We're EXTREMELY EXCITED here at Gadget Inspector HQ right now. Why? Because Game of Thrones is back in less than a week!
Everyone's favourite family-unfriendly fantasy show will return to UK screens on Monday the 25th of April. While you wait for the Season 6 premiere, why not fire up that awesome theme song
and join us on a trip down memory lane as we revisit GoT
's ten most shocking plot twists to date?
MASSIVE SPOILERS AHEAD, obviously. Don't read on unless you've watched the first 5 seasons of Game of Thrones.
Still here? Marvellous - let's get stuck in:
1. Ned loses his head
Eddard Stark confesses to a crime he didn't commit in the hope that King Joffrey Baratheon will show him mercy and allow him to live out his days as a member of the Night's Watch. To the horror of pretty much everyone present (not least Ned's daughter Sansa), he's executed anyway. In hindsight, it seems daft that 'Sean Bean dies' was a plot twist we failed to see coming. But how many other TV shows have killed off the hero (not to mention the biggest name on the cast list) within the first 10 episodes?
2. Renly literally can't escape the shadow of his big brother
(S2E5, The Ghost of Harrenhal)
Season 2 of GoT was all about the War of the Five Kings, which saw a whole bunch of different people vying for control of/freedom from the Iron Throne. The first of those 'five kings' to bite the bullet was Renly Baratheon, who in The Ghost of Harrenhal was murdered by a shadow that looked suspiciously like his older brother Stannis. This moment was memorable not only because it featured the death of a fairly major character, but because it gave us a chilling glimpse of what Melisandre (Stannis's priestess/booty call) was capable of magicking up.
3. Need a hand, Jaime?
(S3E3, Walk of Punishment)
Jaime Lannister - who, until this point, has been hyped up as one of the top fighters in Westeros - is being held captive by a bunch of Northmen. One of them, Locke, decides that he's sick of hearing Ol' Jim talk about his daddy's riches, and so he cuts his hand off. As you do. Completely unexpected though this scene was, American rock band The Hold Steady popping up to play over the end credits immediately afterwards was even more so. A real 'WTF?' moment in every regard.
4. The Red Wedding
(S3E9, The Rains of Castamere)
Need we say more?
5. Joffrey dies (and about time, too!)
(S4E2, The Lion and The Rose)
Westeros has never been short on nasty pieces of work, but from Season 1 onwards, Joffrey Baratheon was the GoT character that we all loved to hate. As main character after main character bit the dust, Joffrey - inexplicably and infuriatingly - remained unmurdered for a staggering thirty-one episodes. Then he made the rookie mistake of getting married, and naturally he was poisoned to death at the reception. Never has the death of a frightened teenage boy made so many people so happy.
6. Someone's got a crush on Oberyn Martell
(S4E8, The Mountain and The Viper)
Oh, Prince Oberyn. You were so close. We were all rooting for you - why couldn't you have stood just a little further away from that big Icelandic bodybuilder? Tyrion's hotly-anticipated trial by combat could have ended very differently, and for a moment there, it looked as if The Red Viper was going to pull it off; sadly, though, his Montoya-esque thirst for revenge got the better of him, and instead of a rousing victory we were treated to one of the most graphically gruesome deaths of the entire series (and let's face it, Westeros isn't exactly Smurf Village at the best of times).
7. Ygritte bows out
(S4E9, The Watchers on the Wall)
The penultimate episode of Season 4 was entirely dedicated to the epic battle between the wildlings and the Night's Watch that by this point had been brewing for a couple of seasons. Many characters were lost in the skirmish - some of them even had names! - but Ygritte 'You Knorr Nothin, Jon Snorr' McWildling is the one we've missed most since. The relationship between Jon and Ygritte had seemingly come to an abrupt end in the Season 3 finale when she put several arrows in him, yet it was somehow still kind of heartbreaking to see her dying in his arms (dying, ironically enough, of an arrow wound).
8. Winter finally comes
Ned Stark was telling everyone that winter was coming way back in the Game of Thrones series premiere (named, appropriately enough, Winter is Coming). 47 episodes later, long after Ilyn Payne's sword turned Ned Stark into Head Stark, winter finally arrived. Yes, it was a long wait - there's a reason they're not called White Sprinters - but boy was this scene worth it. 20 solid minutes of swordplay, tension, and zombies, all capped by that spectacularly creepy bit where the Night's King (pictured above) silently commands the slain wildlings to rise from the dead and join his unholy, unhurried army. Yikes.
9. Stannis Baratheon: Worst Dad in Westeros
(S5E9, The Dance of Dragons)
If your fondness for Stannis Baratheon survived all of his previous crimes (see point 2), this was probably the point at which you threw up your hands and said 'yeah, I'm done with this guy'. Stannis, preparing an attack on Winterfell, is worried that the wintry weather and his men's exhaustion will cost him the fight against the Boltons. So what does he do? On the advice of Melisandre, he burns his daughter Shireen at the stake, watching stoically as she screams for a rescue that never comes. Of course, this gambit backfires completely - the sight of a dude roasting his own child unsurprisingly prompts a fair chunk of Stannis's army to leave, taking the horses with them and leading to a complete whitewash of a battle in the next episode, Mother's Mercy. We'd say 'good', but the winners of that battle were the Boltons, a family so nasty they make Stannis 'Father of the Year' Baratheon look like the good guy.
10. For the watch!
(S5E10, Mother's Mercy)
If there's one question that's been playing on every GoT fan's mind for the last 10 months, it's the one regarding whether or not Jon Snow is still alive. The Season 6 finale turned Ned Stark's bastard into something of a Schrödinger's cat (or Schrödinger's crow, if you will); we last saw Jon lying on the ground, bleeding profusely having just been stabbed by his Night's Watch colleagues and that kid who killed his ex-girlfriend. Jon has been one of the show's central characters since Season 1, so this is a contender for the most shocking plot twist yet...if he really is dead. We're still hoping that he isn't - either way, we'll find out for sure on Monday.