Well, that's one way to kick off the new season of Game of Thrones. The seventh season opened up with the deaths of one of the most hated families in all of Westeros: the Freys.
Walder Frey gathered his entire family at the Twins to celebrate their help in his recent conquest and successes. After ordering his servants to bring wine to his sons and grandson, Frey bragged about his various successes...including the slaughter of Robb and Caitlin Stark at the Red Wedding.
The Freys realized something was amiss when Frey mentioned the death of Robb, Caitlin, and Robb's wife Talisa. Then Walder mentioned that the Freys failed to kill at least one Stark. As the rest of the Freys began coughing up blood, Walder noted that when you leave one wolf alive, the sheep can never rest.
With the entire Frey family dead, Walder pulled off his face to reveal his true identity: Arya Stark. Of course, fans will remember that Arya killed Walder Frey last year after feeding two of his children to him as a pie.
However, Arya wasn't totally without compassion. She spared Walder's young wife as well as all his servants. She did make a request to Walder's (unnamed) wife: tell people that "the North remembers" when telling others about the demise of the Freys.
The demise of the Freys means that another enemy of the Starks
The crazy thing is that all of this happened in the first moments of Game of Thrones, meaning that there
Scroll Down for Ten of the Most Shocking Deaths in Game of Thrones:
10. Viserys Targaryen
Season 1, Episode 6: "A Golden Crown"
About half way through the show's first season, Game of Thrones gave fans its first truly jaw-dropping death.
It wasn't just that they killed Viserys Targaryen. Dany's brother had pretty much been asking for it since the first episode, after all.
It was the way in which Viserys died that was so shocking. Viserys was obsessed with regaining the Iron Throne and placing a golden crown on his head.
So Khal Drogo, after having about as much of his brother-in-law as he could take, gave him a golden crown...one that was still liquid and fiery hot.
Season 4, Episode 9: "The Watchers on the Wall"
Jon Snow and Ygritte were as closed to star-crossed lovers as Game of Thrones has ever gotten.
The two met under the strangest possible circumstance. While Jon was out with a ranging party of the Night's Watch they were set upon by Wildings. Jon was forced to pretend to betray his brothers and join the Free Folk to survive.
Jon eventually earned the trust of the Wildlings and the heart of Ygritte. Though he was frequently tempted, he never truly betrayed his loyalty to the Night's Watch in his heart.
This is what ultimately killed Ygritte. Jon returned to the Wall and warned the Night's Watch of the impending assault from the Wildlings. He came face to face with Ygritte again only for a young members of the Night's Watch to shoot her with an arrow. She died in his arms.
8. Ramsay Bolton
Season 6, Episode 10: "The Winds of Winter"
Ramsay Bolton was one fo the most sinister and cruel villains in all of Game of Thrones.
Ramsay spread cruelty and pain wherever he went, often for his own amusement. Theon Greyjoy was his most famous victum, and Ramsay so thuroughly tortured Theon that he became practically another person, going by the name Reek. Theon was so broken that he wouldn't even leave with his sister, Yara, when she came to rescue him.
And then there was Sansa Stark, who was pressured into marrying Ramsay. He then repeatedly raped her until Theon finally found himself long enough to help rescue her from Winterfell.
Sansa would also eventually be the one to give Ramsay his comeuppance, locking him away with his own hungry hounds.
7. Shireen Baratheon
Season 5, Episode 9: "The Dance of Dragons"
One of the major themes of Game of Thrones has been the extreme lengths people will go to in order to gain power.
In the penultimate season of Game of Thrones, fans learned just how far Stannis Baratheon would go to sit on the Iron Throne, which he believed to be his birthright.
In what seemed to be his darkest hour, the Red Priestess Melisandre suggested that Stannis burn his daughter, Shireen, as a sacrifice to the Lord of Light. Stannis loved his daughter but was desperate enough to try things the Melisandre's way.
Shireen died on his stake and for nothing. Stannis' death followed the next day.
6. The Destruction of the Great Sept of Bealor
Season 6, Episode 10: "The Winds of Winter"
Easily the most explosive death sequence in all of Game of Thrones was the epic destruction of the Great Sept of Baelor in the show's sixth season finale.
