Perhaps the greatest strength of the TV medium is the long-term bond that audiences can form with characters over years of getting to know them, and so when a character finally bites the bullet, their death feels like a genuine loss to invested viewers.
And while surely most of us cheered when Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson) succumbed to poison, Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon) was ripped apart by hounds or Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) had half his face blown off, often beloved and/or innocent characters will be offed in needlessly violent ways to evoke passionate responses from the audience.
That's certainly the case with these 10 characters, all who met their end in horrifying, upsetting and downright disgusting fashion, leaving viewers feeling genuinely uneasy and depressed, unable to reconcile that such appealing and undeserving characters would be offed with such brutality.
In some cases it worked perfectly for the high-drama the show was trying to muster, while in others it roused a debate about the utility of violence in TV and what qualifies as "shock value" in storytelling.
Whatever your own stance, these 10 horrendous TV deaths left fans the world over struggling to pick their jaws up off the floor...