Throughout its eight seasons of existence, game of thrones seduced and captivated audiences with conniving schemes, ruthless betrayals and brutal battles. The show prided itself on having a shock factor that meant no character was immune to harm, especially in earlier seasons. Naturally, fans were begging for more, as they were constantly held to the edge of their seats.
There have even been many occasions where this tension has been manipulated to create genuinely scary moments. The White Walkers were the driving force behind most of the series’ horror themes, but they weren’t alone. game of thrones created a world so horrifying that fans thought anything could kill anyone at any time.
ten The opening scene showed the horrors of the White Walkers
Before the start of game of thronesIn the first episode, the groundwork for the White Walkers’ horrific presence had already been laid. Three human characters were introduced, and viewers who had not read George RR Martin’s books were completely unaware of their overall importance, or lack thereof.
This opening scene may have been the first in the entire show, but it’s still one of the scariest. The eerie tension of the creepy environment was the perfect introduction for the White Walkers. They immediately showed their haunting abilities by killing two of the three scouts, forcing the third to flee south.
9 Melisandre gave birth to a terrifying shadow
Stannis Baratheon’s campaign to claim his rightful place on the Iron Throne was a welcome addition to the second season. It featured a divided family and home and the disturbing inclusion of faith and witchcraft. Lady Melisandre corrupted Stannis and capitalized on his desperation.
When Melisandre became pregnant with Stannis’ child, there was clearly something else going on. Sure enough, Davos was sent to escort Melisandre to a remote location where she gave birth to a shadowy being. The Shadow then murdered Stannis’ brother, Renly, in a truly unsettling sequence of events.
8 Hodor was sacrificed as Bran escaped from a horde of Wights
The presence of the White Walkers was felt several times throughout game of thrones, each time with an unsettling air of peril and dread. Still, the season six episode “The Door” provided one of the most gruesome sequences. A mistake by Bran meant that the Night King could now penetrate the Three-Eyed Raven’s defenses and launch an attack.
The undead slaughtered the Three-Eyed Raven, the Children of the Forest, and even Summer while Bran, Meera, and Hodor escaped. The episode’s most tragic moment saw Hodor used as a sacrifice to allow the others to escape. While the onslaught of the undead was chilling on its own, Hodor’s words, “Hold the door,” were equally unsettling.
seven The Sons of the Harpy have launched a full-scale assault on Daenerys in Meereen
The Sons of the Harpy became a serious nuisance to Daenerys as she tried her best to make Meereen a better place. They constantly rose up and challenged her, even killing the invaluable Barristan Selmy in the process. However, their advances eventually resulted in an ambush at the Fighting Pits during a tournament Daenerys was attending.
The Sons of the Harpy had strength in numbers, forcing Daenerys and her friends to retreat until all seemed lost. It took Drogon showing up to turn the tide, but it generally felt like an impossible-to-escape situation alive.
6 Any scene with Ramsay Bolton was disturbing beyond belief
Ramsay Bolton was Roose Bolton’s son and was a truly despicable monster. He took pleasure in torturing his enemies, both physically and mentally. From chasing prisoners with his dogs to causing grievous bodily harm to Sansa and Theon, there really was no line he wouldn’t cross.
Ramsay’s brutal torture of Theon was the first manifestation of his cruel and brutal nature. It left viewers worried about what he would do in every subsequent scene he was in, and for good reason. He was a real Bolton in the sense that he loved recreating their sigil, the Flayed Man. Yet his actions have even taken him so far as to murder his own father, wife, and infant child, all in the name of his own rise to power.
5 Events at Hardhome have heightened the threat of the undead
The White Walkers have been teased and shown sporadically in previous seasons, but “Hardhome” felt like a turning point. Jon Snow was trying to persuade the Wildlings to join him south of the Wall where it was thought to be considerably safer. Tensions between all parties present were only heightened by the sudden arrival of the undead.
Jon had to organize a controlled evacuation of the frightened civilians while leading the fight against the Warriors. This impossible task eventually ended with Jon escaping and the Night King having many more troops for his army. This entire episode had an eerie tension that turned into an outright horror show.
4 Stannis sacrificed his innocent daughter in the name of power and victory
Stannis sacrificed a lot for his ultimately unsuccessful game for the Iron Throne, but his wife and daughter were the most devastating losses. His daughter Shireen was a rare innocent soul in this brutal world and had a lovely friendship with Davos. Shireen’s mother resented her, as she was Stannis’ only surviving child and was a sickly girl with grayscale.
When Stannis left Castle Black and ventured to Winterfell to fight the Boltons, he encountered difficulties and obstacles. Melisandre convinced him that the only way to win was to sacrifice Shireen. Shireen was burned alive, her horrific screams echoing around the camp in a truly sickening moment. It was all in vain, as Stannis lost everything else.
3 Arya Tried To Navigate The Library Of Winterfell Without Alerting The Undead
The Battle of Winterfell was the culmination of eight seasons of preparation for the White Walkers and their march against the living. The logic behind the Night King’s disappearance is still debated to this day, but that doesn’t stop this episode from being terrifying. The darkness helped withstand the brutality of the undead piling up and overwhelming the living.
One scene in particular was the scariest of them all. When Arya retreated to the library of Winterfell, the tempo shifted from frantic battle to the eerie silence of suspenseful horror. Arya was trying to hide and sneak past several wights, which eventually led to her encountering Beric and the Hound.
2 The Red Wedding was incredibly terrifying
The Red Wedding will be remembered as the most shocking moment of game of thrones. When Robb Stark broke the terms Walder Frey had set by granting him safe passage, Frey retaliated by plotting the ultimate betrayal at a moment of supposed joy, a wedding.
The Red Wedding Massacre saw the deaths of Catelyn, Robb, and Talisa Stark, as well as the latter’s unborn child. Robb’s werewolf and the rest of the Stark forces were also eliminated, as Roose Bolton revealed his further betrayal. Although not a typical horror scene, the shock factor never fails to generate horrified responses from viewers.
1 Daenerys ruthlessly burned down King’s Landing and countless innocent people
game of thrones fans will always be annoyed with the end of Daenerys Targaryen’s long journey. It has been teased on several occasions that she will follow the path of her father Aerys, who has become known as “Mad King”. However, no one expected this descent into tyranny to happen so quickly.
The penultimate episode of season eight, “The Bells,” saw Daenerys and Drogon rain fire on King’s Landing. This destruction continued long after the Lannisters surrendered and turned into a truly brutal massacre. Innocent civilians being burned to death was a disturbing and terrifying sight to behold.
NEXT: 10 Ways Game Of Thrones Would Be Better As An Anime