Watchers on the Wall Awards: Best Episode of Season 6

Best Episode

Two months, dozens of polls, thousands upon thousands of votes, and we’ve reached the end of the Watchers on the Wall Awards voting for 2016. One more category, and one more vote to be cast, for the biggest category of all: Best Episode of Game of Thrones Season 6. 

It’s been a few months since the season ended, so we’re providing detailed summaries of each episode to refresh your memory before voting. Go down mini-memory lane, consider the ups, downs, highlights and lows of every episode, and make your decision!

Red Woman

The Red Woman. Written David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, directed by Jeremy Podeswa

Davos and Melisandre discovers Jon’s fate, while Alliser Thorne takes control of the Night’s Watch. Ramsay mourns Myranda and is scolded by Roose for his mistakes. Sansa and Theon flee from the Boltons’ men, and are rescued by Brienne and Pod. Cersei learns of her daughter’s death, and shares her grief with Jaime. Imprisoned Margaery resists the efforts of the Sparrows. Ellaria and the Sand Snakes execute a coup against the ruling house of Dorne, assassinating Doran and Trystane Martell. Varys and Tyrion assess the city’s situation during a walk through Meereen- and discover their fleet on fire. Jorah and Daario find the ring that Daenerys left behind, and pick up her trail. Daenerys is brought before Khal Moro, and it’s decided she will be brought to Vaes Dothrak. A now-blind Arya continues her training in the streets of Braavos. Alone in her room, Melisandre’s magic falls away and she is revealed to be a crone.

 

Home

Home. Written by Dave Hill, directed by Jeremy Podeswa

In a vision of the past, Bran sees Hodor, Ned and his father’s siblings as children at Winterfell. Leaf reminds Meera she is needed. The wildlings attack Castle Black and capture the mutineers. Cersei is ordered to remain inside the Red Keep, and Jaime and High Sparrow verbally spar in the sept. Tommen and Cersei reconcile. Faced with the dragons’ starvation in captivity, Tyrion unchains them. Arya’s Faceless training continues with staff fighting with the Waif. Ramsay kills his father Roose, his step-mother Walda and his newborn brother. Sansa and Theon part ways. Euron Greyjoy throws his brother Balon off a rope bridge; at the funeral, their brother Aeron tells Yara there will be a kingsmoot. Melisandre doubts her past visions. Jon is resurrected.

Oath

Oathbreaker. Written David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, directed by Daniel Sackheim

Jon reacts to his resurrection, with Davos’ support. Sam and Gilly have a rough journey south. In a vision, Bran sees the legendary fight at the Tower of Joy. Daenerys arrives at Vaes Dothrak to a not-so-warm welcome from the Dosh Khaleen. Varys seeks information from a Sons of the Harpy ally. Qyburn befriends the little birds. Cersei is rejected by the Small Council. Tommen confronts the High Sparrow. Arya trains in the House of Black and White, while speaking of her list. Smalljon Umber hands Osha and Rickon Stark over to Ramsay- along with Shaggydog’s head. Jon executes the four leaders of the men who assassinated him, and leaves the Night’s Watch.

fire

Book of the Stranger. Written David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, directed by Daniel Sackheim

Sansa and Jon are reunited at Castle Black, and make plans for the future. Davos questions Stannis and Shireen’s fates; he, Melisandre and Brienne have a tense encounter. Littlefinger visits with Robin Arryn and secures the Vale’s assistance. Representatives from the slave cities arrive in Meereen to negotiate with Daenerys’s people. Daario learns of Jorah’s greyscale outside Vaes Dothrak; the men slip into the city and fight two warriors. Daenerys gets to know the Dosh Khaleen, before running into Jorah and Daario. High Sparrow shares his past with Margaery and allows her to see Loras. The Lannisters and Tyrells create a plan to thwart the High Sparrow. Theon returns to home to a painful reunion with his sister. Osha makes an ill-fated attempt on Ramsay’s life. At a group dinner at Castle Black, Tormund makes eyes at Brienne and a letter arrives from Ramsay Bolton. Daenerys sets fire to the temple of the Dosh Khaleen, destroying the khals and claiming a great khalasar for her own.

door

The Door. Written David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, directed by Jack Bender

Sansa confronts Littlefinger about her marriage. Jaqen gives Arya her first assignment- an actress starring as Cersei in a play that twists the events we saw in season 1. Looking into the distant past, Bran witnesses the Children of the Forest creating the Night King. At the Kingsmoot, Euron Greyjoy returns to claim the Salt Throne; Euron is baptized as Yara and Theon escape from the Iron Islands. Jorah reveals his condition to Dany; she commands him to seek a cure and return to her. Tyrion and Varys make an alliance with the priestess Kinvara and the followers of R’hllor. In a vision, Bran is touched and marked by the Night King. Brienne is sent on a mission while Sansa and Jon depart to find allies in the North. The cave is fatally breached by the Night King’s army of wights, leading to the deaths of the Three-Eyed Raven, the direwolf Summer, Leaf and the remaining Children of the Forest, and finally, Hodor. Hodor’s origins are revealed.

