Every ‘Game of Thrones’ Season Finale, Ranked


An enrapturing fantasy epic, Game of Thrones is without doubt one of the biggest, most influential, and most closely mentioned tv collection of all time. Overlaying all sides of the sprawling and turbulent conflict that ravages the magical and unforgiving land of Westeros, the hit collection was a masterclass in large-scale storytelling, enthralling character growth, and near-unbearable dramatic stress. Most of the collection’ greatest and most talked about episodes got here within the type of its season finales.



An attention-grabbing observe regarding Recreation of Thrones’ season construction is that main plot threads tended to be resolved within the penultimate episodes of seasons. This noticed season finales exploring the aftermath of among the collection’ most iconic moments, reminiscent of Eddard Stark’s (Sean Bean) execution and the Purple Marriage ceremony, typically doing so whereas reconfiguring the lay of the land going ahead. This resulted in spellbinding finales that teased what was to return whereas nonetheless providing loads of pivotal twists of their very own, making certain every season of Recreation of Thrones produced awe-inspiring endings with an uncanny knack for getting followers speaking.


Recreation Of Thrones

9 noble households combat for management over the lands of Westeros, whereas an historic enemy returns after being dormant for a millennia.

Launch Date
April 17, 2011

Creator
David Benioff, D.B. Weiss

Seasons
8


8 “The Iron Throne” (2019)

Season 8, Episode 6

Daenerys Targaryen with her dragons wings unfurled behind her in the Game of Thrones series finale
Picture by way of HBO


Capping off what had been a controversial and much-maligned remaining season with the lowest-rated episode in Game of Thrones history, “The Iron Throne” was, sadly, not the grandiose ending many envisioned. It explored each the speedy aftermath and prolonged penalties of Daenerys Targaryen’s (Emilia Clarke) desolation of King’s Touchdown. Demanding complete fealty, the character’s spiraling arc noticed her go from a beacon of hope to dying by the hands of Jon Snow (Package Harrington) as a feared tyrant, very like her father. The lords and girls of Westeros then abolished the monarchy and elected Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead-Wright) as the brand new king, whereas Sansa Stark (Sophie Turner) declared the North an unbiased state and have become its queen. Jon was exiled past the Wall, Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) got down to discover the Sundown Sea, and Bran’s small council was established.


Along with taking some polarizing turns, there was a normal feeling amongst followers that the decreased six-episode run did not give sufficient time for the ultimate season’s advanced narrative arcs to be totally realized. This notion turned abundantly clear by the finale, which struggled to conceive strong explanations for Daenerys’ violent flip. With strained logic and emotional indifference, the GOT finale ended virtually each main character arc in an underwhelming trend. Having mentioned that, there are lots who’ve admiration for Thrones’ bittersweet and ambitious ending.

7 “Mom’s Mercy” (2015)

Season 5, Episode 10

Mutineers of the Night's Watch crowd around as a young boy stabs Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) in the chest.
Picture by way of HBO


Past the notorious “The Iron Throne,” all of the Recreation of Thrones season finales have been celebrated accomplishments, with season 5’s “Mom’s Mercy” a robust episode regardless of its decrease rating. It made the web explode as folks mentioned the ultimate sequence wherein Jon Snow was killed by fellow members of the Night time’s Watch. The episode’s different main storyline sees Cersei Lannister’s (Lena Headey) compelled stroll of atonement. In Essos, Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) stays behind to manipulate Meereen as Jorah (Iain Glen) and Daario (Michiel Huisman) exit looking for Daenerys, who has been captured by the Dothraki. Within the North, Theon Greyjoy (Alfie Allen) helps Sansa escape Winterfell, whereas Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane) dies by Brienne of Tarth’s (Gwendoline Christie) hand following his failed assault on the stronghold.


Whereas it was intensely debated by followers and critics alike, “Mom’s Mercy” has grow to be considerably forgettable in comparison with different Recreation of Thrones finales as lots of its main twists had little direct affect on the general story. Fan hypothesis all however confirmed Jon Snow can be resurrected in season six, weakening the episode’s most stunning second. Equally, Stannis’ demise and Daenerys’ seize have been handled somewhat shortly. Nonetheless, the episode nonetheless offered an epic and heart-stopping spectacle, which was a highlight of Game of Thrones’ fifth season.

