Game of Thrones is one of the most popular shows on HBO right now. It also happens to be one of the most violent, gruesome, and bloody shows on television. Here is a series that isn’t afraid to kill off your favorite characters without any warning, and it simply relishes the idea of making you watch every bit of it.
As the seasons continue, the show seems to get bloodier and bloodier, so we’ve taken the time to pick out six of the most blood splattered scenes in the series. Be warned that this article contains images of some violence and gore, and even fans of the show who have seen them may still feel a tad squeamish. This article also contains heavy spoilers, including some plot points and major character deaths, up to the end of Game of Thrones season 5.
There are no spoilers for season 6, which is currently airing on HBO, so fans who have been keeping up with the series can read on without fear.
Purple Wedding (Season 4, Episode 2)
The body count wasn’t that high in this particular scene, but there sure was a copious amount of blood that got spilled. Joffrey Baratheon, everyone’s favorite king, enjoys the festivities of his wedding in this one. He’s about to take Margaery as his queen, and he even gets the chance to mock Tyrion by having dwarves perform for him in the middle of the meal.
However, things go wrong when he takes a sip of his drink. Joffrey falls to ground, his face quickly turning purple as his veins begin to show. Cersei tries to help him, but she can only hold him in her arms as he spews blood everywhere. As one of the more infamous characters in Game of Thrones, it was a shock to see the tone of the episode change so drastically as Joffrey fell prey to a poisoned drink. The last look on his face as he finally dies remains one of the more haunting and gruesome images we’ve seen throughout the series.
Raiding Craster’s Keep (Season 4, Episode 5)
Now here’s a scene from of Game of Thrones season 4 that isn’t particularly enjoyable to watch. It’s never fun to watch a group of intoxicated brothers of the Night’s Watch abandon their honor and their vows to take advantage of helpless wildling women after killing their keeper. These traitors of the Night’s Watch killed Craster, and decided to feast on his food, drink his mead, and rape his wives and daughters while they’re at it.
Thankfully, Jon Snow quickly gets wind of their location and sends a party to Craster’s Keep to dispatch of them. What quickly ensues is one of the bloodiest fights in season 4. We’ve got Bran warging into Hodor as he brutally murders the men of the Watch, lots of stabbing and slashing and blood flying everywhere in Craster’s humid, dingy house, and of course, a direwolf getting in on the action and tearing shit up.
Hardhome (Season 5, Episode 8)
One of the more memorable scenes from Game of Thrones season 5, this episode has Jon Snow and the Night’s Watch venturing to Hardhome in an effort to convince the wildlings to join them in the fight against the White Walkers. Before they can depart from Hardhome, however, aforementioned White Walkers and their possessed zombies show up.
It’s a little hard to see the bloodiness of the fight, what with all the grimy snow and mud everywhere, but the savagery of the massacre is undeniable. We see wildlings get locked out of Hardhome, falling prey to the zombies before rising from the dead and becoming zombies themselves. We see that even the children cannot escape the grasp of the White Walkers, and we have to watch as they rise as zombies and attack the living.
The episode closes as Jon escapes on a boat and looks back to the aftermath of the battle he’s left behind. A single White Walker raises his hand, and all of the dead wildlings and brothers rise up again. But this time, they’re with the enemy.
The Mountain and the Viper (Season 4, Episode 8)
Oberyn Martell was one of the more charismatic characters introduced in Game of Thrones season 4. He came to King’s Landing, looking for revenge against the Mountain (also known as Gregor Clegane) for the death of Elia Martell. He finally gets a chance to fight him when Tyrion Lannister gets a trial by combat for his life. Oberyn chooses to fight for Tyrion, and he faces off against the Mountain.
The fight goes well for Oberyn at first; he’s quick on his feet, and the slow lumbering Mountain can’t keep up with him. Oberyn finally gets an opening and manages to stab the Mountain with his spear. He thinks he’s won, and he looks to his wife in triumph. However, the Mountain grabs Oberyn and pulls him to the ground. He then climbs atop the smaller man and digs his thumbs into Oberyn’s eyes.
The show then takes the time to pan the camera over Oberyn’s face as this happens, and we get to catch every little, bloody detail of the man getting his eyeballs gouged out. Very disgusting stuff.
Battle of the Blackwater (Season 2, Episode 9)
Now here’s an episode from Game of Thrones season 2 that wowed viewers when it first aired. Stannis Baratheon finally makes his way to King’s Landing, ready to claim the Iron Throne for himself. With the entire episode being dedicated to this siege, we get to see both sides – Tyrion attempting to protect King’s Landing, and Stannis summoning his ships and ruthlessly murdering everyone standing in his way.
The episode is full of spectacular killings, and one particularly memorable moment occurs when a Baratheon soldier gets his head smashed to bits by a falling rock from above. Stannis looks at his dead soldier, and simply forges on ahead, determined to take the city. Towards the end of the episode, we even get to see how Tyrion gets his large facial scar. One of Cersei’s knights turns on him, slashes upwards at his face, and our favorite dwarf falls unconscious, sure that he’s about to bleed to death.
The body count racks up very quickly in this one, and it’s hard not to feel just a tad nauseous watching countless soldiers die over the course of this 50-minute episode.
Red Wedding (Season 3, Episode 9)
This list wouldn’t be complete without at least mentioning the infamous Red Wedding. After going back on his promise to marry one of Walder Frey’s daughters, Robb Stark, one of the most silly and foolish characters I’ve seen on this show, decides to bring his new wife Talisa to Frey’s twin towers. The Starks are here to celebrate the marriage between Catelyn’s brother and one of the Frey girls, and everything seems to go as planned.
Also, Robb and his wife decide it would be smart to start making out in front of Walder Frey, as if they haven’t disrespected him enough. Everything’s hunky dory until Catelyn hears the doors slam, and the ominous tune of ‘The Rains of Castamere’ begins to play. By the time Robb realizes what’s going on, it’s already too late. His wife and unborn child are stabbed to death, and then Robb himself gets stabbed by Roose Bolton.
Catelyn, arguably one of the best and most likeable characters on the show, can only watch helplessly as her son dies, and then she gets her throat slit too. Long live the King in the North.
But hey, don’t feel too bad. If you need something to cheer you up, check out Maisie Williams’ Vine reaction to the Red Wedding.