6

Blood of My Blood. Written by Bryan Cogman, directed by Jack Bender

Meera struggles to save Bran to from the wights, as he experiences a series of quick visions. The two are saved by a mysterious figure they later discover is a not-quite-living Benjen Stark. Sam and Gilly arrive at Horn Hill and meet the friendly Tarly women. At dinner they find Sam’s father is as harsh as ever, but Gilly stands up to him nonetheless. Sam reconsiders leaving Gilly behind there, steals the family Valyrian steel sword, and they take off in the night. Margaery shares her new point of view with her husband. Arya attempts to carry out her assignment but has second thoughts after bonding with Lady Crane. Arya recovers Needle and goes into hiding,  and the Faceless Men order her death. The Lannisters and the Tyrell army march on Baelor’s sept but find Margaery and Tommen announcing their conversion, the joining of the Faith and the Crown. Jaime is ordered to go to the Riverlands. Walder Frey chastises his sons for losing Riverrun to the Blackfish. Daenerys rides, and declares all her khalasar as her bloodriders.

The Broken Man. Writen by Bryan Cogman,directed by Mark Mylod

Sandor Clegane returns, and Brother Ray recalls how they met. High Sparrow encourages newly pious Margaery to bring her grandmother around to their way of thinking. Margaery stealthily encourages Lady Olenna to depart King’s Landing. Before she leaves, the Queen of Thorns dresses down Cersei. With help,  Jon Snow wins the wildling army over. Jaime takes over the failing Siege of Riverrun and parleys with the Blackfish. The Starks plead for aid from Lyanna Mormont of Bear Island. Another meeting, with Robett Glover, is less successful. In Volantis, Yara pushes Theon to come back to himself. Sansa sends a raven to Littlefinger. Brother Ray shares a personal story from  his past; then he and Sandor disagree on how to handle the outlaws who come calling. Arya makes arrangements to leave Braavos, is stabbed by the Waif and escapes. While Sandor’s away, Brother Ray is killed by the outlaws, and the Hound picks up the axe.

no one

No One. Written David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, directed by Mark Mylod

A badly wounded Arya comes to Lady Crane for help.  Tyrion bids Varys farewell. The Sparrows block Cersei’s path in the Red Keep, and she chooses violence. Pod and Bronn speculate, as Jaime and Brienne have a complicated reunion at Riverrun. The Blackfish rejects Sansa’s request for Tully aid. Tommen ruins his mother’s plans by forbidding trial by combat, and sets a trial date for Cersei and Loras. Tyrion’s attempt to bond with Grey Worm and Missandei over jokes is interrupted by an attack from their enemies. Later, a displeased Daenerys arrives home to find her city under siege. Jaime uses the hostage Edmure Tully- and his newborn son- to end the siege. Riverrun falls to the Lannisters and the Blackfish dies fighting, while Jaime allows Brienne and Pod to escape. The Hound slaughters a few of the outlaws who killed Brother Ray and finds the rest being hung by the Brotherhood without Banners. After taking care of them, the Hound ponders a new future with the Brotherhood. Arya wakes up to find Lady Crane has been killed by the Waif. After escaping, she leads the Waif on a wild chase through the streets of Braavos, back to her hiding place where she kills the Waif. Afterward, Arya confronts Jaqen H’ghar about the order to kill her, reclaims her own identity and leaves the House of Black and White for good.

botb

Battle of the Bastards. Written David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, directed by Miguel Sapochnik

Daenerys and Tyrion consider how to handle the attack on Meereen. Dany demonstrates her dragons’ firepower on a slaver ship, as her Dothraki horde destroys the Sons of the Harpy. Grey Worm executes two of the Slaver envoys while Tyrion sends the third on his way to tell the story. The Starks and their allies face Ramsay Bolton for a tense meeting before the coming battle. Later, Sansa warns Jon to be careful of their enemy’s games. Tormund and Davos have a bit of banter on a walk that night. Jon asks Melisandre to not bring him back, should he fall. Davos finds Shireen’s stag toy in the ashes where she died. The Greyjoy siblings offer an alliance and their ships to Daenerys. The battle for Winterfell begins with Ramsay using Rickon Stark’s life to draw Jon out. The Stark and Bolton forces meet on the field in a massive clash, with fighting and carnage all around. The Bolton shields create a wall around the Stark army, pressing them inward. Jon is nearly crushed to death in the fray but fights his way free. Tormund and Smalljon Umber fight it out in the chaos, until Tormund tears Smalljon’s throat out with his teeth and stabs him. When it seems all is lost for the Starks, the Knights of the Vale arrive to smash the Boltons. Ramsay retreats to Winterfell, but Wun Wun breaks down the gate and the Stark men flood in. The giant, shot full of arrows, is finally killed by Ramsay. Jon pummels him into the ground but his end is saved for Sansa. Tied up in the kennel, Sansa informs him he’ll be forgotten, before feeding him to his own dog.

