Natalie Bochenski is a Brisbane-based writer and performer. Her popular 'Raven On' 'Game Of Thrones' recaps will return for season seven and she is once again combining her love of 'GoT' with her love of improvisation in ImproMafia’s 'Lord Of The Thrones' this month. The show is a tongue-in-cheek take on the worlds of both famous RRs: Martin and Tolkien.
Ahead of both big events, we asked Natalie to give us her five most satisfying deaths in 'Game Of Thrones'. Spoiler warning.
Joffrey is one of the biggest Big Bads for the first three seasons of the show. Narcissistic and cruel, he really was the poster boy for NOT having an incestuous relationship with your twin. The fact that we loved to hate Joffrey was a real credit to actor Jack Gleeson, who by all reports is an absolutely delightful young man. Joffrey’s death was not wholly unexpected – he had been so awful for so long, uppance had to come – but its arrival early in the fourth season was like having a glass of wine thrown in your face. Which incidentally is what Joffrey did to his long-suffering uncle Tyrion just moments before he chowed down on some dry bird pie and drank a goblet of poisoned shiraz. The shot of Joffrey holding his neck in surprised panic has launched a thousand memes, and deservedly so. But as despised as Joffrey was, Gleeson’s portrayal of his panicked, choking death added a deft touch of sadness that almost made you pity him for a moment. He was still a kid, after all.
Yes, it probably is morally wrong to find satisfaction in the death of a child. But then Olly was a key conspirator in the murder of my most favourite Jon Snow, so call me a right-wing shock jock, but hanging was too good for him. It’s not as if Jon did anything bad to the kid in the first place, quite the opposite. Having taken him in as his personal steward, the Lord Commander tried to train Olly in the new reality of wildlings as friends and White Walkers as enemies. But the ratty brat wasn’t having it – apparently the murder of his parents by the cannibalistic Thenns wasn’t something he could move past. Dude, did you ever hear of Batman? His parents got murdered and he ended up totally well-adjusted. Okay, maybe not quite that but at least Batman didn’t KILL people, particularly beautifully broody curly-haired people with deep brown eyes and killer abs under all that bear fur.
Ser Meryn Trant
This first murder by skilled-up faceless man-mode Arya was so satisfying, it was bordering on erotic. I probably shouldn’t say that to non-registered psychologists, but boy did it tap into a sweet spot. Ser Meryn Trant was on Arya’s hitlist since his encounter with her dancing master Syrio Forel at the end of season one. It’s assumed the Kingsguard killed the former First Sword of Braavos, although many of us still believe Syrio said “not today”. Trant continued to be an dickswipe on a greasepole throughout the series – beating people like Sansa and Ser Dontas and half of Fleabottom on Joffrey’s orders, and eventually turning up in Braavos as security for Mace Tyrell’s diplomatic mission to negotiate better debt repayments with the Iron Bank. Arya scoots out of regular duties at the House of Black and White to follow him, eventually discovering his disgusting penchant for very young girls at a brothel. She disguises herself and takes a beating before revealing her true face and proceeding to stab him in the eyeballs, chest and throat. BY THE OLD GODS IT WAS SO GOOD. I gargled just as much as Meryn, but for very different reasons. Of course Arya proceeds to go blind for her troubles, but gee, that was a sight worth not seeing.
Notch up another one for our girl Arya, who by the end of season six had become the fierce avenging angel we always knew she was going to be. Walder Frey had been getting about with pompous impunity ever since organising the Red Wedding, in which the Starks and Tullys had almost been wiped out. If he felt a slight tinge of concern when his supporter Tywin Lannister was killed, we didn’t see it, because he didn’t appear for a couple of seasons. But then he turned up at the end of season six, gloating about being feared in front of an unimpressed Jaime Lannister. Frey didn’t notice the serving girl eyeing him off from a distance like a cat looking a bowl of cream. Hours later, she would return to tempt him with a particularly meaty pie. By the time he realised two of his sons had been turned into filling, it was too late. Arya opened his throat with swift fury, revisiting her mother’s method of execution on her murderer. Exactly how Arya came to know this particular detail, we’re not sure, but it sure made us glad we weren’t on Arya’s list. The girl comes through. It’s also interesting to note that was the second pie-related death in this list. The Hound did some terrific murders in the name of chicken too, so there’s definitely a link between food and death in this show. With this in mind, I’d like to invite Jon Snow to dine with me on a petite mort. I mean, petit fours.
There are many things that could qualify 'The Battle Of The Bastards' as the best-ever episode of 'Game Of Thrones'. Daenarys’ stunning dragon attack on the slave masters. Lyanna Mormont’s death stare. Rickon’s shocking demise (and tragic inability to zigzag). Jon Snow standing alone against the massed Bolton cavalry. Jon Snow covered in mud. Wun Wun the giant literally tearing a dude in half. Jon Snow battling his way through mountains of dead bodies. Sansa and Littlefinger turning up with the Knights of the Vale. Tormund Giantsbane literally biting a dude’s ear off. Jon Snow laying chase to Ramsay Bolton and punching his smug mug in. Just everything about Jon Snow. But ultimately the most satisfying moment came at the very end, when Sansa let loose Ramsay’s own starving dogs onto her tormentor. Sansa had infamously been subjected to his brutality in season five and this was the revenge we wanted, we needed, we craved. To top it off Sansa did the classic 'Good Guys Don’t Look Back' move, striding out of the stables as Ramsay was being savaged with her head held high and a wry smile curling at her lips. Arya’s murders were satisfying, but then we always knew Arya had the soul of an assassin. The elder Stark daughter began the show as a stuck-up, whiny, bratty, entitled princess. Her evolution into Sansa Fierce is the more complex of the two characters’ journeys, making her revenge the most satisfying of them all. Valar morghulis!
'Lord Of The Thrones' plays Metro Arts on 19 August.