All 185 'Game of Thrones' Deaths, Ranked
Game of Thrones returned for its eighth and final season in April, and definitely provoked a good amount of emotional distress in its last episodes. While actor Ian McShane, who played the dearly departed Brother Ray (see #48 below), once suggested that the show's defining qualities were tits and dragons, we're pretty sure that what sets the series apart is its indiscriminate kill count.
To look back at all the characters we've loved and lost (or hated and cheered for their demise), we're taking a look back at all the friends, foes, and randos who bit the dust over the years. Our ranking is based on how much each loss shocked us, changed the show's tone, and made us rethink our concept of the series, rather than purely on emotional impact. That's why you'll see some decidedly evil names ranked higher than some kind, ho-hum ones. And since no one really cares what happened to "Guard #1" in Season 2 (spoiler alert: he died), we've omitted any character without a name or whose role could best be described as "corpse."
This has been a crazy show -- so many characters have died, become undead, and at least one even returned from the afterlife -- so sharpen up your Valyrian steel and dive into the deadly battle below.
185. Pyat Pree
Honestly, it was a relief when the dragons torched this sallow-skinned creep from Qarth. You try sleeping knowing this terror is alive, running around with his MURDER CLONES.
Oh, cool, it's the dude who exclusively breeds daughters with his actual daughters, so he has more women in his own family to rape. Wonder why someone had a problem with him.
183. The Tickler
No upstanding member of society has ever been nicknamed "The Tickler." This guy was an out-and-out sadist, and we don't miss him.
182. Lem Lemoncloak
Lem and his merry band of goons killed Brother Ray and slaughtered a whole village. Thankfully, the Hound killed him pretty soon after.
As far as Game of Thrones deaths go, Polliver's is the best you can hope for. A character nobody likes eats it (in this case, the man who killed Arya's friend Lommy and threatened to rape her), and a character everyone likes gets to deliver the blow in spectacular fashion.
180. Karl Tanner
Karl's rap sheet includes killing his Night's Watch commander Jeor Mormont, drinking wine out of the old man's skull, and raping Craster's daughters. Jon Snow made the right judgment call.
179. Amory Lorch
In Westeros, kids learn the "snitches get stitches" rule young. So when Amory threatens to tattle on Arya to Tywin, she calls in Jaqen to poison-dart this rat. (Amory also killed some of her friends, so he's quite an awful man!)
Myranda, much like her lover Ramsay, was one twisted individual. Castration and hunting human beings seem to turn her on, so it's hard to feel bad when Theon pushes her off the rampart.
177. Meryn Trant
A repugnant end for a repugnant knight: stabbed multiple times (including in the eyes) by an underage prostitute he hired -- who's actually Arya Stark.
176. Mirri Maz Duur
She killed Daenerys' baby with black magic. Burning this witch actually seems appropriate.
Oh no, it's the scary wildling guy who told that village kid Olly he was going to eat his parents and generally shows no mercy. QUICK, AX HIM IN THE HEAD, JON SNOW.
174. Janos Slynt
It's impressive that Janos continues to brag about himself, even after Tyrion strips him of his title as Commander of the King's Landing City Watch and ships him off to the Night's Watch. No, wait -- impressive isn't the right word. Dumb! That's it. Jon Snow has no choice but to execute Janos when he refuses to acknowledge Jon's new authority as Lord Commander, but we have to think Jon was also personally excited to kill the man complicit in the death of his father and so many innocent Baratheon babies.
173. Areo Hotah
Areo was a badass warrior, one of the few bright spots in the dreary Dorne plot, but he ended up being a pretty shitty bodyguard, right? He got killed right before the prince he was supposed to protect, Doran Martell, also got murdered. Come on, Areo.
Apparently the only one in this terrible trio of Stark soldiers with a name, "Tom" openly brags about torturing and killing tavern girls with his buddies.
Theon's first torturer was no match for Ramsay, but "Skinner" still did some nasty stuff, like stick screws in Theon's foot and pull his fingernails off with a knife.
Everyone knew from the start that Rast was a bad guy -- he joined the Night's Watch as punishment for rape -- and he only leans into expectations by joining Karl Tanner's mutiny and being a total dick to Ghost. Who ends up mauling him, by the way.
169. Kraznys mo Nakloz
What do you call a guy who gets rich off an army of abused eunuchs? A war profiteer? A prick? Daenerys went with dragon bait.
168. Greizhen mo Ullhor
Not as blatantly repugnant as his buddy Kraznys, but still a slave trader.
167. Mandon Moore
You may think your family has weird dynamics, but at least none of your siblings asked a knight to low-key kill you during a castle siege, like Tyrion's did during the Battle of the Blackwater. Thank God for Podrick.
Ugh, Mago. It wasn't enough for him to just call his Khaleesi a whore. He also had to wound Khal Drogo before the big guy killed him -- leaving a cut on the Khal that would eventually fester and prove fatal. For such a minor character, he really sucks.
After six seasons, we know Game of Thrones is a cold, cold world. Heroes die. Babies die. Cute dogs die. Everything dies. But the Children of the Forest? Did one of these little bomb-throwing rascals really have to bite the dust? Yes, apparently they did.
You'd think Rorge would thank Arya for freeing him from that cage with Biter and Jaqen, but he mostly just throws insults and threatens to hurt her. She kills him later, proving once and for all the importance of manners.
