Bring Out Your Dead: Game of Thrones S5 Edition

It’s that time of year again! Heads will roll, the people will mourn, and fortunes will change with the last blast of winter winds. And no, we’re not just talking about tax season.

Season 6 of Game of Thrones is invading our screens on Sunday, April 24th. The series, based on George RR Martin’s wild and wildly popular fantasy epic A Song of Ice and Fire, will pick up the threads of a story riddled with tragedy, danger, and some truly epic battles.

The Powers That Be at HBO are marketing this year as the season in which no one is safe… We don’t know about you, but we think it’s going to be hard to top the carnage of Season 5. We’ve assembled and rated the best (worst?) deaths from Season 5, according to our very thorough and completely unbiased analysis. We’ll be rating these on a scale of “mildly upsetting” to “UNJUST”, based primarily on how long it took all six of us collectively to recover. Let us know your ratings in the comments! (Warning: spoilers/speculation through the end of last season.)

No really, SPOILERS ahead!



Mance Rayder

HOW: Set on fire by Melisandre/Arrow to the heart by Jon Snow
EPISODE: “The Wars to Come”
SCORE: Mildly Upsetting (because fire is horrible)


Melisandre wants king’s blood and Mance is a deserter, so Stannis decides to have him killed (after giving him the option of bending the knee). We should note that Mance Rayder pulls a switcheroo in the books and actually doesn’t die, but the King of the Wildlings/Free Folk provides an unneeded complication in the condensed plotline of the show. So he got burned. Sorry Mance. The Night is Dark…



HOW: Executed by Daario Naharis on the order of Daenerys Targaryen
EPISODE: “The House of Black and White”
SCORE: Kinda sad


Mossador was killed because Dany was not in a position to show any mercy while surrounded by a potential enemy force having newly taken Meereen. Now everyone in Mereen knows that you gotta ask Dragon Mom permission before dealing out any of your own justice. Rule by fear is not a new Targaryen tactic, but it may prove a difficult persona for Dany. Also, Ned Stark would not approve—not only could Dany not look at Mossador, but she had Daario do the deed for her.


Janos Slynt

HOW: Beheaded by Lord Commander Jon Snow
EPISODE: “High Sparrow”
SCORE: Extremely Satisfying


Slynt was a slimy worm that gave a bad name to the name of worm (who are really just regular dudes trying to get around with no legs and shouldn’t really be associated with people like Slynt). Dude got killed because he finally slimed up in a way that Jon Snow could actually punish him for it by refusing to go to Greyguard. BYE BYE SLYNT. (Though, it would have been even better if Edd got to fetch that block…)


Ser Barristan Selmy

HOW: Stabbed a lot by Harpies
EPISODE: “Sons of the Harpy”


Our favorite guy Barry needed to be killed on the show because the show’s creators, David Benioff and Dan Weiss, seem to be shifting his future actions over to Tyrion. So they took possibly the world’s best and most loyal fighter and killed him in an alley. WHATEVER. We wish he had died more heroically. Would it have really changed anything to have him die saving Grey Worm?


The Meereenese Noble

HOW: Killed by dragons at the order of Daenerys Targaryen
EPISODE: “Kill the Boy”
SCORE: Death by Dragons is Good (see also: death by dragons seems like a worse fate than regular fire but faster)


Following the Sons of the Harpy’s attack and the death of Ser Barristan, Dany orders the leaders of the great families of Meereen to come to her. We’re proud of her for actually “swinging the sword” on this one rather than letting Daario do the dirty work. Dany leads the nobles to where she is holding Rhaegal and Viserion, and one of them ends up burned/eaten. The lucky ones are imprisoned.


Maester Aemon

HOW: Natural death
EPISODE: “The Gift”
SCORE: No one ever gets to die of old age in Westeros. Did Aemon win the game of thrones?


Aemon dies peacefully at Castle Black and is given a nice funeral by the Night’s Watch members that are not at Hardhome. Aemon’s death is pretty sad, but he was pretty old. His decline gave the show a nice way to shout out to the fan favorite Dunk and Egg novellas. It also kills off one of the Night’s Watch’s most informed voices. Knowledge is power. Sam better get to reading.


Random Winterfell Servant Lady

HOW: Flayed by Ramsay Snow (They always talk when [he] starts “Peeling them”—shut up Ramsay, you’re gross!)
EPISODE: “The Gift”
SCORE: Sad. Just sad.


We cheered when she said “the north remembers” to Sansa. We did not cheer when she was murdered by Ramsay after Theon informed him of attempts to save Sansa.


Karsi the Wildling

HOW: Killed by child wights and then turned into a wight herself
EPISODE: “Hardhome”


During the battle at Hardome, Karsi was awesome and then she died. This one was extremely frustrating for us, because Karsi had so much potential as a character (female Free Folk leader!) and was so great in her earlier scenes…and then it ended as soon as it began. We hope we get to see more of Karsi someday, but since she’s a wight now maybe we don’t?


White Walker

HOW: Valyrian steel blade wielded by Jon Snow
EPISODE: “Hardhome”
SCORE: Validation


Book fans have long speculated that Valyrian steel can kill White Walkers, and the show confirmed this detail when Jon Snow killed a White Walker with Longclaw. This was a surprise to everyone involved—the White Walker, Jon, and the Night’s King.


