The 16 most shocking moments (so far) from Game of Thrones

Contributed by
Jun 5, 2013

If there's one thing HBO’s hit fantasy series Game of Thrones brings week after week after week, it’s those truly shocking moments that make us go OMG! and WTF! and last Sunday’s episode certainly managed to shake everyone with the infamous "Red Wedding."


For those of us who've read the books from George R.R. Martin’s magnificent A Song of Ice and Fire saga, most of these ... um ... developments, shall we say, did not come as a surprise (even though they were shocking to watch); but to the unsullied out there, they came as genuine, jaw-dropping moments.

Below are sixteen of those moments (and there was loads of them to choose from) from the first three seasons of Game of Thrones.

In no particular order we have:

Jaime Lannister pushes Bran Stark out of a window

The first season of Game of Thrones started with one of its most shocking moments when, at the end of the first episode, young Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) was pushed out the window by Ser Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) after the Kingslayer got caught making sweet, sweet love to his twin sister Cersei (Lena Heady)—as if that wasn’t shocking enough. In the words of Jaime Lannister: "The things we do for love."

Viserys’ death by molten golden crown

Poor Viserys (Harry Lloyd). He really wanted the crown and the Iron Throne. Well, he may not have gotten the Iron Throne, but he did get his crown when Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa) poured molten gold over his head, leaving us stunned and Viserys dead as a doornail.

Ned Stark’s beheading

Season one’s (if not the whole series’) most shocking moment came when we saw Lord Eddard “Ned” Stark (fan favorite Sean Bean) get beheaded on King Joffrey’s (the awesome and really nice Jack Gleeson) orders. Fans were left reeling from his death and it heralded the notion that no one, and we mean NO ONE, was safe on Game of Thrones.

The hatching of Dany’s dragons

At the end of the first season, we saw Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) walk into her husband Khal Drogo’s funeral pyre only to emerge unscathed (if a bit singed) the morning after, with her three dragon eggs hatched. We can imagine the collective gasp of fans everywhere as season one’s final scene drew to a close and had us gaping at our TV screens.

Theon’s botched beheading of Ser Rodrik Cassel

Yes, Theon Greyjoy’s (Alfie Allen) downward spiral started with the taking of Winterfell, but it's his horrific botched execution of Ser Rodrik Cassel (Ron Donachie) as he hacked and hacked and hacked away at the poor old soldier’s head before kicking it repeatedly, that truly left us disgusted, horrified and in tears. For Theon, there was no turning back.

Melisandre births a shadow baby

Another one of those truly WTF moments from season two was when Melisandre (Carice Van Houten), Stannis Baratheon’s (Stephen Dillane) Red Priestess of R’hllor, the Lord of Light, gave birth to a shadow baby under the horrified gaze of everyone’s favorite onion smuggler, Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham). Yep, the night is dark and full of terrors.

Theon burns 2 boys pretending they were Bran and Rickon

Another one of those less-than-stellar moments from our boy Theon was when he had two innocent farmer boys butchered, burned to a nice, blackened crisp, and hung on Winterfell’s walls, passing them off for Bran and Rickon (Art Parkinson). Maester Luwin’s (Donald Sumpter) grief-stricken look and horror was only matched by our own.

Joffrey has Ros beat another prostitute bloody while aiming a crossbow at them

Joffrey, Joffrey, Joffrey. We already knew you were a little douche, but you really outdid yourself here in a scene many fans thought was a bit too much, even for Game of Thrones.

The Hound abandons the Battle of the Blackwater (aka F**k the King)

Sandor “the Hound” Clegane (Rory McCann) is one of the most badass characters on Thrones, except he’s afraid of fire (you know, the whole big brother pushed his head into a burning brazier as a kid thingy). So what’s a guy to do when the whole of the Blackwater is set on fire? Well, he quits like a boss (after hacking loads of Stannis' men in two) by saying out loud what most viewers thought since season one: “F**k the kingsguard, f**k the city, f**k the king.” Our jaws literally hit the floor at the same time as Tyrion’s (Peter Dinklage) and Joffrey’s. Then we cheered.

Jon Snow Kills Qhorin Halfhand

We kinda knew it was coming when legendary ranger Qhorin Halfhand (Simon Armstrong) ordered Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) to do everything he could to infiltrate Mance Rayder’s (Ciaran Hinds) wildling camp and army—including killing him. Still, when the time came and Jon did the dirty deed, well, we were left truly stunned.

The White Walkers arrive at the Fist of the First Men

The ending to season two was as mindblowing as the ending of season one. Except no dragons. But it had the arrival of an army comprised of walking frozen popsicles White Walkers and wights (Westeros’ equivalent of The Walking Dead) as Sam (John Bradley) —and us—looked on in utter terror. Cue more cold chills.

Beric Dondarrion’s death and subsequent resurrection

A flaming sword! A duel with the Hound! Sandor Clegane wins the fight, killing Beric Dondarrion (Richard Dormer) by cleaving him almost in two, but then everyone gasped in surprise—including Arya (Maisie Williams) and the Hound and the TV viewers—when the very very dead Beric was brought back to life by Thoros of Mhyr (Paul Kaye) and the power of his Red God (aka R’hllor the Lord of Light).

Jaime Lannister loses his hand

After saving Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie) from possible gang-rape, Jaime gets the shock of his life—as do we—when Locke (Noah Taylor) first taunts him about his daddy Lord Tywin (Charles Dance), and then proceeds to chop the Kingslayer’s sword hand clean off.

Jeor “The Old Bear” Mormont’s death at the hands of his own men

The Lord Commander (James Cosmo) of the Night’s Watch’s death at the hands of his own men came almost as unexpectedly as a thief in the night. Okay, the guys were disgruntled and hungry and Craster's (Robert Pugh) a big meanie who marries his daughters. Ewww. Where we can say Craster mostly got what he deserved times a hundred, the same cannot be said about Jeor Mormont and it left us absolutely bereft.

Ros’ death

During a chilling discussion between Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish (Aidan Gillen) and Varys (Conleth Hill)—where Littlefinger gives us his famous speech about chaos being a ladder—we find out the grisly fate of Ros (Esmee Bianco) in a truly disturbing WTF moment. 

The Red Wedding

The mother of all shockers. Viewers were left stunned (and that’s a very small word to describe how the majority of viewers and readers alike felt) at the end of last Sunday’s episode when Robb Stark (Richard Madden), his mother Lady Catelyn (Michelle Fairley), his wife Talisa (Oona Chaplin) and other various Stark men were butchered at the Twins by those devious weirdoes the Freys, as well as Robb’s own bannerman, Roose Bolton (Michael McElhatton). We knew something was amiss (and so did Cat) when the musicians started playing “The Rains of Castamere” (the Lannisters' "theme song" and also the episode’s title). But the true horror we felt was chillingly reflected in Cat’s grief and near catatonic, horrified expression.

If there any other OMG and WTF moments from the past three seasons of Game of Thrones, share them below!

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