10

The Winds of Winter. Written David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, directed by Miguel Sapochnik

The trial before the Faith begins, with Loras confessing and accepting the life of a Sparrow. Sent to retrieve Cersei for her trial, Lancel is led underground by a boy where he’s stabbed and left to witness the lighting of candles alongside wildfire. Grand Maester Pycelle is stabbed to death by little birds. Margaery recognizes the wrongness in Cersei’s absence but the Faith Militant restrain her and the other nobles, keeping them trapped in Baelor’s sept until the wildfire ignites, killing them all. Cersei torments Septa Unella with her victory. Alone and in despair after the death of so many, Tommen commits suicide. Walder and Jaime needle each other as the Freys celebrate the end of the siege. Sam and Gilly arrive at the Citadel to a frosty welcome; she must wait outside while Sam enters the library of his dreams. Davos confronts Melisandre about Shireen’s death, and the priestess is exiled. Winter comes to Winterfell; Jon and Sansa come to terms.  Lady Olenna visits Dorne and a new alliance is born. Daenerys says goodbye to Daario, and appoints Tyrion her Hand of the Queen. Using her Faceless skills, Arya exacts long-overdue vengeance against Walder Frey. Littlefinger shares his vision of the future with Sansa. Benjen parts ways with Meera and Bran near the Wall; Bran returns to his vision of the Tower of Joy. After defeating Ser Arthur Dayne, young Ned Stark finds his sister Lyanna in a bloody bed; the girl whispers a secret to her brother and a baby is brought to Ned. The baby’s face becomes Jon Snow, who is meeting with the Vale and Northern lords. Lyanna Mormont scolds the Northern lords for their inaction and declares Jon the King in the North. The other lords fall in line, and Jon is proclaimed king. Jaime arrives back in King’s Landing to find a coronation in progress: Cersei has claimed the Iron Throne for herself. Elsewhere,  a great armada sets sail with Targaryen, Greyjoy, Tyrell and Martell sigils, and with dragons flying above. Daenerys is finally on her way to Westeros.

Final round rules: Cast your vote for the winner in our Best Episode poll. At the end of 72 hours (Wednesday 9/28/16 at 12PM EDT), the episode with the most votes will be the winner!

The results of all the polls will be revealed during our live Watchers on the Wall Awards ceremony, which will take place in October. The specific day, with ceremony details, will be announced in a few days so you’ll be able to save the date. Thank you to everyone for taking part in the WotW Awards and making this happen!

99 responses

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    1. Hodor

      Episodes 9 and 10 of season 6 are the two best of the entire series. Prior to those, my favorite was Viper vs. The Mountain.

      And I voted for Winds of Winter – awesome from start to finish.

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    2. The Winds of Winter.

      Not just the best episode of the season, but the best episode of the entire show. Hands down.

      In order of preference: 10>9>2>5>3>4>6>7>8>1

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    3. Damn, so many good episodes this season.

      I wanted so badly to vote for The Door, as its perfect and one of my favorite episodes yet, but in the end Winds of Winter is THE best episode yet.

      I have a feeling Winds will be winning in a landslide..

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    4. Same here, Winds of Winter (with the Battle of the Bastards a close second). I’m surprised, though. I thought that BotB would win this hands down, but so far it looks like Winds has a good chance. But then, it was a truly remarkable episode for many characters (so there’s something for everyone), whereas Battle was very focused on only two major conflicts.

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    5. This was so hard. I loved both Battle of the Bastards and Winds of Winter so much. But in the end I went with the one I rewatched the most. And that was Battle of the Bastards.

      Can’t we just have two winners in this one? lol

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    6. I think the first five episodes of this season were really terrific.They were on fire and I was extremely invested in them.Some of the best the show has ever done.We chilled a bit with ep 6 7 and 8.They were fine episodes I didn’t dislike any of them.They were great things in all of them.Bran and Sam’s stories in ep 6,the north tour and the hounds return in ep 7,King’s landing and Riverrun in ep 8 were great and I also loved Arya and Lady Crane’s talk but they were more set up episodes.And then ep 9 and 10 were simply masterful.I voted for The winds of Winter which was the best episode of show to date.I adore that episode.I think it’s the first finale I have ever voted,maybe not The children was also top-notch.But yeah conclusion this season was really good lol.Ranking would be 10>9>2>5>3>4>1>7>8>6.

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    7. The first twenty minutes alone automatically gives this one to Winds. Add in the soundtrack, directing, cinematography, and parade of hype that closed it out (Frey Pies, ToJ, KitN, Mad Queen Cersei, Dany finally sailing west) and it’s a no-brainer.

