Why Game of Thrones Is The Best Horror Show on TV


First off, I’d like to say that if you’re not watching Game of Thrones, then you need to get on that. Like, now. I was a little hesitant at first, but after being coerced into watching it from my family, I was hooked. Now I know Game of Thrones is usually associated with fantasy and action, but it actually shares a LOT on common with horror movies/television shows. There are spoilers here, so sorry if you haven’t watched it yet (even though it’s actually your own fault for not watching because it’s one of the best shows ever.)

1. White walkers

White walkers make an appearance in the first episode. They are pretty creepy looking, with pale skin and almost unnaturally blue eyes. Basically, their whole deal is they can resurrect the dead to work as their servants. The people of Westeros see white walkers as either mythical creatures, or as an instinct species. Whether they are real or not (oh they’re definitely real,) people find security in the Wall, which is guarded by the brave men of the Night’s Watch.

They are said to be nocturnal, and attacked over eight thousand years before the series begins, in one long and dark winter. Oh, and if you’re unfamiliar with how seasons work in their universe, winters and summers can last years and years. In the series, winter is coming (some people should get that reference) and it is highly possible that they will return to Westeros to finish what they started.


2. Joffrey is horrifying

King Joffrey Baratheon is seriously one of the most fucked up kids ever. He’s like literally up there with Damien Thorn (The Omen) and Malaki (Children of the Corn.) Firstly, he beheaded Ned Stark, who was one of the very few honorable men in Westeros. He also did this in public, and in front of his fiancé who happened to be Ned’s daughter. And it doesn’t end there, he also forced her to look at her father’s severed head on a spike.

The way he treats his “beloved” doesn’t get better from there. He also has her stripped and beaten in court, and leaves her in the streets to be raped and killed during a riot—which he started. Luckily she was saved before it got too bad, but still. Oh, and there was that one scene with the two prostitutes. If you’ve watched it, you know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s definitely one of those scenes that haunts you forever.

3. Gratuitous blood and gore

It’s an HBO series, so of course they get to be over the top with the blood and gore. The fight scenes are intense and pretty graphic. There is little mystery when it comes to people being slaughtered. They actually have a scene that consists of the extremely badass Khal Drogo giving a guy a Columbian necktie (pulling his tongue out through his slit throat.) There are more intense scenes than that too. There is a lot of sword fighting as well, which usually ends up being a bloody mess.


4. Gratuitous sex and nudity

Horror movies definitely have a reputation for being a little heavy-handed on the sex scenes and nudity. That might be the only aspect of horror that I dislike because a lot of the time it seems totally unnecessary. Game of Thrones also does not hold back on their “love” scenes.

Brothels are kind of a big deal in Westeros, so you see a lot of prostitution going on. It’s not just female nudity either. There’s been a few full-frontal scenes with the male actors as well. There’s also an incest scene, which didn’t have any nudity, but you definitely know what the deal is.


5. People are always in danger of losing their lives

Like most horror movies, people are capable of being killed off at any moment, even the major characters. Seriously, everyone just wants to kill everyone in Westeros. Ned Stark was killed in the first season, and he was a pretty big character. Little Arya Stark has an ongoing list of people she wants to kill, and she’s only like nine or ten.

The Lannister’s want to kill anyone that stands between them and the Iron Throne, and the Tyrell’s want to destroy Stannis Baratheon and his army. It seriously never ends and you honestly never know when your favorite character is going to die off (unless you read the books, that is.)


6. Misunderstood villains

Looking back at movies like A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the Thirteenth, what characters come to mind? That’s right Freddy and Jason. We all know they are horrible characters, but we love them anyway (or is that just me?) Game of Thrones is really good at creating villains that you fall in love with. For example, Jamie Lannister is a dick. Not only is he sleeping with his twin sister (yes, you read that right) but he also pushed a little kid off a high tower for witnessing the act. Yet here we are, in the middle of the third season, feeling sorry for his stump of a right hand and maybe secretly wanting him a Brienne of Tarth to get together.

Or there’s Sandor “The Hound” Clegane, the sworn shield of the ruthless King Joffrey (before he basically told him to fuck off) who kills on command, no questions asked. But you hear the story of his horrible childhood and see how he tries to protect Sansa, and by season three episode five, you are cheering him on as he faces his biggest fear, fire, to save his life. And don’t even get me started on my mixed feelings towards Cersei.

