Game of Thrones is already rife with inbreeding, rape, and blood magic, but as it turns out, the worst parts of the story aren't even on the show or in the main novel series. They're in The World of Ice and Fire, an extension book which George R R. Martin co-published in 2014 instead of working on the books we actually care about.
World of Ice and Fire is a great read, with scandalous deets about everyone from the Tyrells to Daenerys's great great grandfather. It also reveals how horrendous the Game of Thrones universe truly is. In comparison to World of Ice and Fire, the chaste beheadings and patricides of Game of Thrones' main story are basically a Disney movie. Some of the most disturbing things in The World of Ice and Fire don't even have to do with humans: They have to do with killer butterflies.
If you want to give yourself nightmares, or if you just can't get enough GoT before the next episode comes out, then click through this list for a deep dive into the terrifying, intense and deeply creepy Game of Thrones extended universe.
The Butterflies Of Naath Will Murder You And Your Entire Family
When Missandei tells Davos in Season 7 that she's from the southern island of Naath, he mentions the island's butterflies. This makes it seem like Naath is a peaceful tropical paradise. This is horribly, utterly wrong.
According to lore, any non-native who stays on Naath for longer than a few hours succumbs to "butterfly fever." It sounds kind of delightful, like a disease a kitten would get, but it's actually a pathogen carried by Naath butterflies that causes you to sweat blood and shed all of your flesh until you die. It's the only reason Naath remains unconquerable.
The Continent Of Sothoryos Exists Only To End You
If Game of Thrones were set on Sothoryos – a mysterious continent to the south of Westeros and Essos – the series would be over in one episode. Between the countless diseases, enormous crocodiles, giant piranhas, basilisks twice the size of lions, parasitic worms, velociraptors (!), gargantuan bird/dragon hybrids, and cannibalistic Neanderthal-like natives, everyone would basically only have time to make out once and die.
Considering the continent is basically like the show 1000 Ways to Die – but with all 1000 things happening at the same time – it's unsurprising most of its inhabitants bounced a long time ago, only leaving behind mysterious ruins.
The Titan Of Braavos Can Drop Flaming Tar From His Balls
Standing 400 feet above the sea, with a gargantuan steel sword and fiery red eyes, the Titan is an intimidating sight for anyone trying to get into Braavos. It's functionally impossible to get into Braavos without first getting between his legs.
Speaking of which, the Titan also has giant steel testicles between those legs, as proven by Game of Thrones's 360 degree interactive map of the show's opening credits. Since the Titan is known for his "murder holes" and "arrow slits," from which soldiers can drop giant stones and flaming tar on any uninvited visitors, it doesn't take long to realize those murder holes are in his balls. Honestly, the fact that they haven't shown us this yet is a travesty.
There Used To Be An Island Populated By Hundreds Of Jaqen H'ghars
The show version of Jaqen H'ghar is mysterious, sexy, and more than a little terrifying. Now imagine hundreds of him roaming around a giant labyrinth on a remote island like a herd of sexy minotaurs. This was the case on the island of Lorath for many years, before Valyrians took over and slaughtered everybody.
Lorath, which is just east of Braavos and boasts massive complexes of labyrinths to this day, was home to a religious sect that honored the "Blind God," and spoke of themselves in the third person, like Jaqen. Supposedly, Jaqen only adopted the persona of a Lorathi to hide his true face, but his decision to make Arya temporarily blind suggests he borrowed more from the Lorathi than their slightly pretentious speech patterns.