Now that the dust has settled on the season finale, time to compare the deaths of this season’s victims to those in the past. How do all the deaths from the show stack up against each other when we are talking about impact on the series and its fans? MAJOR SPOILERS AFTER THE JUMP!
Why? Visarys (remember him???) was the first BIG character to die. I was stunned as a viewer (season one was the only season I saw the show before reading the novels) when he got his golden shower (don’t google that term). I honestly thought he was going to be the series’ main villain. When he died I wandered who would become the series’ villain in his place. It turned out EVERYONE in the show was a villain…
Why? His death was interesting because it set Danerys on a path I did not expect. Instead of taking his army across the Narrow Sea to fight the lords of the Seven Kingdoms, his demise left her with fewer followers than I have on Twitter. Because he died, we got to see Dany come out from the shadows cast be her brother and her husband to become Khalesi. The series is much richer for that.
Why? Seriously, you say? Lady is more significant that the man who will play Aquaman? Are you crazy, Watson? First, why are you talking to a blog and asking these questions? That’s just weird… Second, this one was important because it set up SO many plotlines. Joffrey’s sociopathic behavior. Robert’s carelesness. Cersei’s conniving. Arya’s list. That’s a lot coming from the death of a Dire Wolf.
7. Stannis Baratheon
Why? Because it really is the beginning of the end for the quest for the Iron Throne. Tommen has it now, but he is weak and his allies are in disarray. Renley is dead. The North is currently Starkless. Stannis was the one real contender (and a legitimate one at that) in the Seven Kingdoms. With his surprising death (it hasn’t happened in the books yet), only Khaleesi remains as a real challenger.
6. Tywin Lannister
Why? I would say it is because his death weakens the Lannister ability to hold the throne, but it is more about Tyrion’s transformation. The crossbow on the privy forced the Imp into Khaleesi’s arms. I have long predicted that the series ends with Dany on the throne with Tyrion as her hand. The death of Tywin was instrumental to making that a possibility.
5. Robert Baratheon
Why? He was a fun but forgettable character. He’s kind of the Bill Clinton of Westeros. But his death really started all this madness. Cersei killed him, Ned flipped out, Heads rolled. If Robert were still alive, everyone would be exchanging caustic wit instead of swords and arrows.
4. Robb Stark
Why? Again, not the most compelling character. He was more a symbol in the books than a fleshed out character. The death of Robb, though, was the first one that showed me that you couldn’t expect someone to live just because it seemed like their story was just beginning. It felt like Martin and the showrunners were really setting Robb up for a great arc and then…boom..Red Wedding.
3. Joffrey Baratheon
Why? Because it was the death everyone REALLY wanted to see. Jack Gleeson did such an amazing job creating Joffrey that the world rejoiced when he choked to death on his poison. This one was something of a Game game changer, but the impact was felt in the happiness of seeing the death of a child.
2. Jon Snow
Why? The internet blew up with gripes last week with the death of Jon Snow. Why? Because Snow was the closest thing the show had to a genuine good guy. Tyrion has flashes. Khaleesi seems to WANT to do the right thing. Arya has a good heart. But after the death of Ned, only Jon Snow remained as a character who got up every morning and wanted to to good. His only “flaw” was breaking his oath and getting a little bootie. I do not judge the man for that!
1. Ned Stark
Why? Sean Bean was the star of the show. He was one of the 9 from the Lord of the Rings. Every article or publicity junket leading into the first season traded on his fame. What? Joffrey is going to kill him. Surely some soap opera miracle will save him from the executioner’s blade. The star of the show can’t die. This isn’t even the season finale! Hmm. I guess they are not playing around… This was the death that showed the audience that they shouldn’t get too attached to anyone. Every other death on this list was less shocking because Sean Bean did what Sean Bean does best….dies.
Because I don’t want a deceased picture showing up on our Facebook page, I offer the Magic Douchebag picture that always seems to feed to FB as an offering to the Old Gods, the Seven, and the Lord of Light in the hopes that they will protect us from spoilers!