Joffrey Baratheon (Jack Gleeson)
Dies: Season 4, Episode 2: “The Lion and the Rose”
Everyone’s least favorite prostitute-torturing, Ned Stark-beheading, crossbow-loving boy-king thankfully got what was coming to him during the Purple Wedding when, after violently mocking his imp uncle, Tyrion, and throwing coins at Sigur Ros—who does that?—he was poisoned to death in front of all the royals of King’s Landing, the work of surreptitious schemer Olenna Tyrell (with an assist from the mustache-twirling Petyr Baelish). Jack Gleeson, the terribly talented 22-year-old Irish actor who helped create one of the most despicable characters in TV history, is currently enrolled in Trinity College, Dublin, double-majoring in philosophy and theology, and following the airing of “The Lion and the Rose,” announced he’d be retiring from acting. “I’ve been acting since age 8. I just stopped enjoying it as much as I used to,” Gleeson told Entertainment Weekly. “And now there’s the prospect of doing it for a living, whereas up until now it was always something I did for recreation with my friends, or in the summer for some fun. I enjoyed it. When you make a living from something, it changes your relationship with it. It’s not like I hate it, it’s just not what I want to do.” All the best, Jack.
Karl Tanner (Burn Gorman)
Dies: Season 4, Episode 5: “First of His Name”
One of the most insane kills of Season 4 came when Jon Snow and his Night’s Watch mini militia staged an invasion of Craster’s Keep, which had devolved into a seedy rape village under the rule of Karl Tanner and the Night’s Watch mutineers. Just as Tanner, who earlier is seen drinking booze from the skull of Ser Jeor Mormont, is about to stab one of Craster's wives, Snow shoves a sword through the back of his head and out the other side. “It was one of those moments that we all watched on playback and went, ‘Ahhh!’” Kit Harington told The Daily Beast. “We were all pretty happy about that one! On Thrones, you either want a good way to kill someone or a good way to die, and that was a good way of killing someone. Plus, Karl deserved to be killed. He was an absolute fuckin’ prick!” Gorman, an American-born English actor, has popped up in films like The Dark Knight Rises, where he bankrolled Bane, and Pacific Rim (as one of the scientists, opposite Charlie Day), and can next be seen in Mr. Brand, a teacher, opposite Steve Carell in the film adaptation of Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day, in theaters Oct. 10., as well as Guillermo Del Toro’s Crimson Peak, out in ’15. He’ll also return in the second season of AMC’s Revolutionary War drama Turn (if it’s renewed) as Major Hewlett, a redcoat.
Lysa Arryn (Kate Dickie)
Dies: Season 4, Episode 7: “Mockingbird”
Oh, Lysa. Catelyn Stark’s strange sister, who breastfed her son, Robin, ’til he was 10, only appeared in a handful of Thrones episodes, but is responsible for setting the entire plot of the show into motion. We learn that, at the behest of her lover, Petyr Baelish, she poisoned her husband, Jon Arryn, the Hand of the King under Robert Baratheon. She then fled to the Eyrie with her son and claimed the Lannisters murdered her husband, which led to King Robert installing Lord Eddard Stark as the new Hand—and Jaime pushing Bran Stark out of a window during the family’s visit to Winterfell. Later, after witnessing Baelish plant a kiss on Sansa Stark, she becomes wildly jealous and threatens to shove her out the Moon Door—but Baelish intervenes and, after confessing his undying love for “your sister,” shoves Lysa out the Moon Door to her death. Kate Dickie, the Scottish actress who played Lysa, has appeared in films such as Andrea Arnold’s Red Road and the recent Prometheus, and can currently be found in the Irvine Welsh adaptation Filth, opposite James McAvoy. She just wrapped filming on The Silent Storm, a UK film also starring Damian Lewis and Andrea Riseborough.
Oberyn “Red Viper” Martell (Pedro Pascal)
Dies: Season 4, Episode 8: “The Mountain and the Viper”
Dios mio. Game of Thrones’ bisexual Inigo Montoya arrived at King’s Landing seeking vengeance for the death of his sister, Elia, who was brutally raped and murdered by Ser Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane during the Sack of King’s Landing (on the orders of Tywin Lannister). But, over the course of the season, he proved to be an endearing character, siding with Tyrion Lannister in his sham trial and serving as his champion in a trial by combat over the death of Joffrey. Martell squares off against Cersei’s pick, The Mountain, and after all but defeating the massive savage with some fancy spear-work, is caught gloating over the body and has his head squeezed until it explodes (!). But Pedro Pascal, the Chilean-American actor who brought the Red Viper to thrilling life, is a busy man. He’s shot an ABC pilot called Exposed, playing a rock star journalist opposite Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and is one of the leads in the Netflix series Narcos, a series chronicling the rise of Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar, that will premiere next year.
