Game of Thrones deaths ranked: From King Joffrey's murder to the brutal 'Red Wedding'

16 April 2019, 10:30 | Updated: 3 May 2019, 09:49

Game of Thrones deaths - from Joffrey to Hodor
Game of Thrones deaths - from Joffrey to Hodor. Picture: YouTube / HBO, Game of Thrones

The hit HBO series returned for its very last season this week, bringing with it Dany's dragons, sassy takedowns and awkward Bran moments.

But, let's be honest, what we're all waiting for is more monumental deaths and grisly ends.

So, to help get us in the spirit, we reflect on the best (?) Game of Thrones deaths of the series so far...

** WARNING: Do not read if you haven't watched up to Season 7 **

1. The Red Wedding

The death of Catelyn and Robb Stark marked a turning point in the show - and gave us one of the biggest plot twists in the entire series.

At the 'Red Wedding', we saw the Freys turn on their allies, trapping them inside their huge banquet hall and slaughtering them on the orders of the Lannisters.

Neither of the Starks have weapons on them, leaving them open to attack and unable to fight back.

First of all, the Freys turned on Robb's pregnant wife, Talisa, stabbing her in the stomach.

Still in shock, Robb is the next to be targeted; he's shot by a crossbow and then stabbed in the heart.

Turning on Robb's mother, Catelyn, the Freys slit her throat.

We're still having nightmares about the whole thing!

Catelyn and Robb Stark were murdered by the Freys, along with Robb's pregnant wife Talisa
Catelyn and Robb Stark were murdered by the Freys, along with Robb's pregnant wife Talisa. Picture: YouTube / HBO, Game of Thrones

2. King Joffrey's demise

While it was less of a shock than the Red Wedding (let's face it - Joffrey had his fair share of enemies by the time he met his end), Joffrey's death was still a satisfying twist we relished as viewers.

After years of tormenting his subjects and Sansa Stark, the evil monarch finally got his comeuppance at his wedding to Margaery Tyrell.

Ingesting poison, Joffrey eventually died in his mother Cersei's arms - after riling in pain and foaming at the mouth, of course!

Plotting behind the scenes was Littlefinger and Margaery's grandmother, Olenna. In season 7, Jaime Lannister finally learns the truth about his son's death as he kills the Tyrell matriarch; until that point, Joffrey's death had been pinned on his uncle Tyrion, and Sansa, who fled from King's Landing shortly after.

READ MORE: Here's how Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen are related

King Joffrey was poisoned by Olenna Tyrell
King Joffrey was poisoned by Olenna Tyrell. Picture: YouTube / HBO, Game of Thrones

3. Ramsay Bolton's end

If one evil partner wasn't enough, Sansa became the wife of Ramsay Bolton, soon after escaping Joffrey's clutches.

Sansa is not only verbally abused by her new husband, she is raped and tormented by the Bolton bastard.

This comes after he held Theon Greyjoy captive and mutilated him, reducing him to a shell of his former self.

Seeking to take back the north and avenge his sister, Sansa, Jon Snow faces Ramsay in the Battle of the Bastards.

Things look pretty sketchy for Snow and his army, but in the end it is Sansa who delivers the goods; she's organised the Knights of the Vale to ambush Ramsay's army, and in doing so, secures victory for House Stark.

After the battle, Sansa takes the opportunity to face Bolton - who is being held captive at Winterfell.

In a poetic twist, Sansa chooses to set Bolton's dogs on him, whom he mistreated and trained to kill. Ultimately, it is his own cruelty that comes back to bite him...literally.

Sansa set Ramsay's dogs on him after the Battle of the Bastards
Sansa set Ramsay's dogs on him after the Battle of the Bastards. Picture: YouTube / HBO, Game of Thrones

4. Rickon's run

While we're on the topic of the Battle of the Bastards, we have to address the death of the youngest Stark son, Rickon.

The young Stark lad was also held captive by Ramsay.

Before the battle commences, Ramsay tells Jon he'll set Rickon free. But, of course, there's a catch.

Rickon has to run across the huge battlefield in order to reach his older brother - all the while, Ramsay fires arrows at him.

It's safe to say that Rickon didn't make it back to Jon.

Ramsay Bolton shot Rickon Stark with an arrow
Ramsay Bolton shot Rickon Stark with an arrow. Picture: YouTube / HBO, Game of Thrones

5. Hodor no more

The death of the beloved character of Hodor was one which none of us foresaw. Despite his limited vocabulary, we came to love the large framed protector of Bran.

