50 Episodes Deep: The Top 10 Episodes of Game of Thrones

[quote_simple]Warning: The spoiler game is Juggernaut levels of heavy up in this piece if you’re somehow not caught up[/quote_simple]

[title type=”h1″]10) Baelor (Season 1, Episode 9)[/title]
This is the one where Ned’s head rolls. Don’t even get me started on this one, we all know what happneed, let’s get straight to the quotes.
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Ned Stark… the first (of many) true showings of George R. R. Martin’s ruthless, horrifying, yet undeniably brilliant writing style.”
You truly see how the Game of Thrones work: ‘When you play the game of thrones you either live or you die’. It is the truest statement in the series. It’s one of the first glimpses into how truly treacherous and horrifying King Joffrey would be.”

[title type=”h1″]9) And Now His Watch Has Ended (Season 3, Episode 4)[/title]

[quote_simple]Or what I like to call, the Dracarys episode.[/quote_simple]

Daenerys is at a loss for what she should do to reclaim what is hers by the laws of the Seven Kingdoms. Luckily she has an amazing advisor, the heart of a Targaeryan… and dragons. She rolls up on Kraznys mo Nakloz with her offer of her largest dragon for an army of Unsullied. He shit talks their entire negotiation and Irri flips everything so beautifully that it was absurdly rewarding to see his face when she reveals her hand and starts speaking Valaryan then proceeds to have Drogon roast his punk ass. And now we have a reason to believe Daenarys Stormborn, the mother of Dragons, may actually ascend the Iron Throne one day.

On the other side of the world, Lord Commander Joer Mormont is leading his team on an expedition north of the wall, when they are forced to take shelter in Crasters Keep. Before long, the cabin fever sets in and Mormont finds himself on the wrong side of an axe. Mutiny. A disgusting turn of events for our brothers in black.

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This is a jam-packed episode! In King’s Landing we learn the history of the Spider, Lord Varys, and how he became a eunic. He paints a very creepy picture of sorcery and dark magic. Perhaps the most iconic scene of the episode deals with the Mother of Dragons. This episode made me cheer because of how bad ass Dany was. When she uttered that word ‘dracacys’ I almost died! She finally stood a chance next to her male counterparts to win back the throne that was usurped from her father.”

[title type=”h1″]8) The Children (Season 4, Episode 10)[/title]

An episode that included a ton of action scenes that stayed true to the book, and were brought to life beautifully. We were also given plenty of show only tweaks that one upped their book counterparts. Let’s start with Daenerys coming to the conclusion that she ain’t about this How to Train Your Dragon life! Drogon is the most unruly character on the show and Viserion and Raegal are bout to learn from big bro, how to be a boss, so Dany has no choice but to lock up her beloved children in a heartbreaking scene elevated by the phenomenal score cascading all over ear drums. We saw Stannis arrive at The Wall to save John Snow and the Nights Watch from impending death by Wildlings, following their savage attack on Castle Black. Then we have Jamie being the dearly devoted awesome big brother that he has always been to Tyrion, and sets his baby bro free because..ya know..their father was ready to murder that imp. Suffice to say that Jamie had no idea that Tyrion would veer off his escape route and detour to his father’s chambers to find his former lover turned eyewitness, Shae, laid up in his father’s bed. Y’all know what happens next. Shae gets the chaining day treatment and poppa takes a few crossbow arrows to the gut..while in the privy. Elvis wishes he could’ve gone out with such style.

Lastly, we have Brienne and The Hound who fight to the death over the rights to keep Arya safe… and let’s be real, these two have been seething to come at each other for years to see which freakishly large soldier would emerge victorious. Brienne ‘The Beautiful’ Tarth won that battle in dramatic, ear biting, cliff tumbling fashion. For a scene that was crafted brand new just for the show, they did Martin right with this top notch fight scene. Then to work in that woefully touching scene where Arya refuses to put The Hound out of his misery? Bravo, good sers, bravo. Oh and we can’t forget about Bran’s arrival at The Great Weirwood tree after battling those wights as Hodor. We should finally see his new greenseer powers in action this upcoming season.

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Tyrion’s revenge is sweet, but the real King showing up in a glorious, though not NEARLY as amazing as in the books, fashion to save Jon Snow was the highlight of this episode for yours truly.”

