Ranked!: Most Gut-Wrenching, Soul-Crushing Game of Thrones Deaths

If you’re like me, even after the Season 7 finale of Game of Thrones you’re still starving for anything dealing with the magical, brutal world that George R. R. Martin created.  Again, if you’re like me, you enjoy putting together lists and hope that someone, anyone, gives a crap about what you just spent an exorbitant amount of time on.  To the 4 people I still have with me, let’s dive in, shall we?


Naturally, this list is not meant for anyone that has not finished Season 7 of Game of Thrones.  If you have not, in fact, finished the series up to this point…or even started the series…you’re in luck, as the next season is not projected to be out for another 7 years.  So, if that applies to you, turn your eyes away now and go “borrow” somebody’s HBO Go account.  Everyone else, how about we take a walk down one hell of a depressing Memory Lane.

Game of Thrones has never been shy about taking the lives of it’s characters.  Almost “right from the get go,” HBO’s critically acclaimed hit proved that no man or woman is safe in this world, regardless of how well known the actor is, or how essential you THINK he or she is to the story.  As I’ve alluded to, death is common place in Westeros and the world around it, but with that said, not all of the deaths hit me like a ton of bricks.  For me, deaths on this show are broken down into 3 major categories:

  • “It’s about f—ing time!” deaths- Some of George R. R. Martin’s creations are just god awful, POS human beings, and this show has proven to me that when it comes to Game of Thrones, I am an equal opportunist for wishing death on its characters. (see: Littlefinger, Olly, King Joffrey, etc.)
  • “Whoooaaaaaaaa…..” deaths- These murders/suicides are often committed on fan-favorite roles, or characters who seemed incredibly important in one way or another, but ultimately did not have a profound affect on my well being. (see: Margaery Tyrell, Stannis Baratheon, Jojen Reed, etc.)
  • “Ugh.  I might have to call-in to work tomorrow” deaths- These deaths feel like simultaneously being punched in the stomach and kicked in the crotch.  The category we about to discuss.

There are some demises that just hit you right in the feels, ya know?  Like, if your feelings had “feels,” that’s where it would hit.  The following top 10 are a list of those moments that ultimately lead to me explaining to my wife why I’m so depressed about the death of an imaginary dragon or giant.


Game of Thrones Most Gut Wrenching, Soul Crushing Deaths*

*Television Show Only

Image: overmental.com

10. Syrio Forel

The former First Sword of Braavos was Arya’s instructor in the sword fighting style of “Water Dancing” in Game of Thrones‘ inaugural season, Syrio instantly became a fan favorite.  Because his death was never shown on screen, and there is a very interesting theory that claims the master swordsman is still alive, he only claims the ten spot on this list.

Image: News18.com

9. Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun

Ugh.  Not entirely sure why this death hurt me like it did, but the wildling giant known as Wun Wun seemed invincible to me.  Alas, that was not the case.  I should’ve learned a long time ago not to get attached… I also learned what it takes to kill a giant: approximately 427 arrows, and the exhaustion of literally ripping a human being in half.

Super Cool Game of Thrones Collectible Wine Glass Set

Image: heavy.com

8. Viserion

Now, if the Night King had taken out my beloved Drogon, he would’ve been a top fiver on this list, but being named after the douchiest of all the Targaryen men instantly makes you the least likable fire-breathing beast.  With that said, the moment Viserion plummeted into the ice was a tough watch for most viewers, exacerbated by the painful cry from Drogon as he watched his brother die.  But hey, now he’s a freakin’ White (or is it Wight?) Dragon, so I suppose the old Iron Islands adage is true: What is dead may never die! (or stay dead for long, or whatever.  I don’t know, I’m not well versed on the proverbs of the Drowned God).

Image: CNBC.com

7. Jon Snow

Jon’s murder at the hands of his own men to close Season 5 was a remarkably cold and heavy moment that elicited a “Holy S—!” from me.  Unfortunately, it was immediately followed up with, “What?  No.  That can’t be right.  That dude is definitely not staying dead.”  By the time “the bastard of Winterfell” (…sort of) was resurrected by the Lord of Light in Season 6, most fans had found that event to be a forgone conclusion.  Nonetheless, the death was a monumental one, even if he was only dead for like, 36 hours or so.

