Game of Thrones is a lot of things. It's extremely well-made, with movie-level special effects and production costs. It's incredibly complex, with more characters and more stories than any other show on TV; maybe even more than any other show ever. And it's an unstoppable phenomenon. It's this last distinction that stands out above all others, as it sometimes seems like everyone is obsessed with Game of Thrones. And more often than not, the show uses that level of dedication to break its fans' poor hearts. Game of Thrones ' most heartbreaking moments have inspired people to do any number of things, such as swearing off watching the show or recording their friends' reactions to shocking twists and posting them online, and the series just keeps the moments coming.
It's hard to think of any other show that has had as many tear-jerking scenes as Game of Thrones , and the fact that they almost always come out of nowhere (and often involve horrific violence) only add to their emotional impact. When the series makes its exit in a few years, it will leave millions of broken hearts behind in its wake, and will quite possibly leave a legacy as the show that was more abusive to its own fans than any other series in television history. So check out these 14 most heartbreaking moments from Game of Thrones if you just can't get enough of the sadness.
1. Hold the Door
Man oh man, I know it's still fresh in everyone's minds, but the reveal of Hodor's origin coupled with his selfless death was just too much to bear. Honorable mention goes to Summer as well, who unceremoniously gave his life just moments earlier.
2. The Red Wedding
The event that basically started the online reaction video trend, the entire hopes of the Starks and the Northern rebellion were wiped out in one fell, horrific swoop.
3. Ned Stark's Death
The one that started it all. What kind of a show kills off its main character in the first season? Fans should have known then what they were getting into.
4. A One-Two Direwolf Punch
Season 6 has caught a lot of flak for offing two direwolves, but the majestic beasts' lowest moment actually occurred in season one, episode two, when Ned Stark was forced to execute Lady and Arya had to shoo away Nymeria in order to save her life.
5. Arya Leaves the Hound
In a show full of great odd couples, Arya and the Hound might have been the best. That's why it was so awful to see her callously leave him to die.
6. The Burning of Shireen
Season 5 built up Stannis to be the hero the show deserved, and then it all came crashing down when he OK'd the burning at the stake of his only daughter, AKA the show's sweetest and most innocent character. Nice one, Stannis.
7. The Rape of Sansa
Why did this have to happen? For a character who had already gone through so much, Sansa's rape at the hands of Ramsay Bolton seemed like an unnecessary addition. Fingers crossed she gets some revenge before the end of season six.
8. Shae's Testimony
Oh, Tyrion. The guy finally thought he had found true love after a lifetime of being denied it, but it wasn't to be. And yes, I'd argue her testimony was worse than when he found her in Tywin's bed, since by that point he already knew that what they had wasn't real.
9. Cersei's Walk of Shame
Any scene that can make me feel anything but hatred for Cersei must be an emotionally powerful scene.
10. The Explosion of Oberyn Martell's Head
The show's coolest character seemed to have victory in the bag, until his head was squashed like a melon. Ellaria Sand's scream is still echoing in my head.
11. Jon Snow's "Death"
Nobody believed he would stay dead, so that took away some of the sting, but still... seeing Jon Snow get stabbed a bunch of times is not something I'd want to see again.
12. Theon's Betrayal
Theon was basically a Stark until he turned on them, burned Winterfell, and killed off a bunch of Stark supporters. I'm still mad at you, Theon.
13. Dany's Most Recent Sending Away of Jorah
Dany has sent away Jorah a bunch of times, but the most recent was the most heartbreaking. He told her he loved her, she learned he was going to die of Greyscale, they both cried... it was a lot to handle.
14. Ygritte's Death
This is where fans' hatred of Olly began, when the little turd took out Ygritte with an arrow. Her final words, "You know nothing, Jon Snow," could not have been more poignant.
There are more of course, but these 14 are some of the most heartbreaking Game of Thrones moments that fans have been subjected to so far. And with another couple seasons to go and lots more blood to spill, odds are that fans will shed plenty more tears before it's all said and done.