The 20 most gruesome 'Game of Thrones' deaths, ranked

“Game of Thrones” has always been known for its gratuitous nudity, but HBO’s epic fantasy drama also packs plenty of shocking violence.

Over the past six seasons, there have been many deaths, some more gruesome than the others.

In anticipation of season seven, premiering this winter, we put together a list of the most gruesome deaths we’ve seen on the show so far.

So you can fondly remember some very painful memories of loveable characters gone too soon, and relive some of the most satisfying deaths of the worst villains the show has to offer.

Here are the most gruesome and violent deaths on “Game of Thrones”:

20. Shae


The most gruesome, heartbreaking part of Shea's death? You could see it in Tyrion's eyes that despite her epic betrayal, he still loved her.

Time of death: Season 4, episode 10, 'The Children'

Cause of death: Tyrion strangled her upon discovering that she was sleeping with his father, Tywin.

19. Ser Vardis Egen


Not as graphic as some of the others, but it was one of our first looks at how effective (and brutal) of a fighter Bronn is. And such a long fall!

Time of death: Season 1, episode 6, 'A Golden Crown'

Cause of death: After a bloody stab in the throat, Bronn throws the Knight of the Vale through the Moon Door, thus winning Tyrion's trial by combat.

18. The High Septon, Margery Tyrell, Mace Tyrell, Loras Tyrell, Kevan Lannister, Lancel Lannister


According to an alchemist Tyrion talks to in season two, wildfire 'burns so hot, it melts wood, stone, even steel! And of course: flesh. The substance burns so hot it melts flesh like tallow.'

Wildfire also becomes more potent as it ages. The wildfire Cersei used was placed there by the Mad King over 20 years ago, so it was extremely dangerous. The deaths at the Destruction of the Great Sept of Baelor were quick, but they certainly weren't painless.

Time of deaths: Season 6, episode 10, 'The Winds of Winter'

Cause of deaths: Burned alive in Cersei's wildfire explosion at the Sept of Baelor.

17. Jory Cassel


If it involves an eyeball in any way, it's gruesome.

Time of death: Season 1, episode 5, 'The Wolf and the Lion'

Cause of death: Jaime Lannister stabbed him in the eye.

16. Ros


It was hard to watch the shot of her with arrows in her body, courtesy of Littlefinger, who handed her over to Joffrey because he was mad that she was working for Varys.

Time of death: Season 3, episode 6, 'The Climb'

Cause of death: Joffrey brutally shot her with his beloved crossbow.

15. Flea Bottom resident who mocked Cersei


In Flea Bottom, a man boasts of how he exposed himself to Cersei during her walk of shame. He steps aside to pee, and the Mountain casually smashes his head against a brick wall.

Time of death: Season 6, episode 2, 'Home'

Cause of death: Zombie Mountain smashes his head against a wall.

14. Grand Maester Pycelle

Master Pycelle.

The worst thing about this stabbing was that little children did it on Qyburn's orders. Varys used the little birds for spying, but probably wouldn't have made them murder anyone.

Time of death: Season 6, episode 10, 'The Winds of Winter'

Cause of death: Stabbed by Qyburn's little birds right before the wildfire erupted at the Sept of Baelor.

13. Faith Militant member


Although it was mostly shown off-camera, Zombie Mountain straight up ripped his head off. The sound effects were enough to do some major damage to the queasy.

Time of death: Season 6, episode 8, 'No One'

Cause of death: Zombie Mountain rips his head off in a face-off against Cersei.

12. Karsi


Watching someone basically get eaten alive by zombies? No thanks.

Time of death: Season 5, episode 8, 'Hardhome'

Cause of death: Killed by wights, then became one.

11. King's Landing resident in the middle of a riot


As the royal entourage makes its way back to the Red Keep after watching Mycella get sent off to Dorne, a riot starts and gets very violent very fast. Rioters rip a man's limbs off of his body.

