If there’s one show that’s known for its disregard for human life – or any life for th that matter; dragon, wolf, ice zombies, etc – it’s Game of Thrones.
It’s fair to say that the show’s death toll is staggering. In fact, only four episodes went down without any loss of life. No jokes. Not for episodes in a season. On no, that’s four episodes across all eight seasons.
Or to put it in perspective, that’s four episodes out of 73. In this article, we will look at the most devastating deaths, season-by-season. Ready? Let’s go.
It goes without saying that this article will contain spoilers. All the spoilers. From season one right through to season eight. And we’ll update the article when season eight is complete.
As of now, four episodes into the last six-episode eighth season, there are about 165 recorded deaths, excluding the unnamed masses who died during the battles, and all those soldiers, hands and red-shirts we don’t really care about.
Get the tissues and let’s pay our respects.
Game of Thrones season 1
It’s safe to say that the most devastating death during season one was Ned Stark. Not only was he good man, but his death caught us off-guard. That was the episode when he we realized that George R. R Martin meant business.
Another notable death was Kahl Drogo. Daenerys smothered in him an act of mercy after he he was cursed by the witch, Mirri Maz Duur. The first season was pretty time, we have to admit. It only gets worse from here.
Notable season 1 deaths:
|Name||Who is this?||Cause of death|
|Prince Viserys Targaryen||Daenerys’ brother||Crowned with molten gold by Kahl Drogo in episode 6.|
|King Robert Baratheon||King of the Sven Kingdoms||Mortally wounded by a boar after drinking too much wine, orchestrated by Cersie, episode 7.|
|Syrio Forel||Arya’s swordsmaster||Killed off-screen by Meryn Trant in episode 8. (Never trust off-screen killings; Forel could still be alive|
|Ned Stark||Lord of Winterfel||Beheaded by Ser Ilyn Payne with his own greatsword, Ice, by order of King Joffrey.|
|Khal Drogo||Dothraki leader, Dany’s husband.||Smothered by Dany after being cursed by Mirri Maz Durr.|
Two masters and advisors, several Dothraki, as well as countless soldiers didn’t survive season two. And as if Ned’s death in season one didn’t already affect Arya, she saw her friend, Lommy, killed by Polliver with her own sword.
Renly Baratheon – King Robert and Stannis’ younger brother, was also a shocker. We met him, we liked him and then Melisandre’s shadow ghost baby killed him. Fun times.
Notable season 2 deaths:
|Master Cressen||Stannis’ advisor||Accidentally poisoned himself in episode one in an attempt to kill Melisandre|
|Lommy Greenhands||Arya’s friend||Stabbed in the throat by Polliver with Needle, under Tywin Lannister’s command|
|King Renly Baratheon||Lord of Storms End||Stabbed in the back by a shadow demon, sent by Melisandre and Stannis|
|Ser Rodrik Cassel||Stark House advisor||Beheaded by Theon Greyjoy at Winterfell|
|Master Luwin||Maester at House Stark||Mercy-killed by Osha with a knife, after being stabbed by Theon’s men at Winterfell|
|Pyat Pree||Warlock in Wuart||Burned by Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion.|
|Qhorin Halfhand||A Brother of the Night’s Watch||Stabbed in the chest by Jon Snow with his greatsword Longclaw. Qhorin told Jon to do this so that the wildlings will trust him.|
|Doreah||Daenerys’ handmade and friend||Locked inside Xaro’s vault by Jorah Mormont, on Daenerys orders. Either starved or suffocated off-screen.|
|Xaro Xhoan Daxos||Merchant at Quarth||Locked inside his vault by Jorah Mormont, on Daenerys orders. Either starved or suffocated off-screen.|
In season three, we learned more about the what happens at the other side of the wall. Unfortunately that meant the death of the kind Lord Commander of the Night’s watch, Jeor Mormont.
However, the most devastating death had to be when practically all the Starks were killed at the Red Wedding – Robb Stark, his wife Talisa and their unborn baby, his mother Catelyn Stark and his direwolf, Grey Wind.
Notable season 3 deaths:
|Lord Commander Jeor Mormont||Commander of the Night’s Watch||Stabbed in the back by Rast with a dagger, during the mutiny at Craster’s Keep.|
|Lord Rickard Karstark||A noble Northern man||Beheaded by Rob Stark with a sword for treason.|
|Talisa Stark||Robb Stark’s pregnant wife||Stabbed in the stomach by Lothar Frey with a dagger at the Red Wedding on Walder Frey’s orders.|
|Grey Wind||Robb’s direwolf||Shot with several arrows by Walder Frey’s archers at the Red Wedding.|
|Robb Stark||Ned Stark’s eldest son||Stabbed in the chest by Roose Bolton at the Red Wedding. His death was orchestrated by Tywin Lannister.|
|Catelyn Stark||Ned Stark’s widow, the Lady of Winterfell||Throat sliced open by Black Walder Rivers with a dagger at the Red Wedding.|
We didn’t really care much for Joffrey, so his death was probably a highlight in the show, but we digress. Oberyn Martell’s deaths was certainly the most shocking. Again, like Ned’s death, it was just so unexpected.
