Since the show first aired in 2011, Game of Thrones has become one of the most popular tv series in the world. The series gained a lot of attention, and there is a good reason for this. The storyline was good, as well as the casting, despite many of the actors looking different from their novel counterparts. Further than that, Game of Thrones sported some vibrant dialogue that could keep viewers entertained for hours and great characters that managed to evade the trap of morally black-or-white writing. And finally, there was the lack of plot armour, the dragons, and the fan favourite, Khaleesi. The show garnered a huge fan base that watched the show religiously until the final episode aired. And with such a great show comes even greater scenes. Are you curious as to what the best moments from Game of Thrones are? Which scene will make it to the number one spot?
Many factors contributed to its greatness and made Game of Thrones what it is today. One of the most significant factors was the lore and characters in this medieval world. And further, than that were the epic moments these characters rewarded fans with. This article will detail a list of the sixteen best and most epic moments from the series that had fans on the edge of their seats. If you are curious to find out which epic Game of Thrones moments made the list, then read ahead:
Disclaimers: There were a lot of great scenes, but not all can be included in this list as there would be too many to count. Furthermore, this list will contain many spoilers, so if you are not all caught up with the series, it is best to skip this one.
Whom everyone thought was a mentally impaired servant for House Stark, was revealed to have originally been named Wylis. This is discovered when Brandon Stark decides to travel into the past without being accompanied by the three-eyed Raven. It is here when the Night King discovers him, and the wights descend on the cave. As a result of his reckless warging, he wargs in Wylis in the past and links his mind to present-day Hodor, who is trying to escape with an unconscious Bran alongside Meera. The result is young Wylis seeing his own death as Meera yells at Hodor to “Hold the door!”. He repeats the words in both timelines until they slur together to form ‘Hodor’, the trauma from seeing his own death taking its toll on him.
This was probably one of the most shocking and heartbreaking moments in the entire Game of Thrones series. And while this moment was devasting, it was epic in that it came full circle to explain the weight behind the nonsensical word everyone thought Hodor had been saying throughout the show’s runtime. Further, it’s the last glimpse of humanity seen within Bran as he realises that his reckless actions have consequences and that his sole caretaker has been suffering from this trauma because of him.
15. “I will be your champion” – Oberyn Martell in Tyrion’s Prison Cell
Season 4 – Episode 7
This was another triumphant and epic moment that had Game of Thrones fans cheering. Following Tyrion’s outburst in his trial for Joffrey’s murder, he demands a trial by combat to decide his fate. Unfortunately, the Mountain is chosen as Cersei’s champion, and Tyrion is left hopeless when no one is willing to go up against this beast to save his life. That is until Oberyn Martell comes to his cell before the trial and informs him that he will be Tyrion’s champion. What makes this moment so epic is the emotional conversation the two have before Oberyn tells Tyrion of his intentions.
The audience knows Oberyn has deep-rooted hatred for the Lannisters and wants revenge on The Mountain for the rape and murder of his sister and children. In a heartbreaking scene, he details to Tyrion how Cersei called him a monster when he was just a baby and how she hoped he would die soon. He tells Tyrion, “We didn’t try to hide our disappointment. “That’s not a monster,” I told Cersei, “that’s just a baby.” And she said, “He killed my mother.”…” proving to Tyrion that he saw him as an equal, a human. This is followed by his epic speech, which reads as follows. Tyrion informs him that he would not find justice there, to which he replies:
“I disagree. I’ve come to the perfect place. I want to bring those who have wronged me to justice, and all those who have wronged me are right here. I will begin with Ser Gregor Clegane, who killed my sister’s children and then raped her with their blood still on his hands before killing her, too. I will be your champion.”