Dude, we know your name is Biter, but don't bite the Hound. Do you want to get your neck snapped? Because that's how you get your neck snapped.
Daenerys' former friend sold her out on the promise of Xaro Xhoan Daxos' riches. You know, the ones that don't actually exist. Nobody misses her when she's locked up inside that vault.
161. Rickard Karstark
Sure, he's a grieving father, but slaughtering two preteen Lannisters isn't the answer here, Rickard.
160. The Lord of Bones
Beaten to death for making a dick joke. Hope it was worth it, man.
In retrospect, this Dothraki dude probably had a point about avoiding the crazy witch lady. But he hurt Daenerys while stating his case, and Jorah reacted as you'd expect. (Murderously.)
Sorry, Drennan, but you were standing in Bran and Rickon's escape path out of Winterfell. Also, you're hanging out with Theon Greyjoy, so really, what are you doing with your life?
Osha's wildling friend considers kidnapping Bran before Robb takes him out. Bad call, Wallen!
Osha's other wildling friend actually threatens Bran before Theon takes him out. Bad call, Stiv!
Always share your chicken with the Hound. The man needs his protein.
154. Maege Mormont
We forgive you for forgetting Maege: the Lady of Bear Island was never the most important character in Westeros, and she pretty much disappeared after Season 1. This year, we finally learned that she died during the War of the Five Kings, putting an end to one of the show's many mysteries.
153. Prendahl na Ghezn
He wanted Daario to kill Daenerys, but he wasn't a jerk about it.
He wanted Daario to kill Daenerys, and he kinda was a jerk about it.
151. The Spice King
He's sort of the figurehead of "The Thirteen," aka the ruling council of Qarth, and he perishes quickly in that mass magical slaughter engineered by Pyat Pree. He was pretty snobby, to be honest.
150. Oznak zo Pahl
The champion of Meereen is no match for Daario, who matches Oznak's pre-duel showboating by peeing on his corpse.
149. Selyse Baratheon
Selyse's death is possibly the only redeeming thing about her. For five seasons, she agreed to every single demand Melisandre made (including killing her own brother) and treated her daughter like garbage. But then, finally, after Shireen dies at the sacrificial stake, she feels something: the enormity of killing her only child. Soon after, she hangs herself.
148. Dickon Tarly
That feel when you're overall a pretty nice good looking dude who gets introduced just in time to make a few friends and get killed off a couple episodes later. Oh, Dickon, you and your hilarious name never stood a chance.
147. Randyll Tarly
If the name Tarly sounds familiar to you, that's because Randyll is Samwell Tarly's horrible dad (making the late Dickon his hot, successful brother). The Tarlys' loyalties throughout the show were confusing, but Randyll finally refuses to bend the knee for once. Too bad the person he refused to pledge loyalty to has a dragon who just loved to roast people where they stand.
Holy shit, it's a giant.
145. Adrack Humble
Killing your superior because he won't surrender to the Boltons is a bold move. It's also a stupid one if the man you're surrendering to is Ramsay.
144. Vardis Egen
Vardis doesn't make a strong impression in his two-episode run, but he does choose to fight against Bronn -- and by proxy, Tyrion -- in a trial by combat. That puts him on the wrong side of history.
This Lannister soldier mostly just gets to diss Loras Tyrell and take a leak in the woods before he bites it. But getting mauled by Robb Stark's direwolf is a pretty metal way to go.
Daenerys definitely isn't messing around when it comes to due process. It doesn't matter that Mossador was one of her earliest supporters in Meereen -- he killed a Sons of the Harpy prisoner awaiting trial, so he has to die quite publicly.
It takes Loboda a while to trust Jon Snow, but they eventually team up against the army of the dead. Shame that White Walker impaled him pretty soon after.
A Bolton soldier who tries to kill Stannis in the Battle of Winterfell. He fails.
Another Bolton soldier who tries to kill Stannis in the Battle of Winterfell. He scrapes Stannis' leg, but also fails.
138. Wendel Manderly
The Red Wedding was a heartbreaking horror show, but not because Wendel got killed as collateral. Sorry, Wendel.
137. Trystane Martell
Trystane was living the dream: one day he's just a teen in love, betrothed to Myrcella and living in the perpetually sunny paradise of Dorne. Then his fiancée got poisoned, and he got stabbed through the back of the head. Goodnight, sweet prince.
Wyl is one of the only named Stark guardsmen Jaime kills in retribution for Catelyn's capture of Tyrion.
Heward is the other one.
134. Ralf Kenning
One of his own men killed him because he wouldn't surrender, but those dudes ended up getting flayed by the Boltons. So, comparatively, an ax to the head sounds delightful.
He dies trying to protect Ned when the Lannisters accuse him of treason. Way to be super bad at your job, Varly.
How many direwolves have to die before we put an end to this madness?
The world is not safe for direwolves.
130. The High Septon
This man of the cloth seemed pretty peaceful, but he was simply in the wrong place (outside the Red Keep) at the wrong time (during riots).
129. Smalljon Umber
He dies during the Battle of the Bastards, after Tormund bites him in the neck, chews his throat, and stabs his forehead. It's really too bad he got all that blood on such a sick beard.
128. Waymar Royce
One of the Night's Watch dudes killed by White Walkers in the series premiere. Cool name.
The other Night's Watch dude killed by White Walkers in the series premiere. Cool beard.