[title type=”h1″]7) The Watchers on the Wall (Season 4, Episode 9)[/title]

The dude who directed that intense Battle of the Blackwater came back for a second round of start to finish non-stop warfare. Mance set the biggest fire that the North had ever seen then he moved his troops in for the takedown. The panning camera shots that captured so much of the battle that raged at Castle Black, all in one big sweep was astounding. Grenn and his brothers knowingly being sent to defend the gate (and likely die) from the pissed off giant that just saw his boy get merked by the fiery oil barrels of plummeting death. EASILY my favorite scene from this excellent episode. Seeing Grenn hold his brothers down and not allow them to even think of running away by reciting the oathe, utterly inspiring. Ygritte’s death at the hands of young Olly, then the head nod!? Amazing. Yeah I said amazing and not saddening or whatever the hell you felt. Now, Pyp’s death at the hands of some random Wildling’s arrow? That one hurt. Jon taking command. The guys having all the trust in the world to have their brothers hold them up from free-falling to an icy death in order to shoot Link’s fire arrows at the Wildlings climbing the wall.

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How do you capture the strife, the struggle, the tooth and nails battle happening at the end of the world? You bring Giants, Wooly Mammoths, Thenns, and an army willing to die to make it through the wall, and you send that against the ragtag but determined men of the Night’s Watch. You give Jon Snow his chance to shine as commander, you make Ser Alister Thorne a likeable and respectable warrior who you actually don’t want to see fall, you kill off three major characters, and you alert the audience that this was only a small force to contend with… and you show how brutal and amazing Jon Snow is and what he truly stands for.”

The one where the little kid kills the ginger girl?

I have vivid memories of watching this in Germany. Huddled around my iPad clinging to its shitty wifi hoping it wouldn’t fail! When Olly merked Ygritte and then gave that little nod? OH MY GOD. Grenn’s take-charge attitude to hold down the gate and recite the oath to give his brothers strength was incredibly powerful. Those defending the wall did not die in vain. Pyp’s death KILLED me… poor Sam did all he could to comfort him in his last moments. And we could not leave out brave Ghost, coming to Sam’s rescuse when a Wildling was about to chop him in half! All in all, best battle episode.

[title type=”h1″]6) Mother’s Mercy (Season 5, Episode 10)[/title]

The last episode that we were able to devour in 2015 left us with some thangs to talk about! Stannis finally arrived at Winterfell, with his depleted army, to take on the Boltons and reclaim the North. Highly impressed, I was, with Stannis’ ability to wield his sword after his army was decimated. Even in his battered and stumbling condition, he reminded us all why he is a Baraetheon, brother to one of the great Kings in history and the greatest military commander alive (maybe… but probably dead). Brienne might have some beef with my theory, but we’ll see. This episode also saw Sansa and Reek push Ramsay’s little boo thang, Myranda, off that 10-story walkway bridge to her head splitting death, then leap off the Winterfell outer wall in order to escape the returning Bolton’s wrath. My personal favorite scene from this episode was Arya finally being able to exact revenge on the despicable Meryn Trant.

And she does so in such theatrical, blood thirsty, vengeful fashion! Oh and how in the world could anyone forget about that eye popping, jaw dropping, cabbage exploding, foot bloodifying walk of shame that Cersei took. One of the most proper book scenes to be adapted to the show, perfectly.

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Tyrion, Grey Worm, and Missandei, and Varys running another crumbling city? Ser Jorah and Daario forming the next in an already great line of heroic duos to grace the shows presence. Theon redeeming himself despite you wanting to destroy him again and again. Cersei, a character loathed almost as much as her bastard son, showing where her cruel and spiteful nature comes from with the ultimate walk of shame. Arya learning the price of death, and to top it all off, the most traumatic death since… every member of the Stark family before him.”

“Shame episode with Cersei?

[title type=”h1″]5) Blackwater (Season 2, Episode 9)[/title]

An action-packed hour of insanity. An amazing visual treat for Thrones fans and big battle aficionados alike. We saw Tyrion command. Joffery tuck his tail and run. We saw Blackwater Bay transformed into Greenwater Bay. Cersei became an actual caring mother, even for medieval suicidal standards. The Hound escorts Sansa from her chambers after delivering one of the greatest defiant lines of the series when he shouts, “Fuck the Kingsguard, fuck the city, fuck the king.” In the end, Stannis is defeated and Tywin arrives just in time to ‘Save the city’.