After six seasons of intrigue and backstabbing as the game of thrones was played in King's Landing, Cersei Lannister decided to flip the board.
As Cersei's trial date dawned and the Tyrells and the Sparrows filed into the Great Sept, Cersei hung back at the Red Keep and had her men make sure the king did the same.
When the wildfire ignited the explosion was seen throughout the city and debris rained over King's Landing. She removed the last of her enemies from King's landing but she couldn't protect her son. King Tommen, realizing what his mother had done, threw himself from the window of his room in the Red Keep.
Season 6, Episode 5: "The Door"
There's a thing in long, serialized fiction that's sometimes referred to as "killing the family dog." It's when you kill off a beloved but not exactly important character in order to make the world feel dangerous without upsetting the status quo (the most famous example is probably when Chewbacca died in a Star Wars novel).
Game of Thrones frequently kills off beloved and important characters, so killing the dog has never been necessary. The closest it has ever come has been the death of Hodor in the show's sixth season.
Hodor's death was one of the show's most talked about scenes, revealing the origin of his simple nature at the same time that he was sacrificing himself to save his companions.
4. Oberyn Martell
Season 4, Episode 8: "The Mountain and the Viper"
Oberyn Martell entered Game of Thrones with a lot of intensity and he left in much the same way.
The Dornish prince harbored a lot of bad blood towards the Lannisters after what happened to his sisters and her children at the end of Robert's Rebellion. Still, he came to King's Landing as a guest at Joffrey's wedding. The events of that wedding drew him much deeper in Game of Thrones's web of intrigue.
After Joffrey's death, Tyrion Lannister, the accused, called for trial by combat and convinced Oberyn Martell to be his champion. Cersei's champion was the man who killed Oberyn's sister and children, Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane.
The worst part of Oberyn's death is that he had the Mountain beat, but the Red Viper had to soak in his revenge showboating. He gave the Mountain just enough time to recover that giant of a man got his hands on Oberyn's skull, crushing it for what easily the physically traumatizing death ever in Game of Thrones.
3. Joffrey Baratheon
Season 2, Episode 4: "The Lion and the Rose"
For three season, Joffrey Baratheon not only reigned as King of Westeros but as one of the most hated characters on television.
The boy-king combined all of the worst traits of his parents, merging Cersei Lannister's pettiness and Jamie Lannister's pride, but lacking Cersei's cunning or Jaime's courage.
Joffrey Lannister tortured murdered on a whim. He made Sansa Stark's life miserable until she was taken from him, and would have done the same to Margaery Tyrell. However, Margaery Tyrell's aunt, the Queen of Thorns, had a plan.
A pie laced with poison snuck into Joffrey's wedding feast turned Joffrey's face purple. He choked to death on the spot and poor Tyrion Lannister was left to shoulder the blame, thus ending one of the worst and most tyrannical reigns in television history.
2. Ned Stark
Season 1, Episode 9: "Bealor"
Ned Stark's death in the first season episode "Bealor" set the tone for Game of Thrones going forward.
Ned Stark in almost any other television series would have been the hero fans followed through seven seasons. In Game of Thrones, he didn't he make it to the season finale, setting up the trend of big penultimate episode moments in each Game of Thrones season.
Ned Stark, despite his best efforts, knew that he was defeated. Cersei Lannister had him corned and he was willing to surrender in exchange for mercy and to avoid a war. Joffrey's fickle and wanton cruelty pushed Westeros into conflict.
1. Robb Stark and the Red Wedding
Season 3, Episode 9, "The Rains of Castemere"
The Red Wedding, which took place in the season three episode "The Rains of Castamere," is the event that truly shot Game of Thrones into the mainstream consciousness.
After Robb Stark, King in the North promised to marry one of Walder Frey's daughter in exchange for safe crossing through the Twins, he then met and fell in love with a Southron woman after being wounded on the battlefield.
Robb returned to the Twins to try to make amends, but Frey had already made plans to retaliate for the Starks' sleight. During the wedding of Edmure Tully, the Frey's struck and several Stark Bannermen, including Roose Bolten, betrayed the Starks.
Robb followed his heart and it cost him his own life, the life of his wife, his unborn child, his mother Catelyn Stark, and many others.
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