Ygritte (Rose Leslie)
Dies: Season 4, Episode 9: “The Watchers on the Wall”
Poor Ygritte. All the fiery redheaded wildling archer wanted was to return to her icy love cave with (the immensely talented) Stark bastard Jon Snow, where she deflowered him and forced him to break his Night’s Watch vows. But, with Snow in her crosshairs during the Battle of Castle Black, she’s struck down by a child’s arrow—who was, ironically, armed by Samwell Tarly. “You know nothing, Jon Snow…” are her final words, as he cradles her body in his arms. But the journey isn’t over for Rose Leslie, the talented Scottish actress (and Downton Abbey alum) who played Ygritte. You can next see her as the lead in the sci-fi/horror film Honeymoon, about a couple of newlyweds who go off for a romantic weekend in a cabin that turns into anything but, and is currently filming the romantic comedy Sticky Notes, where she’ll play a backup dancer who must return to Florida to care for her sickly father, played by Ray Liotta.
Jojen Reed (Thomas Brodie-Sangster)
Dies: Season 4, Episode 10: “The Children”
In their quest for the Three-Eyed Raven that Bran Stark has seen in his visions, Jojen Reed, the heir of Lord Howland Reed of Greywater Watch—along with Bran, Hodor, and Meera—are attacked by a group of knife- and sword-wielding reanimated skeletons and poor Jojen, the Samwise to Bran’s Frodo, is stabbed to death before the rest of the gang is saved by one of The Children. You probably recognized Thomas Brodie-Sangster, the actor who played Jojen, as the cute little redheaded child of Liam Neeson who takes up the drums in an attempt to score the school hottie in Love Actually. The 24-year-old British actor can next be seen as Newt, the second lead, in the blockbuster film adaptation of The Maze Runner—which some are billing as the next big YA franchise—in theaters Sept. 19. You can also catch him in the BBC Two drama Wolf Hall, a TV adaptation of the Hilary Mantel novels Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies, which will air in 2015. The series will also star Mark Rylance, Damian Lewis, and Claire Foy.
Sandor “The Hound” Clegane (Rory McCann)
Dies (?): Season 4, Episode 10: “The Children”
OK, so we’re not sure if The Hound has truly kicked the bucket, but when we last see him things are looking pretty grim. He’s just been scream-punched off a cliff by Brienne of Tarth—“killed by a woman,” he grimaces—and fleeced for all his coins by his surrogate daughter, Arya Stark. Despite being a Clegane (read: evil savage) and Joffrey’s enforcer in prior seasons, as Arya’s protector, we grew to love the deformed bastard this season. After all, he unleashed the best Thrones line all year: “I understand that if any more words come pouring out your cunt mouth, I’m going to have to eat every fucking chicken in this room.” The future is uncertain for The Hound, but we can next see the towering Scottish actor who plays him, Rory McCann, in the John Maclean film Slow West, a film set in 19th-century frontier America, where he’ll star alongside Michael Fassbender and Kodi Smit-McPhee, and later in the BBC series Banished, a seven-part series about Britain establishing a penal colony in 18th-century Australia, which will air in the U.K. in 2015.
Shae (Sibel Kikelli)
Dies: Season 4, Episode 10: “The Children”
It was one of the most surprising deaths of the season. After letting her jealousy of Sansa get the better for her in the trial of Tyrion, cruelly offering false testimony against her ex-lover that he poisoned Joffrey, the prostitute Shae is—gasp—discovered by Tyrion in the bed of his father, Tywin Lannister, in the season finale. “My lion…” she purrs. As soon as he sees her, Shae reaches for a dagger, and Tyrion pounces on her, strangling her to death with her own necklace. You can’t really blame Shae, though. She was just doing what she could to survive under the tyrannical reign of Tywin. Sibel Kekilli, the 34-year-old German actress of Turkish descent who rose to fame in the film Head-On, and has scooped up two Lola awards—the German equivalent of the Best Actress Oscar—is currently a free agent. Someone book her, people!
Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance)
Dies: Season 4, Episode 10: “The Children”
Oh, Tywin. In a fantastic bit of scheduling, the Dick Cheney of King’s Landing was killed on Father’s Day towards the end of the Season 4 finale…while sitting on the toilet…by his tortured imp son, Tyrion…with Joffrey’s weapon of choice: a crossbow. “He is, without a doubt, the shittest Dad in the world,” Lena Headey, who plays Cersei, said of Tywin. But Charles Dance’s turn as the broke-ass Machiavellian Lannister patriarch was so damn brilliant, it almost made us forget his turn as the red-eyeballed villain in Last Action Hero. The veteran British actor has a ton of promising film projects on the horizon, including The Imitation Game, a drama about Alan Turing, the Brit who helped crack the Enigma code during WWII, that also stars Benedict Cumberbatch and Keira Knightley and is out this November; Enemy of Man, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Macbeth that will see him play Duncan opposite Sean Bean’s (Ned Stark!) Macbeth; and a WWI drama called The Guns of August, where he’ll star as British Prime Minister Henry Herbert Asquith and none other than Daenerys Targaryen, a.k.a. the Mother of Dragons aka Emilia Clarke, will play his daughter (!), Violet Asquith.