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    Updated on Jun 1, 2019. Posted on May 30, 2019

    Every Major "Game Of Thrones" Death, Ranked From Oh-So-Satisfying To Utterly Devastating

    How can character deaths bring us both so much joy and yet also totally break us?

    Game of Thrones had an extremely high death count, with some deaths leaving viewers reeling for days (and/or years) while others had people cheering and crying out for more blood. With the show now come to an end, here's a look back at the biggest deaths over the years, ranked on a scale from those that brought us actual joy, to the ones that devastated us the most....

    103. Ramsay Bolton

    HBO

    Cause of death: Torn apart by his own hounds on Sansa's orders.

    Emotional impact: After watching Ramsay torture and assault both Theon and Sansa, and kill Rickon right in front of Jon Snow's salad, it was way too sweet watching him perish. Sansa's smile as she walked away said it all.

    102. Joffrey Baratheon

    HBO

    Cause of death: Poisoned by Olenna Tyrell.

    Emotional impact: We endured three long seasons of Joffrey's shit before watching him choke to death in his mother's arms, his face turning a violent shade of purple that dubbed the event the Purple Wedding. It was beautiful.

    101. Olly

    HBO

    Cause of death: Executed by Jon Snow via hanging.

    Emotional impact: Should we have felt as satisfied as we did about Olly's death? No, not remotely. He was a kid who watched his parents murdered by wildlings, who sought justice for it, and who was influenced by the treasonous adults around him. And YET. His betrayal of Jon Snow cut so deep, it was hard not to feel satisfied. This show really messed us all up.

    100. Walder Frey

    HBO

    Cause of death: Throat slit by Arya Stark (after being fed his own sons in a pie).

    Emotional impact: Walder Frey was the last of the Red Wedding conspirators to be killed, so it was great that it finally happened – and that Arya was the one to do it. The North remembers.

    99. Littlefinger

    HBO

    Cause of death: Throat slit by Arya, on Sansa's command.

    Emotional impact: The plot that pit the Stark sisters against each other was one of the low points of Season 7 – but it did set up for an epic and oh-so-satisfying twist when Sansa, Arya, and even Bran banded together to turn on Lord Baelish. That he was killed with the very knife he used to kick off the War of the Five Kings made it even better.

    98. Viserys Targaryen

    HBO

    Cause of death: Smothered in molten gold by Khal Drogo.

    Emotional impact: Looking back, Viserys' villainy seems almost quaint now. But there's no denying that in Season 1, he was absolutely one of the most hated characters on the show. His brutal death, while shocking, was emotionally satisfying.

    97. Tywin Lannister

    HBO

    Cause of death: Shot with a crossbow by Tyrion (while on the privy).

    Emotional impact: Tywin and Tyrion's fraught relationship was one of the most interesting aspects of the show. That it ended like this was both tragic and thrilling. The loss of Tywin did leave a huge hole both in the world of Westeros and in the overall narrative of Game of Thrones.

    96. Locke

    HBO

    Cause of death: Neck snapped by Bran via warging into Hodor.

    Emotional impact: This bastard tried to rape Brienne, cut off Jaime's hand, tried to feed Brienne to a bear, and was going to give Bran to the Boltons. I was very happy to see him go.

    95. Rast

    HBO

    Cause of death: Killed by Ghost.

    Emotional impact: Rast was a jerk from the beginning, and the way he participated in the mutiny at Craster's cemented him as a shit. But then he was cruel to Ghost, which is frankly unforgivable, and he deserved to be torn apart by the goodest boy.

    94. Karl Tanner

    HBO

    Cause of death: Impaled by Jon Snow.

    Emotional impact: Good riddance to this rapey, murderous, treasonous prick.

    93. Alliser Thorne

    HBO

    Cause of death: Executed by hanging by Jon Snow.

    Emotional impact: Why is Thorne's death less satisfying than Olly's? I can't say for sure, except that maybe Thorne was an asshole from the beginning, so him stabbing Jon wasn't quite as shocking. Still, I wasn't sorry to see the end of him.

    92. Roose Bolton

    HBO

    Cause of death: Stabbed by Ramsay Bolton.

