Between the political power-grabbing, the battling bastards, and the fabulously gratuitous nudity, it's easy to forget that Game of Thrones also contains some very compelling moments of undead drama. They've got religious resurrections! Frankenstein's monsters! And wights! Which is just a fancy word for zombies!
Bringing characters back from beyond the grave isn't something that Game of Thrones does all the time, but it happens enough to be important — particularly on the eve of a new season in which there's bound to be a whole lot of dying (and therefore, at least a little bit of resurrecting) going on. Below, we've rounded up a handful of the best moments from past seasons in which death was only a temporary state of affairs.
Othor Flowers blooms anew.
We hardly knew the Flowers brothers before their untimely deaths beyond the Wall, but boy, did they ever wreak some havoc when they came back as wights inside the walls of Castle Black. Lesson learned: in the Game of Thrones universe, death isn't always the end.
Hardhome will rise again... right now.
That awkward moment when you realize that all your dead friends are now your undead enemies.
Beric Dondarrion, reigning resurrection champion.
The usefulness of Beric (Richard Dormer) is mostly in the precedent he set for other, more important characters (*cough*JonSnow*cough*) to come back from the dead — which, lest anyone's forgotten, is not without its downsides. Back when we first met him, the six-times-murdered Beric Dondarrion offered some important insight into the deleterious effects of repeat resurrection: "Every time I come back... I'm a bit less. Pieces of you get chipped away."
The Frankenstein's monster of Westeros.
The extra-large knight formerly known as The Mountain is back, thanks to the efforts of creepy Maester Qyburn (whose attempt to disguise the Mountain's identity by calling him "Ser Robert Strong" is really not fooling anyone, though we admire him for trying.) The fact that Qyburn can do this at all makes him quite an asset to Team Cersei... Although whatever is going on under the Mountain's helmet suggests that his method needs a little refinement before being put into widespread use.
The King in the North, from beyond the grave.
What do we say to the God of Death? Well, if you're Jon Snow (Kit Harington), you say, "Not today!" ...Oh, but you do it three days after you kicked the bucket, just to be all extra about it and ramp up the drama and make the God of Death very annoyed. Jon Snow's resurrection wasn't a shock, exactly (except maybe to him; he looks quite surprised), but it was a very big moment — not just for Jon, who has taken his rightful place as King in the North, but also for Melisandre, who now has a whole new trick in her bag o' red magic.
Game of Thrones returns to HBO Sunday July 16 at 9pm/8c.