The Sopranos is the show that turned HBO into must-watch TV long before Game of Thrones ever appeared and the death toll on the long-running mobster series is very similar to what fans of Westeros are used to seeing. As a matter of fact, on The Sopranos, the deaths were often as dirty and horrifying as those on Game of Thrones.
What made the show so fascinating was that the hero of The Sopranos was a cold-blooded killer, the mafia kingpin who had as much -- if not more -- blood on his hands than anyone who crossed his path. At the same time, fans ended up cheering for him, even as he killed everyone in his path when the need arose. With so many fallen bodies, here is a look at the major deaths on The Sopranos, ranked.
10 PHIL LEOTARDO
Phil Leotardo did not show up until season 5, played by big-screen mobster legend Frank Vincent (Goodfellas, Casino). Leotardo was a high-ranking member of the Lupertazzi Crime Family, which were Tony's main enemies in the last two seasons of the show. Leotardo got out of prison and then becomes the boss of the family.
Leotardo held a large grudge against Soprano because Tony's cousin Tony Blundetto killed his brother. This was even after Blundetto himself dies because Leotardo was robbed of his vengeance. Leotardo had one goal -- kill Tony Soprano and end his family once and for all. Leotardo died in the final episode of The Sopranos in a very satisfying way.
9 BOBBY BACCALIERI
Bobby Baccalieri rose through the ranks of the family, starting as a soldier before becoming a top aide to Junior and then finally becoming a capo. He was also Tony's brother-in-law. Out of the many people in Tony's crew, Bobby was a good man -- loyal to the family, a decent family man who cared about his dad, his wife, and his kids.
That made his death really hard to watch. He was at a toy train store when the hitmen hired by Phil Leotardo showed up and gunned him down, killing him in a planned attack on all Tony's lieutenants. Even more tragic is that he wasn't the cold-blooded killer that other members of the family were, killing his first person the same season he died, and looking sick for it when he saw his daughter.
8 VITO SPATAFORE
Vito Spatafore's death was sickening for a number of reasons. He was a member of the DiMeo Crime Family and served under Tony Soprano. A nephew to Richie Aprile, he rose through the ranks quickly after the death of his uncle and became a capo. However, season 5 saw a major revelation that changed his life when it turned out that Vito was a closeted homosexual.
Due to the rampant homophobia within the mob, that was something that marked Vito for death on The Sopranos. Vito was somewhat based on real-life mobster John D'Amato, who was killed by the DeCalvacante family in 1992 and the same fate played out on the show with Phil Leotardo beating him to death with a baseball bat.
7 TONY BLUNDETTO
Possibly the most familiar face to take on a role in The Sopranos was Steve Buscemi (Boardwalk Empire), who entered the series in season 5 when his character of Tony Blundetto was released from prison. Blundetto was Tony Soprano's cousin and decided he wanted to lead a straight and crime-free life now that he was out of prison and a free man again.
The problem is that a convicted felon has few options in the civilian world and he ended up pulled back into the DiMeo crime family once again. Blundetto made a mistake when he accepted a contract to kill Joey Peeps from Phil Leotardo's crew and soon Soprano realized what his cousin did and what it meant for the war between him and Leotardo. Tony then killed his own cousin to protect him from the torture that Blundetto had planned for him.
6 MIKEY PALMICE
If there was one major character death on The Sopranos that made a lot of people happy, it was the death of Mikey Palmice. He was very loyal to Junior, who was the bad guy people were supposed to fear but it was Mikey that people actively hated. Even the people on the show, his friends and enemies, hated this guy.
When he finally went jogging and found himself face-to-face with Paulie and Christopher, it provided a huge fan favorite moment when the two gunned him down mercilessly. How hated was he? Christopher kept firing his gun after it was empty and Paulie had the biggest smile on his face as he looked at Mikey's bullet-riddled body.
5 RALPH CIFARETTO
There were many big names on The Sopranos and it Joe Pantoliano was one of the biggest that arrived on the small screen HBO series. Joey Pants took on the role of Ralph Cifaretto, someone who grew up with Tony and was sent to Florida to watch after the family's interests there. This is where he picked up an addiction to cocaine and developed a harsh and violent temper.
It was that temper that put him and Tony at odds. Ralph beat a girl to death outside The Bada Bing and he and Tony ended up fighting themselves. While that was smoothed over in time, when Ralph admitted to killing Tony's racehorse, he ended up beaten to death on the floor of his kitchen and disposed of by Tony and Christopher.
4 RICHIE APRILE
Richie Aprile showed up on The Sopranos after getting out of jail, the son of former family boss Jackie Aprile Sr. The problem is that he was cruel and violent, his smile a facade for someone who threw his weight around -- even to the point of hurting the family.
The fact that Tony worked under him until Richie went to jail meant that there was immediate tension between the two. When Richie decided he was going to have Tony murdered, that immediately put a bullseye on him from both the viewers and Tony. Then Richie hit Tony's sister Janice and she shot him to death -- a fitting death for a slimeball.
3 ADRIANA LA CERVA
The most horrific death on The Sopranos was that of Adriana La Cerva because, at the end of the day, she was the best person on the show. Her death proved that Tony, Christopher, and their entire family was evil and deserved no redemption. Just because she loved Christopher, she was bullied into the role of an informant for the FBI.
When she tried to find a way out, she failed and ended up in even more trouble with the FBI. She tried to convince Christopher to run away with her but he almost killed her when he found out the FBI was trying to turn her against the family. Finally, Christopher told Tony and he had Sil driver her into the woods and shoot her in the back as she tried to escape.
2 SAL BONPENSIERO
Through the first season, there were plenty of reasons to know that Tony Soprano was a bad guy but he was still someone that viewers were able to get behind. He did bad things but the people he hurt were people who were also bad people and Tony seemed to be the lesser of two evils.
However, another character that fans had started to like was Sal "Big Pussy" Bonpensiero. He was a long-time friend of Tony's and a loyal soldier for the Soprano crew. He was even someone who voted to put Tony in power. However, when the FBI busted him dealing heroin, he was forced to become an informant to stay out of prison. Tony ordered Sal's death, which he pulled off with Silvio and Paulie, and the sight of them killing their close friend showed no one was safe.
1 CHRISTOPHER MOLTISANTI
The most shocking death on The Sopranos came when Tony Soprano killed his own nephew Christopher Moltisanti. For years, Christopher was supposed to be the man who one day replaced Tony as the head of the family and he was with his uncle every step of the way, both as a hired gun and a trusted associate.
However, Christopher was getting sloppy and much of it was due to a heroin addiction that started to cause him to make mistakes. The end for Christopher came when he was involved in a car accident and was in his car, possibly dying. That is when Tony suffocated his nephew when he realized that Christopher's daughter would be dead if she was in the car with him. He seemed relieved that he finally removed his nephew from his family tree.