By Thomas Cowley
Like many work places, the discussion of the most recent episode of the hit HBO series Game of Thrones has become a bit of a ritual. Undoubtedly, the numerous and often unsettling deaths of many characters remains the most discussed topic each week. With the series coming to a close for yet another season, I find this to be a good time to reflect on the series and relive some of those beloved and heart wrenching moments. As a result I have compiled my Top 10 Deaths of the season.
Note: This is my PERSONAL OPINION and should be taken as simply that, nothing more. This list is not based on which death was the most brutal, but is rather a personal list of the deaths that had the most impact on me. What which deaths hit you the hardest?
WARNING: SPOILERS FOR EVERYTHING YOU HOLD DEAR – AND GORE
While Grenn was never the biggest character, he was one of the few recognizable members of the Night’s Watch. He even started out as Jon’s enemy, but through their trials and tribulations, the pair eventually became fond friends. He finds himself at the bottom of this list not because how he dided was uneventful, but because we didn’t get to see it. Anyone who can bring down a giant even with the help of friends, had to be pretty badass in life.
Jojen was one of those characters that meant more to book readers than he ever did to those who watch the show. More commonly refered to as “that weird kid with Bran” Jojen was cut short early and left us with little characterization, but gets far more points for being killed by angry zombie skeleton nightmares.
Styr was build up as the main antagonistic force for those few folk unlucky enough to live close to the wall. While nearly every wildling wanted to kill people, Styr seemed to get a sick joy out of it, not to mention a healthy dose of protein. I mean if you can get your work and grocery shopping done at the same time I’d say that was a pretty efficient day. His final, well-choreographed battle with Jon Snow was definitely one of the highlights from episode 9, “The Watcher on the Wall” but I’ll let you guys relieve that moment below.
The death of Ygritte was quite sad and tugged on the heart strings of many fans, but in truth, their story could not have ended any other way. Despite their love for one another, their lives and duties took them in different directions. In many ways they are the Shakespearian characters in this epic fantasy tale. Two lovers doomed from the very beginning, but together none the less. Ygritte falls to #7 only because everyone knew this would happen, perhaps she did as well.
6. Lady Lsya Arryn
Wow. Talk about a plan backfiring huh? In many ways Lysa’s death is also tragic. Forced into a marriage she does not want only to watch the love of her life care for her sister. And then right when you think you can be happy with your childhood crush, he shoves you to your death. While Lysa was a “bad” person in some ways, it is hard not to feel a little bad for the hand she was dealt. But damn if that was not a good way to end an episode.
Shae’s death hits number 5 not because it was gruesome, but because of how and why it happened. Not only does she betray Tyrion during his trial, but he finds her in his father’s bed, the only way she could hurt him more. Insult to injury. The tearful murder by Tyrion is one that will stay with me, and I’m sure a number of fans, for a long time.
Hodor/Bran snapped him like a wishbone at thanksgiving, showing us just how powerful both the gentle giant and Bran are. And the ease in which he did it was more shocking then the damage done.
3. Tywin Lannister
I did not see this one coming. As one of the major bad guys throughout the series, my money was on Tywin lasting until the last season and the last book. The fact that it did happen, and that it was by Tyrion after everything he put him through was just the icing on the cake. One of the few deaths in the series that everyone wanted to see, and the most embarrassing way it could have happened for him just makes it all the sweeter.
2. Jeoffry Lannister
Who didn’t want this little bastard dead? Perhaps the one time in the entirety of the show that all fans got their hopes up and collectively rejoiced over the death of a main character. It was disturbing, it was brutal, and it was just. A true win for once, and one of the few time that fans could walk away from an episode and say “I’m happy that this guy died”. Though that probably says a lot about us huh?
1. Prince Oberyn
*Sigh* Yeah, you knew this one was coming. With the good must come the bad; with the joy of true justice must come the despair of soul crushing defeat. Never before have I been truly disturbed by what I’ve seen on TV until The Mountain & The Viper, and never before had my hopes been so high only to be quickly dashed upon the rocks of life. While the death will remain with me for a long time, the screams will haunt me forever.
Honorable Mention: This was just all kinds of awesome.
The only question now is who will survive another season? I suppose we will hall have to wait for next year. Or I guess we could read the books…