Over the past six seasons of Game of Thrones, you've probably lost track of how many people have died. Deaths blur together in an endless string of battle scenes, fights on the streets outside of King's Landing, public executions, and ridiculously creative murders.
At this point, we've lost so many characters — from minor players to major game-changers — the violence might seem utterly gratuitous and unnecessary. While compiling this bloody, murderous, mutinous list, I had to ask myself: Why do I watch this torturous show?
And yet, as I realized while reviewing the seasons, each death actually holds tremendous importance in keeping the wheels of the plot turning. Every death matters. So, while this may be little comfort for those of us still mourning Khal Drogo, at least we can respect the old gods and new for creating a show that fits together with such precision.
Before season 7 begins, here's your best bet for catching up on past action — and opening up old wounds.
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