This post is dark and full of spoilers. You have been warned.
On Sunday night, the world will say goodbye to Game of Thrones, arguably one of the most beloved shows in television history. And, yeah, it’s upsetting we will all have to find something new to do on Sundays, but at least our Mondays will no longer be ruined by an impending sense of doom over which of our favorite characters will make it out alive and why the hell Dany toasted an entire town of innocents.
But really, the show has been preparing us for the sadness and loss of our faves from the very start. Right from season one, fans learned nothing and nobody was precious or sacred in the world of GoT. That included children, women, direwolves, the elderly, and the show’s main character, Ned freaking Stark.
Because this show has been running for the better part of a decade, though, it’s easy to forget all the notable people who’ve come and gone to meet the gods. So before we head into what’s sure to be the most emotionally draining episode of Game of Thrones yet, let’s take one more look at the characters we’ve already said goodbye to—a few in some seriously grisly ways. RIP.
Cause of death: The audience never even got to know Jon Arryn, the former hand of King Robert Baratheon. However, we do quickly learn that he was poisoned to death, kicking off the entire mess with the Lannister vs. Stark battle that would rage on for years to come.
Cause of death: Poor Mycah, the butcher’s boy, was only trying to play with his pal, Arya. But when Prince Joffrey got involved things went haywire fast. Mycah was later killed by The Hound, Joffrey’s protector, for fighting the young prince. It’s the reason The Hound landed his name on Arya’s kill list…for a time at least.
Cause of death: Viserys is one of those characters that just had it coming from the very start. As the worst brother in the world, no one was really that sad when Khal Drogo, his sister Daenerys’ husband, poured molten gold over his head. “A crown for a king.”
Cause of death: Robert Baratheon drank too much wine, went out for a hunt, and got attacked by a wild boar. Little did we know then, but it was actually Cersei who ordered Robert’s squire (and her henchman/cousin/lover), Lancel, to keep giving Robert wine, so it’d dull his senses and slow him down during the hunt.
Cause of death: Arya’s beloved water-dancing coach died protecting his little protege from Lannister soldiers. Although fans didn’t see his death onscreen it had a lasting impact on Arya, who continued to use his line “not today” for seasons to come.
Cause of death: Perhaps the most shocking death in the entire series, Ned was beheaded by executioner Ilyn Payne at the order of the newly crowned King Joffrey. The reason? He confessed to “treason” against the crown for telling Stannis Baratheon about his real claim the throne, since Joffrey wasn’t really Robert’s son.
Cause of death: The short answer: Daenerys Targaryen smothered him by putting a pillow over his face. The long answer: Drogo was wounded during a fight with another Khal, dismissed it as a cut, but the wound began to get infected. It got so bad, Drogo was about to die, so Dany tried to save him by asking the witch/slave Mirri Maz Duur to perform blood magic. Not only did it require killing a horse, but also—to Dany’s dismay—her unborn child. The magic does end up saving Drogo, but he’s like a shell of the person he was, so Dany kills him out of mercy.
Cause of death: Renly made it surprisingly far in the war for the throne. And he probably would have made it even further if his brother, Stannis, hadn’t turned to Melisandre’s black magic. Renly was officially killed by a shadow creature, but it sure did have the face of Stannis.