7 Huge Deaths From HBO's 'Game of Thrones' That You Should Never Forget

Duh, major spoilers to follow. When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There's no middle ground. And so we've learned, painfully and abusively, during Game of Thrones ' past three seasons. We're almost immune to the killing now — to the point where we pray that Joffrey will die in every episode of the popular and recently renewed HBO series. And lucky for us, Sunday night finally gave us that blessed event and Joffrey was poisoned at his own wedding. (Man, this show makes us wicked.) But even now that the gruesome hand of death has become common practice — to the point where it hurts us and we feel no pain — there are some deaths we can never forget.

Sometimes it's kind of hard to keep straight how many characters we've lost after 30 episodes of the series. At this point, we've lost almost the entire Stark family (sob RIP), a handful of dire wolves (also sob, also RIP), the King of the Seven Kingdoms (which started this whole damn mess), a Khal, and a sniveling, wannabe dragon. And that's just naming a few out of the hundreds we've seen mercilessly slaughtered on this series — and we've been guaranteed hundreds more to come, hopefully one of them is Joffrey. Is anyone going to kill that kid? Ugh.

But none of the deaths to come (unless they're ANY of the Lannisters — Joffrey, Tywin, and Cersei are at the top of my list) have held the importance of the deaths that came early on. And now that we've been promised Seasons 5 and 6, it's as good a time as any to remember the important, shocking, and heartbreaking deaths that brought us to effed-up Westeros we're in today.

Ned Stark

Ned's death was important for a multitude of reasons, but mostly because it started the war of the Seven Kingdoms that we're still watching three seasons later. His death wasn't the first to make us want to skin Joffrey alive, but it was definitely one of the most traumatic. It was also the beginning on the long, painful cutting down of the Stark family tree. God, we hate Joffrey.

Viserys Targaryen

Also known as THE BEST KILL OF ALL TIME. Seriously, was there anything better than watching Viserys getting exactly what he deserved? But more importantly than that, it was Danaerys first demonstration of epic strength as she looked her brother and tormentor in the eye while he pleaded for his life and let Khal Drogo kill him anyway. As if she had any reason to show him mercy anyway.

Robert Baratheon

A huge but kind of pathetic death, honestly. Robert, King of the Seven Kingdoms and Protector of the Realm, was struck down by none other than a wild boar — because, well, he was drunk. (Word to the wise, don't go hunting drunk.) In conjunction with Ned's beheading, Robert's death started this war and let the Lannisters take control of the Iron Throne. Also, just saying, he was the worst friend — considering he forced Ned Stark to come to King's Landing and be his Hand which just ended up getting him killed by his miserable son.

Catelyn Stark

This was just gruesome as hell and a HUGE plot twist. Catelyn did have a knack for getting herself involved in things that she shouldn't have and she was the first one to piss off the Lannisters.

Robb Stark

UGH. Equally gruesome and incredibly sad, considering he was going to be a dad and he was leading the North into battle.

Kahl Drogo

Drogo's death was another huge demonstration of Daenerys' strength that led to the first kill by her hand and the birth of her dragons. Without Drogo's death at the end of Season 1, we'd probably still be dragon-less while Dany strolled around on her white horse behind him. He ended up being a great companion to the true heir to the Iron Throne, but he needed to die. As a result of his death, Dany was forced to become the leader she was born to be — she burned the witch that deceived her alive and she walked into Drogo's funeral pyre to emerge as the Mother of Dragons. Huge and important and how great was seeing her rise out of the ashes?

Lady

The first dire wolf to die — Sansa's Lady. This might have been the first real instance where we realized that Joffrey was the biggest jerk of all time. After picking a fight with Arya and the Butcher's Boy and subsequently getting beaten because he's a sniveling baby and bit by Arya's dire wolf, Nymeria, he ran back to mommy to tattle. Which ended up in Ned, Sansa, and Arya being brought before the King to tell the real story about what happened — Sansa, thinking she'd be safe siding with Joffrey, ended up having her wolf killed when the guard couldn't find Nymeria. On his mother's suggestion, Joffrey ordered that Lady be killed in the place of Nymeria so "justice" would be served. Or basically, so he wouldn't feel like a little wuss anymore — even though he still is. (By the way, I'm fully aware that the above photo is not of Lady.)

It's been awhile since all of these deaths and most of them (minus Viserys, that jerk) just make us feel like sad Jon Snow.

Images: HBO