Spoilers ahead — don’t watch if you haven’t seen the season-four finale of Game of Thrones. (Well, really, there’s only a couple spoilers at the very end of this nearly nine-minute-long video. So you can probably watch 90 percent of it, anyway.)
This was a doozy of a season for grunting on everyone’s favorite grunt-filled television gruntfest, Game of Grunts. Er, we mean Game of Thrones. For ten glorious weeks, viewers around the world tuned in to hear men, women, children, giants, cannibals, and others make guttural utterances. And they had many reasons to do so! This season featured grunt-inducing incidents ranging from wildling raids to hand-stabbings, from rapes to assassinations, from battles on the Wall to skirmishes at an inn. And so, as we bid farewell to season four, we decided to do something completely unnecessary: compile every single grunt heard throughout the season. And though the video-editing labor forced us to do some grunting of our own, we managed to get the job done. Watch and be hypnotized by primal human noise-making.
If you’re the nitpicky type (as a few Thrones fans have been known to be), here’s how we decided to define a grunt (as opposed to a scream or a roar or what have you): a brief, guttural, largely involuntary sound emanating from a human’s chest as a direct lead-up to or consequence of physical action. That means no high-pitched screams, no voluntary war cries, and no growls from direwolves or mammoths. But it does mean lots of swords being swung and blows being received, as well as more than a few particularly passionate moments of sexual congress. In general, we followed the tried-and-true “you know it when you see it” rule.
Huge thanks to the Vulture intern staff for helping to locate many of these grunts. They did a lot of grunt work. (Cue grunts of laughter.)