9 Most Shocking Game of Thrones Deaths: Where Does Oberyn Rank?

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If you didn't catch last night's Game of Thrones, well, sorry for the spoiler, but Oberyn Martell checked out in pretty much the most gruesome fashion imaginable.

As we told you in our Oberyn vs. Gregor Clegane pre-fight coverage, The Red Viper didn't stand much of a chance against a dude who very much earns the nickname, The Mountain, so it wasn't so much that the revenge-fueled Dornishman got offed that's surprising, but more the way in which it happened (out of respect for the squeamish, we won't rehash the details).

But only in the uber-gory world of Westeros could a death like Oberyn's actually have competition in terms of most shocking send-off.

On GoT, characters so minor they don't even have names get shuffled off the mortal coil in brutal ways that other shows would reserve for their most heinous villains.

Worse, though, is when GRRM and company kill off a main, beloved character that fans rightfully expect to receive the happiest of endings.

While Oberyn's death may take the cake in terms of sheer goriness, it doesn't quite compare to the Red Wedding or the execution of Ned Stark in terms of moments that dropped jaws and likely flooded producers' inboxes with hate mail. 

But the fact that cruel fates are suffered by beloved fan-favorites is part of why GoT packs such an emotional impact. No other series has so vividly reminded us of the randomness of life and death, or the fact that sometimes the very worst things imaginable happen to good people. 

When a bad guy dies on a network cop show, it makes you feel that all is right with the world. When the families that you're rooting for on GoT start dropping like flies, it drives home the point that despite your best preparations, one day winter will come. 

So check out the gallery above for a list of GoT's best bucket-kickings, and then lighten the mood by enjoying some of the show's best insults below.

And of course, you can always watch Game of Thrones online at TV Fanatic to fully satisfy your bloodlust.