When novelist-turned-screenwriter George R.R. Martin published A Song of Ice and Fire way back in 1996, I don’t think anyone could have imagined his epic fantasy series adapted to the big screen, never mind television. Things changed, however, and at the turn of the century networks like AMC and HBO took huge risks on enormous budgets and pushed boundaries with shows like Breaking Bad, The Walking Dead, Rome, Deadwood and The Sopranos. Television was giving Hollywood a run for its money and in the eyes of many pop-culture enthusiasts, television was doing just about everything better – and in some cases – bigger. When Game of Thrones premiered on April 17, 2001, the season premiere received largely positive reviews and was seen initially by 2.2 million viewers. Fast forward to 2017, the seventh season, regularly drew in over 12 million viewers to HBO, with millions (and millions) more watching online. It’s impossible to say just how many viewers Game of Thrones has but ever since Ned Stark lost his head, we lost our minds theorizing on what would happen next; who would soon die; and how it would all end. That beheading was a monumental moment in what is now referred to as Peak TV and with Lord Stark’s death, Game of Thrones became a cultural phenomenon.
Ever since we’ve witnessed some truly jaw-dropping moments. From the Red Wedding to Hodor’s gut-wrenching death and everything in between, Game of Thrones has always found ways to surprise its viewers. In celebration of the series, we compiled a list of our favourite moments. This is the second of three parts – a list of the best scenes from Game of Thrones.
Best Game of Thrones Scenes: The Battle of Hardhome
If there is one thing that Game of Thrones does masterfully every time, it is the immense battle sequences. The ending battle scene from the episode “Hardhome” in season five is by far one of the best that television has to offer.
Jon Snow leads a group from the Night’s Watch on a mission to the wildling village of Hardhome in an attempt to broker peace with the wildlings and convince them to join the fight against the white walkers. He manages to convince a large group of them to come with him back to Castle Black with the promise that they will be able to live south of the Wall with their own land if they join forces. Before they are able to get out of the village, however, Hardhome is attacked by the Night King and his army of the undead. The ensuing battle is bone-chilling chaos as the wights swarm the village, killing and turning the wildlings to white walkers. They eventually break through the gates whilst the Night King looms above upon his undead horse watching it all unfold.
The scene is not only fantastic from a technical perspective but also as evidence that the army of the undead are not to be underestimated. The white walkers have always been a threat lurking in the background since the opening scene of the very first Game of Thrones episode that gradually became more and more prominent. In “Hardhome”, they are well and truly proven to be the most menacing threat to Westeros due to the sheer amount of them and their ability to increase their numbers rapidly. The most memorable element comes at the end of the episode. When Jon and the survivors escape on a boat, the Night King stands amongst the dead. As he raises his arms, the deceased slowly rise and become part of his undead army. Thousands of wildlings are transformed into wights. They stand and stare down Jon Snow, who looks on in utter fear. This is the moment when we realize that Westeros is hopelessly overpowered and outnumbered. If a happy ending to the show seemed possible before, it definitely seemed even more uncertain after the battle of Hardhome. (Antonia Haynes)
Best Game of Thrones Scenes: Drogon in Daznak’s Pit
“Dance of the Dragons” features two of the most iconic moments of the series, one of which sees Daenerys Targaryen come close to being assassinated when she and her loyal council are surrounded by the Sons of the Harpy in the middle of the fighting pits. The danger was never more palpable in Meereen as Dany, Jorah, Daario, Missandei, and Tyrion are left to do everything in their power to fend off the hundreds of gilded assassins determined to kill the Queen of Dragons. When all hope seemed lost, Drogon makes an explosive entrance and swoops in to rescue his matriarch. Watching Daenerys soar for the first time while riding Drogon remains one of the ten most iconic images of the entire series. The entire sequence is a truly remarkable visual feat with astounding special effects, expertly choreographed battles, amazing pyrotechnics, and a fearless dragon fighting off hundreds of men. As some would say, it’s a moment that will one day become the stuff of legends. (Ricky D)
Best Game of Thrones Scenes: Stannis Burns Shireen Alive
Blind faith in something impossible to understand offers no just reward. Stannis’ unquestioning belief throughout the series in the Lord of Light may have given him confidence in his claim to the Iron Throne, but his offer in the form of his own daughter proves that the costs of his claim outweigh any benefits.
