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Game of Thrones Season 8 Deaths, Ranked

Some of these demises were more satisfying than others

Game of Thrones Season 8
1 of 19 HBO

​19. Alys Karstark

Alys Karstark (Megan Parkinson): OK, so Alys Karstark was a one-line character who basically became wallpaper during war room activities, silently observing as everyone else got a word in edgewise on how to conquer the Night King's army. However, the head of House Karstark should have spoken up a bit more before being assigned to Bran Stark's (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) bodyguard detail, because she strutted out to that weirwood tree and was never seen or heard from again. She didn't even get the dignity of an onscreen death. She could've just as easily been MIA from the season altogether, and it would've made absolutely no difference except to deprive Ser Davos (Liam Cunningham) of his line griping about that onion sigil.

2 of 19 HBO

18. Harry Strickland

Harry Strickland (Marc Rissmann): The Golden Company had been hyped up quite a bit throughout Game of Thrones, and for what? These much-fussed sellswords were barely a blip on the radar of the Battle of the Bells, and Harry Strickland in particular went down in seconds. If the point of these people was to give Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) false hope about her chances of surviving Daenerys Targaryen's (Emilia Clarke) siege on King's Landing, then job well done. But still, watching this guy die was about as thrilling as seeing a horse blithely trample an ant. Next.

3 of 19 HBO

17. Rhaegal

Rhaegal: It was good to see Rhaegal finally get the chance to show off what a good dragon he was this season. He was a total champ about teaching Jon Snow (Kit Harington) to ride and showed some real grit while fighting Ice Viserion in the Battle of Winterfell. After all that, getting shot down by one of Euron Greyjoy's (Pilou Asbæk) super-scorpions was an anticlimactic end for the jolly green dragon.

4 of 19 HBO

16. Ned Umber

Ned Umber (Harry Grasby): Game of Thrones had a couple of horror film-esque moments in its final season courtesy of the Night King. One came when people in the Last Hearth were dismembered so their body parts could surround Ned Umber's stabby wight. The scene created an opportunity for fans to ponder the meaning of that spirograph symbol -- even if it mattered little in the end -- and showed once again how expendable children are on this show. But ultimately, it was just meant to add some creepiness to an otherwise nonviolent premiere episode.

5 of 19 HBO

15. Edd

Dolorous Edd Tollett (Ben Crompton): The reluctant Lord Commander of the Night's Watch did his duty 'til the end, we'll give him that. And he went down protecting a dear friend. But ... his death was largely forgettable amid the many melees in the Battle of Winterfell.

6 of 19 HBO

14. Missandei

Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel): It's hard to overlook the fact that Missandei's death was basically a plot device to drive Daenerys and Grey Worm over the edge, and considering how few characters of color there are in this series, executing her to advance someone else's storyline was a bit disappointing. The fact that she had so few scenes with Daenerys that would actually justify the Mother of Dragons' reaction to her demise made the scene even more of a bummer.

7 of 19 HBO

13. Ice Viserion

Ice Viserion: After almost being ripped apart by Rhaegal, Ice Viserion gave Jon Snow (Kit Harington) some absolute hell in the Battle of Winterfell and was just one blue flame throw away from ending everyone's favorite Targaryen until the big bad was finally dropped.

8 of 19 HBO

12. Euron Greyjoy

Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbæk): Readers of George R.R. Martin's books might know Euron Greyjoy to be a substantial villain, but as shown in Game of Thrones, he was little more than a cartoon who could literally swim up and drive plot points forward when convenient. His final battle with Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) might have been an exciting "Dane Bowl" match for the two actors, but onscreen, it was little more than a classic boy brawl meant to shake up the spectacle of all the fiery action inside King's Landing. Besides, it was Yara (Gemma Whelan) who most deserved that kill.

9 of 19 HBO

11. Beric Dondarrion

Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer): Beric's death was one of a few Biblical images thrown into the mix this season, as he died to save Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) with his arms out like he was on a cross. It was a bit over the top, sure, but at least he went out while fulfilling his duty to the Lord of Light instead of being chucked over that bridge by the Hound (Rory McCann). Perspective, people!

10 of 19 HBO

10. Cersei and Jaime Lannister

Cersei (Lena Headey) and Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau): Look, we know this season has been all about "subverting expectations" and such (groan), but if you told us ahead of Season 8 that it would be a pile of rocks that killed Queen Cersei, we'd have laughed right in your face. Alas, she wasn't done in by the long-fabled valonqar, the list-checking Arya Stark, or even another deserving character -- like Sansa (Sophie Turner) or Tyrion (Peter Dinklage). Rather, it was the crumbling Red Keep that leveled both Cersei and Jaime Lannister for good. The thing that saved the scene was the power of her sheer panic and fear finally setting in and the fact that Jaime died "in the arms of the woman [he] loved," but otherwise, this was a very underwhelming end for both of them. Even Robert Baratheon had a more riveting death by boar.

