Game of Thrones has been known for many things throughout its 8 season run, but two of the main aspects of the show have to be the battles/fights and the deaths. So before the series finale tonight I will be exploring my favourite examples of both of these from the show. This list is looking at my Top 10 Deaths, whilst you can find my Top 10 Battles and Fights here. As always this list is just my opinions, and I’d love to hear yours in the comments.
10) Joffrey Baratheon – Let’s be honest Joffrey’s death is pretty much on this list because there isn’t anyone out there who wasn’t happy to see one of the most hated characters ever killed off. I think nearly every other character on the show had some supporters, yes even Ramsey Bolton’s delicious sadism was so fun to watch, but I’ve never seen anyone confess to being a Joffrey fan. Sure it wasn’t the bloodiest or most epic death on this list, but it had huge ramifications for everything that has come since, and it felt so good.
9) Viserys Targaryen – Viserys Targaryen’s death makes this list for two reasons. First and foremost is is one of the most badass moments from one of the coolest characters of the early seasons of Game of Thrones. The crown for a king line is epic, and this is a truly brutal death. But since the events of The Bells I’m certain this this moment will be one of the key ones that people go back to as one of the first indicators about Daenerys’ journey. She clearly revels in the adulation of the crowd, and her instance on watching his death reveal hint toward that cruel streak inside her.
8) Ser Barristan Selmy – Ser Barristan Selmy during his time on the show has to have been one of the characters held in the most esteem and respect. A legendary swordsman in Westeros, who has reached old age. He is given one final moment to show just what an incredible fighter he is, during the season 5 episode Sons of the Harpy. In a moment where it seemed as though Grey Worm was actually about to die, Ser Barristan appeared and fought off numerous members of the Sons of the Harpy. In the end he succumbs to his wounds, but fights off so many that Grey Worm is saved. It’s a brilliant death for a character that had the respect of those on the show if not the audience watching.
7) Theon Greyjoy – There were a number of notable deaths during the Battle of Winterfell in The Long Night. Lyanna and Jorah Mormont’s were both powerful, but the one that truly stood out was Theon’s. Charged with defending Bran in the Godswood, he valiantly fights off a huge number of the dead. However when The White Walkers, led by The Night King, arrive at the end of an incredible sequence he realises that his time is up. Bran’s final words to him “Theon, you’re and good man. Thank you.” sum up just how far he’s come. His final charge at the Night King is a heroic way to go out fighting, but ultimately futile.
6) Ramsay Bolton – Ramsay was a delicious character to watch on screen as Iwan Rheon chewed up the scenery in the best way possible. But there’s no questioning he was a sadistic and cruel man. His treatment of Sansa is horrible, but she gets her revenge after the Battle of the Bastards, as she has him fed to his own ravenous dogs. It is truly a horrible death, and one that shows Sansa’s steelier side that will do whatever it takes. Much like Joffrey this was a death that people could revel in, but for me this one is all about Sansa once again showing that she’s the person who gets things done in the North.
5) Oberyn Martell – Pedro Pascal as Prince Oberyn was incredible, and his death is one of the saddest and most brutal on the show. His whole reason for coming to King’s Landing is to seek revenge for the death of his sister, Elia Martell.Having successfully taken down The Mountain during their trial by combat he demands The Mountain confess. When he lets his guard down and strays too close he suddenly finds himself being brutal crushed by The Mountain. It is horrible and gory and truly shocking.
4) Cersei and Jaime Lannister – A controversial choice one perhaps given my love of Cersei as a character, something I explained in my favourite GoT characters here. But I am so glad that the show didn’t choose to revel in her death, as they did in the likes of Ramsey or Littlefinger. Instead they gave her a death in the arms of the only other living person she truly cares about, and gave Lena Headey the chance to deliver one final knockout, award worthy performance. Her desperation and panic in this moment, pleading for the life of her child as the ceiling crashes down around her and Jaime is genuinely heartbreaking as so many of the best deaths on the show have been.
3) Ned Stark – Ned Stark’s death is probably the most boring to make this list, at the most basic level it is just an execution. But what it represented for the show as a whole is so much more. Killing off the person who was ostensibly the main character after 9 episodes really let you know what kind of show Game of Thrones was. I mean it wasn’t even the first season finale and the character we thought we’d be following throughout was beheaded. It sent a message that on the show characters live and die by their actions, and that choices in the show have consequences.
2) Robb, Catelyn, and Talisa Stark – The deaths of three of the members of the Stark family may be better known as The Red Wedding, but however they’re known we just need to remember the shock and heartbreak that they cause. The betrayal by Roose Bolton, Catelyn realisation as the band play The Rains of Castamere, and the shocking speed and brutality of the three major deaths in this moment have ensured that The Red Wedding has become legendary in popular culture. If you need reminding just how heartbreaking this was just think of the guttural scream Catelyn delivers before her throat is cut to remind you.
1) Hodor – I cry at a lot of film and TV, but Game of Thrones has never been a show to move me to tears. To date it has only happened twice, the first was when Hodor died in the season 6 episode The Door. Jack Bender’s direction was incredible as he finally reveals the mystery behind Hodor’s name, and his heroic actions in saving Bran and Meera from the army of the dead. I genuinely don’t think I’ll ever be able to hear the phrase ‘hold the door’ again without feeling a small pang of sadness when it causes me to reflect on the greatest death Game of Thrones ever delivered to us.