As Shireen is trotted off to an unwarranted and unjustified death, Stannis remains silent throughout. Melissandre’s influence on him reaches its climax at this moment. The scene, of course, highlights the failures of Stannis as a leader, but overall it demonstrates the tragedy of war and the lengths men are willing to go to in order to achieve their final goal.
The Baratheon family shows how an abusive dynamic throughout the series is the avenue they choose to bolster Stannis to attain the Throne. Shireen’s mother Selyse, has always shown great apathy towards her own daughter, even convincing Stannis that burning their daughter was what the Lord wanted. Meanwhile, Stannis manipulates his daughter to agree to be a tool to help him reach his goal.
Only as they hear their child’s blood-curdling screams does at least one of them realize the absence of their humanity. Selyse tries to reach her but ends up getting a front-row seat to the terror she and her husband brought upon themselves. The night is dark and full of terrors, and sometimes the terrors come out of the attempts to avoid them. (Garrett Holton)
Best Game of Thrones Scenes: Jon Snow’s Death
The death of a main character is always a shock but Game of Thrones always manages to ramp this up and emphasize the drama and emotion of death. During season five, Jon Snow becomes the new Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, but not without consequences. His long-lasting rivalry with Alliser Thorne, whom he beat in the vote to become Lord Commander, intensifies despite Jon’s best efforts to appease him and his followers by making Thorne First Ranger. Thorne and his supporters detest Jon for his attitude towards the wildlings, offering them land in Westeros south of the wall. This bitterness and hatred is fueled by Jon’s kindness towards the wildlings, culminating in the ultimate betrayal by Thorne and his lackeys: a deadly mutiny.
They lure Jon away by pretending that they have news of his missing Uncle Benjen. Once he is isolated, they surround him. One by one, they proceed to stab him over and over whilst professing that their actions are “For the Watch.” As painful as it is to see Jon get brutally stabbed multiple times, his breathing labored and his face contorted with pain and confusion, it only gets worse as we see the final mutineer approach him: his steward Olly. Olly has reason to hate Jon (his parents were murdered and his village destroyed by the wildlings whom Jon has protected) but it is all the more heartbreaking to watch Olly, a boy who once looked up to and respected Jon, perform the final blow.
As Ramin Djawadi’s musical score swells, a theme for the Starks fittingly called ‘Goodbye Brother’, we zoom in on Jon and watch the color drain from his face as his blood stains the snow. He is left to die, scared and alone. It is a powerful moment. Jon is a central character who we have been through a significant amount with. To see him die by the hands of those who he considered his brothers is hard to stomach. Though he is ultimately resurrected, it doesn’t take away from the strength and emotion of this memorable Game of Thrones moment. (Antonia Haynes)
Best Game of Thrones Scenes: Cersei’s Walk of Shame
Game of Thrones has had its fair share of nudity, but in the season five episode “Mother’s Mercy”, Cersei Lannister’s naked body isn’t shown as a signal to her confidence or pursuit for sexual pleasure. During the pinnacle “Walk of Shame” scene, Cersei’s head is shaved and her body is stripped — physically and mentally — as she is forced to walk the streets of King’s Landing in atonement for her adulterous behavior with Lancel Lannister. As Cersei walks through the streets the crowd of citizens becomes unruly, screaming slurs and reaching out to grab and grope at her, with Septa Unella following closely behind, ringing a formidable bell and crying “Shame!”
At first, Cersei seems to keep her queenly placidity in check, but as the walk becomes more punishing we see her veneer of calm start to peel away. Tears begin to swell in her eyes as her feet are bloodied and rotten food rains down on her backside from the throng of townspeople. Once she finally gets to the castle and completes her journey, Cersei allows herself to fall apart completely as she sobs into the arms of Qyburn, who wraps her battered body in a cloak.
