Game of Thrones gained its immense popularity for many factors; incredible acting, top-tier writing, and also its complete lack of mercy, even for its driving characters. We saw the main character of Season 1 executed, which set the tone for the rest of the series.
Today I want to look past the obvious gutting moments such as The Red Wedding or Hodor’s sacrifice, and bring you back to smaller moments you may have forgotten that still left a hole in my heart.
4. Tyrion Rejecting Shae
Of course Tyrion killing Shae was more serious than this, but the agony that both characters go through in this scene is undeniable.
Tyrion wants to stay with Shae, and Shae with him, but for her safety he has to tell her horrible things in order to push her away emotionally and physically. He knew that eventually his treacherous sister would use her life against him, and he could not risk being responsible for his lover’s death.
But we all know how that turned out…
3. Arya Leaving the Hound to Die
Up until this point in the series, it was kind of difficult to feel mercy for the Hound. He was Joffrey’s guard dog, killing innocent women and children with no hesitation or regret.
However he was on a serious redeeming arc at this point in the show, making us feel like he was an underdog of some sorts. Continuously risking his life to save Arya’s almost made up for the atrocities he committed.
That’s why when badass bitch Brienne of Tarth kicked his ass and Arya left him to die instead of mercy killing him, we all felt bad for the mad dog. Although his past was full of unjust murder, his future seemed bright.
2. Syrio’s Last Stand
Syrio was truly one of the only pure characters on the show, with the honorable intention of training Arya in sword fighting. He was always honest & loyal to the Starks, even until the very end.
What brings this to the next level for me was that he was the first sword of Braavos, and died at the hands of cowards. For those who don’t know, Braavos is a nation that was overthrown by their slave population, freeing themselves and establishing their own government and trade in the aftermath. For Syrio to overcome and survive all of this just to be killed by, as Sandoor would say, “Meryn fu%$#^g Trent”, really got to me.
1. The Burning of Stannis’ Daughter, Shireen
The loss of innocence is a common theme throughout Game of Thrones, but none was so brutal or horrifying as the burning of Shireen.
What really took this to the next level was how her sacrifice was truly in vain. Most of Stannis’ troops abandoned the mad Baratheon brother after this unspeakable act, resulting in his inevitable loss at the battle that was promised he would win, and his beloved wife hanged herself. Justice same swiftly in the form of our favorite big woman when Brienne of Tarth executed him for killing his brother, but nothing can make up for what had been done.
Game of Thrones was loaded with depressing scenes that truly subverted our expectations and shocked us to the core, which is what made the show so damn good.
What are some of your most gut-wrenching scenes? Let me know in the comments below!
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