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Get Medieval: The Seven Most Awful Things People Did on ‘Game of Thrones’ Season One

Game of Thrones

Helen Sloan/Paul Schiraldi/HBO

WARNING: SPOILERS FOR SEASON ONE

When Game of Thrones returns for its second season on April 1st, kings will clash in the fight for the Iron Throne of Westeros. But when it comes to bad behavior on TV, there's no conflict whatsoever – Game of Thrones reigns supreme. Both the show and the series of books by George R.R. Martin on which it's based are unflinchingly brutal when it comes to depicting the by-any-means-necessary savagery of this fantasy world's power struggles and personal conflicts. GoT's willingness to Go There helped make it a critical and audience smash, but it also made the series' first season a catalogue of betrayals, beheadings, animal cruelty, and general inhumanity. And from the cutest baby wolves to the most famous cast members, no one was safe.

 Since the show's big on sevens – Seven Kingdoms, seven gods, seven hells, seven* full-frontal nude scenes (*approximate count) – we've assembled a list of the seven shittiest things people did during Season One. Attention all children, seasoned character actors, and horses planning to appear on Season Two: Don't say we didn't warn you.

By Sean T. Collins

HBO

3

Drogo rapes Daenerys (Episode 1, “Winter Is Coming”)

Women have it tough in the world of Game of Thrones, and none of the women we've met so far have it tougher than Daenerys. Used as a bargaining chip by her power-hungry older brother Viserys, Dany isn't so much the bride at her wedding to hulking warlord Drogo as she is one of his wedding presents. It's easy to forget by the end of the season, by which point Dany and Drogo's doomed relationship has bizarrely blossomed into a romance for the ages ("Moon of my life!" "My sun and stars!"), but their marriage begins in tears, and in one of the most difficult-to-watch scenes even sex-and-violence-soaked HBO has ever shown.

Helen Sloan/HBO

2

Jaime pushes Bran out the window (Episode 1, “Winter Is Coming”)

Whether you first encountered it in the books or the show, your reaction to this moment probably went something like this: "Hmm, this is a pretty interesting fantasy world, I guess I'll stick with it to see whaHOLY SHIT, HE DID WHAT?!?!" The attempted murder of a child to cover up royal incest is the first of the series' countless big shocks, and the place where it establishes its bonafides as a very adult take on the epic-fantasy genre. It's also magnificently cruel in its casualness: "The things I do for love," sighs sisterfucking/kingslaying Jaime Lannister to his slightly too-beloved sister Queen Cersei as he tosses ten-year-old Bran Stark to his likely death for having caught them in the act. Who says romance is dead?

Helen Sloan/HBO

1

Joffrey beheads Ned (Episode 9, “Baelor”)

This is the big one. A single swing of the royal executioner's sword kills off the show's best-known actor, eliminates the story's main character, and chucks the rules of television right out the window, Jaime-style. Here we learn that the world of Westeros is even less forgiving than we thought, and that Game of Thrones is playing for keeps. No wonder people freaked the eff out about it. All thanks to that repulsive little shit Joffrey – excuse me, King Joffrey, ugh – who calls his assholish audible in defiance of his desperate fiancée Sansa and scheming mother Cersei alike, cementing his place in the pantheon of TV villains you just want to watch get smacked in the face repeatedly.

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