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The budget of the show kicked in here and was a preview of what the true might of HBO could bring. Seeing the bright green flame, the massive battle scenes, and watching the beautiful characterization unfold in the most subtle ways was impressive. From the Hound’s fear of fire, to Cersei’s nightshade plot, to the stark contrast between Tyrion and Joffery, the episode gave already impressive characters even more charisma, depth, and made us fall in love with them all over again.

[title type=”h1″]4) Winter is Coming (Season 1, Episode 1)[/title]

That opening scene? Oh how so many people forget just how early we were introduced to the Whitewalkers and the supernatural realm of Westeros. D&D knew they needed to do an amazing job with this series premiere so they pulled out all the stops. The introduction of all the Stark children in all their characterized glory. The distribution of the direwolves. The Stark lessons on the ways of the North, the old way. We get our first look at this fierce (allegedly) king who conquored Westeros.
Not to mention, the superb insight from Tyrion that allows us to finally understand what this Westerosi world is all about. “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.”

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Where it all started, where every new fan thinks, “Damn there are a lot of fucking characters to keep track of… oh boobs!” But the ending of the episode is what really gets you, and in truth sets up the series.”


[title type=”h1″]3) Hardhome (Season 5, Episode 8)[/title]

Literally the most unexpected event of the entire series. The only episode to give all Game of Thrones readers something entirely new, mind blowing and epic. I don’t like to harp on the fact that I’ve read the books. Not trying to sound like a snob. But there are a few times when it must be brought up, and this episode is all of these times rolled up in one. Let me start off by saying, us book readers didn’t get this scene. We didn’t see Jon Snow arrive in Hardhome and negotiate with the Wildlings. We didn’t get to read about Tormund bashing in Rattleshirt’s skull with his own staff. The Nights King?! WE NEVER EVEN HAD ANY IDEA THAT THERE COULD BE SOME SORT OF 4 HORSEMEN OF WHITEWALKERS.

That was a showstopper. Hardhome was simply mentioned in our reading conquests. I know this episode included much more than just the insanity at Hardhome, but sheeeeeeit, this was all I cared about!

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The episode had highlights for sure — Cersei’s punishment, Theon giving Sansa good news, the fanfiction dream of Tyrion and Danearys meeting for the first time — but the episode shines in its display of the wight army. The horrible realization of what the Long Night holds. The sheer power of the White Walkers, the futility of all the Night’s Watch and Wildlings fight against one another. The realization that nothing else matters and that the Starks are always right eventually, Winter Has Arrived. Jon Snow taking out a white walker and the realization that Valyrian Steel is the way to go was a subtle and fantastic shot, but the most prominent, powerful, and symbolically charged scene is the very last in the episode, when the Night King shows everyone left alive that it doesn’t matter what color you wear, what’s between your legs, or whose allegiance you follow, everyone is just food for his army.

I did not think any scene could top the Red Wedding, the Battle of the Wall, or even the Mountain and the Viper, but this scene blew everyone of those out of the water without even a contest.”

[title type=”h1″]2) The Mountain and The Viper (Season 4, Episode 6)[/title]

The truth of Ser Jorah’s deception is revealed and his is banished from Danys inner circle. The friend zone never felt so cold. In the north Sansa begins to (or so we thought) think like a player in the Game of Thrones and dons her all black dress that had fans going rabid for the possibility of a Stark heiress blossoming into a full fledged badass. Then, obviously, we have the culminating battle between Oberyn Martel, aka The Viper and Gregor Clegane A.K.A The Mountain. The battle was one of most anxiety filled, loathsome, jaw dropping choreography and bloodshed in recent television history. This episode gave a new meaning to off with his head.

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A true David and Goliath story that lived up to its book counterpart. The slashing, dashing, clanging, creating arguably the most incredible one on one battle the show offered. Oberyn Martell’s famous words, ‘You raped her, you murdered her, you killed her children,’ echo in your ear along with every clash of sword and spear. When you see the Mountain fall you think for a second that it’s over, that the ‘good guy’ will finally win… and then Martin reminds you, the Martells, and Tyrion Lannister that the gods are cruel. You would never fall for it again, and Martin reminds you, the Gods are cruel. You swore that it couldn’t get any worse, and Martin reminds you, the Gods… are… cruel.

