Yesterday, we wrapped up Season 6 of one of the goriest shows on TV – the epic medieval power struggle that is Game of Thrones. Known for casually and brutally murdering main characters, the show didn’t disappoint on slaughter this season. Over ten episodes, a huge number of characters have bit the big one, from the minor foot soldiers that we knew wouldn’t make it, to some of the biggest names in the series. Just in case you started to think anyone was safe.
Of course, it’s not all doom and gloom – we were rooting for some of these deaths, and others came with a mic drop that echoed throughout the seven kingdoms. On top of which, we got to see two characters return from the dead, giving everyone hope that even in Westeros, death doesn’t have to mean forever.
In honor of a season full of bloody murder, we’ve rounded up every death from the first episode to the epic finale.
Episode 1 – The Red Woman
Ramsey’s Hunting Party
At the end of Season 5, Sansa finally escaped from Winterfell and Ramsey Bolton. She, along with Theon/Reek, leaped from the battlements into the deep snow, and ‘The Red Woman’ found them trekking through the frozen forest. Ramsey sent men after them to bring her back, but luckily Brienne of Tarth was there to save the day. Riding in with Podrick, she slaughtered the men chasing Sansa, and pledged her loyalty to her again. This time, thankfully, Sansa accepted, and they rode off into the sunset to find Jon Snow.
Prince Doran of Dorne
We finally visited Dorne last season, as Jamie went to collect Myrcella (who sadly, didn’t make it home alive). We also got to meet the sand snakes, the daughters of Oberyn Martell. Working with Ellaria Sand, these ladies are out for revenge, and not afraid to take it in blood. Starting with the Prince of Dorne – Doran. Stabbed by Ellaria on his throne, it looks like she’s ruling Dorne now.
Hotah, Dornish Captain Of The Guard
And where was Doran’s protection when Ellaria stabbed him? Also lying dead on the floor, as one of the sand snakes, Tyrene, stabbed him in the back. It was well-planned, and Ellaria obviously wanted Doran to see Hotah die… and to know that she was about to murder him.
Finally, as though Dorne hadn’t dealt with enough death for one episode, the sand snakes took out the heir to the throne as well. To make it worse, they tricked the young prince. Obara and Nymeria cornered Trystane and told him that he would have to fight one of them to the death. After Trystane made his choice and turned to face her, the other stabbed him from behind. Clearly, backstabbing is a favorite murder method for the snakes.
Episode 2 – Home
Wun Wun Smashes People
Before Jon Snow made his dramatic comeback, Castle Black was at odds. Ser Davos is protecting his body, while Alliser Thorne was about to try and break the door down. Luckily, Wun-Wun and the WIldlings came to Jon’s aid! And after seeing Wun Wun tossing an archer around like a toy, there was a lot less enthusiasm for fighting…
The Mountain Kills (Silly Drunk Guy)
After his return from the dead last season, it was time for the Mountain to start stretching his muscles – starting with one loudmouthed inhabitant of King’s Landing. When a drunk in a tavern started sounding off about Cersei, the walk of shame, and the size of his… ego… (*wink wink), the Mountain was quick to put a stop to it in the only way he knows. Leaving us with one dead drunk in an alley, and a lot of excited viewers.
We already knew that Ramsey Bolton was pure molten evil in human form, but this episode saw the writers hammer that home in a scene that made headlines with its shocking nature. Ramsey, having been legitimized by his father, isn’t best pleased to learn that Roose Bolton’s wife, Walda, has just had her baby – and it’s a boy! Although Roose reassures him that Ramsey will always be his official firstborn, Ramsey isn’t taking any chances. Which means, of course, that he stabs his father to become Lord Bolton in his place. Then, he lures Walda and his baby brother into the kennels… where he feeds them to his hounds. *Shudder
Not even seeing Ramsey slaughter his immediate family was enough death for one episode – as the final kill for ‘Home’ is Balon Greyjoy, ruler of the Iron Islands. Readers of the series have been waiting for this one for quite a while, but the show left much of the Iron Islands plotline for this season. Still, it starts much the same way; with long-absent brother Euron Greyjoy coming home and promptly tossing Balon off a causeway to his death.
Episode 3 – Oathbreaker
Flashback Deaths At The Tower of Joy
One of the best parts of this season for many fans was seeing Bran travel through time with the three-eyed raven. We got to see some of the important moments in Westerosi history, including a vital scene at the Tower of Joy. Plus, young Ned Stark! There was a lot of death here, even if it happened years ago, including five of Eddard’s six companions (William Dustin, Ethan Glover, Martyn Cassel, Theon Wull and Mark Ryswell) and the two members of the Kingsguard they went up against (Gerold Hightower and Ser Arthur Dayne).
