Death. Betrayal. Triumph. Heartbreak. Any number of scenes could have made the list, but here our the best moments in Game of Thrones history with the all-time great series now concluded.
50. King’s Landing parley (S8E4)
Following the sudden death of Rhaegal and the capture of Missandei, Daenerys wanted blood. However, Tyrion ended up convincing her to sue for peace, and it only led to the heartbreak with Missandei getting beheaded by the Mountain—but not before a powerful “Dracarys” added more fuel to the Targaryen Queen’s fire heading into the final two episodes.
49. Robb wins at Whispering Wood (S1E9)
We didn’t know who would emerge from the woods when Catelyn Stark and Ser Rodrick were waiting during the Battle of the Whispering Wood, so it is very emotional to see her reaction when Robb and his men ride back as victors—bringing along Jaime Lannister as a prisoner. When challenged to a one-on-one fight to decide the war, Robb wisely declines (“If we do it your way, Kingslayer, you’d win… We’re not doing it your way.”) and gives a heartfelt speech to his men because the war is far from won.
48. Jon Snow executes his betrayers (S6E3)
Murdered by his own “brothers,” Jon quite literally gave his life to the Night’s Watch. After being brought back, he asks the traitors for their final words—Alliser Thorne admits he has no regrets, while Olly says nothing—before angrily striking the rope to hang them all. Some of the other men cringe a bit, but Jon looks them in the face before giving Edd Castle Black and declaring that his Watch has ended.
47. Daenerys leads the Dothraki (S6E4)
Jorah Mormont and Daario were able to infiltrate the city and reach Daenerys to free her at Vaes Dothrak, but she had other ideas. As planned, Dany met with the Khals, claiming none of them are fit to lead the Dothraki—but she is. Laughs turn to screams when the Mother of Dragons sets the large hut ablaze and once again emerges unburnt, this time to the amazement of the entire Dothraki people, all of whom bow to her as their new leader.
46. Clegane Bowl (S8E5)
Clegane Bowl definitely did not disappoint as an event that was years in the making and came with extreme anticipation. The Mountain was always loyal to Cersei and Qyburn, but that ended when his brother came to settle a score with a fight to the death. The apocalyptic backdrop as dragonfire rained down and buildings collapsed was amazing, and the fight itself matched it. The Hound delivered what should have been multiple death blows to the Mountain, but he was basically an unstoppable force in his current state until being tackled into a pool of fire that sent both brothers to their death.
45. Jon Snow speech for the dead (S8E4)
The first scene after the Battle of Winterfell was very emotional, as there was a mass funeral for Theon, Jorah, Beric Dondarrion, Lyanna Mormont, Edd, and the thousands of others who fell fighting the Army of the Dead. Sansa putting a Stark sigil on Theon and Dany crying over Jorah were difficult goodbyes, and Jon Snow’s speech echoing his Night’s Watch words was regally delivered to give the unsung heroes a proper ending.
44. Daenerys frees the Unsullied (S3E4)
Jorah and Barristan Selmy were surprised that Daenerys offered a dragon in exchange for the Unsullied, but they—along with the viewers—found out soon enough what she was thinking. As soon as the Unsullied were under her command, Dany began speaking in High Valyrian and commands the slave masters and soldiers be killed, while telling Kraznys a dragon isn’t a slave before ordering Drogon to burn him with a stern “Dracarys.” The display leads to asking the Unsullied if they will fight for her as free men, and they unanimously agree.
43. Tyrion says goodbye to Jaime (S8E5)
Jaime’s relationship with Tyrion was more proof that he was a good-hearted person despite any evil deeds, so it was tough to see their final goodbye when the younger brother returns a favor by setting his older brother free. The acting is top-notch from both Peter Dinklage and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, especially when Tyrion tells Jaime he wouldn’t have survived his childhood without him (“You were the only one who didn’t treat me like a monster… you were all I had.”) and they embrace one final time.