This was one of the most chillingly exciting moments in season 3 of Game of Thrones. Upon arriving in Astapor, Daenerys is on a mission to build an army so she can take back the Iron Throne. She opts to buy a small army of Unsullied from a man named Nakloz. Missandei is Dany’s translator and explains the terms of purchase in English from the Valyrian Nakloz is speaking. Fortunately, she leaves out the insults he includes, where he calls Dany numerous slurs and derogatory names. The Mother of Dragons then agrees to give Drogon, her largest dragon, to the dealer if he gives her all the Unsullied he has, including the untrained ones.
In a moment that solidifies Dany as one of the most badass characters in the show, she hands over Drogon and, in perfect Valyrian demands that all the Unsullied be freed, follow her freely, and kill their masters. The look of absolute horror on Nakloz’s face is priceless before Dany orders Drogon to burn him alive, yelling “Dracarys!” in perfect form. Fans experienced literal goosebumps in the episode’s final shot, where Dany is leaving Astapor with an army of Unsullied and three dragons flying above her, making her appear untouchable and undefeated.
13. “Chaos is a ladder” – Varys and Little Finger’s Conversation
Season 3 – Episode 6
This is another moment from Game of Thrones season three that was incredibly epic, and it was because of Little Finger’s incredible speech regarding chaos. He and Varys are in the throne room, having one of their fan-favourite insightful conversations wherein Varys argues that he shouldn’t want chaos to descend. He says this by explaining that once they abandon the lie, they will be left in a gaping pit of chaos, waiting to swallow them up. As expected, this is met by a sly smile from Little Finger, who then gives his famous speech:
“Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail and never get to try again. The fall breaks them. And some are given a chance to climb, but they refuse. They cling to the realm or the gods or love. Illusions. Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is.”
The speech voices over various scenes and various characters involved in the Game. Joffrey is shown walking away from the body of the prostitute that he murdered, and Sansa is shown crying as she watches her boat (and the chance of escape) leave her. The scenes are all backed by a haunting score that amazed fans.
12. “The Long Night is coming, and the dead come with it.” – Hardhome
Season 5 – Episode 8
Hardhome still holds up as one of the most frightening episodes of the show to date. However, the episode brings with it one of the most epic scenes of the series. Upon arriving at the wildling town called Hardhome, Tormund and Jon Snow try and convince the wildlings to join their cause and fight against the army of the dead. They must convince the leaders of the wildlings to join them, who are hesitant because of Jon’s status as a Crow. While the discussions are going on, the White Walkers attack along with the Night King and an army of wights.
They descend on the wildlings who try their best to protect themselves. There are two incredible moments that occur within this episode. The first is when Jon blocks the White Walker’s attack with Longclaw. The moment of absolute shock as the sound of metal clanging reverberates off-screen before Jon ultimately kills it by swinging the sword is pure gold. The second moment is when Jon and the wildlings escape on the boats with the Night King watching them from the docks. There is an unnerving amount of menace in his stare as he watches Jon sail away before he raises all the corpses from the dead.
This moment is utterly terrifying as Jon watches on in horror, the silence ringing louder than anything to solidify the impenetrable force the Night King has proved himself to be. This is when the characters and fans realise how dangerous their foe truly is.
This was definitely one of the best moments in Game of Thrones.
11. “Shame! Shame! Shame!” – Cersei’s Walk of Shame
Season 5 – Episode 10
It is really great when unlikeable and smug characters are put in their place. And sure enough, fans were annoyed by Cersei’s attempt to use the High Sparrow in her plot to get rid of the Tyrells. But this moment was even better because Cersei thought she was untouchable. The High Sparrow quickly humbled her by explaining that everyone is judged equally, meaning she was not free of her sins just because of her position. He further cemented this by presenting her with King Tomen, who his words had brainwashed.
What followed was probably one of the most shocking, and well-deserved comeuppance in the entire show. Cersei’s hair was cut, and she was stripped of her clothes. She was forced to walk naked from the Sept to the Red Keep to repent for her sins. She is met with the hate of the people she so badly wanted to rule and is shamed, called names and thrown with all kinds of disgusting things. This was one of the more memorable scenes from the show, as it was highly satisfying to watch.
