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Thursday, December 7, 2023

Game on; We’re only one episode away from tutelage the fate of Westeros and all of its remaining intact inhabitants. With the stakes so high and the sweep so wide, it’s kind of funny to recall that, once upon a time, this was a comparatively cozy little show about two rival families jockeying for power. From those beginnings sprouted a pop-culture phenomenon — and the most ambitious, expensive, and popular show in HBO history.So, for one last time, I’ve strapped on my maester’s chain and done my best to figure it all out. Below you’ll find a fully updated list of  Best of Game of Thrones episodes; so far, ranked in ascending order of standard. Open your third eye and you’ll start to recognize certain ornament. By the end, the big picture clear enough: Whether the individual episodes are cold as ice or hot as dragonfire, Game of Thrones aims higher than ever, hits harder, and takes more visual, emotional, and thematic risks than anything else on television.

The Prince of Winterfell; Season 2, Episode 8

Will conscientiousness Theon Greyjoy keep control of Winterfell? Will Jon Snow and his boring commander Qhorin Halfhand escape through the clutches of the wildlings? Will Tyrion Lannister repel the invasion of King’s Landing by Stannis Baratheon? WHERE ARE MY DRAGONS?

The answers to these questions and more are; not in this episode, which is a pure placeholder formerly the Battle of the Blackwater.

“Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” (Season 5, Episode 6)

They’re the words of House Martell, but for the intention of this episode, “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” can add “Unsuccessful.” The crackerjack casting of Pedro Pascal and Indira Varma as vengeful libertine Prince Oberyn Martell and his common-law wife Ellaria Sand aside, Game of Thrones’ grasp on the southern kingdom of Dorne has been shaky, to say the least. Although criticism of Ramsay Bolton’s wedding-night assault on Sansa Stark dominated the discourse, it was the dire duel between Jaime Lannister and Bronn and the one-dimensional Sand Snakes – the worst fight scene of the series to date; that dragged this episode down.

“Oathkeeper” (Season 4, Episode 4)

I’ll bestow them this: The slave revolt that ends with House Targaryen’s black flag flying over Meereen is pretty tight. But the rest of this episode feels strangely slapdash: the lack of follow-up to the bizarre Jaime-Cersei scene in “Breaker of Chains”; Sansa’s wholehearted trust of Littlefinger, a guy who’d recently murdered a man in front of her; and the gruesome reign of rape and murder by Night’s Watch mutineers at Craster’s Keep, as close to unendurable as this show’s violence has ever gotten.

“Book of the Stranger” (Season 6, Episode 4)

Reunions and redundancy are the name of the game here. Although the long-awaited meetings between long-lost siblings Jon and Sansa, Theon and Yara Greyjoy, and Margaery and Loras Tyrell are touching, Ramsay Bolton’s by-the-numbers murder of the once-prominent wildling Osha and Daenerys Targaryen’s burning of yet another group of enemies (and outfit) definitely suffered from lessen returns.

Valar Dohaeris” (Season 3, Episode 1)

Gratitude to the around-the-horn style in most Game of thrones season premieres, In this episode races from storyline to storyline but has little chance to do anything else. For every cool moment, like our first glimpse of a giant or the return of rogue kingsguard Ser Barristan Selmy, there’s a major dropped ball, like a massive battle between the Night’s Watch and the White Walkers’ zombies that happens entirely offscreen between seasons.

The Kingsroad” (Season 1, Episode 2)

These days, both times and characters move so fast on Game of Thrones that some viewers have started complaining about it. But but back when the show stuck closely to author George R.R. Martin’s novels, people spent a whole lot of time just getting from place to place. The series’ second episode is dedicated almost entirely to the expedition of Ned, his pal King Robert, and their kids from Winterfell to King’s Landing. Granted, we get our first glimpse of Joffrey’s true colors along the way and our first direwolf killing as well — but this episode is mostly concerned with establishing the look and feel of the show and its setting.“

Fire and Blood” (Season 1, Episode 10)

The first-season finale of the Game of throne  is best remembered for the astonishing; mythic image of Daenerys Targaryen emerging unburned from the ashes of her husband Drogo’s funeral pyre, clad only in three infant dragons. But subtler moments stand out as well, from the nervous apprehension of Northern soldiers as they hear their lords proclaim Robb Stark the King in the North to how Emilia Clarke portrays Dany’s blend of confidence and craziness as she marches to what seems like certain death.

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