    Emotional impact: I was glad Roose Bolton died – and was murdered the same way he killed Robb Stark – but the fact Ramsay did it made it less satisfying than some of the other deaths on the show. Mainly because it meant Ramsay was getting what he wanted, and it also robbed the Starks of another ~stab~ at revenge.

    91. The High Sparrow

    HBO

    Cause of death: Blown up by wildfire courtesy of Cersei.

    Emotional impact: This smug fucker. He believed in his own bullshit right until the end, and got a lot more people killed than needed to as a result. If he had only listened to Margaery!!! The moment he realises his mistake, just before he dies, is great. But it's hard to feel wholly satisfied with his death when it's mixed up with the deaths of others who didn't deserve it.

    90. The Night King

    HBO

    Cause of death: Stabbed by Arya Stark.

    Emotional impact: The Night King being killed off halfway through Season 8 was perhaps one of the biggest twists in the show's history. I literally (literally literally) screamed when it happened. Overall, I have mixed feelings about the way it went down – elation at the twist and the fact Arya got to be the hero, but also a little disappointment that the biggest threat to Westeros wasn't actually that hard to defeat, and that Jon Snow didn't get a proper fight with him after nearly eight seasons of build-up. All in all, it was satisfying – but it could have been more so.

    89. The Waif

    HBO

    Cause of death: Killed by Arya.

    Emotional impact: Ugh. I hated the Waif so much. Her fight with Arya and the chase through the streets made very little logical sense. It was still great to realise Arya had set up a trap for her, though. We didn't get to see her actual death, but her bloody face in the House of Black and White afterwards was a nice (if gruesome) touch.

    88. Grand Maester Pycelle

    HBO

    Cause of death: Stabbed by the little birds on the order of Qyburn.

    Emotional impact: He'd overstayed his welcome. It was about time.

    87. Meryn Trant

    HBO

    Cause of death: Throat slit by Arya Stark.

    Emotional impact: Meryn Trant's death was drawn out and absolutely brutal to watch. It was kind of horrific to see Arya act in this way...but it also felt like justice.

    86. Euron Greyjoy

    HBO

    Cause of death: Killed in a fight with Jaime Lannister.

    Emotional impact: Euron Greyjoy is the worst character in Game of Thrones history, and not in a "oh he's a great villain" way – more in "he's a terrible character" way. He was totally one-dimensional and frankly boring, serving as nothing more than a convenient killing device when the plot demanded it. I was relieved he was dead, but it came a little too late.

    85. Myranda

    HBO

    Cause of death: Pushed off the top of Winterfell by Theon.

    Emotional impact: Myranda was awful, and her death was made more satisfying by what it signified for Theon. It was his first act of rebellion against Ramsay and a huge turning point for his character, enabling himself and Sansa to escape.

    84. Pyat Pree

    HBO

    Cause of death: Torched by Dany's dragons on her command.

    Emotional impact: He stole Dany's babies and locked them in chains, so watching them dracarys his ass was pretty epic.

    83. Orell

    HBO

    Cause of death: Stabbed by Jon Snow.

    Emotional impact: Orell was a thorn in Jon Snow's side from the moment he met him, believing him to still be a Night's Watch crow. So yeah, Jon thrusting his sword into Orell and saying in his ear "you were right the whole time" was pretty damn satisfying.

    82. Janos Slynt

    HBO

    Cause of death: Executed by Jon Snow via beheading.

    Emotional impact: Janos Slynt died as he lived: like a coward. Good riddance.

    81. The Mountain

    HBO

    Cause of death: Pushed off the crumbling Red Keep by the Hound.

    Emotional impact: The stand-off between the Clegane brothers, aka Cleganebowl, was long-awaited, and it was exciting to see it finally happen. However, given the Mountain was an empty husk of himself already, it wasn't as satisfying as it might have been if more of his personality was still there.

    80. Craster

    HBO

    Cause of death: Stabbed by Karl Tanner.

    Emotional impact: Craster was terrible, but so was Karl Tanner, so it wasn't exactly a big win. At least it allowed Gilly to escape.

