Spoilers ahead for Game of Thrones Winter is here on Season 8. Game of Thrones and with it, lots of death. For its last hurrah, the is the most devastating of any of the seasons. That's truly saying something for a TV show that has (at least according to one YouTuber's calculations) Game of Thrones Season 8 death count claimed the lives of 174,373 people during its first seven seasons. But with the deaths of some of your favorite major characters being inevitable, you're going to need all the tissues in the Seven Kingdoms before Game of Thrones is through.
The TV adaptation of George R. R. Martin's
A Song of Ice and Fire book series promises to have plenty of people dying courtesy of both ice and fire via the White Walkers and Daenerys' dragons. Yet, if you expected massive carnage in the Season 8 premiere, you were likely disappointed to see that the first episode and the second one heading into the Battle Of Winterfell were more about setting the scene than anything else.
But that certainly shouldn't have lulled you into a false sense of security. After all,
Variety reported that the senior vice president of drama at HBO said that during the final table reading of the Season 8 scripts, the cast "started falling down to their deaths" "one by one." Here, Bustle is keeping track of everyone who dies in the final season, episode by episode. The people of Last Hearth weren't shown, but Beric, Tormund, and Edd discovered that the White Walkers had killed them all before they arrived. Little Lord Ned Umber ended up facing the same death as his people after Sansa sent him from Winterfell to go fetch them. His death was extra horrific since the Night King reanimated "the Umber boy" as part of his shrieking spiral message.
Episode 2 — "A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms"
Whoever's not at Winterfell and lives in the North is with the White Walkers now, Tormund tells Jon. But otherwise, the second episode felt like a freakin' family reunion due to the pre-battle bonding, Brienne's knighthood, Arya's sexy time, and zero onscreen deaths. Clearly, these moments were there to give fans closure ahead of the brutal bloodshed to come.
Episode 3 — "The Long Night"
The Dothraki army got taken out as the first wave of defense against the wights. Co-showrunner David Benioff said in the inside the episode feature that this was "the end of the Dothraki essentially." Eddison Tollett watch is ended since he was killed by a wight after protecting his Night's Watch brother Sam. A lot of the Unsullied army were sacrificed by Grey Worm to protect the rest of the retreating army. Lyanna Mormont gave one another badass, yet heartbreaking, performance by taking out one of the undead giants by stabbing it in the eye with dragonglass. Beric Dondarrion didn't have Thoros there to bring him back again after he helped save Arya from the wights inside Winterfell. But, as Melisandre said, he served his Lord of the Light purpose cause Arya ended up being the MVP of the battle. Theon Greyjoy has been through so much, but his end came at the hands of the Night King while protecting his Stark family. And Bran even showed some uncharacteristic Three-Eyed Raven compassion when he told him, "Theon, you're a good man." The Night King seemed all set to kill Bran. But while Daenerys couldn't burn him and Jon couldn't fight him, Arya stuck him with the pointy end of the Valyrian steel dagger that nearly killed Bran in Season 1. The White Walkers, wights, and ice dragon Viserion fell when the Night King fell, finally putting an end to their wintery terror. Jorah Mormont had the most fitting end since his last act was saving his Khaleesi. Melisandre knew she would die and she fulfilled her own prophecy by leaving the gates of Winterfell and removing her stone necklace, revealing her true self to an onlooking Davos. And while you may never forgive her for burning Shireen, she used her fire power to save the rest of humanity before her death.
Episode 4 — "The Last of the Starks"
Rhaegal was looking healthy after recovering from the Battle at Winterfell when Euron Greyjoy attacked Daenerys' fleet at Dragonstone. Using Qyburn's new-and-improved Scorpions, Euron's soldiers easily took down Dany's dragon child, leaving her with just Drogon. And that wasn't the only major loss Daenerys experienced this episode ... Missandei has been one of Daenerys' most trusted advisors since Season 3 and knowing that information, Cersei had Euron capture her during the ambush. When Daenerys went to the gates of King's Landing, Cersei had the Mountain publicly execute the translator, Dany's friend, and Greyworm's love. But before she died, Missandei left Daenerys with a single revenge-fueled word: dracarys. Varys had been warned that Daenerys would burn him alive if he ever betrayed her. So once Tyrion told her that her Master of Whisperers had been plotting to overthrow her, she stayed true to her word and had Drogon kill one of her only surviving advisors. Harry Strickland and the Golden Company might have seemed like a game changer for Cersei, but these sellswords were no match for Daenerys' dragon, the remarkably remaining Dothraki, and Grey Worm's Unsullied. The Lannister army had surrendered to Daenerys, but the Mother of Dragons decided to light up King's Landing anyway. So a vengeful Grey Worm led the attack against these soldiers as Jon Snow and Davos looked on in horror. The innocent people of King's Landing also felt Daenerys' wrath as she set the city ablaze with Drogon. Chaos took over the streets with citizens — including the mother and child Arya tried to help — being slaughtered, burnt alive, or crushed by the falling buildings of the city. Euron Greyjoy seemed like he had bested Jaime Lannister, but the Kingslayer was astonishingly still able to kill this self-proclaimed "king." Qyburn was Cersei's trusted and twisted advisor and he died at the hands of his own creation — the zombie Mountain. Gregor Clegane wasn't really himself anymore after Qyburn had experimented on him, but the Mountain finally died in the much-anticipated Cleganebowl. Sandor Clegane convinced Arya not to go after Cersei so the Stark could live to see another day (#nottoday). But the Hound got his lifelong revenge when he jumped off the Red Keep with his brother Gregor into the flames of King's Landing. Jaime Lannister might have looked defeated by Euron, but he somehow managed to get back to Cersei. They tried to escape through the hidden tunnels beneath the Red Keep, but Jaime and his character arc were crushed to death as the castle collapsed. Cersei Lannister and her unborn child met the same fate as Jaime underneath the Keep. And the woman who had seemed like the true "Mad Queen" of the series was given some peace dying in the arms of her brother and lover.
Episode 6 — "The Iron Throne"
Daenerys Targaryen, the First of Her Name, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons was the only character to die in the series finale when Jon Snow stuck a knife in his queen's heart. Her tragic demise meant no more people died for her — or anyone else's — pursuit of power. After her actions in "The Bells," it seemed like the only solution, and so Jon learned that not only is love the death of duty — but duty can be the death of love.
What is dead may never die, but these characters' watch has ended just as our watch of
Game of Thrones has ended too. Valar morghulis.