'Game Of Thrones' Has Had So Many Crazy Death Scenes

Courtesy of HBO

Hey, did you know that characters die horrible deaths on Game Of Thrones semi-frequently? It's sort of the show's whole "thing," if you know what I mean. Just when audiences are starting to get attached to a certain character, that character suddenly finds themselves being stabbed at a wedding or roasted over a fire or gored in a tragic hunting accident. Such is life in Westeros these days, as the kingdom continues to reel from the fallout of the War of the Five Kings, Dany's impending conquest, and the glacial invasion of a horde of ice zombies.

Given the fact that the list of onscreen Game Of Thrones deaths over the past 60 episodes is now nearing the 200 mark, some of these demises are admittedly starting to run together — but a handful still stand out from the pack for being particularly gruesome. While stabbings, duels, beheadings, and burnings are pretty much par for the course at this point, the show can still occasionally put out a death scene so crazy, so unexpected, and so… creative… that it sticks in the minds of viewers long after.

Here are 19 of the craziest ways characters have died on the first six seasons of Game Of Thrones:

1. Ser Hugh Of The Vale

Cause of death: Jousting stick through the neck

Episode: Season 1, Episode 4 — "Cripples, Bastards, And Broken Things"

At this early point in the series, audiences had already seen a couple of beheadings (Gared, by a White Walker; Will, by Ned Stark) and even the execution of an innocent Direwolf. But it wasn't until this cocky jouster received a giant splinter through the neck during a cheerful tournament that viewers really started to understand how fickle and cruel life in Westeros could really be.

2. Viserys Targaryen

Cause of death: Molten gold poured over his head

Episode: Season 1, Episode 6 — "A Golden Crown"

Khal Drogo literally had to get creative for this one. Since the Dothraki are not allowed to carry weapons or shed blood in their sacred city of Vaes Dothrak, he had to come up with a way to kill petulant would-be king Viserys without breaking those rules. The result — melting his gold belt over a fire and pouring it onto the Targaryen's skull — was both clever and poetic.

3. Mago

Cause of death: Throat ripped out

Episode: Season 1, Episode 8 — "The Pointy End"

Drogo got in one more crazy death before he himself shuffled off this mortal coil: when he killed his mutinous bloodrider by slashing the man's throat with his own blade… and then pulling his tongue out through the wound. Gross.

4. Rhaego Targaryen

Cause of death: Turned into a dragon-baby by black magic

Episode: Season 1, Episode 10 — "Fire And Blood"

Yes, Drogo's death was sad… but having your grieving wife mercy-kill you by smothering you with a pillow doesn't exactly qualify as "crazy." More disturbing was the death of their unborn son, Rhaego, who would have been the Stallion Who Mounts The World. Although not shown onscreen, the audience is told that the baby emerged from Dany's womb hideously deformed, with scales and leathery wings, and that all the flesh sloughed off its body as soon as it was touched. (Double gross.)

5. Tickler's Victim

Cause of death: Rat through the abdomen

Episode: Season 2, Episode 4 — "Garden Of Bones"

Tywin Lannister's sinister henchman, a torturer known as the Tickler, came up with a pretty disgusting way of dispatching his victims: putting a rat in a bucket, strapping the bucket to the victim's chest, and then holding a torch at one end so the rat has no choice but to chew its way through the victim's abdomen in order to escape the flames. The worst part? He'd do this to you even if you told him everything he wanted to know.

6. Renly Baratheon

Cause of death: Stabbed in throat by shadow demon

Episode: Season 2, Episode 5 — "The Ghost Of Harrenhal"

In the grand scheme of things, it's hard for a death to get much crazier than "stabbed through the throat by a shadow demon in the shape of your brother that was birthed in a cave by a sorceress after getting pregnant with the shadow demon by having sex with aforementioned brother."

7. High Septon

Caused of death: Ripped apart by angry mob

Episode: Season 2, Episode 6 — "The Old Gods And The New"

Somebody give the High Septon a hand… and another hand, and a leg, and another leg, and a head — since the poor priest was literally ripped apart by the bare hands of a mob of angry villagers during the riot of King's Landing.

8. Xaro Xhoan Daxos & Doreah

Cause of death: Locked inside a vault

Episode: Season 2, Episode 10 — "Valar Morghulis"

The episode title literally translates to "all men must die"… and Xaro learned that lesson the hard way when he tried to double-cross the Mother of Dragons and found himself locked away to die in his own empty vault for his troubles. Oh, and the traitorous handmaiden Doreah was locked in there with him.