    79. Lancel Lannister

    HBO

    Cause of death: Wildfire explosion courtesy of Cersei.

    Emotional impact: Cersei's wildfire plot was horrifying but utterly compelling. Seeing Lancel crawl towards the flames, knowing what was about to happen, was incredible. I wasn't particularly sad about his death.

    78. Stannis Baratheon

    HBO

    Cause of death: Executed by Brienne.

    Emotional impact: Oh, Stannis. We could have had it all, but then you had to go and kill Shireen. After Brienne basically did nothing but stare out of a window all of Season 5, it was wonderful to see her finally get vengeance for her beloved Renly's death.

    77. Lysa Arryn

    HBO

    Cause of death: Pushed out the moon door by Littlefinger.

    Emotional impact: I did not love Littlefinger, but at least he was entertaining in his evil ways. As soon as Lysa threatened to hurt Sansa, I was ready for her to die. Byyyye.

    76. Qyburn

    HBO

    Cause of death: Smashed into some bricks by the Mountain.

    Emotional impact: It was rather quick and unceremonious, but Qyburn being destroyed by his own terrible creation worked.

    75. Balon Greyjoy

    HBO

    Cause of death: Pushed to his death by Euron Greyjoy.

    Emotional impact: Balon Greyjoy was a terrible king and a terrible father, so I wasn't sad to see him gone, but I did wish Theon had a chance to confront him one last time.

    74. Mirri Maz Duur

    HBO

    Cause of death: Burned alive by Daenerys Targaryen.

    Emotional impact: Mirri Maz Duur had her reasons for doing what she did. But with her character framed from Dany's perspective, it was hard not to take some satisfaction in her death.

    73. Doreah

    HBO

    Cause of death: Locked in a vault by Daenerys Targaryen.

    Emotional impact: Doreah betrayed Dany and murdered Irri. She deserved to be punished...although this was a particularly brutal way to do it.

    72. Obara Sand

    HBO

    Cause of death: Impaled by Euron Greyjoy.

    Emotional impact: The Sand Snakes plot was terrible from start to finish, and Obara was the worst of a bad lot. Euron Greyjoy as a character did nothing to earn killing the Sand Snakes, but I wasn't exactly sorry he did.

    71. Nymeria Sand

    HBO

    Cause of death: Strangled by Euron Greyjoy.

    Emotional impact: Nymeria's death is marginally sadder than Obara's because she was slightly less annoying, and she had to watch her sister die before she was killed herself.

    70. Cersei Lannister

    HBO

    Cause of death: Crushed by the crumbling Red Keep.

    Emotional impact: I wasn't sad to see the end of Cersei, but I was upset about the way it happened. It was utterly underwhelming that none of the people Cersei had wronged got to personally take her down in the end – and in fact, she was turned into a victim by the narrative. So disappointing.

    69. Shae

    HBO

    Cause of death: Strangled by Tyrion.

    Emotional impact: I'm torn about Shae's death. Sure, I hated her for betraying Tyrion and I wasn't really sad about her death. But watching Tyrion strangle the woman he loved was not remotely satisfying.

    68. Randyll Tarly

    HBO

    Cause of death: Burned by Drogon on Dany's command.

    Emotional impact: I hated Randyll Tarly. The saddest part of his death is the way it impacted (and low-key destroyed) Dany's plot.

    67. Hizdahr zo Loraq

    HBO

    Cause of death: Stabbed by the Sons of the Harpy.

    Emotional impact: He was boring and I was frankly glad he was written out of the plot.

    66. Xaro Xhoan Daxos

    HBO

    Cause of death: Locked in his vault by Daenerys Targaryen.

    Emotional impact: Honestly it didn't make me feel much either way. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

    65. Kevan Lannister

    HBO

    Cause of death: Blown up with wildfire courtesy of Cersei Lannister.

    Emotional impact: Eh. He was the most boring Lannister by far.

    64. Mace Tyrell

    HBO

    Cause of death: Blown up with wildfire courtesy of Cersei Lannister.

    Emotional impact: Eh. He was the most boring Tyrell by far.