In a cruel twist of fate, it was actually Bran that ended Hodor's life, as his warging wreaked havoc on the space-time continuum (or something like that).

Bran, Hodor and Meera enter a magical cave to seek refuge from the White Walkers. There, they meet the mysterious Children of the Forest and learn of the origins of the undead.

Stark is also learning how to become the Three-Eyed Raven, and is currently stuck warging into a young Hodor, while his body remains in the cave.

As the Wights manage to break into the cave, Meera urges Hodor to keep the exit open for his travelling companions, screaming "hold the door!" so that Bran can escape.

During this vision, Bran learns that Hodor (then known as Wylis) did not always have issues with his speech; it is Bran's warging that leads to Hodor's seizure. Combined with Meera's cries, he is left only able to say "Hodor".

Unable to escape, Hodor is killed by the Wights and hearts broke everywhere.

6. Shireen Baratheon's burning

Cast your minds back to season five, when red priestess, Melisandre, was pulling all of Stannis Baratheon's strings.

It was one of Game of Thrones most hard-hitting episodes, as we watched Stannis and Selyse serve up their daughter as a human offering to the Lord of Light.

Shireen, who was afflicted by Greyscale as an infant, was the youngest and only surviving child of Stannis. She was also particularly close with Sir Davos.

The motive behind Shireen's sacrifice was so that Stannis' army can defeat his enemies and so he can end up on the Iron Throne. As Stannis dies at the hand of Brienne of Tarth, it is clear Shireen's death was in vain.

It is for this reason that Jon Snow later sends Melisandre away from Winterfell, and she travels to Dragonstone to meet Daenerys.

7. Tommen Baratheon's final move

It's easy to view kind-hearted Tommen as little more than a pawn in the Game of Thrones, but we would argue that he offered some welcome relief to the otherwise brutal and barbaric show.

Unlike the rest of his family, he was never too concerned with power - which is ironic, as he ended up being king of Westeros.

He wedded Margaery Tyrell after his older brother Joffrey was murdered by poison, and offered her much better prospects than his predecessor.

As Margaery, her father, and brother Loras waited in the Sept for Cersei to arrive for her trial, the Queen Mother had other plans; she barricaded Tommen inside the Red Keep and got her little birds to set alight a tonne of wildfire to blow up the Sept, wiping out a bulk of her enemies in one fell swoop.

Tommen, watching this from the window of the Red Keep, then takes his own life by jumping out the open window.

Tommen killed himself after watching Cersei blow up the Sept, where wife Margaery was
Tommen killed himself after watching Cersei blow up the Sept, where wife Margaery was. Picture: YouTube / HBO, Game of Thrones

8. Ned Stark's beheading

The Warden of the North was invited to King's Landing by his old friend, King Robert Baratheon.

After Robert's death (he was ravaged by a wild boar while on a hunt), things go a little south.

Cersei and Jaime's son Joffrey (whom everyone believes to be Robert's son), then takes the throne.

He's pretty darn evil though - and one of his first orders as king is to sentence Ned Stark to death.

Sansa, who's betrothed to Joffrey, is forced to watch, and Arya Stark is hiding in the crowd, baring witness to her father's death.

Ned Stark was sentenced to death by King Joffrey in season 1
Ned Stark was sentenced to death by King Joffrey in season 1. Picture: YouTube / HBO, Game of Thrones

9. Oberyn's over

The Dornish prince was also visiting King's Landing when he met his grisly end.

Tyrion Lannister enlisted Oberyn Martell to fight for him in a duel for his life, when his sister Cersei accused him of Joffrey's murder.

Taking on Sir Gregor Clegane (the Mountain) in a trial by combat, Oberyn looked like he was about to win the fight hands down, but his cockiness became his fatal flaw.

While prematurely celebrating, the Mountain came back and crushed Oberyn's skull, gouging his eyes out.

Oberyn's eyes were gouged out by Sir Gregor
Oberyn's eyes were gouged out by Sir Gregor. Picture: YouTube / HBO, Game of Thrones

When is season 8 of Game of Thrones out?

The new season premiered in the US on Sunday 14th April, 2019. It then aired in the UK the following Monday.

You can watch the new episodes of Game of Thrones on Monday every week in the UK.

It kicks off at 9pm on Sky Atlantic, or you can subscribe to NOW TV to stream the show online.


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