The “Walk of Shame” scene is a turning point for the series as well as a revealing moment for Cersei. Lena Headey typically plays Cersei as an immovable, frightening conqueror, a woman who would do anything to retain her place on the Iron Throne, even if that means crushing innocent people with the heels of her shoes on her ambitious climb to the top. In fact, besides her thirst to reign in Westeros and rule the Seven Kingdoms with an unforgiving fist, Cersei only truly cares about Jaime and the protection of her children. This scene is the first time that we see Cersei break down out of sheer fear and loss of control. As a character who creates enemies multiple times an episode, Cersei is a hard character to feel sympathy for; but in this scene Headey delivers a raw, layered performance that elicits a sliver of compassion on the behalf of a truly hateful woman. (Meghan Cooke)
Best Game of Thrones Scenes: Jon Snow Returns from the Dead
The term “plot armor” is usually reserved for characters who seem to have too much importance to a story to be killed off… which is why it was such a shock that Jon Snow was murdered by traitors of the Night’s Watch in the closing moments of season five.
With no answer to his parentage and no conclusion on his presumed status as the Prince Who Was Promised, it didn’t take fans long to deduce that Jon might be coming back, especially with Melisandre conveniently located at Castle Black.
While those who guessed that Jon would be resurrected turned out to be indeed correct, the way the scene plays out really makes viewers wait for it. Melisandre offers no guarantees, having almost completely lost faith in her power, and it isn’t until everyone has given up hope and left the room that the camera holds over Jon’s corpse.
After an agonizing wait, as the camera zooms in with complete silence, Jon Snow’s eyes open at last, and the great hope of Westeros lives to fight another day. (Mike Worby)
Best Game of Thrones Scenes: Kingsmoot
Over the years, the Iron Islands have been home to some of Game of Thrones‘ best family drama, both onscreen and off; the Greyjoy family and their fucked up relationships have added a personal touch to the cold, hard (and extremely wet) world of the Ironborn. In season six, the death of Balon Greyjoy kicks the family drama into high gear, especially once Theon supports Yara’s campaign to become leader of the soon-to-be-built Iron Fleet; it is a culmination of their tumultuous relationship, a brief glimpse of hope in grim, damp world of Pyke and the Iron Islands.
That internal conflict is where the Kingsmoot scene in “The Door” draws all its tension; the text of the scene itself is rather rote and perfunctory, one of many scenes overly concerned with the written traditions and poorly-paced Westeros ceremonies. But when Theon and Yara’s uncle Euron arrives on the Iron shore, he immediately throws a wrench into the proceedings, and lights a fire under one of the show’s longest simmering conflicts.
In one fell sweep, Theon and Yara’s plan to join Dany is usurped by Euron’s own, which includes using his “thick cock” and huge naval fleet to help Dany to tear down the status quo in King’s Landing. Full of swagger from his travels around the world, it’s no surprise when the unknowns of the Iron Islands side with the older Greyjoy family member, turning a hopeful scene for the Greyjoy children, into a horrifying inverse of expectations, where the boisterous Euron makes fun of Theon’s castration and Yara’s perceived audacity as he is crowned the leader of the seaborne. It also helps foreshadow one of the show’s more underrated conflicts in season seven, as the Greyjoy family’s dissonant ambitions devolve into violent chaos. (Randy Dankievitch)
Best Game of Thrones Scenes: Hold the Door
Game of Thrones has done a lot of crazy shit over the years: dragons, assassins who take the faces of other people, women fighting bears, giants fighting ice zombies… this list is a testament to that audacity. But the “Hold the Door” sequence may stand the test of time as the most batshit insane thing Game of Thrones has ever done, in one of the greatest surprises in television history.
Things begin rather innocently; Bran’s warging around in the past with the help of the Three-Eyed Raven, seeing visions of the Night King and the war to come. Through what we’ll call “plot magic”, the army of the Cold and Undead make their way to their hiding spot, in the Children of the Forest’s home. They attack the group (Meera, Bran, Hodor, and Summer) mid-warg, with dozens of ice zombies chasing them through the impeccably small, tight corridors of the CotF’s home.