This was definitely one of the best moments in Game of Thrones.
10. “What do we say to the God of Death?” – Arya Kills the Night King
Season 8 – Episode 3
The Long Night was one of the most anticipated episodes in the entire Game of Thrones series. This is where fans finally see things turned on their head, with the dead facing off against the living. And while this episode contains many epic moments, Arya’s smooth knife-handling skills are what takes the cake. Foreshadowed earlier in the series, Arya’s defeat of the Night King should have been expected. But the show misled fans into believing everyone was doomed in the final moments before she struck.
The episode reaches its head when the Night King finally breaks through Winterfell’s barriers and heads to Bran. As he reaches the godswood, Theon’s archers’ fire on the wights who manage to overrun them. They surround Bran, sitting by the Weirwood tree, and the Night King draws his sword to kill him. There is a moment of silence as the wind catches, and Arya comes flying at the Night King. He grabs her effortlessly by her throat as she attempts to stab him with her Valyrian steel dagger, and she seemingly fails. Then, in a moment of quick thinking and absolute badassery, Arya drops her dagger and catches it with her free hand. She plunges it into the Night King, who is completely caught off guard, killing him. Indeed this moment had fans screaming as they watched Arya’s character come full circle.
9. “Help your king, you idiots!” – Joffrey’s Death
Season 4 – Episode 2
The Purple Wedding was one of the fans’ favourite moments from Game of Thrones. It was another epic moment of absolute glee and satisfaction as Joffrey Baratheon’s tyrannical rule finally ended. The episode sees Joffrey’s wedding with Margery Tyrell. However, he proves to be a complete menace by repeatedly humiliating Tyrion. The confrontation comes to a head when he pours wine over his uncle’s head and then demands he pours him another cup. Tyrion calmly picks up the cup and refills it before handing it to Joffrey.
In a turn of events that no one could have expected, Joffrey begins to cough violently and convulse before collapsing. Lady Olenna is the first to react after Margery informs everyone that Joffrey is choking by telling someone to help. Jamie and Cersei rush to his side, but there is nothing they can do as the poison takes effect, turning his skin a bright shade of purple as he struggles to breathe. The final shot of his lifeless body solidifies the relief that fans feel as he no longer will be able to terrorise numerous fan-favourite characters in the show.
8. “The trial can wait; we all need to leave” – Cersei Blows Up the Sept
Season 6 – Episode 10
At the end of the previous season, Cersei does her Walk of Shame from the Sept to the Red Keep. In this episode, Cersei gets revenge in the most flamboyant way imaginable. Although her actions may not have been the smartest, it made for one of the show’s most depressing and ominous episodes. From the moment the episode begins, there is an unsettling atmosphere wherein fans realise something big is about to happen. The showrunners did not disappoint with the big reveal.
As the High Sparrow gathers in the Sept along with Margery and her brother, Cersei ensures that Tomen cannot make his way to them. Seeing the entire group as a threat, Cersei plants wildfire under the building. With a haunting score and a series of well-shot sequences, Margery realises something is wrong just as Cersei watches the Sept of Balor explode in green flames from her tower’s window. Having been genuinely in love with Margery, Tommen commits suicide by jumping from his room’s window out of grief. Cersei’s plan immediately backfires when she loses her son and presents fans with one of the show’s most beautiful, heartbreaking and epic sequences by far.
This was definitely one of the best moments in Game of Thrones.
7. “Dragons are intelligent, more intelligent than men” – Dragons Are Born
Season 1 – Episode 10
The scene presented at the end of season 1 is one of the reasons fans became so hooked on Game of Thrones. Following Khal Drogo’s death at the hands of the blood witch that poisoned him, Khaleesi decides to build him a funeral pyre. As punishment, she ties the witch to one of the poles to burn to death. She then walks into the fire with her three petrified dragon eggs despite Ser Jorah’s objections.
