Beyond The Wall

The Sickest Burns in 'Game of Thrones' History

Part of the joy of watching Game of Thrones is seeing our favorite characters absolutely annihilate each other. Verbally, I mean. Forget dragon fire, the most brutal burns come from the characters who fight with their words, laying into their enemies with a few well-timed quips. From Tyrion Lannister to the Queen of Thorns, we've picked out the sickest burns of the whole show. Game of Thrones? More like Game of Owns.

game of thrones
Big mood. | HBO

Sansa Stark: "No need to seize the last word, Lord Baelish. I'll assume it was something clever."

Season 7, Episode 1
After Littlefinger saved everyone when he rode up with Sansa and a gajillion Vale cavalry to turn the tide of the Battle of the Bastards, everyone in Winterfell was pretty much stuck with him. You know the feeling when someone you don't really like does you a favor and you have to play nice for a while. Sansa, though, was counting the days until she could be free of Littlefinger, cutting short his monologue about wanting her to be happy with a verbal slap in the face.

game of thrones
The face of a woman who's 1000% done. | HBO

Cersei Lannister: "You annoy me right now. Every breath you draw in my presence annoys me. So, here's what I want you to do: I want you to leave my presence."

Season 4, Episode 2
Cersei is one of those people who, if she's not having a good time, will make sure no one else is either. Grand Maester Pycelle makes the fatal mistake of trying to argue with her about her new favorite Maester Qyburn during King Joffrey's wedding to Margaery Tyrell, after which Cersei tells Pycelle something she's clearly been wanting to tell him for a long, long time.

game of thrones
You want some cheese with that whine, Cersei? | HBO

Cersei: "You're a clever man. But you're not half as clever as you think you are."
Tyrion Lannister: "Still makes me more clever than you."

Season 3, Episode 1
Tyrion is convinced someone tried to have him killed at the Battle of Blackwater Bay, and he's also convinced that it's a certain sister of his. When Cersei visits him in his chambers he alludes at certain rumors he could tell their father Tywin about Cersei, Jaime, and Joffrey, she tries to put him in his place with a sharp insult. You come at the insult king, Cersei, you best not miss.

game of thrones
The real queen of the Seven Kingdoms. | HBO

Lyanna Mormont: "I think we've had enough small talk. Why are you here?"

Season 6, Episode 7
Kids say the darnedest things. When Jon Snow tries to connect with Lyanna Mormont by saying he knew her uncle at Castle Black, she's having none of his bullshit pleasantries. Get on with it, Jon, so you can add the warriors of Bear Island to your army.

game of thrones
Olenna always gets the last laugh. | HBO

Jaime Lannister: "There are always lessons in failures."
Lady Olenna Tyrell: "Yes. You must be very wise by now."

Season 7, Episode 3
House Tyrell was always doomed. After the fiery murder of her last two heirs, Lady Olenna was the last one standing at Highgarden when Jaime came with the Lannister army. She knew she was done for, so she might as well insult the Kingslayer's intelligence one last time.

game of thrones
Best of frenemies. | HBO

Margaery Tyrell: "What's the proper way to address you now? Queen Mother or Dowager Queen?"

Season 5, Episode 3
Margaery delightfully steamrolled Cersei's attempts to be kind of nice to an enemy when she basically called her an old hag in front of all of her friends (read: maids). She memorably followed this one up with a few choice words about how she and Cersei's son were having SUCH a good time getting it on every night. Yikes.

game of thrones
Where's our Tyrion-Bronn buddy comedy??? | HBO

Tyrion: "You think dipping his wick will cure what ails him?"
Bronn: "There's no cure for being a cunt."

Season 2, Episode 4
After walking in on King Joffrey trying to have his Kingsguard torture Sansa, Tyrion and Bronn speculate about whether or not Joff just needs to let off some steam at one of the local brothels, as sometimes being too "backed-up" will make a person pretty irritable and, uh, sadistic? Thankfully, Bronn went ahead and said what we were all thinking.

game of thrones
He doesn't talk much, but when he does you'd better listen. | HBO

The Hound: "I understand that if any more words come pouring out of your cunt mouth, I'm going to have to eat every fucking chicken in this room."

Season 4, Episode 1
This one requires some context to fully appreciate. When a Lannister soldier accosts Sandor Clegane and his hostage Arya Stark, he won't take a hint when the Hound is very explicit about not wanting to have anything to do with him or his despicable comrades. The Hound repeatedly asks the man to bring him a chicken when he won't stop talking, and by the time their conversation is done, the Lannister man has racked up quite a poultry debt.

game of thrones
Pretend that's the mic she's about to drop. | HBO

Cersei: "Ah, yes, the famously tart-tongued Queen of Thorns."
Olenna: "And the famous tart, Queen Cersei."

Season 5, Episode 6
Lady Olenna swiftly established herself as the insult queen of Westeros, not giving a damn whom she offended or what they thought of her afterward. After failing to get Cersei's attention by being polite, she appealed to the Queen Mother's vanity, not-so-vaguely referencing Cersei and Jaime's worst-kept secret.

game of thrones
Buuuuuurn. | HBO

Daenerys: "Dracarys."

Season 3, Episode 4
What would a list of the greatest Game of Thrones burns be without a literal one? Daenerys turning the tables on Kraznys mo Nakloz by freeing her Unsullied army and telling them to kill all the masters they see is a delicious bit of irony, not least because she addresses them -- and Kraznys -- in Valyrian, a language none of them thought she could speak. "A dragon is no slave," she tells him right before she commands Drogon to roast him alive.

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Emma Stefansky is a staff entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @stefabsky.