"Game of Thrones" is dark and full of terrors. Joy is short-lived and only loathsome victors get the spoils. Much like seasons before it, the HBO drama's dense Season 5 closer had few moments of reprieve and a major heartbreaking death.
Warning: Spoilers, like winter, are coming. Stop reading if you haven't seen "Mother's Mercy."
Arya crosses another name off her death list and goes blind because of it, Sam goes to Oldtown, Stannis is defeated at Winterfell and ultimately at the pointy end of Brienne's Oathkeeper, Melisandre abandons him and his wife hangs herself, Sansa and Theon leap for their lives, Jaime briefly gets a moment of tenderness with his daughter, Tyrion obtains a queendom, Daenerys is accosted by Dothraki bloodriders, Cersei atones with a naked walk of shame and Jon is murdered by his sworn brothers.
Fans are still reeling from that last one too. All men must die, indeed.
The sprawling fantasy drama makes no apologies for killing beloved characters, fastidiously offing members of the noble Stark family of Winterfell as the seasons progress.
The show has continued to grow its audience and remains HBO's highest-rated series despite its controversial portrayals of violence, rape and sex, which simultaneously draw and depart from George R.R. Martin's "Song of Ice and Fire" book series.
After Sunday's finale, social media erupted as the latest installment concluded with fan-favorite Jon Snow (Kit Harington), the bastard of Winterfell and the Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, meeting his apparent death after a brutal mutiny at the hands of his treacherous men. The noble leader is repeatedly stabbed in the gut, his young steward Olly dealing the last blow to his heart. He's left for dead as blood pools around him in the snow -- his punishment for leading the wildlings south of the Wall to save them from the White Walkers.
And he's gone for good, as far as Harington knows: "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," he told Entertainment Weekly.
The polarizing twist, though long known to readers of Martin's series, is the latest major death for viewers to contend and was met with the same ire as Ned Stark's beheading and Robb and Catelyn Stark's demise at the Red Wedding. Fans were ignited with more fervor than Melisandre, with several threatening to desert the series for its bloodthirsty ways. Here's a taste:
But what does all this mean for you? Vote in the poll below
Follow me on Twitter @NardineSaad.
MORE "GAME OF THRONES":
Bring Out Your Dead: the Game of Thrones Season Finale
'Game of Thrones' recap: Bloodshed galore in shocking season finale
Here's proof that the penultimate episode of 'Game of Thrones' is usually the best