Game of Thrones, The Best of 2016: Part 3

Jon rides

The year is almost over; we have just enough time for one more rounding up of the annual lists where Game of Thrones has made the cut!

Game of Thrones has already appeared on dozens on lists in Part 1 and Part 2 of this post series. New additions this week salute the show’s strength in music, major episodes, and a particular scene-stealer.

io9 put together their Best and Worst Television Moments of 2016, and admit they “had a lot of trouble narrowing down our favorite Game of Thrones moments to even just two or three.” They highlight five major moments from the season, including the Battle of the Bastards, the death of Hodor, Sansa’s execution of Ramsay, Lyanna Mormont’s speech to the Northern lords, and “Cersei drinking wine as the world burns,” after she blows up the sept.

Over in radio-land, Game of Thrones lands at number nine on NPR critic David Bianculli’s list of the Best TV of 2016. Check out the podcast to hear Bianculli’s discussion of his favorites this year.

“Battle of the Bastards” is one of the Best TV Episodes of 2016 according to Collider, who call it “a thrilling hour of television that contained some well-earned and genuine triumph.” Collider’s Allison Keener says the episode “was exciting, uplifting (even in its horror), and just in terms of choreography and payoff, probably the most outstanding hour of TV this year.”

Collider has also put together the 28 Best Songs on TV in 2016, creating one handy Spotify playlist. The list includes music such as”Heaven is a Place on Earth,” revived for Black Mirror‘s 80’s daydream “San Junipero” and the instrumental rendition of “Exit Music (For a Film)” from the Westworld finale. Capping off the selections is “Light of the Seven,” composed by Ramin Djawadi.

Vulture highlights their own 10 Best Musical TV Moments of 2016, saluting the best use of music this year. Making the cut naturally is “Light of the Seven,” the stunning piano-centered piece that scored the explosive trial in the season finale “The Winds of Winter.” As writer Sean T. Collins notes, “The instrument had never been prominently featured in Djawadi’s score before, let alone given a solo spotlight of this magnitude. The implication was clear: Something unprecedented was about to go down.”

Included in Vulture‘s 17 Breakthrough TV Performances of 2016 is the biggest scene-stealer of season 6, Bella Ramsey. Jen Chaney of Vulture says, “Ramsey may be young, but she infuses Lyanna with an astonishing amount of bravado, not to mention a commendable ability to shame grown men into doing the right thing. Frankly, we could use Lyanna on the U.S. political stage right now.”

Game of Thrones grabs the number ten spot on MTV‘s list of their top shows this year. Inkoo Kang also chooses the final two episodes of season 6 for her best episodes list, saying “Among the final two installments’ highlights were Jon Snow’s (Kit Harington) very relatable paralysis amid war, the Stark sisters’ (Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams) long-awaited revenge on their respective torturers, and Cersei’s (Lena Headey) nuclear-level move for the crown. ‘Battle of the Bastards’ and ‘The Winds of Winter’ are Game of Thrones at its most ruthless, grand, maybe even inspirational — no other show comes close to being so epic.”

Keith Uhlich for the BBC places Game of Thrones at number eight on his list of the 10 Best TV Shows of 2016. Uhlich says, “Season six felt, in many ways, like a cresting and then initial crashing of the wave, satisfyingly tying up certain plot threads…while offering up the kind of vividly violent spectacle at which the show excels.”

The New York Post chooses GoT‘s second episode of the season, “Home” (featuring the resurrection of Jon Snow) as their best episode of the year. The Post says, “Jon opened his eyes and breathed. Vindicated, the fans went nuts. And the season was off to a running start.”

Salon has their own choices for the Best TV moments of 2016, and includes a little lady that won many people’s hearts this year. “We loved watching Lyanna Mormont flaunt her righteous indignation on Game of Thrones,” writes Melanie McFarland. Salon applauds all of Lady Mormont’s scenes in season 6, but especially the season finale moment when Lyanna faced the Northern lords and “surgically read them for filth.”

It’s been an incredible year for Game of Thrones, with season 6 surpassing season 5, and maybe all the years before. What do you think, readers?

28 responses

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    1. Molestown bastard,

      For a bastard, I hope your leadership can inspire others

      And Uhlrich’s top ten list won’t get a click from me. If I recall last year the BBC’s top ten list included Cake Wars and the Great Bake Off beating out GoT so I cannot relate to that nonsense, thank you

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    2. Everything on David Bianculli’s is good , tho I only watched one episode of each, except Game of Thrones.
      My favorite show of the year was Mr. Robot, I love it’s tightness and it’s dense and difficult narrative.
      Mr. Robot was my number 1 of the year, with Game of Thrones at 2nd.
      I was pulled in by Stranger Things and Westworld even tho both have too much tap dancing per episode.
      One show that I only got around to in 2016 was SyFy’s The Expanse, which even with it’s seams, is the best Space Opera , at least the best original concept space opera, I have seen in years. A surprising show for the Sharknado channel!

      I loved episode 9 of GoT , and the Battle in the Patchy-Snow , but the first part of that episode with the dragons going into battle has stuck in my mind more and I have watched that more often.