126. Hugh of the Vale
Hugh was probably stoked when he got promoted from Jon Arryn's squire to actual knight. He was probably less stoked when the Mountain jammed a lance in his neck during a jousting tournament.
125. Torrhen Karstark
This would be the guard Jaime strangles to escape his cell at the Stark camps. We don't spend any real time with Torrhen, but based on the grand revenge schemes his dad hatches in the aftermath of his death, we're going to assume he was an EXCEPTIONAL son.
Kegs is one of three Night's Watch men who sneak out to a brothel to listen to a prostitute burp songs. Despite a dumb name that implies he’s familiar with boozy activities like this one, Kegs is bad at guessing the tunes. Later on, wildlings invade and slaughter them.
Mully is also there.
122. Jack Bulwer
So is Jack. He's actually pretty good at the belching game! Still dies, though.
121. Joyeuse Erenford
Being married to Walder Frey sounds like a miserable life, so maybe it's actually a good thing Catelyn slit Joyeuse's throat.
120. Vayon Poole
Vayon came this close to making it. Sensing Joffrey's impending wrath, Ned ordered his steward back to Winterfell. But Vayon was just too slow for the Lannister death squad, which slayed him mid-move.
119. Willis Wode
Ser Wode was minding his own business at a bar when Catelyn guilted him and a few other friends of House Tully into transporting her prisoner Tyrion through the Vale of Arryn. Willis pays for his volunteer services later, when hill tribesmen attack.
All that stuff that happened to Willis? Ditto for Kurleket.
Poor, sweet, stupid Cressen. Never challenge a red priestess to a poison-drinking contest. You will always lose.
116. Balon Greyjoy
There are a lot of older male characters with long, scraggly gray hair on Game of Thrones, and they're often hard to tell apart. Balon was possibly the scraggliest of them all -- until he got murdered on a dark and stormy night by his brother.
The Battle of Castle Black claimed many great men. Smitty was one of them. He fell.
Cooper was another one. He died killing a giant.
113. Donnel Hill
Donnel also died killing a giant.
Fine, he's technically a Night's Watch deserter. But you probably should've listened to his warnings about the White Walkers before you took the guy's head off, Ned.
111. White Rat
White Rat is killed while visiting a brothel, which makes little sense, considering he's an Unsullied. But it turns out he regularly pays a prostitute just to hold him and hum -- and she sells him out to the Sons of the Harpy like a monster.
Irri is one of Daenerys' first Dothraki confidants, but she's killed pretty unceremoniously in Season 2, when Pyat Pree steals the dragons. And Daenerys is way more distraught about the dragon part. Cool friendship.
109. Matthos Seaworth
Man, Davos just can't catch a break. As if constantly fielding the scorn of royal morons wasn't enough, the Lannisters' wildfire trap in Blackwater Bay took out his beloved son Matthos -- and somehow, Stannis managed to be a huge dick about that, too.
For such a young girl, Arya has seen a lot of friends die. Lommy's death was especially rough, since the man who did the deed (Polliver) stole her sword for the task. The silver lining is Lommy inadvertently spared Gendry -- and inspired one of Arya's best acts of revenge.
107. Ser Pounce
After sweet Tommen's death by window suicide, Cersei couldn't bear to have any reminders of her son left in the castle -- or so the showrunners say when it comes to the fate of Ser Pounce. Tommen's beloved feline couldn't be allowed to live, and his death was "so horrible we couldn’t even put it on the air," David Benioff said.
The Dothraki leader was the most prominent of the Khals killed in Daenerys' big tent BBQ. Sure, he got a few funny lines during his brief time on the show, but he was mostly an irritating oaf, a clearly about-to-die obstacle in Dany's waltz towards world domination. Feel the burn, Moro!
105. Septa Mordane
She saved Sansa from the Lannister soldiers, and all she got was her head on a spike.
104. Axell Florent
It's pretty messed up that Stannis burns his own brother-in-law just for having some issues with Melisandre's theology, but Stannis has a much more horrifying sacrifice coming later on.
Olly's dad seemed nice. Too bad the wildlings decided to eat him.
102. Alliser Thorne
The Master at Arms of Castle Black was a real stick in the mud, and he conspired to get Jon Snow killed. Surprise: Jon Snow was not happy about this when he got back. You might even say Alliser was a Thorne in Jon's side -- actually, you wouldn't say that, 'cause you're not a monster.
101. Alton Lannister
Alton's blind hero-worship of his distant, more famous cousin Jaime is downright adorable. It's also his undoing, since Jaime isn't above killing his cuz to escape the Stark POW camp.
Karsi fights admirably at Hardhome, but she has a hard time killing kids -- even the undead ones -- which means she falls to the White Walkers. And then comes back as a wight herself!
It's hard to keep a steady group of friends in Westeros, where everyone is constantly throwing each other under the bus. But Jon, Sam, Grenn, and Pypar stayed close from their first days in the Night's Watch in Season 1, all the way through Season 4. A giant came and snatched Grenn away during the Battle of Castle Black, which was slightly less upsetting than the way Pypar went...
98. Doran Martell
Was anyone really upset when Prince Doran died? He was the beach god of Dorne, a benign and inoffensive presence in one of the show's least urgent plotlines. His death by stabbing was abrupt but not especially shocking, putting an end to the show's least compelling plotline for the time being and letting you make that "dead as a Dorne nail" joke you've been sitting on for at least a season now.
