7. Beheaded by a Power-Mad Boy King
Who: Eddard (Ned) Stark
Gory details: When Ned warns Cersei that he knows her children are the product of her incestuous relationship with her twin brother Jaime, the Lannisters ensure the Warden of the North's days are numbered. Joffrey, delighted that he has an early opportunity to do something vile, orders Ned's execution. His head is sliced off with his own sword, Ice, in front of a bloodthirsty crowd that includes his two daughters. The head is later placed on a spike lining Traitor's Walk to rot in the summer sun of King's Landing and generally gross out everyone.
Narrative importance: Ned's son, Robb, is proclaimed the King in the North by his bannerman, who refuse to accept Joffrey as king.
Degree of difficulty: Easy to kill, intermediate to orchestrate. Ser Ilyn Payn carries out the actual chopping, but Joffrey is careful to give the order at a climactic moment, when a savage crowd will back him and his mother and grandfather stand powerless.
Creativity scale: 5