Lots of spoilers ahead!
By now, we've all heard the maxim of HBO's Game of Thrones fandom - "Don't get attached to anyone, because they're probably going to die." Major character deaths aren't just common on Game of Thrones, they're integral to the evolution of the story, and the more important a character is, the more important and game-changing their demise is sure to be. Which Game of Thrones deaths have proved to be the most important in the series?
Rising political leaders of Westeros are routinely bumped off to make way for hungrier competitors (or in some cases, just for revenge). In the heat of battle, brave warriors die senselessly, often without dignity, and almost always without glory. In the world of Game of Thrones, everyone's head is up for grabs. When asking "who dies in Game of Thrones," the answer might as well be, "everyone."Which Game of Thrones deaths were the most critical to the development of the series? Which characters' deaths changed things the most on Game of Thrones? How many characters have been killed now, anyway? Vote up the most important, series-altering, notable deaths from GoT and let us know in the comments who you think will die next!
Ned's shocking death at the end of season one introduced what would become one of the show's signature moves - killing off major characters violently and grotesquely, with little warning, and no apologies. Threatening to challenge the Lannisters' claim to the throne by exposing Jaime and Cersei's incestuous relationship, Ned was beheaded at King's Landing for treason. Arya fled, Sansa was taken hostage, and Robb and Catelyn conspired to retaliate and seize the throne.
Along with most of his supporters, Robb was murdered by Walder Frey at the Red Wedding as punishment for reneging on his agreement to marry Frey's daughter. This was sort of Robb's own fault, since everyone pretty much knows how untrustworthy and mean Walder Frey is.As if getting killed wasn't bad enough, Robb was also decapitated and had the head of his dire wolf, Grey Wind, sewn onto his neck so that his corpse could be displayed as a trophy. Now that Robb is out of the picture, the heir to Winterfell is his sister, Sansa, and several people - including the Lannisters, and Petyr Baelish - have made moves accordingly.
Though there was a little funny business with the wine he was drinking, Robert's death early in the first season was basically an accident. He was gored to death by a wild boar while out on a hunting trip, having been too drunk to dodge and defend appropriately.Robert's wife, Cersei, was pretty excited about Robert's death because it meant that her son, Joffrey, could finally ascend the throne. Ned Stark, however, had strong suspicions about the actual genetic lineage of Cersei's children, and the Lannisters' subsequent retaliations against Ned's claims are what sparked the current conflict over who is most entitled to rule Westeros.
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Joffrey was always kind of a brat, but his death by poison at his wedding to Margaery Tyrell still came as a pretty brutal shock. After drinking a glass of corrupted wine, Joffrey died in his mother's arms, foaming at the mouth and choking on his own puke. (Gross!)Unlike many other hapless characters, Joffrey's death probably wasn't an impassioned act of revenge - it was strategic. The identity of the murderer remains unclear, but it was pretty obvious Joffrey wasn't fit to rule, and plenty of people (including Margaery, Tommen, and even Tywin Lannister) are already reaping the benefits of his demise. The only real downside is that Joffrey's murder was unfairly pinned on his uncle, Tyrion, who was imprisoned, and ultimately forced to flee King's Landing as a result.
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