97. Ned Umber
Poor little Ned Umber was not long for this world. He shared a few words with our main characters and ventured back to Last Hearth to gather his men, where he was ambushed by wights and artfully incorporated in one of their creepy body part crop circles for the best jump scare of the show.
... Ygritte shot him. You really should've introduced your buddies to your girlfriend, Jon.
Terminally ill kids are always sad. Ghita, whom Arya poisons out of pity, is no exception.
94. Qhorin Halfhand
This is the kind of death that makes you nervous more than anything else. Because, really, who's going to believe Jon Snow that a longtime Night's Watch ranger staged a duel with him and died on purpose, just so Jon could have a more convincing cover to spy on the wildlings? Spoiler alert: almost no one.
93. The Three-Eyed Raven
Played with appropriate "I was in The Seventh Seal" gravitas by 87-year-old Max von Sydow, the Three-Eyed Raven was the perfect guide on Bran's journey toward enlightenment. But once he served his purpose of playing Obi-Wan to Bran's Luke Skywalker, there wasn't much of a reason for him to stick around. Luckily, the White Walkers shuffled him off his mortal coil right before his shtick got old.
92. The Waif
The Waif was annoying. There's really no other way to put it. As Arya Stark's tormentor, she had the difficult job of making laborious training scenes interesting. At least she got a cool death: snuffed out in the dark by Arya's old buddy Needle.
91. Dontos Hollard
He helps Sansa escape amid the chaos of the Purple Wedding (which only seems fair, since Sansa convinced Joffrey not to kill Dontos at a tournament in Season 2), but as soon as she's delivered to Littlefinger's ship, Dontos gets shot. This is why you never accept a work contract from Littlefinger.
90. Hizdahr zo Loraq
When Daenerys' betrothed is stabbed to death by the Sons of the Harpy, it proves once and for all that he was loyal to her. But it also means he's dead, which is a bummer.
Yoren is pals with two of the best Game of Thrones characters, Tyrion and Arya, so you know he's a good guy. But good guys tend to have a short shelf life on this show. After smuggling Arya out of King's Landing and protecting Gendry from the Lannister soldiers who want him dead, Yoren is slaughtered by Amory Lorch in the middle of the night. At least he went down swinging.
88. Lady Crane
A skilled actress, a gifted medic, and a talented maker of soups, Lady Crane was a renaissance woman born into brutal times. She was killed by the nameless Waif, sadly putting an end to her stage career. Hopefully she wins a posthumous GoT Tony Award.
87. Benjen Stark
Jon's beloved Uncle Benjen makes one last, heroic appearance to save Jon from the wights beyond the wall, holding the undead off just long enough for Jon to jump back on his horse and take off.
Perhaps better known as "the butcher's boy," Mycah may be the first recorded victim of Joffrey's temper tantrums. It's never clarified exactly how he died -- just that the Hound did it, and that it was incredibly unnecessary.
85. Willem Lannister
Part one of a package set of squire hostages, Willem is slain by Rickard Karstack against Robb's wishes. He asks Rickard if it's a rescue. Aw, Willem.
84. Martyn Lannister
Willem's brother, who is also killed by Karstarck and at one point, asks Talisa if Robb can turn into a direwolf. Aw, Martyn.
83. Barra Baratheon
She was a baby -- a baby! -- and those Lannister minions still killed her, along with Robert Baratheon's other illegitimate children.
82. Walda Bolton
Poor Walda. Being married to a grump like Roose Bolton was probably no treat, but she seemed like she was making do with the hand life dealt her. Did she really deserve to get eaten alive by Ramsay's hungry dogs? With her baby?! Of course, not.
81. Rodrik Cassel
Ever the Stark loyalist, Jory's dad Rodrik doesn't give Theon an ounce of respect when that punk invades Winterfell. So Theon tries to prove he's a tough guy by executing Rodrik in front of the crying young Stark children. He fails miserably in that regard, taking multiple swings and a kick before he finally beheads Rodrik, which is... honestly, a little funny. Unless you're Bran and Rickon. Then it's traumatizing.
Season 1 ended with Daenerys in a pretty bleak place, and the Season 2 premiere just piled on when one of her last Dothraki pals rode off in search of food and/or allies... only to return with his head in a bag. Whoever did him in even cut his braid, just to be a jerk.
79. Jory Cassel
Jory was nice enough, but his death was mainly upsetting because it revealed just how vulnerable Ned was in King's Landing. Also upsetting? The fact that Jaime stabbed him through the eye.
78. Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun
The Wildling big man was always a joy to observe on the battlefield. He moved with so much grace -- even when he was knocking out a horse with one punch. Watching this gentle giant get stuffed full of arrows from Ramsay Bolton's army was pretty traumatizing, but at least Wun Wun went out like he lived: big.
Having to spend any time at all with Ramsay Bolton is bad enough. But getting hunted by him and his jealous girlfriend? That's cosmically unfair. Rest easy, Tansy. You were only in one episode, but you still have our pity.
Admit it: you wanted to see this little punk get killed after he shot Ygritte with his bow and arrow. When he helped bring down his big bro Jon Snow, you knew Olly wasn't long for this world.
