Yes, all men must die, but did they all have to die so soon? Ahead of the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones, we catch up with some of the most notable losses from the series so far. (Spoilers abound, obviously.)
Viserys Targaryen (Harry Lloyd)
WHEN HE DIED: Season 1, episode 6
HOW HE DIED: His sister’s Dothraki husband gave him the crown he always wanted by pouring molten gold on his head.
ON DROGO’S GENEROUS POUR: “I talked to some doctor friend about what would kill you. ‘Would it be the gold penetrating the skull? Cutting off the brain? What would actually be the thing that kills you?’ And I was thinking about how to play that. In the end, when it happens, I just screamed.”
Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa)
WHEN HE DIED: Season 1, episode 10
HOW HE DIED: Smothered by Daenerys after she learned he would not recover from a vegetative state.
ON GETTING COMATOSE: “I had to die, like, four different ways: He was in a coma, then it got worse, then the actual death. I was with my wife and was like, ‘I’ve never died before.’ I have to do all these different looks to see this sickness get worse and worse. I showed my wife, ‘What do you think about this, honey?’ I did the face and she goes, ‘Don’t do that face!’ But I did the face and it was f—ing great!”
Eddard "Ned" Stark (Sean Bean)
WHEN HE DIED: Season 1, episode 9
HOW HE DIED: Publicly executed after finding out too much about King Joffrey.
ON NED’S FINAL MOMENTS: “With things like that there’s a sort of gallows humor to it. It’s awful what’s happening, and you start giggling and laughing. When the head fell off, there were mistakes. It didn’t quite work out sometimes. It was quite comic. So it breaks the ice a bit.”
Ros (Esmé Bianco)
WHEN SHE DIED: Season 3, episode 6
HOW SHE DIED: As revenge for Ros allying with Varys, Littlefinger handed her over to Joffrey for a “fresh experience.”
ON PLAYING DEAD: “They created these spikes coming out of the various places where the crossbows had entered me… I found it remarkably graphic and emotional. There was one arrow that went into my stomach, and every time I looked down and saw this thing sticking out of me and the blood, I said, ‘Oh, I’m gonna throw up.’”
Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley)
WHEN SHE DIED: Season 3, episode 9
HOW SHE DIED: Throat slit after watching the Freys slaughter her son, Rob Stark, and pregnant daughter-in-law Talisa Stark, at the Red Wedding.
ON HER IMPENDING DOOM: “We were very fortunate — we had a week to shoot the whole wedding sequence and did it chronologically as well. So every day we edged closer to the slaughter. By the end of the week, you were getting emotional. You know it’s coming and it’s calm and it’s a wedding, but as the week progresses you’re nervous and you have to remain concentrated. But you have to remain [looking] fooled as well.”
—Reporting by James Hibberd.
Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal)
WHEN HE DIED: Season 4, episode 8
HOW HE DIED: An eye-popping blow from his archenemy, Gregor Clegane, in a trial by combat.
ON LOSING TO THE MOUNTAIN: “It was a gut punch. I remember just telling [showrunners Dan Weiss and David Benioff], ‘You guys are so perverse.… This is going to really f— up my family when they see it.’ I experienced the visceral sorrow of my character’s end early, so that by the time we were shooting it, I was just cackling over seeing my face get squished.”
—Reporting by Devan Coggan.
Ygritte (Rose Leslie)
WHEN SHE DIED: Season 4, episode 9
HOW SHE DIED: Shot in the back during the battle at Castle Black.
WHAT YGRITTE WOULD THINK OF DAENERYS: “There had to be a crescendo moment with Jon Snow and Ygritte. He had to go on as a lone soldier, and I think the relationship would’ve been too much of a hindrance.… I think she’d be in utter awe [of Dany]. How wonderful to meet anybody with dragons.”
Shae (Sibel Kekilli)
WHEN SHE DIED: Season 4, episode 10
HOW SHE DIED: Tyrion strangled his lover after he found her in his father’s bed, less than a day after she testified against him in court.
ON SHAE’S BETRAYAL: “People are still asking me, ‘Did Shae love [Tyrion] really?’ I’m like, ‘Of course!’ This guy betrayed me, this guy is married to another woman, I was her handmaiden. What should I do? Him saying to Shae, ‘You whore,’ he said that to protect her, but at that moment it was too much for her. She couldn’t think clearly.”
Shireen Baratheon (Kerry Ingram)
WHEN SHE DIED: Season 5, episode 9
HOW SHE DIED: Burned alive by her father’s Red Priestess to bring good fortune to their army. It didn’t work out.
ON FILMING WITH FIRE: “I remember the fire getting a little close at one point for my liking. They did a close-up and were like, ‘That was really good.’ I was like, ‘That [fear] was real!’ It was fine. All the safety precautions were there, but from my angle it looked like it was getting a lot closer than I wanted.”
Hodor (Kristian Nairn)
WHEN HE DIED: Season 6, episode 5
HOW HE DIED: In a time-rippling fight against invading White Walkers, Meera said, “Hold the door!” so Hodor held the door.
ON HOLDING THAT DOOR: “At one stage I think there were nine people behind the door trying to stop me from getting through. I’m a pretty strong guy, and the entire set was moving and I was inching forward as I was slamming against the door. It was both physically and emotionally intense.”
Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon)
WHEN HE DIED: Season 6, episode 9
HOW HE DIED: Eaten by his own starved dogs after the Battle of the Bastards.
ON FAN REACTIONS: “I think, secretly, people did like Ramsay, or they loved to hate him. There’s something about him which is different than Joffrey. Ramsay was kind of funny, and I think maybe that helps me in the real world. But I think people know that I’m an actor. If anybody comes up to me, they say, ‘Oh, God, you’re terrible,’ ‘I hate you,’ or whatever, but I don’t get shouted at.”
Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer)
WHEN SHE DIED: Season 6, episode 10
HOW SHE DIED: Cersei blew up the Sept of Baelor — and everyone in it — with wildfire.
ON GOING OUT WITH A BANG: “It was such an epic exit. I was always suspicious that the Tyrells weren’t gonna make it to the end.… There was that moment of knowing before the explosion when Margaery, she knew. She wasn’t a casualty of her own incompetence. The reason Cersei won is not really because Margaery lost, it was because of the High Sparrow.”
Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg)
WHEN SHE DIED: Season 7, episode 3
HOW SHE DIED: Drinking poison from Jaime Lannister after the invasion of Highgarden.
ON HER FAMOUS LAST WORDS: “It seemed to me to be absolutely right. I had been kept alive much longer than in the book, for example, and sooner or later it was obvious she was going to have to go.… It’s in the nature of this series, isn’t it? That people are dispensed with quite often.”
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