The 10 Most Shocking Deaths in ‘Game of Thrones’ (So Far)
The conclusion of the third season of the television adaptation of The Song of Ice and Fire saw the shocking deaths of some key characters. In light of the recent bloodshed it’s easy to lose track of just how many major characters have been felled by the vicious pen of author George R.R. Martin. It’s become a running joke that Martin likes to kill off the characters we like best, so let’s take a look back at the fallen heroes and villains who stung us the most.
These days it’s well known, even to those who don’t watch the show, that there’s no such thing as a safe character in Game of Thrones. At the beginning this was not yet known, so when Eddard Stark’s loyal Capt. of the Guards fell is came as a surprise. During the opening episodes of the series Cassel was always present when the Stark’s were about, only to be unceremoniously murdered in the streets by Jaime Lannister. The sudden impalement through his eye socket was unexpected.
In hindsight it seems more expected, being the catalyst that sets the larger story in motion. Along with Eddard Stark he formed the center of all the interconnected plot threads at the beginning of the saga. As the king of the Seven Kingdoms much of the events of world revolve around Robert even though the his drunken debauchery doesn’t do anyone any favors. Ultimately he was gored by a wild pig, triggering events that would descend into war.
Another member of the Winterfell family who was betrayed. Rodrik was an old northern man-at-arms who unexpectedly added a touch of humanity to the events that befell the Starks. Amid all the chaos and bloodshed he remained grounded and strong up until the back-stabbing Theon Greyjoy had him beheaded following his attack on the keep.
Doreah was one of the central figures in the retinue of Daenerys Targaryen after being presented to the Khaleesi as a wedding gift. Doerah earn’t the Khaleesi’s trust and instructed her in ways to pleasure Khal Drogo, and remained a close advisor during the time after that. Eventually Doreah betrays Daenerys and her actions result in the murder or the entire entourage and the theft of the Targaryen dragons. When Daenerys sealed Doreah in a vault and left her for death it was a more surprising moment for the Khaleesi, who we saw take a stop closer to her role as the conqueror.
One of the original challengers for the Iron Throne Viserys saw the Seven Kingdoms as his birthright. Exiled after the fall of the king Aerys II Targaryen he had dedicated his life towards raising an army against Robert Baratheon. His plan was to marry his sister Daenerys to the Dothraki horse lord Khal Drogo in order to lead his army to Westeros. Eventually Khal Drogo grew tired if his demands and dumped a pot of molten gold on Viserys’ head, giving him the golden crown he desired.
This young lord gave himself the title of king and a force into the War of the Five Kings. As the youngest brother of the Baratheon siblings he was never as distinguished in politics or on the field of battle as Robert or Stannis, but he was immensely popular with the people of the land. As he prepared to ride against the army of Stannis he was attacked by a wraith summoned by Melisandre and had his throat slit.
As leader of the Dothraki horse lords Khal Drogo was a powerful and feared leader. Having never been bested in battle his army followed out of respect for his skills at warfare. After marrying Daenerys Targaryen he became a supporter of her drive to take the Iron Throne and free slaves. After a skirmish against a disloyal officer his wounds became infected and he could not recover.
After the death of his father, Robb Stark took up house banner and rode it into battle. Claiming the lands of the north as his kingdom he turned his attention towards the south. After taking many victories from the Lannister’s he seemed destined for great feats. He was eventually betrayed by the Boltons and the Freys, other banner men to House Stark, when in attendance at the wedding of Edmure Tully and Rosilin Frey.
Catelyn Stark endured more suffering than any other character in the show. Beginning with her son Bran falling and losing the use of his legs, and followed shortly by fighting off an assassin looking to finish the boy off. She then saw her husband executed, got cut off from her daughters and heard (incorrectly) that her youngest sons had been murdered. Left with her eldest and his young bride, her pain culminated with Robb and Talisa murdered in front of her. Just when it seemed as though she may have been spared, she has her throat slit by a Frey.
And here we thought we had a hero. Amid all the despicable people who populate the world, Martin has created one who stood out as noble and honorable. He was a family man who never let another man do his dirty work. He endeavored to be a worthy husband and father while serving his boisterous king. He was all set to lead the series…up until that dirtbag Joffrey had his head struck off. All bets were off.