Potential Storylines For ‘Game of Thrones’ Sequel Centered Around Jon Snow

Potential Storylines For ‘Game of Thrones’ Sequel Centered Around Jon Snow

Late last week, it was reported that a Game of Thrones sequel starring Kit Harrington (who played Jon Snow for eight seasons) is in early development. It was met with some skepticism, but Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) seemed to confirm the report in a recent interview with BBC—saying “it’s happening” and has “been created by Kit.” So, it wouldn’t be a surprise if an official announcement is made soon, and now is a good time to predict the potential storyline for the series if it moves forward.


King Bran calls Jon Snow to King’s Landing

Similar to King Robert Baratheon needing the help of Ned Stark to begin Game of Thrones, we could see Jon reluctantly head south with King Bran calling him to the capital. The hope at the end of Game of Thrones was that the Three-Eyed Raven being king would bring peace to Westeros, but an individual or group could easily want power for themselves—forcing Jon back into the fold to protect his “brother.” This storyline would obviously bring many of the original cast back, including Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), Liam Cunningham (Davos Seaworth), Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth), and Jerome Flynn (Bronn) as the new small council from the final episode.


Westeros faces threat from unknown continent

Game of Thrones’ 73-episode run covered a vast world with Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen essentially coming from opposite sides of it before being brought together over the final two seasons—but there is still plenty that’s yet to be explored. If a massive, unknown enemy were to attack Westeros, who better to lead an army of the six kingdoms (plus the North and wildlings) than Jon Snow?


Bringing the wildling clans together

The wildling tribes feuding for thousands of years makes it difficult to imagine there would suddenly be 100% peace among them just because Jon Snow is there, so a sequel series could follow Jon’s path to becoming the full-fledged King Beyond the Wall and accomplishing that goal. Surely, the former King in the North would need to pick up Longclaw at least once or twice to fight an unruly wildling, and he’d be backed by Tormund and Ghost.


Arya Stark gets into trouble

Many have mentioned that a story centered around Arya (rather than Jon) would make sense because she’s clearly separated from those still in Westeros, but maybe she can still be a significant part of a sequel series. One idea would be running into some sort of trouble against whatever is west of Westeros that forces Jon—being perhaps the only one brave enough to go—into action (it’s easy to picture a conversation he has with Sansa Stark where the Queen in the North says she can’t help because ruling has her attention). A bolder idea? Arya has become some sort of disillusioned warlord that Jon must save/redeem.


Exploring the Land of Always Winter

The Night King and the White Walkers were defeated at the Battle of Winterfell to end the Great War in Game of Thrones, so expecting more of the Army of the Dead might not happen. However, you never know what kind of magic is lurking in the Land of Always Winter—shown once in GOT when the Night King first appeared—and it’d be great to see Jon fighting them again after the White Walkers were featured in some of the best episodes/moments in the original series.


Daenerys Targaryen is resurrected

The storyline most people want is the return of Daenerys, and there is certainly an opening for it to happen with Drogon carrying her body away—perhaps to be resurrected—following her death in the Game of Thrones finale. All the stories could have Drogon find his way back to Jon somehow, but this scenario would really allow the Targaryen side of him to be explored. And while Emilia Clark has said “I think I’m done” about a potential return, maybe even a small role is possible (via flashbacks/visions) as the former Lord Commander battles some of the guilt he likely feels about killing his queen. Also, Dany’s return could even lead to a final peace of mind for Jon Snow after such tragic endings for those he loved in Game of Thrones—but would the Mother of Dragons be resurrected as a remorseful friend or vengeful foe?

Report: ‘Game of Thrones’ Sequel Starring Kit Harington Is In Development

Report: ‘Game of Thrones’ Sequel Starring Kit Harington Is In Development

Winter is… returning?


According to The Hollywood Reporter, HBO has entered early development on a Game of Thrones sequel centered around Jon Snow—played by Kit Harington for eight seasons on the all-time great fantasy series.


The report’s wording says “should a series move forward” and has no official comment from HBO or Harington’s representatives, but the fact the news dropped could mean it will happen. Of course, this could lead to many or all characters from Game of Thrones—from the remaining Starks to Tyrion Lannister to even potentially Daenerys Targaryen—also returning to bring Westeros back to life.


This rumor coming to light might result in some sort of official announcement if HBO intends to move forward, but there are plenty of moving parts that need to come together. Also, it will be interesting to see who the potential showrunner(s) would be after David Benioff and D.B. Weiss did such a fantastic job with Game of Thrones. 


House of the Dragon premieres this August as one of several prequels in development, and now the first sequel could be coming with Jon Snow’s possible return.

First Full Official Trailer For ‘House of the Dragon’ Is Here

First Full Official Trailer For ‘House of the Dragon’ Is Here

Winter is coming, and with it… fire and blood.


After teasing more content with promotional character posters this morning, the first official trailer for House of the Dragon has been released:



Expectations are rightfully sky high for the Game of Thrones prequel, and hype will only continue to build for perhaps the most anticipated television series of all-time.


‘House of the Dragon’ will premiere on August 21 at 9 PM ET on HBO and HBO Max.

HBO Releases New ‘House of the Dragon’ Image And Posters

HBO Releases New ‘House of the Dragon’ Image And Posters

“The reign of House Targaryen begins…”


HBO has revealed a new image from upcoming Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon, showing Rhaenyra Targaryen presumably contemplating battle strategy:



The image was followed up with a promotional poster of Rhaenyra, and other character posters are also being released:











The return of House Targaryen is near, and a full length trailer was also released today.


‘House of the Dragon’ will premiere on August 21 at 9 PM ET on HBO and HBO Max.

‘House of the Dragon’ Release Date Has Been Revealed

‘House of the Dragon’ Release Date Has Been Revealed

Fire and Blood.


Game of Thrones prequel House of the Dragon has released a new poster that reveals the debut date of HBO’s highly anticipated series as August 21:



Aside from some clips in HBO advertisements, there hasn’t really been any information about House of the Dragon since last October’s teaser trailer, but now we have confirmation that it will release late summer and air into the fall.


This news could mean a full trailer for the series is coming soon, and there is also additional information about House of the Dragon via HBO PR, including new images from the first season.


‘House of the Dragon’ will premiere on August 21 on HBO and HBO Max.

HBO Releases First Official Teaser Trailer For ‘House of the Dragon’ Prequel Series

HBO Releases First Official Teaser Trailer For ‘House of the Dragon’ Prequel Series

Fire and Blood are coming. HBO just released the first official teaser trailer for the upcoming Game of Thrones prequel series, House of the Dragon:



It was a surprise to get this teaser so early in the morning (Eastern time in the United States). The video was released via the HBO Max accounts as WarnerMedia looks to draw more interest to its streaming platform, where House of the Dragon will be released.


House of the Dragon follows the events 200 years before Game of Thrones and the fall of the Iron Throne, focusing on the dynasty of House Targaryen, their dragons, and the family’s civil war. A Song of Ice and Fire creator George R.R. Martin recently said on The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of podcast that there will be “like 17 dragons” in the series, each with their own colors and personality.


The 2022 release year for House of the Dragon as been known, and getting a teaser at this point could indicate it will be in the spring or summer window instead of debuting next fall. With the exception of Season 7, which ran entirely in the summer, and Season 3 (premiere on March 31), all Game of Thrones seasons began in April and ended in May (the final season) or June (all other seasons aside from Season 7). We’d expect a similar schedule for the first season of House of the Dragon.


House of the Dragon is obviously a hugely anticipated series with millions of built-in followers coming off the heels of the most successful series in history in Game of Thrones. Even with the show still in production, fans are thrilled with an early look at it.


House of the Dragon will air on HBO and stream on HBO Max beginning in 2022.

Top Ten Tuesday: ‘Game of Thrones’ Episodes To Watch In 4K UHD

Top Ten Tuesday: ‘Game of Thrones’ Episodes To Watch In 4K UHD

It took four months, but my re-watch of Game of Thrones in 4K is ended. I still don’t understand the extreme hate that Season 8 gets, but this article isn’t about that. This Top Ten Tuesday picks the best Game of Thrones episodes to watch in 4K UHD. The criteria goes by looks only in the stunning 4K format—so it’s not ranking the best episodes in general. (For example, “The Rains of Castemere”, which has a case for the top ten given the details of The Red Wedding and the darkness of the scene in and outside of hall, is probably the best overall episode of the series but does not make the list. I would recommend it as No. 1 to watch still, but not in terms of taking advantage of 4K quality only.)


Game of Thrones got bigger and bigger as time went on, so naturally the list consists of the later seasons. But another dozen episodes and standout scenes could have made the top ten. These in particular get an honorable mention:


“The Door” (Season 6, Episode 5)

“And Now His Watch Is Ended” (Season 3, Episode 4)

“Blackwater” (Season 2, Episode 9)

“The Rains of Castamere” (Season 3, Episode 9)

“The Watchers on the Wall” (Season 4, Episode 9)

“Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” (Season 5, Episode 6)

“Winter Is Coming” (Season 1, Episode 1)

“The Mother’s Mercy” (Season 5, Episode 10)

“The Children” (Season 4, Episode 10)

“Fire and Blood” (Season 1, Episode 10)

“Mhysa” (Season 3, Episode 10)

“A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” (Season 8, Episode 2)


[Also, I highly recommend watching Game of Thrones in 4K at some point. The immense detail put into the show stands out even more than it did when it aired on HBO in full HD.]


Now to the top ten:


10. “The Dance of Dragons” (Season 5, Episode 9)

One of the top episodes of the series, “The Dance of Dragons” is headlined by the final scene in the Great Pit of Daznak. After Jorah Mormont won the gladiator battle, we the viewers were placed directly in the action of Daenarys Targaryen and her closest advisors attempting to escape the pit with their lives—the intense scene is eased when Drogon screeches and flies in to save his mother and wreak havoc on her attackers, which is when the 4K UHD format really shines. Daenerys makes a triumphant exit by riding her dragon for the first time, leaving Tyrion Lannister and the others stunned at the situation. “The Dance of Dragons” also includes the despairing situation for Stannis Baratheon and his forces in the North, and Melisandre leading the burning of Princess Shireen at the stake.


9. “The Winds of Winter” (Season 6, Episode 10)

Again, these rankings are by appearance in 4K, not by overall quality—and the order could vary quite a bit, as each has its share of stunning moments in UHD. “The Winds of Winter” gives “The Rains a Castamere” a push for Game of Thrones’ best episode, and it begins with the exceptional and lengthy scene—with the awesome “Light of the Seven” score by composer Ramin Djawadi—capped by Cersei Lannister using wildfire to eliminate her enemies. Among the other moments in the momentous episode are Arya Stark getting revenge on Walder Frey in a dark scene, Samwell Tarly getting access to the massive and spectacular Citadel library, the Tower of Joy scene in Bran’s vision, Jon being named King in the North at a reclaimed Winterfell, Jamie Lannister returning to see Cersei being crowned in the gloomy Red Keep, and Daenerys finally setting sail to Westeros—all the events look tremendous in 4K.


8. “The Dragon and the Wolf” (Season 7, Episode 7)

“The Dragon and the Wolf” might go somewhat under the radar, but it’s similar to “The Winds of Winter” in that a ton of stuff happens throughout the episode—the first meeting between Daenaerys Targaryen and Cersei Lannister (the daytime dragon pit meeting looked great, especially when Dany arrived on Drogon), the death of Littlefinger, and the reveal of Jon Snow as Aegeon Targaryen and true heir to the Iron Throne among them. They all look amazing, but the biggest picture-quality standouts to note are 1) Jaime Lannister leaving King’s Landing just as the snow majestically begins to fall on the capital, and 2) the Night King bringing down the Wall at Eastwatch on an ice dragon Viserion. The fall of the Wall is obviously a critical moment, and the boost in sound quality from the Dolby Atmos on the 4K UHD discs—also a big reason to watch Thrones in 4K—is as evident as ever when the massive structure comes down via dragon fire.


7. “The Spoils of War” (Season 7, Episode 4)

“The Spoils of War” is the shortest Game of Thrones episode, but it’s clearly one of the best—and one of the best-looking. The candlelit crypts of Winterfell—where Arya and Sansa Stark have their reunion—always look really good in 4K, and Arya’s return to Winterfell was framed so nicely. But the masterpiece episode is probably at its best in 4K for the Battle of the Goldroad—also known as the loot train attack. Jaime Lannister stayed with his army despite Bronn telling him to retreat, but the Lannister forces were no match for Daenerys Targaryen, Drogon, and the Dothraki. The battle scene was a complete slaughter, and the soldiers being lit on fire with ashes flying all around—while tracking the movements of Bronn, who worked his way to the scorpion to target Drogon, and Jaime—is one of the most intense scenes in the show. The final dozen or show seconds of Jaime trying to end the war before Drogon stepped in front and then Bronn came out of nowhere looked sick.


6. “The Bells” (Season 8, Episode 5)

There are a few examples throughout the series where Drogon is in darkness and you can see his mouth open and the fire build up before he burns someone alive, and “The Bells” represents one of those moments here on the list, with Varys meeting his end after turning on Daenerys Targaryen and attempting to have her poisoned to install Jon Snow as King. The nighttime scenes—Varys’ death, Tyrion Lannister freeing his brother Jaime, and Daenerys’ scenes within the Dragonstone castle—really pop. And then when Daenerys and Drogon lay waste to King’s Landing—first to opposing soldiers and then to the entire city—the destruction is a sight to behold. Included in the apocalyptic setting was the long-awaited Cleganebowl, the death of Jaime and Cersei Lannister, and the final scene where Arya Stark survives and rides off on a lone white horse.


5. “Beyond the Wall” (Season 7, Episode 6)

There were good scenes at Winterfell and at Dragonstone, but the journey beyond the Wall is what gets this episode a clear spot on the list. Firstly, the landscape is stunning as Jon Snow and company make their way through the snowy terrain—the 4K helps show how beautiful Iceland and Belfast (where the scenes were filmed and presented on-screen) are. The good guys also encountered a zombie polar bear on their way to capturing a wight—and once they were found out by the Army of the Dead, things really picked up. The transition from day to night and dawn was outstanding, with the details looking lifelike as usual in 4K even for the dark and dull shots. Daenerys Targaryen’s arrival—starting with a bang when Drogon flies overhead a near-hopeless Jon—and the first battle between her dragons and the Night King’s army gives a magnificent look at the blending of the fire with the icy territory. The Night King takes out Viserion, Uncle Benjen saves his nephew, and Jon declares Daenerys his Queen to help cap off the grand episode. And the final shot of the Night King turning Viserion into an ice dragon and weapon for the Army of the Dead is one of the most memorable moments in Game of Thrones.


4. “Battle of the Bastards” (Season 6, Episode 9)

An incredible amount of detail went into “Battle of the Bastards”, which tracked Jon Snow as he did battle with Ramsay Bolton’s forces in the open field outside of Winterfell. The shot of Jon facing down Ramsay’s charging forces after attempting to save Rickon Stark might be the most iconic of the entire series—and from there, it’s utter chaos. The strategy Jon planned (a pincer movement) was actually used against his army of northerners and wildlings, leading to them getting trapped and the recently resurrected hero nearly suffocating beneath the pile. Finally, the Knights of the Vale arrived while Sansa Stark and Littlefinger looked on, ultimately delivering a victory. As Game of Thrones tends to accomplish, it feels like you are in middle of the scene—and it truly looks like it too in Ultra HD. The battle portion gets most of the recognition, and deservedly so; but the 4K format is a major plus, as usual, for the night before the battle and the night after the battle when Sansa finally gets her revenge on Ramsay.


3. “The Iron Throne” (Season 8, Episode 6)

I know a vocal group despises Season 8, but, again, I liked it. And regardless of where you stand, its picture quality is as good as it gets for 4K content. “The Iron Throne” begins with a dystopian setting in the aftermath of Daenerys Targaryen’s demolition of King’s Landing. When Daenerys gets dropped off by Drogon and the dragon’s wings spread behind his mother, it’s another one of the most iconic shots in all of Game of Thrones. The speech the Targaryen ruler gives to her army is chilling, and the performance by Emilia Clarke deserves major props—as should go without saying for everyone in the series, including Peter Dinklage and Kit Harington in this episode. The nuances of their emotional performances in Game of Thrones’ final episode were more evident in 4K to me. After Daenerys’ tragic death at the hands of Jon Snow, Drogon destroyed the Iron Throne in the scene I’d say might most rival the bringing down of the Wall in terms of taking advantage of Dolby Atmos—and Drogon flying away with a deceased Daenerys was a fitting end for the dragon. After their farewells, I loved the series-ending montage featuring Jon, Sansa Stark, and Arya Stark—beginning with Jon picking up Longclaw, and showing strong detail with Sansa’s crowning as Queen in the North, Arya setting sail with a massive and glorious Stark banner on her ship, and Jon getting set to make a new home north of the Wall. Everyone should try to re-watch the finale in 4K.


2. “Hardhome” (Season 5, Episode 8)

When HBO first sent me a copy of Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection in 4K UHD late last year, the first scene I wanted to watch was the massacre at Hardhome. It does not disappoint. When riding up to Hardhome, Jon Snow’s fur cloak stands out—the detail is amazing, as it feels like you can get a sense of how the costumes in the show feel just by looking at the details in 4K. Then the dark and gloomy discussion in the tent—Jon and Tormund trying to convince more wildlings to join their cause and avoid becoming members of the Army of the Dead—is another example of Thrones delivering with its darker scenes, particularly in 4K. Again, “Hardhome” benefits from the Dolby Atmos, with the calming waters sounding realistic. But things quickly turn the opposite of calm, and it looked like the massacre was happening right in my living room. Jon’s one-on-one with a White Walker—with the Night King looking on—is among the best tracking shots of the series, as is the Night King walking to the edge of the deck and raising the newest members of Army of the Dead while staring down Jon, who comes to realize the serious threat he’s up against is even worse than he imagined.


1. “The Long Night” (Season 8, Episode 3)

When “The Long Night”—the final battle between the living and the dead and perhaps the most anticipated episode of the series—first aired on HBO a couple of years ago, I was stunned to find out that many people had issues of seeing what was going on. There were common complaints of things being too dark. Thankfully, I had no such problems, but I know people that said they used “good” televisions and had issues. Those issues should be solved in 4K UHD (and as I did not yet mention, with Dolby Vision and HDR) if you are watching on a quality 4K television (I have an LG OLED, which is about as good as it gets for picture quality, but I’d say sets around $1,000 or more should suffice). The build-up of the episode, which takes place during the night only, is tense, and the episode is very, very dark—but it’s all perfectly viewable and looks as epic as anything you’ll be able to watch in 4K. The fire brought by the dragons and by Melisandre brings a balance to the darkness, and the aforementioned candle-lit crypts of Winterfell make it look and feel like you’re hiding with Tyrion Lannister, Sansa Stark, and the others. The dragon battle and the moon shot when Daenerys Targaryen and Jon Snow are trying to take out the Night King is yet another super memorable and picturesque moment. You can see everything clearly and you’re left holding your breath when Arya Stark is navigating her way through the library surrounded by wights. And—before meeting his shocking demise at the hands of Arya—the confident Night King, after brushing off dragon fire with a smirk, gliding through Winterfell and to the godswood surrounded by his White Walker lieutenants (and quickly disposing of Theon Greyjoy before triumphantly walking to the Three-Eyed Raven) gives the show’s best look at the villains from beyond the Wall, while accompanied by the unforgettable score “The Night King”. All the while, characters like Jorah Mormont (R.I.P.), Jaime Lannister, and Brienne of Tarth were fighting for their lives. If you were not a fan the first time, I recommend giving “The Long Night” another shot in 4K. In terms of how it looks in 4K UHD, “The Long Night” is at the top of the list.

