One more episode remains before we have to say goodbye to Game of Thrones forever (unless you include spin-offs). This final season has proven to be divisive for fans as storylines come to their dramatic ends. Predictably, this has been a bloody season so far with many fan favorites and a few universally loathed characters meeting their violent ends.
We're still processing the death of Theon and Jaime and The Hound, and there are plenty of characters who died just a few episodes ago. But there are several characters whose deaths still sting. The show has gone far beyond the books at this point which means some of those favorite characters who have died in the show are still alive and well in the books. Here are a few of those characters who were taken too soon and have us still missing them.
There has been much discussion about the show's treatment of direwolves. The show, despite putting on several big budget battles, thinks creating the direwolves is too costly. Therefore, the Starks' loyal pets have been pushed to the sidelines, or simply killed off.
The latter was sadly true of Summer, Bran Stark's direwolf. While Summer is still with Bran beyond the Wall in the books, he was killed fighting off the army of the dead in the show. While it makes sense for Bran to lose this connection to his past, the abrupt end to Summer left us cold.
House Umber is established as a Northern house of fearless warriors and they are led by Greatjon Umber. Greatjon only appeared in Season 1 of the show as the loud, blunt and hilarious Northern lord who is the first to name Robb Stark King in the North.
Greatjon disappeared after Season 1, never to be heard of again until we learn from his son that he died fighting for Robb. However, in the books, Greatjon is one of the few survivors of the Red Wedding. He was taken captive but not before killing several Freys. Surely such a badass deserves to still be around.
Speaking of survivors of the Red Wedding, in the books The Blackfish was lucky enough to be on a bathroom break when the massacre happened. He eventually managed to retake his home of Riverrun from the Freys before Jaime Lannister took it back and Blackfish was killed in the process.
While Blackfish goes through a similar struggle in the books, he manages to escape Riverrun with his life and is rumored to have joined with the Brotherhood Without Banners. Blackfish was an important figure in Robb's army and it would have been nice to see him still refusing to give up the fight.
It's hard to say that we miss Littlefinger since he's a deceptive and highly unlikable person, but as a character, he was one of the most interesting characters in the show. Littlefinger also represented Game of Thrones at its best, when it was dealing in the political maneuvering and ambiguous morals of its characters.
In the books, Littlefinger continues to be a big player in the game, seemingly with a new scheme up his sleeve all the time. However, he was killed off last season when Sansa and Arya teamed up to expose him. While seeing him die was satisfying, it felt like he had more to do and there the show seems a bit less interesting without him.
Wun Wun the giant has proven to be an invaluable member of Jon Snow's core team. Though a character of few words, Wun Wun won the hearts of fans just by being a pure badass. Sadly, Wun Wun finally met his end after being killed during the Battle of the Bastards.
In the books, Wun Wun is not as close an ally to Jon yet, but there is some trust there. He is present at Castle Black when the Night's Watch turns on Jon and manages to crush one of the mutineers. It was a shame to see such a powerful character taken out as he would have come in handy many times since.
Like Littlefinger, Stannis is not exactly a likable character, especially by the end of his arc on the show. He was very serious, brutal and eventually led himself to burn his own daughter. After his army was decimated, to have Brienne finally kill him seemed like it was an act of mercy at that point.
However, Stannis was not all bad. He was the only member of the War of the Five Kings to try to save the North. In the books, he remains one of the best contenders for the Iron Throne, showing that he understands he must save the realm to sit on the throne and not the other way around.
The penultimate episode of the show saw Daenerys go full-blown Mad Queen. It's hard to imagine she would react in such a way if she had some of her loyal advisors by her side. But they had all abandoned her or been killed, with Barristan Selmy being the first to go.
Selmy was renowned as one of Westeros' best warriors and we got to see some of those skills as Selmy died taking on the Sons of the Harpy. In the books, Selmy is still the queen's right-hand man, keeping Meereen together in her absence. With a wise and noble man like him still around, Daenerys might still be the kind ruler we thought she was.
Of all the players in the "game of thrones", Margaery Tyrell proved to be one of the most clever. She was an expert manipulator having even worked her magic on Joffrey to the point where he would likely be her puppet. However, she was ultimately outmaneuvered by Cersei and went up in flames along with many others in the Sept of Baelor.
Not only was Margaery a skilled political operator, she seemed like she would be a good queen. She cared for the people and they loved her in return. We realized too late that she might have been the ideal person to sit on the Iron Throne.
As clever as Margaery Tyrell was, her grandmother Olenna was even more clever. Though her son Mace Tyrell held the title of Lord of High Garden, there was no mistaking where the true power was held. She was also one of the few people who could go head-to-head with Cersei and come out the winner. It was always a delight to see her verbally destroy her less intelligent opponents.
While Cersei did manage to outlive Olenna in the show, the Queen of Thorns got the last laugh by admitting she killed Joffrey. Though one of the most memorable deaths on the show, we certainly miss Olenna being around to put everyone else in their place.
For only being able to say a single word, Hodor sure did become a beloved character. A very rare character in this world, Hodor was always kind and gentle and innocent all the way up to his heartbreaking death. We finally get the origins of his endlessly repeated word as Bran wargs into his mind from the past telling him to keep the army back and "hold the door".
The moment is one of the saddest in the show and totally unexpected. In the books, Hodor is still the timid companion of Bran who would never hurt a fly. Someone of his demeanor has certainly been missed.