Game of Thrones is a story of war, honor, and bloodlines. The struggle for the Iron Throne is a boundless bloodbath, spanning endless winters – and whether you count it a prize or a curse, no one is safe. Inspired by the tragically gory stories of past monarchs and empires and glorified using magic, fantasy, and sex; Game of Thrones is meant to do nothing if not thrill. Much of its excitement comes from that simple fact that anything can happen. Vying for the throne, characters thrive on vengeance and power. And each week, the question remains the same: who will get it next? Or, more importantly, who should get it next?
With all of the betrayal and evil-doing in Game of Thrones, the most powerful force of all is karma. Twisted as it may be, we love to watch the tide turn on those we love to hate. Similarly, there’s the odd occasion when a stroke of luck graces one of our heroes or heroines, and that can be just as satisfying. For all its tension, drama, and violence, Game of Thrones rarely misses an opportunity to give characters what they have coming to them. Here are 15 Times Game Of Thrones Characters Got Exactly What They Deserved.
15. The High Sparrow’s Death
After a brief stint in the lifestyle of the lavish, the eventual High Sparrow sought out a humble life as a septon. As such, he preached equality for all, denouncing the excesses of the nobility. However, it wasn’t long before it became apparent that the High Sparrow was himself a deeply ambitious man.
Once in Cersei’s favor, he gained a stronger ability to force his beliefs on the people, which became increasingly disturbing. He then became a militant commander of justice, helping her take down the Tyrells. By season 6, having gained unlimited access to King Tommen, the High Sparrow’s power had gotten way out of hand. Even Cersei had had enough. By the time he has Loras mutilated for his “crimes” of homosexuality, it was time the High Sparrow got his own due punishment.
14. Olly’s and Alliser’s Deaths
If there is one rule to live by in Game of Thrones, it’s to not betray those in power. From sympathetic (somewhat annoying) orphan, to protégé, to traitorous jerk – Olly’s death was certainly no big loss. After saving Jon’s life and becoming his surrogate younger brother, he let his own thirst for vengeance cloud his judgement.
Losing faith in Jon and enraged by his decision to work with the Wildlings, Olly is swooped up by Alliser’s treason. Fueled by his own desire for power, Alliser has Olly lure Jon Snow into a trap of mutiny, where he is brutally murdered. Olly delivers the final wound, but little do they know, the dead don’t always stay that way.
When Jon is resurrected, neither Olly nor Alliser show any remorse for their traitorous actions. Both were hanged; and though as a general rule of thumb, we should never cheer on children’s deaths, this one needed to happen. Jon may have some guilt over Olly, but we don’t.
13. Rast’s Death
Rast was an all-around despicable person, and a coward through and through. Though he could never hold his own in a fair fight, Rast was always happy to bully and torment those weaker than him – and Ghost the direwolf, for some insane reason. After being convicted of rape, he was given the choice to join the Night Watch, or be castrated. Of course, he chose the former (a life of chastity and honor – though he had zero ability to uphold such values). He was then horrible to Hodor and Sam, which is enough of a reason on its own to hate him. Then there’s the part where he supports Alliser, and did we mention the rape?
While it would have been satisfying to see him die by one of his human victim’s hands, there was a perfect irony in him being taken down by Ghost – fleeing from a battle, no less. It was a fitting end for a character of whom we had all had enough.
12. Tywin Lannister’s Death / Tyrion’s Revenge
Speaking of picking on the little guys, how enraging has it been to watch the Lannisters treat Tyrion like a diseased pet rather than the intelligent, resourceful, fun person he is? Perhaps the only Lannister worth his weight in gold, Tyrion’s story arc has been compelling and heartwarming, and funny, since he’s never without his trademark sense of humor. Though it seemed at one point that he’d never fight back with more than a sharp tongue, Tyrion proved to indeed have a breaking point.
His vengeance is eventually (and appropriately) aimed at his father, Tywin, who had recently sentenced him to death. Yes – he sentenced his son to death; and it was just one among the awful things he had done to keep his family in power and under his thumb. On perhaps the worst night of his life, Tywin sits in his privy. Enter a scorned Tyrion. In the least respectable of manners, Tywin is killed, his hatefulness intact. Good riddance!
