Spoilers are coming. The night is dark and full of spoilers. When you spoil the game of thrones you win or you d- Basically there’s spoilers.
Season 6 of Game of Thrones finally drops this weekend, and while we all wait to find out what will happen with Jon Snow, we filled our time by reliving some of the greatest moments the show has offered us so far, which has been a thoroughly scarring experience.
Picking 10 moments from Game of Thrones is like choosing which Stark you want the show to kill off next, but with a few honourable mentions, we managed to string together a list, with our moments ranked on shock value, character development and just generally being moments that only Game of Thrones could pull off.
Two and a half seasons in, and we were beginning to realise that Game of Thrones delights in stripping its characters of their best assets. Climber Bran loses the use of his legs, Jaime has his sword-wielding hand chopped off, but would Daenerys really give up one of her dragons for the Unsullied?
As Dany completes the switch, there is a second where we think she might, but as soon as she speaks to the Unsullied in Valyrian, we know there is a rare feel good moment on its way. In a move not anticipated even by her advisers, Dany keeps hold of her dragons, torches a city and gains an army. The first time we’d seen the dragons in action, and the first time Daenerys became a contender for the Iron Throne.
9) THE PURPLE WEDDING
Speaking of feel good moments. Just look at his stupid face.
8) ‘BRING ME HIS HEAD’
Unfortunately, the rest of this list offers little to feel good about, starting with where it started – the moment Game of Thrones became the show where no character is safe. When the honourable Ned Stark confesses his treason to save his daughters, his reward is a swift execution at the hands of Joffrey
It was a stick or twist moment for the show, but rather than lose its audience, it gained traction for its realistic take on medieval fantasy. Little did fans of the show know what this moment would lead to…
At first, there is nothing spectacular about Jon’s trip to Hardhome. He and Tormund Giantsbane are successful in convincing the Wildings to join them south of the Wall, and just as things are too good to be true, the dogs begin to bark, the wind howls softly, and then Jon’s face turns from vacant to only slightly disinterested. Something is about to happen here.
It’s hard to pinpoint a specific moment in the following battle between the dead and the living, as season 5 throws basically its entire budget at this epic half-hour action sequence. That shot of the four horse-zombies of the apocalypse, and Jon joining Sam in the ‘I killed a White Walker’ club come close, but the Night’s King’s stand-off with the Lord Commander, where the former raises the dead with little more than a shrug, takes the honours here.
6) ‘CHAOS IS A LADDER’
The ‘chaos’ sequence is Littlefinger and Varys’s version of Hardhome. There are no zombies, no giants, no Valyrian steel; their war is one of words, but it’s absolutely no less compelling.
Littlefinger’s closing speech over a montage of the chaos descending on King’s Landing, scored and edited spectacularly, is Game of Thrones simultaneously summarising itself and doing what it does best.
5) MOTHER OF DRAGONS
She says it herself: ‘Fire cannot kill a dragon.’
When Dany steps into the flames of her husband’s grave, she emerges a ‘dragon’, a mother and a conquerer all in one, and with her – the moment we had been waiting for all season – the first real life dragons seen in centuries.
4) ‘I AM YOUR SON. I HAVE ALWAYS BEEN YOUR SON’
Those are Tyrion’s words right before he shoots a second, deadly bolt into his father’s chest.
What’s so special about this moment is Tywin’s attempt to worm his way out of the situation, not understanding that the man he’s talking to is the best in the Seven Kingdoms at worming his way out of situations. Tyrion knows all the tricks, and proves himself as his father’s son in showing no mercy.
It’s a heartbreaking moment between two characters who could have been so good for each other, and one that blows the war between the Lannisters and basically everyone else wide open.
3) ‘YOU LIVED YOUR LIFE FOR THE KING; YOU GONNA DIE FOR SOME CHICKENS?’
We almost did a top 10 Game of Thrones quotes, but they’re all in this scene, where Arya’s pursuit of her sword and the Hound’s insatiable desire for chicken leads to a brutally satisfying bar fight. Maisie Williams’ expression visibly changes from uncertainty to confidence to delight as the Hound expresses his distaste for the King by way of a good old murder spree.
Preceded by gems such as ‘I understand that if any more words come pouring out your c**t mouth, I’m going to have to eat every f**king chicken in this room,’ Game of Thrones doesn’t get much better than this.
2) ‘THE LANNISTERS SEND THEIR REGARDS’
The Red Wedding is Game of Thrones in a nutshell: overwhelming joy turned into total despair. It ranks as one of television’s most epic and disturbing moments, not only for its shock value, but the way it is done.
Robb and Talisa have just decided to name their unborn son Eddard, and Catelyn watches on proudly, before she notices the door being bolted shut, followed a chorus of ‘The Rains of Castamere’, and finally, Roose Bolton unveils his armour. The pacing and the build-up has you tense before it even starts.
Talisa dies first, Robb is shot, Catelyn lives just long enough to watch her son die at the hands of her own bannerman, and all you know in that time is betrayal.
The Starks were our only solace in a show full of questionable characters. Ned’s death might have been OK to see the full extent of Robb’s revenge on Joffrey, but to watch he and his mother die feels personal.
But it’s reality. Westeros has no place for those who trust, we were told over and over again. It wasn’t until the Red Wedding that we believed it, and only once you’ve experienced the Red Wedding can you fully understand the extent of what Game of Thrones can do to a person. Let’s just say the vast majority who stuck with the show afterwards were perhaps a little more cautious moving forward. Then again…
We’re introducing honourable mentions for this list because I could comfortably have made it into a top 20 or 30. Unfortunately, we don’t have a category for a ‘top 20’ list, so here are the moments that just missed the cut.
‘Crown for King’
Viserys wins the honour for the first major character to be brutally murdered.
‘The King in the North!’
The North rallies behind Robb Stark.
‘Those are good men knocking at our door. Let’s go kill them!’
Tyrion stepping up in the wake of King Joffrey’s cowardice is the highlight of ‘Blackwater’.
‘I demand a trial by combat’
Tyrion’s guilty plea was the the thing none of us knew we wanted more than anything.
‘I will be your champion’
Oberyn and Tyrion bond over their enthusiasm for dead Lannisters.
The fighting pits
Drogon makes easy work of the Sons of the Harpy before Daenerys climbs aboard.
‘For the Watch’
1) THE MOUNTAIN AND THE VIPER
When the Red Viper of Dorne took on the Mountain to avenge his fallen sister Elia, there could only be one outcome. Prince Oberyn Martell had been one of the standout characters of season 4 – he was going to be around for a while.
A fight scene beautifully choreographed in the heart of King’s Landing – the perfect place to mark Ser Gregor Clegane’s death. Only, we forgot who writes these books.
Oberyn beats the Mountain, but is taken off guard in his moment of triumph, and his beautiful face is squashed like a watermelon.
‘The Mountain and the Viper’ became a television event. The Internet was set alight by Twitter mentions and YouTube reactions and entirely unnecessary parodies.
An infinite number of Red Weddings couldn’t have prepared us for it, and the fact that ‘The Mountain and the Viper’ came after and still had the whole world talking is a tribute to the way this show reverses expectations, and, like it or not, that’s what Game of Thrones is all about.
Game of Thrones season 6 premieres on HBO this Sunday. You can recap every episode right here at Geek Outpost.