By the end of the episode, many of the remaining Dothraki have left, and fans are given a shot of the deserted area in Mereen they were camping. The fire has burned out now, and Khaleesi rises from the ashes completely unscathed and fully naked. She is accompanied by her dragons, who have hatched from their eggs, as all the remaining observers bow down to her. This moment is one of the defining factors for the show as it changes everything when dragons are reintroduced into their world. Not only that, but Daenerys being fireproof is a shock fans were not expecting.
6. “I want her to know it was me” – Olenna Confesses to Her Crime
Season 7 – Episode 3
Arguably one of Game of Thrones‘ best and most satisfying scenes, this epic moment deserves to be this high on the list. To take out one of Daenerys’ allies, Jamie takes the Lannister forces and ambushes Highgarden and House Tyrell. They efficiently manage to take over, knowing the Tyrell forces were no match for them. Jamie makes his way into Lady Olenna’s courters and informs her that he must kill her. She accepts her fate, and he tells her that he intends to pour poison into her wine as he does not wish to kill her brutally.
He gives her the poison, and she drinks it in classic Olenna style without hesitation. She then has a triumphant moment as she says the famous line, “Tell Cersei I want her to know it was me”. In a mic-drop moment of absolute glee, the look of horror on Jamie’s face is priceless when her confession to him that she murdered Joffrey sinks in. She goes out in style, knowing that there was not a single thing he could have done about it, proving victorious even in death.
What makes her confession even better is that she was the first person to call for help when Joffrey began choking at the Purple Wedding, making her one of the Game’s better players.
5. “All memory of you will disappear” – Battle of the Bastards
Season 6 – Episode 9
Having been dubbed as one of the greatest episodes in television history, it did not disappoint. A few moments from this episode were incredibly epic, but three moments stand out above others. The first is when Jon rides in to face off against Ramsay. Rickon is killed as he is made to run across the battlefield to Jon as Ramsey fires off arrows. This results in Jon’s full-on rage as he and the wildlings charge in to take back Winterfell. Fans were met with the most beautiful long shot as Jon was caught in the middle of the battle going on around him. Fans are fully immersed in the sheer horror and confusion of the fight as they get to see it from Jon’s perspective.
The second moment is when Jon is clearly about to lose the battle, his forces being overwhelmed by Ramsey’s. And when fans are about to lose all hope, Sansa rides in and saves the day with the help of Little Finger and the Knights of the Veil. Ramsey flees inside the gates of Winterfell, leading to the third epic moment of the episode, wherein Ramsay gets beaten to a pulp by Jon and then imprisoned. Sansa feeds him to his hounds, and he is torn apart as she reminds him that he will be forgotten. She says triumphantly, “Your words will disappear. Your house will disappear. Your name will disappear. All memory of you will disappear.”
This was definitely one of the best moments in Game of Thrones.
4. “I can’t shoot with one hand” – Daenerys Takes on the Lannister Troops
Season 7 – Episode 4
Imagine hearing about dragons your entire life and being led to believe they weren’t extinct. Then, take it a step further and imagine having heard that the Dothraki would never cross the seas. But you were also warned never to meet them on an open battlefield. Now with all this in mind, put yourself in Jamie, Bronn, and the Lannister troops’ position as they hear the Dothraki screams accompanied by the screeching of a dragon as their forces grow nearer.
This scene is an absolute masterpiece as Daenerys comes flying in on Drogon as the Dothraki army charges the Lannister troops below her. The score is epic, and you can literally feel the shock and fear of the Lannister troops as they are met with an unexpected battle. Jamie orders Bronn to man the Scorpion (the dragon-killing device) while he tries to attack. The scene left fans with goosebumps and is unmatched in how good it is. The war to take the throne is turned on its head as everyone realises, they are no match for the Mother of Dragons.