The Direwolves are falling fast, and it was Shaggydog that was first to go in this season. The wolf belonging to Rickon Stark was murdered by hunters who tracked and captured Rickon and Osha, the wildling who was caring for him. Delivered to Ramsey Bolton, Shaggydog’s head was used as proof that it was really Rickon who was captured.
The Traitors of Castle Black
With Jon Snow back from the dead and re-instated as Lord Commander at Castle Black, it’s time for some retribution. The men who orchestrated his murder, and who actually dug the knife in, were hung up in front of the Night’s Watch – and probably cursing Melisandre at the same time. Alliser Thorne, Othell Yarwyck, Bowen Marsh are executed as the instigators and leaders of the mutiny. Olly, the young boy who shot Ygritte and led Jon to his death… well, he was hung too, and we’re pretty sure that it was because Jon felt as betrayed as we did.
Episode 4 – Book of the Stranger
For a moment, it looked like Osha might be smart enough to play Ramsey. She is certainly no stranger to brutality, and it seemed as though she knew exactly what Ramsey wanted with her. We were all rooting for her to save Rickon, but it was not to be. Osha attempted to grab a knife and kill Ramsey, and he slit her throat without a pause.
Before Daenerys remembered that she’s a fireproof dragon queen, she was held captive by the Dosh Khaleen – and the men who love her were out to save her. Daario and Jorah Mormont had tracked Daenerys to the Dothraki, and headed into the city to try and find her. On the way, they ran into two Dothraki men, and promptly dispatched them – Daario even helped Jorah to do so. After finding Dany, they were willing to risk sneaking out and having the entire Dothraki army hunt them down, but she had other plans.
The Dothraki Khals
Rather than sneak away from the Dothraki, Daenerys decides to lead them – but first she has to get rid of those pesky Khals. Luckily, they are all in council with her, attempting to decide her fate. In true Mother of Dragons style, she delivers an impressive speech, and then proceeds to burn the hall to the ground, along with everyone in it. Including herself, but of course, the Unburnt isn’t harmed, and strides out of the inferno for the Dothraki to bow to her.
Episode 5 – The Door
This is a bit of a technicality, because Euron doesn’t really die. In fact, he’s still very much alive by the end of the episode. However, according to the faith of the Iron Islands and the Drowned God, in order to become king, Euron has to first drown. He is held under the seawater by a priest of the Drowned God, until he is “dead” – and then brought back to shore to cough up the water and be crowned. What is dead may never die, indeed.
Leaf and the Children of the Forest
Now begins one of the most brutal sequences of the series – the White Walkers find Bran hiding with the Three-Eyed Raven. What follows is the stuff of nightmares, and in true Game of Thrones style – (nearly) everybody dies. Leaf and the Children of the Forest put up a brave fight, but are taken down by the Walkers – although Leaf herself manages to take down a few of her own, kamikaze-bomber style.
The second of the Direwolves to die this season (*sniff*) Summer is lost in the White Walkers attack. Bran is still in the past with the Three-Eyed Ravem, as Meera desperately tries to wake him so they can flee. Summer attempts to hold off the attack, but there is only so much that a direwolf can do against the walkers.
It shouldn’t come as a big surprise that when the White Walkers attacked the tree that the Three-Eyed Raven was part of, he didn’t make it out alive. Although if we wanted to get technical, Bran has taken on the title of Three-Eyed Raven himself, now that the original is dead.
Not Hodor! In a heartbreaking moment, we learn why Hodor only ever says Hodor… because Bran screwed it all up with his time-travelling, and because Hodor is a hero. Bran and Meera make it out the back door, but with the Walkers crawling to them at a terrifying pace, they won’t make it far… unless Hodor stays behind to keep the door shut. Which he does. However, something gets mixed up, and while Bran watches Hodor in the past, Hodor sees him, and has a seizure – he is linked to the present, where all Hodor can focus on is holding the door to save Bran. While walker hands claw him to shreds from behind, and we all wept bitter tears.
Episode 6 – Blood of my Blood
Nobody dies! In an episode titled ‘Blood of my Blood’, no actual blood is spilled. Probably because even the writers behind newborns being fed to hounds thought we needed a break after what happened to Hodor.
Episode 7 – The Broken Man
Brother Ray and His Flock
A second comparatively bloodless week saw only one storyline with a major death – that of the recently “resurrected” Hound and his new friends. Brother Ray, the man who nursed Sandor Clegane back to health, is building a church with some peaceful followers – which doesn’t sound dangerous, but this is Westeros. The Brotherhood, a band created to attempt to protect the people during the wars, has become corrupt and lawless, demanding or stealing. When Brother Ray refuses to give them the food he has for his flock, the brotherhood returns and slaughters them all.
