There are spoilers for all four seasons of Game of Thrones included throughout.
There are three words that should be shown on screen before every single episode of Game of Thrones. Call it an emotional health warning.
Don't get attached.
There is, of course, the old literary adage 'kill your darlings', but George RR Martin takes this to an extreme. I should've realised this when we were just two episodes in and...
In one of his first steps towards becoming the most hated character on the series, Joffrey lies and accuses Arya and her direwolf of ganging up on him. The outcome being that Ned Stark has to kill Sansa's wolf, Lady.
Yes, I know it's an animal but Lady's death set Game of Thrones apart from any other series. We'd seen violence, incest and attempted child murder, but who kills pets?
George RR Martin, that's who!
(Special mention to Grey Wind, who has also gone to that wolf heaven in the sky).
9. Jory Cassel
This one's included not so much for Jory Cassel's actual death, which in itself was shocking as he was the first presumed main character to be killed, but also because this action signals Ned's eventual demise.
Until this moment you felt that maybe Sean Bean was going to make it out of King's Landing alive, but as soon as Jamie Lannister stuck that dagger through Jory's eye it was clear that anyone could die.
8. Oberyn Martell
By the time we got to season 4 we all should've known better than to get attached to a new character! But well played Game of Thrones, well played. You drew us in with the Viper, we took him to heart, he was so nearly a champion, and then....
A timely reminder that this whole damn series' sole purpose for existence is to toy and abuse our emotions!
Alas, poor Ygritte. She was too orangy for crows.
6. Khal Drogo
Another love story ends in tears.
He started out a bit of a bastard, but Daenerys softened him. He had to go for story reasons but it didn't make it any easier to watch.
5. Maester Luwin
Poor Luwin gave his all for his charges at Winterfell. He though they were already dead, so the joy when he sees young Bran and Rickon alive makes the tragedy of of him asking Osha to help him die even harder to take.
4. Talisa Stark
The start of something truly horrific, which on its own would've been enough to set the internet on fire the next day.
Talisa Stark, pregnant with child, is stabbed by Lame Lothar Frey.
I can't even....
3. Robb Stark
"The Lannisters send their regards"
Just that image of him crawling over to his dying wife and unborn child. Trauma central.
2. The Assassination of Ned Stark by the Coward Joffrey Baratheon
Poor Ned. Too good for this twisted world that George RR Martin created.
He discovered the truth about the incest. He found out about an heir, and figures out why Jon Arryn was murdered. As I pointed out before, it was kind of obvious that he was going to go sooner or later, but that did not make it any easier to take. Right up until that very last second part of me kept thinking that some miracle would occur and Ned would be set free. But alas.
In a moment of boy gone wild, Joffrey has him executed in front of his daughters.
1. Catelyn Stark
Of all of them this is the one.
It is Michelle Fairley's astounding performance in this scene that helps put it at number one. Robb's may have been hard to watch. Ned's may have shook the show up more. Talisa's may have been more extreme. But Catelyn's death was the most tragic for me, only heightened by putting it into context with her backstory...
- Her betrothed (who she loves) is killed.
- His brother (who she doesn't know) is his replacement.
- Her new husband has a bastard.
- She has to move north (a.k.a. to the forever cold).
- Her family is then scattered to the wind.
- Her sister goes crazy.
- Her new husband's head is chopped off.
- Her daughters are lost (and presumed dead).
- Her home is wrecked.
- Her two youngest sons are presumed dead.
- Her dad dies.
- Her daughter in law is killed in front of her (carrying her unborn grandchild).
- Her son is killed in front of her.
- She gets her throat slit at her son's wedding.
Which Game of Thrones deaths do you think were the most emotional?
The Best 'They Had It Coming' Deaths In Game Of Thrones
Geek. Lover. Fighter. Dwarf. Follow Wil on Twitter.