42. The Moon Door (S4E7)
Littlefinger shouldn’t have been a character that sane people pulled for in the series, but the craziness of Lysa Arryn actually made it possible at the end of “Mockingbird”. After saving Sansa from potentially being pushed out of the moon door, Littlefinger calmed his new wife down by saying that he’s only loved one woman his entire life (making it seem like he’s going to say her), before changing tone and telling Lysa “your sister” and pushing her to her death.
41. Chaos is a Ladder (S3E6)
Montages were not common throughout Game of Thrones, but when utilized, they were beautifully done. Littlefinger’s monologue to Varys in the Throne Room was more of an insight into the lengths he will go to get what he wants, and it was also an interesting way to look at things—“Chaos is a ladder… The climb is all there is.” The words transition to a literal climb with Jon Snow and Ygritte reaching the top of the Wall for one of the few purely romantic scenes of the series.
40. Arya wipes out House Frey (S7E1)
The pre-credits scene to start Season 7 was a bit confusing at first, as it seemed like it may have been some sort of flashback (likely via Bran) where Walder Frey and his House were celebrating. However, things slowly took a turn when the Frey imposter began mocking his own family for the Red Wedding, and everyone dies coughing up their own blood. Of course, the assassin was Arya wearing Walder’s face, and she tells the female survivor: “When people ask you what happened here tell them the North remembers. Tell them winter came for House Frey.”
39. Olenna admits she killed Joffrey (S7E3)
Leaving Casterly Rock open was a genius military maneuver by the Lannister army, as they were able to take Highgarden and all the riches that go with it. For Jaime, though, the victory was short-lived because he and Lady Olenna had a talk that concluded with her telling him she killed Joffrey—but not before the Kingslayer had already given her a painless death via poison. The final words by Olenna—“Tell Cersei. I want her to know it was me.”—were a punch to the gut for Jaime and one final victory for the Queen of Thornes.
38. Jaime pushes Bran (S1E1)
The Starks and the Lannisters were clearly not fond of one another in the series premiere, and things come to a shocking head when a Bran—who had been warned about climbing—catches Jaime and Cersei together. The Queen makes it clear that Bran saw them and something needs to be done about it, so Jaime decides to push the child to his probable death, reasoning aloud, “The things I do for love.”
37. Tyrion’s escape (S4E10)
After a twist of fate in his trial by combat, Tyrion was forced to await execution, but is freed in the dead of night by Jaime (with the help of Varys). Unfortunately, things couldn’t be that simple, as Tyrion wanders to his father’s room and finds Shae in his bed, causing a hand-to-hand fight that results in her death by strangling. Then, he takes Joffrey’s crossbow and searches for his Tywin, eventually taking two fatal shots at his father to end the life of the most powerful man in Westeros. Varys sums everything up perfectly when he asks a bloody Tyrion, “What have you done?”
36. Brienne is Knighted (S8E2)
“In the name of the Warrior, I charge you to be brave. In the name of the Father, I charge you to be just. In the name of the Mother, I charge you to defend the innocent. Rise Ser Brienne of Tarth, a Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.” Brienne claimed just seconds earlier that she didn’t care about being a knight, but the look on her face afterwards certainly said otherwise in what was a very touching moment, especially since she was knighted by Jaime. The two almost seemed lost in the moment before Tormund’s clapping broke the silence.
35. Castle Black stands (S4E9)
The entire sequence of the Night’s Watch defending Castle Black against the wildlings was great, including the epic longshot of Jon Snow coming down from the top of the Wall to get in on the action, which followed him, Ygritte, and Tormund around the courtyard and back to a fight between Jon and the Magnar of Thenn. After narrowly defeating Styr (the Thenn), Jon is faced with a crossbow-wielding Ygritte—but she hesitates, and Jon smiles at her just before Olly surprisingly puts an arrow through the wildling’s heart. Ygritte dies in Jon’s arms, getting out some final words: “You know nothing, Jon Snow.”