6 “Mhysa” (2013)

Season 3, Episode 10

Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) is revered as a savior by the freed slaves of Yunkai.
Picture by way of HBO


The season three finale will be the strongest instance of how nice finales in Recreation of Thrones might simply be overshadowed by the episodes that preceded them. “Mhysa” had the not possible job of following arguably Thrones’ greatest episode, “The Rains of Castamere,” which depicted the Purple Marriage ceremony. It was really admirable on this mighty endeavor, taking over a extra reserved tone that complemented what transpired within the earlier episode. Tywin Lannister (Charles Dance) was revealed to be the mastermind behind the ambush on the Starks, whereas Roose Bolton (Michael McElhatton) and Walder Frey (David Bradley) have been rewarded for his or her involvement within the bloodbath. The collection dealt with the transition of energy within the North to stirring impact, enraging followers because the Boltons and Freys have been honored whereas permitting them to sympathize with Sansa and Arya.


“Mhysa” additionally noticed Jon Snow depart Ygritte (Rose Leslie) to return to Fortress Black, and Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) lastly made it again to King’s Touchdown. It concluded with Daenerys lifted within the air by the grateful freed slaves of Yunkai. Whereas the hypercritical might complain in regards to the episode being a contact anticlimactic, “Mhysa” stays a rewarding conclusion to most of the season’s important storylines. It additionally hinted at what Recreation of Thrones would appear to be with out Robb (Richard Madden) and Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley), and the outlook was bleak certainly.

5 “Valar Morghulis” (2012)

Season 2, Episode 10

Jaqen H'ghar, dressed as a Lannister soldier, hands Arya Stark a coin.
Picture by way of HBO


One other finale that was one thing of an unsung spotlight following an action-packed episode, “Valar Morghulis” tailed the extraordinary, main battle episode “Blackwater” to convey an finish to season two. One of many sharpest episodes within the collection, it explored the political aftermath of Stannis’ failed assault on King’s Touchdown. Tywin replaces Tyrion as Hand of the King, whereas the allegiance between the Lannisters and Tyrells sees King Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) kind a brand new association with Girl Margaery (Natalie Dormer). Elsewhere, Daenerys enters the Home of the Timeless to retrieve her dragons, whereas Arya meets Jaqen H’ghar (Tom Wlaschiha) after escaping Harrenhal. The episode concludes with an ominous signal of the White Walkers’ rising energy.


A terrific and rewarding finale to what was a rousing sophomore outing for the collection, “Valar Morghulis” effortlessly tied a few of season two’s ongoing narrative arcs up whereas laying the platform for the tumultuous third season to return. Moments like Jon Snow’s arrival on the Wildling camp and Robb Stark’s declaration of marriage to Talisa (Oona Chaplin) might have flown below the radar initially however could be mirrored upon in hindsight for the carnage they’d bear. All in all, it was an excellent and balanced episode to shut out certainly one of the best seasons of Game of Thrones.

4 “The Dragon and the Wolf” (2017)

Season 7, Episode 8

Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark marry each other in secret by a lake in 'Game of Thrones' Season 7, Episode 7
Picture by way of HBO


With an prolonged runtime of 79 minutes, the season seven finale, “The Dragon and the Wold,” was some of the pivotal episodes by way of the looming conflict between Westeros and the White Walkers. The crux of the episode targeted on the negotiations between the lords and girls of Westeros on the Dragonpit, as Jon Snow urged them to name a truce and tackle the extra critical menace at hand. The assembly offered the primary interplay between Cersei Lannister and Daenerys Targaryen, with the previous agreeing to the truce below false pretenses. Moreover, it additionally noticed Sansa and Arya outwit Lord Baelish (Aidan Gillen), whereas Theon Greyjoy recommitted his loyalty to his sister, Yara (Gemma Whelan).


The assembly scene was expertly executed, with all the most important characters written in a fashion that enabled them to contribute useful insights to the group whereas nonetheless having inside feuds with notable rivals. Nonetheless, simply as extraordinary was the best way wherein the episode concluded. The ultimate minutes noticed Bran uncover that Jon Snow was the legitimate son of Rhaegar Targaryen (Wilf Scolding) and the true inheritor to the Iron Throne. Moments later, Jon and Daenerys’ budding romance took an intimate flip. Closing on the Night time King bringing down the Wall, “The Dragon and the Wolf” was a relentlessly thrilling episode that had everybody eagerly awaiting the ultimate season.

