrones"

You know you love Game of Thrones when you find yourself saying "valar morghulis" after a death scene. All men must die — relive the deaths from seasons 1-3 and submit your own creations at Then tune in to Season 4 of Game of Thrones on HBO, April 6 at 9 p.m., for more.

Posted on


The deaths in this list have been judged by five categories:

1. Violence — the brutality in the manner of the death.

2. Blood — the amount of gore that was involved in the death.

3. Unexpectedness — how unforeseen the death was.

4. Vindication — how much the death achieved a level of justice.

5. Game Changing — how much the death influenced the fate of the realm.

33. Matthos Seaworth


The violence in the death of Ser Davos Seaworth's son came somewhat unexpectedly — everyone waited with bated breath to see the mercilessness of Wildfire, and watching Matthos' ship catastrophically explode proved the tales true. His death created a strain in his father's relationship with Stannis Baratheon.

32. Orell the wildling


Orell was the strongest believer in Jon Snow's ill intentions for joining the wildlings, so it was only a matter of time until he was killed. Jon jammed a sword through his abdomen (a common move of Jon's, as you'll see later) and with his final dying moments, Orell warged into the mind of his eagle, unsuccessfully attacking Jon.

31. Beric Dondarrion


In a fiery trial by combat with The Hound, Beric Dondarrion tragically lost the fight — and the left half of his body. His shocking death was somewhat assuaged by the fact that he was unexpectedly brought back to life by the red priest, Thoros.

30. Vardis Egen


The trial by combat between Vardis Egen and Tyrion Lannister's proxy, Bronn began one of Westeros' most loyal companionships. Tyrion's trial in the Vale ended with his release after Bronn slit the throat of Vardis Egen and pushed his body through the Moon Door.

29. Stable boy


Beginning Arya Stark's ascent into vigilante justice-seeking was the death of the stable boy, who sought to detain her for the Queen as she tried to flea the city. Arya turned around and stabbed the child right through the stomach. And thus, a killer was born.

28. Khal Drogo


The Khal suffered a deep wound to the chest in combat, securing a sure death until his Khaleesi called on Mirri Maz Duur, a slave, to use her magic to save Drogo. She warned Daenerys that she'd have to pay for life with life. "Saving" Khal Drogo meant losing her newborn baby, who was born looking like a lizard. Realizing that Drogo would be catatonic for the rest of his life, Daenerys smothered him with a pillow. She climbed into his pyre with her dragon eggs, awaking the next day in ash with the three small dragons clinging to her.

26. Will (deserter of the Night's Watch)


Not only was the presence of Ned Stark's children not enough to dissuade the beheading of Will, the Night's Watch deserter, but it was actually considered a boon. Deserters must be killed, but what of those who have seen the White Walkers?

25. Barra Waters and all of Robert Baratheon's bastards


King Joffrey was not known for his mercy before, but when he had all of Robert Baratheon's bastards slaughtered, the realm — not fans of murdering babies — began to turn against their King. (Aerys Targaryen Part II.)

24. Ser Hugh of the Vale


Jousting doesn't come without the promise of injury, but when The Mountain, Gregor Clegane, rammed his wooden lance into Ser Hugh's throat, spectators witnessed a merciless sputtering of blood and a violent, if not totally unnecessary, beheading of a horse in one fell swoop.

23. The wine-selling assassin


Had the attempt to assassinate Daenerys Targaryen — the Khaleesi of the Dothraki and wife of Khal Drogo — been successful, the fate of all of Westeros would have been changed. Alas, his attempt was unsuccessful and the wine-selling assassin ended up beaten, naked, and bound to the back of a horse before falling and being trampled to death.

22. Yoren


Yoren, the Night's Watch recruiter, was doing Ned Stark a posthumous favor in taking Arya and Gendry (Robert Baratheon's bastard) out of King's Landing with recruits headed to The Wall. He was stopped by Lannister men and was taken down by several shots with a crossbow before having a spear rammed through the top of his head.

21. The Spice King and 10 members of the Thirteen of Qarth


In her rise to power, Daenerys enters Qarth with some controversy to acquire a fleet of galleys and soldiers. The Spice King and 10 other members of the Thirteen of Qarth deny her these requests, but having their own agendas, Xaro Xhoan Daxos and Pyat Pree turn against their council. Pyat Pree swiftly multiples himself and slits the throat of each of the 11 other members.

20. Frey soldier


Having bore witness in some capacity to the death of several of her family members, Arya's bloodlust reached a new peak when she heard a Frey soldier gloating about sewing Grey Wind's head onto Robb's corpse. Arya feigned innocence before savagely stabbing the soldier several times in the face and neck.

19. Qhorin Halfhand


In a political move to get Jon Snow in deep with the wildings to stop Mance Rayder, Qhorin Halfhand shocked Jon by staging a sword fight with him. Qhorin ordered Jon to kill him — Jon obliged by ramming his sword through Qhorin's chest.

18. Rodrik Cassel


In a painful ongoing display of Theon Greyjoy's moral degradation, Theon brashly decides to behead Rodrik Cassel after Rodrik cuts down two of Theon's men, resisting Theon's taking of Winterfell and spitting in his face. Rodrik's death is met with an added layer of brutality as Theon takes several hacks to actually cut off Rodrik's head.

17. Billy and Jack (the orphan boys)


Westeros (which had already been proven unsafe for children) took its savagery to another level when Theon Greyjoy purports to have burned alive the Stark boys, Bran and Rickon. The small, hanging, charred bodies turn out to be those of two orphan stable boys.

16. Othor (as a wight)


The death of Othor, a Sworn Brother in the Night's Watch, comes in two parts: He is firstly killed by White Walkers beyond The Wall and is killed a second time when he returns to Castle Black as a wight and burned "alive" after Jon Snow throws a lantern at him. His two-part death confirms the existence of White Walkers — the number-one enemy of the realm.