‘Game of Thrones’ Prequel Series ‘House of the Dragon’ Is Officially In Production

‘Game of Thrones’ Prequel Series ‘House of the Dragon’ Is Officially In Production

The spring and summer television schedule had a long run of being dominated by HBO’s Game of Thrones. It’s been nearly two years since Game of Thrones concluded in May of 2019, and production is now officially underway for the prequel series, House of the Dragon.



The official Game of Thrones Twitter account got the hype started earlier today, cryptically tweeting a single fire emoji before working their way up to many fire emojis:




House of the Dragon now has social media accounts of their own, and they’ve been sharing some insight on the start of production:








House of the Dragon is based on A Song of Ice and Fire author George R.R. Martin’s book Fire & Blood, taking place 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones and following the Targaryen family.


Included in the known cast are Paddy Considine (King Viserys Targaryen), Olivia Cooke (Alicent Hightower), Emma D’Arcy (Princess Rhaenyra Targaryen), Matt Smith (Prince Daemon Targaryen), Steve Toussaint (“The Sea Snake”), Eve Best (Princess Rhaenys Velaryon), Rhys Ifans (Otto Hightower), Sonoyo Mizuno (Mysaria), and Fabien Frankel (Ser Criston Cole).


HBO and the House of the Dragon team—with Martin and Ryan Condal (Colony) as the series co-creators, and Thrones vet Miguel Sapochnick (“Battle of the Bastards”, “The Long Night”) as showrunners—can now only do their best and hope this is the start of another epic global phenomenon like Game of Thrones.


House of the Dragon will premiere on HBO and HBO Max in 2022.

‘Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection’ In 4K UHD Review

‘Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection’ In 4K UHD Review

Winter is finally here in 4K Ultra HD. Tomorrow, Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection will be released in 4K UHD. Warner Bros. and HBO sent us an early review copy, which arrived last Friday, to give our thoughts in a review. I tested multiple scenes—from epic battles to intriguing dialogue scenes—all on a premium LG OLED television. So, is Game of Thrones in 4K worth it?




First, let’s get one negative out of the way. As of now, it appears the digital copy does not redeem in 4K on Vudu. It says right on the front box, “4K Ultra HD + Digital Code”, so the safe assumption would be that the digital code should be in the 4K format. I couldn’t get an answer before this was published, but I know Seasons 1 and 8 (which were already available in 4K) also did not redeem in 4K—though perhaps they are waiting until the official release date tomorrow to make all 73 episodes available. At some point, they almost have to make it available in 4K digitally (it is likely coming on HBO Max at some point, so), but it’s something to keep in mind, especially if you do not have a 4K Blu-ray player.


Also, I know some were frustrated that a 4K set of Thrones was not released last year. I was too, especially because I was told it would not be coming in 4K. But for those people, making a repeat purchase to get Game of Thrones in 4K is totally worth it in my opinion.


First of all, the actual physical look of the box, with a screeching Drogon on the front and gold text and accents, looks awesome. It has a prestigious appearance and is worthy of a final box set for an all-time great show like Game of Thrones.


Photo courtesy: Warner Bros.


[UPDATE: The SteelBook (Best Buy exclusive, pictured below) arrived today 11/3, and it is very high quality. It is hefty and well-built. Also, it says on the box that there are just 7,600 of them (which was not mentioned anywhere from what I saw from Warner Bros. and the product page on Best Buy), so be sure to act fast if you see a SteelBook available and want it! It is worth the extra cost in my opinion.]


Photo courtesy: Warner Bros.


When I watched The Dark Knight in 4K UHD for the first time a couple of years ago, it was almost like watching it again for the first time in theaters. The same is the case for Game of Thrones. The higher resolution and detail captured in the 4K format (with HDR) is very clearly on another level to what we watched for eight seasons (sometimes compressed via cable, decreasing the quality for people at home). 4K HDR totally makes a major difference in the viewing experience, and we’ll dive into a few scenes and takeaways for the review.


For the dialogue type of scenes, the picture quality is so good that it looks like you are there with the cast and crew watching actors like Peter Dinklage and Emilia Clarke in person—more specifically, with their top-notch acting ability, it looks like Tyrion Lannister and Daenerys Targaryen are in your living room. The crisper picture leads to the appearance of more realistic colors, depth, and shadows, and every inch of the screen stands out.


The first thing I watched was Hardhome, and the scene where Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and his men ride up to the Free Folk fishing village on a rowboat was a major standout. The material of Jon’s black clothing was impeccable. Back to the depth/shadows, the fur on the cloak had serious detail, like you could see each individual hair and reach out to touch it; and the leather torso and gloves looked legit, because they were. Game of Thrones in 4K helps you appreciate all the time and detail the show put into everything, including realistic and worn clothing that actors basically had to wear throughout filming the same way their characters would have on their journeys.


I then watched the Great Pit of Daznak scene in The Dance of Dragons (skipping the heartbreaking scene when Shireen is burned at the stake; I’ll get to that on a full rewatch) when the Sons of the Harpy close in on Daenerys. The fighting and the defense of the Targaryen queen looked like it was taking place right in front of you, and the arrival of Drogon to save the day was insane. The effort put into creating a realistic look for the dragons can be further appreciated by seeing the detail in 4K UHD, and the fire looks extremely real (because it was, as they used real fire and actually lit stunt people on fire).


As for The Long Night, I did not have an issue with lighting as some people did when it aired last year, so I cannot really speak to that. But as you’d expect, the ultra-ambitious battle episode is stunning. The darkness throughout can be nerve-racking, and Melisandre (Carice van Houten) lighting the trenches on fire blows up the scene with light. If you have a 4K television with HDR, I would think you will get a much-improved picture if you had trouble with The Long Night when it aired on HBO in regular HD (again, probably compressed).


In summation, Game of Thrones in 4K gets you more than your money’s worth if you are a big fan of the show. I know some fans were not happy with the way the final season went (I was not one of them, as I thought it was a masterpiece as usual), but Thrones in 4K is still a fantastic purchase—just try to go into it with an open mind and at least enjoy the scenes and episodes you loved.


Black Friday and the holiday season are around the corner, and Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection in 4K UHD—also maybe along with a new OLED television to get the most out of it—should without a doubt be on your purchase list or wish list.


Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection in 4K UHD is available Tuesday, November 3 at retailers including Amazon, Best Buy, Walmart, Target, and the Warner Bros. official shop.

‘House of the Dragon’ Makes Its First Official Casting

‘House of the Dragon’ Makes Its First Official Casting

Not a ton of information has been revealed about HBO’s Game of Thrones spinoff prequel series, House of the Dragon, and the COVID-19 pandemic is likely having some impact on the series’ inception. However, the first casting has been announced. Paddy Considine has been cast in a lead actor role as King Viserys Targaryen in House of the Dragon.



The official announcement on HBO’s website states of the first casting:


Paddy Considine (HBO’s The Third Day and The Outsider) will be playing King Viserys Targaryen. Viserys was chosen by the lords of Westeros to succeed the Old King, Jaehaerys Targaryen, at the Great Council at Harrenhal. A warm, kind, and decent man, Viserys only wishes to carry forward his grandfather’s legacy, but as we’ve learned from Game of Thrones, good men do not necessarily make for great kings.


The acting background from previous HBO series is interesting, but Considine has also appeared in Netflix hit series Peaky Blinders, and he was nominated for a Tony award (for The Ferryman) last year.


HBO’s character description for King Viserys Targaryen is also intriguing, and it paints the Targaryen king as a better man than the Viserys—Daenerys’ controlling older brother played by Harry Lloyd—most fans know from Game of Thrones.


Expect more castings to be announced in the coming weeks and months as House of the Dragon prepares for a 2022 premiere on HBO and HBO Max.

‘Game of Thrones’ Is Coming… In A 4K Ultra HD Complete Collection

‘Game of Thrones’ Is Coming… In A 4K Ultra HD Complete Collection

The entire series of HBO’s epic drama series Game of Thrones is officially releasing in the 4K Ultra HD format. We are awaiting comment from HBO/Warner Bros., but the 4K box set is set to release this November in time for the holiday season. [UPDATE: We have received details on the box set, and this article has been updated with more information.]


The official release date is November 3 (“Just in Time for the 2020 Holiday Season”).


The #1 selling home entertainment television series of all time, and most-watched series in HBO history, Game of Thrones remains a blockbuster hit and cultural sensation. Now, for the first time ever, the entire series can be owned in spectacular 4K Ultra HD when Warner Bros. Home Entertainment releases Game of Thrones®: The Complete Collectionon 4K Ultra HD Blu-rayTM on November 3, 2020. Featuring all 73 episodes along with over 15 hours of bonus content, plus Digital Copy (US only), this must-have set is priced to own at $254.99 SRP ($289.99 in Canada). Game of Thrones Seasons 1-8 are also available to own on Digital in HD via purchase from digital retailers.


Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection on 4K Ultra HD will also be available in an exclusive limited-edition version at Best Buy for $285.43 SRP ($320.43 in Canada). Containing the same episode and bonus content, all eight epic seasons will be featured in individual steelbooks and housed in a striking individually numbered metal case.


Months after the series concluded last year, both a standard Blu-Ray and an exceptional The Complete Collection limited edition box set were released ahead Christmas, and HBO had said they had no plans to release the series in 4K—but that has obviously changed. Season 1 and Season 8 were already available in 4K, but this is the first time the entire series—and Seasons 2-7—are available in Ultra HD.


Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection in 4K will featured Dolby Vision HDR and Dolby Atmos surround sound. Also, The Complete Collection in 4K will include the 15 hours of bonus footage, including the Game of Thrones: Reunion Special, that were included in the 2019 box sets.


More details from the original product listings:




Summers span decades. Winters can last a lifetime. And the struggle for the Iron Throne begins. ​​


Based on the bestselling book series by George R.R. Martin and created by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss,


Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection is available to watch in stunning 4K UHD for the first time!


The 4K UHD box set features Drogon looking awesome and intimidating, as usual.




And the steelbook, exclusive to Best Buy:



Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection in 4K will be the best way to watch the legendary HBO series. Both the standard 4K box set and the steelbook will release on November 3, 2020.

Top Ten Tuesday: Heartfelt Moments From ‘Game of Thrones’

Top Ten Tuesday: Heartfelt Moments From ‘Game of Thrones’

Today is the one-year anniversary of the Game of Thrones series finale, and today’s Top Ten Tuesday counts down the best feel-good moments from the series. The criteria is kind of rough, and plenty of awesome scenes did not make the cut (like when Dany escapes the fighting pit in Meereen on Drogon, Sansa gets revenge on Ramsay, and a couple of times when Jon returned from north of the Wall), but these are some of the best moments that incited positive emotions or made many fans cheer throughout Thrones’ 72 episodes.


10. Jaime Lannister saves Brienne



Jaime Lannister obviously did not start Game of Thrones as a particularly well-liked character among most fans—after all, he pushed a child out of a tall window in the first episode. However, the Kingslayer had been through the trials and tribulations—while being humbled in a major way and losing his hand in the process—as the story progressed, and his legendary character arc was well underway. While Jaime wasn’t all good, he clearly showed redeeming qualities underneath his exterior, especially while doing his best to protect fellow prisoner Brienne of Tarth. Eventually, Jaime went back to save Brienne from a massive bear before telling Locke that he’ll have to kill him if Brienne is not allowed to come to King’s Landing—and the Lannister knight then delivered one of the best lines of the series when he told Locke he was “sorry about the sapphires.”


9. Daenerys Targaryen sails for Westeros



“The Winds of Winter” was one of Game of Thrones’ craziest episodes, but it ended with more of a toned-down moment of Daenerys Targaryen finally setting sail for Westeros, which she had been trying to do for years (and for six full seasons since the beginning of the series). The Mother of Dragons had been through a lot on the path to getting her people, her army, her advisors/allies, and three large dragons, so it was memorable to see her confidently gaze ahead at the open water toward the homeland she’d lost.


8. Jon Snow becomes Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch



While he was the best swordsman at Castle Black and a natural-born leader, Jon Snow himself was not going to throw his hat into the ring as a candidate for Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch after Jeor Mormont’s death. But Samwell Tarly spoke up for his friend and stated the potent case of why the supposed Stark bastard should be the one to lead the men after the heroics during “The Watchers on the Wall”, and Maester Aemon cast the final deciding vote in favor of Jon. Normally a brooder, Jon cracked a smile and showed a rare (yet reserved) celebratory side when he was named 998th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, and all viewers shared his delight early in Season 5.


7. Jorah Mormont returns



Jorah Mormont and Daenerys Targaryen had a complex relationship and a few memorable emotional moments together throughout Game of Thrones, but their top feel-good moment was probably when Jorah returned to Dragonstone fully healed from greyscale. This was yet another moment that is even sweeter because of the hardship the came before it, and the actors did a phenomenal job of portraying the sentiment the two long friends were feeling for their reunion. Theon’s return to Winterfell—and Sansa’s warm embrace of him—along with all of the Stark reunions all easily could have been listed high among Game of Thrones’ top heartfelt scenes, too.


6. Brienne of Tarth is knighted



With the end of the series just episodes away and the dead marching on Winterfell, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” is seen as a bit of a love letter to much of the Game of Thrones cast and characters remaining in the final season. The best moment from the episode probably comes at the fireside discussion that turns into Jaime Lannister knighting Brienne of Tarth. For years, becoming a knight is what Brienne has wanted more than anything, but unfortunately it seemed impossible because she was a woman. Jaime again showed his honorable, good side—which was undeniable at this point—by making Brienne’s dream come true, and it meant more to Brienne that Jaime was the person to proclaim her a Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.


5. “Mhysa”



Remember, in the Season 3 finale following “The Rains of Castamere”, many Game of Thrones viewers were incredibly distraught over the stunning, sweeping deaths of main characters Robb Stark, Catelyn Stark, Talisa Stark, and Grey Wind. The season finale, “Mhysa”, was able to end on a completely opposite note, with Daenerys Targaryen being fully embraced and carried off majestically by the newly freed Yunkish people while acting as somewhat of a new hope for the viewer. Like “The Winds of Winter”, the season finale ended with Dany’s three dragons flying overhead—Daenerys’ outstanding moments made her final downfall all the more upsetting. As usual, the accompanying musical score from Ramin Djawadi at the end of “Mhysa” was perfect.


4. “King in the North” I and II



We are cheating a bit here by combining a couple of scenes set far apart in the series, but both King in the North scenes had to make the list. First, Robb Stark was crowned King in the North following his victory at Whispering Wood and the death of his father Ned. The North would be independent, setting the tone and mindset of the kingdom for the remainder of the series, and Robb was the first King in the North in nearly 300 years. Later in the eventful “The Winds of Winter”, it was just as memorable when Jon Snow—who was then thought of as a bastard with no birthright—was fully accepted by the North (thanks in part to Lyanna Mormont first speaking up for him) and named King in the North after the powerful Tower of Joy flashback scene.


3. Jaime and Tyrion Lannister final meeting



Their father Tywin Lannister complicated things because of his disdain for his dwarf son, but Jaime was basically the only real friend Tyrion had for most of his life, and the two brothers had a few notable heartfelt moments together in Game of Thrones. At the top of the list for two of the last remaining Lannisters was their final farewell in the penultimate episode of the series, “The Bells”, when Tyrion took a major risk and allowed Jaime to go free and try to get Cersei out of King’s Landing before it was too late. “You were the only one who didn’t treat me like a monster,” Tyrion said in his goodbye. “You were all I had.” This is probably the most bittersweet moment on the list, but it still had to make the cut nonetheless.


2. Whispering Wood



At the time back toward the very end of Season 1, the Lannisters were the clear chief enemy after King Joffrey unjustifiably had Ned Stark executed in “Baelor”, so Robb Stark winning the Battle of the Whispering Wood was one of the biggest triumphs of the series. Viewers did not actually see the battle, but we saw things from the perspective of Catelyn Stark, who joyously watched her oldest son emerge from the forest in one piece—with an extremely valuable prize in the way of a captured Jaime Lannister. Robb was just a young unproven leader thrust into action, but he answered the call with a superb battle strategy to claim a paramount victory for the North in the War of the Five Kings.


1. Final scene/Jon Snow’s goodbye



Again, we are combining a couple of scenes here, but these were much closer together after both happening in the Game of Thrones finale, “The Iron Throne”, one year ago. While Jon Snow had to deal with the massive heartbreak of being forced to kill Daenerys Targaryen, he was able to say his emotional goodbyes to Sansa, Arya, and Bran Stark before going back to Castle Black. When Jon arrived back at Castle Black, he was reunited with Ghost and Tormund, and he was to bring the Wildlings back north of the Wall—but he would be staying, too. After years of fighting, death, grief, and dealing with politics he could not care less about, you could see a sense of major relief and freedom on Jon’s face as he rode into the fade to black to end Game of Thrones.

The Complete ‘Game of Thrones’ Series Is Available December 3

The Complete ‘Game of Thrones’ Series Is Available December 3

Winter is coming.


In one week, Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection and The Complete Series will be available on Blu-ray and DVD, along with Season 8 becoming available on Blu-Ray, DVD, and 4K Ultra HD.


The Complete Collection is an ultra-premium, limited edition Blu-Ray with special packaging, while The Complete Series includes all the same content without the premium packaging.


Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection


Game of Thrones: The Complete Series


The press release from back in the summer announcing the complete Game of Thrones series reads in part:


Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection is packaged in a visually stunning wooden shadow box case, featuring beautiful, multi-layered panel designs by Robert Ball (the artist behind the “Beautiful Death” series) that summarize the Game of Thrones story. Each season is represented by a different layer, showcasing iconic characters and memorable moments from the show, all clambering toward the Iron Throne. The set also contains a “Hand of the King” pin clasp, which holds all nine custom plated disc sleeves.


Based on the best-selling novel series by George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones holds the record as the most awarded series in television history, earning a total of 132 Emmy nominations and 47 wins to date. The megahit drama also stands as HBO’s most-viewed program ever, with the final season averaging a record-setting 44 million viewers in the U.S..


The ensemble cast includes Emmy and Golden Globe winner Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister), Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen), Kit Harington (Jon Snow), Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark), Maisie Williams (Arya Stark), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister) and Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont).


(Game of Thrones has since won 12 more Emmys for the final season, bringing their total Emmy wins to 59.)


Aside from getting all 73 episodes of the epic groundbreaking series, fans also get bonus content from all eight seasons, along with new content including the Game of Thrones: Reunion Special, a reunion show shot live in Beflast with cast members both past and present.



We reached out to HBO for comment, and we received word that there are no plans to release the complete series in 4K. But the Blu-ray is the best way to re-watch the entire Game of Thrones series this winter and in the winters to come.


Game of Thrones: The Complete Collection will be available on December 3 and can be purchased at Walmart, Amazon, Best Buy, and Target.

A ‘Game of Thrones’ Prequel Featuring House Targaryen Is Happening

A ‘Game of Thrones’ Prequel Featuring House Targaryen Is Happening

There will be a Game of Thrones prequel series coming to HBO after all. It was reported earlier today that the prequel from showrunner Jane Goldman starring Naomi Watts had been canceled by the network, but HBO announced out of nowhere that a Game of Thrones prequel, “House of the Dragon”, is coming.



House of the Dragon, which is based on the Fire & Blood book—the telling of the story of House Targaryen by A Song of Ice and Fire creator George R.R. Martin—will focus on the Targaryen civil war and will be set roughly 300 years before the events of Game of Thrones.


The series is co-created by Martin and Ryan Condal, with Miguel Sapochnik (director of epic Thrones episodes like Hardhome, Battle of the Bastards, and The Long Night) partnering as a showrunner along with Condal. Sapochnik will direct the pilot and additional episodes, and Condal will write the series.