    63. Qhono

    HBO

    Cause of death: Slaughtered in the Battle of Winterfell.

    Emotional impact: Honestly his death would have been more impactful if they had bothered to develop his character more or give him any lines. They really did the Dothraki dirty.

    62. Melisandre

    HBO

    Cause of death: Um...suicide? Old age? Idek?

    Emotional impact: We all hated Melisandre with a fiery passion when she killed Shireen...and then she brought Jon Snow back and suddenly we loved her. Her death was fitting for her character, but it felt neither satisfying nor sad. It just happened.

    61. Selyse Baratheon

    HBO

    Cause of death: Suicide.

    Emotional impact: Selyse's last-minute guilt about Shireen didn't make a lot of sense, tbqh, when she had treated her so terribly her whole life. Her death mainly functioned to add an extra layer of tragedy to the end of Stannis' arc.

    60. Doran Martell

    HBO

    Cause of death: Stabbed by Ellaria Sand.

    Emotional impact: Doran's death makes me more angry than anything else. It made no sense that Ellaria and the Sand Snakes would take revenge on Oberyn by murdering his brother.

    59. Tyene Sand

    HBO

    Cause of death: Poisoned by Cersei.

    Emotional impact: Tyene was no less annoying than the other Sand Snakes, but the way she died was particularly brutal, with Cersei locking her up with her mother so Ellaria would be forced to watch her daughter die and rot away. Ouch.

    (Btw, Ellaria isn't on this list because she isn't confirmed dead...I guess they kind of forgot about her.)

    58. Varys

    HBO

    Cause of death: Burned by Drogon on Daenerys' command.

    Emotional impact: Varys' actions leading up to his death really undermined the impact of his ending. He was no longer the spider, slinking in the shadows, but plotting out in the open for all to see. It was a watered down version of who he was, so his death was ultimately underwhelming.

    57. Qhorin Halfhand

    HBO

    Cause of death: Killed by Jon Snow.

    Emotional impact: Qhorin sacrificed himself in order to save Jon, while Jon had to kill a man he admired and trusted. It was sad, but I don't think any of us cared about Qhorin enough for it to have a lasting impact.

    56. Beric Dondarrion

    HBO

    Cause of death: Killed by wights in the Battle of Winterfell.

    Emotional impact: Beric was an obvious candidate to die during the Battle of Winterfell, so his death wasn't exactly shocking. It felt like the right end for his character, and while it was moving, it wasn't the most upsetting in the grand scheme of things.

    55. Thoros of Myr

    HBO

    Cause of death: Killed by a wight polar bear.

    Emotional impact: A WIGHT POLAR BEAR. Honestly one of the most ridiculous things the show has ever done, and the worst part of it was that it ate up all the budget for Ghost and we didn't see him all season. Anyway, Thoros' death itself was also sad, I guess.

    54. Trystane Martell

    HBO

    Cause of death: Impaled by Obara Sand.

    Emotional impact: Trystane, we hardly knew ye. But you deserved better.

    53. Dickon Tarly

    HBO

    Cause of death: Burned by Drogon on Dany's command.

    Emotional impact: Oh Dickon, you fool. You beautiful, beautiful fool. I would have liked to see more of you.

    52. Robert Baratheon

    HBO

    Cause of death: Taken down by a boar after Lancel plowed him with alcohol on Cersei's command.

    Emotional impact: I wasn't super sad about Robert Baratheon's death the first time around, but every time I've rewatched the show I've gotten a little sadder about it. It doesn't help that the kingdom fell apart after he died.

    51. Septa Mordane

    HBO

    Cause of death: Killed by Lannisters.

    Emotional impact: She died trying to protect Sansa, but perhaps the worst part of Septa Mordane's death was actually when Sansa was forced to look at her severed head alongside Ned's.

    50. Jojen Reed

    HBO

    Cause of death: Stabbed by wights and mercy-killed by Meera.

    Emotional impact: It was upsetting that Jojen died, but now I'm more mad that Meera was so unceremoniously written out of the plot.

    49. Mance Rayder

    HBO

    Cause of death: Burned by Stannis then mercy-killed by Jon Snow.