9. Beric Dondarrion

Cause of death: Killed in single combat by the Hound

Episode: Season 3, Episode 5 — "Kissed By Fire"

Admittedly, it wasn't Beric's death that was so crazy as what happened immediately after: he rose from the dead, the first time viewers had seen a character come back to life on the show, and paving the way for Jon Snow's eventual resurrection. (The fatal blow the Hound struck was pretty gnarly, too.)

10. Talisa Stark

Cause of death: Stabbed in the stomach

Episode: Season 3, Episode 9 — "The Rains Of Castamere"

While the Red Wedding was a shocking event in and of itself, none of the deaths that occur in it are particularly "crazy"; they mostly consist of fairly routine stabbings and throat-slittings and arrow-puncturings. Well, except for Robb's poor wife Talisa, the first victim, who was viciously stabbed in her pregnant belly. Still one of the hardest death scenes to watch…

11. Joffrey Baratheon

Cause of death: Poisoned at his own wedding

Episode: Season 4, Episode 2 — "The Lion And The Rose"

Four seasons in, pretty much every viewer had dreamed up a thousand fantasies for Joffrey's deserved death… but I don't think anyone expected him to be poisoned at his own wedding feast in full view of his horrified mother (and his uncle/father Jaime).

12. Oberyn Martell

Cause of death: Skull popped like a grape

Episode: Season 4, Episode 8 — "The Mountain And The Viper"

The image of Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane squeezing Oberyn's skull until it explodes like a ripe watermelon is not one I think anyone will be forgetting anytime soon.

13. Maester Aemon

Cause of death: Old age

Episode: Season 5, Episode 7 — "The Gift"

On this show replete with murder and torture and back-stabbing, perhaps the single craziest way anyone can die is… of old age. Six seasons in, and I'm pretty sure old Maester Aemon is the only character who has actually peacefully passed away from natural consequences. Crazy.

14. Shireen Barathon

Cause of death: Sacrificed by her parents

Episode: Season 5, Episode 9 — "The Dance Of Dragons"

I mentioned earlier that burning was a pretty rote way to die on this show, and that's still true. We'd seen characters burned at the stake before Shireen, and we've seen characters die fiery deaths since; but, needless to say, there's something particularly cruel about an innocent young girl being deliberately set ablaze with her parents' knowing consent.

15. Myrcella Baratheon

Cause of death: Killed with a kiss

Episode: Season 5, Episode 10 — "Mother's Mercy"

Ellaria Sand nearly approaches Khal Drogo's level of cleverness when it comes to the way she assassinates the Lannister princess Myrcella. Kissing the young girl with a mouthful of time-delayed poison means her victim is guaranteed to be far away by the time she succumbs to the toxin and collapses in her uncle/father's arms.

16. Ser Meryn Trant

Cause of death: Assassinated by Arya

Episode: Season 5, Episode 10 — "Mother's Mercy"

Like Talisa's death, Meryn's is also technically a simple stabbing… but it's the way Arya goes about stabbing the cruel Kingsguard that sets this one apart from the rest. First, she takes out both of his eyes, then she stabs his chest repeatedly, and finally she slits his throat. The extremely bloody nature of the scene makes it hard to cheer for this death viewers had been anticipating for a long time.

17. Hodor

Cause of death: Ripped apart by wights while being warged into by Bran

Episode: Season 6, Episode 5 — "The Door"

It's kind of hard to wrap your mind around what happened to poor Hodor… which is pretty much exactly how Hodor felt, resulting in his brain basically melting. While Bran was already warging into Hodor's past, he then simultaneously warged into Hodor's present, sending a ripple of consciousness throughout time, breaking Hodor's mind while the poor servant was also being ripped torn apart by ice zombies.

18. Tommen Baratheon

Cause of death: Suicide

Episode: Season 6, Episode 10 — "The Winds Of Winter"

Similar to Maester Aemon's death of old age, viewers are so used to seeing characters killed by other people in brutal ways, it's shocking in and of itself just to see a character kill themselves. The show had featured at least one suicide before (Shireen's grieving mother Selyse), but the sight of Tommen toppling out of his window — so soon after the fiery deaths of everyone in the Sept of Baelor — was a particularly unexpected turn of events.

19. Black Walder & Lothar Frey

Cause of death: Baked into a pie

Episode: Season 6, Episode 10 — "The Winds Of Winter"

Taking a page from Shakespeare's play Titus Andronicus, Arya got her revenge for the Red Wedding by baking two of Walder Frey's sons into a pastry and literally feeding it to their father. If you're having a dinner party for the Season 7 premiere, make sure to check your pigeon pie for toes.

Judging by the fact that the series is heading into its final 13 episodes, there are probably plenty of even crazier deaths ahead in Seasons 7 and 8. Start steeling yourselves now…