HBO is currently fully revealing HBO Max ahead of its 2020 launch, but this surprise announcement of the Game of Thrones prequel is major news that’ll certainly bring plenty of excitement for the premium network. Martin had previously expressed optimism about the Targaryen-centered prequel based on The Dance of Dragons civil war, and HBO likely feels good about ordering the series without seeing a pilot because Condal can take directly from Fire & Blood, and Sapochnik has more than proven himself on Game of Thrones.


House of the Dragon will likely premiere on HBO in 2021.

‘Game of Thrones’ Prequel Starring Naomi Watts Canceled By HBO

‘Game of Thrones’ Prequel Starring Naomi Watts Canceled By HBO

More content from George R.R. Martin’s world of Ice and Fire will have to wait. According to multiple reports, the Game of Thrones prequel series starring Naomi Watts has been canceled by HBO.


This move from HBO is nearly as stunning as the twists and turns from the original record-breaking critically acclaimed series, which concluded earlier this year. The prequel series shot an entire pilot episode, but HBO is moving on from the project led by showrunner Jane Goldman and starring Watts.


The series, which A Song of Ice and Fire creator George R.R. Martin was hoping would be called “The Long Night”, would not have featured the Targaryens or their dragons. But it would have included early Starks and Lannisters from several thousand years ago during the “Age of Heroes” in Westeros.


At least one other Game of Thrones prequel, set around 150 years before the events of the groundbreaking series and focusing on the Targaryen family civil war (known as “The Dance of the Dragons”), is in the works. Perhaps HBO will feel a prequel closer to the timeline of the original show will be a better fit, but today’s news is still disappointing for many fans—hopefully the negativity on social media surrounding the end of Game of Thrones had no impact on the decision.


This prequel was expected to debut in 2020 if it received a full series order, so this decision at least gives the all-time great Game of Thrones more time to breathe after its finale.


There has been no word from HBO on the news, but EW reports that the network has planned to move on from the series weeks ago. We will update this with any potential comment from HBO, Goldman, Watts, or Martin.


[UPDATE: Martin has shared thoughts on his blog, writing in part that he was “saddened” HBO decided not to go forward.]

‘Game of Thrones’ Leads 2019 Emmy Nominations

‘Game of Thrones’ Leads 2019 Emmy Nominations

Game of Thrones is rightfully getting a ton of award recognition for its eighth and final season, as they lead the 2019 Emmy Awards with a record-setting 32 nominations.


Headlined by Kit Harington’s nomination for “Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama Series” for his portrayal of Jon Snow, Emilia Clarke’s nomination for “Outstanding Lead Actress in a Drama Series” for her portrayal of Daenerys Targaryen, and the show’s nomination for “Outstanding Drama Series”, the epic HBO drama is getting its due despite some vocal unhappy viewers that didn’t have their theories come true during the final season.


In addition to the nominations for Harington and Clarke, many of the other cast members have received nominations for “Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Drama Series” (Pete Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Jaime Lannister, and Alfie Allen as Theon Greyjoy) and “Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Drama Series” (Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister, Maisie Williams as Arya Stark, Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark, and Gwendoline Christie as Brienne of Tarth), while Carice van Houten earned a nomination for “Outstanding Guest Actress in a Drama Series” for her return as Melisandre in “The Long Night”.


Dinklage, who has been nominated for all eight seasons of the show, has won three Emmys during his time as Tyrion, but none of the other Game of Thrones cast has won an individual Emmy, which obviously isn’t indicative of the remarkable acting in the series from start to finish.


In addition to the entire final season being nominated, the series finale “The Iron Throne” (written and directed by showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss) received a nomination for “Outstanding Writing For a Drama Series”.


Game of Thrones has won “Outstanding Drama Series” for its previous three seasons, and it has been nominated for all eight seasons. The show is already the most awarded scripted series in Emmy history.


The 71st Primetime Emmy Awards will air on Sunday, September 22 at 8:00 PM ET on FOX.

‘Game of Thrones’ Collector’s Edition Box Set Will Be Released December 3

‘Game of Thrones’ Collector’s Edition Box Set Will Be Released December 3

HBO has been mostly quiet about Game of Thrones since it ended last month, but the show’s official YouTube account unexpectedly released a clip from the Limited Edition Game of Thrones Complete Series Box Set this morning.



So, it looks like the four living Starks that ended the series—played by actors Kit Harington, Sophie Turner, Maisie Williams, and Isaac Hempstead-Wright—will be a part of the reunion hosted by Conan O’Brien, and as previously announced, Sean Bean (who played Ned Stark) will be there, too.


And you may have noticed that at the end of the YouTube video, we got a look at the appearance for the item itself:



It’s unclear if the reunion is limited to the actors shown in the clip, but there are a couple seats open—perhaps for Richard Madden (who played Robb Stark) and Michelle Fairley (who played Catelyn Stark).


[UPDATE: A currently-unlisted video on the official Game of Thrones YouTube channel dives deeper into The Complete Collection, and adds that Sean Bean, Mark Addy, and Jason Mamoa are among the past cast members that will appear in the reunion special:]



Also, there might be a chance that the actors were split up because there were so many in Game of Thrones, as it would be a surprise if the other principle actors—Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen), Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister), Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jaime Lannister), and Lena Headey (Cersei Lannister) weren’t a part of the footage.


If the clip wasn’t enough to get you to buy the Limited Edition Box Set, we are hoping it is soon confirmed to be in 4K, which would make it a must-purchase or a great gift for any Game of Thrones loyalist, especially with the release date coming just before Christmas.


The ‘Game of Thrones’ Complete Series Collector’s Edition Box Set will release on December 3, 2019.

‘Game of Thrones’: The Greatest Television Series Of All-Time

‘Game of Thrones’: The Greatest Television Series Of All-Time

Our watch has ended. After an epic eight-season, 73-episode run, Game of Thrones is concluded, but the hit HBO series will live on forever. The show created by David Benioff and D.B. Weiss based on the A Song of Ice and Fire books by George R.R. Martin is etched in history as an ambitious, heartbreaking, emotional story that hit all the right notes, from the Season 1 premiere to the Season 8 finale. So what makes Game of Thrones the greatest television series of all-time? There’s a lot to go through.



Game of Thrones is a far-stretching storyline with many different settings within the fantasy world, but every character and plot was involved in a number of different genres. There was no other way for a world as big as Westeros to be put on screen, and it happened to lead to the show never getting boring for viewers, who were constantly on the edge of their seats. Put simply, Game of Thrones basically hit every genre at a master level that arguably made it the best drama, fantasy, action, suspense, and political show on television all at once.



The final season of Game of Thrones—and the finale in particular—played out as a high-class drama, with Daenerys Targaryen finally getting within reach of the Iron Throne, only to lose two dragons/children and her two closest friends/advisors, which caused massive grief and set the Dragon Queen out for blood. During it all, Daenerys and Jon Snow had come to love each other, without knowing Jon’s true parentage at first—his real name was Aegon Targaryen, Daenerys’ nephew—and the revelation (acted out beautifully by both Kit Harington and Emilia Clarke when Jon and Dany found out in consecutive episodes) ultimately led to a striking downfall.


Jon, loving his queen but conflicted about their relationship, was forced to make a drastic choice, putting an end to a character he (and we the viewers) had loved in a poetic scene in the series finale. The conversation with Tyrion before deciding to do the deed; the actual death scene itself, where Daenerys was back to being more like the good-hearted hero the majority of people cheered for as much as any character on the show; and the aftermath were all like something out of a Shakespeare play—but better, in part because we’ve gotten to know the characters for the course of nearly a decade.


There have been plenty of dramatic moments, including big ones like Ned Stark’s death, the Red Wedding, Jon Snow’s death (all of which will be discussed later), Tyrion’s trial, Jon’s relationship with Ygritte, and the deaths of the Lannister children—as well as simple things like the relationship between Jaime and Tyrion Lannister—but Season 8 is the best example of drama in Game of Thrones.



Admittedly, I wasn’t sure about Game of Thrones at first because of the fantasy aspect to it—but it’s not your typical fantasy world. The basis of Game of Thrones is its real-life relationships and actions, with the magic on the outskirts of the world—like to the East in Essos (with the dragons) and to the far North beyond the Wall with the Land of Always Winter. In fact, most people in Westeros didn’t believe in magic, as dragons had been dead for over 100 years before Daenerys did the impossible and brought them back, and virtually no one believed in the Army of the Dead until they saw it. The show provides just enough fantasy and magic so that it’s essentially a secondary thing despite the importance of it with things like the dragons, White Walkers, and the Lord of Light (mainly for bringing Jon back to life).



The battle scenes are going to get their own category later, but they are by far the best in the history of TV or film. HBO went all out giving Game of Thrones huge budgets to work with, and awesome directors, pace, cinematography, and characters we cared about helped make the battles insanely good. Great action in the show also included the trial by combats, the fight between Brienne of Tarth and the Hound, the Clegane Bowl, and all of Arya Stark’s predicaments as a highly-skilled assassin. A big standout is the gladiator scene from “The Dance of Dragons” (Season 5, Episode 9), with Jorah Mormont participating in the tradition at the Great Pit of Daznak, which I think is the best stadium battle scene ever.



Continuing with “The Dance of Dragons”, that gladiator scene immediately transitioned into one of the most suspenseful moments from the show, as Daenerys closed her eyes and appeared to be reaching the end with the Sons of the Harpy closing in—until, a dragon screech could be heard in the distance and Drogon arrived to save his mother. “Blackwater” (Season 2, Episode 9) and “The Long Night” (Season 8, Episode 3) were filled with suspense, particularly with the helpless women and children hiding away while the battles were taking place. Arya was also involved in a highly-suspenseful Season 6 storyline at the House of Black and White, and there was deafening suspense between Seasons 5 and 6 as fans awaited Jon Snow’s fate. Game of Thrones is likely the most suspenseful television show of all-time.



Finally, politics was an integral part of Game of Thrones, especially in the early seasons. Much of the King’s Landing storyline in the entire first season followed the honorable Ned Stark as he navigated a playing field of liars and schemers that operated with a completely different moral compass than him. Everything was about power, and many of the battles, betrayals, and sacrifices were all for the Throne. The politics was mostly tied to the Iron Throne, but it was about power in general—and the political happenings in Westeros are very realistic. Things didn’t just happen for the sake of pushing a plot forward, as the political implications had a huge impact on the story—examples include the forming of alliances, like Robb Stark and his marriage, which he turned back on, leading to his downfall; and Jon trying to rally allies to his cause on a few different occasions.



The White Walkers

Horror could have been its own category under the genre section, but the White Walkers are getting their own section because of the enormous impact they had on Game of Thrones.


The looming threat

From the very start of the series, the mysterious White Walkers were the looming threat over Westeros, even if no one in the country believed in them—in the famous “the man who passes the sentence should swing the sword” scene, even Ned Stark told Bran that the White Walkers have been gone for thousands of years. But because of the opening scene, where we witness the deaths of Night’s Watch members Gared and Ser Waymar Royce at the hands of a frightening creature with blue eyes, we know that the threat is real. Over the years, the White Walkers becomes stronger, and they hang in the background with the potential to make all the politics of Westeros mean nothing.


The Night King

The Night King never said a word and only had several appearances in the show, but he’s arguably the greatest villain of all-time (a title that could be held by a few Game of Thrones characters)—or at least the most intimidating. While we did get insight on his 10,000-year origin from a Three-Eyed Raven vision, the Night King’s overall mystique added to the greatness of the character. The motivations of the leader of the Army of the Dead aren’t just spelled out for the viewer, but it’s clear he wanted to turn every living person into a member of his army until there was no one left—and it’s something he’s been after for thousands of years.


While the ultimate enemy was only seen in action a few times, all of those occurrences were insane. The attack on Hardhome (Season 5, Episode 8) might have been the most utterly shocking moment of the series aside from the deaths of Ned, Robb, and Jon, and it showed how important it was for the Army of the Dead to be stopped. “The Door” (Season 6, Episode 5) was another out-of-nowhere moment, and it was the Night King’s most extensive action as he struck down the old Three-Eyed Raven before missing out on killing Bran. He coldly watched Daenerys, Jon, and the others struggle to get out of his territory alive before striking Viserion with an ice spear to get his own weapon of mass destruction in the form of an ice dragon in “Beyond the Wall” (Season 7, Episode 6). And finally, “The Long Night” (Season 8, Episode 3) showed that the Night King could basically do whatever he wanted—falling from the sky couldn’t stop him and dragonfire couldn’t stop him, as he coldly and confidently walked from outside Winterfell all the way to the godswood. The Night King was such a powerful force that it wasn’t realistic for Jon Snow to even get within striking distance for single combat, and it took an expertly-executed Valyrian steel blade-hand switch by Arya to eliminate him.


The Army of the Dead

There are shows and movies that focus solely on zombies and apocalypses, but Game of Thrones blows them out of the water with their zombies and the Army of the Dead. The Night King’s army—which also included White Walker lieutenants that assuredly escorted their leader to the godswood during the Battle of Winterfell—is purely horrifying. The movements, sounds, and endless attacks made the wights truly terrifying, and “The Long Night” (including the undead coming alive in the crypts) was like something straight out of a horror film. The Army of the Dead also included zombie giants, a zombie polar bear, and eventually the ice dragon Viserion.



ASOIAF Universe

George R.R. Martin created a mind-bogglingly deep universe with his A Song of Ice and Fire novels, and he trusted David Benioff and Dan Weiss to put his characters, settings, and events on television for HBO. The structure set up by Martin led to amazing results, as it was an entire original world that Game of Thrones had to work with.



A key part of the structure set up in Game of Thrones is the presence of families (called Houses). The House words (like “Winter is Coming” for House Stark and “Fire and Blood” for House Targaryen), the House sigils (like the lion for House Lannister and the crowned stag for House Baratheon), and the typical personalities for members of each family are impressively in-depth. Houses are important for dynamics such as alliances, as well as giving insight on characters and the outlook other characters in the universe have toward others based on family names and traditions. Many viewers watched the show with allegiances in mind, whether they were pulling for House Stark, House Lannister, House Targaryen, House Tyrell, or any other family, adding another layer to the viewing experience.


Also, the talk of family legacy (particularly with the Lannisters) was of major importance, and Houses could be wiped away from history in the violent world of Westeros—like Cersei accomplished by taking out House Tyrell. Aside from the Houses, there are the other groups like the Dothraki that lived in Essos and never crossed the Narrow Sea between the continents (until Daenerys led them to Westeros), the wildlings that lived north of the Wall (until Jon safely brought some south), and the Children of the Forest north of the Wall.



The locations can be confusing because the universe is so massive, but no show goes in depth as Game of Thrones when it comes to locations—from the original continents (Westeros and Essos) to the ancestral homes like Winterfell and Dragonstone. Cities and castles have their own moods to them, each place has a distinct look and feel to it, and the differences between somewhere like Eastwatch and somewhere else like Braavos—and locations in between—is striking.



Robert’s Rebellion (which occurred about 20 years before the first episode of the show) had the biggest impact on Game of Thrones, but there is so much history in the universe (which allows the possibility of a few successor shows set thousands of years in the past) that influences the story. The history of the dragons, three of which were used by the Targaryens to conquer Westeros, made them such a critical re-emergence into the world after Daenerys stepped into the fire and brought them back—and the history of Targaryens being unstoppable with their dragons was a theme that came to fruition with Dany.


Religion and Language

In Game of Thrones, there are multiple religions, which is a reflection of the real world. The Faith of the Seven (also known as the New Gods, the dominant religion in most of Westeros brought over by the Andals) and the Old Gods (the dominant religion in the North, which includes important weirwood trees in the godswoods) are the two main religions, but there’s also the Lord of Light (worshipped by Melisandre and others), the Drowned Gods (worshipped in the Iron Islands), and the Many-Faced God (worshipped by the Faceless Men).


For language, Daenerys knows the Common Tongue (what we know as English), Dothraki, and Valyrian—and Valyrian has High Valyrian and Low Valyrian. The Common Tongue is mostly spoken throughout Westeros, but there are more languages than just the Common Tongue and Valyrian in Essos. It’s extraordinary how far HBO took the languages by further developing Dothraki and Valyrian from the ASOIAF world.



The fantasy category under the genre section already went over magic and how it’s on the outskirts of this world—the perfect amount to make its presence important, but not something that overrides the real actions within the world. The Three-Eyed Raven, the Red Priestesses, and Daenerys’ three dragons are the biggest forces of magic in Game of Thrones, but there are other magical themes that remain more mysterious and unexplained throughout—helping give a dark an ominous tone to the show.




We just went over magic in Game of Thrones, but the fantasy aspect being more on the outskirts of the series makes it believable. Putting fantasy aside, the realism of Westeros was evident for eight seasons.



Again, Game of Thrones definitely hits the political themes, as you’d expect from a show that involves the struggle for power. The first season following Ned Stark as he dealt with the politics of King’s Landing was already discussed, but the Battle of the Bastards is another good example of the importance of politics in Game of Thrones. When Jon Snow decided he would help Sansa Stark take back Winterfell from the Boltons, it wasn’t like they just suddenly had the soldiers to fight and stepped on the battlefield. Allegiances came into play, as the supposed bastard and his half-sister had to convince northern lords for fight for their cause—sometimes successfully, and sometimes not. Littlefinger was a character that exemplified playing politics in Westeros, as he was a skilled liar and back-stabber that was able to climb the ladder of chaos into a strong position—until his ways caught up to him.


Anything can happen

This could be a headline category of its own because it’s critically important, but perhaps the biggest reason Game of Thrones is so realistic is that unexpected twists, turns, and triumphs occur out of nowhere—anything can happen, just as is the case in real life. The “good guys” don’t always win, and the Red Wedding is a perfect of example of that. The anything-can-happen nature of Game of Thrones makes it believable that characters can die at any moment (like Daenerys at the end of “The Dance of Dragons” before she was saved by Drogon, or Jon Snow potentially falling again in the Battle of the Bastards despite just being brought back to life). And all the little things that happen add up—if the future Hero of Winterfell Arya Stark didn’t get on that boat in “The Children” (Season 4 finale) to get to Braavos and become one of the world’s best killers, the living might not have won in the Great War.



Relationships come into play for the politics part, but the focus of this category is the relationships between individual characters. Arya Stark and the Hound, and Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth are among the most obvious examples, but one of the most underappreciated relationships is between Tyrion and Cersei Lannister. “A Man Without Honor” (Season 2, Episode 7) shows the complexity of their relationship, and it’s as close as they get to liking each other—Cersei was distraught about Jaime being a prisoner and Joffrey being uncontrollable, and you could tell Tyrion felt bad but simply didn’t know how to comfort her, while Cersei didn’t know how to accept any potential comfort from her little brother.


Character arcs

Game of Thrones characters behave like real people, with the best character arcs you’ll find on television. Multiple characters from the show have a case for best character arc ever, but Jaime Lannister and Theon Greyjoy are arguably the top two.


Jaime went from being perhaps the most-hated character from early in the series—with max level smugness and arrogance—but we get more insight on the person after he’s taken prisoner by Robb Stark at Whispering Wood. He defends Brienne’s honor and loses his good hand for it, which was basically killing him without really killing him. Then the origin of his derogatory “Kingslayer” nickname comes to light when he unsettlingly described the moment that he killed the Mad King. From there, he was basically a sympathetic character that most fans came to like—but he displayed that he still certainly had his edge throughout the rest of the series. Jaime showed he did have a good heart when he kept his vow to fight for the living and knighted Brienne at Winterfell, but that amazing character arc didn’t change who he is when he ultimately decided he had to return to Cersei—that’s true to life.


Theon went from taking Winterfell from the Starks—despite being like a brother to Robb and a son to Ned—and instantly becoming a hated character, to going through hell and eventually fully redeeming himself by saving two Stark siblings: Sansa from Ramsay Bolton and guarding Bran during the Battle of Winterfell. It gives you goosebumps to think about how Theon was accepted by Sansa and Bran, and he had two of the most emotional moments of the series in Season 8 before meeting his demise at the hands of the Night King. The conflicted nature of Theon’s character was outstanding.


