13 Unlucky Game of Thrones Characters

Let's face it: not many characters have much luck in Game of Thrones. Indeed, many of them end up dying gloriously gory and painful deaths. For some characters, this may be well-deserved, but for others, it certainly isn't! Below are some of the unlucky characters that have perished in the series.

WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD! Turn back now if you haven't read the Game of Thrones series up to book five, A Dance with Dragons, or seen the Game of Thrones TV show up to the end of series 6.

1. Tywin Lannister

Murdered by the son he neglected, as he sat on the toilet... deaths don't get much more demeaning than that! Whilst this was a truly grim demise, the old Lord of House Lannister did sleep with his son Tyrion's beloved ex-girlfriend Shae, constantly belittled and underestimated Tyrion, used his entire family like pieces in a chess game, and arguably instigated the catastrophic war with the Starks - so perhaps this was a fair comeuppance?

2. Viserys Targaryen

Viserys was an undeniably despicable character, and - I confess - his death was pretty satisfying. He heartlessly sold his little sister to a ruthless leader in return for an army to support his tyrannical ambitions. Furious that Khal Drogo wasn't following through with the deal, Viserys threatened Drogo and Daenerys's unborn baby. This was not a good move. Drogo punished Viserys by pouring scorching molten gold onto his head, a dark parody of the 'golden crown' Viserys had originally been promised. Yikes.

3. Khal Drogo

Khal Drogo and Daenerys had established a deeply loving relationship when everything went wrong. A member of Drogo's khalasar turned against him and held a knife to his chest. In contempt, Drogo pushed the blade into his own skin. No matter - just a flesh wound, right?! But then it became infected - badly. In desperation, Daenerys commanded a sorceress to keep Drogo alive, but the spell left him in a catatonic state, and Daenerys smothered him out of mercy. So, ultimately... Drogo caused his own death!

4. Ygritte

Flame-haired Ygritte was a tough, plain-speaking wildling. She managed to persuade Jon Snow, who had taken a vow never to lie with a woman, to join her in a cave and, well, lie with her. But ultimately, Jon and Ygritte ended up on opposing sides of the battlefield. Ygritte had the chance to kill Jon - but she didn't. Her untimely hesitation gave a boy, Olly, the perfect opportunity to kill her. Her final words to Jon? "We should've stayed in that cave." Why didn't they stay in that cave!

5. Olly

It's amazing that anyone makes it to adulthood in the Game of Thrones world, but young Olly wasn't one of the lucky ones. When a group of wildlings slaughtered everyone in his village, they picked him as the sole survivor to take a message to the men of the Night's Watch. This misfortune began a turbulent series of events in the boy's life, at the end of which he was hanged by Jon Snow as a traitor. Treacherous killer or misguided orphan...?

6. Osha

Osha helped Bran Stark on his journey to visit the Three-eyed Raven, and then looked after Bran's younger brother, Rickon. But somehow, most unfortunately, she ended up in a room with the spectacularly evil Ramsay Bolton. Of course she was going to die! But despite the inevitability of her demise, it was still pretty horrible to see her go - especially as she seemed so painfully close to killing Ramsay herself.

7. Shireen Baratheon

Young Shireen, the only child of the ambitious wannabe king, Stannis Baratheon, was an innocent little girl. No, more than that - she was lovely. And there aren't many lovely people in Game of Thrones. But now she's gone. Burned alive as a sacrifice by her own father on the advice of a mysterious, fanatical woman. But I'm over it. I'm completely over it. (Seriously, though, a little girl?!)

8. Selyse Baratheon

Selyse was Shireen's mother. The two hadn't had a very close relationship during their lives, but Selyse suddenly realised how much she loved her daughter when the little girl was being burned alive at the stake. Poor timing to say the least! Traumatised and guilt-ridden, she hanged herself.

9. Oberyn Martell

Oberyn courageously volunteered to fight for Tyrion Lannister in a trial by combat, and took on the massively-muscular warrior, Gregor Clegane, 'the Mountain'. It looked like Oberyn had defeated the Mountain, but before he dealt the final blow, he insisted his victim admit to murdering his sister, Elia. This is when his luck ran out. The Mountain managed to trip him up, and then proceeded to kill him in grotesquely violent fashion. Lovely!

10. Myrcella Baratheon

Poor young Myrcella, daughter of siblings Cersei and Jaime Lannister, was on a boat travelling from Dorne to Westeros when she died, having been surreptitiously poisoned by Ellaria Sand, lover of Oberyn Martell. This was in revenge for the death of Oberyn, who fought for Tyrion Lannister in a trial by combat and was killed. Well, of course; why not murder someone who was completely uninvolved?!

11. Shae

Shae rose from humble beginnings and soon became Tyrion Lannister's secret girlfriend. However, when Tyrion was forced to wed Sansa Stark, he insisted that Shae leave, knowing how painful and dangerous it would be for both of them if she stayed. Shae didn't like that - not one bit. She testified against Tyrion in court, jeopardising his life, and when Tyrion found Shae in his own father's bed, it tipped him over the edge. He strangled her with the gold chain he'd given to her as a gift. Ouch!

12. Syrio Forel

Syrio Forel, the delightfully eccentric and skilful swordsman who taught Arya Stark how to fight, was murdered by the knight Ser Meryn Trant - probably. We didn't actually witness his death, so there's still some hope, right? He could still be out there somewhere - right?!

13. Hodor

Hodor was killed as he pushed a door back against a group of wights (reanimated corpses), enabling Bran Stark and Meera Reed to escape. The wights eventually overwhelmed him, but Hodor was able to fulfil his life's purpose: to hold the door. As a child, Hodor suffered a seizure, during which he experienced a traumatic vision of this future event. He wasn't able to say anything but 'Hodor' from then on - a shortened version of 'hold the door', Bran Stark's persistent instruction. We're still reeling over this one!

  • AEIRD
    George RR Martin
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    HBO's hit series A Game of Thrones is based on George R. R. Martin's internationally bestselling series A Song of Ice and Fire, the greatest fantasy epic of the modern age.

    George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series has set the benchmark for contemporary epic fantasy. Labelled by Time magazine as one of the top 100 most influential people in the world, Martin has conjured a world as complex and vibrant as that of J.R.R. Tolkien, populated by a huge cast of fascinating, complex characters, and boasting a history that stretches back twelve thousand years.

    Three great storylines weave through the books, charting the civil war for control of the Seven Kingdoms; the defence of the towering Wall of ice in the uttermost north against the unearthly threat of the Others; and across the Narrow Sea the rise to power of Daenerys Targaryen and the last live dragons in the world.