75. Lothar Frey
Lothar Frey might as well not have a name, really. He's one of the many spawn of his father's loins -- and Black Walder was cooler anyway. But Lothar's one genuinely cool contribution to the fabric of the Game of Thrones universe was undoubtedly the finger he lent to his father's meat pie immediately before Arya Stark slit the elder Walder's throat. Bravo, Lothar.
74. Black Walder Rivers
Honestly it could just as easily have been Black Walder Rivers's finger, but we'll give that one to Lothar, because Black Walder's retribution came after he committed a much more grievous crime: killing Arya's mother Catelyn Stark. (Lothar killed Talisa, who Arya never had the chance to meet.) Black Walder's meat pie is by default the more delicious of the two.
73. Obara Sand
Oh, Sand Snakes. How this show failed you. Season 6 somehow made the trio of awesome Dornish warrior women incredibly boring, so we were almost relieved to see them go this early on. Obara and her sister Nymeria are taken out by Euron Greyjoy during his attack on Yara's fleet. He stabs Obara with a spear and strangles the other.
72. Nymeria Sand
Sigh. See above.
71. Tyene Sand
(S7, E3 sorta)
This is one of those deaths that sticks with you. Taking her revenge on Ellaria Sand, Cersei locks her and her daughter to opposite walls of a dungeon cell, kisses Tyene with lipstick made from "The Long Goodbye" poison (the same poison and method Ellaria used on Cersei's beloved daughter Myrcella), and leaves Tyene to die a slow death while Ellaria watches.
70. Ellaria Sand
Ellaria's death was never shown onscreen, but since actress Indira Varma did confirm this episode was her last appearance on the show, we can safely assume that Ellaria is either very dead or as good as, rotting away next to her daughter's dead body. Yikes!
69. Jeor Mormont
On the one hand, Jeor is a friend and mentor to Jon Snow during some tough times. On the other, he's been looking the other way as Craster keeps on Crastering (i.e., committing incest and murdering his baby sons) for years. Jeor is a morally tricky man, but he probably didn't deserve to get stabbed in the back by his own troops.
68. Xaro Xhoan Daxos
It's safe to assume the pretend-rich merchant who stole Daenerys' dragons died in that treasure vault she locked him in, considering its utter lack of food, water, or really anything. (Remember: he's only pretend rich.)
67. Brynden Tully
The artist also known as the "Blackfish" went down with honor -- or at least, we think he did. After Jaime Lannister took over his castle, Tully's death was staged offscreen, and presumably, he went down fighting.
66. Lord Roose Bolton
Roose Bolton was a bad man. He plotted against the Starks, killed Rob at the Red Wedding, and always had a disapproving look on his face. However, compared to his son Ramsay, Roose was a charming little imp and a model of steely pragmatism. It wasn't exactly upsetting to see him go, killed by his own son in the same brutal manner he eliminated Robb, but it did signal a power-shift in the North. He was the lesser of two evils -- which is probably why he couldn't survive for too long.
65. Lysa Arryn
Part of you wants to feel bad for crazy Aunt Lysa, but a bigger part of you wants her to leave Sansa alone and go away forever. Moon doors are good for that.
Ros was the coolest and craftiest prostitute to ever grace Westeros. But she made the fatal mistake of double-crossing Littlefinger, who signed her up for human target practice with Joffrey and his crossbow. Maybe she should've stayed in Winterfell after all.
While Ned, Catelyn, and Robb are off waging all kinds of power struggles, Luwin is basically the only parent Bran and Rickon have. And right as Theon's brief, terrible reign in Winterfell reaches its close, some ironborn idiot has to go and stab him. It's fortunate that the boys get to say goodbye to him as he's fading under an enormous tree, but it's also crazy sad.
It was pretty cruel when he cut Jaime's hand off. Ditto when he threw Brienne in a pit with a bear. But hold up, this guy is also friends with Ramsay? Yeah, we're OK with Bran warging into Hodor and snapping his neck.
61. Myrcella Baratheon
Ellaria Sand was bound to take down a Lannister for her lover Oberyn's death, and unfortunately for Myrcella, she was the easiest target. (Come on, no one actually thinks she's a Baratheon.) That poison lip gloss will get you every time.
60. Mag Mar Tun Doh Weg (Mag the Mighty)
Holy shit, another giant! Their king, to be exact.
59. Harry Strickland
The leader of the greatest army ever known to Westeros, Essos, and beyond turned tail and fled before Drogon's flames.
Osha was a survivor. The former Wildling turned bodyguard for Bran and Rickon was always one of the toughest, most cunning characters on the show. When she had Ramsay Bolton in her sights, it seemed like the Bastard was about to meet his match. Instead, Osha got stabbed in the neck and bled out on the floor, another victim of Ramsay's unending cruelty.
57. Euron Greyjoy
Euron died doing what he loved: insisting to himself that he's hot shit. "I'm the man who killed Jaime Lannister," he said to himself as he breathed his last breath.
Qyburn forgot one tiny thing when he brought the Mountain back from the dead: he really, REALLY hates his little brother Sandor, and would absolutely push a little ex-Maester off the stairs if he got in his way.
55. High Sparrow
Arms outstretched with religious resolve, the High Sparrow takes the gold for coolest single shot while dying; no other character on the show will ever meet their end in green flames quite like he did. Plus the game-changing ignition of King's Landing wildfire supplied shifted the chessboard of the whole show, with the following deaths…
54. Loras Tyrell
Here lie the cremains of Loras, the only male heir to House Tyrell, and the most talented swordsman in Westeros who did basically fuck all for most of the series. He coulda been a contender.
