Like many people across the globe, the Wife and myself have been filling the past few weeks with re-watching every episode of Game of Thrones in anticipation of tonight’s Season 8 premiere at 9pm (UK time that is, I know you lucky Americans have already seen it)..!
The thing that usually stands out to me when watching this epic show is just how many massive moments it has; season after season the show just keeps providing gigantic game-changing moments that will stick with me long after Game of Thrones is all said and done… So it’ll come as no surprise to those who know me that I have once again been inspired to do a top 10 list! So here it is, my top 10 Game of Thrones moments so far…
Should go without saying but spoilers for Seasons 1-7 coming up!
This was the moment that solidified everybody’s favourite smart ass – Tyrion Lannister as a true genuis. The majority of Season 2 builds up Stannis Baratheon’s incoming invasion of Kings Landing as something that the crown would never be able to defend against.. that is until Tyrion’s stroke of genius and his use of wildfire destroys the majority of Stannis’ fleet in one swift move. Sure it was father Tywin who got the credit for saving the day but in truth it was Tyrion’s wits that saved Kings Landing.
There are some deaths in GOT that have left me heart broken, there are even more deaths that have made wince or shudder but every now and then you get that death that makes you want to punch the air in celebration. Ramsey and Joffrey undoubtedly come to mind but my personal favourite was Viserys Targaryen. After selling his little sister to a Dothraki Chieftain in exchange for an army to take back Westeros, fully aware that she is likely to be raped and abused, it is incredibly satisfying when she earns the respect of Khal Drogo and oversees that her evil older brother gets the crown that he deserves…
Here’s another one of those satisfying deaths I was just talking about. The more time we spend with Tyrion, the more we realised just how badly his father Tywin had screwed him up. By the time the end of Season 4 has rolled around, the list of horrible things Tywin has done to Tyrion has reached boiling point, from blaming Tyrion for the death of his Mother to finding him guilty of killing Joffrey (A crime he did not commit) all the way to forbidding Tyrion’s love Shae from Kings Landing only to turn her against him and sleep with her himself! So yeah it was safe to say that when Tyrion had the chance to escape Kings Landing, we were all more than happy to see him first take a detour to put at arrow through the black heart of his father while he was embarrassingly sat on the toilet – Does it get any more satisfying than that!?
There have been many battles during the 7 seasons of GOT, each of them bringing that signature cinematic feel that has made the show famous. But it’s The Battle of the Bastards that stands out to me as the most epic so far. Every part of it from its opening with Rickon Stark’s death at the hands of Ramsey Bolton to THAT shot of a drastically outnumbered Jon Snow bravely facing the oncoming army, it’s perfect! And to put the cherry on top we even get to see another of those satisfying deaths, bye bye Ramsey.
It’s been nearly three years since this episode first aired and I’m still not quite over it. This particular moment goes to show just how important every single character, large or small is to the story of GOT. Hodor was just a harmless and loveable giant and to me at least, was never a character I thought would leave such an impression on me past just being the simple minded giant that protects little Bran Stark. Explaining this one is difficult due to time travel, worging and just how much kicks off in such a short space of time. But anyone who’s seen this episode (Which given this is a spoiler chat, I would assume all of you) will know exactly how heart breaking it is to find out that the reason Hodor is so simple is due to Bran worging into the gentle giant while in a flashback and frying the poor guys brain. So the little boy who he has always protected is the reason he’s the way he is and to top it all off, the scene ends with Hodor giving his life to save Bran one last time… Somebody hold me! (And the door)
Just when you think Cersie Lannister might finally be knocked down a peg or two, this happens! The majority of Kings Landing activity in Seasons 5 & 6 revolves around the High Sparrow and his cult like followers taking over the Sept of Baelor and becoming the main influence on Kings Landing. This originally played into Cersie’s favour as they began to arrest her enemies for their sins but it didn’t take long for the High Sparrow to focus his attention on Cersie herself. After being imprisoned then forced into a walk of shame, you’d be forgiven for thinking that Cersie’s reign of terror might be over… This definitely was not the case! After telling Lancel that “I choose violence” she bides her time and waits for the perfect moment to strike, that moment being when the majority of the City’s population, including most of her enemies are all at the Sept. It’s then she puts her plan into action and with the use of wildfire, blows the entire Sept to the ground. You may dislike Cersie but you can’t deny this was a truly bad ass moment of revenge for her character.
