Everyone knows when they read a book or watch a movie that there is a chance a character they really love is going to die. Either the character was the funny/supportive friend, the wise mentor, or even a love interest, no one is safe! If one show/series of books has taught us that, it’s Game of Thrones. George R. R. Martin is notorious for killing off many good characters that we all loved or came to love. First example would be Ned Stark, as played by Sean Bean. Ned Stark was the perfect character: loyal to king and wife, a devoted father and a good master. That’s probably why he needed to die (per Martin’s logic). But then, that set a precedent for most of the character deaths on Game of Thrones. They were all good characters.
Now, everyone who has read/watches Game of Thrones, has probably also read/watched The Lord of the Rings. J. R. R. Tolkien created a world and any good characters; most of whom live to see peace come to Middle Earth. Honestly at the rate GOT is going, who is going to be yet living at the end of this final season? Nobody! Of course, GOT is on a larger scale than LOTR simply because there are more books in the series. So, I guess there are more characters to kill off, but they are usually the good guys. That’s my problem. Tolkien understood the importance of having a well placed death of a good guy, but he didn’t do it often. Obviously in The Fellowship of the Ring, we believe Gandalf has perished, and Boromir sacrifices himself to save Merry and Pippin. In The Two Towers, Hama is slain while defending Helms Deep (this is from the book, not the movie, where he still dies, but in a warg attack). In The Return of the King, we see Theoden die in combat at the Battle of Pelennor Fields. Also, if you recall, Halbarad, one of Aragorn’s Dunedain Rangers, also dies in battle. That’s four good characters who died. That’s less than one hand by a finger.
For GOT, you’ve got the characters as follows:
- Ned Stark
- Khal Drogo
- Robb Stark
- Catelyn Stark
- The Blackfish
- Commander Mormont
- Osha the Wildling
- Rickon Stark
- Benjen Stark
- Jojen Reed
And probably a couple of others we’ve all forgotten. Many, many, many deaths. It is important for certain, key people to die in order to give the heroes or heroines a reason for finishing the job as it were. There have to be deaths so that somebody can say, “Their deaths will not be in vain.” Just, don’t kill everybody who ever showed a whiff of goodness and decency. That’s why there’s this meme:
And on that note, it’s been real!