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    8. After Battle of the Bastards I thought Game of Thrones couldn’t get any better, but then The Winds of Winter came along. That was my first thought after ep 10 aired and I stand by it.

      So it’s The Winds of Winter for me.

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    9. I voted for The Door, episode 5 as it was such a powerful blending of fantasy and realism. While the last two episodes were dazzling, tour de force film-making, The Door was essential in resolving key plot lines and moving forward the issue of the Night’s King and the army of Wights. In my book the best episode after Hardhome.

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    10. 1 The Broken Man
      2 The Door
      3 Home
      4 Oathbreaker
      5 Winds of Winter
      6 Blood of my blood
      7 Battle of the Bastards
      8 No One
      9 The Red Woman
      10 Book of the Stranger

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    11. Best Episode: The Winds of Winter

      While each of the other episodes had elements that worked well, were written well, had brilliant effects, a beautiful score etc, The Winds of Winter was an episode in which everything worked and blended together perfectly. The opening and closing sequences were edited so well that the story flowed. End of season episodes sometimes suffer from being a comedown from the “big” episode nine and bridging the story from the season just past to the season to come; The Winds of Winter, on the other hand, took what happened in episode nine and turned everything up to eleven. There is, quite literally, nothing about this episode that I would change.

      The opening sequence in King’s Landing is the best opening to an episode of Game of Thrones ever (which is saying something given how early we see a dragon battle in Battle of the Bastards) – Miguel Sapochnik is quite simply a genius, and he blended together so many different character arcs beautifully. This scene pretty much sums up what I said above about this episode being one in which everything worked together perfectly. And Ramin Djawadi’s score for that scene was stunning. It says a lot that a classical piece from a TV show made it to the top of Spotify’s chart.

      Similarly, the flow at the end of the episode – from Sansa and Littlefinger’s talk in the Winterfell godswood to Bran and his vision of the Tower of Joy to Jon Snow and his crowning as King in the North to Cersei’s coronation to Daenerys and her fleet sailing in the direction of Westeros – worked perfectly. The themes of home, and origins/legacy, and power that ran throughout the season came through in that series of scenes. And as someone who has waited for YEARS to see the inside of the Tower of Joy, seeing what happened inside that room, and the cut to the present-day Jon Snow was amazing!! The piece of music tied those two scenes together without any words told the story beautifully, answering a question that was first asked in the very first episode.

      Notable mentions: Home, Oathbreaker, The Door and Battle of the Bastards.

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    12. Winds of Winter but it does have its flaws (for example the horrid conversation between Sansa and LF, Lancel following a kid into basement for no reason or Pycelle not being in the sept for no reason). Battle of Bastards is close second but it’s not flaws-free either.

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    13. There were SO many good episodes this season. And even the weaker episodes had really great scenes so overall I found every episode quite enjoyable.

      I was deciding between Ep 10, Ep 9, and Ep 4. Episode 4 was, up to the point it aired, the best and most entertaining episode of Game of Thrones (IMO), and especially showcased many of the women as strong leaders. The best scenes in the season between Jon and Sansa, Theon and Yara, and Dany + everyone. Plus, who could forget the birth of Tormienne??? And that twist finish where everyone is expecting a dragon, but then NO – Dany burns those MF rapist douchebros herself. Yessss…!

      Episode 9 was a total adrenaline Rush, incredible effects that are unmatched to this point. The sequence with Jon and teh horses is the best action sequence so far in the series. And they still had time for Mereen, slaver scum being obliterated, and suchlike. And finally we have the answer to the dilemma that Dany faced in Mereen – sometimes violence IS the only language your enemies will understand – sometimes peace isn’t the answer. The quieter (And just as welcome) moments as well, in the setup to the WF battle as and the very fun scene with the Greyjoys, Dany and Tyrion.
      But in the end I had to go with Episode 10. The first 15 minutes alone in KL was the best dramatic sequence EVER in Game of Thrones. And it just kept going from there. Daenerys and Tyrion’s scene was phenomenal. Sansa’s scenes with Jon and LF setting up the future conflict at WF. Triumphant moments with KITN and Dany’s fleet. And Cersei having the ovaries to CROWN HERSELF AMONG THE ASHES! UNF. My hype is off the charts at this point.

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    14. I went with episode #9. I felt the direction- had the episode been a movie- would easily be able to get nominated for an Oscar. There were many resolutions as well in this episode- not as anticipated as Dany setting sail perhaps, but the Stark banners at Winterfell, Dany burning stuff in battle with dragons, and Ramsey getting the smirk eaten off of his face were very satisfying.

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    15. The Door. Was between that, Home, and The Broken Man, but Jorah and Dany plus Euron’s baptism, and the obvious main event put it first for me.