Time of death: Season 2, episode 6, 'The Old Gods and the New'

Cause of death: Rioters ripped his body apart. They wave the arm they ripped off for everyone to see. The unnamed character's death is not confirmed, but assumed.

10. Smalljon Umber


There was a lot of blood, and some flesh eating.

Time of death: Season 6, episode 9, 'Battle of the Bastards'

Cause of death: Tormund bit him in the neck, ripped his throat out with his bare hands, then stabbed him repeatedly.

9. Ramsay Bolton


His death was satisfying but violent as we saw him get eaten alive by his own dogs. We watched the once innocent Sansa watch, and she didn't seem shaken by the violence at all. We'd known that Ramsay left his stepmother and baby stepbrother to his hounds before, but we didn't see the brutality with our own eyes until his death.

Time of death: Season 6, episode 9, 'Battle of the Bastards'

Cause of death: Sansa leaves him to be eaten by his own hounds.

8. Rickon Stark

Art Parkinson as Rickon Stark.

When it was first revealed that Rickon was delivered to Ramsay by Smalljon Umber, we had some hope. But he essentially returned to the show to die. Ramsay's sadistic way of murdering him was mind-blowingly awful for viewers and for Jon Snow, who saw it up close.

Time of death: Season 6, episode 9, 'Battle of the Bastards'

Cause of death: Ramsay Bolton shot an arrow in his back, while pretending to give him to Jon Snow unscathed.

7. Catelyn Stark


Not the most violent death we've seen, but the camera lingered on Cat's slit throat longer than anyone could bear.

Time of death: Season 3, episode 9, 'The Rains of Castamere'

Cause of death: Neck sliced open by Black Walder at the Red Wedding.

6. Viserys Targaryen


This was one of the show's first shocking deaths. He had it coming for a while, but we didn't think Dany would ever let her brother get brutally murdered by Khal Drogo. But she did, and hearing his golden head clang on the ground was squirm-inducing.

Time of death: Season 1, episode 6, 'A Golden Crown'

Cause of death: Khal Drogo poured molten gold on his head.

5. Talisa Stark


The most gruesome part of Talisa's death was knowing that she was pregnant when it happened.

Time of death: Season 3, episode 9, 'The Rains of Castamere'

Cause of death: Stabbed in the stomach by Lothar Frey at the Red Wedding.

4. Rat-torture victim


At Harrenhal where Arya, Gendry, and Hot Pie are taken prisoner, they see the Tickler (one of the Mountain's henchmen) interrogating a prisoner to find out where the Brotherhood Without Banners is. He straps a bucket of rats to his chest.

Time of death: Season 2, episode 4, 'Garden of Bones'

Cause of death: The Tickler lets the bucket of rats strapped to the man's chest basically eat him alive, because he can't answer any of the questions.

3. Meryn Trant


Arya always had violent plans for Meryn Trant, but she probably intensified her execution of him upon finding out that he requests very young women at the Braavosi brothel. Seeing Meryn without his eyes but still alive was particularly gruesome, as was seeing Arya enjoy it.

Time of death: Season 5, episode 10, 'Mother's Mercy'

Cause of death: Arya gouges out his eyes and stabs him many times before slitting his throat, out of revenge for the death of her dancing instructor, Syrio Forel, back in season one.

2. Rodrik Cassel


Ser Rodrik was Jory's father. Leave the poor Cassels alone! Rodrick Cassel's beheading was tough to watch because it took so long, and a young Bran and Rickon Stark were there to watch it all.

Time of death: Season 2, episode 6, 'The Old Gods and the New'

Cause of death: Beheaded in terrible fashion by Theon Greyjoy during the Fall of Winterfell.

1. Oberyn Martell

Pedro Pascal as Oberyn Martell.

Seeing a person's head get completely smashed with another person's bare hands is brutal, but made even more brutal when it happens to a charismatic character you just got to know.

Time of death: Season 4, episode 8, 'The Mountain and the Viper'

Cause of death: The Mountain smashed his face and skull with his bare hands in Tyrion's trial by combat.

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