I feel that even people who don’t watch the show know the story of the Red Wedding by this point! It’s one of the most talked about episodes in GOT history and for good reason. No matter how many times I see this episode, as soon as I hear those opening notes to ‘The Rains of Castamere’ my heart sinks in anticipation of what’s about to come. It’s almost the go-to thing to say when talking about GOT that it’s the show where nobody is safe and this moment is one of the greatest examples of that. Having lost main protagonist Ned Stark in Season 1, the audience gets right behind his son Robb Stark. Now it would have been bad enough to have Robb be killed off but throw in his pregnant wife, his mother and the majority of his army into that as well and it’s easy to see why this moment is one of the biggest, not just in GOT history but television history.
This one pretty much follows on from the previous entry as again we look at the show’s reputation for killing off fan favourites and it was Ned Stark’s death that really started all of that. Portrayed as the main protagonist and all round honourable man, Ned Stark was the last person that the audience expected to see die unless you were a fan of the book. This sort of thing was just never really done, especially given the big budget cinematic feel to the show. It was like if Harry Potter had died in the Philosopher’s Stone or Frodo was killed in the Fellowship of the Ring, you just don’t expect your main character to actually die! It did a fantastic job though at making it clear that nobody is safe and that feeling is still running strong today.
“Maynard says here that he issued an annulment for Prince Rhaegar and remarried him to someone else at the same time in a secret ceremony in Dorne”. During what seemed to be a nothing scene during episode 5 of season 7, Gilly is reading a passage from a High Septon’s diary and reads out that passage to which Sam cuts her off as he has other things on his mind rather than some dudes diary. It was at that point that every GOT fan starting screaming at the TV for Sam to shut up and listen, as poor innocent Gilly had just stumbled upon the biggest reveal of the show up until that point and hadn’t even realised! After already having the famous R+L=J theory confirmed during the previous season, this reveal went a step further and confirmed that fan favourite Jon Snow is not only born in wedlock after all but is the rightful heir to the throne of Westeros! Yes this would get explored in more detail later in the season but for such a massive moment to happen in such a small scene was something that will stick with me forever.
Oh Hardhome, you were always going to be top of this list. As Jon Snow sailed off to rescue some wildlings who were trapped at the edge of nowhere toward the end of season 5, I don’t think anyone expected just how fast things would spiral out of control. It all begins calmly as Jon tries to negotiate a deal to bring the hated wildlings back with him, partly for their own safety but partly to help Jon against the Night King’s army. Speaking of said army, it felt at this point they were seen as a big threat but not to the extent we all see them as now and that was almost single handedly thanks to this moment. As it looks like Jon has failed, he begins to retreat to his boat but is soon interrupted by the arrival of the Night King and his massive army! I talked about great cinematic battles earlier and this does not count for me as it has more in common with a slaughter than a battle! Jon manages to hold his own as does one of the wilding giants and a select few others but for the most part this is completely one sided as we see just how strong the army of the dead truly is. It all finishes on what is my favourite shot of the entire show as the Night King rises the hundreds of fallen wilding soldiers from the ground to his undead army and it’s just fucking brilliant. It’s a fantastic showcase that I could watch again and again and if I was trying to convince a non fan just how good the show is, I would show them this scene.
So there you have it, my top 10 favourite Game of Thrones moments so far. Given how good the show is and how many epic moments there are, there were so many potential entries I had to cut from this list so chances your top 10 will be completly different to mine! Is that the case? Let me know yours in the comments below!