    Emotional impact: I was never particularly attached to Mance, but his death scene was still highly unpleasant.

    48. The Blackfish

    HBO

    Cause of death: Killed fighting the Lannisters.

    Emotional impact: The Blackfish's death was too underwhelming – it didn't even happen on screen! But it was nevertheless a bummer.

    47. Olenna Tyrell

    HBO

    Cause of death: Poisoned by Jaime on Cersei's command.

    Emotional impact: Olenna's death was a huge loss to the show, but the way she went out was so iconic it was hard to be too sad about it. "Tell Cersei. I want her to know it was me." YAS OLENNA.

    46. Myrcella Baratheon

    HBO

    Cause of death: Poisoned by Ellaria Sand.

    Emotional impact: Myrcella didn't get much screentime, but she was sweet and good. The fact she died in Jaime's arms just as they were connected as father and daughter made it a bit more moving.

    45. Edd Tollett

    HBO

    Cause of death: Killed by wights in the Battle of Winterfell.

    Emotional impact: I loved Edd, but the way his death happened, in the context of the episode, meant it didn't really pack a huge emotional punch.

    44. Pyp

    HBO

    Cause of death: Shot during the Battle of Castle Black.

    Emotional impact: Like Edd, Pyp's death kind of got lost in the chaos of battle. It was still a sad moment.

    43. Loras Tyrell

    HBO

    Cause of death: Wildfire explosion courtesy of Cersei Lannister.

    Emotional impact: After Renly's death, it seemed like the Game of Thrones writers didn't really know what to do with Loras's character. He became much more shallow and two-dimensional than he had previously been, and it made his death much less impactful. Still, he was one of the characters it hurt the most to lose in that wildfire explosion.

    42. Wun Wun

    HBO

    Cause of death: Killed by the Boltons, with the fatal arrow shot by Ramsay.

    Emotional impact: Wun Wun was the last of the giants, who fought for Jon Snow until the very end. It was an awful moment when he died.

    41. Irri

    HBO

    Cause of death: Strangled by Doreah.

    Emotional impact: Irri was pure and innocent and loyal, and deserved so much better than she got on so many levels.

    40. Rakharo

    HBO

    Cause of death: Beheaded by rival Dothraki.

    Emotional impact: Rakharo was one of the first people to defend Daenerys, and he stuck by her when many others abandoned her. Irri's reaction to his death made it even more upsetting.

    39. Renly Baratheon

    HBO

    Cause of death: Stabbed by Stannis' shadow baby with Melisandre.

    Emotional impact: Renly's death was distressing. He probably would have been a benevolent king. But honestly, I think I was still recovering from the shadow CRAWLING OUT OF MELISANDRE'S VAGINA for Renly's death to truly sink in.

    38. Jory Cassel

    HBO

    Cause of death: Stabbed in the eye by Jaime Lannister.

    Emotional impact: Jory was a good man, and his death was one of the most shocking in the sense that it was the early days, and we weren't living in a post-Ned Stark world yet. It was one of the first indicators of how high the stakes were.

    37. Ros

    HBO

    Cause of death: Tortured and killed by Joffrey.

    Emotional impact: I feel sick just thinking about it. Ros deserved SO much better than this.

    36. Benjen Stark

    HBO

    Cause of death: Taken down by wights.

    Emotional impact: It was so exciting when Benjen ~came back from the dead~, and it would have been good to see more of his character before he died for real. It was especially upsetting that Jon barely got to register the fact Benjen was alive, after he'd spent so long searching for him, before Benjen sacrificed himself in order to save Jon.

    35. Osha

    HBO

    Cause of death: Stabbed by Ramsay Bolton.

    Emotional impact: Osha's death was just one of a very long list of awful things done by Ramsay Bolton, which lessened the impact somewhat. But she died doing what she'd lived for during the run of the show: trying to protect those Stark boys. If it weren't for her, both Bran and Rickon would have been dead in Season 2.

    34. Maester Aemon

    HBO

    Cause of death: Old age.