53. Ser Kevan Lannister
Of all the Hands of the King to die on this show -- and Tyrion is the only one who hasn't -- his demise was by far the flashiest.
52. Mace Tyrell
For a guy whose only son and daughter -- who beyond being his son and daughter, literally represent the economic and political security of the future of his whole family and fiefdom -- were captured by crazy religious zealots, Tyrell essentially rolled over. Moron.
51. Brother Lancel Lannister
Lancel never took any opportunity to not suck. He had a front row seat to the wildfire, and it is justice that it consumed him first.
50. Margaery Tyrell
In any other show, Margaery would have made it to the very end. Her character acted as an important commentary on class and gender in a show that focuses amply on both those themes, and her guile was such that you truly did believe she had the upper hand, even when she seemed to be at her lowest. But given that Cersei deployed the "Little Boy" of the Seven Kingdoms, any hope for a Margaery-led rebellion went up in smoke.
49. Renly Baratheon
Based on Brienne's account, Renly was a good dude. He was also way more interesting than his stiff older brother Stannis, and the reason we got Margaery Tyrell. His death by shadow baby was honestly more baffling than heartbreaking, but if we could've spared one Baratheon bro, it would've been this one.
48. Brother Ray
It's a shame about Brother Ray. When it was announced that Deadwood's Ian McShane was returning to HBO, people who love the word "cocksucker" rejoiced! And he didn't disappoint: McShane showed up for one episode, delivered a few wise speeches, helped the Hound get his groove back, and then got murdered, along with all his followers.
47. Rickon Stark
Come on, Rickon! Use a stutter-step. Zig-zag. Run a slant. You just got released by Ramsay and there's an arrow coming straight for you. Get your shit together!
46. Grand Maester Pycelle
How annoying was Pycelle? Let's count the ways: doddering, lecherous, scheming -- and utterly ineffective at it, which made him uninteresting. Once he even farted mid-scene. Thank the Seven this leech is dead. Praise the Seven that little brats killed him.
45. Maester Aemon Targaryen
Aemon proves that a more traditional, drawn-out death from old age can be just as sad as the shocking, violent ends so many characters face. At least he got Jon Snow elected Lord Commander before he finally passed in bed, with Sam and Gilly at his side.
44. Thoros of Myr
Thoros was always a nice dude, and we were sad to see him go, frozen to death while the Good Boys Go North Club were making their chilly stand against the wights. But no one is sadder than Beric Dondarrion, probably, since Thoros' death means he can't be resurrected by the Lord of Light again anytime soon. If you die in the game, Beric, you die for real.
43. Talisa Stark
There are few things more upsetting than watching a group of men stab a pregnant woman's belly. And that's just the kickoff to the nonstop nightmare at the tail end of "The Rains of Castamere." Compared to other victims like Robb and Catelyn, we didn't know Talisa that well. But you could see why Robb risked political suicide to marry her. And man, remember how she promised to name the baby Eddard if it was a boy only moments earlier? Goddammit, George.
42. Jojen Reed
Did you know the actor who plays Jojen is 28? Crazy, right? Oh, also, a wight (aka zombie White Walker minion) attacked him, so his sister Meera mercy-slit his throat. It was pretty sad. But seriously, the kid from Love Actually is 25?!
41. Syrio Forel
What do we say to the God of Death? "Not today." Maisie Williams recently confirmed that Arya's "dance instructor" never made it out of King's Landing, and the news devastated us -- Syrio provided the inspiration and comic relief the show often lacks.
40. Grey Wind
OK, it might seem ridiculous to put the direwolf deaths this high, but Grey Wind's dying whimper after those Frey bastards shot him full of arrows still cuts deep.
Do you remember how this went down? Lady, the most docile and cuddly pup of them all, was killed basically because Joffrey wouldn't stop whining. And Ned had to stab Sansa's pet himself! Cersei has a pretty lengthy list of sins, but engineering this tragedy might take the cake. Where's that shame bell when you need it?
38. Lyanna Mormont
Lyanna Mormont brought the sass and the fire to every council meeting she sat on, and refused to sit in the crypts with the other women and children when there was a battle for humanity to fight. She managed to take an undead giant with her when she fell, proving that strength comes in many sizes.
37. The Mountain
Cleganebowl was a little anticlimactic for something that had been teased since the show's first season. After trading blows on a wobbly staircase, Sandor Clegane grabbed his brother the Mountain and leapt with him off the edge of the Red Keep.
36. The Hound
Sandor Clegane did what no one before him could ever do: convinced Arya Stark to abandon her kill list and save her own life. Sandor, though, had one last job to do, and while he couldn't kill his brother the Mountain himself, he could certainly take him with him as the Red Keep crumbled to pieces around them.
35. Stannis Baratheon
Watching Stannis' arc is a lot like watching a friend get sucked into a megachurch. He has to know better than this, but he just keeps falling deeper and deeper for Melisandre's preaching. Every now and then he still shows a flash of humanity, but by the time Brienne tracks him down and exacts her revenge, Stannis has committed or condoned some truly appalling crimes (e.g., see #16).
34. Barristan Selmy
Ser Barristan remained a legendary fighter even in his old age, so it seems appropriate that he finally went down in a grand battle against the Sons of the Harpy. He also saved Grey Worm! It may be a fitting end, but that didn't do anything for Daenerys' subsequent rage.