This is by far my favorite episode to watch with people who have never seen it before. You are SO confident that Oberin is going to win. He has Gregor down, he’s hurt, he’s show boating… he NEEDS to hear that he murdered Elia and her three children… and then once you think he’s going to strike… Gregor musters up some strength and trips up Oberin. He’s down! He’s hurt! His skull has been crushed like a grape! It is DISGUSTING. And then… Tyrion is sentenced to death by his own father.

[title type=”h1″]1) The Rains of Castamere (Season 3, Episode 9)[/title]

The one that made us hate this show. The one that made us despise how much we love this show. The one that took all ideas of conventional TV wisdom, flipped it on its head, dropped it down a sky door, set it ablaze with green flames, unleashed some giants on it, gave it a couple stabs wounds to the womb and rolled it out for the masses. The. Red. Wedding.

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Fuck this episode. But seriously, after Ned dying so unfairly, naive me thought ‘Whatever else GRRM throws at me, I can take.’ How wrong I was. I mourned the deaths of Catelynn, Robb, and his wife. I cried my eyes out and woke up the next day feeling as if I could cry some more, as if I had watched my own family get brutally slaughtered right before my eyes. I remember thinking to myself that the story couldn’t possibly go on without the King of the North and Cat. Then I remembered Arya and the Hound inside the gates of the Twins but outside of the hall where the gore took place. How could Arya come so far only to see Grey Wind’s head propped up on Robb’s body? Fuck this episode… it is one of the best.”

This was it. This was THE episode that book readers couldn’t wait for when the episode titles were released. The one that spawned reaction videos of the most genuine nature. A brilliantly acted, played, and written episode that captured the true essence of the event. The subtle details behind the salt and bread, the musical notations, and the realization that the one true ‘Good Guys’ left in the show had been beaten, betrayed, and destroyed. The latest reminder that George R. R. Martin is the ultimate King of forcing readers to root for those they once hated. Martin said it best when interviewed after this episode aired, “Now you know why all of your nerdy D&D friends were depressed 10 years ago!

Red wedding… duh

Honorable Mention…

The Lion and the Rose: (Season 4, Episode 5)

The one where Joffrey dies”…FINALLY
Probably the most celebrated death in television history. After the humiliation of his uncle, there literally was not one person who was mad that Joffrey got that purple poison. Sure, there was no way that it was going to live up to The Red Wedding, but they did a dam good job of trying.

The Dance of Dragons (Season 5, Episode 9)

An image that was seared into the minds of every great G.o.T. fan was the most innocent child on the dam show being charred alive, as Stannis did what we all knew Stannis would do to assume his position as ruler and fulfil the destiny he was promised. He burned his one and only child alive. Shireen, you were one of the few bright spots on a show that is frequently as dark as it is cut throat, you will be missed.
On the flipside of Westeros, Dany ascended to true Targaryan dragonrider as she mounted Drogon in order to escape the Mereen death pit and attempted assassination.

A Golden Crown (Season 1, Episode 6)

Watching Viserys burn and hearing Dany utter those lovely words, “Fire cannot kill a dragon,” was so amazing, but the real gem of this episode is the reveal that the future lone “Knight of the Blackwater,” was a no joke sellsword unafraid to play in the games of lords and ladies, and kill a knight of the Vale through their treasured moon door. This episode also introduces one of my favorite characters in GoT, Lord Berric Dondarrion.

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  • Ja-Quan is a NYC teacher and artist holding a B.A. in Sociology and History from SUNY New Paltz. On his journey to become Hokage, the Lord of The Speed Force and Protector of the Recaps can be found North of The Wall, chopping it up on Twitter @OGquankinobi

  • Show Comments

  • Damon

    BRUH….EXCELLENT LIST… As another Bruh familiar with the.novels before the series aired I only havea few differences from you…But you have to admit…Jon Snow Vs Mance Ryder at the wall could go at the very top of this list just for the sheer testosteroness of the whole episode !

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