Game of Thrones Wiki


Game of Thrones Wiki
Game of Thrones Wiki
"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.[src]

Robb Stark preparing to execute Rickard Karstark.

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.

Execution customs

  • 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.
    • Historically, members of House Bolton executed their victims through torture, mutilation and flaying. They seemingly gave up the practice after pledging fealty to House Stark but supposedly continued it in secret until the rise of Ramsay Bolton.
  • 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

This particular section contains MAJOR spoilers for House of the Dragon. Anyone wishing to avoid spoilers for the upcoming prequel series should not click [Expand].

List of legally questionable executions

Below is a list of executions, which have been arguably performed without any legal authorization:


"Ser Ilyn, bring me his head!"
―King Joffrey Baratheon sentences Ned Stark to death for treason.[src]
"Rickard Karstark, Lord of Karhold, here in sight of Gods and men, I sentence you to die."
Robb Stark sentences Rickard Karstark to death for treason.[src]
"Your words will disappear. Your house will disappear. Your name will disappear. All memory of you will disappear."
Sansa Stark to Ramsay Bolton before he is executed by being fed to his own hounds.[src]
"Lord Randyll Tarly, Dickon Tarly. I Daenerys of House Targaryen, First of My Name, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons, sentence you to die."
Daenerys Targaryen sentences Randyll Tarly and Dickon Tarly burnt to death by Drogon for refusing to bend their knees.[src]
"When you brought me back to Winterfell, you told me there's no justice in the world unless we make it. Thank you for all the many lessons, Lord Baelish. I will never forget them."
Sansa Stark to Petyr Baelish, just before his execution.[src]