3. “I demand a trial by combat!” – Tyrion’s Trial
Season 4 – Episode 6
This scene more than deserves its spot on this list of best Game of Thrones moments. Peter Dinklage gave fans a fantastic performance with his speech in the courtroom. Fans grew to love Tyrion by this point, and Tywin’s harsh treatment of him is nauseating. So, when Tywin, alongside the whole of the court, finally gets a piece of his mind, fans were cheering. Tyrion is on trial for Joffrey’s murder and is willing to take the black per Jamie and Tywin’s request. But everything is turned on its head when Shae, Tyrion’s lover, is brought to the stand and betrays him.
Audiences could feel his rage as he finally erupted, telling everyone that he wished he was the one to kill Joffrey, and he wishes he could kill them all.
“I did not kill Joffrey, but I wish that I had! Watching your vicious bastard die gave me more relief than a thousand lying whores! I wish I was the monster you think I am! I wish I had enough poison for the whole pack of you! I would gladly give my life to watch you all swallow it!”
He goes on to say that he refuses to give his life for Joffrey and that he would instead let the gods decide his fate. Finally, Tyrion ends his speech in the most epic manner imaginable, taking to the stand and uttering the famous line, “I demand a trial by combat!”
2. “The Lannisters send their regards” – The Red Wedding
Season 3 – Episode 9
This episode was the most shocking sequence of events in television history. In one go, the showrunners wiped out two prominent characters and left audiences with their mouths agape. Once again, Game of Thrones proved that nobody was safe, and plot armour was not a thing that existed in their world (well, at least until season 6). So the massacre at Walder Frey’s home is an absolute shock that nobody expected.
As punishment for Robb Stark betraying his oath to marry one of Walder’s daughters, the conniving old man ambushed the Stark troops. Roose Bolton alerts Catelyn with a knowing look following Walder’s speech in which he claims he wants to give Robb a proper wedding gift. In a moment of pure chaos, Catelyn realises what is happening and screams at Robb. Unfortunately, it is too late, and they are all ambushed, with Robb’s pregnant wife brutally stabbed in the stomach. The blood bath that follows had fans questioning how the showrunners could ‘do them like that’. The Rains of Castamere playing added an ominous note that set the tone for the rest of the show and reminded viewers that no one was safe.
1. “Ser Meren, bring me his head!” – Ned Stark’s Death
Season 1 – Episode 9
This was the defining moment for Game of Thrones that drove home the fact that no one was safe in this series. Ned’s death established that plot armour did not exist, with fans believing he was the main character. What makes this worse is that Ned was a fan favourite, so he had audiences rooting for him throughout the first season. But as everyone is reminded later in the show, his honour got him killed.
Fans were devastated watching Ned scan the crowd for Arya, hoping she would not see him die. Sansa screaming in the background makes it more devastating as Meren swings his sword to behead Ned. This is the moment fans truly began to hate Joffrey and the moment fans began to panic, wondering if he might return in the next season somehow. The moment was as heartbreaking as it was epic and will forever be one of the most shocking moments in television history.
There are some honourable mentions for epic Game of Thrones moments worth mentioning. Even though they may not have made it onto the list, they still managed to make Game of Thrones into one of the greatest tv series ever:
Season 2: Episode 9 (Blackwater) – When Tyrion hatches his plan to destroy Stannis’ fleet using wildfire.
Season 4: Episode 10 (The Children) – When Brienne takes on the Hound to win Arya over.
Season 7: Episode 1 (Dragonstone) – Arya gets revenge on Walder Frey for the Red Wedding.
Season 7: Episode 6 (Beyond the Wall) – The Night King uses the resurrected dragon to destroy the Wall.
Season 7: Episode 7 (The Dragon and the Wolf) – Sansa and Arya pull off a fantastic bait and switch to trap Little Finger before killing him.
Multiple Seasons/Episodes – Every single time, Tyrion puts Joffrey in his place by slapping him, especially when he does it while the little gremlin is King.