With HBO’s acclaimed fantasy-drama, Game of Thrones set to return this Sunday night, it looks like we’re not quite done with winter yet come this season’s springtime debut. We’re crazy excited to get back to the fantastical, dark ages past-times of sword swinging, back stabbing, and magic conjuring escapades that give us the jollies every time we sit down for a new GoT episode. So we here at Bingeout decided to put together our list of the best moments in the top episodes from the last 5 seasons, leading up to Sunday’s return of the hotly anticipated 6th season premiere.
Spoilers ahead, so if you haven’t caught up on the show yet, we recommend you do so before you come back here to read our list.
Here’s our list:
1. Season 1, Episode 9 – Baelor – 9.5/10 IMDB
What makes this episode so special is that it gave us a brutally honest taste of what to expect from a show, the likes we had never seen before. An imprisoned Ned Stark, having confessed to his “treachery” at the behest of the Lannisters and for the well-being of his children, is publicly executed in front of his youngest daughter, Arya Stark, in the central square of King’s Landing.
Such unforgiving storytelling is what we believe was the hook, line, and sinker that entranced most all who chose to tune in to GoT’s freshman season, leading us collectively, on a roller coaster of emotions over the past five years.
2. Season 2, Episode 9 – Blackwater 9.6/10 IMDB
A fan favorite, the episode, “Blackwater”, finds Stannis Baratheon at the gates of King’s Landing, hoping to take it from the Lannisters and consequently, the Iron Throne, in becoming the King of the Seven Kingdoms.
The episode gives us our first, truly epic battle in which Tryion takes tactical command of the Landing’s army, burning the majority of Stannis’ approaching naval fleet with Wildfire, a devastating, near-magical substance, leaving Stannis no choice but to attack on foot, a foolhardy decision which offers us, as the audience, a healthy serving of brutal medieval combat, and Stannis, a humiliating defeat.
3. Season 3, Episode 9 – The Rains of Castamere 9.9/10 IMDB
Arguably the best, most grievously impactful episode of GoT yet, “The Rains of Castamere” episode gives us the infamous and now legendary, Red Wedding.
Robb Stark, his mother Catelyn, and his pregnant wife, Talisa, all arrive at the The Twins where Walder Frey awaits the wedding of Catelyn’s brother Edmure Tully and Frey’s daughter Roslin, who Robb refused to marry.
Though initially prosed to accept Robb’s public apology to Frey’s daughters in his refusal to marry, Frey ultimately enacts his revenge, initiated by the tragic song of the Rains of Castamere played by the wedding’s musicians turned assassins as Robb is torn down subsequently by crossbow fire, his wife Talisa, stabbed several times in her gestating stomach, the unborn baby killed along with Talisa, and Robb finished by Roose Bolton acting on the Lannisters’ behalf.
Stricken to the core by grief, Catelyn Stark kills Walder Frey’s wife, to his absolute indifference, before she herself, has her throat cut. The episode gave us tragedy in Shakespearean form, making for one of the most visceral, horrifying episodes in television history.
4. Season 4, Episode 10 – The Children 9.6/10 IMDB
While season 4 of GoT is packed with great episodes (see. “The Lion and The Rose”, “The Viper and The Mountain”), we believe the season’s finale, “The Children”, brings us one of the greater moments out of the season.
As Arya Stark travels with Sandor Clegane through The Veil, Brienne of Tarth and Podrick, her squire, cross their path. While Sandor, otherwise known as The Hound, is preoccupied nearby, Brienne speaks with Arya unbeknownst of her true identity as a Stark, the family she on her honor, has sworn to protect.
The Hound confronts Brienne, and after he sees her Valyrian sword she admits Jamie Lannister gave to her, thus The Hound believes she is working for the Lannisters and engages her in combat.
The battle is great, having the fallen knight of Sandor Clegane face off against the knight desperately holding on to moral codes that no longer exist in the Seven Kingdoms in Brienne of Tarth.
After defeating The Hound, Brienne searches for Arya in vain, Arya having escaped during the fight and later finding The Hound broken and dying at the bottom of a cliff. Instead of granting his wish in a merciful death, Arya instead coldly stares him down before taking his coins and leaving him to a slow, painful and lonely end.
5. Season 5, Episode 8 – Hardhome 9.9/10 IMDB
What is so great about season five’s episode, “Hardhome” is that we finally get to see the sheer scale of the threat that is “Winter” and the White Walkers. As Jon Snow and Tormund, a Wildling, reach the King of Bones’ town of Hardhome north of the Wall, the village is set upon by an army of Wights, the Night King itself, arriving to watch over the battle.
With action sequences and VFX rivaling some of the most epic battles found in the Lord Of The Rings saga of movies, The Battle of Hardhome finds the village completely overrun by the undead army, Jon Snow attempting to retrieve the Wight-killer, dragonglass, from the building it is stored in only to be impeded by a White Walker warrior.
Jon draws Longclaw, his legendary Valyrian steel sword, finding that it too can kill a White Walker to his pleasant surprise. Fleeing with Tormund and the rest of the allied Crows and Wildlings back to the sea, the humans witness the Night King step to the forefront of the army and literally raise the dead before their eyes, fallen Wildlings and Crows included, Jon and his allies looking on in horrified silence. To call the sequence riveting is an understatement.