Varys survived this whole time by being one step ahead of everyone else, choosing his masters carefully and constantly serving what he believed to be a higher purpose. His last act was to expose a secret he thought would save his kingdom, and was ultimately executed for it.
Here come all the feelings. For a while, Tyrion and Shae were a great secret couple. But when it got too dangerous for Shae to stay in King's Landing, Tyrion pulled out the classic, cruel "Can't you see I don't want you anymore?!" speech normally reserved for pets. A stung Shae retaliated by making up a bunch of lies during his trial for the murder of Joffrey, and eventually, the former couple ended up in a deadly fight. Tyrion technically won, but really, there are no winners here.
A couple of giant crossbow bolts from a couple of Greyjoy warships, and Daenerys was down to just one dragon as Rhaegal plummeted into the sea, pouring blood out of his neck. Definitely one of the greatest out-of-nowhere deaths of the series.
The show's most controversial death was saved for the final season, when Cersei Lannister tried to use Daenerys' translator and friend Missandei as leverage to force the young queen to surrender. Dany didn’t take the bait, and Missandei was beheaded, bringing the show's paltry cohort of named characters of color to one.
29. Mance Rayder
Boy, does Stannis like burning people. Dying at the stake seems like a lame way for the fearsome King Beyond the Wall to go, but at least Jon Snow helped him out with that arrow to the heart.
28. Robert Baratheon
King Robert was kind of a slutty lush who raised one truly horrific son. But he had a much better moral compass than his in-laws, and his sudden death signaled serious trouble for the Starks. It also meant Joffrey ascended the throne, which was the real tragedy here.
27. Olenna Tyrell
Fan-favorite schemer Olenna Tyrell couldn't keep scheming forever, but she sure went out with a bang. After she drinks Jaime's proffered poison -- a poison and manner of death he picked specifically so she didn't have to suffer any pain -- she unloads on him her involvement in Joffrey's horrific murder. "Tell Cersei," she says, smiling at him. "I want her to know it was me."
Having done what she returned to Westeros to do (light some swords on fire????? OK), Melisandre did what anyone would do after a hard night's work: walked off into the snowy wasteland, shedding her clothes and transforming back into the old, old woman she’d always been.
25. Eddison Tollett
Dolorous Edd was truly one of the bright points during the show's segments at Castle Black, and the most fitting first death to kick off the bloodbath that was the Battle of Winterfell. He saves Sam and is impaled for his trouble, and with that, the show made it clear it was gonna start killing off some faves this season.
24. Beric Dondarrion
With the death of Thoros of Myr, Beric's days were numbered, and what better way to go out than by fighting to protect the girl who would save Westeros from the undead with a freakin' fire sword?
That kid Olly thought he was doing a good thing by shooting an arrow in Ygritte's back, but all he did was break Jon Snow's heart. AND OURS.
22. Tommen Baratheon
Poor, sweet, simpering Tommen was never long for Martin's world of chaos, betrayal, and verdant explosions, but nonetheless Messrs. Benioff, Weiss, and Sapochnik handled his passing with such a deft touch, it doesn't matter. The crushing silence of his suicide -- and the meme-worthy GIFs that followed -- produced probably the most memorable isolated death in "The Winds of Winter," an episode with the highest main-cast-member kill count of the the whole series since "The Rains of Castamere." One question nags at us: where is his trusty cat, Ser Pounce?
21. Walder Frey
Old Walder had to die, and it had to hurt. If Game of Thrones is a show about betrayal, it's also a show about consequences. For all his deconstructive tendencies in the early seasons of the series, Martin's views on predetermined retribution have revealed themselves to be pretty standard five seasons after Ned Stark's head was first lopped off. So Frey had to die. The things that didn't have to happen are what make his death great, specifically: the cold symmetry of Frey's slit throat and Catelyn Stark's, baking Frey's kids into a pie, and most triumphantly Arya doing the deed herself.
20. Night King
A leap, a catch, a stealthy knife drop, and the biggest threat to Westeros that ever was was taken out in a shower of ice crystals. Arya proved herself to be the hero the world deserved when she iced the Night King, and in a matter of moments the Army of the Dead vanished from the face of the earth forever.
19. Khal Drogo
When the series started, Drogo wasn't an easy guy to like. But thanks to his relationship with Daenerys and one hell of a performance from Jason Momoa, everyone came around on the Khal. So, naturally, that meant it was time for him to die. First came infection, then black magic, and finally, the pillow-smothering. By the end, it was hard to disagree with Daenerys' mercy-killing decision. But damn if we don't miss this guy's bluster.
18. Lord Ramsay Bolton
Ramsay's death was an event we anticipated, imagined, and rooted for with varying levels of intensity. Basically, he had to go. After seasons of watching the Bastard of Bolton murder, rape, torture, flay, and humiliate beloved characters, it was poetic -- and yes, disturbing as hell -- to watch him get devoured by his own dogs, the beasts he starved to terrorize others. But who do we hate on now?
17. Theon Greyjoy
Having finally redeemed himself in his family's eyes by saving his sister, Yara, Theon was ready for any challenge the world could throw at him, even if it was a death trap. He died protecting Bran, the foster brother he'd once pretended to murder.
