Game of Thrones is a very popular television show that has endured many casualties of some of the most popular characters. Here’s a look back at various deaths throughout the series and why some of them had to happen. This article is written from a fan’s persepctive. (Please take note that this article contains spoilers for those not caught up to the most recent episode of Game of Thrones.)
“All men must die”.
I’ve watched and seen every episode of Game of Thrones and I consider myself to be a fan. As a fan sometimes it’s very difficult to watch a beloved character die after becoming attached to them. Unfortunately this seems to be a common occurrence that regularly happens on this show. As HBO started putting out the promotional materials for Season 4 of Game of Thrones one of the posters read “All men must die” on it. This is very interesting indeed because there have been a lot of deaths on the show, specifically there has been a lot of deaths of main characters. Back when Season 1 aired we were introduced to the main character Ned Stark, the main head of household for House Stark of Winterfell. Throughout the various promotional materials the character Ned Stark, played by Sean Bean, has heavily featured. When his execution scene came around I thought for surely that someone or something would intervene. I mean after all, how could the main character die in the first season? As the blade proceeded to slice through the head of Ned Stark it became clear to me that on Thrones no character was safe.
Why he “had to” die.
If you regularly watch Game of Thrones you know all about the heartbreak and disappointment that comes from watching your favorite characters meet their end. I believe part of the reason why so many characters “have to” die within the show lies in the actual name of the show. There’s a “game” being played within the show. Everyone is a piece and the different lands are the board. In order to advance through the game things need to happen. Ned Stark had to die for the next series of events to happen. I could easily go on and on about specifically each piece that was moved because of his death but that would take a long time to write out. To put it simply his death was a cataclysm for other things to happen. It set forth the rage that blossomed in his wife, Catelyn Stark, and it ultimately made each member of his family break off and live their own lives for the time being. They each ended up having to go and do what they had to do in order to survive and keep the Stark name going.
Unfortunately as pieces were moved more were taken off the board. It’s safe to say that House Stark has been the family filled with the most heartbreak in the show. This was definitely shown during the “Red Wedding” where both Catelyn and her son Rob Stark were murdered thus taking more Stark pieces off of the board. This event changed how the game was played again because the Starks were supposed to be under protection at the time.
Real war is not a fairytale, neither is Game of Thrones.
When we first meet Sansa Stark, the eldest daughter of House Stark, we are introduced to a girl that believes in fairytales and happy endings. She learns the truth on how harsh the world is when her betrothed Joffrey executes her father. As a female myself I found it very emotional to see another female on screen being betrayed by the one that was meant to be there for her. Fortunately Sansa ends up not having to marry Joffrey but he still tormented her enough to change her personality. Later, especially most recently in Season 4, Sansa has opened her eyes to the world around her and has learned to use her wits to survive the game.
In early Season 4 Joffrey finally meets his end. For many fans, including myself, this was one of the few deaths that brought joy. There were many inexcusable things that Joffrey did and taking him out of the game served as another example that no one is safe, as Joffrey was the king and was supposed to be the one person on the show that technically held the most power. In the end the main storyline of Game of Thrones is the constant battle of who should rightfully be sitting on the iron throne. Each death changes the game and makes each player change how they are playing it. It’s not meant to be a fairytale, it’s meant to show how war really can be.