The curtain has come down, and our watch has finally ended.
Despite all the complaints about the final two seasons, there is no denying that Game Of Thrones brought us one of the most mesmerising chapters in television history. Despite the show being brought to its knees, quite like Jon Snow, in the penultimate episodes, we got a fairly poetic ending.
The many blunders towards the end aside, there is just too much to cherish about the show that weaved together fables of dragons, witches and White Walkers seamlessly with the realities of power, politics, and naked ambition. Now that the swansong has been sung, here’s a look back at some of the best moments from the show:
Ned’s beheading – ‘Baelor’ (S01E09)
This was the moment when everyone, who had so far been comparing Game of Thrones with every other period drama out there, stopped and sat up in rapt attention. This was also the moment that changed Sansa and Arya’s lives forever on the show and set everything in motion.
Battle of Blackwater – ‘Blackwater’ (S02E09)
The penultimate episode of the second season gave us one of the most spectacular battle scenes in television history. Directed by Neil Marshall, this was the first time we witnessed the destructive power of wildfire, the key to Targaryen power once the dragons were all gone, used by the Lannisters this time to defeat Stannis Baratheon.
When Cersei decimated the Sept – ‘The Winds of Winter’ (S06E10)
Cersei used wildfire to destroy her enemies in one of the most spectacularly ruthless ways possible – the High Sparrow, the Tyrells, the Faith were blown to nothing in a burst of green. Aided by Ramin Djawadi soaring piece the ‘Light of the Seven’ playing dolefully in the background, this was one of the most breathtaking sequences in the show.
The Red Wedding – The Rains of Castamere (S03E09)
This was one of the most horrific bloodbaths on the show. The one before the Purple Wedding, the one that shook the entire GoT fandom to its core, the one some refuse to revisit even today. The episode ended with one of the most haunting tunes from the GoT soundtrack – ‘The Rains of Castamere’ sung by Charles Dance, aka Tywin Lannister.
When Daenerys commanded the sacking of Astapor – ‘And Now His Watch Is Ended’ (S03E04)
This was one of the many ‘yaas queen’ moments of Dany literally burning her enemies to the ground that led some to believe that she wasn’t destined for her fate. This episode also had one of those goosebump-inducing moments when Daenerys started speaking in High Valyrian to command the Unsullied before directing one of her dragons to burn down the slaver who wanted to trade her dragons like slaves.
Arya’s Rat Cook revenge – ‘The Winds of Winter’ (S06E10)
The final episode of the sixth season had more than one memorable scene that left everyone glued to their screens. Earlier in the show, a young Bran had narrated the story of the Rat Cook, who had cooked an Andal King’s son into a pie and fed it to him for revenge. This story was mere foreshadowing that brought to conclusion one of the most gruesome story arcs on the show. Arya avenged the death of her brother and mother by killing Walder Frey’s sons, baking them into a pie, and feeding it to Frey before slitting his throat.
Arya, the Night King slayer – ‘The Long Night’ (S08E03)
This was possibly one of the most well-earned realisations of a prophecy foretold ages ago. The moment Arya stabbed the Night King and annihilated his entire army of White Walkers and wights in one swift blow may not have everyone pleased, but that hardly takes away from the brilliance of the moment. We could sit all day discussing about the terrible writing in the final season, but this moment doesn’t count as one because there really was no other who could’ve killed the Night King.
Drogon’s goodbye – ‘The Iron Throne’ (S08E06)
It was the bittersweet end that many didn’t want for Dany. But it was always meant to be. What made this moment stand out was how Drogon bid his goodbye. He melted the Iron Throne like it wasn’t forged of a thousand swords, but of ice. He broke the wheel, symbolically, like Dany wanted to. And then he swooped up her body ever so gently before flying far away to mourn his loss.
Sansa’s coronation – ‘The Iron Throne’ (S08E06)
This came as a part of a rousing montage of the surviving Stark children (yes, Jon too, for he will always be a Stark no matter what) but it was the big feminist whoop that was the perfect conclusion to Sansa’s story arc, one of the best of this show.
As artist Anthony Oliveira pointed out on Twitter, Sansa wore her hair down, devoid of any ornamentation minus her crown, during her coronation mirroring Queen Elizabeth I during her own coronation. He wrote, “Elizabeth wore hers (hair) down at her coronation to signal sexual purity, in open hostility to those who said her sexual abuse ruined her.”
Sansa’s hair completely down (vs complicated looks of her youth & severe pinbacks of Winterfell stewardship) took my breath away.
Elizabeth wore hers down at her coronation to signal sexual purity, in open hostility to those who said her sexual abuse ruined her. #GameOfThrones
— Anthony Oliveira (@meakoopa) May 20, 2019