34. Sansa gets revenge (S6E9)
We knew Ramsay Bolton wasn’t going to live much longer after losing Winterfell, but the way he died was a fitting end for one of the show’s best villains. While Ramsay did his best to get in some last jabs against Sansa by saying he will always be a part of her, she countered (“Your words will disappear. Your House will disappear. Your name will disappear. All memory of you will disappear.”) before reminding him that he hasn’t fed his dogs for seven days when he insists they won’t harm him. The soft smile on Sansa’s face when she walks away as Ramsay was eaten alive said it all.
33. Daenerys sails for Westeros (S6E10)
Daenerys was working her way back to Westeros for six seasons, so it was a monumental moment for her to sail across the Narrow Sea with a huge fleet, multiple armies, several trusted advisors, and three large dragons flying overhead to end “The Winds of Winter”. The triumphant Targaryen soundtrack that plays throughout the scene and into the credits basically lets the viewers know that Dany is officially in the game.
32. The Mountain kills Oberyn (S4E8)
Going into it, Tyrion’s trial by combat seemed like it was a toss up between the raw power of the Mountain and the fast flamboyance of Oberyn Martell, but the Prince of Dorne was able to pretty much handle him. However, with the Mountain seemingly defeated, Oberyn circled the beast, demanding he admit to raping and murdering his sister and killing her children on the orders of Tywin Lannister. The provoking led to Oberyn losing focus, and the Mountain was able to turn the tables and literally crush his head to the horror of the spectators, his partner Ellaria, and of course Tyrion, who is sentenced to death.
31. A Stark smiles down on Walder Frey (S6E10)
In the aftermath of a feast celebrating the Frey victory against the Blackfish (which was really Jaime’s doing), Walder is served pie by a servant girl who we previously saw eyeing up the Kingslayer. When Lord Frey asks where his “damn moron sons” are, the girl says they’re already there, and a confused Walder learns they have been carved up and turned into a pie. Arya unmasks herself and—before crossing a name of her list—tells the traitor: “The last thing you’re ever going to see is a Stark smiling down at you as you die.”
30. The Lord of Light brings Jon back (S6E2)
After being convinced by Ser Davos to at least try, a broken Melisandre attempts to bring the murdered Lord Commander back from the dead. She washes the blood of Jon Snow, cuts his hair, and says the words over him—but you can soon sense her desperation, which leads to a sigh and a whispered “please.” Melisandre gives a look of defeat to Davos when that doesn’t work, and everyone filters out of the room expect for Ghost, who wakes up and looks at Jon. Seconds later, his eyes open as he is miraculously resurrected.
29. Littlefinger’s death (S7E7)
We have seen Littlefinger play “the game” better than anyone throughout the series, so it seemed as if the wedge he drove between Sansa and Arya was real, leading to the younger Stark to be called to the Great Hall. Both the viewers and Lord Baelish himself thought Sansa was putting Arya on trial when she said, “You stand accused of murder. You stand accused of treason. How do you answer these charges…”; but after a pause, she turns to Littlefinger and continues, “Lord Baelish?” Shocked, the man who previously turned on Ned Stark is facing perhaps the only scenario that he didn’t play out in his head, and it was satisfying to see him literally beg for his life before Arya slit his throat.
28. The Purple Wedding (S4E2)
King Joffrey was much more of a monster than Littlefinger, but the fact that you actually feel bad for him as he gasps for air after being poisoned is a testament to how well done the show was. For all his wickedness, Joffrey had arguably the most gruesome death of the series, and it was difficult to watch Cersei be absolutely devastated—which turns into pure anger directed at Tyrion, who is caught red-handed with the cup in his hands despite having nothing to do with the assassination.
27. The Wall is destroyed (S7E7)
As if the Army of the Dead marching out of the woods wasn’t frightening enough, hearing a dragon’s screech and then seeing it emerge hurling blue fire to break the Wall was the living’s worst nightmare. All Tormund, Beric, and the others are able to do it run, as the Night King controls the undead Viserion to blast a chunk off the Wall for his army to get through, creating a scene that could have been straight out of a horror movie to end the penultimate season and set up the Great War.
