In the first installment of this series, we looked at the most notable deaths on Game of Thrones, spanning seasons one to three. With the fifth episode of season eight around the corner, let’s take stock of the death toll.
Hold on to your horses – and your tissues – because the first few seasons were tame. George R. R. Martin and Game of Thrones’ showrunners truly crank it up from here, with unparalleled number of deaths per season.
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.
If you want to read more about Ned Stark, Khal Drogo, Syrio Forel, or that dreaded Red Wedding with its many, many Stark deaths, catch up on the first part of this series here.
Game of Thrones Season 4
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 that make us want them dead, 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.|
|Tywin Lannister||Lord of Casterly Rock. Cersei, Jaime and Tyrion’s father||Shot in the heart by Tryrion Lannister with Joffrey’s crossbow.|
Game of Thrones Season 5
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. Unfortunately for poor Shireen, she was only expendable one. And it was all in vain.
Notable season 5 deaths:
|Mance Rayder||King Beyond The Wall||Shot in the heart with an arrow by Jon Snow in a mercy killing.|
|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 as revenge for Oberyn’s death.|
|Jon Snow||998th Lord Commander of the Nights Watch||Stabbed in the chest by Alliser, Othell, Bowenand Olly. Resurrected later.|
Game of Thrones Season 6
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 knew what his death would accomplish.
While Rickon’s death was also emotional, most fans were just upset that the Stark boy didn’t run zig-zag across that field. I mean, he knows they were planning to shoot him full of arrows…
Just as every season has a shocking death, 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|
|Shaggydog||Rickon Stark’s direwolf||Decapitated off-screen by Jon Umber.|
|Five Khals||Dothraki leaders||Khals Rhalko, Brozho, Qorro, Forzho, Moro, all 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 could escape|
|Rickon Stark||Bran, Sansa and Arya’s brother||Shot through the back with an arrow by Ramsay during the Battle of the Bastards.|
|Wun Wun||A giant, Jon’s friend||Shot in the eye with an arrow by Ramsay 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.|
|Several people||Killed by Cersei when she incinerated the sept with wildfire||Pycelle, Lancel, High Sparrow, Loras, Margaery, Lord Tyrell.|
|Tommen Baratheon||Cersei’s youngest son, King of the Seven Kingdoms at the time||Committed suicide 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.|
Game of Thrones Season 7
Plenty people died in this season. 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 with her own spear|
|Nymeria Sand||Oberyn Martell’s daughter||Strangled with her own whip by Euron Greyjoy|
|Tyene Sand||Oberyn Martell’s daughter||Poisoned by Cersei with Longfarewell, as revenge for Myrcella’s death.|
|Olenna Tyrell||Margaery’s grandmother, the lady of High Garden||Voluntarily committed suicide by drinking poison|
|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 and hypothermia|
|Viserion||Dragon’s dragon||Bled to death after being speared through the neck 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, using her catspaw dagger, on Sansa’s orders|
Don’t miss out on next week’s installment, when we look at the events of season eight following the season finale.
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