Episode 8 – No One
Random Faith Militant
Time for the Mountain to flex again – and scare the pants off the Faith Militant. When Lancel and his cronies come for Cersei, she reminds them that she was told she would be allowed to stay in the Red Keep. They offer her a choice – come peacefully anyway, or there will be violence. Cersei being who she is… violence is the order of the day. And what violence it is! The Mountain, impervious to all weaponry, literally rips a man’s head off.
His reappearance was short, and the Blackfish won’t be returning again in future. Unable to hold Riverrun against Jaime Lannister and his army, he goes down fighting. After helping Brienne and Pod escape in a boat, he heads back up to the castle, vowing to take down as many men as he can before he is killed.
It’s never wise to cross the Hound, as the men who murdered Brother Ray find out this week. The Hound tracks them down for revenge, and slaughters a few with breathtaking ease. He finds the remaining three strung up and about to be hung by the more lawful members of the brotherhood – but still takes some of the killing for himself. (And even accuses a man of being shit at dying – one of the best lines of the season!)
Arya, stabbed by the Waif, went to Lady Crane for help. Presumably, she figured that having saved the actress’s life, Lady Crane owed her a debt. And the lady apparently agreed, as she took Arya in and stitched her up. Of course, kindness isn’t always rewarded in Westeros, and the Waif murdered her as she searched for Arya. She claimed that Lady Crane’s name was still owed to the Faceless Men, but plenty fans think that she was just a little too keen to do the killing.
It looked as though the Waif would get the better of Arya for a few moments, as she chased her, Terminator-style, through the streets of Braavos. However, a girl was smarter than the Waif thought, and actually led her to a windowless room where Needle was hidden, and a single candle was burning. When Arya put that candle out, the Waif was lost in the dark – and Arya, finally, reclaimed her name and killed the Waif.
Episode 9 – Battle of the Bastards
The Masters in Mereen
The Masters have declared war, openly, on Mereen. Daenerys agrees to meet with them, to discuss terms of surrender. Of course, what she hasn’t mentioned is that she won’t be the one surrendering. After leaping onto her dragon and flying away, the Masters are left with Grey Worm, Missandei and Tyrion. After Grey Worm chases away their security slaves with his impeccable logic, the masters are told to pick one who will die for them. With the man chosen begging on his knees, Grey Worm kills both of the other two with a single stroke. And all of this is before we even get to the big battle of the episode!
It’s been a while since a Stark has died – we must have been due. This season, it was the admittedly largely expendable Rickon – the youngest Stark brother who is now looking all grown up. After a brief moment of hope, where we thought that Ramsey might actually let him go, or that Jon might make it to his brother in time… those hopes were dashed, as Rickon was pierced with one of Ramsey’s arrows. His death cuts the Stark children to four (with only two Direwolves among them).
Jon Snow’s Men
The Battle of the Bastards was a vast, intense, horrifying battle, and thousands lost their lives. Bodies piled on bodies to form a literal wall of death, men were speared, stabbed, beheaded, shot and trampled. While this was one of the most impressive scenes of the season, it also racked up the biggest body count.
After surviving the massacre that was the Battle of the Bastards, Wun Wun was the one to break open the doors of Winterfell, allowing Jon and his men in to (finally) take down Ramsay Bolton. It was, however, his last act as one of Jon’s men. Shot by arrow after arrow, the giant finally collapsed in the courtyard, where Ramsey dealt the killing blow (despite him obviously being on the verge of death already), with an arrow through the eye.
The most hated character of the show, Ramsey Bolton finally got his just desserts. After Jon Snow beat him half to death in the courtyard of Winterfell, he gave Ramsey over to Sansa – and she learned some cruelty in the past few years. Rather than kill Ramsey quickly, or even torturing him, she shut him, bleeding and raw, in with his hounds. Telling him that his name will be wiped from history, and that his hounds are not so loyal when they are starving, she watches as he becomes a lesson in karmic retribution.
Finale – Winds of Winter
Grand Maester Pycelle
The first death of the finale, and a particularly nightmarish one. On his way to the trial, the Gran Maester is stopped by a messenger who tells him that Tommen needs to see him. Led to an underground chamber, he instead finds Qyburn, who apologizes for what is about to happen… as the “little birds” who Qyburn appropriated from the absent Varys slowly surround him, slipping blades out of their clothing before brutally stabbing him to death.
