Game of Thrones has been nothing if not heavy-handed with the death-dealing so far. Heading into the final season, though, all bets are really off when it comes to who'll make it through to the end, and we've certainly got our predictions for who'll bite it before it's all said and done -- including some fan favorites who've seemed untouchable thus far. Until then, though, here's a look back at some of the most gruesome demises ever met on the show. Click through to find out which of the Game of Thrones deaths were the worst of them all.
If it weren't for Ser Dontos (Tony Way), Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) may have never escaped King's Landing after Joffrey's death, and how did he get rewarded for his heroic effort to get her to the safety of Lord Baelish's ship? With a crossbow to the face, that's how.
No doubt Balon Greyjoy (Patrick Malahide) was a crusty king for the Iron Islands, but being thrown off a bridge by his own brother Euron was a dirty deal indeed.
Granted, she was going after Sansa, so Lysa Arryn (Kate Dickie) pretty much had to go. But death by Moon Door is still pretty mean, especially since it came at the hands of the man she loved, Petyr Baelish.
After Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa) suffered such a nasty chest wound, it's not hard to understand why the witch Mirri might not really want to save him. After all, he'd been responsible for the pillaging of her people. But she took her revenge scheme one step way too far by punishing Daenerys -- sure, she didn't make her re-enter the tent during the ceremony, but the fix was still in. What was that sour milk drink she gave her anyway? We don't even technically know what happened to little Rhaego. Mirri told Daenerys he was a stillborn monster who was "scaled like a lizard, blind, with leather wings" and that his "skin fell from his bones," but that was probably another lie.
It's pretty bad when the show won't even give a girl the dignity of an on-screen death, but that's exactly what happened to Ros (Esme Bianco). After submitting to the sadistic pleasures of King Joffrey, she still became a background kill for the mad kinglet, after he'd apparently put that terrible crossbow to use.
Being executed on the orders of your own brother might be upsetting enough, but the fact that Renly Baratheon (Gethin Anthony) was also taken down by a sneaky shadow monster birthed by the Red Witch Melisandre makes his fate even harsher.
Tsk tsk, Xaro Xhoan Daxos (Nonso Anozie). He was on Daenerys' good list for letting her caravan in from the Red Waste, but then he had to go and scheme with Pyat Pree to steal her dragons, so into the eternal vault he went with Doreah. It's not a fun way to die, that's for sure.
Poor kid. Rickon (Art Parkinson) was so, so close to reaching Jon Snow before Ramsay's arrow skewered him on the field.
As attentive as he was to his appearance of dignity and strength, the fact that the great Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) was killed on the toilet by his least favorite child is pretty twisted. Though, after what he did to Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) -- blaming him for Joffrey's death and sleeping with his girlfriend -- it's no surprise his son would finally return some of that humiliation after killing Shae in similarly brutal fashion.
It's bad enough to have been among the Winterfell soldiers betrayed by Theon Greyjoy, but when Ser Rodrik (Ron Donachie)'s death sentence involved him getting hacked by the guy's shoddy sword skills, it was even worse.
Daenerys felt she had to make an example out of Randyll (James Faulkner) and Dickon Tarly (Tom Hopper) for not bending the knee after her conquest at the Battle of the Goldroad, so she let Drogon do his worst to Samwell's family right there in front of their fellow soldiers.
In return for his botched effort to assassinate Bran, the Catspaw assassin got his neck ripped out by Summer. That had to sting.
Poor orphan boy Lommy (Eros Vlahos) got the pointy end of Needle to the throat after being disabled by an arrow during the Gold Cloaks' siege in pursuit of Gendry. But Arya got payback by treating his attacker Polliver (Andy Kellegher) to the exact same death while repeating his taunting phrase, "Something wrong with your leg boy? Can you walk? I've got to carry you?"
The Wildling Craster (Robert Pugh) only kept his daughters around for vile reasons and left his sons out to freeze -- as in, he literally sacrificed the poor things to the White Walkers. That's cold.
Not only did Hodor (Kristian Nairn) allow himself to be ripped to shreds by wights while holding the door long enough for Meera and Bran to escape, but he also accidentally doomed himself to a lifetime of ridicule by repeating that fateful phrase "hold the door" during one of Bran's time-warps to his childhood. Hodor.
Let's face it. This guy basically sold his own little sister into slavery for the sake of amassing a theoretical army and then whinnied like a petulant child when she managed to overcome those circumstances and render him irrelevant, so there's no feeling sorry for Viserys Targaryen (Harry Lloyd). That said, it was still pretty raw (and, of course, defiant off all scientific norms) when Khal Drogo finally delivered him that molten gold crown.
It's plenty bad enough that Ned Stark (Sean Bean)'s execution was unjust and totally dishonored his long-standing tradition that "he who passes the sentence should swing the sword," but his own two daughters had to bear witness to that very public beheading. Even worse, Sansa was later forced to gaze upon his severed head in an act of specific cruelty by Joffrey. Nope.
