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Best 10 episodes of Game of Thrones

posted by Anneliese Müller

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Best 10 episodes of Game of Thrones
1. Mother’s Mercy
2. The Wars to Come
3. Mockingbird
4. The Lion and The Rose
5. The Rains of Castamere
6. The Climb
7. Valar Morghulis
8. The Ghost of Harrenhal
9. Fire and Blood
10. Winter is Coming

With the sixth season of Game of Thrones being on its way to our small screens, it is high time we watched again the entire series some.

Game of Thrones is one of the best TV series ever and undoubtedly the best of the decade, but at the same time it is very consuming, no matter if you have been a fan since the first book was published 20 years ago or if you decided to start watching the entire series a couple of week ago.

The series is a post-modernist potpourri turned into a juicy set in a medieval world full of nudity (thanks, HBO!), incest, creatures from hell, people from hell, compelling strong ladies, dragons, pretty and pretty awesome costumes, irony, tear jerking moments and most important – blood, guts and gore.

How it all began

Game of Thrones began as the adaptation of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice series. Inspired by actual historical personalities and events – such as the War of Roses – the action is introduced in the first novel, which also gives the name to the TV series, as being set in the Seven Kingdoms, under the rule of Robert Baratheon.

After his death, the Iron Throne goes to his bratty son, Joffrey, leaving Westeros under the supreme domination of the House Lannister. But getting this high requires sacrifices and some dirty work and once the former king’s right hand discovers that all the Baratheon children, including King Jeoffrey, are the product of the incestous relationship between the Lannister twins – Queen Cersei and Jaime, a war of power starts between the houses.

In parallel, the last House Targaryen daughter, Daenerys, starts her own journey and grows from a victim of circumstances to a Khaleesi and the Mother of the Dragons, ready to take the Iron Throne back into the hands of her house.

How it is now

best game of thrones episodes listWith the multi awarded show already catching the books’ narrative from behind and with the last two volumes not getting out any time soon, there have been some slight changes. Also, no matter how faithful has Game of Thrones been to A Song of Fire and Ice, it was only a matter of time until it would have changed its path.

Otherwise – let’s face it – people wouldn’t have read the books anymore! Thereford, taking this risk of upsetting the die hard fans and going slightly into a different direction, divided the entire Game of Thrones fandom into two sides: the ones pleased with changes and the ones crying over them.

But if they agree on one thing, is which episodes are the most remarkable and memorable in the entire series. Those episodes made them all cheer with joy or scream with rage. They made them talk and talk, discussing every scene and over analyzing every line on forums, social media or in excessively long essays.

Now it is the time to find out which out of the 50 episodes so far are the most impressive ones. And in case you are too busy these 3 weeks before the season 6 airs, perhaps you would like to rewatch these specific episodes, just to remember why you love Game of Thrones so much.


10. Winter is Coming (Season 1, Episode 1)

best game of thrones episodes

The very first episode could not have missed from our list. In the spring of 2011 we were being introduced to Westeros and its main Houses, including the House of Stark of Winterfell consisting of Lord Ned Stark (Sean Bean), Lady Catelyn (Michelle Fairley) and their children Robb (Richard Madden), Sansa (Sophie Turner), Arya (Maisie Williams), Bran (Isaac Hempstead-Wright), Rickon (Art Parkinson) and Ned’s bastard son Jon Snow (Kit Harington).

But with the king’s right hand dying and with him presumably the secret between Queen Cersei (Lena Headey) and her twin Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), King Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy) asks his old friend to become his right hand and for Sansa Stark to become engaged with Prince Joffrey (Jack Gleeson).

“ Prince Viserys starts his own game ”

What seemed to be an honor actually marks the beginning of a tragedy for the Starks. In parallel, “Winter is Coming” also introduces the banished House of Targaryen. Planning to regain the power that once belonged to his family, prince Viserys starts his own game by betrothing his sister Daenerys  (Emilia Clarke) with the leader of the nomadic Dothraki clan, Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa), not knowing that his action would trigger much more.

Why it is memorable?

It is the first episode and while it is quite tiring remembering all the characters right from the start, the story placed in a fantastic medieval setting starts in a quite ex abrupto manner, perfect to attract people and convince them to watch more.


9. Fire and Blood (Season 1, Episode 10)

best game of thrones episodes list

The season finale of the first Game of Thrones season takes us to the events following Ned Stark’s beheading at the orders of the cruel now-King Joffrey.

The Starks are divided without the head of the family, but united in their desire of revenge over the Baratheon-Lannister wicked family members. On the Iron Throne, Joffrey is as ruthless as ever and his sadistic behaviour gains him even more Sansa’s hatred, who is still captive in his castle. But the Starks are not the only one to suffer.

Daenerys awakens to find her unborn child dead and her beloved husband in a catatonic state. Daenerys makes one last sacrifice and kills the suffering Drogo.