One of the most prominent members of the Faith Militant, Lancel Lannister also met his end at the hands of one of the little birds. Heading out of the Sept to find Cersei, he notices a small child with a torch running away, and follows him. Bad idea. The child was sent to lure him into the lowest levels of the city, where he is brutally stabbed before the child races away again. Not only was this a way to show Lancel’s death separately, but also to show us the wildfire that Cersei had stockpiled and set to go off. Although Lancel was still alive, merely wounded, his desperate attempt to reach the candles before they could burn down and torch the city failed, and he was the first killed by Cersei’s diabolical plot.
Margaery, Loras, The High Sparrow, Kevan Lannister and Everyone Plotting Against Cersei
In one sweep, Cersei took out every threat to her – along with a lot of innocent people. In a move that many fans had predicted, Cersei and Qyburn set up casks of wildfire under the sept, preparing to burn (part of) the city to the ground before giving in to the Sparrows and the Faith Militant. They set candles in a pool of wildfire, letting them burn down until they set the chemical alight, and blew up the Sept of Balor, along with the High Sparrow his council of judges and the faith militant, the Tyrells remaining in King’s Landing (Loras, Queen Margaery, and Mace Tyrell), Kevan Lannister and his cronies, and every noble who had gathered to watch Cersei tried. In a single explosion, she also destroyed part of the city, killing who knows how many people – many of whom watched her during the walk of shame. Truly, Cersei has come into her own as the Wicked Queen.
Cersei attempted to keep her one remaining son safe, using the Mountain to keep him in his room until the Sept of Balor was destroyed. However, she didn’t reckon on the scope of Margaery’s influence. Tommen, having already lost his siblings, now lost the wife that he truly loved. He also found that his mother had killed her, along with everyone else in the Sept, and every septon upholding the faith he believed in. Unable to cope, Tommen took his own life – walking out the window, and fulfilling the prophecy that Cersei would bury all of her children.
Walder Frey and Sons
Away from King’s Landing, Walder Frey is celebrating. Jaime Lannister has recovered Riverrun for him, he is still alive (no mean feat, in Westeros) and he is allied to the ruling family. Things are going wonderfully – but this is the last time that Walder Frey will feel joy. Later, we see him alone in the hall, being served a pie by a strange serving girl. He asks for his sons, saying that they should have been here by now, and she replies that they are… before pointing at the pie. Walder lifts the crust to see a finger in there, just before we see the serving girl peel off her face to reveal Arya Stark! She’s back, she’s a trained assassin, and she’s ticking people off her kill list as she tells Walder that the last thing he sees will be the smiling face of a Stark – and slits his throat.
Flashback: Lyanna Stark
Finally, we get to one of the most important scenes in the season – nay, in the show. Bran Stark taps into the past again, returning to the Tower of Joy, and Ned Stark’s mission to save his sister. However, Lyanna Stark is already dying – he finds her lying on a bed in a pool of blood, and after she makes him promise… something… one of the ladies hands Ned a baby. Lyanna’s baby, as she died giving birth – to JON SNOW. Fan theorists were jumping up and down at this confirmation, because this means that not only is Jon Snow a Stark, but Ned Stark never cheated on his wife, and Jon Snow’s father is (presumably) Rhaegar Targaryen. Which means that Jon isn’t just a rightful King in the North. He has a solid claim to being the rightful King on the Iron Throne.
Who Is Next?
With this many characters dead, just who is left for Season 7? And who is next on the chopping block? Many fans assume that Cersei is going to be the next to die – not only is Daenerys on her way with multiple armies, dragons, and supporters, but the Starks are rising too. On top of all that, the prophecy that she was told as a child suggests that she will be killed after her children die, and plenty of people are rooting for Jamie to be the one to do it.
Anyone could follow Cersei into the night. After all, this is Game of Thrones, and there are some epic battles about to happen. The Starks have re-claimed the North, and Bran is about to come South and tell Jon that he is a Stark/Targaryen. (Plus, Assassin-Arya is on the warpath, and there are still some names on her list).
There are a lot of traitors in Westeros, and not everyone can survive playing both sides. Littlefinger is in control of the Vale, but is also a threat to Jon Snow, having revealed his ultimate plans to Sansa. New, ruthless Sansa may well choose to deal with that Bolton-style. Varys seems to have picked the winning side, but he may not make it to the end, and the Martells have proven themselves capable of killing their own.
On top of all that, The Night’s King is on his way. We learned in the finale that they cannot pass into Westeros while the Wall stands – but that is surely a hint that the Wall will fall… and then the ploys to take the Iron Throne may become background noise to the bigger, deadlier threat.
With two seasons left, each potentially only 7 episodes long, now is the time to start taking bets on who will survive the show finale – and wait for the return of Game of Thrones in the spring of 2017.
Writer, cosplayer and all around nerd. @RoseMooreWrites