A shrinking world

Obviously, with a death-filled show like Game of Thrones, the story is going to change. It’s really awesome how Jon Snow went from Castle Black as a member on the struggling Night’s Watch, to eventually working his way to meeting Daenerys Targaryen (another character that had a long journey, starting in Essos away from the conflicts in Westeros) at Dragonstone in Season 7. The world kept shrinking and people from opposite sides of the world all came together by the end to help create the song of ice and fire.



Characters and Acting

There is stiff competition from other shows, but Game of Thrones arguably had the best cast of all-time. The ensemble cast was filled with many new faces along with established actors like Sean Bean, Peter Dinklage, and Lena Headey, and it’s difficult to picture any other actors in almost any of the roles—it was the perfect storm led to the perfect cast.


Jon Snow/Kit Harington

Kit Harington went into his Game of Thrones audition with a black eye after standing up for his girlfriend at a McDonald’s, but he knocked it out of the park and earned the role of a lifetime in Jon Snow. That honorable action and subsequent black eye is somewhat representative of Jon, and Harington played the part to perfection. Despite being raised a Ned Stark’s bastard, Jon rose all the way to becoming Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, won the Battle of the Bastards to take back Winterfell, was named King in the North, and rallied the living together and helped lead them to victory in the Great War. Jon was actually a Targaryen and true heir to the Iron Throne as the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna Stark, but he landed on the good side of the coin and always behaved like the son of Ned—including putting duty over love in the end when he killed Queen Daenerys. Jon’s conclusion was fitting for the character, as it was clear throughout the series that he didn’t care for the politics of Westeros and always loved it in the North and beyond the Wall. Harington, and many other actors in the ensemble, have showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss to thank for giving him the opportunity in Game of Thrones, but he’s become one of the best actors in the world.


Daenerys Targaryen/Emilia Clarke

Daenerys Targaryen is an extremely powerful and inspirational character that’s become iconic in pop culture (parents have named their kids “Daenerys” or “Khaleesi” after the her), and Emilia Clarke’s acting ability had a huge hand in that. It’s amazing that Clarke was able to portray Daenerys Targaryen the way she did, because she seems like one of the nicest people in the world in real life, while Daenerys often had to be stern, cold, and ruthless. Dany had as many triumphant, motivational moments as anyone in the series (including a needed joyful season-ending scene in Season 3’s “Mhysa” one episode after the Red Wedding), which made her series-ending turn toward madness and eventual downfall all the more stunning. In the final episode, Clarke seamlessly went from delivering an authoritarian speech in a made-up language to becoming a tragic, sympathetic figure like the character many viewers loved as much as any character for 72 episodes. She also had to act and make it believable while on top of a fake dragon (that looked nothing like an actual dragon) surrounded by green screens—and she did it flawlessly. Clarke was added to the second shooting of the pilot, and the series probably wouldn’t be what it is without her.


Tyrion Lannister/Peter Dinklage

Peter Dinklage and his character Tyrion Lannister were in some ways the glue of the cast. Dinklage is an American actor that helped headline the ensemble for a show that was being made for an American television network in HBO, and he played a critical principle character that interacted with more key characters than anyone else. Dinklage’s acting—particularly with his eyes—helped give us the emotions Tyrion was going through. The Lannister outcast started the series as a bit of a carefree joke that pursued trivial things, but he found himself in politics, where he became a serious player in the game. I don’t think any actor in the world (even putting the dwarf requirement aside) could’ve played Tyrion close to as well as Dinklage did.


Cersei Lannister/Lena Headey

Lena Headey was another established and known actor along with Dinklage in the largely unknown ensemble, and it’s impossible to imagine someone else playing the part of Cersei Lannister. The character is clearly one of the worst people in Westeros, but her soft spot for her children shows she’s not just some evil psychopath—and her final moments superbly encapsulated that, as she was just a human being that didn’t want to die. Heaney’s confident smirks, cunning eyes, and mocking tone as Cersei is just sensational.


Ned Stark/Sean Bean

From the beginning, Game of Thrones knew it wanted Sean Bean to play Ned Stark, and the casting choice could not have been better. As discussed, the Warden of the North had to operate down in the south, serving as King Robert’s Hand despite not wanting to. Ned’s duty, honor, and love for his family was very powerful, and the portrayal by Bean—for every single scene he was in—was spectacular. In just nine episodes, Bean was able to make Ned a true main character that seemed set to have the series centered around him, with an impact that’s felt throughout the rest of the series long after the character’s death.


Sansa Stark/Sophie Turner

Sophie Turner’s first role came as Sansa Stark, but she grew up with the character and went through an astonishing arc as Sansa, going from a self-described “stupid little girl” into the Lady of Winterfell and the Queen in the North. Considering how naïve Sansa was in the beginning of the show, to where she was at the end—outmaneuvering Littlefinger and commanding the utmost respect from the northerners while setting the tone for the kingdom—and all the struggles she went through in between, the character arc has a case for being the best in Game of Thrones.


Arya Stark/Maise Williams

Going from a little girl that knew who she was and desperately wanted to be a fighter at the beginning of the series to actually becoming one of the deadliest people alive by the end, Maise Williams had a tough task playing Arya Stark; but again, it’s difficult to picture anyone else in the part, as it the case for all these characters. Arya’s journey was reminiscent of Odysseus’ journey in The Odyssey, and she went years looking for revenge on those that wronged her and her family—and she was successful in avenging the Red Wedding by eliminating House Frey, and of course she was the Hero of Winterfell after killing the Night King to end the Great War at the Battle of Winterfell.


Bran Stark/Isaac Hempstead-Wright

After the first episode of Game of Thrones ended with Bran Stark being pushed out of a window, Isaac Hempstead-Wright had to play a crippled character that eventually became unattached as the Three-Eyed Raven, so it wasn’t an easy part to play. Hempstead-Wright was able to still deliver some humor within the character, including when he showed Samwell Tarly the raven scroll as the method he found out Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen were sailing to Winterfell. Also, despite being an emotionless character, Bran delivered an emotional moment during “The Long Night” when he told Theon Greyjoy he was right where he belonged: “home.” Bran being named King was definitely a surprise, but his ability to look into the past and learn from the mistakes of others will certainly make him a good ruler.


The character arcs of Jaime Lannister and Theon Greyjoy were already discussed, but the acting job by Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Alfie Allen were right on par with their co-stars, which is saying something. Truly, every cast member was superb, which you know if you watch the show, but we’ll quickly go over a few more characters before moving on.


Jorah Mormont/Iain Glen

Jorah Mormont was in Game of Thrones from the pilot, and he was able to survive into Season 8 despite a few brushes with death (including greyscale). Iain Glen splendidly portrayed Jorah as someone in love with Daenerys Targaryen, but when he returned to her at Dragonstone in Season 7 and saw Jon Snow was there, you could tell he had a subtle shift in thinking and was more so just happy to be by her side, even if it wasn’t on the level he had always hoped—Glen’s acting made that shift possible and believable. His death while defending Dany was the perfect way for him to go out.


Robb Stark/Richard Madden

Richard Madden stands at about five-foot-ten, but he was able to deliver an intimidating on-screen presence that helped his portrayal as Robb Stark match up to the character’s nickname “The Young Wolf.” After Ned Stark’s death, Robb was named the first King in the North in nearly 300 years, and he became a classic “good guy” that followed his heart despite some political missteps. Robb’s death at the Red Wedding is probably the most sudden and devastating in television history, changing the story (and television) forever.


Stannis Baratheon/Stephen Dillane

Stannis Baratheon was a nearly-emotionless but highly-successful leader that was stone-faced and single-minded, which Stephen Dillane executed in such a way it made the character comical at times—like when he matter-of-factly told his brother Renly to give up “otherwise I shall destroy you.”


Davos Seaworth/Liam Cunningham

While Davos Seaworth was a former smuggler, he had a good understanding of right and wrong, and he was willing to fight for what he believed in. Liam Cunningham brought spirit and wit to the loyal character, surviving long enough to serve three different kings and get a spot on the Small Council.


Melisandre/Carice van Houten

Carice van Houten made the Red Priestess Melisandre a convincingly alluring character that, like many other characters, was squarely in the grey area. Melisandre’s intentions genuinely appeared to be good as she served the Lord of Light, but she was behind some terrible things—none more terrible than having Shireen Baratheon burned at the stake. In the end before her death, the centuries-old Melisandre found some redemption by bringing much-needed fire to the Battle of Winterfell.


Varys/Conleth Hill

Though not as ambitious and cold-blooded as Littlefinger, Lord Varys was the main adversary of Lord Baelish, and the two complemented each other well. Conleth Hill expertly made Varys an unassuming figure that tried to do what was best for the realm—and that often meant switching allegiances whenever he felt it was best.


Joffrey Baratheon/Jack Gleeson

By all accounts, Jack Gleeson is one of the kindest people you’ll meet, so his ability to play a totally unlikable character like Joffrey Baratheon is pretty impressive. King Joffrey was an awful ruler, as he was insecure, cruel, and unwise—but it made for one of the most memorable villains in history.


Ramsay Bolton/Iwan Rheon

Iwan Rheon initially auditioned for the role of Jon Snow, but the audience is lucky the showrunners circled back and cast him as another bastard, Ramsay Snow. Initially a mysterious character that was introduced as a torturer of Theon Greyjoy, the bastard son of Roose Bolton worked his way up into being named a legitimate Bolton (in a scene that somehow made viewers feel happy for him for a moment). But he was a legitimate sociopath that was pure evil, and it’s difficult to imagine anyone playing the part as well as Rheon did.


Euron Greyjoy/Pilou Asbæk

He wasn’t just pure evil like Ramsay Bolton, but Euron Greyjoy was a definite villain that was simply absolutely nuts. Pilou Asbæk brought that craziness to the screen in a way that the Game of Thrones team must have been thrilled with. Asbæk was able to deliver a twisted-but-hilarious laugh—most notably when Theon Greyjoy jumped overboard instead of trying to save his sister Yara—and he even died with a smile on his face, thinking he killed Jaime Lannister in a fight he seemingly wanted just for the fun of it.


Tywin Lannister/Charles Dance

Tywin Lannister wasn’t an evil man, but he was one of the most selfish people in Westeros, caring about family legacy over anything—which made his death fitting, as it’s probably the last way he wanted to go out. Charles Dance was great during his four seasons as Tywin, starting from his first episode “You Win or You Die” (Season 1, Episode 7), when he carved a real-life stag numerous times to capture his first scene on the show.


Mark Addy (King Robert Baratheon), Jason Mamoa (Khal Drogo), and Harry Lloyd (Viserys Targaryen) during their limited time on the show were fabulous. John Bradley (Samwell Tarly), Rory McCann (Sandor “The Hound” Clegane), and Jerome Flynn (Bronn) were in all eight seasons and were all exceptional. Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth) joined the show in Season 2 and became an integral character for the rest of the series; Nathalie Emmanuel (Missandei), and Jacob Anderson (Grey Worm) did the same as loyal followers of Daenerys Targaryen with an interesting and important relationship. Rose Leslie (Ygritte) was obviously critical for the character of Jon Snow—and Kit Harington and Leslie are now married in real life.


Natalie Dormer (Margaery Tyrell) played the upper hand on Cersei Lannister in a way that not many could pull off, and Dianna Rigg (Olenna Tyrell) was just as good at doing the same, delivering biting lines to anyone that crossed her path. Pedro Pascal’s time as Oberyn Martell was short-lived but unforgettable. Michael Huisman (Daario Naharis) was believable as a love interest of Daenerys Targaryen. And Kristofer Hivju (Tormund Giantsbane) was kept on the cast because he was just so good in his part, and the character eventually travels to the “Real North” with Jon Snow to end the series. This could go on and on to hit literally every actor and character in Game of Thrones. Just one bad apple—in terms of acting ability or attitude behind the scenes—would have stood out in a cast this tremendous, but there were none.




The actors have to be great for a television to be top-notch, but the entire crew all the way down to the extras must be exceptional for a show to be as successful as Game of Thrones. From the outside looking in, it appears that everyone involved with Game of Thrones (including all the actors) seems to truly get along like a family. If every single person that was part of the cast and crew wasn’t great, who knows what would’ve happened? The show might not have lasted more than a season or two.


The showrunners

David Benioff and D.B. Weiss correctly answered the question from George R.R. Martin: “Who is Jon Snow’s real mother?” From there, the rest is history, and HBO trusting the trio, securing the television rights to the ASOIAF books after getting the story brought to them, and giving D&D the freedom to create Game of Thrones with never-before-seen budgets and no known interference is probably the best decision the premium network has ever made. Benioff and Weiss had easy material to work with in the novels, along with great co-writers like Bryan Cogman, but they kept things going smoothly after they ran past the books—Season 6 is thought of by many as the best season of the show, and the final two seasons completed the story to perfection. It says a lot about Benioff and Weiss that Game of Thrones operated at a high level from top to bottom.


A+ directors

It would’ve been nearly impossible for Benioff and Weiss to direct all 73 episodes of the series, and everyone probably would’ve gotten tired of each other after a while if that happened. But there were directors that could be trusted to handle episodes and ensure everything feels connected from week to week. Tim Van Patten, Daniel Minahan, and Alan Taylor were three directors well-known for their work on previous HBO series, and their presence probably helped the show find its footing early on. David Nutter (directed the last two episodes of Season 3 and Season 5, among others) and Miguel Sapochnik (“Hardhome”, “Battle of the Bastards”, “The Winds of Winter”) were heavy-hitters brought back for the final season, but every director that participated in the show appeared to do A+ work.


Under-the-radar crews

The special effects in Game of Thrones—from the dragons to all the different types of destruction like wildfire and dragonfire—were second to none in television or film. The makeup and prosthetics for the White Walkers, battle scars, head explosions, etc. were crazy good. And the settings, costumes, and weapons teams made the world of Westeros feel more real every Sunday night. Everything looked realistic, even if it was totally fake walls that looked like real stone or the dragons that were built from scratch into life-like beasts.




Earlier, it was discussed how Game of Thrones is arguably the best show under a handful of different genres; but the show being the best extends to the acting, directing, special effects, and—perhaps most of all—the music. Composer Ramin Djawadi created the most epic scores you’ll hear for a show or movie, and all the background music helped with the theme of the show and set the tone for what was happening in a scene. I am no music expert, but these are some of my favorite usages of music in Game of Thrones:


“The Rains of Castamere” (the song of House Lannister) is played throughout the series, but it’s best use is undoubtedly when it’s played by the Frey men at the Red Wedding. You’re not sure what’s going to happen, but the music gives you this feeling that something isn’t quite right.


“Two Swords” combined the Stark and Lannister theme in an astounding song that gloriously complements the scene when Tywin Lannister melts down House Stark’s ancestral sword Ice.


The different songs using the Targaryen theme, including “Finale”, “Mhysa”, and “The Winds of Winter” give a feeling of triumph to Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons, which is unfortunate when you consider her downfall.


“The Light of the Seven” from “The Winds of Winter” (Season 6, Episode 10) and “The Night King” from “The Long Night” (Season 8, Episode 3) both use the piano to build tension in the case of the former, and to make you feel incredibly sad and feel like the living is going to lose in the case of the latter.


The songs used during the scenes with Jon Snow and Daenerys were phenomenal, as they went from hopeful and optimistic throughout Season 7 to sad and dramatic for the Daenerys death scene.


Finally, the last two songs of the series—“The Last of the Starks”, which is a beautiful version of the Stark theme, and “A Song of Ice and Fire”, which is a twist on the opening title theme for the closing credits—are two of the best. And that iconic main title theme has to be mentioned.



Emotional moments

Game of Thrones is filled with highly emotional moments—moments that just give chills, incite feelings, or just break your heart more than any other television series. Even something as simple as Jon Snow and Robb Stark saying farewell in the second episode of the first season hits you, especially when you look back and think the two brothers never see each other again. These are some examples of undervalued emotional moments throughout the series.


Michelle Fairley was another recast for the second pilot, and that decision obviously worked out. As Catelyn Stark, Fairley delivered powerful moments filled with emotion—including when she talked to Talisa Stark about Jon Snow, and very early in the series when Cersei Lannister visited Catelyn at Bran’s bedside and discussed losing a child.


In the aftermath of the Red Wedding, the viewers were able to get a feel-good moment across the Narrow Sea to end Season 3, as Daenerys Targaryen addressed the crowd of newly-freed Yunkish slaves, giving a speech about them taking back their freedom. As the crowd chanted “Mhysa”, Daenerys learned it meant “mother”, as the Mother of Dragons was jubilantly carried throughout the crowd while her three dragons flew overhead.


In the penultimate episode of Season 5, Daenerys had another awe-inspiring moment when she escaped danger, flying away on Drogon while leaving Tyrion Lannister and her other allies stunned at this young queen riding a dragon. Earlier in the episode, it’s difficult not to shed a tear when Shireen Baratheon is burned at the stake while her father Stannis and mother Selyse look on.


And in the “The Long Night”, the look Tyrion and Sansa give each other as they face impending doom in the Crypts of Winterfell says it all. Thankfully, they both survived, but it looked like those would be their last moments when the music hit.


Other emotional moments include Daenerys ordering Jorah Mormont to find a cure (then Jorah’s eventual return), Theon’s return to Winterfell, and Hodor’s crushingly-sad origins as revealed in “The Door”.




We didn’t see battles early in Game of Thrones; for example, Whispering Wood occurred off screen. But when they happened, they got better and better—and by far the best in the history of television or film, which is crazy considering the show has to contend with feature films that far exceed even the big budgets for Game of Thrones.



While King Joffrey cowered despite a lot of tough talk earlier about giving his Uncle Stannis a “red smile”, Tyrion Lannister was forced to lead the defense of King’s Landing. The swift use of wildfire led to a victory for the Lannisters, but there was plenty of suspense throughout the battle, mostly focusing on Cersei Lannister. The final scene in the Great Hall, where Cersei sat on the Iron Throne ready to poison Tommen and herself to avoid being taken by Stannis before it was her father Tywin’s army that emerged victorious, was a brilliant end to the battle.


Watchers on the Wall

Jon Snow had always been a traditional hero that always tried to do the right thing, but the defense of Castle Black in “The Watchers on the Wall” is when his natural ability as a leader and a warrior really started to shine. The young Stark bastard first took command of the defense atop the Wall, but then he eventually made his way down to the more dangerous part of the battle when he joined the action below. Wielding Longclaw, Jon took his bumps and bruises, but he killed a Thenn and was the most skilled fighter out there. However, he was within striking distance of Ygritte, who just couldn’t pull the trigger on the man she loved. Jon’s final moment with Ygritte, as he cradled her in his arms, is one of the best shots of the entire series.



The massacre at Hardhome came out of nowhere for everyone, including book readers that knew something happened at the Free Folk village but nothing close to this level, with Jon Snow and Night’s Watch members in middle of a sudden attack by the Army of the Dead. Like during the battle at Castle Black, the attack on Hardhome mostly centered around tracking Jon, who looked like he’d be another hero killed before Longclaw held against a White Walker that was then shattered by the Valyrian steel weapon. The action was complete chaos, and it was a major defeat for the living from start to finish, as they were forced to retreat while contemplating the ultimate threat they were dealing with in the form of the Night King and his army of hundreds of thousands of the dead.


