There's one thing that everyone knows about Game of Thrones: people die. A lot.
A story of strife, war and conflict in a dark, gritty fantasy world, the show has never been one to shy away from a gruesome death or two. To our much-publicised sorrows, we've seen beloved favourites meet sticky ends as often as hated villains have received their just desserts.
Amongst a myriad of murders and countless casualties, we're spoiled for choice when it comes to picking out memorable deaths from the show's blood-soaked repertoire of crimson red. With two seasons still to come, fans are braced for impact as any number of the sprawling cast approach the final curtain.
Yet, while some of the many, many fatalities exist on the fringes of the show's grisly gallery, others live on in history, and in infamy as the most stunning, impactful moments of the entire series. Valar Morghulis.
10. Khal Drogo
Episode - 1x10, Fire and Blood
Khal Drogo’s decline from chiselled and thunderous barbarian warrior-king to vegetative shell fond of blankets happened lightning fast, courtesy of an apparent flesh wound and the mucky machinations of Mirri Maz Duur.
Drogo’s death at the end of the first season put a capper on a theme which would be hammered into the audience repeatedly over the course of the series; the subversion of traditional fantasy tropes would frequently put a brutal and quick end to dreams of heroic triumph, of conquest, and of justice and retribution.
Daenerys being forced to send her once-mighty sun and stars galloping through the night lands certainly qualifies on that score, his promised conquest of the Seven Kingdoms never coming to fruition.
Yet, his death is a great one precisely because it accelerates Dany’s transformation from subservient and conquered to a woman in control, initiating her step into the funeral pyre and her emergence as the Mother of Dragons. The intentional anticlimax of Drogo’s sudden downfall was a sucker punch for viewers, shattering the image of invincibility he’d established, with the poignant tone living long in the memory.
Chest thumping James Bond fanatic, reader of books of the written variety, and Game of Thrones aficionado living in China. Once had a fever dream about riding a rowboat with Davos Seaworth. Hopelessly dedicated to prestigious TV dramas (and Star Trek), movies, sports, and Haruki Murakami novels, he particularly revels in top 10 lists with titles that end with "...of all time." Currently neglecting his pollution mask in Tianjin.