The 10 most absolutely shocking moments from Game of Thrones

It has never shied away from controversy, but these ten GOT moments are truly jaw-dropping.

Since Game of Thrones premiered in 2011, it’s fair to say television has never been quite the same! We’ve seen incest, murder, unexpected beheadings, extreme torture – and that’s just season one!

A worldwide phenomenon, Game of Thrones has consistently pushed the envelope and surprised audiences with its shocking cullings of major characters and horrific death scenes.

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Here’s what we think are ten of the absolutely most shocking Game of Thrones scenes to date.

1. The Red Wedding

Who can forget The Red Wedding? If you’ve seen it we don’t need to say more and if you haven’t you really have to see it to believe this incredible gore-fest. In one swift moment, key characters are murdered in a horrific betrayal now considered one of the most shocking moments in TV history.

2. Ramsay & Sansa’s Wedding Night

The disgusting Ramsay Bolton, the bastard son of Roose Bolton, is married to poor Sansa in an arranged union of the houses of Bolton and Stark. However, Ramsay quickly goes back on his promise to never hurt her, with horrific results.

3. Theon’s emasculation

Ramsay is unsurprisingly straight back on the list, this time for orchestrating the chopping off of Theon’s pride and joy. Theon has shown himself to be a highly unlikeable character up to this scene of GOT, but it’s hard not to feel major sympathy for him when he’s robbed of his manhood.

While Theon is captured by Ramsay and is kept as a prisoner, Ramsay severs Theon’s appendage and proceeds to taunt him with... let’s just say, a specific item of food. Shocking and gross, it’s hard to un-see and forget this cringe-tastic scene.

[Read more: A beginner's guide to Game of Thrones]

4. The beheading of Ned Stark

Ned Stark – heroic, noble, head of the Stark household and played by the Emmy award-winning actor Sean Bean. He was a solid fan favourite in the first season – only to be beheaded in its last episode on the orders of the odious King Joffrey.

Setting the tone that no character is ever truly safe from being killed off in Game of Thrones, this was one of the first of the show’s scenes to well and truly shock audiences far and wide.

5. Tyrion’s killing rampage

Many fans see Tyrion as one of the few genuinely likeable characters on Game of Thrones. He’s extremely intelligent, funny and seems to be one of the few characters that has a moral compass.

But it all got too much for Tyrion in season 4 when he discovered that his beloved mistress Shae had slept with his father Tywin. Of course, anyone would be angry about this, but it’s especially hard for Tyrion to take as his dad has shamed Tyrion for his promiscuity and always doubted his abilities.

Tyrion’s seeks revenge by going on something of a rampage, strangling Shae and murdering his own father with a bow and arrow, while Tywin sits - ironically - on his own throne - the castle privy.

6. Bran Stark pushed through a window

Poor Bran Stark is simply playing in his castle’s grounds when he discovers Cersei and Jaime Lannister getting it on in broad daylight outside.

This would be a shocking sight for any young boy, but it’s particularly appalling for him as Cersei and Jaime are siblings – twins in fact. Jaime tries to cover up the discovery by pushing Bran out of the window he’s spying on them from. Fortunately, this doesn’t kill off the psychic Bran, but  it does leave him crippled.

7. Ramsay gets his karma

As we’ve said no one is ever safe on Game of Thrones – and Ramsay was absolutely no exception. When Sansa and Jon Snow team together to overpower Ramsay’s house, they imprison him in his own dungeon. What Sansa does next as punishment is satisfying revenge but truly shocking, and a massive turning point for her character.

8. Viserys’s death

In her early years, Daenerys had to deal with her entitled and annoying brother. He’s determined to become king, and Daenerys’s hunky new husband Khal Drogo gets tired of his brattish ways and crowns him with a head of molten gold. While many of us were happy to see the last of Viserys, it was nevertheless a horribly painful way to die.

9. Daenerys eats a horse’s heart

After Daenerys discovers she’s pregnant with Drogo’s child, she’s ordered by the Dosh Khaleen to eat a raw horse’s heart. Their legend has it that if she is able to eat its entirety, then she will have a healthy baby boy but if she doesn’t this is an omen for both the child and their entire community.

Fortunately, Daenerys is a trooper and devours the entire thing, and declares that this proves she will have a strong, healthy son who shall be “The Stallion Who Mounts the World.”

10. Shireen’s horrific fate

We’ve saved one of Game of Thrones darkest moments for last, when poor Shireen Baratheon meets her horrific end. Shireen, affected by the skin disease greyscale all her life, has led a pretty bleak life as the only Princess and daughter of Stannis Baratheon. She lives in virtual isolation and her only friend seems to be the sweet, middle-aged Davos.

Things go from bad to worse for little Shireen when Melisandre convinces Stannis that sacrificing Shireen will guarantee victory at his upcoming battles, and help him inch closer toward claiming The Iron Throne.

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