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    16. It’s a hard choice for me between “The Door” and “The Winds of Winter” – but the latter just shades it as it was such a strong season finale with some iconic scenes such as ToJ.

      Once again it all shows that the season is much much better judged as a whole than on one or two early episodes where they are still setting up the season’s arcs.

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    17. So many great moments in each episode…and then not-so-great moments. The only one that had great moments beginning to end was Winds of Winter. From the fear in the Sept and Tommen’s final dive, through KitN, that breathtaking library, and Dany’s armada, it was spectacular!

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    18. Funny, as I’ve voted for Battle of the Bastards for just about everything else, but best episode for me was Winds. The last few seasons the show has been messing up when it splits its focus. This episode, that approach worked. Places where the show’s been struggling–Meereen, Dorne, King’s Landing–picked up speed, became parts of a whole.

      This episode, in fact, created the southern arc that’s been missing for two seasons: Cersei is on the throne. Dorne and the Tyrells have allied with Dany, who is on her way.

      This might be my favorite episode of Game.

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    19. Sou,

      I know. It’s quite hard

      I think I may go with episode 10… as it covers many stories… and it floored me as a whole.

      I actually think episode 10 will be my favorite of the entire series

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    20. Hands down the best episode of the series was episode 9 was awesome from beginning to the end. Starting off with Dany and the dragons to the demise of Ramsey. Love 10 as well but Battle of the Bastards was number 1.

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    21. The Door was so shocking and heartbreaking.
      But– Winds of Winter was something else. That opening sequence leading up to the explosion was the best thing I’ve ever seen on TV. Plus, R+L=J.

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    22. List:

      1. The Winds of Winter, because it is almost perfect. All that needs to be said about this ep has already been said.

      2. No One, I almost put Bob here, but this one is so strong in terms of characters and quiet, intimate moments (which this season had too few of) that it just had to be up here.

      3. Battle of the Bastards, incredible episode, but a few unbelivable moments (a convenient wall of dead men in the middle of the field, because Ramsay’s men were careful enough to cut down most of the enemy at one exact spot) and the odd Meereen-storyline (why do the Masters even think that their armada can take a city protected by three dragons?) annoyed me.

      4. The Broken Man, a great character-centric episode that revolves around the theme of violence and its after affects. Also, its peaceful athmosphere makes it unique in the history of the show.

      5. The Door, almost put it at the fourth place, but Cogman’s writing ultimately won. Anyway, this fantastic episode was the best one in the first half of the season.

      6. Oathbreaker, a very melancholic episode, but it is annoying how Jaime is treated as Cersei’s pet. Other than that, it’s great.

      7. The Red Woman, a fantastic season opener, with a mystical athmosphere. If only it wasn’t for Dorne…

      8. Book of the Stranger, very flawed, but the stuff that works, works very well. The final scene is just empty and weak, and Sansa’s conversation with Jon left out key moments for their characters, but the Pink Letter-scene was amazing.

      9. Home, we all saw it coming, and despite some nice tricks on the director’s part, it just wasn’t suprising. Not that it was bad, but it just wasn’t a game-changer.

      10. Blood of My Blood, another weak Dany-scene, and Benjen’s anti-climactic reveal were grave errors. Everything in Braavos and King’s Landing is gold however, and the Tarly-show special edition worked quite well as well.

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    23. Battle of the Bastards. Although it seems like Winds is taking this by a mile, with which I’m happy too!

      Battle, for me, had stylistic elements that reflected the books’ parallel Dany-and-Jon arcs, and I’ve been hoping for an ep like this for a long time. There was drama, wit, tension, character development, and the most amazing special effects this show has yet showcased. Bar none.

      Winds was so strong from a thematic and musical standpoint, and the acting was brilliant from start to finish, so truly I would be happy with the (eventual) win of this episode, too. Even if just for the ToJ reveal.

      It’s an embarrassment of riches, people!

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    24. Trying to not give points for a single cool moment and instead looking at each episode in it’s entirety, I think 607 “The Broken Man” is the best episode of season 6.

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    25. I find it really hard to compare episodes as episodes. Each one is such a patchwork, with scenes that I like and scenes that I don’t. Ask me what my favorite scenes are and my opinions will flow freely, but I can’t really say that I have a ‘favorite episode’ in any season. I cast a vote, but it was quite arbitrary, and I would probably come up with a different answer tomorrow or the next day.

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    26. I had to vote for The Winds of Winter but I must say the Bryan Cogman dialogue is always fantastic! I feel like he really understands the characters in a way that resonates with me as a GoT fan and ASOIAF reader.. I loved the stuff at House Tarly, Riverrun, Bear Island, etc. Kudos BCog!

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    27. All these episodes were great in their own way… but for me the favorite was The Broken Man. Sandor’s return made me so very happy. As a plus the Yara & Theon interaction made me tear up and awesome little Lyanna Mormont made me laugh. Love to Hodor and The Door as a really close second choice.

