The man behind all those bloody plot twists and tragic deaths has spoken out about why your faves have to die on Game of Thrones, and it's not pretty.
In a recent interview with sci-fi and fantasy magazine Galaxy's Edge, the man who created Westeros, George R.R. Martin, said his seemingly coldhearted eagerness to kill off beloved characters is simply a matter of honesty:
"I think a writer, even a fantasy writer, has an obligation to tell the truth and the truth is, as we say in Game of Thrones, all men must die. Particularly if you're writing about war, which is certainly a central subject in Game of Thrones ... You can't write about war and violence without having death. If you want to be honest it should affect your main characters."
Martin even threw some shade on those saccharine-sweet fantasy novels where all the main characters get to live:
"We've all read this story a million times when a bunch of heroes set out on adventure and it's the hero and his best friend and his girlfriend and they go through amazing hair-raising adventures and none of them die," Martin said.
"The only ones who die are extras," the writer continued. "That's such a cheat. It doesn't happen that way. They go into battle and their best friend dies or they get horribly wounded. They lose their leg or death comes at them unexpectedly."
Martin summed up his cheery philosophy about death this way: "Death is so arbitrary. It's always there. It's coming for all of us. We're all going to die. I'm going to die. You're going to die."
Valar morghulis, indeed.