Tonight's episode of Game of Thrones was titled "The Queen's Justice," and sure enough two characters suffered a tragic fate for their roles in killing Cersei Lannister's children in past seasons.
Cersei played a direct role in the first death, when she gave Tyene Sand the "kiss of death" in front of Tyene's mother Ellaria. Cersei wanted revenge on Ellaria for murdering her daughter Myrcella way back in season 5. Ellaria had poisoned Myrcella with a similar kiss moments before Ellaria departed for King's Landing with her fiancée and father Jamie Lannister.
Tyene was the last of the Sand Snakes, a group of elite warriors and the daughters of Oberyn Martell, who died back in season 4 during a duel with Gregor Clegane that was orchestrated by Cersei after Joffrey's death. She and her mother Tyene were captured in last week's episode by Euron Greyjoy during their sneak attack on Daenerys's fleet. Cersei's revenge was doubly fitting (at least in her eyes) as she forced Ellaria to watch helplessly as Tyene died similar to how Jamie watched his daughter Myrcella die a few episodes ago.
While she wasn't present, Cersei also got her revenge on Olenna Tyrell, the mastermind behind the "Purple Wedding" that led to Joffrey's death. Jamie Lannister led an invasion of the Tyrell castle of Highgarden with the help of Randyll Tarly, Samwell's father and a former bannerman to the Tyrells. Jamie offered Olenna a "merciful" death by letting her poison herself instead of the public trial and execution that Cersei surely wanted.
Olenna does get one final dig at her Lannister foes before she dies. Olenna admits to Jamie that she was the one who poisoned Joffrey, a fact that none of the Lannisters had known before. "Tell Cersei," Olenna says to Jaime. "I want her to know it was me." Olenna went out the way she lived, speaking the truth and not caring about anyone's feelings.
Olenna's death is probably the biggest death this season on Game of Thrones. The hidden power behind the Tyrells, Olenna delighted fans with her bluntness and subtle insults. When her son and grandchildren died at the Sept of Baelor last season, Olenna went from hidden power player to an open supporter of Daenerys's bid to take the Iron Throne from the Lannisters.
While she didn't last long this season, she did impart a valuable piece of advice to Dany in their sole on-screen meeting.
"Be a dragon," she told Dany in response to Tyrion's more diplomatic plan to take Westeros. Given the other events of tonight's episode, Dany should heed Olenna's words if she wants to survive the next two seasons.
It seems like Game of Thrones is looking to make up for a lack of a full season by giving fans a particularly bloody set of episodes. We'll have to see who else dies in the coming weeks.
Scroll Down for 10 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 older 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. He was so incredibly 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 grossly hot.prevnext
Season 4, Episode 9: "The Watchers on the Wall"
Jon Snow and Ygritte met under the strangest of circumstances, but are as close in rhetoric as any other star-crossed lovers. 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. Sadly, this is what killed Ygritte. Jon returns to the Wall and warns the Night's Watch of the impending assault from the Wildlings.
Unfortunately, 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.prevnext
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.
He spread cruelty and pain wherever he went, often for his own amusement. Theon Greyjoy was his most famous victim, and Ramsay so thoroughly 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.
Then there was Sansa Stark, who was pressured into marrying him. He then repeatedly raped her until Theon finally found the courage to help rescue her from Winterfell. The Stark daughter would also eventually be the one to give Ramsay his comeuppance, locking him away with his own hungry hounds.prevnext
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 dies on his stake and for nothing. Stannis' death followed the next day.prevnext
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.prevnext
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.prevnext
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.prevnext
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.prevnext
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.
Ned Stark was honorable and honest He sought justice and he lost in life in that pursuit.prevnext
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 Bolton, betrayed the Starks.0comments
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.
Photo Credit: HBOprev