Battle of the Bastards

Cinematically, there is no battle that matches the Battle of the Bastards, which was perfect throughout. The score as Jon Snow took off his scabbard and gripped Longclaw as he set to face a charging Bolton army was exquisite, and the results of the fighting went about the opposite way Jon’s army had hoped—instead of setting up a double envelope, they were caught within a double envelope and getting squeezed in to the point that Jon almost suffocated to death after just recently being brought back to life, which seemed possible in a world as unforgiving as Game of Thrones. Even as Jon emerged, the battle was lost until the Knights of the Vale swooped in at the last moment, sweeping away the enemy in a stunning mid-battle twist. The Battle of the Bastards was so gritty and violent that it made Jon look almost like a beast instead of a human, and it’s rightfully hailed as a crowning achievement for the series.


The Battle of the Goldroad

The Battle of the Goldroad was the only battle in Game of Thrones history with two main characters on opposite sides of the battlefield, as Daenerys Targaryen decided she had enough of sitting around at Dragonstone and decided to ambush the Lannister army—led by Jaime Lannister—at the Blackwater Rush. The look on Jaime’s face when he heard Drogon’s screech in the distance said it all—it was staggering to see the dragon in action, laying waste to anything in his path. The Scorpion weapon, shot by Bronn, led to Dany having to land Drogon to remove the giant spear, setting up perhaps the most intense moment of the entire series, as Jaime charged the Dragon Queen in a moment where it looked like Daenerys was done—until, Drogon turned his heard in front of his mother, making it appear that it would be Jaime that meets his end in the battle; but Bronn was again there to save a Lannister, tackling Jaime into the water to end a high-stakes moment.


The Great War

In the words of Jon Snow, the only war that matters was the Great War, and it lived up to the hype with two main battles: the battle beyond the Wall at the frozen lake and the Battle of Winterfell.


The frozen lake battle was a bit of a surprise battle, as it was meant to be a stealth mission where the Eastwatch squad would secure a wight and return south of the Wall to bring it to Queen Cersei; but things changed when they became stranded on a little island in middle of a frozen lake, and the Night King showed up with a few White Walker lieutenants while the living were surrounded by thousands of dead. Daenerys arrived just in time with her three dragons, destroying thousands of wights with dragonfire as the tide immediately turned in favor of the living—but the Night King calmly was handed an ice spear and struck Viserion, whose terrible cries clearly affected Daenerys. Being the hero that he is and knowing how much Dany’s children meant to her, Jon was very angry and stared down the Night King, but his heroics led to him getting tackled into the ice, forcing Daenerys to leave without him. The battle was over, but Jon thankfully emerged from the water and narrowly survived with help from his Uncle Benjen.


The Battle of Winterfell was the most hyped battle in the history of TV or movies, and it took 55 nights to shoot it, with main characters like the Night King, Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, Arya Stark, Jaime Lannister, Brienne of Tarth, Theon Greyjoy, Bran Stark, Jorah Mormont, Grey Worm, the Hound, Beric Dondarrion, Gendry, Melisandre, Davos Seaworth, Samwell Tarly, Eddison Tollett, Tyrion Lannister, and Sansa Stark all involved, along with hundreds of extras and remarkable special effects to bring the battle to life. The battle took place under moonlight, but the presence of fire—created by the dragons and by Melisandre—delivered the ideal contrast in the battle that helped lead to optimism for the living. There were continuous shifts throughout the Battle of Winterfell, and—with the help of the musical score “The Night King”—it appeared that the dead would successfully eliminate our heroes at Winterfell, including the Three-Eyed Raven at the godswood. We weren’t given a predictable Jon-versus-Night King single combat showdown because it simply wasn’t realistic for the former King in the North to get close enough to even have a shot at an unstoppable force like him, and Arya (who remember is a masterfully-skilled assassin) flying out of nowhere to deliver the Valyrian steel catspaw dagger to the body of the Night King was really the only way for the ultimate enemy to be defeated realistically. The Battle of Winterfell captured suspense, action, drama, and horror all within the one episode.




There were plenty of twists and turns throughout Game of Thrones, including many of the biggest events of the series.


Littlefinger turns on Ned

Again, the first season was mostly based around politics of King’s Landing while following Warden of the North Ned Stark as he tried to operate just and honorably. When Littlefinger turns on Ned in “You Win or You Die” (Season 1, Episode 7), holding a knife to the person he just said he was behind, most viewers probably realized Game of Thrones was different than any other show before it.


Ned Stark’s death

If you didn’t realize Game of Thrones was different in Episode 7, you certainly found out in “Baelor” (Season 1, Episode 9). Ned Stark was the main character of the show to this point—he was the person most viewers were behind, and Sean Bean was listed first in the credits—so there wasn’t much thought about him actually being killed. You just don’t kill off the main character like that, so we thought Ned would simply be sent to the Wall. Citing the “soft hearts of women,” King Joffrey had other plans, uttering the words, “Ser Ilyn, bring me his head,” and changing the realm forever as the King’s Justice dealt a sudden and crushing blow to House Stark.


The Red Wedding

The Starks had been through a lot since the start of Game of Thrones, so it was good to see everything was going so well at the wedding between Edmure Tully and Roslin Frey. Edmure was happy with his new bride, while Walder Frey seemingly forgave the King in the North Robb Stark for following his heart and going against his vow to marry one of his daughters—or so we thought. The heartwarming moment of Talisa Stark telling her husband that they would name their son Eddard if it’s a boy, followed by Catelyn Stark happily watching her son interact with his wife, slowly but surely turned into the most shocking and terrible event in Game of Thrones. “The Rains of Castamere” began to play, and it was too late; the Starks were butchered at what would become known as “the Red Wedding”, completely turning the series upside down as Roose Bolton put a knife into the heart of Robb. Killing Ned Stark was bad enough, but to eliminate one of the main heroes and his family in middle of the series—in middle of a wedding—is simply mind-boggling, making it simultaneously the worst and best moment in TV history.


Tyrion Lannister’s trial

Tyrion Lannister’s trial for the murder of King Joffrey was like a courtroom drama on steroids, as we were forced to watch the Lannister dwarf get wrongly accused precisely because he was a dwarf. You couldn’t help but feel there wasn’t any way Tyrion would get out of his predicament until Jaime was able to set up a back-room deal with Tywin to send Tyrion to the Wall while he would quit the Kingsguard and take his place in Casterly Rock to continue the family name, which was exactly what the leader of House Lannister wanted from the situation. However, one last gut-punch to Tyrion—Shae testifying against him—led to a surprising twist to end “The Laws of Gods and Men”: Tyrion requested a trial by combat. The reactions from Jaime, Cersei, and Tywin captured the character’s emotions, as did the aftermath of the actual trial by combat when Oberyn Martell lost to the Mountain after one mis-step (as was hinted at when Bronn said he wouldn’t fight for his acquaintance), getting Tyrion sentenced to death.


Jon Snow’s death

Ned Stark was killed, Robb Stark was killed—Jon Snow wouldn’t be the next to go, would he? All the signs were there that trouble was afoot for the Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, but he had just stared down the Night King while no other main character believes the Army of the Dead was even real, so his death didn’t seem likely. But Game of Thrones operates realistically, and sure enough, as Jon jumped up and eagerly wanted to hear from this supposed eye-witness that saw his Uncle Benjen, he found a sign reading “TRAITOR” in the courtyard, only to turn around and get stabbed by members of the Night’s Watch, including Olly delivering the final blow. Unlike the deaths of Ned and Robb, Jon’s death ended the season, with a sad Stark theme playing as he bled out in the cold snow.


Jon Snow’s parentage

While many people—including Benioff and Weiss to get permission from George R.R. Martin to use his books in a show—figured out Jon Snow’s parentage, Game of Thrones still delivered it masterfully on two occasions: first, when Bran’s flashback showed Lyanna Stark handing Ned a baby and the scene transitioned to Jon in the present day; and second, when it was revealed that Jon had never been a bastard, as Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna loved each other and were married in secret, making Jon the heir to the Iron Throne. The first revelation helped keep Ned’s honor more intact in the eyes of the viewer despite only a few people in Westeros knowing the truth, and the second revelation led to the events of the final season, with both Daenerys Targaryen and Jon dealing with the bombshell.


Littlefinger Death

Aidan Gillen was exceptional as Lord Petyr Baelish, also known as “Littlefinger”. Lord Baelish worked his way up from nothing, and by the time we are placed into the universe for Game of Thrones, he was seemingly always in control because of his political acumen and manipulation skills—save for a few occasions, like when Ned choked him and Jon choked him in similar scenes seasons apart, and when Cersei gave the memorable “power is power” line and could’ve had his throat cut with the snap of her fingers. Throughout the course of Season 7, Littlefinger looked to be in as much control as ever, apparently turning Arya and Sansa Stark against each other to the point where it looked like one of them would die at the hands of the other—the scene where he placed Sansa’s forced letter to Robb back during the War of the Five Kings while realizing Arya was spying on him was excellent. So when Sansa brought Arya to court and then asked Lord Baelish how he pleads to the charges, it was a swift and stunning turn that led to the master manipulator finally not having the upper hand and begging for his life before Arya cut his throat with the catspaw dagger that was used to help turn the Starks and Lannisters against each other early in the series.


Daenerys Targaryen’s turn

For 71 episodes, most fans cheered for Daenerys Targaryen as she looked to make it all the way from Essos to Westeros and take the Iron Throne. The Dragon Queen had as many delightful moments as any character in Game of Thrones, and she showed ability as a just ruler across the Narrow Sea—but there were signs that a turn toward madness was possible dating all the way back to Season 1, when she unemotionally watched her brother Viserys die horrifically via molten gold, coldly telling Jorah Momront: “He was no dragon. Fire cannot kill a dragon.” She then lost two dragons and two of her best friends, and Jon Snow turned her down because of their relation—all causing enough grief to make her snap. Despite the signs, Dany was an overwhelmingly “good” character, which made her destruction of King’s Landing stunning and heartbreaking.



Impactful and memorable

Game of Thrones was legitimate appointment television and did things that will be nearly impossible for another show to match. Every Sunday night for eight seasons spanning nearly a decade, viewers were captivated by Westeros and Game of Thrones’ vast characters and history within different genres.



Game of Thrones was able to spawn many original quotes and references that’ll live on forever. There’ll be years of people saying “Winter is Coming” during the summer and fall, and being asked to hold the door can instantly bring up thoughts about Hodor’s origins for fans of the series. Game of Thrones is like The Godfather version of television, as aside from it being a masterpiece, it’s the most quotable show in the world—with original quotes, from Tyrion Lannister’s advice to Jon Snow (“Let me give you some advice, bastard. Never forget what you are, the rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you.”) that can be used in real life to a simple “Dracarys” from Daenerys Targaryen or a “not today” from Arya Stark.


Blurred lines

The Starks were largely good from start to finish in Game of Thrones, but the show blurred the lines between good and evil more than any show, as it was like a real world with real actions—and its depth and capacity meant a ton of characters and relationships to navigate. Characters flipped back and forth between “good” and “bad,” and most of them were just seen as people in the end. Only Game of Thrones could make you feel bad for a character like Cersei Lannister during her final moments—and most viewers were probably even somewhat in Cersei’s corner during her showdown against the High Sparrow. Daenerys Targaryen’s invasion of King’s Landing flipped things totally around, as the Golden Company was given the same perspective that Jon Snow and his army had during the Battle of the Bastards had. As stated earlier, anything can happen, and things certainly don’t go exactly as you might want them, but Jaime fighting and making it back to Cersei in time was perfect—despite the weirdness of their relationship, you either feel bad for them or don’t know what to think. And in the end, Daenerys certainly wasn’t pure evil, which made Jon’s decision to kill her a painfully difficult one.



Maybe another creator will come around and make a story as expansive as Game of Thrones and find the perfect storm of showrunners, cast, crew, and television network to execute the plan—but it doesn’t seem likely to happen any time soon, if ever. As the world moves toward more streaming and more impatience, with many people barely able to put down their phone for 15 minutes let alone an hour or so to watch even an edge-of-your-seat event like Thrones, will something like this ever happen again? Game of Thrones was a phenomenon that might never be matched.



The End

Bringing a show like Game of Thrones to an end is complicated, but the characters received fitting conclusions that remains true to them all. “The Iron Throne” was a perfect finale, with an ultra-dramatic climax that led into the aftermath of Jon Snow killing Daenerys Targaryen.


Bran Stark could rule the Six Kingdoms as the Three-Eyed Raven, and the people could be sure he’d be a fair and just ruler. Tyrion Lannister became Hand of the King (his third time as Hand), which is something he enjoyed doing despite stating otherwise—with an interesting cast on the Small Council, including Maester Sam. Ser Brienne of Tarth would lead King Bran’s Kingsguard, and she filled up Jaime’s previously-light pages on the White Book. And the Stark sisters would be doing their duty in representing their family—with Arya leading a Stark voyage to the west of Westeros and Sansa ruling an independent kingdom as Queen in the North. The pack survived winter, and House Stark was now dominant throughout Westeros after years of heartbreak and suffering.


The story came full circle, as the final scene of Game of Thrones mirrored the opening scene of the series—only this time, as opposed to Night’s Watch members getting killed by White Walkers, Jon’s Watch was ended peacefully. After years of fighting, he could join Ghost and live out his life without worrying about his family south of the Wall—the Starks were all right, doing what they loved.

‘Game of Thrones’: Top 25 Episodes Of The Series

‘Game of Thrones’: Top 25 Episodes Of The Series

Any number of episodes could have made the list, but with the hit HBO series now concluded, these are our picks for the top episodes in Game of Thrones history.


25. “The Lion and the Rose” (S4E2)


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Typically, Game of Thrones followed a formula where the big moments/deaths came at the end of the season, so it was a shock for those who didn’t read the books when King Joffrey was murdered at his own wedding in the second episode of Season 4. Even before the gruesome death, director Alex Graves masterfully weaved all the character interactions together at the feast, and viewers have their guard down by the time Joffrey starts choking because we had just seen the intensity ratcheted up (when Tyrion was humiliated as cupbearer) and suddenly halted (when Margaery wisely shouted for the cake). But even for someone as wicked as Joffrey, it was a horrible to see his discolored face with the life being sucked out of him and Cersei screaming for Tyrion to be taken.


24. “Home” (S6E2)


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A lot was going on in “Home”—from Bran visiting Winterfell in the past (when Ned was a boy), to Jaime’s confrontation with the High Sparrow, to Ramsay killing his father—but the ending is what gives it a spot among our top episodes. Despite not being a “devout man” by his own admission, Ser Davos urged Melisandre to try to bring the Jon Snow back from the dead, but it seemed to fail, as the former Lord Commander remained motionless while everyone left the room. However, Ghost wakes up and looks towards Jon, who eventually opens his eyes and realizes he is somehow alive. Unsurprisingly, composer Ramin Djawadi had the perfect score to play through the end credits.


23. “And Now His Watch Is Ended” (S3E4)


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The episode title is named for the mutiny at Craster’s Keep that resulted in Lord Commander Mormont’s death, but that wasn’t even the final scene in “And Now His Watch Is Ended”, which also included the Hound learning his trial by combat would come against Beric Dondarrion (actually instilling a bit of fear in him), and most importantly, Daenerys’ first large-scale use of her dragons. The latter moment showed the Mother of Dragons take control of the Unsullied while earning their trust as free men.


22. “You Win or You Die” (S1E7)


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After being introduced to Tywin Lannister in a memorable opening scene where he talks to Jaime about the family legacy, viewers are given an insight into “the game” back at the capital with Cersei Lannister telling Ned Stark, “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground.” The Hand of the King was trying to show mercy by telling Cersei he knew the truth about her children actually being Jaime’s (hence, giving them all a chance to leave), but we find out by the end of the episode that honor doesn’t play well in King’s Landing, as Ned ends up with a knife to his throat (via Littlefinger) and his men killed. Also in the episode: Jon Snow takes his Night’s Watch vows beyond the Wall, which leads to Ghost finding a severed hand.


21. “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” (S8E2)


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People who can’t watch a show without looking at their phone might not have enjoyed this dialogue-heavy episode enough to rank it among the best, but we think it undoubtedly deserves a spot. Things started out with Brienne vouching for Jaime and his pledge to fight for the North (because Daenerys and Sansa didn’t believe him), and he eventually returned the favor by knighting Brienne in a heart-warming scene. The episode name could be about that moment, but in general, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” may have actually been about Jaime and how far he’s come as a person, which he explained to Bran in the Godswood. It also happened to be arguably the funniest episode of the series (and that’s a good tool to use prior to a huge battle), but things got serious when Podrick started signing “Jenny of Oldstones” and the montage carried us to Jon Snow telling Dany who he is right before the horns blow with Death approaching.


20. “Winter Is Coming” (S1E1)


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The series premiere started with a chilling pre-credits scene that introduced us to the White Walkers, while the rest of the episode gave us a feel of the Starks, Lannisters, and Baratheons in Westeros, and the last two known Targaryens—Viserys and Daenerys—in Essos. Simply through conversations, viewers were able to get an idea of all the characters, but the final scene where Bran Stark is pushed by Jaime after he catches him with Cersei was a surprising end to this new fantasy world on HBO. Plus, on a happier note, who doesn’t love direwolf puppies?


19. “The Watchers on the Wall” (S4E9)


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The Night’s Watch barely had the numbers to hold Castle Black when the wildlings attacked, but the heroism of Jon Snow—first taking command on top of the Wall and then joining the action on the ground—allowed it to stand yet again (as Alliser Thorne said it a speech, the castle had never fallen before). The highlight of the episode was the long sequence where Jon leaps from the elevator, pauses for a moment at the top of the steps, and then joins the action, as we got a look at all the characters we know (Ygritte, Tormund, and even Ghost) before Olly eventually saved Jon by killing Ygritte. In the morning, Jon made the executive decision to go beyond the Wall and try to assassinate Mance Rayder, so we weren’t sure what was in store for the Season 4 finale.


18. “The Laws of Gods and Men” (S4E6)


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In a crucial scene before Tyrion is put on trial for Joffrey’s death, Stannis and Davos went to Braavos, and the Onion Knight was able to convince the Iron Bank to support the only remaining Baratheon in his war against the Lannisters. Also, the dungeon fight to free Theon—a knife-wielding Ramsay Bolton and his men against Yara and her men—was unsuccessful but awesome to watch. The entire trial was what made “The Laws of Gods and Men” so great, though, as in a backroom deal, Jaime was able to convince his father to let Tyrion live out his days on the Wall if he pleads for mercy, which all three Lannister men agree to under one condition—no more outbursts from the accused. However, when Shae was brought in as a witness to lie about him, Tyrion couldn’t take it and decided to wish death upon the entire crowd before demanding a trial by combat.


17. “The Children” (S4E10)


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“The Children” had a ton of events packed into it—Tyrion killing his father, Bran reaching the Three-Eyed Raven, Daenerys locking up her dragons, the Hound fighting Brienne, the beginning of the Mountain’s transformation, and to start the episode, Stannis attacking Mance Rayder and the wildlings—but two of the more underappreciated scenes were centered around Jon Snow. First, he tells Stannis that his father would have told him to burn all the dead bodies if he’d seen what he’s seen, and later, he says goodbye to Ygritte by creating a funeral pyre for her beyond the Wall as suggested by Tormund.


16. “Fire and Blood” (S1E10)


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With Ned Stark now dead, it looked like Daenerys Targaryen and Robb Stark were the two main heroes of the story. For his first scene in “Fire and Blood”, Robb is crying and repeatedly striking a tree with his sword after hearing of his father’s death, but Catelyn reminds him that they need to need Sansa and Arya back—“and then we will kill them all.” At the same time, Daenerys is abandoned by the Dothraki and has nothing except for three petrified dragon eggs. But soon enough, Robb is named King in the North, and Dany becomes the Mother of Dragons.


