Compiling a list of the saddest moments on Game of Thrones is something akin to making a list of every time they drank coffee on Gilmore Girls, every time Tim Gunn said, "Make it work" on Project Runway, or every time Rachel cried on Friends. I mean, come on, Game of Thrones is so bleak, it's inspired think pieces about its "relentless misery." It's the kind of show that doesn't shy away from patricide on Father's Day, or burning adorable little princesses at the stake — and the latest season has been particularly emotion-slaying. Yep, Game of Thrones may have quite the reputation as a fantastical, epic historical drama, but let's be real: Game of Thrones is a collection of heartbreaking moments, and it will make you cry enough tears to get you to the moon and back, with some ice zombies and dragons thrown in — but, that's exactly why we love it.
Daughters watching their fathers get their heads chopped off, mothers watching their sons get stabbed in the heart, wives euthanizing brain-dead husbands... fun stuff, right? So, if you haven't had your daily dose of ugly-crying yet today, read on to relive 19 of the show's most devastating moments:
1. When Brienne Explained Why She Loved Renly Baratheon
Brienne and Pod had a pretty swell kind of-knight/kind of-squire relationship this season, and one of their best moments (albeit a sad one) was when Brienne told the story of how she came to love and respect King Renly so much: He had rescued her from a group of idiots cruelly hazing her for her looks. It was quite the moment for The Maid of Tarth, and Pod injected some unintentional humor into the remembrance by attempting to tactfully tell her that Renly was gay (oh, Pod).
Fortunately, no one died in this scene, but didn't your heart break a little when Brienne recalled how beautiful she felt before she realized that she was the butt of the joke?
2. When Maester Aemon Died
Dying of old age is a very rare luxury in the Seven Kingdoms, but that doesn't make Aemon's passing any less sad ("and now his watch is ended").
3. When Ned Stark Executed Lady
Sometimes, there's nothing more sad than an innocent direwolf pup losing their head at the behest of a tyrannical little prince.
4. When Theon Greyjoy Became Reek
Look, Theon Greyjoy was kind of an asshole at times, but even the most assholiest of assholes doesn't deserve to get tortured by Ramsay Bolton (except, paradoxically, Ramsay himself).
5. When Sansa Stark Was Raped By Ramsay Bolton
Speaking of Ramsay, the entire fandom rebelled against the fact that Sansa had to marry the psycho — and for good reason. Oh, and as if that weren't all bad enough, Sophie Turner recently revealed that Theon walked her down the aisle wearing Robb Stark's clothes.
6. When Ser Jorah Realized Daenerys Was in Love with Daario Naharis
It may seem like a triviality compared to all of the stabbings and beheadings, and I know Daenerys and Jorah aren't going to ride off into the sunset together, but still: I dare you to tell me your heart didn't shatter into a million pieces when you saw Iain Glen's face fall in this scene.
7. When Tyrion Kingslayed His Father
Look, Tywin kind of deserved that arrow to the bowels, but that doesn't mean his final tête-à-tête with his son (on an episode that aired on Father's Day, no less) wasn't completely — if you'll excuse the pun — gut-wrenching.
8. When Cersei Was (Very) Publicly Shamed
Yeah, no matter how evil Cersei's been over the years, no one deserves to walk naked through an angry mob hurling expletives and rotten fruit (and worse).
9. The Red Viper Versus The Mountain
Everything from the nail-biting choreography, to fan favorite Oberyn's doggedness, to the Mountain's last-minute confession, to Ellaria's bloodcurdling scream, makes this one of the most memorably horrible moments in Game of Thrones history.
10. & 11. When Daenerys Banished Ser Jorah (Both Times)
BRB, crying a thousand tears.
12. When Jon Snow Got Mutinied
Yeah, (almost confirmed) resurrection conspiracy theories aside, watching Jon get stabbed to death by the very people he pledged his life to was no walk in the park.
13. When Catelyn Stark Found Out Her Sons Were "Dead"
No mother likes to learn that two of their sons have been brutally murdered, but the fact that this (false) piece of information was basically the catalyst for the actual murder of her and her living son? Well... it's a killer.
14. When Daenerys Euthanized Khal Drogo
Mirri Maz Duhr basically tricked Daenerys into trading her unborn child for a permanently vegetative Khal Drogo — and as if that weren't already bad enough, she was then forced to smother him with a pillow.
15. When Arya Refused To Mercy-Kill The Hound
Daenerys may have smothered her husband out of love, but Arya left the Hound to die out of spite (thus crushing all of our collective dreams that the two of them would get their own buddy comedy spin-off). The fact that he begged her to stab in the heart was about 50 shades of heartbreaking, but the fact that she refused? In a word, ouch.
That said, I recently finished A Feast for Crows, and I'm completely convinced by the popular theory that The Hound is still alive — after all, he didn't die on screen (or on page) now, did he? So maybe Arya actually did us all a favor...
16. When Olly Shot Ygritte
"You... know... nothing, Jon Snow." *Breaks down sobbing.*
17. When Stannis Baratheon Burned Shireen At The Stake
There's no way around it, Shireen's shrieks of pain as she literally burned to death while both of her parents watched was horrible.
18. When Ned Stark Was Executed
We're five seasons out, and this is still one of the most shocking and sad moments the show has ever seen.
19. When The Red Wedding Happened
Few gory moments have been more heartwrenchingly unsettling than Catelyn Stark getting her throat slit seconds after witnessing her only living son's (to her knowledge, anyway) death — not to mention the death of his wife and unborn child.
All in all, it's a pretty darn devastating show, eh? Maybe it's a good thing that it won't be back for awhile.
Images: Macall B. Polay, Helen Sloan (6)/HBO; Giphy (13)