At the funeral, Daenerys places her wedding gift – the three dragon eggs and the woman responsible for her new family’s demise to burn along her husband’s body, eventually joining them. Yet the last Targaryen is not burnt by the fire, but raises from the ashes unharmed with three baby dragons clinging onto her.

Why it is memorable?

The mother of dragons. For the previous episodes, Daenerys had been a victim of her own heritage and brother, who decided that it is in her own power to make her life with the antithetic Khal Drogo more pleasant. She grows to love him and he frees her from her brother only for the cruel fate to take him and their son away from her. This episode actually marks the beginning of Daenerys’ quest to clear her family’s name and get back the throne that is rightfully hers. Also dragons.


8. The Ghost of Harrenhal (Season 2, Episode 5)

best game of thrones episodes list

The Stormlands are struck by tragedy. While negotiating an alliance with the Starks, King Renly Baratheon (Gethin Anthony) is assassinated by Melisandre. The first to be accused is the warrior Brienne of Tarth (Gwendoline Christie), who is not eager to take the blame and departs with Catelyn Stark.

In what concerns Renly’s men, Ser Loras Tyrell, Petyr Baelish and and wife, Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer), the only possible man behind the crime is Stannis Baratheon. At King’s Landing, Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) has to deal with Cersei’s arsonistic secret and with the people blaming him for Joffrey’s tyrannic behaviour, while Arya Stark infiltrates as one of the servants of Lord Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) and Daenerys continues her plans of winning the throne as she watches her dragons grow.

Why it is memorable?

The game of power, influence and cruelty is at one of its highest peaks, but far from being over and King Renly’s death only marks another nail in the coffin of certain people’s reign of terror.


7. Valar Morghulis (Season 2, Episode 10)

best episodes of the game of thrones

Things seem to be getting better and better for King Joffrey. After a long awaited victory, the relationship between him and grandfather Lord Tywin becomes more strong as he proclaims the Lannister patriarch as Savior of King’s Landing.

He also gets to break his engagement with Sansa Stark and accept as future wife the charming and now widowed Lady Margaery Tyrell. The same could not be said about his uncles – Tyrion who is injured, powerless and alone, yet not willing to abandon his land; and Jaime who is a prisoner in the hands of Brienne.

Though, Joffrey is not the only one who found himself a bride. King Robb Stark has fallen head over heels for Talisa Maegyr and his secret wedding announces to cause some trouble. And if we are discussing love, this episode is heart breaking when it comes to Daenerys, who has a vision of her deceased husband and son.

Why it is memorable?

The kings, queens and knights are on the chess table and while we get a slight idea of what might happen, the game announces to be more tumultuous than expected. And Khal Drogo. We all missed him.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QVJALzPGAlc


6. The Climb (Season 3, Episode 6)

best GOT episodes toplist

Another alliance by marriage is planned between the Lannisters and Tyrells, this time between Cersei and Ser Loras, all in order to cover up the Cersei’s incestuous relationship and Loras’ rumored homosexuality.

The other single Lannister, Tyrion, announces young Sansa that they are also to be wed, disappointing the girl who was expecting to become the bride of Loras. The remaining Stark offsprings continue their quest for revenge – Arya continues her growth as a warrior and adult, Robb attempts a new alliance, while a budding romance makes its way between Jon Snow and Ygritte.

Why it is memorable?

Cersei has been a master puppeteer herself and has been enjoying her role as queen dowager, therefore her father and the grandmother of her future daughter in law making plans for her only proves that Cersei can not control everything. Also, seeing Jon Snow fall for Ygritte is quite exciting.


5. The Rains of Castamere (Season 3, Episode 9)

best game of thrones episodes

Jon Snow is in trouble. His loyalties sentence him to death, but he ultimately fights against Tormund’s men with some extra help from his brother Bran. Across the Narrow Sea, Daario (Ed Skrein), Ser Jorah (Iain Glen) and Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) manage to defeat a group of slave soldiers and conquer Yukai, the Yellow City, for Daenerys.

Though, things are not as promising for the Stark mother and eldest son. While attending the wedding feast of one of Lord Walder Frey’s daughters, the hall doors are suddenly closed, the musicians start playing a Lannister song. Realising that they have been betrayed a massacre between the Stark and Frey occurs.

“ Everyone will die eventually ”

Talisa is repeatedly stabbed in the womb, her baby and she being ruthlessly murdered. Robb is also stabbed in the heart in front of his mother’s eyes with the message “The Lannisters send their regards” only for Catelyn to have her throat cut, too.

Why it is memorable?

All this happening in the third season, the watchers were already supposed to be used to the cruelty and the idea that everyone will die eventually, in a more or less brutal manner. Yet, this episode was shocking enough for everyone to receive the nickname “The Red Wedding”, referring to the abnormal amount of blood spilt and the brutality and sadism used in the killings, and as the moment when the pivotal characters Robb and Catelyn Stark died.


