The first six seasons of Game of Thrones were basically an ongoing bloodbath as characters large and small were killed off on a regular basis. While not all of the deaths have been particularly memorable, some have been so brutal and bloody that they're burned into the memories of fans everywhere. There's one death that was burned into the memories of showrunners D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, but for a very different reason. Apparently, one demise was more expensive than all the others. As it turns out, the priciest kill in Game of Thrones history was Arya Stark's murder of Ser Meryn Trant.
The showrunners shared the most expensive death during a recent appearance at the 2017 SXSW Festival (via Radio Times), and I'm guessing that I'm not the only Thrones fan surprised by the reveal. Sure, Arya's murder of Meryn Trant was gruesome, but it didn't exactly feature anybody being burnt to a crisp by dragons or beheaded or killed via caved-in skull. Arya simply got Meryn Trant alone, pulled out a knife, and went to town on him. The stabbiest Stark made sure to gouge out his eyes early on, and she continued to slice and dice him until she finally slit his throat. David Benioff explained what made the kill so expensive, saying this:
She couldn't really poke out his eyes.
Meryn Trant was still very much alive and struggling when Arya knifed him in the eyes, and it would have been pretty obvious if the scenes simply featured Maisie Williams stabbing the stuffing out of a dummy head. Given that Trant was actually the first person to make it on to Arya's kill list, his death was one that really needed to be done well. After all, Arya was (albeit temporarily) abandoning her training to become "no one" in order to kill Trant, because Trant was not somebody that "no one" would care about. His was a big death, and it had to look good, and looking good doesn't come cheap.
In case you've forgotten just how enthusiastically Arya stabbed out Ser Meryn Trant's eyes, take a look back at the clip from the Season 5 finale:
Sorry, Ser Meryn, but the North remembers, and this little Northerner hasn't forgotten Syrio Forel. She got to tick off one of the names on her kill list when they happened to cross paths in Braavos. Considering how Season 6 ended for Arya, we can bet that we'll see her working on the rest of her list when the show finally returns for Season 7 on July 16. While she won't be able to get her personal revenge on Joffrey or Tywin, Cersei and Melisandre are still alive and kicking.
Check out our picks for the 12 most gruesome deaths of Game of Thrones so far, and don't forget to take a look at our breakdown of what we know so far about Game of Thrones Season 7. Have a look at our midseason TV premiere schedule and summer TV premiere schedule to discover your upcoming viewing options.