26. Littlefinger turns on Ned (S1E7)
Most viewers were probably hooked from the start, but “You Win or You Die” might have been the first episode that made people say OK, this show is for real. In the final scene, a wounded Ned Stark goes to the Throne Room after King Robert’s death, and he’s told by both Littlefinger and the honor-lacking Janos Slynt that they are on his side. After Cersei is defiant when Ned brings the royal decree naming himself protector of the realm, Lord Stark orders his men and the City Watch to take the Queen and her children away, urging that no blood be shed. After a brief standoff, though, Slynt orders his men to attack Ned’s men, and in the chaos, Littlefinger puts a blade to Lord Stark’s throat, saying “I did warn you not to trust me.”
25. Jaime loses a hand (S3E3)
To save Brienne from being raped by Locke’s men, Jaime tells Roose Bolton’s “best hunter” that her father would pay him handsomely—as ruler of the Sapphire Isle—if she is returned to him “unbesmirched.” Locke seems to take the bait by ordering Brienne back and then discussing what Tywin might pay for Jaime, and he even grants the Kingslayer’s request to no longer be chained to a tree. But it was just a ploy, and Locke puts a knife in Jaime’s face, telling him he’s nothing without his father before relenting—and then suddenly chopping off his hand. As the showrunners said, it was essentially killing a character without really killing him.
24. Mhysa (S3E10)
After the heartbreak of the Red Wedding in the penultimate episode of Season 3, things end on a high note when Daenerys Targaryen liberates the slaves of Yunkai and tells them they must take freedom for themselves. At first, it looks as if the people don’t fully understand because they wait to react, but they eventually begin calling out “Mhysa” (or mother) to Dany, who tells her growing dragons to fly and goes out into the crowd. The former slaves softly touch her—continuing to chant—and then lift Daenerys up to worship her as perhaps the story’s new main hero.
23. Stannis is defeated at Blackwater (S2E9)
The Battle of Blackwater was the first big, single-location battle episode of the series, and despite the wildfire blowing up much of his fleet, it looked like Stannis would win after breeching the walls, so Cersei went to the Throne Room with Tommen—preparing to give him milk of poppy for a painless death. As she told her son the story about the mother lion and her cub, we see Baratheon forces (which were slowed by Tyrion) get attacked by a surprise wave of solders, and just before Tommen drinks, the doors open and men come inside led by Loras Tyrell wearing Renly Baratheon’s armor. After cutting to Stannis outside seeing the battle be lost, Tywin comes into the Throne room and declares victory. No matter how people felt about the Lannisters, it was a moment that should have given you chills.
22. Daenerys goes beyond the Wall (S7E6)
Jon Snow and the Eastwatch crew were in big trouble beyond the Wall as the Army of the Dead closed in on them, but Daenerys and her dragons arrived just in time to save them—which unfortunately cost Viserion’s life. Shortly after the dragon was tragically struck by the Night King’s spear and crashed into the ice, Jon Snow was also tackled into the ice after fighting off wights to give the others time to escape. Dany had no choice but to leave Jon behind, but after the King in the North emerged, Benjen Stark served his final purpose by saving his nephew.
21. Jon Snow is heir to the Iron Throne (S7E7)
In the Season 6 finale, Bran learned that Jon Snow was actually the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Tagaryen, but in the Season 7 finale, he was able to piece everything together with Samwell Tarly’s help. The different scenes—Bran and Sam talking, the flashback, Jon and Daenerys getting together, and Tyrion suspiciously standing down the hall—were woven together beautifully to reveal the truth: Jon’s real name was Aegon Targaryen, and he was heir to the Iron Throne.
20. Death marches on Winterfell (S8E2)
The events in “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms” could have been the final night for everyone in Winterfell with the Army of the Dead marching on the Stark home, and Podrick’s rendition of “Jenny of Oldstones” was basically a perfect calm before the storm as we got a look at all our favorite characters waiting for a fight against Death. The song ends as Daenerys goes down into the crypts where Jon is looking at the statue of his mother, and he tells her about his true parentage (“My name… my real name… is Aegon Tagaryen”)—causing a stunned reaction from Dany before they hear horns and prepare for the White Walkers.
