Game of Thrones season 7: All the deaths in Westeros, and how they happened
As Game of Thrones seasons go, this seventh and penultimate season of HBO's epic, didn't have too high a body count. Inspired by George RR Martin, and the philosophy of a Dothraki wedding (it isn't a successful celebration unless at least three people are killed), showrunners DB Weiss and David Benioff haven't shied away from bloody endings for even the most beloved of characters. In season 7, however, the bloodletting was almost civilised by GoT standards: no one had boiling gold poured over their heads, or got stabbed in the eyes, or got torn to pieces by dogs, or got a chestful of stab wounds from people they considered allies.
Still, there were a few notable deaths in season 7. While we feel deeply for the many unnamed extras who fell by the wayside at the battles at Tumbleton, Casterly Rock, Highgarden and beyond the Wall, not to mention, at sea, we're restricting ourselves to the pivotal characters.
Get your Game of Thrones Bingo sheet out (it's attached at the end of this post if you don't have the one we shared earlier) and cross off the characters who've passed out of the realm of the living.
1. Every last Frey in Westeros — death by feasting
At the end of Game of Thrones season 6, we saw Arya serve Lord Walder Frey a pie (into which his own sons were baked) before she dispatched him to the side of the dead. In a goosebumps-inducing moment at the very beginning of season 7, she finishes what she started — vengeance for the Red Wedding. Raking on the face of Walder Frey, she calls all the Freys together for a feast, and when they're in a celebratory mood, serves them poisoned wine. As they splutter, choke and then drop to the floor, Arya tells a sole survivor: 'When they ask you what happened here, tell them — the North remembers'. Touche!
2. Ellaria Sand — death by rotting in a dungeon
We weren't terribly fond of Ellaria Sand, but the poor lady didn't even get the dignity of a spectacular death. Captured by Euron Greyjoy and delivered to Cersei, Ellaria had to watch while Cersei (in a move entirely inspired by Ellaria's poisoning of Myrcella Baratheon) kissed the youngest Sand Snake Tyene with poisoned lips and then left mother chained opposite daughter, to watch her die.
3. All three Sandsnakes — death by Euron Greyjoy
Well Tyene was really killed by Cersei and poison, but her fate was pretty much sealed once Euron Greyjoy took her captive. As for the other Sand Snakes, Nymeria and Obara die fighting Euron.
4. Lady Olenna Tyrell — death by poison
The grand old Tyrell matriarch lorded it over less sharp Westerosi for several seasons. But her reign ends when Jaime annexes Highgarden. Having lost her entire family in the explosion at the Sept of Baelor, Olenna takes the dignified route offered by Jaime — a poisoned goblet of wine — before shooting her final salvo at him: the revelation that she killed Joffrey.
5. Lord Randall Tarly, Dickon Tarly — death by roasting in dragonfire
Dickon Tarly briefly enjoyed some fame as a Westerosi hunk, who also saved Jaime during the battle of Tumbleton. When Dany asks the survivors of that battle to bend the knee or forfeit their lives, the Tarlys — father and son — refuse. We didn't shed any tears for the hard-as-nails Lord Randall Tarly (after the way he treated Sam, we had no sympathy for him) but poor, green Dickon perhaps deserved a fate better than being burnt to a crisp. The Tarlys do die bravely, holding hands as they face Drogon, before being reduced to a tiny pile of ash.
6. Viserion — death by well-thrown spear
Ah Viserion, you fine dragon you. You served the cause of Dany well, before you fell. Once the Night King sets his eyes on Viserion though, the dragon is a lost cause. One mighty spear thrown to his side and Viserion tumbles down to the earth, streaming blood and fire, and slowly sinking below the ice. The Night King does resurrect him, so Viserion now occupies that weird realm of the walking (or in his case, the flying) dead.
7. Thoros — death by expedience
With an expedition planned beyond the Wall to capture a wight, you know the Fellowship of the King was doomed to return short a member or two. And while we had a brief moment of panic, thinking it would be Tormund who'd die (what, no happily ever after with Brienne for Mr Giantsbane?!) it was Thoros of Myr who was the sole casualty. First, he got mauled Revenant-style by a giant wight bear. Then, he froze to death as the Fellowship was besieged by the army of the dead. Farewell, priest.
8. Benjen Stark — death by heroics
What is it with Stark men and taking misguided (if heroic) stands against a superior enemy? As Jon is nearly attacked by wights, Uncle Benjy comes riding in on his destrier, sends Jon to safety and then takes down a few of the dead before being brought down himself.
9. Lord Petyr Baelish — death by Starks
Littlefinger's schemes to sow animosity between the Stark sisters seemed to come to fruition — until it became evident that both Arya and Sansa had taken their father's words to heart: When winter comes, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives. With a little help from Bran, Arya and Sansa are able to turn the tables on Lord Baelish, and his life — and all of his plottings — end on the floor of Winterfell's great hall, as he bleeds slowly to death.
The bloodshed will resume only in 2019, but we'll be ready for it. Until then, Valar Dohaeris.