The only thing better than staying on a popular and acclaimed series for years is getting killed off that series in spectacular fashion. And when the acclaimed show happens to be HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” those deaths can get pretty wild.
“Any death you want your character to have, you want it to be as memorable as (possible),” says John Bradley, who plays Samwell Tarly in the series.
Isaac Hempstead-Wright, who plays Bran Stark, agrees. “If I’m gonna go in ‘Game of Thrones’ I want it to be (special).”
The series has had no shortage of shocking and visceral death scenes over its first seven seasons, and will likely add in a few dozen or so more in Season 8 (Sundays, 9 EDT/PDT), although there were no major departures in Sunday's premiere. And while the actors from the series couldn’t tell us who will live and who will die, they told us which death scenes they’d love their character to have.
Unsurprisingly, a popular response was the Season 4 scene where The Mountain (Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson) crushed Oberyn Martell’s (Pedro Pascal) head like a rotten watermelon, truly the series’ most gruesome death to date.
“It’s gotta be Oberyn Martell’s,” says Hempstead-Wright. “The whole (makes a crushing sound) thumbs through the eyes.”
His onscreen sisters Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) and Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) were also down to get thumbs through their characters’ eyes.
“When that guy was squished in the head,” Williams says.
“Oberyn. Yeah, me too,” Turner agrees.
“I want to get my head crushed,” says Liam Cunningham, the actor behind Davos Seaworth. “That’d be really cool. I always wanted to do a whole prosthetic thing. I’ve never done that.”
Bradley was also in the Oberyn corner.
“The way Oberyn Martell died, I’d like to see a couple more people die that way, just because of the visceral reaction that it got,” Bradley says. “Once you see that, it’s going to stay with you.”
There were a few other exciting death scenes the actors loved, including from Season 3’s infamous Red Wedding.
“In terms of performance, Michelle Fairley’s (Catelyn Stark’s) death at the Red Wedding was one of the most arresting and affecting performances that I’ve seen,” says Gwendoline Christie, who plays Brienne of Tarth. “I thought she was sensational, and I would hope for something on that scale, although I fear I might not be able to achieve it.”
Jacob Anderson (Grey Worm) also thought the Red Wedding would mark a fitting end for his character.
“I feel like if Grey Worm was at the Red Wedding, it would have been a bit awkward because it’s all quite confined, if he had his spear,” he says. “That’s how he would die! Because his spear would get caught in the walls and in the ceilings and he’d get stabbed in the side.”
But not everyone wants to get crushed or stabbed.
“Maester Aemon (Peter Vaughan) dying of old age,” is Hannah Murray's pick. “I just want to be a bit of a wimp and go like that,” says Murray, who plays Gilly.
“So rare! It never happens: old age on this show,” Bradley jokes.
Elsewhere on 'Game of Thrones':
- The actors pick romantic partners for their characters
- Our guide to every single thing you need to remember from the first seven seasons
- Get recaps and more delivered to your inbox every Monday
- All 67 episodes, definitively ranked
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: ‘Game of Thrones’ stars pick their favorite death scenes