Lots and lots of fighting and bloodshed; there are many epic battles with massive destruction and loss of life. Characters are killed in gruesome ways -- stabbings, beheadings, disembowelments, fire/immolation, crushing, and much more -- but most of the gore isn't lingered on or described in ultra-graphic detail. One character is tortured both physically and mentally; her suffering is described, though again not in tons of detail. Another submits herself to terrible pain to escape captivity. Some characters are able to dispatch huge groups of enemies in swift succession, with little regret/hesitation expressed. Dragons breathe fire; there are tons of swordfights, hammer blows, and more. Animals are killed (horses in battle, etc.), mutilations and painful injuries are described.