Top 12? Game of Thrones Episodes

With the Game of Thrones Season 7 premiere tonight, hopefully, you’re all caught up. Originally this list was just going to be the top 5 episodes ever, but after marathoning the entire series again plus the new season 5 DVDs, that was way too difficult. So instead, here are the top 10 Game of Thrones episodes from the past 5 seasons.

  • “Baelor”
    • Season 1 Episode 9
    • The beheading that started it all. Game of Thrones shocked the world with the killing of Ned Stark by Joffrey Baratheon. A major show has never killed off the main character so early, a character the audience had grown to know and love, and seemed like the only ray of hope in this world of corruption and greed. Still, Ned Stark’s nobility became his downfall. This episode clearly showed that if you didn’t play the game well, you lost.

 

 

  • “Blackwater”
    • Season 2 Episode 9
    • This episode was the first time in the series where the entire episode stayed in one place in the Game of Thrones world: King’s Landing. It captured the essence of pre-battle anticipation and the brutality of fighting and strategy to defeat an enemy. One side of the Blackwater siege showed full battle and war scenes, rare in the TV series. The other side showed an interesting look at the women of the show during battle, also a drunk Cersei and their anxiety. In the end, the “Rains of Castamere” theme rang true, and Tywin Lannister won the day.

 

  • “And Now His Watch Has Ended”
    • Season 3 Episode 4
    • This episode marked the death of one legend and the rebirth of another. Sacred oaths don’t matter, even to the men of the Night’s Watch, when hungry and trying to escape from the White Walkers. Due to frustration, some of the men of the Night’s Watch mutiny on Craster and Jeor Mormont, killing them both. Sam and Gilly take this opportunity to escape and flee back to the wall. Jaime Lannister learns that he’s not invincible and is at the mercy of his Bolton-bannered captors after the loss of his hand. Daenerys, after a quiet season so far, once again proves she’s a badass. The best part of this episode is when she turns to the grandmaster speaking high Valyrian, then uses her dragons to take the entire unsullied army to free them from enslavement.

 

  • “The Rains of Castamere”
    • Season 3 Episode 9
    • The episode is widely known for “The Red Wedding” scene, and probably for being the most brutal of the series thus far. But first, there are many highlights to this show before the Red Wedding. Including Daenerys planning her next conquest and Jon Snow finally turning against the Wildlings to return home. Portions of this episode falsely lead the audience into believing everything is safe with Robb and things are on the mend with the Frey’s. Walter Frey spent the majority of the episode making stabs (not literal…yet) at Robb and taunting him by marrying the prettiest daughter to Robb’s uncle. Once the “Rains of Castamere” started playing viewers knew something was incredibly wrong before everything took a turn for the worse.

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  • “The Lion and the Rose”
    • Season 4 Episode 2
    • The episode where every single fan of the Game of Thrones universe rejoiced! FINALLY, that awful monster Joffrey is dead! Even after his ugly death, he was not the one viewers felt bad for. Tyrion not only had an emotional break up with Shae but was also tormented and humiliated by Joffrey the entire episode. He is then the first one blamed for the incident, along with Sansa who makes a brisk escape from King’s Landing with Littlefinger. The show also visits Ramsay Snow in the north and his efforts to impress his father, Roose Bolton, by demonstrating the new brainwashed Reek. Otherwise, the highlight of this episode was Joffrey’s death. Literally, nothing better could have happened.

 

  • “The Laws of Gods and Men”
    • Season 4 Episode 6
    • This episode is brilliant because we finally see Tyrion’s trial, and the pinnacle of the unfair hand he has been dealt. How heart-wrenching was it to see Shae testify against him? Even though the trial took a difficult turn, we can’t help but admire Tyrion for his constant rebellion against his father. He is always the one to stand his ground, and call out the citizens of King’s Landing for the bias against him. He shocks the entire room when he denies Tywin’s offer to go The Wall and demands a trial by combat. We also get an interesting scene from Yara and the Ironborn who attempt to rescue Theon from the Boltons, until they realize that Theon is lost.

 

  • “The Mountain and the Viper”
    • Season 4 Episode 8
    • A few key plot points occur in this episode. Reek/Theon helps take Moat Cailin, Sansa covers for Baelish after the murder of her aunt, and Daenerys figures out Jorah’s secret and banishes him. But the best part of this episode is Tyrion’s trial by combat, with Oberyn Martell as his champion. Just when you think Oberyn has won the battle against The Mountain, Oberyn becomes blinded by his own revenge for his sister and ends up losing the battle. Tyrion is sentenced to death. Another harsh reminder of the cruel and unfair world of Game of Thrones. You can never root for good vs evil.

 

  • “The Children”
    • Season 4 Episode 10
    • The title of this episode holds so much symbolism when children, their parents, and their struggles are represented in several ways. An example is when Daenerys locks up her “children” Rhaegal and Viserion as a way to control them. Another important child/parent relationship finishes, as Tyrion catches Shae in Tywin’s chambers and when he commits, a kind of understandable, patricide. However, the literal meaning of the episode is for the magical “Children” of legend that Bran runs into very far in the north. This scene is one of the most magic and supernatural-heavy portions of the show, and leaves the audience wondering what kinds of powers Bran has tapped into.

 

  • “Hardhome”
    • Season 5 Episode 8
    • There are certainly little scenes throughout this episode that are a joy, with Tyrion and Daenerys finally meeting, Sansa using Reek/Theon to try and get back at Ramsay, and Cersei keeping her lion’s pride while she’s kept as a prisoner. The highlight is definitely the last portion of the show when we focus on Jon Snow trying to recruit the rest of the Wildlings, and the entire thing goes horribly wrong. It’s been awhile since we’ve seen any White Walkers…and this episode shows how dire the situation has become.

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  • “The Dance of Dragons”
    • Season 5 Episode 9
    • This episode is definitely a mixture of pain and pleasure to the viewer. It’s hard to believe that Stannis would burn his daughter, whom he cares so much about (this is my personal least favorite scene, ever). It’s also a struggle to watch Arya get so close to becoming an awesome assassin, only to be distracted by the possibility of killing someone on her list. She’s later punished harshly for her deeds. I’ll be honest, my heart skipped a beat from excitement towards the end of the episode where Daenerys and Jorah reunited and held hands as they fled the Sons of the Harpy. My heart then proceeded to fly away with Daenerys and Drogon, after she tamed him enough to ride him to safety like a true Targaryen. You go, Khaleesi.  
  • “The Door”
    • Season 6 Episode 5
    • Obviously, this episode makes the list because of Hodor/Willis “holding the door,” solving the mystery of his speech impediment. Bran better become the most important person in the series in order to justify that death and suffering. This episode also has other important sections, including the Iron Islands and the Kingsmoot
  • “Battle of the Bastards”
    • Season 6 Episode 9

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I wish that there was a way for me to include every single great episode for the series, but it would have made this list way too long. Do you agree with this list? Which of your favorite episodes didn’t make the cut? Be sure to tune in for Season 6 of Game of Thrones.

 

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