The Game of Thrones season five finale was never going to be anything but bloodthirsty, but the death of a much-loved main character and his confirmation that yes, this really is the end, has sent ripples through the Westeros fandom.
*This article contains spoilers*
"Mother's Mercy" was jam-packed with violence but it was the demise of Kit Harington's long-serving character Jon Snow that really shocked us to the core.
Readers of George RR Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire books will have been less surprised, as Jon's stabbing takes place in the final chapter in his fifth novel, A Dance With Dragons.
But when little Olly and the Night's Watch brothers took their gruesome revenge on the Lord Commander for being a "traitor" during the Battle of Hardhome, we still could not quite believe that this was truly happening. Winter had arrived, and nobody was happy about it and the worst was still to come.
Shocking Game of Thrones scenes
Shocking Game of Thrones scenes
1/9 Sansa/Ramsey rape scene
Season 5, episode 6: Fans were outraged as the episode ended with Sansa Stark being brutally raped by her new husband, Ramsey. The camera soon panned to Theon as he watched on, terrified.
2/9 Shireen burns at the stake
Season 5, episode 9:Stannis burns his daughter Shireen at the stake after Red Priestess Melisandre advises him to make a sacrifice to gain more power
3/9 Theon gets his penis chopped off
Season 3, episode 10: While being tortured by Ramsey, Theon Greyjoy goes through all sorts of pain. The most horrible though is when his penis is cut off and then sent to his family.
4/9 George Bush’s head on spike
Season 1, episode 10: According to the directors, they couldn’t get enough prosthetic heads made up for the show and ended up using the spare one’s lying around. One of those just happened to be the fake head of George Bush, which eventually ended up on a spike.
5/9 Joffrey murders two prostitutes
Season 2, episode 4: In one of his most violent moments, Joffrey finds himself with two prostitutes in his room and the most disgusting thing he can think to do with them, uses them as living targets.
6/9 The Red Wedding
Season 3, episode 9: It was the turning point for the entire show. Just as everyone thought it was going the Starks way, they nearly all end up murdered in one of the bloodiest episodes of any TV series ever.
7/9 Rat torture
Season 2, episode 4: Torture is a pretty common occurrence on Game of Thrones, but none were quite a bad as this. In the scene a bucket of rats is put to a man’s chest and then heated up with a flame so they must eat through the man to escape. Terrifying.
8/9 Mountain head explosion
Season 4, episode 8: Just as everything was going Oberyn Martell’s way, it all literally blew up in his face. The warrior ended up looking like a squashed watermelon in one of the most awful scenes in the entire series.
9/9 Theon botched beheading
Season 2, episode 6: Beheadings: In one of the more gruesome beheadings, Theon strikes Ser Rodrick Cassel not just once but four times in the neck, finally taking it all the way off with a kick.
Harington has spoken about his grisly demise and revealed that he will not be returning to the HBO drama.
"I'm quite dead. It's over for Jon Snow - at the very least, he gets to join his family and kin and leave this terrible world behind," the 28-year-old actor told the New York Daily News.
"Follow Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) or Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) or Brianne (Gwendoline Christie. There are certain good people left in there. Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) to an extent, although that's a very gray area."
Harington paid tribute to his altruistic alter ego, who was "always trying to do the right thing". "He really was one of the last bastions of goodness left in Westeros," he said, adding in another interview with Entertainment Weekly that showrunners Dan Weiss and David Benioff had told him there would be no resurrection.
"Quite honestly, I have never been told the future of things in this show, but this is the one time I have," he said.
"They sat me down and said, 'This is how it is'. If anything in the future is not like that, then I don't know about it - it's only in David and Dan and George's heads. But I've been told I'm dead. I'm dead. I'm not coming back next season. So that's all I can tell you, really."
Fans are still clinging to the faint hope that Jon Snow will somehow be back in Martin's sixth book The Winds of Winter, which is yet to be published but promised soon.
If Melisandre doesn't bring Jon Snow back to life I swear I will be in a forever depression like omg #crying— Mollie Monroe (@molliejoxo) June 15, 2015
Sadly, we have our doubts - time to reach for those last remaining tissues.Reuse content