15. “The Bells” (S8E5)


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The Last War didn’t really turn out to be much of a war at all after Dany laid waste to Euron’s fleet, the Golden Company, and the Lannister forces, but how could an episode where two of the five principal characters die (Jaime and Cersei) and another is revealed to be the show’s final villain (Daenerys) not make the list? Even though the signs were there looking back, the Mother of Dragons ignoring the bells of surrender was equally shocking and heartbreaking to watch. Besides Jaime reaching and dying with his sister, the destruction of King’s Landing led to an apocalyptic Clegane Bowl, Jon Snow seeing the horror of what’s happening, and Arya somehow surviving and riding off on a white horse for the penultimate final scene.


14. “Blackwater” (S2E9)


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The first battle episode in Game of Thrones, “Blackwater” was outstanding television from start to finish. Like “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” provided prior to “The Long Night”, there were some comedic moments before Stannis attacked King’s Landing, including Joffrey’s misplaced confidence and arrogance as Sansa sees him off the battle. But substance came once the fighting began, and very real emotions came to the surface for the Hound (fear), Joffrey (cowardness), and Cersei (worry), forcing Tyrion to take charge and help save the city. However, Ser Mandon tries to kill the Lannister dwarf and ends up slicing his face before Podrick saves him, and we see more forces—led by Tywin and Loras Tyrell—win the battle.


13. “Mother’s Mercy” (S5E10)


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The Season 5 finale starts about as dark as possible when Stannis—after being told that half his army has deserted him—gets even worse news when he goes out to the woods and sees his wife has hanged herself after their daughter’s death by fire in the previous episode. To make matters worse, a previously confident Melisandre left despite Shireen’s sacrifice melting the snows away, but Stannis still marches on Winterfell—leading to a Bolton victory and beheading at the hands of Brienne in the aftermath. Before the big moment (Jon Snow’s shocking death at the hands of his brothers), Cersei is forced to endure a walk of atonement, which was absolutely humiliating and showed the power of the Faith Militant. But “Mother’s Mercy” ranks so highly because of the cold-blooded group assassination of the Lord Commander, who bleads out in the snow.


12. “Beyond the Wall” (S7E6)


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Hardhome was such a one-sided massacre that it probably didn’t count, so the events of “Beyond the Wall” could be classified as the first battle of the Great War. Things started off sort of like a stealth mission when the Eastwatch crew picked off a White Walker and captured a wight, but they soon found themselves trapped at the center of an ice lake, forcing Daenerys and her dragons the go north. Unfortunately, the awesomeness of dragonfire wiping out the Army of the Dead was soon turned into horror when the Night King used a spear to strike Viserion, killing the majestic beast, who crashed into the ice. Then, it looked like the King in the North might be lost when he was tackled into the water, but his Uncle Benjen made his final appearance while saving another family member. After Jon made it back to the Wall to the relief of Daenerys, he and the Mother of Dragons came to an understanding—the Night King and the Army of the Dead must be destroyed at all costs—leading to Jon swearing his allegiance to Dany. The final shot of Viserion’s eye turning into an icy blue is one of the most memorable final shots of the entire series.


11. “The Door” (S6E5)


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The ending sequence of “The Door” is easy to remember, but a lot more happened before the events north of the Wall. Sansa Stark gave Jon Snow a handmade cloak with the Stark sigil—a lot like the one Ned Stark used to wear; we found out the origin of the White Walkers via Bran Stark’s vision (the Children of the Forest created them to protect themselves against men); Euron Greyjoy took control of the Iron Islands, forcing Theon and Yara to flee; and Daenerys Targaryen had a very emotional scene with Jorah Mormont where she orders her former advisor to find a cure for greyscale and return to her. The main draw, though, was the Night King arriving to kill the Three-Eyed Raven, which led to Bran becoming the new Three-Eyed Raven earlier than expected—and a heartbreaking death/origin for Hodor.


10. “Baelor” (S1E10)


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The entire first season revolved around Ned Stark, so his sudden death in “Baelor” was simply mind-boggling for those that had no knowledge of the books Game of Thrones was based on. At the beginning of the episode, an imprisoned Ned talked to Varys and delivered one of the best quotes of the series: “You think my life is some precious thing to me? That I would trade my honor for a few more years…of what? You grew up with actors. You learned their craft and you learnt it well. But I grew up with soldiers. I learned to die a long time ago.” Lord Stark was adamant that he would not lie and bend the knee to a false king, but Varys was able to convince him by asking if his daughter’s life is precious to him, setting the stage for the final scene of the episode—which was all the more tragic after things were looking up for the Starks following Robb’s victory and capture of Jaime Lannister at Whispering Wood. After it looked like Ned would be sent to the Wall to live out his days with Jon Snow (who had received Longclaw from Lord Commander Mormont earlier in the episode), King Joffrey said six words—”Ser Ilyn, bring me his head”—to change the realm (and television) forever.


9. “The Spoils of War” (S7E4)


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Aside from the episode-ending battle, “The Spoils of War” included Arya Stark’s long-coming return to Winterfell, a fun display of swordsmanship between the Stark assassin and Brienne, and Jon showing Daenerys what he found on the walls while mining the dragonglass. But when Dany is furious after being told that the Lannister forces took Highgarden, it causes her to wonder if she should fly to the Red Keep with her three dragons to end the war (Jon says it wouldn’t be a good idea). Shortly after, Theon arrives at Dragonstone, and when he asks about the queen, Jon tells him she isn’t there. The way the scenes were set up was masterfully done, as the viewers learn at the same time Jaime and Bronn do that Daenerys didn’t fly to King’s Landing—she was attacking the Lannister army as they were moving through the Blackwater Rush. The combination of the Dothraki and the dragons was seemingly unstoppable until Bronn was able to ground Drogon with a Scorpion bolt, and it opened the door for Jaime to charge at the Mother of Dragons to end the war. However, as we see by Tyrion’s reaction as he looks on (“Flee, you idiot”), the attempt at her life probably wasn’t going to end well. It looked like one of them would die for certain—first Daenerys, who had her back turned; then Jaime, when Drogon turned his head to protect his mother—but Bronn was able to save the Lannister knight, as all the main characters lived to fight another day. “The Spoils of War” is the shortest episode of the series, but it might have been the most intense.


8. “The Dragon and the Wolf” (S7E7)


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The Season 7 finale was a monumental episode, as the five principal characters—Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, Tyrion Lannister, Jaime Lannister, and Cersei Lannister—were all together for the first time, leading to several interesting interactions during the dragonpit meeting. Of course, the end result was Cersei lying about marching north to join them, but that caused Jaime to finally leave his sister’s side as he honored his pledge to fight the Army of the Dead. Overall “The Dragon and the Wolf” had both subtle moments (everyone criticizing Jon for being too honorable; snow falling in King’s Landing) and big moments (Littlefinger’s death), but the two biggest were Jon being revealed as the true heir to the Iron Throne, and the Night King using the undead Viserion to take down the Wall—creating a path for his army to destroy the Seven Kingdoms.


7. “The Dance of Dragons” (S5E9)


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Sandwiched between “Hardhome” and the Season 5 finale “Mother’s Mercy”, “The Dance of Dragons” is sometimes forgotten about among the best Game of Thrones episodes. However, it was yet another great, eventful penultimate episode of a season, especially because of the final two scenes. First, Princess Shireen was burned at the stake in one of the saddest and most disturbing moments of the series. It was tough to watch the look of anguish on Stannis Baratheon’s face and Selyse having a change of heart, but it was even tougher to see Shireen—who just wanted to help her father—realize what was happening and then get burned alive. The fact that the moment didn’t end the episode showed a) how good Game of Thrones is, and b) what was in store for Daenerys in the final scene. The Mother of Dragons didn’t seem to be in any immediate danger watching the fights in the Great Pit of Daznak, but when she hears Jorah’s voice, you could see shock/fear come over her, which Emilia Clarke did a tremendous job of showing with her facial expressions. He survives, but soon Dany is in danger, as Jorah throws a spear right by her to take out a masked member of the Sons of the Harpy. From there, it’s absolutely mayhem, and our heroes are surrounded until Drogon comes to the rescue to save his mother—leaving Tyrion and the others in complete awe as she flies away.


6. “Battle of the Bastards” (S6E9)


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The same case can be made for every single one of the battles in Game of Thrones, but “Battle of the Bastards” is the finest example of the show delivering the best battle scenes ever put on screen. The penultimate episode of Season 6 also treated viewers to Daenerys turning Slaver’s Bay into the Bay of Dragons, but the focus was obviously Jon Snow trying to take Winterfell back. The pre-battle meeting (including Jon challenging Ramsay Bolton to a one-on-one fight to prevent thousands from dying, and then Sansa promising her husband that he’ll die tomorrow) was great, as were the final preparations—with Sansa telling Jon that he doesn’t know Ramsay, and Jon telling Melisandre not to bring him back if dies again. Prior to the start of the action, the former Lord Commander was sadly unable to save Rickon before Ramsay put an arrow through his heart, but the shot of Jon unsheathing his sword as the Bolton forces charged is one of the most memorable in history. Fortunately, the Knights of the Vale arrive just as it looks like the battle would be lost, leading to a retreat by Ramsay and a one-on-one fight between he and Jon in the Winterfell courtyard. The end result is Jon pummeling Ramsay, and the episode fittingly concludes with Sansa unleashing her husband’s hungry dogs on him.


5. “The Long Night” (S8E3)


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“The Long Night” was arguably the most hyped episode in television history, as it was the ultimate battle of good versus evil between the living and the dead—and no one knew what would happen. The battle started out with the Jorah, Ghost, and the Dothraki (who had their Arakhs lit on fire by Melisandre) riding out to attack the wights, but it was an unsettling sight to see all their flames slowly go out in the distance with only a few of them returning. The plan for the living went out the window as Daenerys saw her people get destroyed, but despite some early success with her and Jon Snow providing air support, the White Walkers proved to be too dominant. Even a midair dragon battle that got the Night King on the ground wasn’t enough to beat him, as he quite literally smiled after Drogon’s fire didn’t affect him. The expectation was that Jon would face the Night King in a one-on-one fight, but the dead were too overpowering, and wights simply rose to keep our favorite hero from getting in striking distance. The long sequence of the Night King walking to Bran—including Theon’s heroic ending after being told he’s “a good man”—looked like a buildup for the Three-Eyed Raven to be killed, but Arya flew in to save her brother and keep Westeros from having a never-ending winter. In time, hopefully “The Long Night” gets more respect, as most people seem to simply be disappointed that their theories didn’t come true more than anything else.


4. “Hardhome” (S5E8)


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Jon Snow’s expedition to Hardhome was an attempt to get as many wildlings as he could south of the Wall before they became part of the Army of the Dead, but it certainly took some convincing. The Lord Commander gave a powerful speech to some of the tribe leaders about putting their differences aside because everyone needed to come together to beat the Night King, and many of them seemed to agree when Tormund backed his friend. However, when the weather began to turn, it didn’t take long for a straight-up massacre to breakout. The big events in Game of Thrones were usually saved for the penultimate episodes every season, so “Hardhome” was a complete surprise to viewers. Importantly, Jon killed a White Walker by using Longclaw (which drew the Night King’s attention), but that was a minor victory for what was 20 minutes of chaos and death. When the Night King walked to the edge of the dock to stare down Jon and add thousands of dead to his army, all everyone could do was helplessly watch as they saw Westeros’ biggest threat become clear.


3. “The Winds of Winter” (S6E10)


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Including Arya crossing a name off her list by killing Walder Frey, there were four huge moments in the Season 6 finale. First was the unforgettable opening scene of Cersei’s supposed trial, which she made sure didn’t take place by blowing up the Sept—and all her enemies—with wildfire after an intense buildup thanks to Ramin Djawadi’s score. Later in the episode, Bran goes back in the past to the Tower of Joy and finds out that his father never had a bastard during Robert’s Rebellion; he was tasked with protecting his sister Lyanna’s baby: Jon Snow. The scene transitioned to Jon in the present day for what was a chill-inducing moment, and he gets named King in the North by all the northern lords despite his bastard status. Finally, “The Winds of Winter” ended with a triumphant scene of Daenerys sailing to Westeros after six seasons in Essos, which set the stage of the final 13 episodes of the series.


2. “The Iron Throne” (S8E6)


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People seem to dislike the Game of Thrones finale because what they wanted to happen didn’t happen, but “The Iron Throne” was top-notch drama with a perfect ending to the greatest show of all-time. Jon Snow, Tyrion, and Arya knew that Daenerys needed to be stopped after what happened in “The Bells”, but we don’t see the true extent of Dany’s sudden villainy until she begins talking about liberating the entire world—including Winterfell. Combined with finding Jaime and Cersei killed, the frightening speech to the Dothraki and Unsullied caused Tyrion to resign as Hand, which leads to him to be taken prisoner. The climax of the entire series comes after Jon’s talk with Tyrion about killing Daenerys (without actually saying it), as he’s able to pass Drogon (who trust him because he’s a Targaryen) and enter the Throne Room. The former King in the North pleads with the woman he loves to see things a different way, but she insists her way is right, causing a broken Jon to kill his queen and end her reign before she even gets a chance to sit on the Iron Throne. Following Drogon’s torching of the throne and carrying his mother away to rest in peace, everyone is left to pick up the pieces. Bran is named King of the Six Kingdoms, with Tyrion as his Hand; Sansa is named Queen in the North; Arya goes west of Westeros; and Jon—who was sent to the Wall to live out his days to avoid more bloodshed for killing Dany, leading to a difficult goodbye with the rest of the Starks—goes where he found the most happiness in his life: “The Real North”.


1. “The Rains of Castamere” (S3E9)


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It’s worth noting a couple key moments that don’t take place at the Twins in “The Rains of Castamere”, as Jon Snow—unknowingly aided by Bran warging into a direwolf—was able to escape the wildlings (leaving Ygritte heartbroken and betrayed), while Bran tells Rickon that he can’t go with him beyond the Wall, which caused the youngest Stark to cry and say he needs to protect his brother in a sad scene. However, the Red Wedding—an event that led to creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss making George R.R. Martin’s book series into a television show—is the reason for the penultimate episode of Season 3 ranking atop our list. Viewers can only watch in complete shock as the Starks are attacked with the song of House Lannister playing, but Robb looks like he might be able to make it out alive before the traitor Roose Bolton stabs his king in the heart, telling him: “The Lannisters send their regards.” The final shot of the episode was painfully long, with Catelyn Stark standing motionless having watched her son die before getting her throat cut and seeing the screen cut to black with dead-silent credits rolling.

The ‘Game of Thrones’ Final Season Criticism Is Unfair

The ‘Game of Thrones’ Final Season Criticism Is Unfair

We’ve had a lot of Game of Thrones content this week, and this article was not planned; but we need some positivity to combat all the negativity (which you will mostly find on Twitter and from critics’ reviews instead of the real world, where most people I’ve talked to are good with the finale).


Because of all the bad user ratings on IMDb in middle of the season, I decided I wouldn’t be looking at user ratings anymore—and I didn’t look at all for the final couple of episodes leading up to the finale. But when the final episode was over, I thought it was so perfect that I decided to look on IMDb that night, expecting to see a 9.9 rating for a conclusion most people would be happy about in terms of quality (despite the unfortunate fate of the fan-favorite Daenerys Targaryen). So, it was stunning to see the episode rated at a 5.0/10, which is shockingly low—though I might’ve expected it if I knew “The Last of the Starks” was a 5.7 and “The Bells” was a 6.2, and it seems people were going to hate the final episode no matter what happened.


Currently, the finale is even lower at a 4.3, which puts it in the range of the lowest-rated episodes, shows, and movies ever. There are many one-star reviews, with the common blanket complaint being “terrible writing.” There is even a petition that’s gained over one million signatures to have Season 8 re-written. Keep in mind, this is a small part of Game of Thrones’ massive fanbase, and most people probably believe the suggestion to re-write the final season is ridiculous.


SomeGame of Thronescast members have come out and defended the show, with some specifically calling out the petition. Pedro Pascal (who previously played Oberyn Martell) said the critics should shut up because the finale was perfect. Isaac Hempstead-Wright (Bran Stark) called the petition “absurd.” Sophie Turner (Sansa Stark) called it “disrespectful.” Jacob Anderson (Grey Worm) called it “rude.” And Kit Harington (Jon Snow) told Esquire weeks before the finale that “whatever critic spends half an hour writing about this season and makes their judgement on it, in my head they can go f*** themselves. Because I know how much work was put into this.”


They are all absolutely right. Sure, there could’ve been more episodes and seasons; George R.R. Martin said so himself, and I don’t think anyone would’ve been against more Game of Thrones. But showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss have said for a while they thought the story would be 73 episodes, and you have to respect them sticking to the plan. It’s a hard thing to let go of a show so many people love, but it was time for Game of Thrones to end.


The criticism of Benioff and Weiss is very unfair. Some people have asserted that the show creators didn’t really care about the final season and just wanted to get it done so they can move on to Star Wars. It’s utterly ridiculous to suggest people that have spent a decade of their lives working on something—especially something as great as Thrones—wouldn’t work as hard as possible to finish it right. D&D knows Game of Thrones is a truly special show, and they certainly wanted to do it justice—for the cast and crew that’s worked so incredibly hard for years, for the fans, and for themselves.


The assertion that Dan and Dave got lazy and/or are terrible writers is what makes me most upset and makes it easy to not take the critics seriously. Harington’s past remarks about the critics were prescient, as people are taking a lot of energy pushing negativity out there with not much substance behind it. Suddenly, everyone became an expert on writing overnight, and the critics all could’ve done a better job than a team that put the best show on television for nearly a decade.


It’s safe to say the cast and crew—hundreds if not thousands of extras included—worked as hard as usual for the final season. People were set on fire, the Battle of Winterfell had a 55-night shoot, and the actors delivered powerfully during their final run in characters they’ve grown with. Obviously, not everyone has to like the final season and the last episode, but the criticism has gone way overboard, particularly the remarks about D&D. They and the crew did their best.


Since the finale, we have yet to hear from the Game of Thrones showrunners, and the vocal backlash (from the minority, not the majority of Thrones fans) is probably the reason why. Benioff and Weiss said they’d be far away from the internet on May 19 when the final episode aired, but they have probably heard about the reaction by now. It’s unfortunate, because I and many other fans wanted to hear from Benioff and Weiss, but now it’s feeling like we might never hear them talk about the end of the show unless this Sunday’s “The Last Watch” gives some insight—we haven’t even gotten the “Inside The Episode” for the finale released yet.


Regardless, I hope all those unhappy about the final season watch “The Last Watch” to see all the effort and heart that was put into the final season of Game of Thrones. Hopefully the inside look will flip the switch, get critics off the backs of Benioff and Weiss, and help everyone properly appreciate a once-in-a-lifetime show.

‘Game of Thrones’: Best 50 Moments Of The Series

‘Game of Thrones’: Best 50 Moments Of The Series

Death. Betrayal. Triumph. Heartbreak. Any number of scenes could have made the list, but here our the best moments in Game of Thrones history with the all-time great series now concluded.


50. King’s Landing parley (S8E4)


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Following the sudden death of Rhaegal and the capture of Missandei, Daenerys wanted blood. However, Tyrion ended up convincing her to sue for peace, and it only led to the heartbreak with Missandei getting beheaded by the Mountain—but not before a powerful “Dracarys” added more fuel to the Targaryen Queen’s fire heading into the final two episodes.


49. Robb wins at Whispering Wood (S1E9)


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We didn’t know who would emerge from the woods when Catelyn Stark and Ser Rodrick were waiting during the Battle of the Whispering Wood, so it is very emotional to see her reaction when Robb and his men ride back as victors—bringing along Jaime Lannister as a prisoner. When challenged to a one-on-one fight to decide the war, Robb wisely declines (“If we do it your way, Kingslayer, you’d win… We’re not doing it your way.”) and gives a heartfelt speech to his men because the war is far from won.


