The latest season of Game of Thrones has come to an end. Beginning the summer of 2011, these six years with 67 episodes gave us a sneak peak into a messed up realm with messed up characters, and a story that never ceases to intrigue.
Unarguably one of the best series, Game Of Thrones has a rating of 9.5/10 in IMDB, and was even the big winner in this year’s Emmy’s. Needless to say, we owe Martin for taking away attention from the Kardashians and giving life to the Starks and the Lannisters. Sure, it might be a while until we hear about his sixth novel – The Winds Of Winter – but with a reputation of killing every other character you root for, do you really want to cross paths with him?
But in good news for both viewers and readers alike, the seventh season of the show validated one of the most widely-held theories. R+L=J, which means Jon (or Aegon Targaryen) has better claim to the Iron Throne than all of the others, including his aunt-cum-paramour, Daenerys. While it would be interesting to watch how the King In The North and The Dragon Queen would react to the news (would they be more concerned about the incest, or Jon’s claim to the throne), here’s a look at some of the best moments from past seasons.
1. Ned Stark’s Death
In the first season, Ned Stark’s infamous beheading in public was perhaps the one scene that shook everybody, even the cold-hearted ones. A favourite among many, Ned Stark was the hand of the King (Robert Baratheon), who was supposed to take care of things in all the seven realms. But, Joffrey Baratheon put Ned Stark’s head on a spike.
2. The Birth Of The Mother Of Dragons AKA Khaleesi
Daenerys Targaryen was submissive all her life, but found strength ever since she married Khal Drogo and became known as ‘Khaleesi’. After Drogo’s death, Daenerys walked into the lit pyre of her husband to be with him. But Khaleesi emerged unscathed and unburnt with her dragons. Martin deliberately made her character undergo a transformation from a young, meek girl to Daenerys Targaryen, The Unburnt; Queen of the Andals, the Rhoynar, and of the First Men, Queen of Meereen, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains and Mother of Dragons.
3. Battle Of The Blackwater
The penultimate episode of season two showcased the fiery Battle of the Blackwater, spearheaded by Tyrion Lannister. With Ramin Djwadi’s music in the mix, the scene was said to be one of the best battle scenes in the series. Interestingly, the scene was exactly the way Martin had described in Clash Of Kings.
4. When Daenerys Takes Command Of The Unsullied
Easily one of those scenes in season three in which Daenerys Targaryen slayed, while taking control of the Unsullied army, and spouting truth bombs in Valyrian. After freeing the slaves and having the masters burnt to a crisp, Daenerys walked away, assuming her new title ‘Breaker of Chains’. George RR Martin’s dialogues for Daenerys were equally fiery, such as this one: “I am the blood of the dragon. I must be strong. I must have fire in my eyes when I face them, not tears.”
5. The Red Wedding
The Red Wedding broke records in season three. Regarded as one of his cruel best, George RR Martin showed no remorse in killing off characters – Robb Stark, Talisa Stark, and Catelyn, in addition to Robb’s direwolf, Grey Wind. The scene saw Game of Thrones as the most addictive yet brutal TV show, making fans unable to get over the gruesome deaths of their favourite characters. Martin, in an interview, insisted that if fans continued to berate him for killing the Starks, then they’d be forced to hear the words “The Lannisters send their regards” again.
6. Tyrion Lannister’s Trial After Joffrey’s Death
Cruel King Joffrey Baratheon’s death was liberating to watch, when he choked on his drink. Unfortunately, Tyrion Lannister faced the heat for killing his nephew. Tyrion’s speech, after Joffrey’s death, was definitely one of the high points of the seemingly dull season four. George RR Martin wrote Tyrion as a charming, insightful, and ruthlessly irreverent dwarf-man, and he continues to be so.
7. Oberyn Martell’s Death
Oberyn Martell was the only man who was by Tyrion Lannister’s side when the whole world was against him. Oberyn’s main reason to fight Gregor Clegane was to seek revenge for the rape and murder of his sister, Elia Martell. His death was the most gruesome one since Red Wedding, and Oberyn was a fan favourite. “You don’t get to live forever just because you are a cute kid or the hero’s best friend or the hero. Sometimes the hero dies, at least in my books. I love all my characters, so it’s always hard to kill them but I know it has to be done. I tend to think I don’t kill them. The other characters kill ‘em. I shift off all blame from myself,” the author said, responding to Oberyn’s death.