While all this is going on, Bran’s dicking around in the past, viewing what appears to be just another day in Winterfell. But when the Three-Eyed Raven is killed and Meera and Hodor begin to run, Bran’s focus begins to wane, and the sounds of the present begin to leak into the background. And when the situation turns from strange to deathly, Bran accidentally wargs into a young stable boy named Wylis; in doing so, he connects young Wylis to adult Hodor, essentially letting a child see his own death. Understandably, Wylis’ mind breaks under the pressure, disabling him to the point he can only utter one phrase for the rest of his life: “Hodor”, or as Meera originally says it, “Hold the door!”
It is perhaps the single greatest surprise in Game of Thrones history, a reveal so beautifully hidden in one of the show’s most endearing characters – and of course, bullshit plot mechanics, a sequence that’s just crazy enough to work, almost like a demented homage to LOST‘s “The Constant”. Hodor’s sacrifice to save Bran (and, in theory, all of Westeros) came in a season with a lot of plot constriction in the form of meaningless deaths; his final, noble action is an emotional highlight of the season (not to mention the series). More importantly, as “The Door” flashed back between the beginning and end of Hodor’s journey, Game of Thrones offers up an important emotional grounding moment, in a season full of Big Plot Moments and Gritty, Expensive Battles. (Randy Dankievitch)
Best Game of Thrones Scenes: Battle of the Bastards
The Battle of the Bastards is the final battle between Jon Snow and Ramsay Bolton which occurs in season six. It is certainly one of the most memorable episodes in the history of Game of Thrones for its general excellence, but the battle has also been hailed as one of the greatest of all time.
The battle begins in a tragic fashion. Ramsay offers the safe return of Rickon, the youngest Stark brother who is being held captive. On the battlefield, Ramsay instructs Rickon to run to his brother Jon on the other side. Jon gallops towards him as Ramsay takes pot shots at Rickon with his bow. Just as Rickon reaches Jon, he is shot through the heart with an arrow and killed. This begins the battle with a somber tone as one of the few remaining Starks is killed so brutally. Jon’s heartache is evident as he rushes into battle. There is no shying away from the horrors of war as the fight commences. Horses are maimed and topple over to crush their riders. Soldiers are left with missing limbs, their innards hanging out and screaming for mercy. Lives are lost painfully and gratuitously. Despite the fantasy setting, the realism is harrowing. The claustrophobic shot of Jon trapped and trampled beneath the crowd of soldiers is one of the most painfully real moments. You hear his breathing get frantic as he struggles for air and the audio becomes muffled. Close up shots show the pure panic on his face. As Jon emerges fitfully from the heap of soldiers and gasps for breath (in one of the best shots in the episode), it is difficult to not want to take a breath of relief with him.
The battle also has some great character moments from Jon and his sister Sansa. Jon fights like a true warrior for his people, almost dying in the process, whereas Ramsay sits and watches on from afar like a coward. Throughout the show, Jon continues to prove his worth as a leader of the people and a solider. He may not want to be on the Iron Throne, but he is definitely one of the strongest candidates. Sansa also gets a chance to shine as she leads the Knights of the Vale in to save Jon and his men just as it looks like they are going to be defeated. Without her, they would have perished and all would have been lost to Ramsey. Sansa is a worthy ruler who has suffered significantly and lost almost everything. Her strength is quieter than Jon’s, but equally substantial.
In what is arguably one of the greatest battles in television history, “Battle of the Bastards” utilizes fantastic battle sequences, stellar music, and great performances to create a scene that will no doubt be remembered for years to come. (Antonia Haynes)
Best Game of Thrones Scenes: Danny Returns to Meereen
Let’s be honest: Dany’s two-plus season spent in Meereen are mostly a distraction, a way to keep her in place while the machinations around the rest of Westeros caught up with her journey to queen-dom. After Dany’s control of Meereen is established in season five, she struggles with the everyday ins and outs of ruling, and faces a building resistance in the form of Sons of the Harpy, a murderous resistance organized by the slave traders of the other cities in the region.