In true Lannister form, Tywin’s death was probably another highly anticipated event. There’s just something about the Lannisters, isn’t there.
Notable season 4 deaths:
|King Joffrey Baratheon||Cercei’s eldest son||Poisoned at his wedding by Lady Olenna Tyrell with the Strangler, orchestrated by Petyr Baelish.|
|Lady Lysa Arryn||Catelyn Stark’s sister||Pushed out of the moon door by Petyr Baelish, after attempting to kill Sansa.|
|Prince Oberyn Martell||Prince of Dorne||Skull crushed by Gregor Clegane in a trial by combat under Tywin Lannister.|
|Ygritte||Jon Snow’s girlfriend||Shot in the heart with an arrow by Olly, during the Battle of Castle Black.|
|Jojen Reed||Son of Howland Reed, Bran’s guide beyond the wall.||Throat slit by Meera Reed with a dagger in a mercy killing, after being stabbed in the stomach by a wight.|
|Shae||Tyrion’s love interest||Strangled to death by Tyrion Lannister with a chain for betraying him and helping Tywin attempt to kill him.|
|Tywin Lannister||Lord of Casterly Rock. Cersei, Jaime and Tyrion’s father||Shot in the heart by Tryrion Lannister with Joffrey’s crossbow for trying to kill him and sleeping with Shae.|
By this point in the game, the series established that at least, at the very least, one death will shock us to our core. In season five, that was when Stannis and Melisandre burned the young Princess Shireen at the stake.
At the time, Melisandre believed that a blood sacrifice of King’s blood was needed in order to secure Stannis’ victory. And we all know who that ended for Stannis and his wife.
Notable season 5 deaths:
|Mance Rayder||King Beyond The Wall||Shot in the heart with an arrow by Jon Snow in a mercy killing, after Melisandre attempted to burn him alive.|
|Barristan Selmy||A Knight in Dany’s King’s Guard||Stabbed in the back by members of the Sons of Harpy.|
|Maester Aemon||Brother of the Night’s Watch||Died peacefully of natural causes in Sam and Gilly’s arms.|
|Princess Shireen Baratheon||Stannis’ daughter||Burned alive by Melisandre, on Stannis’s orders.|
|Stannis Baratehon||King Robert and Renly’s brother||Beheaded by Brienne of Tarth with her sword Oathkeeper, as revenge for Renly’s death.|
|Myrella Baratheon||Cersei’s only daughter||Poisoned by Ellaria Sand (kissing her with the Longfarewell on her lips), as revenge for Oberyn’s death.|
|Jon Snow||998th Lord Commander of the Nights Warch||Stabbed in the chest by Alliser Thorne, Othell Yarwyck, Bowen Marsh and Olly. He is later resurrected in the episode Home by Melisandre.|
Season six’s heartbreaking death was Hodor. Especially because we learned that Hodor had known about his death since he was a boy, and he stayed on that path anyway because he know that his death had a purpose.
While Rickon’s death was also emotional, most fans were just upset that Stark boy didn’t run zig-zag across that field. I mean, he know they were planning to shoot him with arrows…
Just as every season has a shocking, it also has one that we kind of, sort of look forward to. Yes, I know how that sounds. Season six’s ‘much anticipated death’ was when Arya got her revenge on Walder Frey.
