- "In the name of Robert of the House Baratheon, First of His Name, King of the Andals and the First Men, Lord of the Seven Kingdoms, and Protector of the Realm, I, Eddard of the House Stark, Lord of Winterfell and Warden of the North, sentence you to die."
- ―Ned Stark sentences Will to death for deserting the Night's Watch.
Execution is the punishment of a crime through death. It is often performed in public as a means of enforcing authority or demoralizing political dissent, particularly in times of political instability.
Noblemen are often executed by beheading - which is considered to be more quick and humane than a comparatively slow death by hanging, which is normally meted out to lowborn criminals (and thus it is considered more humiliating for a nobleman to be hanged), or crucifixion.
- The North: Sentences are usually carried out by the lords themselves, holding to the tenet of the First Men that "he who passes the sentence should swing the sword" (perhaps the purpose of this rule is that the lords should not be too hasty in issuing death sentences). In cases where the death sentence applies to a large group of people, hanging or other methods may be carried out by the lord's retainers.
- The "South": Sentences are usually carried out by headsmen or torturers. In the case of the King's Landing itself, sentences are carried out by the King's Justice, a royal executioner.
- In the Eyrie, executions are not carried out by headsmen, instead the Moon Door is used to drop criminals below the arch of the mountain atop of which the castle was built.
- In the Iron Islands, criminals who have attempted to kill a major lord can be punished by being tied down on the beach at low tide, then leaving them there to slowly drown, watching for hours as death creeps closer to them one inch at a time.
Crimes punished through execution
Even though there are no laws that actually limit execution, there are a number of crimes that are stated to result in execution:
Execution may be avoided if the culprit chooses to join the Night's Watch. In the case of members of the Night's Watch, the punishment for these crimes is death, particularly in cases of desertion.
- George R.R. Martin has stated that if a woman commits a crime punishable by death, because women cannot join the Night's Watch, the woman is usually given the choice to join the monastic order of the Silent Sisters instead.
List of executions
- Queen Rhaenyra Targaryen, fed to the dragon Sunfyre by her half-brother, King Aegon II Targaryen.
- Lord Rickard Stark, burned alive with wildfire by Wisdom Rossart under orders of Aerys II for alleged treason.
- Brandon Stark, for threatening the life of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen. Strapped to a choking device and strangled himself to death trying to reach a sword to release his father Rickard as he was burned alive.
- Will, for deserting his post at the Night's Watch. Beheaded by Lord Eddard Stark with Ice.
- The wineseller, dragged by Daenerys Targaryen's horse until his death under the orders of Khal Drogo for trying to kill his Khaleesi and unborn child.
- Lord Eddard Stark, beheaded for treason by Ser Ilyn Payne with his own sword Ice under orders of King Joffrey Baratheon.
- Lord Beric Dondarrion, hanged and stabbed through the eye by Lannister soldiers for treason. Later resurrected - for the fifth time - by Thoros of Myr, however.
- Ser Rodrik Cassel, beheaded by Prince Theon Greyjoy after the fall of Winterfell at the urging of Dagmer Cleftjaw, for killing two of their fellow ironborn and openly spitting in Theon's face in plain view of all the people gathered.
- Lord Rickard Karstark, beheaded by king Robb Stark, under charges of treason.
- 163 Great Masters, crucified under orders of Daenerys Targaryen after conquering Meereen in retribution for the slave children crucified by the Great Masters.
- Arthur Glenmore, flayed and disemboweled by Ramsay Snow as punishment for Rodrik Forrester calling in the help of House Glenmore.
- Duncan Tuttle or Royland Degore, executed by Rodrik Forrester for betraying House Forrester and sending information to House Whitehill (player-determined).
- Ludd Whitehill or Gryff Whitehill, beheaded by Rodrik Forrester for declaring war against House Forrester during the Battle of Ironrath (player-determined).
- Lord Andros, beheaded on the orders of Cersei Lannister.
- Mira Forrester or Tom, beheaded for the murder of Damien.
- Lord Axell Florent, burned alive by Melisandre at Stannis's order for refusing to renounce the Seven.
- Mance Rayder, the King-Beyond-the-Wall, burned alive under orders of King Stannis Baratheon for attacking the Seven Kingdoms and mercy-killed by Jon Snow.
- Mossador, executed by Daario Naharis under the orders of Queen Daenerys Targaryen for killing a captive Son of the Harpy before his trial.
- Lord Janos Slynt, beheaded by Lord Commander Jon Snow for insubordination.
- Lord Medger Cerwyn, his wife, and his brother, flayed alive by Ramsay Bolton for tax evasion.
- Olly, Alliser Thorne, Bowen Marsh, and Othell Yarwyck, hanged by a resurrected Jon Snow for mutiny.
- Ramsay Bolton, fed to his own hounds after his defeat at the Battle of the Bastards for countless atrocities.
- Randyll Tarly and Dickon Tarly, burnt alive by Drogon, on Daenerys Targaryen's orders for refusing to bend the knee.
- Petyr Baelish, throat cut by Arya Stark, at the behest of her sister Sansa Stark, for multiple crimes: murdering their aunt Lysa Arryn, orchestrating the assassination of Jon Arryn, aiding the massacre in the Red Keep, and overall igniting the War of the Five Kings through lies and deceit.
- Missandei, captured as a prisoner of war during the battle at Dragonstone and beheaded by Gregor Clegane under the order of Cersei Lannister, for her association with Daenerys Targaryen.
- Varys, burned alive by Drogon on the orders of Daenerys Targaryen, for conspiring to depose her and put Jon Snow on the throne.
List of legally questionable executions
Below is a list of executions, which have been arguably performed without any legal authorization:
- King Stannis Baratheon, beheaded at Winterfell by Brienne of Tarth as a revenge for the murder of Renly Baratheon.
- Lem and two others, hanged by the Hound and the Brotherhood Without Banners for their unauthorized attack on Septon Ray's community.
- "Winter Is Coming"
- "You Win or You Die"
- "The Old Gods and the New"
- "Kissed by Fire"
- "Breaker of Chains"
- "The Lion and the Rose"
- "The Wars to Come"
- "The House of Black and White"
- "High Sparrow"
- "Battle of the Bastards"
- "The Dragon and the Wolf"
- "The Last of the Starks"
- "The Bells"
- "Mother's Mercy"
- "No One"