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    3. Bella Ramsey is a natch!
      But also on GoT for their micro-cameos I liked Luke Roberts as Arthur Dayne , Roberts is one of that actors who makes one look up and say ‘who was that!’.
      Aisling Franciosi was memorable as Lyanna Stark , one wishes that Ser Authur and Lyanna would show up again!
      Seems Kinvara, High Priestess of the Red Temple played by Ania Bukstein will not be back in 7, that’s too bad , liked her and wanted to find out more. I am actually surprised, the way they introduced the character, so much going on.

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    4. Making the 8,

      This bastard is not even the leader in his own house lol

      Any poll in which GOT is not top of is not worth reading!!!!!
      There is our show and everything else pales in insignificance

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    5. Gfx: Season six, one of the few good things from 2016!

      Let’ see, here are the good things from 2016:
      1) The Cubs;
      2) Series 6.

      I have read a rumor that GRRM himself scripted 2016. Of course, this was supposed to be the year for 2004: but he got hung up figuring out which foreign power was supposed to help Trump win.

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    6. Oh crumbs – that Collider list of songs. Some of them I knew; some I didn’t, but “Heaven is a Place on Earth” is one of the few songs I have ever truly hated – disliking is one thing, but hating with a passion is much stronger and the latter feeling is my reaction to that song. They have that at 9 and then the West World and GoT music is in the two bottom places. No accounting for taste of course and I’m sure someone will say they like Hiapoe or that at least they don’t think it’s so bad.

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    7. Wimsey: Let’ see, here are the good things from 2016:
      1) The Cubs;
      2) Series 6.

      I have read a rumor that GRRM himself scripted 2016.Of course, this was supposed to be the year for 2004: but he got hung up figuring out which foreign power was supposed to help Trump win.

      Ha, so true! I’m thinking season 7 will be the only good thing in 2017 as well…

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    8. Dame of Mercia: They have that at 9 and then the West World and GoT music is in the two bottom places

      Should be “are in the bottom two places”. Correcting it myself before anyone else does it for me.

      Boojam,

      There have been a number of worthy cameo players in GoT over the season. Apart from the ones you have noted I was very impressed (as I have said elsewhere) by the young Hodor actor.

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    9. I don’t know whether I am crazy (probably) and my English is no that good, but there is something about GoT that I cannot define by words, it makes me feel it makes me yell it makes me cheer, whenever my girl Arya is on screen I am up. And I am never that ‘invested’ while watching anything else. Well, most of the finale I was standing, I cried when Jon and Sansa met ( and I really really don’t like Sansa), I was so sad (for few days) after Hodor, and there were true tears of joy after BoB and Stark banners were finally where they belong on the walls of Winterfell. I guess you can say that I am, I don’t know, I am fond of GoT. Lovely understatement

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    10. Tatjana,

      I almost cried during ToJ scene and when Jon became KitN. I don’t know why. That was the first time I cried watching this show, and Jon is not even mz favorite character, but there was something so beautiful in those scenes, that I can’t even explain.

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    11. RadioTimes.com’s (UK) biggest TV moments of 2016

      (Mostly from BBC, I have only seen 2, 6, 9 & 10 of these. GoT the only Pay to watch on subscription show in the list)

      1. Aidan Turner in a tin bath (Poldark)
      2. The Shelbys are arrested (Peaky Blinders)
      3. Tom Hiddleston bares all (The Night Manager)
      4. Ross and Elizabeth’s controversial bedroom scene (Poldark)
      5. Snake attack on baby iguanas (Planet Earth II)
      6. Hodor holds the door (Game of Thrones)
      7. Ed Balls does Gangnam Style (Strictly Come Dancing)
      8. The Brownlee brothers go arm-in-arm to the finish line (Triathlon World Series)
      9. Jon Snow is resurrected (Game of Thrones)
      10. Andrei and Natasha waltz at the ball (War and Peace)

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    12. Tatjana: Exactly, and in that scene we got, at least some part of amazing The North Remembers speech

      heh, it was much better than what we got in the book: if nothing else, then this time it was with characters that really count. (In the book, I think that only a single secondary protagonist was present.)

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    13. GoT and Vikings are the best historical- fantasy TV series that I cPSan think of, hands down.

      PS- Just noticedthat Euron and Cersei are wearing the same colors in their personal arms, black and silver, not a coincidence I suppose

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    14. Tatjana,

      Even though there are some other good shows on TV, none come close to GOT.
      It simply moves people in ways you stated to care for its characters. The acting, the writing, the cinematography, the haunting music it all comes together in a way few shows have. It’s a show above the rest.

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    15. Jon’s Mom: It simply moves people in ways you stated to care for its characters. The acting, the writing, the cinematography, the haunting music it all comes together in a way few shows have.

      Thrones is far from the only show to do this. However, it is the only one that combines excellent character development and character evolution with: 1) raw spectacle; 2) fantastic elements like magic and dragons; and, 3) over-arching mystery. Getting just 2 of those is well done: and getting any of the other three in combination with #2 is stereotype shattering.

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    16. Tatjana: it makes me feel it makes me yell it makes me cheer, whenever my girl Arya is on screen I am up. And I am never that ‘invested’ while watching anything else. Well, most of the finale I was standing, I cried when Jon and Sansa met ( and I really really don’t like Sansa), I was so sad (for few days) after Hodor, and there were true tears of joy after BoB and Stark banners were finally where they belong on the walls of Winterfell.

      Yeah, I feel the same. I hope next year has as many happy things, esp with Starks.

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