11 of 19 HBO/Helen Sloan

9. Daenerys Targaryen

Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) deserved a lot more from this entire season -- particularly when it came to the time spent on her breaking mad and being assassinated by Jon Snow (Kit Harington). However, as exhausting as it was to watch her massively important arc get whittled down into a few episodes, it did still make sense that her lover-slash-nephew would be the one to do her in. Jon was the only one with the ability to get close enough to her to kill her, and his long-held belief that "the man who passes the sentence should swing the sword" also weighed heavily on his conscience.

12 of 19 HBO

8. Varys

Varys (Conleth Hill): There was enough nuance in Varys' death to make the Master of Whisperers' final moments feel (mostly) fulfilling. He made good on his promise to tell Daenerys to her face that he believed she was making a mistake, even if it was after scheming behind her back, and, after his betrayal was revealed, Dany executed him in the exact manner she'd promised she would. Just beforehand, he tried to take matters into his own hands by having one of his little birds in the kitchens poison Daenerys, to no avail, all the while informing someone (probably the Lords of Westeros) of Jon Snow's superior claim. So, after being relegated to the sidelines for several seasons, at least Varys went out in character. And let's be honest, that shot of Drogon's massive head creeping out of the shadows was slick, and the fact that Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) was the first and last person to ever touch him on the show was very bittersweet.

13 of 19 HBO

7. Melisandre

Melisandre (Carice van Houten): The Red Witch made good on her promise to return to Westeros, only to ignite many pointless flames that got people's hopes up during the Battle of Winterfell. However, she also finally made use of that long lifespan of hers by calling back to her own prophecy about eye colors and nudging Arya Stark to say "not today" to the Night King. When she stripped off that magic necklace and sauntered into snowy oblivion, it was as much closure as she could possibly deserve.

14 of 19 HBO

6. The Hound and The Mountain

The Hound (Rory McCann) and The Mountain (Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson): CleganeBowl finally happened, y'all, and it was just as gnarly as anticipated. Unlike their first duel, when Ser Sandor had a fighting chance against his much bigger brother, Ser Gregor was all but gone and could easily withstand all the puncture wounds inflicted upon him. It wasn't until he started gouging out the Hound's eyes and gave his brother the idea to stab his own socket -- another biblical reference, no doubt -- that the Mountain showed a single sign of weakness. Ultimately, the Hound decided to face his lifelong fear of fire just to ensure the Mountain would go down, and it was a logical, if fanservice-y, finish for the unlikely hero.

15 of 19 HBO

5. Qyburn

Qyburn (Anton Lesser): Dr. Frankenstein was destroyed by his own heinous creation, and the sheer simplicity and thoughtlessness of that act made it all the more perfect. (This would've been a great alternative ending for Cersei, too, for what it's worth.)

16 of 19 HBO

4. Jorah Mormont

Jorah Mormont (Iain Glen): One of the few characters on Game of Thrones who remained recognizable the entire way through, Jorah Mormont went down doing exactly what he would've wanted to do: swinging for his Khaleesi. Sure, you have to suspend disbelief to actually get him to that spot on the battlefield, and if he hadn't been there, perhaps Daenerys could have waited out the wights in the fire, but still. Ser Jorah was Ser Jorah 'til the bitter end, and we have to be grateful for that.

17 of 19 HBO

3. The Night King

The Night King (Vladimir Furdik): There are quite a few fans who contend that it should've been Jon Snow (Kit Harington) who ultimately outmaneuvered the Night King after so many seasons of buildup, but seeing Jon and Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) both rendered useless in the fight was a hair-raising experience. Plus, it made a lot of sense for Arya Stark (Maisie Williams), who spent years in assassin-training school and learned all about the God of Death all the while, to turn her attention to someone other than the Starks' personal foes for a change. And even the harshest critics of the way the Night King died have to appreciate the moment when Arya pulled that little weapon-swap trick she showed off for Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) in Season 7.

18 of 19 HBO

2. Lyanna Mormont

Lyanna Mormont (Bella Ramsey): The Lady of Bear Island once said that the fighters of her house battled with the strength of 10 men, and that's exactly what she did when she decided to fight back against the zombie giant. After being crushed in the creature's palm, she used her last breath to put some dragonglass in its ice blue eye like the brave boss she was. If she absolutely had to go down, this was a great final moment for the ferocious little lady.

19 of 19 HBO

1. Theon Greyjoy

Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen): No one on Game of Thrones has had such a complex character journey as Theon Greyjoy. Over the course of its eight seasons, we hated him, pitied him, and eventually grew to care about him, which is a testament to how well acted the role was throughout. In the end, after so many scenes of Theon shrinking away from heroism, he finally rid himself of Reek (and the traitorous version of Theon, too), received an important farewell from one of the brothers he'd wronged, and ran to his death without even knowing if it would help save his home or not. Of the several redemption arcs we've seen on this show, this one had to be the most satisfying.