Most uncomfortable Game of Thrones scenes ever

As we prepare for the July 2017 arrival of Game of Thrones' seventh season, we're taking a look back at all the moments that made fans squirm. Whether the characters were tugging on our heartstrings, our gag reflexes, or our sense of morals and decency, these are the scenes that were almost too much to bear.

The sacrifice of Shireen

When Shireen Baratheon told her father Stannis she wanted to help him, she really should have asked him how, because his idea of "help" was to let Melisandre light her on fire. Grabbed by Stannis' guards, Shireen's confusion quickly turned to terror—and then the screaming started. It got so bad that Shireen's mother Selyse, who'd been pleading for this very thing to happen, lost her faith and tried to break through the crowd to stop it.   

It was a horrible moment made even worse because it had been teased for so long, with Selyse and Melisandre insisting repeatedly it was the only way to go; though Stannis initially refused, viewers could see his willpower going down with his prospects. And when it came down to the choice of giving up the siege of Winterfell—and his ambitions of being king—or his daughter, he played his last card. And it still didn't save him or his family in the end.

Perhaps the most troubling part of the scene is that child sacrifice is still very much a modern problem in certain parts of the world. The only thing worse than seeing Shireen burn is knowing that there are more suffering the same fate, for reasons just as futile and foolish.

Ramsay and the sausage

It's good to know that Ramsay Bolton/Snow won't be coming back for season 7, because the biggest joy of the previous season was seeing him become dog food after the Starks regained Winterfell. It's fair to say that the prayers for his death started when he chopped Theon's….little Greyjoy off, and sent it to his dad.

Showing a true sense of empathy, Ramsay was later shown chowing down on a pork sausage and making small talk. Of course, Theon could only stare in horror, which prompted Ramsay to mockingly act like Theon was accusing him of cannibalism and quip, "You think I'm some sort of savage?"

Considering that his next move was to torture Theon into becoming his slave with a synonym for awful smell as a name, yeah, Ramsay, it's pretty hard not to say that cavemen look like paragons of class and decency compared to you.

The church rape scene

Viewers were creeped out by the Lannister twins, Cersei and Jaime, from the first episode—due in no small part to the fact that they were also lovers, and Jaime had secretly sired Cersei's royal heirs Joffrey, Myrcella, and Tommen. And when Jaime seemingly raped Cersei within spitting distance of Joffrey's corpse, the whole relationship turned into a hurricane of emotional horror. We hear Cersei saying it's not right, and Jaime growling that he doesn't care. End scene.

It sparked a lot of outcry, especially because it was radically changed from the book, where there at least was a degree of consent on Cersei's part. Author George R.R. Martin argued that it's still a grey issue there, but still. Alex Graves, the director of the episode, was asked why in the world this went through, and he offered a labored explanation that wasn't entirely comforting—or even arguably logical.

Robin Arryn and his mommy issues

Even as early as the middle of the first season, the Arryns already needed something special to make them stand out among the power-mad dysfunctional families of Westeros—something they achieved through the creepy mommy-son dynamic between Lysa and Robin, who'd alternate between hungrily sucking milk from her breast and asking if he'd get to see somebody thrown to their death.

The scene was jarring, though it must be said that breastfeeding on its own was not the issue. What did wig people out was the fact that Robin Arryn was somewhere in the neighborhood of six to eight years old at the time in the series—an age that most mothers will tell you is way too old to still be breastfeeding (although there are exceptions to every rule). Being a sadistic creep may have been less shocking in comparison, because at least then he was acting like a grownup.

Oberyn's Death

To say Game of Thrones fans are jaded over death, mutilation, and blood is probably an understatement. So the show writers jacked the gore needle fully into the red when it came time for Oberyn Martell, prince of Dorne, to meet his maker.

Oberyn had seemingly pulled off the upset of a lifetime by defeating his mortal enemy Gregor Clegane in a death match, but before he killed him, he wanted a confession that Clegane murdered his sister and her children on Tywin Lannister's orders. Unfortunately, Oberyn forgot the dictum that wounded animals are the most dangerous, wandered within arm's reach of the Mountain, and was grabbed by the leg and knocked down. Then Gregor gave Oberyn the confession he wanted (though he didn't finger Tywin) and jammed his fingers into Oberyn's eyes, pulping his head like an orange. As you can imagine, public reaction to this was…..surprised, to say the least.

Melisandre's blood magic

After he managed to evade the Lannisters and escape to Storm's End, Gendry—blacksmith and illegitimate son of the late King Robert Baratheon—had every reason to believe things were going his way when he made it to his uncle Stannis' castle at Storm's End thanks to the red witch Melisandre. When she invited him to the bedroom, it looked like Gendry was about to have the most exciting night of his life.

And then the leeches came out. First, she dropped a couple on his chest to collect the blood of a king. Then, whether for fun or for full effect, she sent the next one down his pants. And just as she finished up, Stannis and Davos Seaworth come in, adding the embarrassment of public nudity to Gendry's list of woes. 

It turns out that Melisandre needed Gendry's blood to invoke a dark ritual that would let Stannis kill his rivals to the crown. Whether where the blood came from really mattered is anybody's guess, but it can be assumed Gendry won't be letting anyone leech him at all in the future.