    Emotional impact: Maester Aemon has to be the only character in Game of Thrones to actually die of old age (unless you count Melisandre). His death scene was particularly gutting – the way he called out for his brother, thinking he was young again, made me cry a lot.

    33. The Hound

    HBO

    Cause of death: Threw himself off the crumbling Red Keep in order to take down his brother.

    Emotional impact: I was prepared for the Hound to die, but that doesn't mean it didn't hurt – and his farewell scene with Arya made it more moving. Still, there was something about Cleganebowl that felt hollow. It was a fitting end, but the delivery of it could have been more powerful.

    32. Syrio Forel

    HBHO

    Cause of death: Killed by Lannisters.

    Emotional impact: The fact that Syrio's death happened off-screen somehow didn't lessen its impact. His presence loomed large over the rest of the series – and not just because of all the fan theories that he was still alive. Arya clearly mourned him, even whilst mourning her father, and it was Syrio's words that were the catalyst for her attack on the Night King. A legend gone too soon.

    31. Barristan Selmy

    HBO

    Cause of death: Killed by Sons of the Harpy.

    Emotional impact: The Sons of the Harpy plot was a struggle to get through, and the fact that it robbed us of Barristan was the worst part of it. How differently everything might have turned out had he survived...

    30. Yoren

    HBO

    Cause of death: Killed by Lannisters.

    Emotional impact: Yoren not only saved Arya's life, he protected her from seeing Ned's death and set her on the path to survive on her own. He went down fighting to protect her, Gendry, and the others in his care, and he died in a gruesome way. It hurt.

    29. Khal Drogo

    HBO

    Cause of death: Mercy-killed by Dany after being left in a vegetative state by Mirri Maz Duur as a result of wounds sustained in a fight.

    Emotional impact: I have really mixed feelings about Khal Drogo, but his death was given the time and space to unfold in a way that allowed us to grieve alongside Daenerys. The fact Dany lost Rhaego in her attempt to save Drogo made it all the more upsetting.

    28. Jaime Lannister

    HBO

    Cause of death: Crushed by bricks under the crumbling Red Keep.

    Emotional impact: I had a tough time trying to figure out where to place Jaime on this list. His death SHOULD have been one of the most devastating. Like, say, if it had been at Cersei's hands just as he was killing her and completing his redemption arc. Instead, his character growth was tossed aside and he died as he all-too-often lived: utterly in Cersei's thrall. I was less sad about his death itself than I was about the destruction of his plot.

    27. Rodrick Cassel

    HBO

    Cause of death: Beheaded by Theon Greyjoy.

    Emotional impact: Rodrick's death would have been sad in itself, but the way it happened – with Theon failing to cut his head off in one swift cut – was particularly brutal. Bran's screams for it all to stop made it even more painful.

    26. Grenn

    HBO

    Cause of death: Killed by a giant in the Battle of Castle Black.

    Emotional impact: Grenn was always my fave out of Jon's Night's Watch band of brothers, and his death is remarkably moving. He knew he was going to die, but Jon commanded him to hold the gate, so that's what he did to the end. The recitation of the Night's Watch vow took it to the next level.

    25. Theon Greyjoy

    HBO

    Cause of death: Killed by the Night King during the Battle of Winterfell.

    Emotional impact: Theon's death was extremely sad, but there was a sense of closure that came with it. Unlike Jaime, Theon got his full redemption arc – he went down fighting for the Starks, protecting the very boy he stole Winterfell from and pretended to murder all those years ago. Sansa placing the Stark pin on Theon in the funeral scene was an extra moving touch. Still, I would have liked his death to have more of an impact on the wider plot – especially since it happened literally moments before Arya charged in to save the day.

    24. Jeor Mormont

    HBO

    Cause of death: Stabbed by his own men.

    Emotional impact: Jeor was one of the best men in the series, and played an important role in Jon's life. The fact he fell at the hands of the very men he would have died to protect made it especially painful – he deserved so much better.

    23. Maester Luwin

    HBO

    Cause of death: Mercy-killed by Osha after being attacked by the Ironborn.

    Emotional impact: Maester Luwin was the closest thing to family the Stark boys had left at Winterfell, and his death – and the sacking of Winterfell – marked a turning point in their plot. The death scene itself was harrowing, as Luwin bid farewell to his boys and tried to comfort them as best he could.