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    28. mau,

      Yeah, but 1) was it common knowledge that two dragons were chained, and 2) would you attack a city that is temporarily unable to use atomic bombs to destroy you, but may regain its ability to use them once again any time? Plus, Dany was already back in the city, arriving on the back of Drogon, and the three guys still thought they’d won.

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    29. I expected ep 9 and 10 to be awesome, but I was really surprised by the quality of ep 7, The Broken Man. It was simple, with no big battle or unexpected death, and yet excellent from start to end and very well shot.
      The Door was also excellent, but in the end I had to pick TWOW, my favorite episode from the whole show…

      What a great season we had!

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    30. The best episodes of the season were imo those 5:
      4 – Book of the Stranger, 5 – The Door, 7 – The Broken Man, 9 – Battle of the Bastards, 10 – Winds of Winter.

      And since I feel “Winds of Winter” will win in a landslide (rightfully) while “Battle of the Bastards” and “The Door” may also get some votes, I’m tempted to vote for one of the other two.

      I’ll go with “The Broken Man”. It was a pretty unique, almost stand-alone episode that featured many of the characters in many good scenes. (In my mind, Arya’s scenes in “No One” never existed, she got medical care just barely in time and recovered over a very long time while never doing improbable stunts in Braavos.)

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    31. There is no contest really: Winds of Winter is the best episode not only of Season 6 but of the entire series. I find it one of the best hours of TV I’ve ever watched. Masterpiece from start to finish.

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    32. For me a tie between 9 and 10, in the end went with 9 for the awesome battle scenes. Hold the door though, is on par with the red wedding for best ever sequence in the show.

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    33. I wish it were a single-transferable-vote system. Winds of Winter I think has to be first, because all the other episodes were building up to that. But next, Oathbreaker, Home, Door, BoB…

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    34. I decided discussing my favorite episode of the season just wasn’t enough. Here’s my ranking of my personal favorite episodes of the season (sorry I am so wordy).

      Blood of My Blood (S6E6) – No Jon Snow, no Tyrion, and barely any Daenerys. The material with Arya and Sam in the first half of the episode is very strong, but the back half is largely setup for things to come, which makes the end of the episode feel kind of unsatisfying. Also contains one of the only major storytelling mistakes of the season: failing to portray Bran’s emotional state after the death of Hodor and his trippy vision (in which he saw his own mother get murdered – yikes!)

      Red Woman (S6E1) – A more than solid premiere. The scenes at the Wall and at King’s Landing were particularly effective beginnings for their respective storylines. Brienne rescuing Sansa was exciting and very satisfying. The episode suffers mainly from having the most material for the bland Dorne characters than any other episode of the season.

      No One (S6E8) – I actually liked this episode more than many on this site. The Riverrun scenes were excellent, and the chase scene in Braavos was exciting. Maybe it was unrealistic for Arya to be that capable so soon after that dramatic stabbing, but I put more of the blame on Episode 7, in which the stabbing actually occurred. Doesn’t rise above many of the others for me, though, mainly because of the absence of my favorite storyline (Jon/Sansa in the North).

      Oathbreaker (S6E3) – Really solid episode all around. The Tower of Joy fight was incredible, and everything about Jon’s return to the land of the living was done very well, especially the execution of the mutineers (one of my favorite bits of Kit Harington’s performance).

      The Broken Man (S6E7) – The episode-long arc with the Hound and Brother Ray was very thoughtful, powerful, and effective. Margaery’s last moment with her grandmother was one of my favorite emotional moments of the season (especially in retrospect). And the setup in Riverrun and up North was very well done. The only scene that was a bit odd was Arya’s stabbing, which she should have been more prepared for and was maybe a bit over-the-top.

      Home (S6E2) – This episode is elevated by following up on some of the short visits we made in the premiere. The wildlings defeat Alliser’s forces, Jaime confronts the High Sparrow, Ramsay kills his dad, and, of particular note, Melisandre resurrects Jon Snow, which I thought was done perfectly.

      The Door (S6E5) – The only reason this episode isn’t a slot higher is because of the emphasis on storylines I (personally) wasn’t as invested in, namely Arya and the Ironborn. However, several strong scenes elevate it, like Sansa’s confrontation with Littlefinger, Daenerys’s goodbye to Jorah, and, of course, the incredible sequence Beyond the Wall that culminates in one of the most heartbreaking deaths of the series.

      Book of the Stranger (S6E4) – It begins with the reunion of Jon and Sansa, one of the most emotional moments of the season. It ends with Daenerys getting her groove back, and burning down her enemies. In between are some great, meaty scenes, like Tyrion’s morally complex politicking, and a couple other brother-sister reunions. Overall one of the most poignant, well-rounded, satisfying episodes of the season, despite the abrupt and disappointing death of Osha.

