5. George R.R. Martin’s world is no place for a horse.

As fans learned by season’s end, no one is safe on Game Of Thrones. Little kids are vulnerable to attacks, adult men can smack teenage girls in the face, and major characters can die brutally. But perhaps the least fortunate species is the equus feras caballlus, which is how Martin’s characters would most likely refer to horses, since their speech is much more dignified than ours.

If horses were just used as transportation, Mr. Ed’s ancestors wouldn’t have it all that bad in Westeros, but no—Martin has a thing for slaughtering the harmless mammals, typically when the audience least expects it. This knack for killing off the show’s equestrian-minded co-stars really hit home in episode five, “The Wolf And The Lion”; in it, a particularly graphic jousting match culminates in one pissed-off combatant decapitating his horse just for the fuck of it.

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