“Game of Thrones” fans have endured jaw-dropping twists and turns season after season. Apparently, so have the show’s stars.
Spoiler alert: This story contains major details from Sunday’s second-to-last episode of “Game of Thrones.”
That was a bloodbath. Actually, more of a barbecue.
Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), who seems to have undergone a massive personality transplant, and her last surviving dragon, Drogon, lit up the Red Keep and King’s Landing in “The Bells,” Sunday’s second-to-last episode of HBO’s “Game of Thrones.”
Major characters died, which ordinarily would be considered shocking, but it’s a little less so with only one episode left in a series where war is a centerpiece.
Thousands died, civilians as well as Cersei Lannister’s soldiers, but we’re going to focus on the deaths of characters known to fans of the massively popular fantasy drama, which concludes May 19 (9 EDT/PDT). Here’s the ranking, based on the character’s significance to the story:
It was a hot night in King’s Landing on Sunday’s episode of HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones.’ Not everyone survived. We rank the deaths. (Photo: HBO)
8. That Golden Company guy (Mark Rissman)
The character’s name is Harry Strickland, but the commander of the Golden Company mercenaries might as well have been an extra for all he and his troops mattered in the final season. He’s not exactly the bravest sort, either, as he was speared from behind by a vengeful Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) as he fled from opposing forces. Run away, run away!
The diabolical Qyburn manipulates children in happier times. (Photo: HBO)
7. Qyburn (Anton Lesser)
Hand of the Queen Qyburn, a pretty mad scientist in his own right, had been climbing the royal ladder working for Cersei, especially after he reanimated Ser Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane into a Frankenstein’s monster bodyguard/assassin. As in most of these stories, his creation ultimately rebelled and smashed Qyburn’s head on a stone when he tried to interfere with The Mountain’s fight to the death with his brother. Ah, family!
We kept telling self-aggrandizing boor Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbaek) to get over himself. He didn’t listen. (Photo: HBO)
6. Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbaek)
Iron Islands captain Euron Greyjoy (Pilou Asbaek), a gasbag capable of powering his own sailing fleet, couldn’t leave bad enough alone. After he somehow survived Dany’s destruction of his ships, he emerged from the water to foolishly challenge Jaime Lannister. He gravely wounded Jaime, but didn’t kill him, ultimately perishing after taking a sword — with a nice twisting motion — to the abdomen. You don’t mess with The Kingslayer!
5. and 4. Gregor ‘The Mountain’ Clegane (Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson) and Sandor ‘The Hound’ Clegane (Rory McCann)*
These two belong together in the rankings. “Thrones” fans finally got the long-awaited Cleganebowl (that’s why Gregor ranks this high), as the brothers — it was hard to see a family resemblance because both have had their faces burned or disfigured — punched, gouged and stabbed each other in a Red Keep stairwell as King’s Landing was falling all around them. Murderous boys will be murderous boys!
As The Hound neared death and saw that even a dagger in the eye wouldn’t kill The Mountain, he charged his brother, knocking down a wall, and the two fell hundreds of feet to their death (presumably, especially in the case of The Mountain), fighting all the way. It was how they would have wanted it. [*But, we didn’t see the bodies.]
3. Varys (Conleth Hill)
Varys has been the virtuoso of palace intrigue for decades, manipulating events from behind the throne as the highly regarded Master of Whisperers. All that caught up to him in Sunday’s episode, as he unsuccessfully plotted an overthrow of Daenerys. His fears of her madness ultimately proved correct, but Jon Snow (Kit Harington) refused his entreaty to lead and Hand of the Queen Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) confessed the plot to Daenerys. She wasn’t in the mood to offer mercy, and had her dragon burn Varys to a crisp. That was a hint of hot times to come.
2. and 1. Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) and Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey)*
As with the Clegane boys, we couldn’t separate Jaime and Cersei. The Lannister twins were born together, loved together and died together. [*Again, we didn’t see the bodies.] Jaime left a good situation with Brienne to try to save his sister. Not only did Cersei underestimate Dany and her forces, she compounded the error with the dumbest move ever — beheading Dany’s friend and aide, Missandei — which set Dany and Grey Worm on mission of vengeance. Jaime rescued Cersei, but their exit from the Red Keep was blocked and they shared one more moment together as the roof fell in on them.
Now, you’re the only Lannister hope left, Tyrion. No pressure.
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