48. Jon Snow executes his betrayers (S6E3)


Photo courtesy: Helen Sloan/HBO


Murdered by his own “brothers,” Jon quite literally gave his life to the Night’s Watch. After being brought back, he asks the traitors for their final words—Alliser Thorne admits he has no regrets, while Olly says nothing—before angrily striking the rope to hang them all. Some of the other men cringe a bit, but Jon looks them in the face before giving Edd Castle Black and declaring that his Watch has ended.


47. Daenerys leads the Dothraki (S6E4)


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Jorah Mormont and Daario were able to infiltrate the city and reach Daenerys to free her at Vaes Dothrak, but she had other ideas. As planned, Dany met with the Khals, claiming none of them are fit to lead the Dothraki—but she is. Laughs turn to screams when the Mother of Dragons sets the large hut ablaze and once again emerges unburnt, this time to the amazement of the entire Dothraki people, all of whom bow to her as their new leader.


46. Clegane Bowl (S8E5)


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Clegane Bowl definitely did not disappoint as an event that was years in the making and came with extreme anticipation. The Mountain was always loyal to Cersei and Qyburn, but that ended when his brother came to settle a score with a fight to the death. The apocalyptic backdrop as dragonfire rained down and buildings collapsed was amazing, and the fight itself matched it. The Hound delivered what should have been multiple death blows to the Mountain, but he was basically an unstoppable force in his current state until being tackled into a pool of fire that sent both brothers to their death.


45. Jon Snow speech for the dead (S8E4)


Photo courtesy: Helen Sloan/HBO


The first scene after the Battle of Winterfell was very emotional, as there was a mass funeral for Theon, Jorah, Beric Dondarrion, Lyanna Mormont, Edd, and the thousands of others who fell fighting the Army of the Dead. Sansa putting a Stark sigil on Theon and Dany crying over Jorah were difficult goodbyes, and Jon Snow’s speech echoing his Night’s Watch words was regally delivered to give the unsung heroes a proper ending.


44. Daenerys frees the Unsullied (S3E4)


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Jorah and Barristan Selmy were surprised that Daenerys offered a dragon in exchange for the Unsullied, but they—along with the viewers—found out soon enough what she was thinking. As soon as the Unsullied were under her command, Dany began speaking in High Valyrian and commands the slave masters and soldiers be killed, while telling Kraznys a dragon isn’t a slave before ordering Drogon to burn him with a stern “Dracarys.” The display leads to asking the Unsullied if they will fight for her as free men, and they unanimously agree.


43. Tyrion says goodbye to Jaime (S8E5)


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Jaime’s relationship with Tyrion was more proof that he was a good-hearted person despite any evil deeds, so it was tough to see their final goodbye when the younger brother returns a favor by setting his older brother free. The acting is top-notch from both Peter Dinklage and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, especially when Tyrion tells Jaime he wouldn’t have survived his childhood without him (“You were the only one who didn’t treat me like a monster… you were all I had.”) and they embrace one final time.


42. The Moon Door (S4E7)


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Littlefinger shouldn’t have been a character that sane people pulled for in the series, but the craziness of Lysa Arryn actually made it possible at the end of “Mockingbird”. After saving Sansa from potentially being pushed out of the moon door, Littlefinger calmed his new wife down by saying that he’s only loved one woman his entire life (making it seem like he’s going to say her), before changing tone and telling Lysa “your sister” and pushing her to her death.


41. Chaos is a Ladder (S3E6)


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Montages were not common throughout Game of Thrones, but when utilized, they were beautifully done. Littlefinger’s monologue to Varys in the Throne Room was more of an insight into the lengths he will go to get what he wants, and it was also an interesting way to look at things—“Chaos is a ladder… The climb is all there is.” The words transition to a literal climb with Jon Snow and Ygritte reaching the top of the Wall for one of the few purely romantic scenes of the series.


40. Arya wipes out House Frey (S7E1)


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The pre-credits scene to start Season 7 was a bit confusing at first, as it seemed like it may have been some sort of flashback (likely via Bran) where Walder Frey and his House were celebrating. However, things slowly took a turn when the Frey imposter began mocking his own family for the Red Wedding, and everyone dies coughing up their own blood. Of course, the assassin was Arya wearing Walder’s face, and she tells the female survivor: “When people ask you what happened here tell them the North remembers. Tell them winter came for House Frey.”


39. Olenna admits she killed Joffrey (S7E3)


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Leaving Casterly Rock open was a genius military maneuver by the Lannister army, as they were able to take Highgarden and all the riches that go with it. For Jaime, though, the victory was short-lived because he and Lady Olenna had a talk that concluded with her telling him she killed Joffrey—but not before the Kingslayer had already given her a painless death via poison. The final words by Olenna—“Tell Cersei. I want her to know it was me.”—were a punch to the gut for Jaime and one final victory for the Queen of Thornes.


38. Jaime pushes Bran (S1E1)


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The Starks and the Lannisters were clearly not fond of one another in the series premiere, and things come to a shocking head when a Bran—who had been warned about climbing—catches Jaime and Cersei together. The Queen makes it clear that Bran saw them and something needs to be done about it, so Jaime decides to push the child to his probable death, reasoning aloud, “The things I do for love.”


37. Tyrion’s escape (S4E10)


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After a twist of fate in his trial by combat, Tyrion was forced to await execution, but is freed in the dead of night by Jaime (with the help of Varys). Unfortunately, things couldn’t be that simple, as Tyrion wanders to his father’s room and finds Shae in his bed, causing a hand-to-hand fight that results in her death by strangling. Then, he takes Joffrey’s crossbow and searches for his Tywin, eventually taking two fatal shots at his father to end the life of the most powerful man in Westeros. Varys sums everything up perfectly when he asks a bloody Tyrion, “What have you done?”


36. Brienne is Knighted (S8E2)


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“In the name of the Warrior, I charge you to be brave. In the name of the Father, I charge you to be just. In the name of the Mother, I charge you to defend the innocent. Rise Ser Brienne of Tarth, a Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.” Brienne claimed just seconds earlier that she didn’t care about being a knight, but the look on her face afterwards certainly said otherwise in what was a very touching moment, especially since she was knighted by Jaime. The two almost seemed lost in the moment before Tormund’s clapping broke the silence.


35. Castle Black stands (S4E9)


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The entire sequence of the Night’s Watch defending Castle Black against the wildlings was great, including the epic longshot of Jon Snow coming down from the top of the Wall to get in on the action, which followed him, Ygritte, and Tormund around the courtyard and back to a fight between Jon and the Magnar of Thenn. After narrowly defeating Styr (the Thenn), Jon is faced with a crossbow-wielding Ygritte—but she hesitates, and Jon smiles at her just before Olly surprisingly puts an arrow through the wildling’s heart. Ygritte dies in Jon’s arms, getting out some final words: “You know nothing, Jon Snow.”


34. Sansa gets revenge (S6E9)


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We knew Ramsay Bolton wasn’t going to live much longer after losing Winterfell, but the way he died was a fitting end for one of the show’s best villains. While Ramsay did his best to get in some last jabs against Sansa by saying he will always be a part of her, she countered (“Your words will disappear. Your House will disappear. Your name will disappear. All memory of you will disappear.”) before reminding him that he hasn’t fed his dogs for seven days when he insists they won’t harm him. The soft smile on Sansa’s face when she walks away as Ramsay was eaten alive said it all.


33. Daenerys sails for Westeros (S6E10)


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Daenerys was working her way back to Westeros for six seasons, so it was a monumental moment for her to sail across the Narrow Sea with a huge fleet, multiple armies, several trusted advisors, and three large dragons flying overhead to end “The Winds of Winter”. The triumphant Targaryen soundtrack that plays throughout the scene and into the credits basically lets the viewers know that Dany is officially in the game.


32. The Mountain kills Oberyn (S4E8)


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Going into it, Tyrion’s trial by combat seemed like it was a toss up between the raw power of the Mountain and the fast flamboyance of Oberyn Martell, but the Prince of Dorne was able to pretty much handle him. However, with the Mountain seemingly defeated, Oberyn circled the beast, demanding he admit to raping and murdering his sister and killing her children on the orders of Tywin Lannister. The provoking led to Oberyn losing focus, and the Mountain was able to turn the tables and literally crush his head to the horror of the spectators, his partner Ellaria, and of course Tyrion, who is sentenced to death.


31. A Stark smiles down on Walder Frey (S6E10)


Photo courtesy: Helen Sloan/HBO


In the aftermath of a feast celebrating the Frey victory against the Blackfish (which was really Jaime’s doing), Walder is served pie by a servant girl who we previously saw eyeing up the Kingslayer. When Lord Frey asks where his “damn moron sons” are, the girl says they’re already there, and a confused Walder learns they have been carved up and turned into a pie. Arya unmasks herself and—before crossing a name of her list—tells the traitor: “The last thing you’re ever going to see is a Stark smiling down at you as you die.”


30. The Lord of Light brings Jon back (S6E2)


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After being convinced by Ser Davos to at least try, a broken Melisandre attempts to bring the murdered Lord Commander back from the dead. She washes the blood of Jon Snow, cuts his hair, and says the words over him—but you can soon sense her desperation, which leads to a sigh and a whispered “please.” Melisandre gives a look of defeat to Davos when that doesn’t work, and everyone filters out of the room expect for Ghost, who wakes up and looks at Jon. Seconds later, his eyes open as he is miraculously resurrected.


29. Littlefinger’s death (S7E7)


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We have seen Littlefinger play “the game” better than anyone throughout the series, so it seemed as if the wedge he drove between Sansa and Arya was real, leading to the younger Stark to be called to the Great Hall. Both the viewers and Lord Baelish himself thought Sansa was putting Arya on trial when she said, “You stand accused of murder. You stand accused of treason. How do you answer these charges…”; but after a pause, she turns to Littlefinger and continues, “Lord Baelish?” Shocked, the man who previously turned on Ned Stark is facing perhaps the only scenario that he didn’t play out in his head, and it was satisfying to see him literally beg for his life before Arya slit his throat.


28. The Purple Wedding (S4E2)


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King Joffrey was much more of a monster than Littlefinger, but the fact that you actually feel bad for him as he gasps for air after being poisoned is a testament to how well done the show was. For all his wickedness, Joffrey had arguably the most gruesome death of the series, and it was difficult to watch Cersei be absolutely devastated—which turns into pure anger directed at Tyrion, who is caught red-handed with the cup in his hands despite having nothing to do with the assassination.


27. The Wall is destroyed (S7E7)


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As if the Army of the Dead marching out of the woods wasn’t frightening enough, hearing a dragon’s screech and then seeing it emerge hurling blue fire to break the Wall was the living’s worst nightmare. All Tormund, Beric, and the others are able to do it run, as the Night King controls the undead Viserion to blast a chunk off the Wall for his army to get through, creating a scene that could have been straight out of a horror movie to end the penultimate season and set up the Great War.


26. Littlefinger turns on Ned (S1E7)


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Most viewers were probably hooked from the start, but “You Win or You Die” might have been the first episode that made people say OK, this show is for real. In the final scene, a wounded Ned Stark goes to the Throne Room after King Robert’s death, and he’s told by both Littlefinger and the honor-lacking Janos Slynt that they are on his side. After Cersei is defiant when Ned brings the royal decree naming himself protector of the realm, Lord Stark orders his men and the City Watch to take the Queen and her children away, urging that no blood be shed. After a brief standoff, though, Slynt orders his men to attack Ned’s men, and in the chaos, Littlefinger puts a blade to Lord Stark’s throat, saying “I did warn you not to trust me.”


25. Jaime loses a hand (S3E3)


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To save Brienne from being raped by Locke’s men, Jaime tells Roose Bolton’s “best hunter” that her father would pay him handsomely—as ruler of the Sapphire Isle—if she is returned to him “unbesmirched.” Locke seems to take the bait by ordering Brienne back and then discussing what Tywin might pay for Jaime, and he even grants the Kingslayer’s request to no longer be chained to a tree. But it was just a ploy, and Locke puts a knife in Jaime’s face, telling him he’s nothing without his father before relenting—and then suddenly chopping off his hand. As the showrunners said, it was essentially killing a character without really killing him.


24. Mhysa (S3E10)


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After the heartbreak of the Red Wedding in the penultimate episode of Season 3, things end on a high note when Daenerys Targaryen liberates the slaves of Yunkai and tells them they must take freedom for themselves. At first, it looks as if the people don’t fully understand because they wait to react, but they eventually begin calling out “Mhysa” (or mother) to Dany, who tells her growing dragons to fly and goes out into the crowd. The former slaves softly touch her—continuing to chant—and then lift Daenerys up to worship her as perhaps the story’s new main hero.


23. Stannis is defeated at Blackwater (S2E9)


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The Battle of Blackwater was the first big, single-location battle episode of the series, and despite the wildfire blowing up much of his fleet, it looked like Stannis would win after breeching the walls, so Cersei went to the Throne Room with Tommen—preparing to give him milk of poppy for a painless death. As she told her son the story about the mother lion and her cub, we see Baratheon forces (which were slowed by Tyrion) get attacked by a surprise wave of solders, and just before Tommen drinks, the doors open and men come inside led by Loras Tyrell wearing Renly Baratheon’s armor. After cutting to Stannis outside seeing the battle be lost, Tywin comes into the Throne room and declares victory. No matter how people felt about the Lannisters, it was a moment that should have given you chills.


22. Daenerys goes beyond the Wall (S7E6)


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Jon Snow and the Eastwatch crew were in big trouble beyond the Wall as the Army of the Dead closed in on them, but Daenerys and her dragons arrived just in time to save them—which unfortunately cost Viserion’s life. Shortly after the dragon was tragically struck by the Night King’s spear and crashed into the ice, Jon Snow was also tackled into the ice after fighting off wights to give the others time to escape. Dany had no choice but to leave Jon behind, but after the King in the North emerged, Benjen Stark served his final purpose by saving his nephew.


21. Jon Snow is heir to the Iron Throne (S7E7)


Photo courtesy: Helen Sloan/HBO


In the Season 6 finale, Bran learned that Jon Snow was actually the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Tagaryen, but in the Season 7 finale, he was able to piece everything together with Samwell Tarly’s help. The different scenes—Bran and Sam talking, the flashback, Jon and Daenerys getting together, and Tyrion suspiciously standing down the hall—were woven together beautifully to reveal the truth: Jon’s real name was Aegon Targaryen, and he was heir to the Iron Throne.


20. Death marches on Winterfell (S8E2)


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The events in “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” could have been the final night for everyone in Winterfell with the Army of the Dead marching on the Stark home, and Podrick’s rendition of “Jenny of Oldstones” was basically a perfect calm before the storm as we got a look at all our favorite characters waiting for a fight against Death. The song ends as Daenerys goes down into the crypts where Jon is looking at the statue of his mother, and he tells her about his true parentage (“My name… my real name… is Aegon Tagaryen”)—causing a stunned reaction from Dany before they hear horns and prepare for the White Walkers.


19. Robb is named King in the North (S1E10)


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The new leader of House Stark following his father’s death, Robb explains to his men that they need to back Stannis over Renly because he’s the older brother, but that causes Greatjon Umber to make his own case by proclaiming Robb as King in the North. Viewers should have had goosebumps as they watched everyone chant for the Young Wolf as their new king, and Robb is clearly humbled by the honor as he turns to Catelyn and gets a proud look from her in one of the more underappreciated scenes of the series.


18. Tyrion demands a trial by combat (S4E6)


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Jaime—who knew that his little brother didn’t kill Joffrey—is able to strike a plea with Tywin to let Tyrion live and join the Night’s Watch if he asks for a formal plea of mercy; Tyrion agreed, and all he had to do was not have any outbursts. However, that was easier said than done when Shae is brought in as a witness to lie about the man she called “my Lion,” and Tyrion can’t bear to listen for another second, leading to him losing it and demanding a trial by combat. The reactions from everyone—particularly Jaime (because he knows he threw it all away), Cersei, and the stare down between Tyrion and Tywin—as the “Rains of Castamere” played was masterful television.


17. Jon Snow says goodbye (S8E6)


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It was bittersweet to watch Jon Snow bid farewell to Sansa, Arya, and Bran before leaving to rejoin the Night’s Watch and live out his days, and the acting—which was likely influenced by real-life feelings of the actors with the show ending—made it an extremely touching scene for the last time the remaining Starks were together. Despite Jon’s real father being a Tagaryen, it was clear that Jon was a true Stark, and the sisters and brother he grew up with viewed him as such.


16. Mother of Dragons (S1E10)


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There were hints about Daenerys not being affected by fire throughout Season 1, but no one had any idea that she would be able to step into a large funeral pyre with three petrified dragon eggs and somehow emerge with three baby dragons. Viewers are basically mesmerized with Jorah when we see Dany slowly show her face and stand up as the Mother of Dragons, and hearing them screech is actually quite unsettling because of the power they will bring to the world.


15. Shireen is sacrificed (S5E9)


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Melisandre had burnt people at the stake in the name of the Lord of Light before, but not like what we saw in the penultimate episode of Season 5. Stannis—convinced it was necessary to win the Iron Throne—reluctantly allowed the Red Woman to burn his only child alive, and Shireen’s screams/pleads are enough to make her mother (who was always cold towards her) break and try to stop it. The sacrifice is one of the best scenes in Thrones history, but it’s also one of the toughest to rewatch.


14. Cersei blows up the Sept (S6E10)


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Some of composer Ramin Djawadi’s best work came in “The Winds of Winter”, including the immense buildup for Cersei’s trial, which we—along with Margaery Tyrell because she’s able to use some common sense unlike the self-absorbed High Sparrow—soon realize won’t be going on as planned. Things start to get put in motion when Lancel Lannister is stabbed and Grand Maester Pycelle is killed, but we aren’t quite sure about the extent of Cersei’s plan until the candle burns low enough to reach the wildfire and blow up the Great Sept of Baelor—wiping out basically all her enemies from the comfort of the Red Keep.


13. Daenerys ignores the bells (S8E5)


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Daenerys promised to use fear to take the Iron Throne following deaths and betrayals all around her, but it was an absolute shock to see the extent she went in the penultimate episode of the series by ignoring the bells of surrender and laying waste to King’s Landing. The war was over far quicker than anyone thought it would be, but Mother of Dragons didn’t feel it was enough, and the look on her face before taking flight again said it all, setting up Dany as the show’s final and most destructive villain after the biggest twist since the Red Wedding. Also, the deaths of Jaime and Cersei should be mentioned as a part of this seemingly never-ending sequence of destruction.


12. Hold the door (S6E5)


Photo courtesy: HBO


The Night King brought winter with him wherever he went, so when Meera noticed that she could see her breath inside the Three-Eyed Raven’s cave, we find out that the Army of the Dead had arrived. Of course, the Night King killing the Three-Eyed Raven and Summer going down fighting were just part of this scene, as in the past, Bran was wandering around the Winterfell courtyard, and he somehow heard Meera telling him to warg into Hodor. That leads to he and young Wylis locking eyes, and Bran helplessly watches as the boy goes into a seizure and keeps repeating “hold the door,” which morphs into “Hodor”—while at the same time in the present, Hodor sacrifices himself so Bran and Meera can escape.


11. Drogon saves Daenerys (S5E9)


Photo courtesy: HBO


We have already discussed multiple triumphant moments for Daenerys, but most awe-inspiring one was likely being saved by Drogon at the Great Pit of Daznak. All hope seemed to be lost for Dany with the Sons of the Harpy surrounding her, Tyrion, Jorah, and the others, but a dragon screech caused everyone to freeze, and Drogon arrived and went to work protecting his mother. Daenerys is able to get out by commanding Drogon to fly, which ends the episode as everyone else looks on in wonder at their Queen.