It’s a confusing, mostly inert story, only saved by the smaller moments contained within – but it all comes to a satisfying close when the all the chickens come home to roost during “Battle of the Bastards”. In one sequence, we finally see the army she’s amassed show off their strength; while she’s “negotiating” with the leaders of the insurgence on Meereen, the Dothraki army takes down the Sons of the Harpy, and her dragons deal with the naval fleets bombarding Meereen’s shores. Most importantly, however, it’s Grey Worm coming in the clutch, pointing out to all the slave soldiers that there’s no need to fight on the losing side of the battle when freedom awaits; in a way, her biggest victory in the region comes when she convinces her own people to stop killing each other, by far the strongest showing by the leadership team she’s assembled over her two seasons in the former Slaver’s Bay.
Although the Second Siege of Meereen is really a precursor to Dany’s real story kicking into high gear, two seasons of inertia are satisfyingly washed away in a sequence that unleashes the violent potential of the power she’s assembled. And before season seven, our sightings of her dragons were still rare enough to be momentous; seeing them ransack the slaver army is a great showcase for the game-changing power they bring to the battle for the throne, and a fun visual showcase for the minds behind Game of Thrones‘ increasingly impressive CGI. (Randy Dankievitch)
Best Game of Thrones Scenes: Destruction of the Sept of Baelor
Queen Cersei fell into her own trap of bolstering the Faith of the Seven and raising the High Sparrow and Faith Militant to power. After suffering the consequences of imprisonment, starvation, and public shaming through “the walk of atonement,” Cersei carefully planned her revenge for her enemies. Within ten minutes of runtime, Cersei’s revenge is on display for all of King’s Landing to see in a gloriously frightening cinematic event.
Immediately setting the tone with an ominous piece of music appropriately titled “The Light of the Seven,” the music, the cinematography, and quick jump cuts between multiple characters’ perspectives give the scene a sense of difference between normal Game of Thrones scenes. Sacrificing the linear storytelling in this instance, the scene gives way to showing (rather than telling) the events that unfold. Beginning slowly, the gaps between cuts of character perspectives is normal. The camera follows Lancel Lannister as he pursues a young boy out of suspicion while Qyburn (Master of Whispers) offers foreboding words to Maester Pycell before his “little birds” kill him. “…but sometimes before we can usher in the new, the old must be put to rest.” After revealing Cersei’s true intentions at this moment, the music and pacing begin to increase rapidly.
The boy he pursued stabs Lancel in the catacombs of the Sept. Gallons of Wildfire await detonation, and an injured Lancel becomes the only hope for the enemies of Cersei residing above. The scene then hastily jumps between a crawling Lancel and Margaery Tyrell, who finally realizes Cersei’s plot, urging everyone to abandon the Sept.
The Faith Militant’s refusal to let people leave and Lancel inching toward the few flickering candles, symbolizing the small burning hope for those within the Sept bolsters the rising tension of the scene. Chaos builds and the music swells with each cut of the camera. Finally, the High Sparrow and Margaery exchange a somber knowing look of fear. The music reaches its climax and silences. In its place, the igniting and cataclysmic rumble of exploding Wildfire that articulate the plum of green fire and smoke ravaging the Sept of Baelor.
The denouement comes from a simple yet powerful look of satisfaction from Queen Cersei as she sips her wine and walks away. In a sense, she ties a bow on an objectively fantastic display of progressive cinematic suspense. (Garrett Holton)
Best Game of Thrones Scenes: Jon Snow’s Parentage is Revealed in the Tower of Joy
Fans of the show who happened to peruse the online communities and message boards would have come across the occasional article or talking point for something called R+L=J. Essentially what that shorthand broke down to was a long whispered theory that Ned Stark was not, in fact, Jon Snow’s father after all.
As season six flashbacks to Ned Stark and a few other members of Robert’s Rebellion at the Tower of Joy, the place Rhaegar Targaryen had supposedly spirited Lyanna Stark away to when Robert Baratheon was looking for her, the road seemed to slowly be paving its way toward the reveal that Lyanna and Rhaegar were Jon’s true parents.
Toward the end of the explosive season six finale, this theory was confirmed at last when Bran had a vision, as the three-eyed raven, of his father agreeing to keep Jon’s parentage secret, so as to save him from the fate of being killed off as a possible threat to the Baratheon’s claim on the throne.
