As Game of Thrones approaches the series finale, airing Sunday, May 19, at 9pm EST on HBO, we’ve taken stock of all the major deaths so far in Season 8. For some, it hasn’t been enough, for others, there’s dissatisfaction with how certain characters met their end. But if past is prologue, more death will come, possibly for some of the most beloved characters.
Ned Umber: The littlest lord ended up being the first casualty in Season 8. When the White Walker Army breached Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, Sansa Stark ordered Ned Umber home to Last Hearth, the castle closest to the area, to bring his men back to Winterfell. The next time viewers see Ned, he’s tacked to a wall at Last Hearth, surrounded by severed limbs arranged in a strange pattern typical of the Night King.
Melisandre: Before the Battle of Winterfell began, she lit the arakhs of the Dothraki on fire, as fire kills wights. She then took off her magical necklace to reveal her true ancient self, walked off into the cold abyss, and died.
Most of the Dothraki: The Dothraki always feared crossing the Narrow Sea, ultimately, it would seem, for good reason. After their Khaleesi, Daenerys, ferried them across to Westeros in “wooden horses,” the bulk of the horselords were killed in the Battle of Winterfell as they rushed headlong to fight an army of White Walkers.
Lyanna Mormont: True to her fiery character, Lady Mormont did not go gently. As a giant wight squeezed her to death like a little human Go-gurt, she managed to stab him through the eye with a dragonglass dagger, killing him as he killed her.
Jorah Mormont: Ser Jorah died as he would have wanted: protecting his beloved Khaleesi during the Battle of Winterfell.
Beric Dondarrion: The Lord of Light couldn’t save the leader of the Brotherhood Without Banners another time. Beric fought a horde of White Walkers to allow Arya enough time to escape. But eventually, they overcame him.
Theon Greyjoy: The tortured youngest Greyjoy stood by Bran’s side at Winterfell’s weirwood, protecting the Three-Eyed Raven-slash-young-Stark from the Night King’s inevitable encroachment. For Theon, guarding Bran was also a way to finally slough off the guilt he had for killing two young farm boys in place of Bran and Rickon.
Fans have been waiting years for the living to confront the Night King on Game of Thrones. Now what?
The Night King: Arya stabbed him through his cold, dead heart with her Valerian steel dagger, using a fighting trick we saw her employ in practice sessions with Brienne.
Missandei: Daenerys’ translator and trusted confidante unceremoniously had her head lopped off by Ser Gregor Clegane at Cersei’s order, seemingly only to give us a plot point to reference for why Dany went mad.
Varys: After enlisting the help of his little birds to possibly spread the message of Jon Snow’s true lineage, Daenerys dracarys‘ed him for treason.
Qyburn: Cersei’s hand met his end by being slammed into a wall by The Mountain. Surely it was a quicker death than Qyburn, practitioner of morally dubious black arts, deserved.
Much of King’s Landing: After Daenerys “goes mad,” she rides Drogon over King’s Landing, ravaging the city she came to liberate from Cersei Lannister’s cruel rule. Arya serves as our woman-on-the-ground, running through the streets and ducking into alleys, ashed bodies around each corner.
The Cleganes: Fans finally had their Cleganebowl in which the brothers, mortal enemies, fought to their deaths. Sandor (which Arya called him oh, so sweetly, in their last interaction, humanizing a man referred to as The Hound for much of his existence) battled his older brother, Ser Gregor, aka The Mountain. The epic match seemed it would end with The Mountain, a pseudo-zombie, never dying. The Hound lanced him through the eyeball, penetrating through his entire skull, a wound that, for The Mountain, seemed to have all the effect of being bitten by a horsefly. But eventually, Sandor was able to hurl both himself and his brother off of the stairs of the crumbling Red Keep, plummeting the duo to the fiery pit below. Though, perhaps parts of Ser Gregor are still writhing about, still animated by blood magic.
Euron Greyjoy: This guy. All season, he happens to be at the right place at the right time. First, in the fourth episode, “The Last of the Starks,” Euron and the Iron Fleet hid in the bay of Dragonstone, ambushing Daenerys and her dragons. The Iron Fleet fires off several scorpions, the enormous dragon-killing crossbows, ultimately killing Rhaegal, one of the two remaining dragons. But Dany later has her revenge. In the fifth episode, “The Bells,” the Iron Fleet waits in Blackwater Bay, its ships weighed down by more scorpions, ready to kill Daenerys’ final and most powerful dragon, Drogon. Alas, Dany and Drogon blast Euron’s ship. He jumps into the sea for cover (so much for a captain going down with the ship) and then washes up to the shore near the Red Keep—exactly where Jaime Lannister is clambering to get to Cersei. An intense scramble between the two ensues, but Jaime ultimately bests Euron, ramming a sword through the eldest Greyjoy’s gut and twisting—hard. Euron, ever the blowhard, believes he delivered fatal blows to Jaime and utters a few self-satisfied final words: “I’m the man who killed Jaime Lannister.”
Jaime and Cersei Lannister: Except Euron is not the man who killed Jaime Lannister! Jaime runs through the rubble of the Red Keep, finding Cersei in the same room where they last saw each other at the end of Season 7. Together, they descend further down into the bowels of the Red Keep, trying to make it to the beach where their brother, Tyrion, had promised a boat would be waiting to shuttle them to safety. But the crumbled Keep blocked all the exits. As the place they called home for years collapsed around them, they clasped each other tight, Cersei pleading for a different fate and Jaime assuring her, “Nothing else matters, only us.”
More Great WIRED Stories
social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit #wired https://www.wired.com/story/game-of-thrones-season-8-deaths