Many a character’s watch has ended in Game of Thrones Season 8, proving just how true the sentiment of Valar Morghulis -- all men must die -- is for the people of Westeros.
Warning: Major spoilers for Game of Thrones Season 8 lie ahead!
In the months leading up to its premiere, the eighth and final season of the popular HBO series had overwhelmingly been billed by cast and crew as a deadly one that boasts a high body count, and that is certainly proving to be true, with deaths having marked the season beginning in the premiere episode, “Winterfell.”
The series had even teased the many deaths in a poster released ahead of the premiere episode that showed every character lying dead in the snow.
However, despite the many warnings, many fans were not prepared to have their hearts ripped out quite as violently, and frequently, as has been done so far in Season 8.
Keep scrolling to see the rising body count of Game of Thrones’ final season.
Fans were first introduced to Ned last season, the wee little lad having become a young lord after his father’s death, and he was among the first faces seen in the Season 8 premiere as he pushed through the crowd and climbed a tree to watch Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen enter Winterfell.
He made another brief appearance in the middle of the episode before Tormund and Beric's crew came across him as a wight at his ancestral home, The Last Hearth, pinned to the wall in the center of a spiral pattern.
He was killed for good after being stabbed by Beric's fire sword.
Ben Crompton’s Edd was the first major character to fall victim in the Battle of Winterfell, fighting alongside the forces of the living to defeat the Army of the Death.
Edd had first been introduced in Season 1, and was a brother of the Night's Watch and later became the Lord Commander of Castle Black in Season 6.
A fan-favorite, little Lady Lyanna Mormont, played by Bella Ramsey, may have been small in stature, but she was large in attitude and authority.
After having first been introduced in Season 6 as the leader of Bear Island, she joined forces in the North to help win back Winterfell and later defend it from the Night King. Proving just how tough she was, she used her dying breath to take down a giant white walker, which surely would have caused an even higher body count should it have lived any longer.
The Lord of Light decided that after being brought back to life seven times prior, the Sunday, April 28 episode of Game of Thrones was Lord Beric’s time to rest.
Having first appeared in Season 1, Richard Dormer’s Lord Beric served as Hand of the King and helped form the Brotherhood Without Banners after the Battle at the Mummer's Ford
The Lord of Light continued to bring him back to life so that he could fulfill his life’s purpose: protect Arya Stark in the Battle of Winterfell so that she could kill the Night King.
After having been raised among the Stark children, Theon betrayed them when he turned his back against Robb Stark, and he later found himself living as Reek under the complete control of Ramsey Bolton. However, Theon returned to the North and pledged his allegiance to House Stark, and he died protecting Bran near the Weirwood tree.
“Theon... you're a good man. Thank you," Bran told him before Theon charged at the Night King and died.
Fire may have met ice in the Battle of Winterfell, but it was Valyrian steel and an unsuspecting young woman that killed the Night King, the very character that many thought was unable to be killed.
Considered the “big bad” throughout the course of the series, Vladimir Furdik’s Night King finally descended upon Winterfell in Episode 3 of Season 8, bringing with him an army of the undead and an ice dragon.
He ultimately died at the hands of Arya Stark as he made his move to kill the Three-Eyed Raven.
He stood by his Khaleesi’s side throughout her journeys across Westeros and her crossing of the Narrow Sea with the Unsullied and Dothraki at her back, and he ultimately gave his lie in her service, protecting his Queen as they were surrounded by hundreds of white walkers.
Fans have Melisandre, portrayed by Carice van Houten, also known as the Red Woman, to thank for the bursts of light present in the Battle of Winterfell.
A Red Priestess in the religion of R'hllor, Melisandre traveled to the North for the final battle, using her powers provided by the Lord of Light to help give the living an edge in the fight against the dead. Once the battle was over, and her prophecy that Arya Stark would close blue eyes had been fulfilled, she removed her necklace, walked from the battlements and into the snow, and reverted to her true age.
He may have survived the Battle of Winterfell bearing only a tattered wing, but Rhaegal became the first victim of the “last war” for the Iron Throne.
The dragon, one of Daenerys Targaryen’s only remaining children, died while ambushing Kings Landing, having been ambushed himself by Euron Greyjoy and his fleet, each ship boasting Scorpions, or long-range artillery weapons that are the only weapons capable of killing a dragon.
His death made Drogon the last remaining known dragon in the world, and marked just the latest in a string of heavy losses for Daenerys.
After having been freed of her chains, Missandei found herself once again shackled and taken prisoner following the ambush at Kings Landing. Although Tyrion attempted to peak to Cersei’s more human side, he ultimately failed to sway the current reigning Queen from giving up her crown and her captive.
Missendei was executed in front of Daenerys and her love, Grey Worm, marking the first human victim of the “last war.”