Look, we knew this was coming. Daenerys couldn't keep ALL of her dragons for the whole show, and if she was gonna lose one, we're happy that he at least turns into a badass zombie dragon that breathes lightning and blue fire and sends a huge chunk of the Wall crashing to the ground.
15. Jorah Mormont
In order to become what Dany had to become (a bloodthirsty despot bent on revenge), the man who had been her moral compass for the entire show had to be taken out of the picture. Jorah died where and how he had always wanted to: fighting beside his queen.
14. Tywin Lannister
Getting crossbowed on the can is a pretty crappy (sorry) way to go, but it's hard to get too broken up over a man who orchestrated the Red Wedding and tormented his only cool son. Big ups for sending Joffrey to bed that one time, though.
13. Robb Stark
Robb did sort of bring this on himself, but it was for love! Just try to watch his agonizing crawl over to Talisa's lifeless body. You can't, because it's too much.
12. Cersei Lannister
Cersei's prophecy did come true after all -- at least, part of it. Another queen, younger and more beautiful, did indeed cast her down and took all she held dear. Cersei died with Jaime as Daenerys burned King's Landing, destroying the city they once called home. That's what happens when you behead someone's best friend.
11. Jaime Lannister
We were rooting for you!! We were all rooting for you!! But you had to go back and give your sister one last smooch, you weirdo. Jaime snuck into King's Landing to sneak Cersei out, but ended up staying with her as the Red Keep came crashing down. Some people just can't give up their addictions.
10. Viserys Targaryen
Viserys was a sniveling brat who proudly admitted he'd let 40,000 men rape his sister for a shot at the throne. But his (brutal) death came so early in the series, we never got to find out if he'd redeem himself and turn into Khaleesi Daenerys' only slave.
Well, it's about dang time. Petyr Baelish had long overstayed his chilly welcome in the halls of Westeros, and the Stark sisters had had enough of his attempts to turn their family against each other. "How do you answer these charges… Lord Baelish?" will go down in history as one of the best parts of the show, as will Arya slitting Petyr's throat with the very dagger he tried to have Bran Stark killed with.
8. Joffrey Baratheon
Sure, we immediately blasted Montell Jordan's "This Is How We Do It" when this twerp choked down poison at his own wedding -- but we have to admit we miss hating on the little bastard.
With three simple words -- "Hold the door" -- Bran's monosyllabic human Segway vaulted toward the top of this list with ease. Hodor's death lacks the military ramifications of Robb's, the unwieldy political ripples of Ned's, or the visceral shock of Oberyn's, but it was the most sentimental moment on a show that's more known for its brutality and cynicism than giving you the warm-fuzzies.
6. The Iron Throne
Game of Thrones' most sinister character, which inspired millions of people to shed others' blood in the name of power and loyalty, was finally destroyed for good in a blaze of dragon fire, as Drogon took his anger and anguish out on the one thing that caused everyone so much pain.
5. Shireen Baratheon
Shireen never had an easy life. Afflicted with greyscale and openly hated by her awful mother, she was still a remarkably sweet girl. Just look at how she taught Davos to read! Stannis seems to love his daughter, but still goes along with Melisandre's plan to sacrifice her to the Lord of Light for luck in battle. Sending Shireen to the stake is undoubtedly the cruelest thing the show's ever done to a child, and her screams from the pyre were incredibly disturbing.
4. Daenerys Targaryen
From the beginning of the final season -- and maybe even from midway through Season 7 -- we knew that Daenerys taking the Iron Throne wasn't gonna be as sure a thing as it should have been. As soon as she went nuclear all over King's Landing and gave that speech about freeing the world from its chains HER way, her rule was doomed, since she was surrounded by people with a clearer moral compass than hers became. Jon stabbed her in the Throne Room as he pledged her his unwavering loyalty, and Drogon flew her lifeless body away from Westeros forever.
3. Catelyn Stark
How much pain can one mom endure? Her husband is dead, her son Bran can't walk, and her daughters are only maybe safe when the Freys force Catelyn to watch the execution of her eldest son and her daughter-in-law. By the time another Frey comes to snuff out sobbing Catelyn, it's almost a relief -- one that's delayed until literally the last seconds of the show.
2. Eddard Stark
Many fans of the show have never read a single page of the A Song of Ice and Fire series. And for those people, Ned's execution was the first clear warning: don't get comfortable. This franchise can and will come for even the most lovable, loyal dads -- particularly if their horrified daughters are on hand to witness. While Ned's death remains a gut-punch to this day, maybe it shouldn't have been so shocking. Dying is kind of Sean Bean's thing.
1. Oberyn Martell
We should've known this Inigo Montoya motherfucker was doomed from the moment he sauntered into the King's Landing brothels. He had sexual magnetism, charm for days, and a deep, abiding hatred for the Lannisters. That's essentially a death sentence in Westeros, but George R.R. Martin couldn't just dispatch him with an easy execution. Oh no. This one had to hurt, so he let us all think the Red Viper had avenged his sister and saved Tyrion right before the Mountain popped his head like an absurdly bloody balloon. RIP, Oberyn, you free-loving badass. We're still keeping a vigil for you at our bedside.
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Kristin Hunt is a freelance writer for Thrillist, and will probably need a full day of mourning if they ever kill Arya. Follow her at @kristin_hunt.
Emma Stefansky is a staff entertainment writer at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @stefabsky.