Date of Death: 303 AC in King’s Landing
Execution Order: Cersei Lannister
If you’ve known me for five minutes, then you know I have a thing — a HUGE thing — for cats. Real, fictional, cartoon, orange, black, striped, spotted, it doesn’t matter. I love them all. And when I’m watching/reading something, and there’s a cat involved, it doesn’t take long for me to become deeply invested in that character. Unfortunately, animal characters often don’t last very long in a series, which brings me to reflect on Ser Pounce, that beautiful orange (albeit short-lived) cat in Game of Thrones (the TV series, not the books).
The late Ser Pounce belonged to the late King Tommen Baratheon — who was pretty much the only human (in the TV show anyway) to care about the poor creature. Ser Pounce’s only physical appearances in the TV series occur in Season 4. And in a particularly memorable scene in the episode “Oathkeeper,” Margaery Tyrell deems him a “proper fellow” — of which I could not agree more. During that episode, Tommen also reflects on how evil, evil, EVIL Joffrey mistreated the cat, which really shouldn’t surprise anyone based on Joffrey’s…well Joffrey-ness.
But Joffrey isn’t at fault for Ser Pounce’s demise. He is killed off-screen (thankfully) sometime during season 7 after Cersei Lannister becomes Queen of the Andals and the First Men. So, why kill Ser Pounce? What did he ever do to Cersei? Arguably, she didn’t want the constant reminder of her son and her failings as a mother. But that’s being TOO generous to Cersei, who could easily have just sent the cat away.
In an interview with EW, Game of Thrones showrunner David Benioff confessed, “Cersei hated the name ‘Ser Pounce’ so much she could not allow him to survive…So she came up with her most diabolical [execution]. Ser Pounce’s death was so horrible we couldn’t even put it on the air.”
Sure, countless tragic deaths have occurred in the series, but Ser Pounce’s death often goes overlooked. What did he do to deserve such an execution? Being named the wrong thing? As we enter into this last season of Game of Thrones, let’s fondly remember all of those good souls we have lost along the way — none less important than the other, cat or human.