“Game of Thrones” is a show that isn’t afraid to cross lines. Incest, ultraviolence and sexual assault are all things that both the show and George R.R. Martin‘s books have tapped for narrative and shock value. TheWrap takes a look back at some of the most infamous cringe-inducing moments, starting with a certain baby killer.
15. “Do you love me, Reek?” A shockingly merciful moment from Ramsay Bolton turned into a creepy one quickly. Ramsay was only testing to see just how well Theon Greyjoy had been brainwashed into loving his tormentor and accepting his identity as Reek. If you expect this to be the only time Ramsay appears on this list, you haven’t been paying attention.
14. The wights invade Hardhome
The armies of the Night’s King make the walkers in “The Walking Dead” look like cupcakes. Icy blue and in various states of decay, the wights were scary enough when there was just one of them. A legion of them looks unstoppable.
Cersei’s walk of atonement is one of the few moments we can actually feel bad for her. It’s easy to say that she got herself into the mess by trying to manipulate the High Septon and get Maergery in trouble for far less than she’s done, but Lena Headey’s performance in the scene makes us sympathize for the power-hungry Queen.
Tyrion’s trial for Joffrey’s murder ends in a trial by combat with The Mountain fighting for Cersei and The Viper fighting for Tyrion (that’s Ser Gregor Clegane and Oberyn Martell). We know we can expect battle scenes in GOT (and we love them), but Oberyn’s smashed eyes at the end of the one-on-one fight is the definition of cringe-y.
11. “I am the blood of the dragon”
As part of a Dothraki rite of passage for pregnant women, Daenerys had to eat an entire raw heart taken fresh from the chest of a stallion. All the scene needed was Joe Rogan yelling at her to chew and swallow and it would have been something out of “Fear Factor.”
We’re kind of used to the incestuous relationship between Cersei and Jaime Lannister, but when Jon Snow and the Night’s Watch visit Craster’s Keep on the other side of the wall, the incest is even grosser. Craster marries his daughters and then has more daughters with them, and sacrifices any boys that are born to the White Walkers.
9. The Sack of Moat Cailin — Ramsay strikes again. After a brainwashed Theon promises them mercy if they surrender, the ironborn of Moat Cailin are massacred by Ramsay’s forces. The betrayal is portrayed through gruesome shots of the flayed corpses the Boltons leave behind them.
8. Need a hand, Jaime?
“Game of Thrones” fans wanted Jaime to pay for crippling Bran and killing Ned’s men in Season 1. Be careful what you wish for. The Kingslayer’s forced amputation by the Brave Companions is something few would wish upon anyone.
7. Shadow Child
Few moments of death in “Game of Thrones” were as creepy as the moment when Melisandre gave life. Jaws dropped everywhere when a living shadow poured out of The Red Woman’s womb and set out to kill Renly Baratheon.
One of the most infamous scenes from the show, the wedding between Edmure Tully and Roslin Frey results in a bloodbath when Lord Walder Frey betrays the Starks (because it was supposed to be Robb marrying his daughter). Robb Stark’s head gets replaced with his direwolf’s, Catelyn Stark’s throat is slit and Robb’s wife Talisa gets her pregnant belly stabbed.
5. Jaime rapes Cersei
It’s already creepy enough that Joffrey is the product of incest between Jaime and Cersei. It gets even more creepy when the twins have sex next to the corpse of their dead son. Throw in the TV writers’ decision to change the scene so Jaime is forcing himself on his sister, and the scene becomes utterly sickening.
We already know that Melisandre is ruthless when it comes to her faith in the Lord of Light. But she’s responsible for one of the most disturbing–and saddest–moment in the series. In Season 5, she sacrifices Stannis Baratheon’s daughter Shireen to R’hollor by burning her alive.
3. “I prefer to be an only child”
In Season 6, Ramsay lost confidence that he would hold on to his status as Roose Bolton’s heir. So he decided to kill his father in cold blood … and then set the dogs on Roose’s wife and newborn child. Yes, Ramsay is willing to kill babies to get what he wants.
2. Torturing Theon
We could make a whole list based on what Ramsay does to Theon, but we’ll compile it all together here. His atrocities include (but are not limited to) flaying and chopping off Theon’s finger, castrating him, sending his genitals to Balon Greyjoy, brainwashing him, and forcing him to watch the #1 moment on our list.
1. Sansa’s rape
Yes, the Bastard of Bolton takes gold, silver and bronze here, with the crown going to the controversial rape scene in Season 5. Sansa wasn’t the victim in the books, but became Ramsay’s abused wife after the writers called an audible. The story outraged fans everywhere, with claims that the rape served no narrative purpose and just told us what we already knew: Ramsay is the devil.