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Poll: Which Game of Thrones death was the most devastating?

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Nick Briggs/HBO

The following post includes spoilers for every season of Game of Thrones. It is known.

As EW’s resident Game of Thrones expert and recapper James Hibberd pointed out in his recap of the fifth season finale, the last hour of the season saw six character deaths. Six in one hour, or in other words, a death every 10 minutes. 

Fans have come to expect that dramatic killing rate from this show, of course, after a whopping total of 456 deaths occurred in the first four seasons alone. But with all this bloodshed from the latest season, and each death topping the one before it, it’s time to look back on the carnage and determine which deaths were truly the most devastating. Here, we’ve put together a poll of 25 characters in the past five seasons who suffered deaths we label with the superlative, based on their memorability for audiences and impact to the show’s story arcs. 

Because of that, this list of the “most devastating” deaths doesn’t just include deaths of characters we liked on the show—Viserys and Joffrey, though nowhere near beloved, suffered dramatic deaths that made for intense watercooler discussions the next day—or those of main characters. Supporting players like Syrio Forel, Karsi the wildling woman at Hardhome, and, *sniff*, Shireen ended their runs in heartwrenching ways, and therefore made it on our list.

With all that said, take your pick (and you can choose multiple!) of which deaths were the most devastating for you to watch:

And if you have other deaths from the show you would call “most devastating” not found in the 25 above, feel free to leave them in the comments below. (Sansa’s direwolf Lady, anyone?)

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