    22. Jorah Mormont

    HBO

    Cause of death: Killed by wights in the Battle of Winterfell.

    Emotional impact: Jorah died in Dany's arms, which was how he would have wanted to go out. Dany's devastated reaction made his death even more heartbreaking – topped off by Drogon curling around both of them in a protective/mournful stance.

    21. Lyanna Mormont

    HBO

    Cause of death: Crushed by a wight giant during the Battle of Winterfell.

    Emotional impact: Lyanna quickly emerged as a fan favourite as soon as she appeared on screen, and watching her die was brutal. But the fact that she took down a freaking zombie giant in the process took the edge off and made it more of a triumphant moment.

    20. Shaggydog

    HBO

    Cause of death: Beheaded by the Umbers.

    Emotional impact: The only thing that made Shaggydog's death hurt slightly less than some of the others was the fact that it happened offscreen – just like much of his actual storyline.

    19. Tommen Baratheon

    HBO

    Cause of death: Suicide.

    Emotional impact: In an episode full of deaths, Tommen's was one of the most gutting. He was one of the few wholly good characters on the show, and he should have been protected – instead, Cersei did the very thing that would hurt him the most. The way he simply gives up and cooly and calmly decides to end his life is devastating.

    18. Rickon Stark

    HBO

    Cause of death: Shot by Ramsay Bolton.

    Emotional impact: The fact that they brought back Rickon just to kill him off was ridiculously harsh. He didn't even get to speak a word! All he did was run in far too straight a line. It was one of Ramsay's cruelest tricks – and the way Jon comes so close to saving his baby brother, only to watch him die at his feet at the last moment, is especially horrific.

    17. Summer

    HBO

    Cause of death: Killed by wights.

    Emotional impact: Summer's death was somewhat overshadowed by Hodor's in the same episode – but it was still freaking painful. At least the good boy took a lot of wights down with him.

    16. Daenerys Targaryen

    HBO

    Cause of death: Stabbed by Jon Snow.

    Emotional impact: Ooft. Like Jaime, it was difficult to place Dany on this list. Her death should have been number one, if the lead-up to it and the scene itself had been executed in an effective way. Instead, her arc was completely rushed and her death felt entirely unearned. There was no space left to grieve for her either – the saddest part of the whole thing was Drogon's reaction. Dany deserved better than this ending on so many levels.

    15. Margaery Tyrell

    HBO

    Cause of death: Wildfire explosion courtesy of Cersei Lannister.

    Emotional impact: Margaery was the only one in that sept smart enough to know what was about to happen, and men got in her way and caused her to die. Ugh. Such a huge loss to Westeros, and to the whole damn show.

    14. Ygritte

    HBO

    Cause of death: Shot by Olly during the Battle of Castle Black.

    Emotional impact: Jon and Ygritte's arc built beautifully, from them falling in love to Jon ultimately betraying her and then them coming face to face in battle. The moment when their eyes met and Jon softly smiled, only to watch an arrow pierce Ygritte's heart – as Olly triumphantly nodded – was such a gut punch. Jon cradling Ygritte as the fight continues to wage around them was a beautiful moment, though, and the space he's allowed to grieve her death in the following episode makes it even more meaningful.

    13. Viserion

    HBO

    Cause of death: Speared by the Night King.

    Emotional impact: Viserion was the first dragon to die, and it was gut-wrenching. The fact he was then turned into a wight only rubbed salt into the wound. Poor fire puppy.

    12. Missandei

    HBO

    Cause of death: Beheaded by the Mountain on Cersei's command.

    Emotional impact: Missandei was wholesome and good, and her death was sickening – especially because the people she loved most were watching. But what made it worse was the fact she died in chains. It was insulting to her and everything she had stood for.

    11. Rhaegal

    HBO

    Cause of death: Shot by Euron Greyjoy.

