Game of Thrones took audiences by storm when the fantasy drama series premiered in 2011 as one of the most ambitious shows in television history. In 2019, the series finally wrapped with a thrilling (or some say, anticlimactic) conclusion. Whether or not you’re a fan, pop cultural references to the show are everywhere. Today we’re taking a look at the past eight seasons of Game of Thrones to highlight some of the best episodes of all time. Reader beware, for spoilers lie ahead.
“The Climb” Season 3, Episode 6
The name of this episode has a dual meaning, both literally in terms of scaling The Wall, as Jon Snow and the Wildlings do, and figuratively in Littlefinger and Varys’ “chaos is a ladder” exchange. While The Wall remains an iconic landmark, “The Climb” highlights its true enormity.
“The Lion and the Rose” Season 4, Episode 2
One of the reasons that this episode makes the list is simply that the horrible boy king Joffrey dies. His brief marriage to Margaery Tyrell ends at the reception when it becomes evident that he has been poisoned. As he chokes, his face turns a violet hue, giving “The Purple Wedding” its name.
“The Bells” Season 8, Episode 5
The penultimate episode of season 8 caught audiences unaware when Daenerys Targaryen took a dark turn. Some would argue that the seeds of evil had been planted in her since the start, that the war crime she committed was a long time coming. King’s Landing becomes little more than rubble and ash when Daenerys and her last dragon help invaders to break into the city, setting fire to what’s left of the city, and startling many viewers.
“Winter Is Coming” Season 1, Episode 1
This is the episode that started it all and set the tone for what was to come in the world of Westeros. In 55 minutes, it had the task of setting the exposition for an entire world of mythology, establish numerous place names and even more character names, yet it managed to set the stakes for the series that would drive it for its duration.