11. Lord Roose Bolton’s Death
“The high road is pretty but difficult,” Roose once said to Robb Stark, as if high roads are something he knew anything about. No, Lord Bolton was all about murder and flaying. He was trouble right from the start, trying to be the devil on Robb’s shoulder, constantly whispering dark advice to him. The ultimate betrayal, though, came at the Red Wedding. In the season 3 episode that will never be forgotten, it was revealed that Lord Bolton had been conspiring with the Freys to bring down the Starks. He delivered the final blow to Robb personally.
Shockingly, it wasn’t until season 6 that Roose’s betrayal finally came back on him. By that point, we had also gotten to know his vile spawn, Ramsay. But the getting is good when Ramsay realizes his father is about to effectively disown him, and stabs in the heart, mirroring Roose’s own murder of Robb Stark. Lord Roose Bolton, you will not be missed.
10. Arya’s Victims
Arya is everyone’s favorite child assassin. Fueled by vengeance, Arya honours the Stark name by ploughing through a list of people she intends to kill for their betrayals against her family, friends, and other innocents. The fact that she’s the youngest Stark only makes her sense of self and power more impressive. And yes, there’s a certain lack of moral integrity to vigilante justice; but this isn’t Batman, and we are probably all rooting for her.
Polliver, Rorge, Meryn Trant – they’ve all deserved to succumb to Arya’s wrath, but none of those kills were as exciting as Walder Frey’s. After killing his sons (aggressive participants in the Red Wedding), Arya fed them to Walder in a pie before slicing his throat open – a punishment for orchestrating the Red Wedding in which her brother and mother were betrayed and massacred. As we enter season 7, her list remains unfinished, with key names such as Cersei and Melisandre remaining.
9. Gilly’s Escape
Gilly was one of Craster’s many daughter-wives when the Night Watch found her. Pregnant and scared, Gilly was in need of some serious rescuing. But Gilly is more than a simple damsel in distress. She is full of hope, and strong opinions, and she turns out to be incredibly brave. Best of all, she inspires Sam to be his best self – a hero.
After Sam helps Gilly and her son escape Craster, he makes it his duty to keep them safe. He even kills a White Walker to protect them. The relationship between Gilly and Sam is incredibly sweet, and Gilly continues to prove her worth. In a show like Game of Thrones, the good ones are few and far between, but Gilly is certainly one of them. She continues to hold her head high in the face of discrimination, and never lets Sam waver in his own self-confidence. No one deserves to be a daughter-wife, but Gilly’s strong will made her escape all the more exhilarating.
8. Viserys’s Death
Oh Viserys – you are no king. His arrogant claim to the Iron Throne was treated in the same manner he treated his sister, as a possession over which he had complete control. Like many other characters in the show, Viserys was willing to do whatever it took to get any closer to the throne he believed was his. As Daenerys put it, he would even let a thousand men rape her for it. And yet, she agreed that he was the rightful heir.
Finally, after years of putting up with his abuse, Daenerys was delighted to finally find herself in a position of power over her evil, incestuous, misogynist brother. After making a fool of himself, demanding respects Viserys had not earned, Khal Drogo had enough. With Daenerys’s agreement, he offered Viserys a crown of molten gold. No amount of cowardly begging would save him, despite his best efforts. As a bonus, Daenerys got the honor of being next in line for the throne.
7. Daenerys’s Victims
While we’re on the topic of how awesome a leader Daenerys is, it’s worth mentioning that almost everyone she has killed had it coming. Early on, most of her kills had to do with vengeful justice, something she was warned against by Barristan, who noted that it’s in her blood to do so. Duur, Pyat Pree, and Xaro and Dorea all betrayed her to an unforgivable degree. After those deaths, Daenerys reserved her kill orders to slave masters and murderers.
Being a ruler is no easy task, and in making difficult choices, anyone is bound to misstep. Some may feel that one such misstep was ordering Mossador’s death, which led to riots and backlash. Admittedly, things took a rocky turn for Daenerys in season 5, but she stepped up her game in season 6 when she burned alive the Khals who kept her captive, and threatened her with brutal rape. Ultimately, it seems we can still trust her judgement and authority.
6. Arya’s Defeat Of The Waif
The Waif is not just another one of Arya’s kills. This was not a personal vendetta for Arya, but rather a major personal obstacle she had to overcome in order to reclaim her sense of self. Season 5 saw a lot of our female characters suffer to a frustrating degree, not the least of which were Daenerys and Arya. In season 6, while Daenerys had to overcome the Khals to regain her footing, Arya had to overcome The Waif.