Suddenly, so many questions had answers, like why would Ned Stark, a man who values honor above all else, cheat on his wife with some random prostitute during wartime. Turns out he didn’t but as a man of honor, he did indeed keep his promise to Lyanna to protect Jon from the Baratheons, even at the expense of his honor and his reputation. (Mike Worby)
Best Game of Thrones Scenes: Arya Kills the Freys
“Leave one wolf alive and the sheep are never safe.”
The first scene of Season 7 is one of intentional misdirection. Walder Frey is alive and well, addressing his house with a feast. This is confusing in light of the fact that the audience witnesses Arya kill Walder after serving him pies of his dead sons at the end of Season 6. However, purposefully following up such a dark scene with one of celebration sets up the truth behind the events unfolding within House Frey.
Although the occasion seems like a normal celebratory feast, “Walder” makes very peculiar statements to his house. He makes it clear that it is a special meeting seeing as the house recently had a feast. Before they begin their feast however, Walder offers a toast to the “brave” men of his house, and he gives them a special wine to which they are unfamiliar. These factors build serious suspicion leading up to the reveal of Arya hiding behind the face of Walder.
Walder congratulates his men specifically for the mass murder of the Starks at the red wedding, solidifying the truth behind Arya’s revenge. Shortly after, the entire house of Frey begins to incessantly cough to the point of blood as the poison from Arya’s special wine takes effect. Just before all the men in the room are dead, Walder (Arya) gives a chilling yet sobering reminder: “leave one wolf alive and the sheep are never safe.”
Arya finally removes Walder’s face and reveals her mastery of the lessons she learned in Braavos at the House of Black and White. The opening of Season 7 brings Arya’s character full circle at this moment, and she puts her own stamp on this when she tells Walder’s former underage wife what to remember from this day. Winter came for House Frey. (Garrett Holton)
Best Game of Thrones Scenes: Euron’s Assault at Sea
The Assault on the Targaryen Fleet by the Iron Fleet (commanded by Euron Greyjoy, the King of the Iron Islands), is an action-packed, crow’s-nest-hollering spectacle that often goes overlooked when discussing the best moment in all eight seasons of Game of Thrones. The Greyjoys thrive at sea, and Euron is no exception proving he may be the best pirate in all of Westeros as he masterfully ambushes his niece and nephew at sea while cutting down several of Yara and Theon’s men with his axe – not to mention escaping near death at the hands of the Sand Snakes. Swashbuckling adventures are few and far between making the sequence a breath of fresh air and one that is jampacked with energy, ambition, and spectacular effects. (Ricky D)
Best Game of Thrones Scenes: The Caravan Battle
Sure, by the mid-point of season seven, we’d seen Danaerys’ dragons in action plenty of times. We’d seen them fry dark priests and slavers. We’d seen them eat captives and enemies. And we’d seen them rescue Dany from harm on several occasions.
However, what we hadn’t seen was what these massive creatures could do during wartime. As Jaime Lannister returned from Casterly Rock with a caravan, filled to the brim with the spoils of war, suddenly Daenarys launched a surprise attack with devastating results.
As a single of her three dragons laid waste to Jaime’s caravan, the true destructive power of these great beasts was made clear at last. No wonder the original dragon riders of the Targaryen line were able to conquer Westeros with such brutal speed and precision.
With Bronn using the dragon slaying ballista designed by Qyburn, and Jaime going on a mad charge at Daenarys during a moment of desperation, the caravan battle of season seven is one of Game of Thrones most thrilling and magnificent set pieces. (Mike Worby)
Best Game of Thrones Scenes: Arya vs. Brienne
This scene is remarkable for what it represents in Arya’s character. Reminiscing on how far she has come from her days training with Syrio Forel to a well-trained, face-stealing assassin, Arya’s character is an example of great writing. Her backstory has been built up to become a force to cause real change in the overarching story. Her spar with Brienne signifies her next step in her character arc.
As Pod trains with Brienne, Arya lurks close by after finally returning to her family home in Winterfell. To give the scene a more redemptive tone, she dons an outfit and hairstyle that closely resembles her late father’s. As she finally meets with Brienne, Arya insists on training with her, highlighting her as the only one that has been able to defeat The Hound.