Is she really a concerned mother? Or just a bitch? You really never know how to feel about all the villains in Westeros, bringing me to my next and final reason why Game of Thrones is actually horror…


7. Everyone is the killer

As I said earlier, people are ALWAYS in danger of losing their lives. Even the good guys can be killers—depending on what side of the war you’re on, that is! But seriously, even Ned Stark killed a guy in the first episode. You can even request a “trial by combat,” in which you can prove your innocence by fighting for your life—and ending some else’s.

Almost everyone in the series kills in some way, at some point, whether it is by running a sword across their throat, or commanding someone else to do it, it gets done. Westeros is a dangerous place, where trust is rare and backstabbing is common, and you honestly never know when someone will turn on their allies and leave them for dead.


So basically, I think it’s pretty safe to say that Game of Thrones should be considered a horror series. If you don’t watch the show and decided to read this article anyway, sorry for the spoilers (not really, because I warned you.) But really, horror fans will love this show for the reasons I have listed—and perhaps others as well! Let me know in the comments if there are any other reasons you can think of that connects Game of Thrones with horror!

Also, I haven’t read the books, so this is solely based on the HBO television show. If you have HBO GO, you can watch all the episodes there! If you’re like me (with no life,) it should take you less than a day to catch up to season three!


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      1. Herner Klenthur May 3, 2013 at 11:42 pm

        I just finished Season 2 of game of thrones and was thinking how it was a damn fine fantasy gorefest and the White Walker / Zombies are awesome. GREAT Editorial.

      2. K Hutch (@72nivek) May 4, 2013 at 2:58 am

        I agree, its an awesome show. Looking forward to Kahleesis army to really get going. The nipple cutting scene was cringe worthy too.

      3. bob101910 May 4, 2013 at 4:53 am

        The 1st episode was a free rental at Family Video a long time ago, but I couldn’t get into it. I think it was a little too much going on all over the place for my little brain. Don’t have HBO either, but I’m sure I’d find it online somewhere if I tried. I’d give it a shot if it came to Netflix though with all the episodes at once.

      4. Dennis Francis May 4, 2013 at 9:42 am

        First Im going to apologize to any comments that might offend you.

        Ok, well…

        1) This article could have been written without the spoiler. Great job but seriously title was misleading. Ive seen all of the series and the spoilers dont bother me but to those who have not seen it are going to be a little meh about being spoiled.

        2) The white walkers have only made 3-4 appearances and even at that. They have been kind of run down and washed out compared to the books.

        3) In my opinion (and of course you are entitled to yours) I feel that Joffery and other Lannisters and the Hound are not horror. They are merely people trying to survive and live in a world that THEY only believe in.

        Its a lot like the real world. In the medieval era a lot of what happened and how people (mostly of royalty) acted was what was either taught or common knowledge.

        Good article just again felt misleading. I can explain more on the “horror” of the show but I cannot with out spoiling it for anyone who hasnt seen it.

        • Herner Klenthur May 4, 2013 at 12:58 pm

          She did say in the first paragraph it would have spoilers :)

        • Dennis Francis May 4, 2013 at 10:08 pm

          I totally misread that. My apologies.

        • Herner Klenthur May 5, 2013 at 11:24 am

          no worries :)

        • Ash May 5, 2013 at 9:41 am

          Dennis on point 3)
          – you make an interesting point about the origins of behaviour in medieval times, but there is no denying the world in which they live in is horrific, regardless of reasoning their behaviour, medieval times was barbaric and thus like horror.

      5. Dennis Francis May 6, 2013 at 7:02 pm


        I guess from a normal standpoint it can very well be horror. For all us horror fans, we have no “normal” minds haha.

        Had we have lived in the era that Game of Thrones supposedly takes place in, then it would be normal for us.

        Im a huge fantasy/medieval fan. Ive been in love with it since I was a child (im 27 now) and I have spent many years on history of that era.

        With that said I guess personally Im not horrified from the era because I understand what they had to go through and what was common for them.

        Its like the present. Its terrifying knowing how the world is today we yet we arent truly horrified because we understand what is going on around us.

      6. Ash May 7, 2013 at 9:48 pm

        I see your point Dennis and you clearly have extended knowledge on the subject. I could say more but won’t with fear of getting all political on this web site :)
        I think what you have said is very interesting. Thanks for your comments as always – even if you think the Leprechaun movie is better than the original SAW. You will never live that one down I’m afraid :)

        • Dennis Francis May 9, 2013 at 9:42 am

          LMAO oh god we will not start talking about Leprechaun or Saw.

          That will forever RIP haha

          (Leprechaun is better) TSK TSK