3 “The Kids” (2014)

Season 4, Episode 10

Peter Dinklage as Tyrion Lannister aiming a crossbow in Game of Thrones
Picture by way of HBO


“The Kids” was a mighty accomplishment because it rounded out season 4’s largest plot traces whereas utterly resetting the trajectory of among the collection’ core characters. The episode’s most noteworthy moments included the Hound (Rory McCann) and Brienne preventing one another over Arya, and Jaime liberating Tyrion forward of his execution. The heartbroken Tyrion then kills Shae (Sibel Kekilli) and Tywin earlier than fleeing King’s Touchdown. Different main occasions included Stannis arriving north of the Wall, Bran assembly the Three-Eyed Raven (Struan Rodger), and Daenerys chaining her dragons within the catacombs beneath Meereen.


With loads of violent twists and turns and established characters like Tywin, Shae, and Jojen Reed (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) assembly their ends, “The Kids” was some of the thrilling episodes of the complete collection. It caused satisfying conclusions to the subplot of Tyrion’s trial and Arya and the Hound’s fan-favorite pairing whereas additionally setting each Tyrion and Arya on thrilling new adventures. A near-perfect finale, it functioned as a superb ending to Recreation of Thrones’ biggest season, giving followers sometimes improbable and engrossing narrative spins whereas elevating the stakes forward of season 5.

2 “Hearth and Blood” (2011)

Season 1, Episode 10

Daenerys Targaryen stands in the ruin of a burnt tent with a newborn baby dragon perched on her shoulder.
Picture by way of HBO


The primary season of Recreation of Thrones was a masterclass in establishing an unlimited and complicated story world in a fashion that was environment friendly, informative, and extremely participating. Whereas the ultimate moments of the previous episode— the stunning execution of Eddard Stark—marked the start of the collection’ central battle, it was the occasions of “Hearth and Blood” that elaborated on the various penalties of Ned’s loss of life. It understandably took a eager curiosity within the members of Home Stark however made for one of Daenerys’ most important episodes as nicely.


Exploring the aftermath of Ned’s loss of life by means of every member of Home Stark whereas additionally showcasing Tywin’s urgency to get King’s Touchdown so as by sending Tyrion to function Joffrey’s Hand, it turned abundantly clear that Westeros had fallen into all-out conflict. Nonetheless, much more pivotal occasions transpired in Lhazar, with Daenerys saying goodbye to Khal Drogo (Jason Momoa) earlier than rising from his funeral pyre with three child dragons. Giving Daenerys and her new child dragons the ultimate moments of season one was genius, establishing her beloved “Mom of Dragons” moniker whereas additionally hinting on the seismic affect she would have going ahead.

1 “The Winds of Winter” (2016)

Season 6, Episode 10

Cersei Lannister (Lena Headey) on the Iron Throne in Game of Thrones
Picture by way of HBO


Not solely an awe-inspiring season finale, “The Winds of Winter” additionally stands as one of many best episodes Game of Thrones produced. The season six finale intently adopted the day of Cersei’s trial in King’s Touchdown. It was a uncommon second the place Cersei’s deceitful villainy resonated with followers, as she took her revenge on the Excessive Sparrow (Jonathan Pryce) and eradicated all of her enemies in King’s Touchdown in a single fell swoop by blowing up the Nice Sept with wildfire. With a heartbroken Tommen Baratheon (Dean-Charles Chapman) committing suicide after studying of Margaery’s loss of life, Cersei was topped the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms.


Moreover, Bran realized the reality about Jon Snow’s parentage, Jon was named the King within the North following his victory over Ramsey Bolton, and Arya killed Walder Frey in a grotesque trend to avenge Home Stark. An emotionally rousing episode that hinted on the Starks’ return to glory, it then closed on Daenerys and her allies setting sail for Westeros to ship followers right into a frenzy as they anticipated what was to return. Nonetheless, few would deny the episode belonged utterly to Lena Headey, who earned an Emmy nomination for her efficiency, which embodied Cersei at her scheming, smirking, wine-sipping greatest. Stunning and sensible, “The Winds of Winter” made for one of the best Recreation of Thrones finale of the complete collection.


All eight seasons of Recreation of Thrones can be found to stream on Max.


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NEXT: 10 ‘Game of Thrones’ Characters More Deserving of the Iron Throne Than Bran


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