There’s  A LOT of Game of Thrones Funko POP Figures on Amazon, including Jon Snow. 

Image: Game of Thrones Wiki

6. Direwolves

Show me a movie like John Wick 2, where 4,700 people are shot point blank in the head, and when it is over, I will tell you how awesome it is, and ask if you’d like to go get a burrito.  Show me a movie like John Wick, where a dog dies, and I will stay in bed for a week, upset at the death of an innocent, imaginary puppy.  Hence why the deaths of the Stark children’s Direwolves are at number 6.  Jon’s wolf Ghost, to this day, is still one of my favorite characters on the show, and the murders of 4 Direwolves have shaken me to my core!  Or, ya know, made me really sad for awhile!  RIP Grey Wind, Lady, Summer and Shaggy Dog.

Image: hbo.com

5. Eddard Stark

The death of the Stark patriarch, and damn near the only honorable character in this God forsaken show (aside from his “son”), proved early on to those that would be drawn into the brutal world GRRM had created, that death can come at any time for anyone.  It doesn’t matter if you are the most recognizable actor on the show…or that they used your likeness on Season 1’s DVD box set…you are expendable.  But guys, come on, it’s Sean Bean.  We should’ve known better.

Image: Vanityfair.com

4. Hodor


I’m not crying, YOU’RE CRYING!

Image: youtube.com

3. Oberyn Martell

The man was one cocky SOB, and I loved him in all of his confident glory.   One of the only men in the world with the abilities to defeat a monster like “the Mountain”, the “Red Viper” was poised to go down in history along side this world’s greatest fighters.  But alas, his cockiness, and anger, caught up to him, and after I threw up at the sight of his skull being crushed to pieces by Gregor Clegane, I immediately went and hugged my Oberyn Martell funko pop figure.  (Side note: Only half of that story is true…you be the judge.)

Image: Game of Thrones Wiki

2. “The Red Wedding”

I jumped on the Game of Thrones bandwagon a few seasons into its run, and I was able to watch the first 3 seasons in pretty quick succession.  I wondered why, as the “Red Wedding” approached, my cousin took a keen interest in my reactions.  And then it happened, and ladies and gentlemen, I’ll never be the same.  I never considered myself a huge Stark fan, but the brutality of the deaths of Catelyn, Robb, Talisa and her unborn child stunned me to the point of silence.  The credits rolled, and I couldn’t speak.  In fact, I haven’t spoken since.

Yeah, that’s not true.  That’s ridiculous.  But man, it DID affect me.

Game of Thrones The Complete Seventh Season on DVD, Blu-ray, or Amazon Video

Image: youtube.com

1. Shireen Baratheon

The only child of Stannis Baratheon, Shireen was cursed at birth with a bout of Greyscale.  Locked in a dungeon, her only friend became Ser Davos, whom she taught how to read.  She was loving and bright, and are you pissed off yet?  Because I am fuming as I type this.  Shireen was burned at the stake at the urging of the Red Priestess Melisandre, a sacrifice to the Lord of Light.  Clearly, I have described some tough to watch scenes in this list, but this one was the hardest for me to stomach.  Her screams and pleads for someone to rescue her were haunting, yet fell on deaf ears.  I don’t know for sure if this plot point was the brainchild of Martin or the Producers Benioff & Weiss, but whoever it is, I hate you.

Agree with anything on my list?  Does your list look completely different?  Comment below and let me know!

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Lou Mattiuzzo is a full time teacher, full time father, full time husband and full time Game of Thrones enthusiast.  Check out his RANKED! articles for his unnecessary opinions on all things geek.

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About thesweetestlou 54 Articles
Full Time Teacher. Full Time Husband. Full Time Father. Lover of: Superheroes, Punk Rock, Tattoos, Sabres, Bills, Yankees, Soccer, Pizza, Coffee

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