8. Cersei’s Walk Of Shame
George RR Martin drew inspiration for Cersei Lannister’s public humiliation from historic medieval French law and medieval literature in order to create one of the most gut-wrenching scenes on television and in books. An article suggests that Martin intended Cersei’s story to echo the most infamous adultress in literature: Guinevere.
9. When Arya Stark Kills The Waif
The Waif had been a serious hindrance to Arya through out season six. Battered and beaten after being blinded, Arya Stark practiced hard to defeat the Waif but to no avail. Soon enough, the-girl-who-has-no-name reclaimed her name – Arya Stark Of Winterfell – and killed the waif in the most dramatic of scenes. Arya is unarguably one of the strongest characters in Game of Thrones and ASOIAF series. When asked a sexist question on why he chose to carve strong female characters, Martin said, “You know, I’ve always considered women to be people.”
10. Sansa Stark Feeding Ramsay Bolton To The Dogs
If there was one character that succeeded Joffrey as the most hated Game of Thrones character, it was Ramsay Bolton. His end, however, couldn’t have been more poetic, and eventually came after the Battle of the Bastards. The fact that it was at Sansa’s hands and she used his beloved hounds to do it made it all the better.
11. Daenerys Reaches Dragonstone
Daenerys Targaryen finally reaches her birthplace, the place she had to flee during Robert Baratheon’s rebellion. It was a fairly poignant moment when she comes back home, although the desolate palace doesn’t really make her feel loved.
12. Daenerys’ Plans Wrecked By Euron Greyjoy (And Cersei)
Just when Daenerys, Ellaria Sand and her snakes, Yara Greyjoy, and Olenna Tyrell held a meeting about overthrowing Cersei, Euron Greyjoy stepped up and wrecked the plan like no other. No one saw that coming, not even Theon who chose to jump into the water instead of saving his sister.
13. Ser Jorah Beats Greyscale
In the sixth season, Dany, upon finding that her favourite subject has greyscale, a deadly skin disease, let him search for a cure. His introduction in this season was quite scary, when he extended his hand out to the timid Samwell Tarly at the Citadel. But with Samwell’s grit and determination, and Jorah’s desperation for a cure, he beat it and readied himself to go back to his Khaleesi.
14. Bran And Sansa Reunite
This reunion happened after years. The last time they saw each other was in season one, when Sansa was leaving for King’s Landing and Bran fell off the tower. No one would have thought these two were close until Sansa finally met him after years, and broke down. A pretty emotional moment, reuniting with a brother whom you thought to be dead. But not for Bran. Now that he’s the Three-Eyed Raven, he’s practically dead inside.
15. Daenerys Says Dracarys Again
Daenerys Targaryen shows hints of her father, when she burns the Tarlys in front of everyone, to show that she isn’t a queen who shows mercy. But, she is quick to let Tyrion and others check her ‘bad impulses’. This, however, was a bit hard to watch.
16. Gendry Stops Rowing
Gendry finally makes a comeback, after rowing and rowing all these years. No one knew what became of this bastard of Robert Baratheon until Davos visited Fleabottom this season and met Gendry, who, we come to know, has been preparing. And quite like his father, he prefers the war-hammer.
17. Night King’s Javelin Throw
Viserion, the golden dragon, died and it was hard to see Dany lose one of her dear children. But mad props to the Night King’s javelin throwing skills – quite a contender for the Olympics.
18. Daenerys To The Rescue
When the formidable troop of boys – Jon Snow, Ser Jorah, Beric Dondarrion, Tormund Giantsbane, Thoros, and the Hound – were found trapped among the undead army, Dany stepped up and did what she does best – say ‘Dracarys’ and save the day.
19. Jon And Dany
People are a little uncomfortable with this, especially now that we know for sure the two are related. But, it still doesn’t take away from the fact that the two share terrific chemistry. Jon holds her hand tenderly when she mourns the loss of one of her children. Plus, even if the incest that happens later on is icky, here’s a Targaryen fact. A lot of Targaryens, like their ancestors of the Valyrian Freehold, often married brother to sister to keep their bloodline pure. However, generations of such heavy inbreeding increasingly gave way to insanity in some of them.
Right now though, both Jon and Dany know nothing.