      The Winds of Winter – Easily the best season finale of the series, in my mind. If I were to nitpick, I would maybe point out that Daario’s last scene is not quite as awesome as the rest of the episode. But it’s hard to care too much about that when you’ve got some of the strongest moments of the season/series in here, like Daenerys’s emotional moment with Tyrion, the Tower of Joy reveal, the declaration of Jon Snow as King of the North, and of course that incredible opening sequence in which Cersei finally gets her revenge.

      The Battle of the Bastards – Episodes 9 and 10 are the only ones that could conceivably receive the award, and both would be incredibly deserving winners. There are a couple reasons why I lean towards BotB as my choice. The gruesome depiction of the battle did the best of any episode at visually communicating the horrors of war, one of the central themes of the series (books and show). I also think it benefits from being more self-contained than Winds of Winter. The climax of the episode receives a lot of classic battle buildup within the episode itself, making it more satisfying on its own than the finale (arguably). Honestly, though, I have to admit that it was mostly my gut going for this when looking at the last two options. I’m sure I will read arguments for Winds of Winter that will not only be fair and legitimate, but that I would agree with entirely. The Battle of the Bastards just felt right to me.

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    35. Tough call, BoTB was a great spectical, Bastardbowl is the best battle sequence in tv history.
      TWoW was awesome, the first 20 or so minutes were some of the best TV I’ve ever seen but The Door had so many feels.

      Between Arya’s reaction to the play, the origin of The Others, Kinvara leaving Varys more rustled than we’ve ever seen, Bran learning he’s resposible for what happened to Hodor, death of Summer & of course “Hold the door”.

      Such an emotional rollercoster in that episode.

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    36. As good as Bastards was, Winds of Winter may be the best (and most cinematic) hour+ of television I’ve ever seen. The opening sequence culminating in the explosion was perfect. The closing sequence of the assembled multi-house invasion armada with the three dragons soaring overhead was also perfect. In between, the ToJ reveal, the KITN sequence and Arya serving Frey Pies with a side of vengeance were all especially satisfying. Winter is here and I can’t wait to see the consequences in S7.

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    37. The Winds of Winter… and it just wasn’t a hard pick at all despite the great many episodes this season and that, I think, says just how great TWofW is.

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    38. For me contemplating between 9 & 10 amounts to picking the best episode of the series, with a couple others mixed in. I’m going to assume that one of those two is going to win and I’ll be okay with either. I’ve watched both many times but I think episode 9 has taken over as my most ever watched of the series. Still, I’m actually voting for The Winds of Winter. The ‘bigness’ of it dramatically was so much that it slightly lifts it over the amazing spectacle that was Daenerys and her dragons above Meereen and the BotB.

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    39. It’s the finale. And it’s not really all that close. The only thing I question is whether it is the best episode of the series, period.

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    40. Generally, episodes 2 through 7 were a great run…I mean a really great run. Season 5 was “okay” up until episode 6 (double-whammy of Sansa stuff and Dorne stuff), then the later episodes were very mixed (the Danerys/Tyrion/Meereen stuff was quite good, the rest got pretty labored).

      Season 5 didn’t have a very good premiere….if we discount the Dorne craziness it was “presentable”, but otherwise it just felt like certain elements falling into place — GOOD elements, but not really linked coherently.

      Things really picked up with the second episode, though. 6 straight minutes of a heavy return to the ironborn stuff!

      As Sue already phrased better in her actual review, episode 8 was a little rough around the edges – by no means “bad”, I’m pretty forgiving, but you can tell that was the least prioritized one (it always is; episode 8 is right before the big episode 9 climax so they put it last on the list to save time for other stuff).

      All of the North stuff in episode 9 had a lot of problems – the Meereen half was quite nice, actually, but a lot of problems with the North stuff (how is this narrative payoff for Sansa at all? Why are they acting like this? Why would you have Jon point out in the *episode itself* “ramsay’s men will abandon him when he’s losing”…then show them fighting to the death when he’s actually losing?! Nonsense.)

      Then episode 10 was one of the strongest they’ve ever had – helps that it’s sort of `150% in super-sized in length 🙂

      So the stretch from 2 to 7, then 10, were great. Not just “presentable” but “actually enjoyable again”.

      …the top episodes were really 2, 5, and 10.

      …I’m tempted to give episode 2 a sympathy vote, but I feare so many will vote episode 9 as a knee-jerk reaction that I’ll stick with episode 10 to edge it out.

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    41. I went w The Door…was tough to choose between that and BotB and Winds of Winter…Hodor’s death just really resonated w me and the whole Bran time thing was a complete mind f*ck that further establishes the genius of GRRM and Game of Thrones.

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    42. The Winds of Winter and The Broken Man were my favorites. Unlike some I wouldn’t go so far as to call The Winds of Winter the best episode of the show to date (that title still belongs to The Rains of Castamere in my book), but best of S6? I would have to agree there.