19. Robb is named King in the North (S1E10)
The new leader of House Stark following his father’s death, Robb explains to his men that they need to back Stannis over Renly because he’s the older brother, but that causes Greatjon Umber to make his own case by proclaiming Robb as King in the North. Viewers should have had goosebumps as they watched everyone chant for the Young Wolf as their new king, and Robb is clearly humbled by the honor as he turns to Catelyn and gets a proud look from her in one of the more underappreciated scenes of the series.
18. Tyrion demands a trial by combat (S4E6)
Jaime—who knew that his little brother didn’t kill Joffrey—is able to strike a plea with Tywin to let Tyrion live and join the Night’s Watch if he asks for a formal plea of mercy; Tyrion agreed, and all he had to do was not have any outbursts. However, that was easier said than done when Shae is brought in as a witness to lie about the man she called “my Lion,” and Tyrion can’t bear to listen for another second, leading to him losing it and demanding a trial by combat. The reactions from everyone—particularly Jaime (because he knows he threw it all away), Cersei, and the stare down between Tyrion and Tywin—as the “Rains of Castamere” played was masterful television.
17. Jon Snow says goodbye (S8E6)
It was bittersweet to watch Jon Snow bid farewell to Sansa, Arya, and Bran before leaving to rejoin the Night’s Watch and live out his days, and the acting—which was likely influenced by real-life feelings of the actors with the show ending—made it an extremely touching scene for the last time the remaining Starks were together. Despite Jon’s real father being a Tagaryen, it was clear that Jon was a true Stark, and the sisters and brother he grew up with viewed him as such.
16. Mother of Dragons (S1E10)
There were hints about Daenerys not being affected by fire throughout Season 1, but no one had any idea that she would be able to step into a large funeral pyre with three petrified dragon eggs and somehow emerge with three baby dragons. Viewers are basically mesmerized with Jorah when we see Dany slowly show her face and stand up as the Mother of Dragons, and hearing them screech is actually quite unsettling because of the power they will bring to the world.
15. Shireen is sacrificed (S5E9)
Melisandre had burnt people at the stake in the name of the Lord of Light before, but not like what we saw in the penultimate episode of Season 5. Stannis—convinced it was necessary to win the Iron Throne—reluctantly allowed the Red Woman to burn his only child alive, and Shireen’s screams/pleads are enough to make her mother (who was always cold towards her) break and try to stop it. The sacrifice is one of the best scenes in Thrones history, but it’s also one of the toughest to rewatch.
14. Cersei blows up the Sept (S6E10)
Some of composer Ramin Djawadi’s best work came in “The Winds of Winter”, including the immense buildup for Cersei’s trial, which we—along with Margaery Tyrell because she’s able to use some common sense unlike the self-absorbed High Sparrow—soon realize won’t be going on as planned. Things start to get put in motion when Lancel Lannister is stabbed and Grand Maester Pycelle is killed, but we aren’t quite sure about the extent of Cersei’s plan until the candle burns low enough to reach the wildfire and blow up the Great Sept of Baelor—wiping out basically all her enemies from the comfort of the Red Keep.
13. Daenerys ignores the bells (S8E5)
Daenerys promised to use fear to take the Iron Throne following deaths and betrayals all around her, but it was an absolute shock to see the extent she went in the penultimate episode of the series by ignoring the bells of surrender and laying waste to King’s Landing. The war was over far quicker than anyone thought it would be, but Mother of Dragons didn’t feel it was enough, and the look on her face before taking flight again said it all, setting up Dany as the show’s final and most destructive villain after the biggest twist since the Red Wedding. Also, the deaths of Jaime and Cersei should be mentioned as a part of this seemingly never-ending sequence of destruction.
12. Hold the door (S6E5)
The Night King brought winter with him wherever he went, so when Meera noticed that she could see her breath inside the Three-Eyed Raven’s cave, we find out that the Army of the Dead had arrived. Of course, the Night King killing the Three-Eyed Raven and Summer going down fighting were just part of this scene, as in the past, Bran was wandering around the Winterfell courtyard, and he somehow heard Meera telling him to warg into Hodor. That leads to he and young Wylis locking eyes, and Bran helplessly watches as the boy goes into a seizure and keeps repeating “hold the door,” which morphs into “Hodor”—while at the same time in the present, Hodor sacrifices himself so Bran and Meera can escape.
11. Drogon saves Daenerys (S5E9)
We have already discussed multiple triumphant moments for Daenerys, but most awe-inspiring one was likely being saved by Drogon at the Great Pit of Daznak. All hope seemed to be lost for Dany with the Sons of the Harpy surrounding her, Tyrion, Jorah, and the others, but a dragon screech caused everyone to freeze, and Drogon arrived and went to work protecting his mother. Daenerys is able to get out by commanding Drogon to fly, which ends the episode as everyone else looks on in wonder at their Queen.
10. Battle of the Bastards (S6E9)
The odds were stacked against Jon Snow and his army in the Battle of the Bastards, but through luck and skill, the former Lord Commander was able first survive going out in the open in an attempt to save Rickon, and then being pushed to the bottom of a pileup that nearly caused him to suffocate. Both were shot beautifully, but the latter emergence allowed Jon and the viewers to see what Ramsay was also seeing: the Knights of the Vale joining the fight and wiping out the Bolton forces. Sansa looked on confidently before noticing Jon, Tormund, and Wun-Wun chasing Ramsay back into Winterfell—where the two former bastards have the one-on-one fight Jon previously proposed, ending with Ramsay’s defeat.
9. Jon Snow kills Daenerys (S8E6)
Always the one to do what was right no matter what it meant for himself, Jon Snow entered the Throne Room following a talk with Tyrion where the two seemed to know what needed to be done. The former King in the North was on the verge of tears as he basically tried talking Daenerys into seeing things his way, but it became clear that wasn’t going to happen. After telling her “you are my queen, now and always” and kissing the woman he loves, Jon plunged a knife in Dany’s heart to end the Targaryen reign before she even got a chance to sit on the Iron Throne. It was absolutely heartbreaking for both characters considering all they had been through coming from opposite sides of the world, but Jon’s sacrifice and Drogon burning the Iron Throne saved the realm and achieved Daenerys’ dream of breaking the wheel.
8. Tower of Joy/King in the North II (S6E10)
The entire top ten probably has a case to be as high as No. 1 on the list, including the reveal of Jon Snow being Lyanna Stark’s son. The scene perfectly transitions from Bran’s vision of the Tower of Joy to the present day where Jon is sitting in front of the northern lords, as the powerful Stark theme plays to show all he has accomplished despite being raised as a bastard out of necessity. Then, following by a fiery speech by Lyanna Mormont, Jon is named King in the North, and you could tell it is an overwhelmingly proud moment for him to be accepted as a true Stark by the rest of the North.
7. Attack on Hardhome (S5E8)
An “off-screen” event in the books, Game of Thrones took the attack on Hardhome to another level, putting Jon Snow in middle of the action as the Night King and the White Walkers oversaw an attack by their Army of the Dead on the wildlings and a small number of Night’s Watch members. Jon was able to win a one-on-one fight with a White Walker using Longclaw, which showed that Valyrian steel could destroy the dead while also intriguing the Night King. But the numbers were too many, which forced a retreat to the water, and the ultimate enemy came down below and walked to the edge of the dock, raising thousands of wights for his army. We’d seen the Night King before, but not in a scene quite as chilling as the one at Hardhome.
6. The death of Ned Stark (S1E9)
In Season 1, Ned Stark was the main character in Game of Thrones, but as we would soon find out, that by no means kept him safe from getting killed off. At the time, though—even as he was brought before King Joffrey in chains to possibly be executed—it didn’t seem like the story’s main hero would be killed because that just doesn’t happen. But with six words (“Ser Ilyn, bring me his head!”), Joffrey gave the order against the wishes of his mother to send Ned to the Wall, proving Thrones was far unlike any show we’ve ever seen before.
