In the Game of Thrones, all men must die. Sometimes, though, enough men die and entire families get wiped out, extinguishing great Houses that have ruled Westeros for centuries upon centuries. This has happened a lot over the course of seven seasons. As Game of Thrones enters into the final, hectic stretch, it’s possible we might even see more. (There are only three more Lannisters, after all.)
The misogynistic, feudal tendencies of Westeros mean that only trueborn male heirs can carry on a House’s name. In most cases, when the last male heir dies, so does the House. Female heirs traditionally marry into other Houses. As Lyanna Mormont pointed out in the seventh episode of Season 6, Sansa is technically a Bolton. But, then again, isn’t Cersei technically still a Baratheon?
Additionally, bastards and people that take vows to organizations like the Kingsguard, Night’s Watch, or even Faith Militant swear off their claims to family assets.
Here are all the family Houses we’ve seen go extinct on Game of Thrones, in chronological order.
Game of Thrones gave up pretending that Joffrey, Tommen, and Myrcella were Baratheons at least a full season ago. Each of those blonde children assumed the Baratheon name, with both Joffrey and Tommen being considered “Baratheon” kings in the history books. Viewers know full well that all three of them, however, are pure-blood Lannisters produced by Cersei and Jaime’s incestuous union.
That’s why, following Robert Baratheon’s death in Season 1, his younger brothers Renly and Stannis each vied for the Iron Throne. But Stannis, of course, impregnated the Red Priestess Melisandre, and the shadow demon she birthed killed Renly in his tent.
Stannis managed to survive all the way until the Season 5 finale when he was defeated by Ramsay Bolton’s troops while trying to take Winterfell. He survived the fight itself but was found and killed by Brienne of Tarth in the aftermath. This was shortly after he burned his own daughter alive to gain some kind of luck from the Lord of Light that never panned out.
Tommen “Baratheon” remained king for quite some time after this. But he committed suicide following the explosion at the Great Sept of Baelor that killed his wife, Queen Margaery Tyrell, in the Season 6 finale, which is when Cersei Lannister stepped in as queen.
These Westerosi history books might cite Tommen’s suicide as the moment House Baratheon went extinct, but viewers and readers know the truth about Cersei’s children. Stannis was the last Baratheon.
However, Gendry is 100 percent the bastard son of Robert Baratheon. Much like Jon, he has royal blood, but as a bastard, he’s not officially recognized as a member of House Baratheon unless he’s legitimized in some fashion. The stag is dead — for now, at least.
It was hard to care about the grumpy Doran Martell and his son Trystane, especially when they were outshined in every way by the suave, badass fan-favorite Oberyn. Unfortunately, Oberyn met his end in a sloppy fight to the death against the Mountain. Tyrion’s trial by combat was one of the most gruesome and heart-wrenching scenes in all of Game of Thrones, rivaling even the infamous Red Wedding.
When Oberyn’s long-time lover Ellaria Sand betrayed and killed Doran in Season 6, her daughters also ambushed Trystane, effectively wiping out House Martell in one swift coup.
Still, Martel blood lived on in Oberyn’s illegitimate daughters. The Sand Snakes Obara, Tyene, and Nymeria were all alive and kicking until earlier in Season 7, but much like other bastard children, they can’t carry on their House name. Even if you dispute their illegitimacy, they’re all still very dead by now anyway.
Yes, Ramsay Bolton was a bastard — both figuratively and literally. Originally, Ramsay, the illegitimate son of the infamous Red Wedding-orchestrator Roose Bolton, was a “Snow” just like Jon.
In Season 4, Roose had Ramsay officially legitimized by the crown, which made him a “legitimate” Bolton. Ramsay repaid the favor by murdering him!
Ramsay also killed his stepmother and stepbrother by feeding them to his dogs, all so he could dominate House Bolton himself and create his own offspring with Sansa.
Thankfully, after losing to Jon in the Battle of the Bastards, Sansa confronted a wounded Ramsay and allowed his own dogs to feast on his flesh.
House Bolton, we don’t miss you.
After the Red Wedding, there was no house more despicable in Westeros than the Freys. Walder Frey invoked the guest right, a sacred religious promise of mutual peace between a host and his guest. The Red Wedding massacre violated this sacred right, so it was only fair when Arya showed up to butcher Walder Frey’s sons and bake their pieces into a meat pie for Walder in the Season 6 finale before slitting his throat.
Then, in the opening moments of Season 7, Arya disguised herself as Walder to poison all of the men of House Frey, even all of the lesser cousins with the villainous-looking hats.
House Tyrell didn’t truly die until Olenna admitted defeat and drank the poison Jaime gave her midway through Season 7 when the Lannister armies teamed up with the Tarlys to ransack Highgarden.
Oddly enough, Mace, the actual patriarch of House Tyrell, was mostly just a bit player amidst larger drama surrounding Olenna, Margaery, and even Loras to a lesser extent throughout most of Game of Thrones. Margaery was queen alongside Joffrey and Tommen while her grandmother Olenna pulled the strings.
House Tyrell went extinct as a result of the explosion at the Great Sept of Baelor, when Cersei hatched a plan to blow the place to smithereens, killing almost the entirety of House Tyrell along with the Faith Militant and the High Sparrow.
Interestingly enough, Loras would have been the rightful heir to the Tyrell dynasty, but minutes before his death, he took a vow to join the Faith Militant, which is not unlike that taken by the Night’s Watch, forsaking all titles. Either way, we’ve seen the last of the Tyrells.
As the most recently deceased House, Tarly finds itself in an interesting position. Both Dickon and Randyll Tarly refused to “bend the knee” to Daenerys, so she had Drogon burn them to a crisp after totally wrecking the Lannister troops and their supply line.
To the far south, Samwell Tarly just left Oldtown. Sure, he’s the last remaining male Tarly, but despite traveling all around the world, Sam is still a member of the Night’s Watch. Their vows include the lines, “I shall take no wife, hold no lands, father no children. I shall wear no crowns and win no glory.” He’s also obliged to man his post with the Night’s Watch. Jon only got around his obligation because he died once before.
Sam does have a sister, Talla Tarly, whose fate remains uncertain. But, for all intents and purposes, we can consider House Tarly done for.
Game of Thrones Season 7 continues on Sundays at 9 p.m. Eastern on HBO.