The Viper's heart was definitely in it, but unfortunately Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal) simply didn't have the strength to defeat Ser Gregor Clegane, and he paid the price for it by having his eyes gouged out and his skull smashed in, all while the Mountain bragged about violating and killing his sister. Ouch.
In Mago (Ivailo Dimitrov)'s defense, the Dothraki Army really was a boy's club before Daenerys came along, so he might be forgiven for talking out of turn when it came to Khal Drogo's decision to go along with his bride's wishes and stop assaulting all the women of the village they'd just conquered. Even so, though, he should've just bitten his tongue because the consequence for talking back to his king was to have it ripped right out of his neck. Oops.
The Hound (Rory McCann) might be working with the good guys now, but once upon a time he was a ruthless road warrior, and the poor farmer and daughter who set him and Arya up with a nice meal in the Riverlands paid dearly for their generosity and trust. He stole their silver and pretty much condemned them to die off-screen, and as we would later find out, they didn't just do without as winter neared; the father had to end his daughter's life and his own as an act of desperate mercy so they wouldn't have to face any more starvation.
If it hadn't been for his resurrection, Jon Snow (Kit Harington)'s death might rank a little higher on this list. Alas, his betrayal by the Night's Watchmen -- including Olly! -- pretty much amounted to a few days of nothingness for the eventual King in the North and helped him sort out those who were disloyal to him. Oh, and it probably hurt a bit, too.
That cache of wildfire proved to be quite useful for Cersei Lannister when she decided to execute all of her domestic enemies in spectacular fashion, including Grand Maester Pycelle, the High Sparrow, Margaery, Loras Tyrell, and everyone else in the Great Sept of Baelor. But she saved a particularly heinous punishment for Septa Unella (Hannah Waddingham), whom she left for the zombified Mountain to do as he pleased. Shame, shame, shame...
No doubt, the Sand Snakes deserved to be punished for poisoning Myrcella. She was pretty much the only Lannister who didn't run afoul of anyone, especially them. But what Cersei did to Ellaria (Indira Varma) -- giving Tyene (Rosabell Laurenti Sellers) that goodbye kiss and then keeping her mother too far away to comfort her, but just close enough to watch her die and eventually dessicate -- was ghastly.
Lord Baelish (Aidan Gillen) had a lot of crimes to answer for, but he seemed impervious to punishment as he constantly snuck around Westeros whispering his way from one scandal to another. It eventually caught up with him, though, once the Starks returned to Winterfell and Bran told Sansa all his secrets, after which she let Arya do her worst to him.
Poor Lady Walda (Elizabeth Webster) and her little baby. It was awful enough when Ramsay Bolton decided to stab his own father Roose so that he could take power, but when he found out his step-sibling was a boy, he also fed the newborn and his innocent mom to the dogs. Literally. Woof.
Depending on who you ask, Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon)'s reign of terror may have been even worse than Joffrey's. Sansa and Theon (er, Reek) would certainly say so. So, it served him quite right that after he lost the Battle of the Bastards he would be subjected to the same toothy fate as his stepmother and little brother. The fact that it was his own beloved hounds who did him in made the scene even more satisfying to watch, especially for Sansa.
We wouldn't find out the true culprit behind Joffrey (Jack Gleeson)'s final hour until several seasons later, but watching him succumb to that poison in such grisly fashion was a necessary, if a bit excessive, end for the maniacal boy-king. The fact that it was Olenna Tyrell who delivered his death sentence -- to protect her niece and his nascent bride Margaery from his inevitable nastiness -- meant the act was also some wisely premeditated vengeance for what would later happen to her lineage.
Walder Frey's betrayal of the Stark family at the Red Wedding still stands out as a defining moment on Game of Thrones. It proved (again) that no one is ever truly safe on this show and set into motion the callousness with which these rivalries would play out. The fact that Robb Stark (Richard Madden) had to watch his wife and unborn child perish just before being taken out in front of his own mother who would also die is all so inestimably cruel.
A girl has a list, and she's checking it more often than Santa Claus. Walder Frey (David Bradley) was responsible for entrapping and murdering Arya Stark's mother, brother, sister-in-law, and unborn niece or nephew, so, yeah, he had it coming like few before or after him on her kill list. The fact that she then proceeded to take his face and feed his flesh to his own sons before killing all of them off too was the very definition of savagery. Revenge is a dish alright.
Melisandre could resurrect Jon Snow a thousand times and never make up for what she did to poor Princess Shireen (Kelly Ingram). After all her other attempts to secure Stannis Baratheon's ascension to the throne started proving futile, the Red Witch insisted that a sacrifice was necessary and put the isolated and intelligent girl on the stake to burn while she desperately yelped for her complicit parents to rescue her. It just doesn't get much worse than that.