Bloody 'ell (quite literally), as the 'explosive' sixth season of HBO's Game of Thrones comes to an end, we have definitely added to the body count this year! As the finale waved goodbye to another batch of big names in King's Landing and beyond, let's round up the biggest deaths of the season. From daddy stabbing to 'Frey' Bentos pies, here are the game changers we laid to rest in Season 6!
#10. Balon Greyjoy
In a storyline that was long overdue from the books, we eventually see the King of the Iron Islands tumble from a bridge during a storm. Whilst the book only implies that younger brother Euron is the perpetrator, the show straight up went and confirmed it. Euron was promised to be the show's next 'big bad'; whilst we have yet to see him spread his salty wings, we are sure that Pilou Asbæk has more to bring to the table other than his massive cock. Balon's death opened the door for the return of the Greyjoy clan, and without it Yara and Daenerys would never have met - our latest showmance obsession.
#9. Prince Doran
Yawn for Dorne - Season 6 did go some way in restoring the damage of the Dorne plot from Season 5, but the North remembers! A vengeful Ellaria Sand stabs Prince Doran in his own home and quickly assumes the seat as Queen of the land in Season 6's first big WTF moment. It set the tone for the rest of the episodes, and whilst not the most tragic loss, Doran's death does set up another alliance for Team Dany. A mourning Olenna Tyrell heads to a warmer climates to team up with those dastardly Sand Snakes. As we head into Season 7, it looks like a bad case of "you can't sit with us" as all eyes are on Cersei and her Iron Throne.
For a while it was a close call on who was the most hated man in Westeros; Ramsay 'who let the dogs out' Bolton, or Olly the Traitor? Jon Snow was back from the dead and keen to pull out his own Arya Stark kill list. Alliser Thorne and Olly hung with the rest of the Snow stabbers in a short game of hangman at the Wall. Jon Snow soon departed after renouncing his vows, but we knew that wouldn't last for long. From Lord Commander to King in the North, Mr. Snow has had a very busy season. Jon's lack of mercy against those who offed him was an important step on his road to leader - also it was great to see the little shit swing.
#7. Rickon Stark
Oh, so we bring you back for a few episodes, then kill you back off! Boy, did puberty deal a hard deck to Art Parkinson. As Rickon ran across the fields outside Winterfell, we all wondered if the youngest Stark would survive Ramsay's archery skills - the writing was on the wall. The image of an arrow-riddled Rickon falling to the ground was a brief respite during the action-packed "Battle of the Bastards", and was never going to be Red Wedding-topping. Sorry Rickon!
#6. Tommen Baratheon
It had been a LOOOONG time coming, but watching the last Lannister child jump to his death was a chilling end to this season's storyline at King's Landing. Fulfilling the prophecy of Maggy the Frog, at least there is some hope that Cersei Lannister will get her comeuppance at the hands of the Valanquor (little brother). Many speculate that it will either be Tyrion, or even Jaime who wrap their hands around Cersei's throat, and chances are that her reign as 'Mad Queen' will be short-lived. Arguably Tommen was a much better king that his predecessor, but we all knew that the youngest lion wasn't long for this world. Seeing a character tackle suicide rather than the usual 'blood and guts' death was a sombre swansong.
#5. Lyanna Stark
There was certainly no joy at the Tower of Joy, but Game of Thrones finally confirmed the long suspected R + L = J theory. Unless you are new to the show, you will have heard the theory that Jon 'bastard' Snow is in fact the offspring of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. Lyanna's death sees her giving her bouncing baby boy to Ned Stark to protect; so is born Jon Snow's bastard status. Moving forwards, the blood flowing in both Daenerys and Jon could mean a powerful Targaryen alliance against the White Walkers. However, this does mean that the current King in the North is in fact illegitimate, and sets up an interesting Sansa/Jon predicament.
#4. Walder Frey
Anyone who recites "the Lannisters and the Freys send their regards" has sealed their own fate. Exactly three seasons and one episode later, the 'late' Walder Frey finally paid the price for the infamous Red Wedding. Just as Catelyn Stark had her throat slit, Arya Stark returned the favour to Frey. After Arya's holiday in Braavos, it was only right to see her back on Westeros turf and crossing names off that kill list. Whilst Arya's time at the House of Black and White seemed like a yawn-fest, it clearly taught her something. The faceless assassin applied her skills to settle her ongoing justice-for-all campaign!
Of course, we couldn't talk about Season 6 deaths without our favorite human doorstop! Kristian Nairn's Hodor may not have had the largest vocabulary, but seeing the lovable giant meet his maker beyond the wall meant that Episode 5 was the most poignant of the season. Along with the death of Shireen in Season 5, Hodor was one of the 'good guys' caught in Westerosi collateral damage. As a young Wylis lived blissfully in Winterfell, the time-travelling Bran Stark inadvertently meddled with the future. Doc Brown would be furious, and Bran briefly became public enemy no.1. Until we remembered...
#2. Ramsay Bolton
Seeing Joffrey Pt. 2 pummelled down by the reanimated Jon Snow/Stark was a fist bump moment, but the aftermath was one of the most gratifying deaths the show has ever had. Ramsay had gone from cock-chopper, to rapist, to Stark slayer, so seeing him become actual dog food was a poetic goodbye. The fact that the darker Jean Grey-esque Sansa was the one to do the final offing was also the only way it could have gone. He may not have popped a bun in her oven, but something about her killing Ramsay in the way he killed his own victims proved that there really is a little bit of him 'inside' her!
#1. Margaery Tyrell
Her looks may be able to kill, but even that couldn't save Natalie Dormer's buxom character. To be honest, even now, I am still reeling from the death of Margaery Tyrell. Of all the people to kick the bucket this season, the death of Miss King's Landing 2016 was the most 'explosive'. Seeing the High Sparrow evaporate may have been a visual feast in the Sept explosion, but knowing that poor Margaery was caught in the blast is something that will stick with us for longer than we can hold a door. It appeared that the lady from High Garden had a plan to save her family name, but ultimately she was no match for the scheming Cersei Lannister. We all knew that as the two women went head to head, only one would emerge victorious, but that doesn't soften to blow of seeing Natalie Dormer bow out of the show! What makes the mass Tyrell death No.1 this season is what comes next. For the time being Cersei is sitting pretty in her (still warm) crown as the rest of Westeros come calling for her blood. Season 7 and beyond look like dark times ahead!
There we have it! Season 6 of Game of Thrones has us questioning whether anyone will actually be alive at the end of the show, and it was certainly a game changer. The final episode may have lacked the impending threat of White Walkers, but we were positively 'green' with rage as some fan favourites left the Seven Kingdoms. Place your bets on who will leave the mortal coil next season, the bookmakers are open now...Oh, also, R.I.P. Wun Wun, our gentle giant!