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Top 10 Times Games of Thrones Really Crossed The Line

VO: Rebecca Brayton WRITTEN BY: Laura Keating
We sit down to every episode expecting to be shocked, but there are times Game of Thrones really crossed the line. For this list, we’ll be looking at the moments in this wildly popular HBO fantasy series that had audiences gasping, cringing, or turning off their screens in disgust. Even in a show that makes no bones about its raw edge and violence, there is such a thing as bad taste. WatchMojo ranks the times Games of Thrones really crossed the line. Do you think GoT ever went too far? Let us know in the comments!
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Even in a show that makes no bones about its raw edge and violence, there is such a thing as bad taste. Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be counting down the Top 10 Times Game of Thrones Really Crossed the Line.

For this list, we’ll be looking at the moments in this wildly popular HBO fantasy series that had audiences gasping, cringing, or turning off their screens in disgust – that said, mature content warning. Also, we’ll be going over some major plot points, so a spoiler warning is now in effect.

#10: Cersei, Jaime & Pushing Bran Out the Window


The very first episode had a lot of characters to establish, and it did a fantastic job of highlighting personalities while setting the tone for the coming season. We first see Bran as a curious and adventurous little boy – really, too curious for his own good. After climbing up an abandoned tower at Winterfell, he comes across a startling scene: The queen and her twin brother making the beast with two backs. Jaime stops him from running off and decides to resolve the matter by pushing the boy out the window. The surprising scene set up the “no one is safe” theme that the show became famous for. Fortunately, Bran survives, but ew Lannisters. Ew.

#9: The Mountain Kills His Horse


A commonly used method for giving a character official “Bad Guy” status is to demonstrate their negative attitude towards animals. This is generally done with a simple dislike of dogs (or some other villainous spurn), but when you’re talking about Ser Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane, everything is over the top. In the ultimate rage-quit, after losing a joust to Ser Loras Tyrell, he kills his mount with a blow from his great-sword. Poor horse! The disturbing death and poor sportsmanship is something of a buzzkill for the joust spectators. Of course, it wouldn’t be the last shocking death at the hands of The Mountain.

#8: Robin Breastfeeding


After taking Tyrion as her captive, Lady Catelyn Stark seeks shelter at the Eyrie, home of her sister Lysa Arryn. The Lady of the great house greets her guests in the audience room of the castle alongside her son Robin … who is actively breastfeeding despite being WAY too old for it. The look on everyone's’ faces says it all. Not only is it cringe-worthy enough to make audiences feel like throwing themselves out the Moon Door, we’re pretty sure that’s edging into abuse territory. Fortunately, a prosthetic boob was used for the scene. Still a wicked gross way to demonstrate that this lady is one raven short of a roost.

#7: Theon’s Torture


Of all the terrible character journeys, Theon has perhaps had it the worst. One could argue that he brought it on himself – betraying Robb, killing innocent children, his clumsy capture of Winterfell and beheading of Ser Rodrik – but seriously, karma... this might be overkill. Over the course of multiple episodes in season three, Theon is brutally tortured. The barbaric scenes do not let up and there is just something so horrible about someone frantically begging for mercy; it’s deeply disturbing. Of course, when you think it can’t get worse, Theon is viciously castrated. Tortured both physically and psychologically, Theon becomes husk of his former self and audiences were left shaken.

#6: Oberyn Martell's Death


By season four, audiences were starting to feel like they’d seen it all. The hardened viewers had watched their favorite characters die off (or just disappear); endured scenes of torture and betrayal; breathlessly and patiently awaited the Army of the Dead – and then this happened. Even those who had read the scene in the book and knew what was coming were shocked by the graphic nature of the moment. Ellaria Sand’s scream was all of us, to be honest. We knew not to get too attached to any one character, but seriously, this is audience abuse.

#5: Cersei's Walk of Atonement


Ruthless, manipulative, and ambitious though she is, Cersei’s motivation is her family and she will do anything for her children. When she is unable to control the monster she created in the High Sparrow, she is charged with high treason, fornication, and incest (among other things). As atonement, she is forced to walk naked and dirty, head shaved, back to the Red Keep, pelted with garbage and curses all the way. Considering that her charges were actually no worse than things most other characters in the show have done, and she’s the only one to be publicly humiliated for it, it’s hard not to feel a little sorry for the cruel queen.

#4: The Red Wedding


Perhaps the most infamous scene in the entire series. After the death of Eddard Stark, it looked like Robb was on-track to avenge his father and take the North back as its own kingdom. Having never lost a battle, the Young Wolf seemed unstoppable, despite making a few little miscalculations along the way. Michelle Fairley’s powerful performance only ratchets up the tension until the final, brutal cut. To this day, the haunting refrain of Rains of Castamere remains the melody of treachery and defeat. The abrupt end to the King in the North storyline shocked fans everywhere, and left viewers wondering upon whom they should pin their hopes moving forward.

#3: The Fate of Shireen Baratheon


One of the only truly innocent characters in the show, Shireen Baratheon, the only child of Stannis Baratheon, is sweet and kind to everyone she meets. As Stannis’ bid for the Throne continues to falter, Melisandre convinces him that the Lord of Light requires a sacrifice. Brought to the pyre, Shireen dies seeing her mother and father do nothing to save her - despite her heartbreaking pleas for help. Her mother, Selyse, belatedly tries to take it back, but it’s far too late. It is one of the hardest scenes to watch in the entire series, and we were more than happy to see Stannis meet Brienne in the very next episode.

#2: Jaime's Actions Towards Cersei Following Joffrey's Death


Finally returned to Kings Landing after a long captivity, Jaime finds Cersei in the Great Sept of Baelor mourning the death of their son, Joffrey. His comfort soon turns aggressive as he begins to force intercourse despite Cersei telling him to stop. The scene is even worse when you know that in the book the sex is consensual, meaning the show went out of its way to make it rape. The gratuitous scene caused a huge uproar amongst fans, with showrunners and producers doing some major damage control after the episode aired, claiming it was bad editing and camera work that made it LOOK like the intended consensual sex was assault. Right…

#1: What Happens to Sansa on Her Wedding Night


It’s been widely noted that Game of Thrones has a problem when it comes to rape and sexual portrayals of women. In a show that is well-cast with many excellent female characters, by season five it was apparent that there was a disproportionate and increasing rate of sexual assaults against them. To throw up hands and say “That’s just the story” is not good enough (or accurate), and audiences finally reached a breaking point with the rape of Sansa Stark. Like the other assault on this list, this part is not in the book, the showrunners literally wrote in an audibly graphic scene for no reason. You’ve got everyone’s attention… now do better.
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