The 6 Biggest Deaths in Season Five of Game of Thrones
Season Five may not have been my favorite season of Game of Thrones, but even the show’s weaker seasons are still pretty darn good. As always, new characters both new and old continue to die, and this season had some deaths that would have big impacts on the show.
With the show entering a new period with most of the Five Kings dead, here are the six biggest deaths in Season Five of Game of Thrones.
#6- Mance Rayder, “The Wars to Come”
A former member of the Night’s Watch and the King-Beyond-the-Wall, Mance Rayder was able to unite the diverse Free Folk for a massive push to get past the Wall. Rather than through charisma or conquest, he united them with the simple truth that if they didn’t get south of the Wall, the White Walkers would kill them all. Despite his best efforts, he is defeated by the Night’s Watch and Stannis Baratheon and captured. Rather than bend the knee to Stannis, Mance chooses to be burned at the stake. Instead of dying in flames, he meets a merciful end via arrow to the heart, courtesy of Jon Snow.
Jon’s decision to mercy-kill Mance stems from the mutual respect and friendship that developed between the two during Jon’s time amongst the Free Folk. Inspired by Mance and his experiences with the Free Folk, Jon vows to protect Mance’s people from the White Walkers. Indeed, it’s Jon’s decision to give Mance a quick death that proves to Tormund Giantsbane and the other Free Folk that he can be trusted. He may be gone, but Mance’s will to protect his people lives on in Jon Snow.
#5-Myrcella Baratheon, “Mother’s Mercy”
Back in Season Two, Tyrion used his position as Hand of the King to send Cersei’s only daughter, Myrcella Baratheon, to Dorne to marry Prince Trystane. Against all odds, she and Trystane fall in love before Myrcella’s forced to return to King’s Landing at the behest of Jaime Lannister and Bronn. Tragically, she is poisoned by Ellaria Sand in vengenance for the death of Oberyn Martell, and she dies in Jaime’s arms.
What makes this death so tragic is that mere moments before, she reveals that she’s aware that her uncle Jaime is her biological father. Instead of being disgusted, she’s happy that he’s her father. For the first time, this gives Jaime the chance to be a father. Then she dies. I’ve seen some messed up things on this show, but that was one of biggest.
#4- Aemon Targaryen, “The Gift”
Despite being a Targaryen, Maester Aemon was relegated to being a side character during his time on the show. Having given up his royal heritage and a chance at the Iron Throne, Aemon chose to serve as the Maester of the Night’s Watch. There, he served as mentor to both Jon Snow and Samwell Tarly, but still lamented the fact that he could do nothing to help his only (known) living relative left, Daenerys. He ended up dying in his sleep from old age.
There are two main reasons why Aemon got on this list rather than other, more important people. The first is that he had helped to shape Samwell and Jon into the men that they would become. Second is the fact that he died of old age. On a show this blood-soaked, can you imagine how much of an achievement that is? He’s earned it.
#3- Stannis Baratheon, “Mother’s Mercy”
After Joffrey was revealed to be a bastard in every sense of the word, it seemed as though Stannis was the rightful king. Yet his actions over the series have shown otherwise. Killing his own brother to gain his army was bad enough, but at the end of Season Five, he was desperate enough to burn his own daughter to the Lord of Light. It was pointless in the end, as what few forces he had left were massacred by Ramsay Bolton, while Stannis himself was killed by Brienne of Tarth in revenge for his murder of Renly.
I never like Stannis, but after seeing him let his own daughter be sacrificed, I lost all respect for him. Anyone willing to do that to their own family doesn’t deserve to be a king. When the end came for him, all I felt was a mixture of pity and disappointment. As for Brienne, she managed to fulfill her vow to avenge Renly’s death. In Game of Thrones, it’s rare to see someone keep a promise like that.
#2- The White Walker, “Hardhome”
After managing to convince the Free Folk to join the Night’s Watch in the coming war against the White Walkers, it seems like things are finally going Jon Snow’s way. That feeling is immediately shattered when the White Walkers descend on the Free Folk settlement of Hardhome and kill almost everyone in it. In the midst of the rout, Jon Snow learns something that not even the White Walkers knew: while normal weapons shatter against the ice weapons of the White Walkers, Valyrian Steel doesn’t. Moreover, all it takes is being touched by Valyrian Steel for a White Walker to shatter, as shown when Jon Snow kills one in combat.
While the death of this nameless enemy may not seem as important, it’s probably the biggest revelation since Sam learned that Dragonglass kills White Walkers. There are multiple theories as to why Valyrian Steel can do this, but I think that it’s because dragons are somehow
#1- Jon Snow, “Mother’s Mercy”
One of the first things that Jon Snow did as Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch was bring back as many of the Free Folk as he possibly could. Even though his brother’s knew that they needed all the help they could get for the fight against the White Walkers, members like Alliser Thorne and Olly couldn’t forgive the Free Folk. In one of the most shocking scenes in the entire show, members of the Night’s Watch mutinied and killed Jon.
While the show was just following what happens in the books, fans lost it when Jon died. He wasn’t just one of the show’s most popular characters, he was also one of the few left that were good. Watching him die was like getting your heart torn out. Thankfully, all would be made right with the world in the next season. But fans had to spend an entire year mourning the loss of the Bastard of Winterfell.