      Rankings:

      1. The Winds of Winter
      2. The Broken Man
      3. Home
      4. Battle of the Bastards
      5. The Door
      6. Blood of My Blood
      7. Oathbreaker
      8. The Red Woman
      9. Book of the Stranger
      10. No One

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    43. 1. The Winds of Winter – The greatest episode of the entire series, and probably my favorite hour of any television show ever. The opening sequence in King’s Landing, woven together by Miguel Sapochnik’s visionary direction and Ramin Djawadi’s transcendent score, is the single best scene the show has done, and that was only the beginning of what this finale had to offer. A new King rising in the North, a new Queen seizing power in the south, and Dany finally leaving the east behind and sailing west, towards home and the promise of the endgame. And of course, we had the long-awaited confirmation of the story’s most important and beloved theory. I don’t cry easily, but this episode reduced me to tears – twice.

      I’d ask why they can’t all be like this, but this particular, beautiful confluence could only have happened now, after all the blood, tears, trials and frustrations that the characters and the audience have endured since the series began. This episode paid off six years worth of emotional investment in breathtaking, spectacular fashion. Some superlatives get used so often that their power gets diluted, but in this case, such exceptional terms are warranted. This episode is, simply put, a masterpiece.

      2. Battle of the Bastards – In any other year, this episode would be the clear standout. As it stands, it’s still in my top 3 for the series. The best battle sequence ever created for television, culminating in the incredibly catharsis of the Starks reclaiming Winterfell. And if that weren’t enough, we got an amazing sequence in Meereen, punctuated with the formation of a new alliance between Dany and the Greyjoy siblings. Well-deserving of its Emmy wins for directing and writing, and of the perfect 10 it held for a long time on IMDB.

      3. The Door – Heart-wrenching and devastating, Hodor’s sacrifice will be remembered as one of Game of Thrones’ most powerful sequences long after the show leaves the air. It was a moment that transcended the already-enormous cultural reach of the show. Two quieter scenes that I found nearly as powerful: Sansa’s confrontation of Baelish, and Dany’s farewell to Jorah. I love everything with the Braavosi theatre company as well.

      4. Book of the Stranger – Starting with the emotional reunion of Jon and Sansa – still one of the most powerful moments in the series for me – and ending with Dany’s fiery triumph over the Khals, this episode had me downright giddy from start to finish. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention that this is the episode that introduced us to the sure-to-be-timeless love story between Tormund and Brienne.

      5. Home – I vividly remember just how excited the fandom was after this episode aired. The resurrection of Jon Snow was one of the most eagerly anticipated events in recent television history, and when it happened, we all shared a moment of collective joy. But the episode gave us so much more, from Ramsay’s brutal coup, a viscerally exciting return to the Iron Islands, and Tyrion’s first intimate encounter with the dragons. This episode, as with all the episodes above it, cracks my top 15 for the series.

      6. The Broken Man – The return of Sandor Clegane, the debut of Lyanna Mormont, the verbal savagery of Olenna Tyrell, and Yara’s tough-love speech to Theon were just a few of the gems this hour had to offer. Also, Ian McShane! If I were forced to pick a low-point for this brilliant season of television, it would probably be Arya’s stabbing, but the rest of the episode is so strong that it barely weighs it down at all.

      7. Blood of My Blood – While lacking the fireworks of the episodes preceding it, I find this episode to be underrated – particularly on rewatch. I absolutely loved the exquisitely painful and informative Tarly family dinner, and openly cheered at a pair of long-awaited returns – Benjen Stark and Walder Frey.

      8. Oathbreaker – A quieter, but surprisingly powerful episode, anchored at both ends by Jon’s traumatic struggle to come to terms with his resurrection and the betrayal of the order to which he had pledged his life. It’s a rock-solid hour all the way through, with a transcendent spike in the form of the long-awaited showdown at the Tower of Joy.

      9. No One – This episode takes flack for the resolution to Arya’s storyline, but I quite enjoyed it, primarily because I hadn’t subscribed to any of the wild theorizing that unfolded during the intervening week. Jaime’s one of my favorite characters, and I think this is one of his finest episodes of the series. I adore his scenes with Brienne, and the way he breaks Edmure. The return of Beric and Thoros had me grinning as well, not least because it finally laid all of the LS conspiracies to rest.

      10. The Red Woman – Ranked at the bottom only because something in this amazing season has to be, the premiere bears the necessary burden of setup quite well. Brienne rescuing Sansa and having Catelyn’s daughter accept her oath of fealty was a deeply moving payoff to her long quest (even longer if you factor in her aimless wanderings in the novels). Lena Headey was quietly brilliant as Cersei dealt with the loss of Myrcella. As for the Dornish coup, I’ll just say that I found the inflamed online response to that event to be far more aggravating than the event itself, and leave it at that.

      So … yeah. