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Game of Thrones Episode Ranking: 73-61

With the House of the Dragon dropping in six days, I figured I would rank every single episode of Game of Thrones from worst to best. 8 seasons, 73 episodes, and 70 hours and 40 minutes filled with joy, anger, disappointment, sadness, and hype. The show started out strong, had some of the best moments in television history, and ended with a crash landing. Nevertheless, it's worth watching time and time again.


Episodes are ranked scene by scene, and this is especially important for episodes that have major instances like Baelor, the Rains of Castamere, Hardhome, and others. These episodes all have some of the biggest moments in the show, but there are some other smaller clips in these episodes that don't have as much quality as other parts throughout the show. To represent this as best as possible, I ranked scenes or a clump of scenes on a 10/10 scale, with 10/10 being jaw-dropping and mind-boggling moments, and 1/10 being just terrible parts due to writing, acting, logic, and other factors.


Before you start reading, just know that I will be overanalyzing and complaining a good chunk for this first part of the list, and probably the next part. Until we get into the top 50, assume I have little praise to say about the episode I'm reviewing at that moment.


As always whenever I write about pop culture, spoiler warning! You have been rightfully warned; let's kick of the list with the 73rd best (or the 1st worst) episode in the series!

Photo: HBO

 

73. The Bells (Season 8, Episode 5)


Lets start this list off with arguably one of the worst episodes from a logic standpoint in TV history. Between Daenerys's Mad Queen storyline coming to full force, the ruining of Jaime Lannister's character arc, Jon Snow not wanting or knowing anything, and Tyrion becoming a baffling idiot, there is only one good quality about this episode: the Clegane Bowl. Between the battle itself, the entire conflict and build up between two giant brothers since season 1, and the parallel between the Hound and Arya getting knocked down, it was pure bliss that I wish the rest of season 8 was able to mirror. Not much else I can say, garbage TV - besides the visuals, which were absolutely gorgeous.


72. The Iron Throne (Season 8, Episode 6)


Just like all of season 8 was trash, this might be the worst series finale in TV history. Bran becomes king, even though he can't be lord of anything, Jon kills Dany and somehow gets caught for killing her even though no one was around to see it, and all of the Starks split up even though they made a big deal about sticking together. Similar to The Bells, the only good scene is Brienne finishing Jaime's section in the Kingsguard book. I can go on and on about different ways to end the series, even with how bad the episode before it set up the ending, but we'd be here a while, and I'm trying to get to the good stuff.


71. The Last of the Starks (Season 8, Episode 4)


There's a lot wrong with this episode, mostly due to the fact there's a lot of contrived writing. First off, Dany loses her dragon, Rhaegal, because - according to one of the showrunners, David Benioff, that "she just kind of forgot about the Iron Fleet", even though her council told her about them the scene before. Other than that, it just takes its time to get to certain points and shoves dumb plot points down our throats, like Jon not wanting the throne, the Starks forcing Jon to tell him about his true bloodline, and the fact that only half of the Dothraki and Unsullied died during the Long Night, even though we literally saw all of the Dothraki die at the beginning of the battle. It's dumb, it's forced, but it somehow wasn't the worst episode in the series.


70. The Long Night (Season 8, Episode 3)


The battle that could have been great, ended up being a montage of people not dying when they should have, Jon screaming at Viserion instead of fighting him, and Bran just waiting and staring around. Yes, Arya killing the Night King is dope every time you watch it, but how we get there is just so forced and silly. Jon Snow is literally the Prince Who Was Promised, but that ended up meaning nothing, even though he had showdowns with the Night King twice. Anyone who paid half attention to this series could have put out something better than what we got.


69(nice). Winterfell (Season 8, Episode 1)


In the first 5 minutes of this episode, you could feel a significant dip in quality from the previous season to this one. Bran's awkward lines and delivery, the forced conflict between Daenerys and Sansa, and Cersei complaining about some elephants all make for some subpar TV. I will say Jaime strolling into town and seeing Bran for the first time since he shoved him out the window was pretty neat, but other than that this episode didn't offer anything substantial.


68. The Dragon and the Wolf (Season 7, Episode 7)


Besides the Aegon Targaryen reveal and the Night Army breaking through the Wall, everything else in this episode just downright sucks. Littlefinger gets killed because he stopped being smart all of a sudden, Cersei doesn't kill Tyrion or Jaime for whatever reason, and Sansa and Arya's forced beef gets squashed out of nowhere. It seemed like Dave and Dan got tired of writing one night and just threw words on a page to end the season.

Photo: HBO


67. Beyond the Wall (Season 7, Episode 6)


The entire premise of this episode is based off a stupid idea of going north of the Wall, capturing a single wight, and bringing him to King's Landing, all without considering bringing a dragon. Other than that, the entire episode itself is kind of dull. They send Gendry running to the Wall, to send a raven all the way to Dragonstone, all in the hopes of Dany flying all the way to their location, which I ask "how would she have known where they were?" Somehow Jon survives getting tackled by wights, and the rest of the gang survives because the Night King decides to chuck his spear at a moving target, rather than a stationary dragon much closer to him. Rinse and repeat review for this list, garbage, lazy, and inconsequential.


66. Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken (Season 5, Episode 6)


Season 5 started off slow, but this episode was the first truly bad episode of GoT. The first 20 minutes is literally Arya cleaning dead bodies and sweeping floors, with Jorah learning his father died sprinkled in there. Some small, insignificant scenes happen, and then the dumbest scenes of season 5: the Sand Snakes fighting Jaime and Bronn, and Loras being ratted out by Olyvar. The plan to fight Jaime and Bronn is dumb enough as it is, but the fact they couldn't beat a one-handed Jaime and a sellsword when they're supposed to be these fierce warriors is asinine. Secondly, Olyvar proving Loras is gay because he has a "birthmark" on his leg is a bad idea, because all Loras had to say was "he's my squire, he's seen me get changed numerous times", and then that argument holds no water. Just lazy writing and shallow-mindedness to push the plot. Overall, you see why this episode is a lot worse than it lets on.


65. Eastwatch (Season 7, Episode 5)


The episode starts with us finding out Jaime somehow survived getting thrown into water, even though he had anywhere between 50-100 pounds of armor on. Petyr continues to pin Sansa and Arya against each other, and Tyrion offers the idiotic idea mentioned earlier about capturing a wight and bringing it back to King's Landing. We do get some solid scenes where Jorah reunites with Dany, we get the first hint about Rhaegar's marriage to Elia Martell being annuled, and Jon teaming up with Tormund, Jorah, the Hound, and the Brotherhood Without Banners. A mixed episode, but definitely on the lower end of the quality stick.


64. A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms (Season 8, Episode 2)


Shockingly, this episode actually had a good chunk of substantial moments. Brienne gets knighted in front of some of the most impactful people in the show, Podrick sings about their inevitable demise, and Jon tells Dany about his true identity. Seeing everyone prepare for the biggest battle in Westeros's history is also neat, but man are there some cringeworthy scenes too. Arya gets frisky with Gendry, Dany and Sansa have an awkward heart-to-heart, and Tyrion and Jaime have some forced callback lines to season 1. Also, how does Dany somehow not recognize Jaime as the guy who tried to charge and kill her during the Spoils of War episode? It's arguably the last "decent" episode of GoT, but even that's a stretch.


63. The Queen's Justice (Season 7, Episode 3)


Ah yes, the infamous episode where two of the most popular characters in the show finally meet. Out of nowhere, Dany has the obsession with people bending the knee to her instead of living freely and justly under her rule. It's not like Jon is a slaver or is trying to conquer Dragonstone, so that just makes no sense. Cersei gets back at Ellaria which is neat, but the Sand Snakes are kind of pointless so who cares? Also, this is the episode where Bran says he can't be lord of anything, so that ruins the finale. Tyrion also shows he has no smarts left as he gets outsmarted by their brother, who is known in their family as "the stupidest Lannister". The only reason this episode isn't ranked lower is because of Olenna telling Jaime she was the one who killed Joffrey - sucha cold moment from someone about to die peacefully.


62. The Spoils of War (Season 7, Episode 4)


Another visually stunning episode supported by bland scripts and near-sighted logistics. The Spoils of War is one of the highest ranked episodes on IMDb, so how do I rank it so low? For starters, Petyr and Bran reuniting is only there for Bran to use the "chaos is a ladder" line against Petyr, which would have been much cooler if it wasn't so awkwardly placed and wasn't a throw away to add a false sense of eeriness to the episode. Secondly, although the battle is absolutely gorgeous, the fact Dany and the Dothraki were able to get from Dragonstone to The Reach in no time at all is ludicrous. Lastly, Jaime charging at Dany from 100 yards out in the hopes Drogon wouldn't notice is the dumbest thing any character in the series could have done. We do get some sick foreshadowing with Arya and Brienne sparring and Arya flipping the dagger into her other hand, but it doesn't make up for the atrocity that is the rest of the episode.

Photo: HBO


61. Stormborn (Season 7, Episode 2)


This episode is actually somewhat decent until the end. Dany faces the challenge of convincing the people of Westeros that she is the rightful ruler, Sam helps Jorah recover from Greyscale, Arya briefly reunites with Hot Pie and Nymeria, and Jon makes a tough, but crucial decision to leave for Dragonstone to meet Dany and mine for Dragonglass. Cersei also plans her defense against Dany and Qyburn shows her the Scorpion. It was shaping up to be one of the better episodes, until Euron attacks the Greyjoys and Sand Snakes. The logistics alone that he was able to find them is laughable, but then Theon abandoning Yara and the awful portrayal of Euron is the icing on the cake in turning a good episode into dog water.

 

Final Notes:


I could've been nicer, but I just can't out of good conscious of how great this show used to be. All of the really bad episodes are out of the way, so I'll stop being as harsh as we go along.


Join me next time as I rank the next 10 episodes from 60-51!

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