Game of Thrones has become one of the biggest shows on television. The series is known for many things at this point, ranging from dragons and White Walkers to political backstabbing. If Game of Thrones is best known for one thing, however, it has the be the show’s willingness to kill off characters large and small in spectacularly brutal ways. After six seasons, we’ve seen plenty of gruesome deaths, and some simply surpass almost all the rest. So, as fans are stuck in the middle of a hiatus between Seasons 6 and 7, we’ve compiled a list of the 12 most gruesome deaths in Game of Thrones to date, ranked. Prepare yourself from a violent blast from the past and check it out!
Warning: spoilers for all six seasons of Game of Thrones lie ahead.
12. Kraznys mo Nakloz
We first saw Kraznys mo Nakloz in Season 3, when he met with Daenerys Targaryen to negotiate the sale of his Unsullied slave army to be used as her fighting force in taking the Seven Kingdoms. Believing that Dany only spoke the Common Tongue, Kraznyz communicated with her via Missandei and continually insulted her in Valyrian. They ultimately struck a deal in which she would trade Drogon for his entire stock of Unsullied. Unfortunately for Kraznys, Dany really, really doesn’t like slavers, so she used her new Unsullied army to slaughter his forces in Astopor and set Drogon on him, brutally burning him alive.
11. Ned Stark
The most infamous death of Game of Thrones might just be Ned Stark in the penultimate episode of Season 1. Ned was the protagonist of the first season, and many expected him to be around for the long haul. Instead, after publicly confessing to a crime he didn’t commit to spare Sansa, Joffrey refused to honor the deal that would send him to live the rest of his life as a member of the Night’s Watch. As Sansa screamed and Cersei and Varys tried to talk sense into Joffrey, Ned was forced onto his knees and beheaded with his own house’s ancestral greatsword. If that wasn’t enough, the next episode treated us to the sight of his head on a spike.
10. Shireen Baratheon
Poor Shireen Baratheon is one of the characters of Game of Thrones who had really done nothing to deserve to die. Sure, a lot of other deaths have been senseless and random and overkill, but Shireen was just a little girl who loved her father and wanted to help him. Unfortunately for her in Season 5, helping her father happened to entail being burned alive, with her king’s blood providing the necessary sacrifice to the Lord of Light that Stannis’ army might survive a Northern storm. Although we didn’t actually have to watch Shireen burning the way we watched Kraznys burning, her shrieks, the reactions of the Baratheon men, and her parents’ expressions combine to make her death one of the most brutal of the series.
9. Fat Walda
Another character who died a far more gruesome death than she deserved was Walder Frey’s heaviest granddaughter, also known as Fat Walda. Her life was pretty good when Walder paid Roose Bolton her weight in gold in exchange for their marriage, and she even bore Roose a healthy son at Winterfell. Life took a turn for the worse in Season 6 when Ramsay Bolton murdered his father and decided that he didn’t want a baby brother who could potentially challenge his claim to the title of Lord Bolton. So, Ramsay lured Fat Walda and her infant son to the kennels, where he locked them inside and loosed his hounds. Mother and son were devoured alive while Ramsay watched.