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Game Of Thrones Co-Creators Reveal Which Character Deaths Were Their Favorites, And I Totally Agree

  Jon Snow and Daenerys in Season 8 of Game of Thrones.
Jon Snow and Daenerys in Season 8 of Game of Thrones.

Game of Thrones is an unforgettable show for many reasons, and one of the biggest was its tendency to kill off major characters in gruesome ways. In fact, in some instances – notably including the infamous Red Wedding – the series would kill off many key characters in one fell swoop. Some of the tragedies will likely always be divisive among fans, particularly in the controversial final season, but I have to agree with co-creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss with their picks for their favorite deaths.

Benioff and Weiss recently debuted a new show set outside of the world of Westeros with 3 Body Problem (available streaming via Netflix subscription), but they were still willing to open up about their favorite TV deaths over the courses of their careers, and both chose demises from Game of Thrones. Speaking with Josh Horowitz on the Happy Sad Confused podcast, Weiss shared:

With Thrones, there was so much killing of good guys that when we finally got to really kill both Joffrey in Season 4 and Ramsay Bolton in Season 6, it was fun to go back to the old-fashioned joys of just killing off a really bad guy.

If any Game of Thrones fans were crying at the deaths of Joffrey and Ramsay Bolton, I can only assume that they were tears of joy and satisfaction! Not only was it satisfying to see arguably the show's two worst villains finally meet their ends, but there was poetic justice in how each of them died.

First up in early Season 4 (and available for rewatch via Max subscription) was Joffrey, who was poisoned by Olenna Tyrell – although that wouldn't be revealed until seasons later shortly before Olenna's death – at his own wedding, for an event which would come to be known among fans as the Purple Wedding. Not only did it feel like an act for the greater good, but it felt like a form of payback after the murders of Robb, Catelyn, and the Northerners at the Red Wedding.

Jack Gleeson still appeared in enough of the show for Joffrey to make the list of Game of Thrones characters who appeared in the most episodes, and the actor fortunately hasn't had any negative fan experiences for playing the villain. All in all, I'd say that Joffrey's death was an A+ choice by D.B. Weiss as a favorite!

But Joffrey wasn't the only satisfying death that Weiss named, and David Benioff spoke up to elaborate on why it was so great when Ramsay Bolton met his end in Season 6. Benioff said:

I think for me at the end of 'Battle of the Bastards' when Sophie [Turner] sics the hounds on the bastard. You don't really actually see the death. You see some of it in the background, but you don't really see the death. What you do see is Sophie's smile or Sansa's smile. It was all in one shot, and we did it seven times or something. And I just remember standing there with Dan, and when she finally got it, she nailed it on the seventh or eighth time, and it was just that feeling of — that's so epic. Sophie was so good. When she got that shot, I just felt like I can now die happy.

Ramsay Bolton effectively proved over the course of his four seasons of Game of Thrones that the show could in fact create a villain who was even worse than Joffrey. Chillingly played by Iwan Rheon, Ramsay was a fan of murder, torment, torture, flaying, and sexual assault, with Theon Greyjoy and Sansa Stark as his repeated victims. So, when he was killed in the epic "Battle of the Bastards" episode by his own starving hounds, it was the best kind of Game of Thrones WTF moment that Sansa earned.

While it was of course a relief that he finally died and it felt right that Jon Snow saved the kill for his sister, I for one didn't really celebrate it the same way as Joffrey just because of what Sansa went through to get to the point of unleashing Ramsay's hounds. He put her through all seven hells and back. So, A+ to Benioff as well for crediting Sophie Turner in making Ramsay's demise such an unforgettable scene.

Of course, the character with the highest death toll of the series had to be Daenerys by the end, but I doubt many fans will wish that the creators ranked her as one of their favorites. Her death after her abrupt turn into a tyrant in the last two episodes didn't go over well with fans at the time, so there definitely wasn't any kind of satisfaction along the lines of Joffrey and Ramsay.

And the deaths in the world of Westeros on HBO aren't over, despite the end of David Benioff and D.B. Weiss' take on George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire saga. House of the Dragon killed off its fair share in the first season's adaptation of Martin's Fire & Blood, and House of the Dragon Season 2 is likely to raise that death toll considerably, perhaps including more members of the Targaryen family tree. The spinoff returns for Season 2 in the 2024 TV schedule on June 16. In the meantime, you can always revisit all eight seasons of Game of Thrones – deaths and all – streaming on Max.