15. Pyat Pree


The death of Pyat Pree is the first kill of the dragons. After Daenerys is tricked and chained up by Pyat Pree, she — seemingly defeated — utters "dracarys" (Valyrian for "dragonfire") to Drogon, the young black dragon. He coughs out a small cloud of fire before he and the other two dragons shoot streams of fire onto Pyat Pree, burning him alive.

14. Ros


The murder of Ros was given to King Joffrey as a "gift" from Little Finger. After discovering that Ros was spying for Lord Varys, Little Finger gave Ros to Joffrey to murder with his own hands (thus far, he had only commanded the death of others). He tied her up and shot her several times with his beloved crossbow.

13. Rickard Karstark


Despite the pleading from his council, King of the North Robb Stark ultimately decided to break some of his own military alliances in beheading Rickard Karstark for killing two young Lannister boys and insulting him. Rickard's last words were, "Kill me and be cursed..." Unfortunately, that's exactly what played out.

12. Maester Luwin


Disheartened to see Winterfell overtaken by the Greyjoys and shocked to see Theon's men turning on him, Maester Luwin found himself surrounded by enemy soldiers, stabbed in the chest with a spear. Knowing his death was eminent, Maester Luwin sought solace at the Godswood where he asked Osha to end his suffering with a quick slit of the throat.

11. Jory Cassel


When Ned Stark was ambushed in King's Landing by Jamie Lannister and his men, Jory Cassel — Captain of the Guards for House Stark — fought to defend his Lord. He was quickly killed after Jamie Lannister stabbed him through the eye, officially severing the ties between House Stark and House Lannister.

10. Craster


Craster — the man who impregnated his daughters and sacrificed his sons to the White Walkers for impunity — met his violent death when a dissenter of the Night's Watch felt Craster's treatment of the Sworn Brothers was unfair. Craster, indignant, lunged at the Brother, but had a knife shoved into his throat and through the roof of his mouth.

9. Kraznys mo Nakloz


Kraznys mo Nakloz, a slaver of the Unsullied, relentlessly spoke ill of Daenerys Targaryen in Valyrian, unaware that Valyrian was Dany's mother tongue. After receiving control of the 8,000 Unsullied in exchange for her dragons, Daenerys yelled out in Valyrian for all slaves to kill their handlers. She then turned and spoke "dracarys," prompting her dragons to shoot fire down upon Kraznys mo Nakloz and helping her in her pursuit to secure the Iron Throne.

8. Renly Baratheon


After Robert's death, Renly Baratheon was crowned King with the support of House Tyrell of Highgarden under the belief that Joffrey Baratheon was actually the bastard of Jamie Lannister, and therefore not second in line to the throne. Renly's plans to attack King's Landing were foiled after his brother, Stannis Baratheon, and the red priestess — Melisandre — conceived a shadow assassin designed to kill Renly. The killer formed from black smoke, stabbing Renly through the chest.

7. Lord Commander Jeor Mormont


In the same fight that killed Craster, Lord Commander Jeor Mormont was stabbed in the gut after trying to regain control of the rogue Brothers. They no longer wanted to align with Mormont's leadership and betrayed him, breaking apart the Night's Watch.

6. Viserys Targaryen


Viserys Targaryen, "The Last Dragon," experienced the most violent (albeit, one of the least bloody) deaths after terrorizing his sister, Daenerys Targaryen, a final time in front of her husband, Khal Drogo. Viserys was power thirsty and deranged, using his sister in a power play and often physically abusing her. Viserys met his brutal end after demanding a crown and getting one — Khal Drogo melted down gold and poured the scolding metal over his head, burning him alive in a golden crown.

5. Robert Baratheon


Another two-part death in which the Lannisters poisoned Robert Baratheon through his wine to disorient him. This poisoning led to Robert's vulnerability during a wild boar hunt in which a wild boar impaled Robert in the stomach with a tusk. Robert died from his wound in a Lannister political move to secure the Throne, officially changing the game.

4. Ned Stark


This was the beheading heard around the world that tore a Kingdom apart. Queen Regent Cersei Lannister advised her son, King Joffrey, to allow Ned Stark to take the black as punishment for his treason in alleging that Joffrey was, in fact, the son of Jamie Lannister. Ned's daughter and Joffrey's betrothed, Sansa Stark, also pleaded for her father's life, but Joffrey betrayed his council and had Ned Stark's head cut off, breaking apart the realm and prompting Robb Stark to be crowned the King of the North.

3. Catelyn Stark


Catelyn's death almost seemed like a mercy kill. After losing her husband, caring for her disabled child who nearly died in a murder attempt, knowing her two daughters were being held captive by the Lannisters, and watching her son and his pregnant wife be brutally murdered, having her throat ruthlessly slit seemed almost comforting.

2. Talisa Maegyr Stark


This death was as brutal as they come in Game of Thrones. Completely unaware of the danger they were in, Talisa Maegyr Stark — pregnant wife of Robb Stark — sat peacefully at the dinner table at the Tully/Frey wedding. She was suddenly and violently stabbed repeatedly in her pregnant belly as her husband looked on.

1. Robb Stark


Believing they were safe under guest right, King of the North Robb Stark accepted the invitation to stay with the Freys as his uncle, Edmure Tully, married one of Walder Frey's daughters in his stead. This deal was seen as an inexcusable betrayal of a former promise, so Walder Frey locked Robb Stark and his men in the hall they were celebrating in, killed Robb's wife and unborn child in front of him, and shot him with several arrows before Roose Bolton finally stabbed him in the stomach. No longer was there a King in the North.