    Emotional impact: Rhaegal's death came out of nowhere, with absolutely no build up, which is perhaps what made it particularly upsetting. It also didn't make a lot of sense (how did Euron even make that shot without his fleet being observed?!), which added to the frustration. And the fact that Rhaegal's death meant Drogon was the only dragon left just kicked us all while we were down.

    10. Jon Snow

    HBO

    Cause of death: Stabbed by his own men, with the finishing blow through the heart from Olly.

    Emotional impact: I know he came back to life – and let's face it, we all suspected that would happen – but at the time, Jon Snow's death was still shocking and absolutely traumatic. The betrayal of Olly really twisted the knife in on more than one level.

    9. Lady

    HBO

    Cause of death: Executed by Ned Stark on Cersei and Robert Baratheon's command.

    Emotional impact: Oh, Lady. This was the first death of Game of Thrones that really hurt. She was sweet and innocent, and punished for something she didn't do. Ned "swinging the sword" was honourable, but it also meant she was killed by someone she trusted. It still hurts.

    8. Oberyn Martell

    HBO

    Cause of death: Skull crushed by the Mountain.

    Emotional impact: This was one of the most distressing deaths in the whole series. It hits even harder because Oberyn comes so close to winning, if only he had just dealt the death blow instead of being cocky. On top of that, the scene is brutally graphic. Not okay.

    7. Hodor

    HBO

    Cause of death: Torn apart by wights.

    Emotional impact: While Hodor's death in itself would have always been a crushing blow, the way it played out – and the reveal of how he became Hodor – is what made it especially affecting. I know I've said this a lot already, but HODOR DESERVED BETTER.

    6. Shireen Baratheon

    HBO

    Cause of death: Burned alive by Melisandre with the co-operation of Stannis and Selyse.

    Emotional impact: I can still hear Shireen's screams. This was one of the lowest points of the show. Shireen was a precious baby angel who was nothing but pure and good. Like Hodor and so many others, SHE DESERVED BETTER.

    5. Talisa

    HBO

    Cause of death: Stabbed by the Freys at the Red Wedding.

    Emotional impact: I've grouped all of the Red Wedding deaths together because frankly, they're inseparable. The whole event was an unrelenting nightmare and every single death hurt, but the way they kept stacking up is what made it especially shocking. I don't know how any of us came back to the show after it, to be honest? The worst part of Talisa's death was the close-up of her pregnant belly as it got stabbed. Horrific.

    4. Grey Wind

    HBO

    Cause of death: Shot by the Freys at the Red Wedding.

    Emotional impact: He was caged up! He didn't even have a chance to defend himself! The way he cried as he died, and Arya had to sit there and watch, knowing her brother and mother were inside likely dying too – ooft. Now I'm going to start crying all over again.

    3. Robb Stark

    HBO

    Cause of death: Stabbed by Roose Bolton at the Red Wedding.

    Emotional impact: Robb did everything right, except marry the woman he loved – and he paid the price for his one mistake. The loss of Robb would have hurt no matter how it happened – but it happened in the worst possible way. Robb's cry of "mother" right before being killed was particularly heart-wrenching.

    2. Catelyn Stark

    HBO

    Cause of death: Throat slit by the Freys at the Red Wedding.

    Emotional impact: It's hard to choose the most devastating Red Wedding death, as they all hurt, but Catelyn's cut slightly deeper than the rest – perhaps because it was last, and she had to witness her firstborn boy killed, before becoming a killer herself and being so broken that she looked almost relieved by the final death blow. I could feel her scream of grief in my bones, and it's always stayed with me.

    1. Ned Stark

    HBO

    Cause of death: Beheaded by Ilyn Payne on Joffrey's command.

    Emotional impact: Other deaths might have felt more brutal in the grand scheme of things – Red Wedding, I'm looking at you – but the thing about Ned Stark's was that it was an absolute game-changer. It was the moment the show said "we might be called Game of Thrones, but we did not come to play". We were all sweet summer children before Season 1, Episode 9, and Ned's death changed all of that. His character loomed large over the whole series, despite only appearing in less than one season. It wasn't just one of the most memorable and heartbreaking deaths on Game of Thrones, but arguably in television history.

    Need more Game of Thrones? Check out all our Game of Thrones coverage here.

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