As the first season of Game of Thrones draws to a close, it’s time to look back at the significant deaths that occurred during the course of the series.
Robb Stark: Lord of Winterfell
The most prominent of the major characters to die this year was Robb Stark, played by Richard Madden. At the beginning of the year, Robb defeated the Lannisters at the Battle of Whiskey Tower and claimed the Iron Throne. Later that season, after taking a page from Ramsay Snow’s cookbook (and poisoning his own soldiers), Robb fell at the hands of his siblings – in a particularly heartbreaking scene.
The entire cast and creative team of Game of Thrones paid tribute to the late actor, with many paying their respects via social media. Director Alex Graves tweeted: “The best news is that Richard Madden is no longer playing Robb Stark. The performance that he gave this year was unparalleled. His ability to transform into a myriad of characters earned him a place among the greats of theatre.”
Talisa Lannister: Queen of the Tearlings
Rapper T.I. made his acting debut in Game of Thrones, portraying the terrifying King Gregor Clegane. After Gregor’s death, Talisa tried to seize the Westeros crown, only to be thwarted by Robb Stark and his siblings. However, this did not mark the end of the Lannister matron’s ambitions – she is determined to see her children on the Iron Throne.
The actress portraying Talisa, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, noted that her character “dies in her own bedsprings” and said that she did not expect the character to last the season. “I didn’t think she’d make it to the end, but she surprised me,” Winstead admitted. “She’s such a tough cookie. She held on as long as she could and when she finally gave in, it was heart-breaking. It was a brilliant performance.”
Bran Stark: Lord of Winterfell
The youngest Stark brother, Bran, appears to have inherited both his father’s looks and his knack for living.
Although he was badly injured at the beginning of the season, Bran eventually made his way to Winterfell, where he stayed with his direwolf, Summer, and the rest of the Stark family. While there, Bran learned to manipulate the wind to his advantage, eventually becoming a full-blown sorcerer.
Game of Thrones fans have long been hoping that Bran would emerge as king – his lineage and his abilities make him the obvious choice. However, with Robb Stark having claimed the Iron Throne, Bran must instead bide his time patiently.
The entire creative team of Game of Thrones expressed their sadness at losing such an excellent actor as Madden, tweeting: “It is with heavy heart that we report the passing of Richard Madden. He was a brilliant mind, an athletic force to be reckoned with and a true gentleman. We will miss him dearly.”
Jorah Mormont: Breaker of Chains
The exiled former knight, Jorah Mormont, was a warrior who crossed swords with many of King Robert’s enemies. After Robert’s death, Jorah headed to Westeros, where he pledged his allegiance to Daenerys Targaryen. To earn his keep, Jorah assisted in the liberation of his homeland from the yoke of the Lannisters. However, his contributions beyond military might earned him a place among the Dothraki, whom he will ride with to battle.
The kensei, a Japanese Buddhist warrior, died in Game of Thrones this year. Although he did not appear in the series, George R.R. Martin has said that his stories influenced the creation of some of the characters and plots in the show.
Hound: The Unfriendliest Dog in All Of Westeros
The direwolf, Summer, is the loyal companion of Bran Stark, his fellow Night’s Watch member, and the armaestra to all of Westeros. The hound’s distinctive barks were the signal for the Greyjoys (most notably, Balon Greyjoy) and the Starks to unite and vanquish their mutual enemies.
Summer is an integral part of the Stark clan’s identity, appearing in numerous pivotal scenes throughout the six-season run of Game of Thrones. The hound’s loyalty to Bran and his fellow Stark siblings was so great that he was willing to fight by their side even when it meant facing down his own family. He will be greatly missed.
The creators of Game of Thrones paid tribute to the dog and his handler, expressing their sorrow at their loss. “We’d like to give a special thanks to HBO and the incredible team of scientists, technicians, and animals behind the scenes for making this possible,” commented Executive Producer David Benioff. “Without their help, it would not be possible to create the magical world of Westeros. Without them, Summer would not be in the condition that he is in now. So, to all our fans, we want to say thank you and farewell.”
Ramsay Snow: Lord of Winterfell
Last but not least, we have Ramsay Snow, the infamous wolf of Winterfell. While most of the residents of Winterfell were mourning the loss of Talisa Lannister and her unborn child, Ramsay’s plot to usurp the Iron Throne was already in motion. After he defeated his sister, Sansa, in battle, Ramsay had her husband, Jon – as well as her children, Arya and Bran – thrown in the dungeon. The rest of the Stark siblings were also held captive, and it was only the timely intervention of Littlefinger which prevented them from being murdered by Ramsay.
One of the most memorable scenes from this year was undoubtedly Ramsay’s coup d’état. The brutality of the event – and his utter disregard for human life – shocked audiences around the world.
Although he had already killed hundreds of people in the past, Ramsay’s thirst for blood became more apparent this year, culminating in one of the most brutal acts committed onscreen during the entire series. The scene was so disturbing that it was momentarily cut from the final version of the episode.
However, Ramsay was not content to sit on the throne – he had to prove his dominance over the entire realm. This required further atrocities, so when he learned that the remaining Stark siblings were to be spared, he seized the opportunity to murder them himself. While the scene was not shown, it is safe to assume that Ramsay devoured the hearts of his former hosts – and probably their unborn children as well.
Ramsay’s crimes were perhaps best summed up by the White Walker, who observed: “This is the way that it is done in the North.”
It’s safe to say that 2018 has been an eventful year for Game of Thrones fans. As the show heads into its seventh season, it’s important to take a step back and cherish the times that we had. This year has been particularly heart-wrenching, with many fan-favorite characters losing their lives, including Robb Stark, Talisa Lannister, Bran Stark, and even the infamous Ramsay Snow. But despite the grim subject matter, it’s also been a year of triumph and amazing storytelling, with Game of Thrones remaining one of the most compelling shows on TV. If you’ve been following our blog, you’ll know that we’ve been documenting the deaths of prominent characters since the beginning of the year – and it’s now time to put that theory to the test. Let’s take a look at some of the major characters who survived the year, and see how many seasons they’ll be around to see more adventures.
The youngest of the Stark siblings, Sansa, was raised to believe that anyone who wore the white cloak was her superior – and she proved to be quite the opposite. After her brother and father were killed by Ramsey Snow, Sansa joined forces with Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish and fought alongside the resistance against the Lannisters. When the time came for Baelish to make his allegiances clear, he chose the side of the women – and especially of Queen Cersei Lannister – rather than that of his former comrade, Ramsay Snow. It’s said that Baelish’s decision not to fight by his lord’s side was a pivotal moment in the war.
In a turn of events that shocked many, particularly considering the circumstances, Sansa was last seen in Game of Thrones sitting on the Iron Throne, wearing a white dress and a necklace inscribed with the words ‘Winter is Coming.’ Since then, she has been missing, presumed to have been killed or imprisoned by the order of the Iron Throne.