After five bloody seasons, fans are still shocked when a beloved Game of Thrones character dies. No, really, it's true. Since the beginning, HBO and creator George R.R. Martin have not held back when it comes to gutting, beheading, lancing, poisoning, and burning the characters they spent countless hours bringing to life. Dead. Splat. Sayanora. Fans somehow got over Ned Stark and returned after the Red Wedding, but the finale of Season 5 (SPOILERS AFOOT) in which Jon Snow was killed by the men of the Night's Watch seemed to be the last straw for many Winterfellians. It was deeply upsetting, but it wasn't completely unexpected, either.
Looking back on the season, there were plenty of hints about mutiny, and Jon's tango with the Night's King was no joke. Also, I cannot reiterate this enough: Game of Thrones has been killing off fan favorites from the very beginning. Ned friggin' Stark, the most moral, forthright, and even-keeled leader ever, was offed by King Joffrey in front of his entire family. To add insult to injury, we had to see his head on a stick. Grim stuff, y'all.
Despite the many brutal and seemingly unfair deaths on the show, many of these characters stick with us long after they've been doused in molten metals or stabbed right through the eye. Take a look at the most memorable characters who were killed from Season 1 of Game of Thrones:
Eddard (Ned) Stark
Winter came too soon for Ned. I still. I can't. I just. Damn you, Joffrey! Must you kill the greatest leader in all of Westeros?!
I'm not gonna lie, he kiiiiind of had that molten death coming. He was the worst. Memorable, but still the worst.
The Starks really do not have a lot of luck when it comes to this whole not dying thing. He was one of the good ones....of course.
Guys, I'm still getting over this one. Death by boar?! Are you kidding me?! He was a terrible king, but still.
Were it not for him, Arya would not be the warrior she is today.
He taught us all an important lesson in do not mess with Jaime Lannister...and always wear a helmet with eye protection.
Dude, Arya killed a guy...as a kid.
It's not so much that I remember the character — I just really remember the way he died.
Just when he stopped being all brutish, he goes and gets killed. Just great. Then, he comes back, but is totally catatonic and Dany has to burn him in a huge pyre. Ah well, at least we got some dragons out of it.
It's hard to believe that some of these characters, especially Ned and Khal Drogo, have been gone since the first season, since their influence has been so strong throughout the series. Season 1 certainly set the tone for viewers to not get too attached to any character, because as we learned fast, they will probably die in some horribly gruesome way.
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