6 nightmare-fuel ‘Game of Thrones’ murders you completely forgot about
game of Thrones is full of memorable murders: Viserys’ golden crown, the Red Wedding, Shireen’s terrible betrayal. The citizens of Westeros aren’t ones to shy away from violence, and it’s a well-known fact that playing the Game of Thrones is a win-or-die game.
However, it wasn’t just rising kings who suffered a terrible fate. Little folk and lesser lords were also at the mercy of the death god and could still lose the game decisively, even if they were never really players. Her deaths may have left less of a mark on viewers than pivotal moments like the long-awaited murder of Joffrey, but they were no less painful and gruesome — often more so.
Here are some of the most horrific deaths in game of Thrones that you probably don’t even remember.
1. Daenerys drags a wine merchant behind her horse
Daenerys was responsible for many memorable deaths at the end of the series, but one of her most painful executions occurred before she was a conqueror, way back in Season 1.
While exploring the Vaes Dothrak marketplace in You Win or You Die, Daenerys encountered a wine vendor who gave her a free keg of Dry Red. The Khaleesi was still quite naïve and trusting, so it took Jorah to intervene and insist that the merchant sample his own wares that Daenerys even suspected that this was actually an attempt to poison her.
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Of course, the dodgy winegrower didn’t get away with that. The wine seller was captured by Khal Drogos Khalasar, beaten, stripped, and had his wrists tied to Daenerys’ saddle. He then had to walk behind her as the khalasar left, implying that if his legs inevitably gave out he would be dragged to his death, probably longer.
2. The tickler makes a rat eat by a prisoner
game of Thrones has no shortage of people being brutally beaten to death or eaten by animals, with Daenerys’ dragons and Ramsay’s hounds being the usual suspects. However, a less well-remembered but no less harrowing case involved a bucket, a fire, and a giant rat.
In the Season 2 episode “Garden of Bones,” the Lannister army had captured many little people in Harrenhal, including a disguised Arya, Gendry, and Hot Pie. There they learned that a man named Tickler had been torturing a prisoner to death every day using an extremely cruel method.
Under the Tickler’s supervision and in full view of the other prisoners, Ser Gregor Clegane’s servant Weasel strapped the day’s chosen victim to a chair, placed a large rat in a bucket, and then fastened the container to the prisoner’s torso. Weasel then held a torch under the end of the bucket, forcing the trapped rat to attempt to escape the heat by the only option available – by burrowing straight through the screaming man’s chest.
3. An angry mob dismembers the High Septon with their bare hands
The High Septon’s death was a moment in Season 2’s The Old Gods and the New, but its relative swiftness didn’t make it any less cruel.
After bidding farewell to Myrcella on her journey to Dorne, the royal company – including Joffrey, Cersei, Sansa, and Tyrion – walked the streets of King’s Landing back to the Red Keep. However, Joffrey’s general cruelty and indifference had not endeared him to the starving little folk, whose mockery of the procession soon escalated into an uproar.
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While the most prominent nobles eventually escaped, not everyone was so lucky. The crowd mobbed the Kingsguard and grabbed the High Septon, lunging at him and literally tearing him to pieces with their bare hands. We never actually saw the septon’s body or what was left of it, but seeing a man holding up a dismembered arm made the point.
4. Daenerys locks Xaro Xhoan Daxos and Doreah in a vault
The deaths of Xaro Xhoan Daxos and Doreah weren’t as visually spectacular as many others that followed, but the agonizingly slow psychological torture involved made them two of the most horrific deaths in game of Thrones.
In the season 2 finale “Valar Morghulis”, Daenerys retrieved her dragons from Qarth’s House of the Undying after they were stolen by their host Xaro. When she was about to confront him, she found Xaro in bed with Doreah and made it clear that Daenerys’ previously missing maid had indeed betrayed her. The vast, impenetrable vault Xaro had boasted about was also completely empty, all his riches a lie to help him maintain his status.
Despite her desperate pleas and attempts at negotiation, Daenerys had Xaro and Doreah locked in his vault and left to die, most likely of dehydration or asphyxiation. There are few things more frightening than being trapped in the dark, hopeless, knowing that you are slowly dying but can’t help it.
5. The great masters of Meereen crucify 163 child slaves
Although one crucifixion is usually more than enough for most people, numerous crucifixions took place during that time game of Thrones. Most memorable were the 163 Great Masters that Daenerys crucified after taking Meereen, as well as the slaves she offered water to along the Path of Punishment from Astapor. But in case you forgot, it was another series of crucifixions that prompted Daenerys to take revenge on the Great Masters in this way.
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While en route to Meereen in the season 4 premiere “Two Swords,” Daenerys and her army came across the crucified body of a slave child pointing toward the town. The Great Masters had heard of Daenerys’ attacks on Astapor and Yunkai and nailed a child to a cross as a warning to all 163 mile markers from there to Meereen. Of course, trying to intimidate Daenerys only made her angrier. When she took Meereen a few episodes later, the Khaleesi ordered the same number of masters to be rounded up and crucified in retaliation – an unsettling look at the woman she eventually became.
We’ve only seen one child already dead so I’ll tell myself they all died quickly and painlessly and were nailed postmortem although I know it’s a lie. It is more likely that they were marched there alive and forced to watch as their peers were crucified, knowing that the protracted, painful death awaited them too.
6. Ramsay skins numerous people alive
For all House Bolton’s talk of skinning, Ramsay is better remembered for unleashing his vicious pack of dogs on humans than for skinning them alive. However, that is not to say that he did not enjoy using this excruciating method of torture whenever the opportunity arose.
Ramsay even used skinning several times in the series Partially skin Theon(Opens in a new window) in Season 4 episode “The Climb”. However, while Theon lived, most of Bolton’s victims did not survive the ordeal. These included the ironborn of Moat Cailin, who surrendered after Ramsey promised them safe passage; Lord and Lady Cerwyn, who refused to pay taxes to the Boltons; And an elderly maid(Opens in a new window)who tried to help Sansa escape from Winterfell.
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Luckily we don’t have to go through the horrible ordeal of seeing those poor folks being skinned – just watching Ramsay skin Theon’s finger was sickening enough. Instead, we see the aftermath of mutilated, skinless bodies being hung from stakes and shackles, much to Ramsey’s amusement. There are many painful deaths game of Thronesbut the skinning must be one of the most excruciating.
There are plenty of others more horrible, cruel, often forgotten game of Thrones Fatalities throughout the series. Khal Drogo slit Mago’s throat and ripped out his tongue, Ser Meryn Trant and Oberon Martell both had their eyes gouged out before being killed, and Ser Vardis Egen and Lysa Arryn were given a long time to contemplate their deaths when they tumbled out of the moongate.
The fact that these brutal deaths can easily go unnoticed shows just how much blood and murder goes into them game of Thrones. Normally you would remember someone being forcibly stripped of their tongue, but here it’s just another day in Westeros.
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