Shireen Baratheon

HOW: Burned at the stake by Melisandre
EPISODE: “The Dance of Dragons”
SCORE: Frakking Terrible


After Ramsay and his twenty men attack the Baratheon camp, Stannis and Melisandre decide to burn Shireen in order to give them good weather for their push towards Winterfell. This was a terrible blow to us Stannis-stans. While it was suspected the series might go this route, we were surprised the show actually went through with it (Shireen’s not dead in the books, so there’s still hope she will rule!). And we are still working on how we can make this all Melisandre’s fault. We find it hard to believe book!Stannis would ever do this. The Onion Knight is gonna be pissed.


Hizdahr zo Loraq

HOW: Stabbed by Harpies
EPISODE: “The Dance of Dragons”
SCORE: Sleazy Hizdahr, Dany doesn’t need any more boyfriends


In the midst of the chaos of the Sons of the Harpy attack on Daznak’s Pit, Hizdahr was “unfortunately” stabbed to death by one of the many masked assassins as he attempted to futilely call out to Daenerys to tell her he knew of a way out. So much for that plan Hizdahr…and so much for our theories that Hizdahr was in fact the man behind the Sons of the Harpy in the first place. Then again, this might have been the best possible fate for Hizdhar, since now everyone around Dany is probably going to die of greyscale.


Selyse Baratheon

HOW: Suicide by hanging
EPISODE: “Mother’s Mercy”
SCORE: Everybody saw this coming, unsurprising


After consenting to and then watching the death of her daughter, Selyse hangs herself. Melisandre leaves Stannis’s camp shortly thereafter, as do many others. Poor Stannis. This is what you get for burning your daughter. Shame!



Stannis Baratheon

HOW: Killed in battle by Brienne of Tarth
EPISODE: “Mother’s Mercy”
SCORE: Hot Dang (but you were so mad about Shireen that this probably made you happy.)


King Stannis is killed by Brienne during his battle with the Bolton forces…or so the audience is left to assume. We admit that we are annoyed that they didn’t show the kill. On a show that shies away from nothing, it felt anticlimactic, vague, and not the death that such a prominent character deserved, despite the fact that he had had his daughter burned an episode prior. We’ll miss you, Stannis, and your unyielding jaw clenching—but it was also pretty fun to see Brienne finally get her vengeance for the death of Renly.



HOW: Pushed off a wall at Winterfell by Theon Greyjoy
EPISODE: “Mother’s Mercy”
SCORE: Westeros: Making the bad lady fly since 2000


Sansa sees that the battle between the Bolton and Baratheon forces is coming to an end and she knows it is now or never if she is going to escape. Unfortunately, she runs into Myranda and Reek on her race through the castle. Sansa makes a plea for Myranda to just kill her while there is still some of her left and Myranda is happy to oblige. Reek chooses this opportune moment to remember that he is Theon Greyjoy (Sansa’s words having obviously hit close to home), and he knocks into Myranda, sending her arrow off course, and then flings her from the balcony. Thank the Drowned God…and the Old Gods too. We’re sure there were cheers around the realm. Myranda was the worst.


Myrcella BarathaLannister

HOW: Poisoned by Ellaria Sand
EPISODE: “Mother’s Mercy
SCORE: Tommen is next


Poor Myrcella. She had just told her uncle father that she was happy being an incest baby, which was really going to bring them closer together and give them that proper father/daughter bond they had been craving and then she had to go and collapse in his arms. Tommen better watch his back—otherwise what was the purpose of including the Maggy the Frog flashback?


Meryn Trant

HOW: Stabbed many times by Arya Stark
EPISODE: “Mother’s Mercy”
SCORE: Simply the Best


Meryn Trant was the first name on her list and Arya was not going to let him out of Braavos alive. Learning to change her face at the House of Black and White, she posed as a whore (one of the super young ones Trant requests from the brothel because he’s the WORST) until she got him alone and was able to take him by surprise, stabbing him in one eye and then the other before taking to stabbing him in the chest repeatedly. Then she works on her monologuing skills, telling him just who she is and who he is (“no one, nothing”) before she finally slits his throat. Goodbye Meryn Trant. Literally no one will miss you.


Jon Snow

HOW: Stabbed by disloyal JERKS in the Night’s Watch, OR Justly executed for being a traitor (depends on your point of view)
EPISODE: “Mother’s Mercy”
SCORE: He’s Not Dead and HBO isn’t fooling anybody


There was lots of foreshadowing making it clear that certain members of the Night’s Watch (including Jon’s stand-in little bro Olly) were displeased with Jon’s policies towards the Free Folk and would eventually go against him. First, the traitors ripped out our hearts by getting our (and Jon’s) hopes up about news of the long lost Benjen. And then they stabbed our favorite Lord Commander. A Dance with Dragons came out five years ago, and it is still too soon. Of note: the description for the first episode of season 6 says “Jon Snow is dead” and we will accept this statement. But he’s definitely not forever dead. We’re looking at you, Mel.


Hello, we are Fire and Lunch! Five years ago, a bunch of superfans came together to celebrate their favorite book series over food, and the rest is history. You can find our in-depth analysis (complete with POP-toy gifs) of Game of Thrones, A Song of Ice and Fire, and other fantasy series on tumblr and twitter. If you’re into fast talking, intelligent discourse, and some pretty deep geek humor, check out our podcast, The Piecast.


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