10. Battle of the Bastards (S6E9)


Photo courtesy: HBO


The odds were stacked against Jon Snow and his army in the Battle of the Bastards, but through luck and skill, the former Lord Commander was able first survive going out in the open in an attempt to save Rickon, and then being pushed to the bottom of a pileup that nearly caused him to suffocate. Both were shot beautifully, but the latter emergence allowed Jon and the viewers to see what Ramsay was also seeing: the Knights of the Vale joining the fight and wiping out the Bolton forces. Sansa looked on confidently before noticing Jon, Tormund, and Wun-Wun chasing Ramsay back into Winterfell—where the two former bastards have the one-on-one fight Jon previously proposed, ending with Ramsay’s defeat.


9. Jon Snow kills Daenerys (S8E6)


Photo courtesy: HBO


Always the one to do what was right no matter what it meant for himself, Jon Snow entered the Throne Room following a talk with Tyrion where the two seemed to know what needed to be done. The former King in the North was on the verge of tears as he basically tried talking Daenerys into seeing things his way, but it became clear that wasn’t going to happen. After telling her “you are my queen, now and always” and kissing the woman he loves, Jon plunged a knife in Dany’s heart to end the Targaryen reign before she even got a chance to sit on the Iron Throne. It was absolutely heartbreaking for both characters considering all they had been through coming from opposite sides of the world, but Jon’s sacrifice and Drogon burning the Iron Throne saved the realm and achieved Daenerys’ dream of breaking the wheel.


8. Tower of Joy/King in the North II (S6E10)


Photo courtesy: HBO


The entire top ten probably has a case to be as high as No. 1 on the list, including the reveal of Jon Snow being Lyanna Stark’s son. The scene perfectly transitions from Bran’s vision of the Tower of Joy to the present day where Jon is sitting in front of the northern lords, as the powerful Stark theme plays to show all he has accomplished despite being raised as a bastard out of necessity. Then, following by a fiery speech by Lyanna Mormont, Jon is named King in the North, and you could tell it is an overwhelmingly proud moment for him to be accepted as a true Stark by the rest of the North.


7. Attack on Hardhome (S5E8)


Photo courtesy: HBO


An “off-screen” event in the books, Game of Thrones took the attack on Hardhome to another level, putting Jon Snow in middle of the action as the Night King and the White Walkers oversaw an attack by their Army of the Dead on the wildlings and a small number of Night’s Watch members. Jon was able to win a one-on-one fight with a White Walker using Longclaw, which showed that Valyrian steel could destroy the dead while also intriguing the Night King. But the numbers were too many, which forced a retreat to the water, and the ultimate enemy came down below and walked to the edge of the dock, raising thousands of wights for his army. We’d seen the Night King before, but not in a scene quite as chilling as the one at Hardhome.


6. The death of Ned Stark (S1E9)


Photo courtesy: HBO


In Season 1, Ned Stark was the main character in Game of Thrones, but as we would soon find out, that by no means kept him safe from getting killed off. At the time, though—even as he was brought before King Joffrey in chains to possibly be executed—it didn’t seem like the story’s main hero would be killed because that just doesn’t happen. But with six words (“Ser Ilyn, bring me his head!”), Joffrey gave the order against the wishes of his mother to send Ned to the Wall, proving Thrones was far unlike any show we’ve ever seen before.


5. The Battle of the Goldroad (S7E4)


Photo courtesy: Macall B. Polay/HBO


There were incredible battles throughout the show’s run, but “The Spoils of War” ended up delivering the only one with two of the five principal characters—Daenerys Targaryen and Jaime Lannister—on opposites of the battlefield. The start of the attack was astonishing, with Jaime stunned at the screech of a dragon and the sight of Drogon in the distance after initially believing they could hold off the on-the-ground Dothraki force, and it was crazy seeing the foreign army in action while a dragon laid waste to the Lannister army. Bronn was able to use the Scorpion weapon to wound Drogon, and the conclusion of the scene—when the Kingslayer went for it all by attempting to kill Daenerys and end her conquest (despite Drogon being right there to protect her)—made it look like at least one of the main characters would die; but just as Drogon opened his mouth to breath fire, Bronn was able to save Jaime’s life to end legitimate heart-pounding action.


4. The death of Jon Snow (S5E10)


Photo courtesy: HBO


While Jon Snow was able to save many wildlings at Hardhome, things looked bleak after the Night King raised thousands of new members for his Army of the Dead. So when the Lord Commander heard that his long-lost Uncle Benjen had been spotted alive by a wildling, he of course immediately sprang into action and wanted to hear from this eye-witness. However, we are left completely shocked when Jon walks outside to see a stake labeled “TRAITOR”, with turncoat members of the Night’s Watch surrounding the Stark bastard when he turned around. Several men stabbed their leader, claiming it was “For The Watch”, including Olly delivering the final blow to the heart before repeating the phrase. As the Stark theme plays in the background of the cold climate at Castle Black, another hero had been lost.


3. The Night King reaches Bran (S8E3)


Photo courtesy: HBO


The White Walkers were the ultimate threat to Westeros, and they showed their overwhelming dominance in the Battle of Winterfell, as dragonfire did nothing to the Night King, and Jon Snow couldn’t even get within ten feet of him. It looked like all hope was lost when the Night King and his lieutenants reach the Godswood, and the slow, dramatic buildup—with perfect music to increase the tension—seemed to be headed towards Bran’s death by ice sword. However, with everyone else on the brink of defeat, Arya came flying through the air in an attempt to save her brother. After being caught by the throat and unable to strike with the Catspaw dagger, Arya put her assassin training to good use by dropping it into her other hand and stabbing the Night King to shatter him and the rest of his army to end the Great War and save the world from a permanent winter.


2. A Time for Wolves (S8E6)


Photo courtesy: HBO


After all the tragedies that the Starks endured throughout the series, it was fitting to end with them as the focus for the final scene. Bran was now King of the Six Kingdoms, Sansa was crowned Queen in the North, Arya was set to explore west of Westeros to potentially conquer a new world, and Jon was back where he had the most happiness in his life—what Tormund called “The Real North”. It was very emotional to see Jon in particular get an ending that he deserved, as beyond the Wall, he could simply live out his days as a free man without having to worry about the politics of Westeros. The final shot of Jon leaving everything behind was the perfect way to conclude the greatest television show of all-time.


1. The Red Wedding (S3E9)


Photo courtesy: HBO


We unfortunately have to go back a bit for the final moment on the list, and it’s the opposite set of emotions for House Stark. When Catelyn hears the “Rains of Castamere” playing at Edmure’s wedding at the Twins, she knows something is wrong, and as Walder Frey gives a toast, Lady Stark pulls back Roose Bolton’s sleeve to see he’s wearing chainmail. Catelyn calls for Robb, but it’s too late, as Talisa—who is pregnant—suddenly gets stabbed repeatedly in the stomach, and Robb goes down after being shot with multiple arrows. Outside, Grey Wind is killed with Arya watching, and the Hound knocks her out and takes her away because he knows the Starks are being ambushed. In a last-ditch effort to get Robb out alive, Catelyn holds a knife to Walder’s wife, and viewers are given some hope that the King in the North will be able to leave; but when he is basically frozen in shock after seeing his wife and unborn child killed, Roose Bolton walks up and tells Robb “The Lannisters send their regards” before stabbing him in the heart. All Lady Stark can do is scream out in pain before cutting the throat of Lady Frey, and then another Frey cuts Catelyn’s throat as she falls to the floor and the screen cuts to black. The penultimate episode of Season 3 remains the only episode of the series with silent credits.

‘Game of Thrones’: Top Quotes From The Series

‘Game of Thrones’: Top Quotes From The Series

While some people were disappointed by the final season of Game of Thrones, we thought it was great—and there’s no question the final six episodes delivered plenty of quoteworthy and important lines. This week, we’ll be going over some of the best parts about the series now that it’s over, and we’re starting today with the best Game of Thrones quotes.


125. “I am the gift. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Your Grace. My name is Tyrion Lannister.” – Tyrion Lannister


124. “A crown for a king.” – Khal Drogo


123. “Rhaegar fought valiantly, Rhaegar fought nobly, Rhaegar fought honorably. And Rhaegar died.” – Jorah Mormont


122. “Go on, do your duty.” – Stannis Baratheon to Brienne of Tarth


121. “Now you are truly lost.” – Rodrik Cassel to Theon Greyjoy


120. “Do you like games, little man? Let’s play a game.” – Ramsay Bolton to Rickon Stark


119. “Take Lord Janos outside. Olly, bring me my sword.” – Jon Snow


118. “Kill the boy, and let the man be born.” – Maester Aemon Targaryen to Jon Snow


117. “Whilst Lord Janos was hiding with the women and children, Jon Snow was leading. Ser Alliser fought bravely, tis true. When he was wounded, it was Jon who saved us. He took charge of the Wall’s defense, he killed the Magnar of Thenns, he went north to deal with Mance Rayder—knowing it would’ve almost certainly meant his own death. Before that, he led the mission to avenge Lord Commander Mormont. Mormont himself chose Jon to be his steward. He saw something in Jon and now we’ve all seen it too. He may be young, but he’s the commander we turned to when the night was darkest.” – Samwell Tarly


116. “The big woman still here?” – Tormund Giantsbane


115. “Brothers! A hundred generations have defended this castle! It’s never fallen before; she will not fall tonight! Those are Thenns at our walls! They eat the flesh of the men they kill! Do you want to fill the belly of a Thenn, tonight? Tonight, we fight! And when the sun rises, I promise you, Castle Black will stand! The Night’s Watch will stand! With me now, now with me!” – Alliser Thorne


114. “The greater the risk, the greater the reward.” – Varys


113. “I know a killer when I see one.” – Arya Stark


112. “Forgive me.” – Stannis Baratheon to Shireen Baratheon


111. “I’m a slow learner… it’s true. But I learn.” – Sansa Stark


110. “I don’t believe you.” – Jaime Lannister to Cersei Lannister


109. “Kill me and be cursed. You are no king of mine.” – Rickard Karstark to Robb Stark


108. “Fewer.” – Stannis Baratheon


107. “I didn’t come here to argue grammar.” – Daenerys Targaryen


106. “We do not kneel.” – Mance Rayder


105. “I’m no king. But if I were, I’d knight you ten times over.” – Tormund Giantsbane to Brienne of Tarth


104. “I have only loved one woman—only one—my entire life… your sister.” – Littlefinger


103. “I understand that if any more words come pouring out of your **** mouth, I’m gonna have to eat every f***ing chicken in this room.” – The Hound


102. “Tyrion Lannister, I name you Hand of the Queen.” – Daenerys Targaryen


101. “Arise, Brienne of Tarth, a Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” – Jaime Lannister


100. “When my dragons are grown, we will take back what was stolen from me and destroy those who wronged me. We will lay waste to armies and burn cities to the ground!” – Daenerys Targaryen


99. “Power resides where men believe it resides. It’s a trick. A shadow on the wall. And a very small man can cast a very large shadow.” – Varys to Tyrion Lannister


98. “Dragons are where our partnership ends.” – Bronn to Jaime Lannister


97. “I’ve always had blue eyes!” – Tormund Giantsbane


96. “Your words will disappear. Your House will disappear. Your name will disappear. All memory of you will disappear.” – Sansa Stark to Ramsay Bolton


95. “There never lived a more loyal squire.” – Tyrion Lannister to Podrick Payne


94. “The King in the North!”


93. “My name is Arya Stark. I want you to know that. The last thing you’re ever going to see is a Stark smiling down at you as you die.” – Arya Stark to Walder Frey


92. “Look around you. We’re all liars here. And every one of us is better than you.” – Littlefinger to Sansa Stark


91. “For the sake of the mother who bore us, I will give you this one night to reconsider. Strike your banners, come to me before dawn, and I will grant you your old seat in the council. I’ll even name you my heir—until a son is born to me. Otherwise, I shall destroy you.” – Stannis Baratheon


90. “What is dead may never die.”


89. “Are you refusing to obey my order?” – Jon Snow to Janos Slynt


88. “This should help you remember!” – Locke to Jaime Lannister


87. “Are you with me, now and always?” – Daenerys Targaryen in speech to the Dothraki


86. “I will be your champion.” – Oberyn Martell to Tyrion Lannister


85. “This is Jon Snow… He’s King in the North.” – Davos Seaworth


84. “My real father lost his head at King’s Landing. I made a choice… and I chose wrong.” – Theon Greyjoy


83. “I want to fight for Winterfell, Lady Sansa, if you’ll have me.” – Theon Greyjoy


82. “If we did it your way, Kingslayer, you’d win. We’re not doing it your way.” – Robb Stark


81. “They say Stannis never smiles… I’ll give him a red smile. From ear to ear.” – Joffrey Baratheon


80. “What kind of person climbs on a f***ing dragon? A mad man, or a king!” – Tormund Giantsbane


79. “I don’t fight in tournaments because when I fight a man for real I don’t want him to know what I can do.” – Ned Stark to Jaime Lannister


78. “I’m not questioning your honor, Lord Janos. I’m denying its existence.” – Tyrion Lannister


77. “Half a million… The population of King’s Landing.” – Jaime Lannister on how many lives he has saved


76. “We’re family. The four of us. The last of the Starks.” – Arya Stark


75. “A Targaryen alone in the world is a terrible thing.” – Maester Aemon Targaryen


74. “I choose violence.” – Cersei Lannister


73. “Anyone can be killed.” – Arya Stark


72. “You’re a Greyjoy… and you’re a Stark.” – Jon Snow to Theon Greyjoy


71. “I wish you good fortune in the wars to come.”


70. “I’m tired of reading about the achievements of better men.” – Samwell Tarly


69. “Burn them all!” – The Mad King


68. “I know death. He has many faces. I look forward to seeing this one.” – Arya Stark


67. “He was no dragon. Fire cannot kill a dragon.” – Daenerys Targaryen


66. “And he lived. And I couldn’t keep my promise. And everything that’s happened since then—all this horror that’s come to my family… it’s all because I couldn’t love a motherless child.” – Catelyn Stark


65. “The next time you raise a hand to me will be the last time you have hands.” – Daenerys Targaryen to Viserys Targaryen


64. “The battle is over. We have won!” – Tywin Lannister


63. “Tell Cersei. I want her to know it was me.” – Olenna Tyrell


62. “We march to victory, or we march to defeat. But we go forward. Only forward.” – Stannis Baratheon


61. “Sorry about the sapphires.” – Jaime Lannister to Locke


60. “My armies will not stand down. I will not pull them back to the capital. I will march them north to fight alongside you in the Great War. The darkness is coming for us all. We’ll face it together. And when the Great War is over, perhaps you’ll remember I chose to help with no promises or assurances from any of you.” – Cersei Lannister


59. “He would see this country burn if he could be King of the Ashes.” – Varys on Littlefinger


58. “By what right does the wolf judge the lion?” – Jaime Lannister


57. “You were the only one who didn’t treat me like a monster.” – Tyrion Lannister to Jaime Lannister


56. “You stand accused of murder. You stand accused of treason. How do you answer these charges… Lord Baelish?” – Sansa Stark


55. “Mother…” – Robb Stark


54. “Hold the door!” – Hodor


53. “There’s nothing in the world more powerful than a good story.” – Tyrion


52. “Nothing else matters. Only us.” – Jaime Lannister to Cersei Lannister


51. “I have a tender spot in my heart for cripples, bastards, and broken things.” – Tyrion Lannister


50. “Don’t fight for a king. Don’t fight for his kingdoms. Don’t fight for honor, don’t fight for glory, don’t fight for riches, because you won’t get any. This is your city Stannis means to sack. That’s your gate he’s ramming. If he gets in it will be your house that burns. Your gold he steals. Your women he rapes. Those are brave men knocking at our door. Let’s go kill them!” – Tyrion Lannister


49. “Thousands of men don’t need to die. Only one of us. Let’s end this the old way. You against me.” – Jon Snow to Ramsay Bolton


48. “Jon, a raven came from the Citadel. A white raven. Winter is here.” – Sansa Stark


47. “His name is Aegon Targaryen.” – Lyanna Stark


46. “I will answer injustice with justice.” – Daenerys Targaryen


45. “A lion doesn’t concern himself with the opinions of a sheep.” – Tywin Lannister


44. “There’s great honor in serving the Night’s Watch. The Starks have manned the Wall for thousands of years, and you are a Stark. You may not have my name, but you have my blood.” – Ned Stark to Jon Snow


43. “I did warn you not to trust me.” – Littlefinger to Ned Stark


42. “If you want justice, you’ve come to the wrong place.” – Tyrion Lannister


41. “I’m not going to stop the wheel, I’m going to break the wheel.” – Daenerys Targaryen


40. “You’re going to die tomorrow, Lord Bolton. Sleep well.” – Sansa Stark


39. “WHERE ARE MY DRAGONS?!” – Daenerys Targaryen


38. “They were the shields that guarded the realms of men, and we shall never see their like again.” – Jon Snow


37. “I will take what is mine with fire and blood.” – Daenerys Targaryen


36. “That’s what I do. I drink, and I know things.” – Tyrion Lannister


35. “Love is the death of duty.” – Jon Snow and Maester Aemon


34. “Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail, and never get to try again—the fall breaks them. And some are given a chance to climb, but they refuse. They cling to the realm, or the gods, or love. Illusions. Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is.” – Littlefinger


33. “The long night is coming, and the dead come with it. No clan can stop them. The free folk can’t stop them. The Night’s Watch can’t stop them. And all the southern kings can’t stop them. Only together, all of us, and even then it might not be enough, but at least we’ll give the f***ers a fight!” – Jon Snow


32. “There are no men like me. Only me.” – Jaime Lannister


31. “I’ve won every battle, but I’m losing this war.” – Robb Stark


30. “You have your Needle?” – Jon Snow to Arya Stark


29. “You will always be my queen.” – Jon Snow to Daenerys Targaryen


28. “When enough people make false promises, words stop meaning anything. Then there are no more answers, only better and better lies.” – Jon Snow


27. “He’s never been a bastard. He’s the heir to the Iron Throne.” – Bran Stark on Jon Snow


26. “Any man who must say ‘I am the King’ is no true king.” – Tywin Lannister


25. “Theon — you’re a good man. Thank you.” – Bran Stark


24. “Dracarys.” – Daenerys Targaryen


23. “Death is the enemy. The first enemy and the last. The enemy always wins. And we still need to fight him.” – Beric Dondarrion


22. “Let me give you some advice, bastard. Never forget what you are, the rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you.” – Tyrion Lannister to Jon Snow


21. “There’s only one war that matters: the Great War… and it is here.” – Jon Snow


20. “The things I do for love.” – Jaime Lannister


19. “A girl is Arya Stark of Winterfell, and I’m going home.” – Arya Stark


18. “I will not give my life for Joffrey’s murder and I know I’ll get no justice here, so I will let the gods decide my fate… I demand a trial by combat.” – Tyrion Lannister


17. “My Watch has ended.” – Jon Snow


16. “You’re a dragon… Be a dragon.” – Olenna Tyrell to Daenerys Targaryen


15. “Not today.” – Arya Stark


14. “My name… my real name… is Aegon Targaryen.” – Jon Snow to Daenerys Targaryen


13. “You think my life is some precious thing to me? That I would trade my honor for a few more years… of what? You grew up with actors. You learned their craft and you learnt it well. But I grew up with soldiers. I learned to die a long time ago.” – Ned Stark


12. “For the night is dark and full of terrors.” – Melisandre


11. “A Lannister always pays his debts.” – Tyrion Lannister


10. “If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.” – Ramsay Bolton


9. “When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground.” – Cersei Lannister


8. “Ser Ilyn, bring me his head!” – Joffrey Baratheon


7. “For the Watch.” – Various


6. “The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword.” – Ned Stark


5. “The North remembers.”


4. “The Lannisters send their regards.” – Roose Bolton


3. “When the snow falls and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives.” – Sansa Stark


2. “You know nothing, Jon Snow.” – Ygritte


1. “Winter is Coming.”