After nearly two full seasons of Arya being condescended to, treated with disdain, and brutally beaten again and again by The Waif, she finally found the strength to defeat her. And it only took her losing one more person she cared about, Lady Crane. Having to witness that murder brought about a fitting turn of events. Since Arya has always been dead-set on avenging the innocent, that’s what it took for her to find her power, and kill The Waif. Finding Needle helped too, of course.
5. Melisandre’s Exile
The Witch – a lot of historical baggage comes with the archetype, and yet, no good fantasy is complete without her. Like most witches in popular culture, Melisandre is problematic because, despite the feminist image of a powerful woman, she can’t exactly be trusted. Unless, of course, you count resurrecting Jon Snow. Still, that good deed doesn’t exactly discount burning a child alive in what was one of the most emotional scenes of the entire series thus far.
After discovering the depths of her darkness, Jon Snow orders Melisandre into exile, but since she’s on Arya’s kill list, we’re betting we haven’t seen the last of her. Though it would have been understandable to execute her for her crime, the power of prophecy is too valuable to put an end to so soon. We have yet to see what else Melisandre can offer, for better or for worse. We have to wonder who she might burn next.
4. Cersei’s Arrest
Officially, Cersei is charged by the Faith Militia with treason, incest, and regicide. Unofficially, Cersei has a lot of notches in her belt leading up to that moment. If Game of Thrones was a fairy tale, Cersei would undoubtedly be the Evil Queen who has to dance until she drops dead while Cinderella (AKA Sansa) watches with glee. Cersei is just downright cruel and has absolutely no sympathy or feelings whatsoever for those who are not her, her brother, or their incest children. Also, she raised that miserable brat, Joffery; and for that she should never be forgiven.
Although it was rather uncomfortable to watch her take the walk of shame, we should have known how easily she’d bounce back. Within minutes, she was back to her vicious, plotting, self. This newly angered Cersei is all about big, fiery, gestures. As fun as it is to watch her spiral, at some point the tide is sure to turn for good.
3. Daenerys’s Growing Army
Daenerys’s character has undergone significant growth since Season 1. As sad as Khal Drogo’s death was, losing her husband was also a rite of passage for her, a step along the path towards independent leadership. It’s unclear if Daenerys would have been able to break-free of her brother’s restraints had she not been married to a rather progressive Khal, but she certainly paved her own way by deciding to be strong and to earn the respect of the Dothraki.
Daenerys didn’t stop there. Looking to earn her place on the Iron Throne, she set out to build an army, and she deserves each and every soldier she acquires. She is not buying followers, bargaining for loyalties, or relying on fear to submit her people. Daenerys is playing the long game of proving her worth, and gaining followers based on what kind of leader she is proving to be. No empty promises here; her course of action is as honest as it is fierce.
2. Joffrey’s Death
With literally no legitimate claim to the throne, Joffrey Baratheon managed to get the crown and proceeded to extraordinarily abuse his power. A brat prince became an even bigger brat king; Joffrey was intolerable. Taking to heart his mother’s words that everyone who isn’t them is an enemy, Joffrey was quick to develop a cruel streak. He bullied those he viewed as weaker, and punished those he viewed as a threat. He treated Sansa as his property, and showed zero capacity for empathy.
He was a little sociopath, with as much power as one can be afforded. That is, until someone finally did something about it – that someone being the admirably bold Lady Tyrell. Poisoned on his own wedding day, Joffrey fell as hard and as fast as he rose. Unfortunately, his death had devastating consequences for many people, including Sansa, but we’re still glad he’s gone.
1. Ramsay’s Death
We all thought we hated that traitorous jerk Theon, until we met Ramsay. Wow – what a game-changer. He was so outrageously crazy; it was like he wasn’t real. When Sansa was handed over to him, it was almost too much to bear. Their wedding night marked one of the most controversial moments of the entire show, with viewers questioning if it had finally gone too far. Either way, the scene did succeed in proving to us how disgusting and cruel Ramsay really was (although, we probably already had a good idea – especially in recalling Theon’s own torture).
As a further testament to his cruelty, Ramsay insisted on rubbing a very broken Theon in Sansa’s face, knowing he betrayed her family. Appropriately, Ramsay was given a painful and ironic death. After being savagely beaten in battle by Jon Snow, Sansa delivers a chilling final speech before sicking his own dogs on him. He is devoured, and the Starks once again have Winterfell.
Which characters do you hope get what they deserve when season 7 of Game of Thrones premieres on July 16, 2017?