4. The Lion and The Rose (Season 4, Episode 2)

best Game of Thrones episodes list

The wedding bells are finally ringing. The lion Joffrey and the the rose Margaery are finally married. The idea of a new queen only makes Cersei more and more bitter towards the Tyrells and even Brienne of Tarth.

Of course that having a lovely bride does not change Joffrey’s wicked ways, who uses his own wedding feast to mock everyone and to humiliate his uncle. Though, his moments of pleasure are suddenly cut the moment he starts choking and dies, letting everyone believe Tyrion poisoned him.

A new Joffrey is rising in the persona of Ramsay Snow (Iwan Rheon) whose hobbies include hunting people in the woods and torturing the now castrated and mentally and physically tortured Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen). His madness seems to most likely win him the rightful last name of a legitim Bolton; and like any Bolton, he has his eyes set on a Stark, this time being Jon.

Why it is memorable?

It is the moment everyone has been waiting for – probably even Jack Gleeson. Joffrey finally died and all viewers cheered. Following the pattern of “The Rains of Castamere”, this episode has received the nickname of “The Purple Wedding”, the colour purple referencing to the colour of Joffrey’s face when choking. Also, it officially announces the new “we love to hate him” character.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2W2xHM4cWo


3. Mockingbird (Season 4, Episode 7)

best game of thrones episodes list

Tywin is still locked up in the dungeons and his sister is plotting to get him in the arena to be executed by Ser Gregor “The Mountain” Clegane (Julius Bjornsson), yet Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal) is willing to replace Tywin and get his revenge against Clegane.

Arya Stark bounds with Sandor “The Hound” Clegane (Rory McCann) on their journey when they are attacked by Biter and Rorge. The Hound kills Biter after he bites his neck and Arya gets to kill Rorge for his previous threat of raping her. Across the Narrow Sea, Daenerys accepts Daario Naharis (Michiel Huisman) as more than her warrior, but also as her bed partner, while Sansa founds herself harassed by the Arryns, until Petyr Baelish kills Lysa in a “this is Sparta” manner.

Why it is memorable?

It is heartbreaking seeing the only decent Lannister suffering, but exciting to see Daenerys moving on from Khal Drogo’s death and be more than a mother to the dragons and ruler, but also a woman. Also, it was quite shocking having a love triangle not involving the Lannister twins and any other third party, but Sansa Stark and a reinterpretation of the most famous “300” scene.


2. The Wars to Come (Season 5, Episode 1)

best game of thrones episodes list

Cersei is mourning her father by blaming Jaime and Tyrion, but at the same time his death means her not being forced to marry Loras Tyrell, who is enjoying the company of his lover, Olyver (Will Tudor), the situation announcing to be unpleasant for Margaery.

But Margaery is not the only one who has her plans slightly changed. Daenerys faces problems in Slaver’s Bay from both the people and her beloved dragons, who begin resenting her. Petyr takes Sansa to west, as far away from the Lannisters as possible. Jon Snow is once more unable to fulfil his mission and this leads to Mance Rayder (Ciaran Hinds) being burnt alive and Jon saving him from the pain by shooting him with an arrow.

Why it is memorable?

It shows the old dynamics from a new point of view. It might not be the most dramatic episode in a while, but it does mark a change and a renewal in the ups and downs for the main characters. Besides, the flashback-prologue showing a young Cersei discovering the destiny that awaits her is pivotal in understanding her character.


1. Mother’s Mercy (Season 5, Episode 10)

best game of thrones episodes list

In the North, Stannis Baratheon and his army are defeated and Brienne finally has the opportunity to avenge Renly by killing Stannis herself. Sansa has endured enough and with the aid of Theon, they take a leap at freedom, away from the Boltons.

Jaime bonds with Myrcella (Nell Tiger Free) once she reveals that she knows that he is her father and she is proud of it; though, their happiness ends rapidly as Myrcella starts bleeding due to poisoning and dies in his arms. Another one who is struck by tragedy is Arya Stark, who kills the wrong person and becomes blind. Daenerys leaving on Drogon’s back lets her men in shock, but she is much more scared as Drogon can’t take her back to Meereen and the Dothraki find her.

Cersei admits her incetous relationship with her cousin Lancel, but not with her brother and is punished by having her hair cut, the clothes removed and by being forced to walk naked and allowing herself to be humiliated by the people. The last character to have his life turned upside down is Jon Snow, who is betrayed and stabbed by a group of mutineers.

Why it is memorable?

Besides being the episode with the highest audience, this episode had the most shocking turns of events. We have a defeated Cersei letting us wonder if she will manage to reborn from ashes like she always does, a physically damaged Arya and three cliffhangers in what concerns the lives of Daenerys, Sansa and Jon. While we are not exactly sure whether the Stark siblings survived, we also can’t help wondering what awaits Daenerys now that she is on her own facing a tribe she once belonged to as a Khaleesi.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anneliese Müller (see all articles)

I am 22 years old, but I have the soul and mind of a 13 year old. Part time nerd, full time dreamer. 100% bookaholic. Future president, current sleepy head painter.

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