Notable season 6 deaths:
|Balon Greyjoy||King of the Iron islands||Thrown from a bridge by his brother Euron Greyjoy, so that he would become the king of the Iron Islands.|
|Shaggydog||Rickon Stark’s direwolf||Decapitated off-screen by Jon Umber.|
|Five Khals||Dothraki leaders||Khal Rhalko, Khal Brozho, Khal Qorro, Khal Forzho, Khal Moro, burned by Dany.|
|Summer||Bran’s direwolf||Slashed across the chest by the Night King with an ice blade.|
|Three Eyed Raven||Bran’s mentor||Slashed across the chest by the Night King with an ice blade.|
|Hodor||Bran’s friend and helper||Torn apart by wights while holding the door so Bran and Meera could escape|
|Rickon Stark||Bran, Sansa and Arya’s brother||Shot through the back with an arrow by Ramsay Bolton during the Battle of the Bastards.|
|Wun Wun||A giant, Jon’s friend||Shot in the eye with an arrow by Ramsay Bolton, during the Battle of the Bastards|
|Ramsay Bolton||Lord of Winterfell at the time||Eaten alive by own hounds which had been released by Sansa Stark shortly after the battle of the bastards|
|Several people||Killed by Cersei when she incinerated the sept with wildfire||Grand Maester Pycelle (killed by Qyburn’s ‘Little Bird,’ on Cersei’s orders. Also: Ser Lancel Lannister, The High Sparrow, Ser Loras Tyrell, Queen Margaery Tyrell, Lord Mace Tyrell, Ser Kevan Lannister.|
|King Tommen Baratheon||Cersei’s youngest son, King of the Seven Kingdoms at the time||Committed suicide by defenestration, presumably upon deducing Cersei’s role in Margaery’s death.|
|Lord Walder Frey||Lord of the Twins, responsible for the Red Wedding||Throat sliced open by Arya Stark with a dagger, as revenge for the Red Wedding.|
Plenty people died in this episode. Most of Dorne’s Sand Snakes; or rather, Obertyn Martell’s daughters. The Tyrell’s of High Garden also won’t have a family reunion ever again. They dead. All of them.
I’d have to go with Viserion being the most shocking death of this season. We’ve been following the dragon’s story since he was an unhatched egg. It was heartbreaking to watch him go down.
Notable season 7 deaths:
|Obara Sand||Oberyn Martell’s daughter||Impaled through the stomach by Euron Greyjoy with her own spear|
|Nymeria Sand||Oberyn Martell’s daughter||Strangled with her own whip by Euron Greyjoy, then hanged from him ship’s prow.|
|Tyene Sand||Oberyn Martell’s daughter||Poisoned by Cersei with Longfarewell, as revenge for Myrcella’s death, the same way Ellaria had poisoned Myrcella|
|Olenna Tyrell||Margaery’s grandmother, the lady of High Garden||Voluntarily committed suicide by drinking poison provided by Jaime Lannister.|
|Randyll and Dikon Tarly||Samwell Tarly’s father and brother, respectivey||Executed by dragon fire, at Daenerys’ orders, for refusing to bend the knee|
|Thoros of Myr||A Red Priest||Died from a combination of wounds sustained from the Polar Bear Wight attack and hypothermia|
|Viserion||Dragon’s dragon||Bled to death after being speared through the neck by the Night King with an ice spear. His corpse was later re-animated by the Night King.|
|Benjen Stark||Jon Snow’s uncle||Torn apart by Wights, after sacrificing himself to save Jon.|
|Petyr Baelish||Former Master of Coins. All-around con man||Throat sliced open by Arya Stark with the Catspaw dagger, on Sansa’s orders|
Notable season 8 deaths (so far…)
Ah, up to date we are. While the showrunners warned us that plenty main characters would die during the Battle of Winterfell, there are a handful of fans of still believe they were being kind to us. Most of our favourites are still alive.
Missandei’s was the most shocking. She and Grey Worm still had plans to return to Naath one day when all the wars were over.
|Eddison Tollett||Jon’s friend, a brother of the Night’s Watch||Stabbed in the back by a Wight wight during the Battle of Winterfell|
|Lady Lyanna Mormont||Lady of Bear Island||Mortally wounded by a Wight Giant with a club. She regained consciousness and charged the giant who picked her up and crushed her chest with his hand. She managed to kill it by stabbing it in the eye before dying.|
|Beric Dondarrion||A man of the Brotherhood without Banners||Stabbed by numerous Wights, gave his life so Arya and the Hound could escape|
|The Night King||King of the undead, approximately 10 000 eyars old||Stabbed in the chest by Arya with the Catspaw dagger, at the Bttle of Winterfell|
|Ser Jorah Mormont||Dany’s best friend, Lord Commander Jeor Mormont’s son||Stabbed multiple times by the Wights at the Battle of Winterfell while protecting Dany.|
|Melisandre||Red Priestess||Died of old age after the Battle of Winterfell, when she removed the red necklace that kept had her alive for centuries.|
|Rhaegel||Dany’s dragon||Shot in the neck by Euron Greyjoy using the Scorpion, a giant crossbow designed to kill dragons|
|Missandei||Dany’s advisor and best friend||Beheaded by the Mountain on Cersei’s orders|
If you need a catch up of the first seven seasons, we have your back: A season-by-season breakdown of all the major events!
- Betrayals, beheadings and dragons – season one recap
- The night is dark, Jon Snow knows nothing – season two recap
- The Lannisters send their regards – season three recap
- Lannisters have regrets – season four recap (Regrets. Get it?)
- A girl wants revenge – season five recap
- Hold the door – season six recap
- Winter is here – season seven recap