As they spar, Brienne is notably surprised at the prowess Arya shows in single combat. It is clear against Brienne that what Arya lacks in stature, she makes up for in her agility and new-found knowledge. Arya characterizes this fact while in the midst of fighting. After Brienne spartan-kicks her to the ground, she hastily uses her skill to reposition herself standing. The music and sparring pick up simultaneously to demonstrate the two evenly-matched opponents.
Arya being a match to one of the strongest characters in the series shows that she is a force to be reckoned with. Thus, her presence has the ability to affect the events that are soon to come within Game of Thrones.(Garrett Holton)
Best Game of Thrones Scenes: Viserion Dies
The sixth episode of the seventh season of Game of Thrones is a thrilling 70 minutes of epic battles and tense confrontations – but it’s also an episode that tries too hard to do too much in a short span of time. “Beyond the Wall” is an oddly paced episode with convenient plot turns and major reveals that seem to unfold a tad bit prematurely – but it’s also an episode that will be remembered mostly for one scene in particular: the death of Viserion.
Of the many, many deaths we’ve witnessed on Game of Thrones over the years, the loss of the dragon Viserion might just be the most emotional. We all knew what the outcome would be when watching the Night King hurl his ice spear at the dragon – yet we desperately hoped otherwise. As the spear pierced the dragon’s neck, fatally wounding him, millions of fans immediately took to social media to mourn his death. I’ll never forget the screeching sounds of agony from his brothers’ cries, as the helpless dragon crashes into the frozen lake and sinks below the surface. (Ricky D)
Greatest Game of Thrones Scenes: The Death of Littlefinger
In a series filled with numerous characters and various storylines that never seem to intersect, it is very gratifying when characters we’ve become so invested in finally meet. It is, even more, gratifying however when characters we love finally reunite after seasons of being separated. Despite having little love for one another in their youth, Arya and Sansa Stark are beyond relieved to see one another after being apart since the season one finale. However, it isn’t long before Petyr Baelish a.k.a Littlefinger begins sowing discord between the two sisters. After a few episodes of deviously planting incriminating evidence and spreading rumors, Littlefinger seems to have succeeded in causing Sansa to be suspicious of Arya. He seems to forget that their brother Bran is an all-knowing Three-Eyed Raven that can see pretty much every horrible thing Littlefinger has done (which is admittedly, kind of lame).
Sansa summons Arya to court to seemingly accuse her of treason. Instead, she turns to Littlefinger and asks how he pleads to the accusations. Finally, the most conniving, duplicitous, Machiavellian character in the entire series is called out for all of his lies and schemes. Sansa realizes that every single unfortunate thing that the Stark family has endured from the very beginning has been caused by a domino effect that Littlefinger started. As Littlefinger begs for his life and declares his love for Sansa, she coldly thanks him for everything he has taught her and Arya slits his throat.
While it is always satisfying to watch a Game of Thrones villain meet their demise, it is also assuring to know that the Stark sisters maintained their trust and strength. Together, the pack survives. (Sarah Truesdale)
Best Game of Thrones Scenes: Destruction of the Wall
Some would argue that the season 7 finale of Game of Thrones is the most satisfying ending of all the seasons, and it isn’t hard to see why.
After the penultimate episode of season 7 saw the Night’s King bring Viserion back from the dead (so to speak), we all expected the closing moments of the Season 7 to put the undead dragon into action – and boy were we not wrong.
The Wall was originally built to defend against the White Walkers, ice creatures who were created by the Children of the Forest. It was also said to be imbued with magic that would prevent the walking dead from crossing over. Unfortunately, nobody ever considered how a wall made of ice would stand against a dragon’s flames.
As we all predicted, the 8000-year-old-wall would come crashing down thanks to Viserion – and thanks to director Jeremy Podeswa’s masterful direction, the effects-heavy sequence paid off in spades. The season seven finale gave us many revelations and some truly satisfying reveals, but the destruction of the Wall by the undead dragon was definitely the most dramatic. It was something we waited years to see and in many ways, it was the perfect cliffhanger to the season. (Ricky D)