5. The Battle of the Goldroad (S7E4)
There were incredible battles throughout the show’s run, but “The Spoils of War” ended up delivering the only one with two of the five principal characters—Daenerys Targaryen and Jaime Lannister—on opposites of the battlefield. The start of the attack was astonishing, with Jaime stunned at the screech of a dragon and the sight of Drogon in the distance after initially believing they could hold off the on-the-ground Dothraki force, and it was crazy seeing the foreign army in action while a dragon laid waste to the Lannister army. Bronn was able to use the Scorpion weapon to wound Drogon, and the conclusion of the scene—when the Kingslayer went for it all by attempting to kill Daenerys and end her conquest (despite Drogon being right there to protect her)—made it look like at least one of the main characters would die; but just as Drogon opened his mouth to breath fire, Bronn was able to save Jaime’s life to end legitimate heart-pounding action.
4. The death of Jon Snow (S5E10)
While Jon Snow was able to save many wildlings at Hardhome, things looked bleak after the Night King raised thousands of new members for his Army of the Dead. So when the Lord Commander heard that his long-lost Uncle Benjen had been spotted alive by a wildling, he of course immediately sprang into action and wanted to hear from this eye-witness. However, we are left completely shocked when Jon walks outside to see a stake labeled “TRAITOR”, with turncoat members of the Night’s Watch surrounding the Stark bastard when he turned around. Several men stabbed their leader, claiming it was “For The Watch”, including Olly delivering the final blow to the heart before repeating the phrase. As the Stark theme plays in the background of the cold climate at Castle Black, another hero had been lost.
3. The Night King reaches Bran (S8E3)
The White Walkers were the ultimate threat to Westeros, and they showed their overwhelming dominance in the Battle of Winterfell, as dragonfire did nothing to the Night King, and Jon Snow couldn’t even get within ten feet of him. It looked like all hope was lost when the Night King and his lieutenants reach the Godswood, and the slow, dramatic buildup—with perfect music to increase the tension—seemed to be headed towards Bran’s death by ice sword. However, with everyone else on the brink of defeat, Arya came flying through the air in an attempt to save her brother. After being caught by the throat and unable to strike with the Catspaw dagger, Arya put her assassin training to good use by dropping it into her other hand and stabbing the Night King to shatter him and the rest of his army to end the Great War and save the world from a permanent winter.
2. A Time for Wolves (S8E6)
After all the tragedies that the Starks endured throughout the series, it was fitting to end with them as the focus for the final scene. Bran was now King of the Six Kingdoms, Sansa was crowned Queen in the North, Arya was set to explore west of Westeros to potentially conquer a new world, and Jon was back where he had the most happiness in his life—what Tormund called “The Real North”. It was very emotional to see Jon in particular get an ending that he deserved, as beyond the Wall, he could simply live out his days as a free man without having to worry about the politics of Westeros. The final shot of Jon leaving everything behind was the perfect way to conclude the greatest television show of all-time.
1. The Red Wedding (S3E9)
We unfortunately have to go back a bit for the final moment on the list, and it’s the opposite set of emotions for House Stark. When Catelyn hears the “Rains of Castamere” playing at Edmure’s wedding at the Twins, she knows something is wrong, and as Walder Frey gives a toast, Lady Stark pulls back Roose Bolton’s sleeve to see he’s wearing chainmail. Catelyn calls for Robb, but it’s too late, as Talisa—who is pregnant—suddenly gets stabbed repeatedly in the stomach, and Robb goes down after being shot with multiple arrows. Outside, Grey Wind is killed with Arya watching, and the Hound knocks her out and takes her away because he knows the Starks are being ambushed. In a last-ditch effort to get Robb out alive, Catelyn holds a knife to Walder’s wife, and viewers are given some hope that the King in the North will be able to leave; but when he is basically frozen in shock after seeing his wife and unborn child killed, Roose Bolton walks up and tells Robb “The Lannisters send their regards” before stabbing him in the heart. All Lady Stark can do is scream out in pain before cutting the throat of Lady Frey, and then another Frey cuts Catelyn’s throat as she falls to the floor and the screen cuts to black. The penultimate episode of Season 3 remains the only episode of the series with silent credits.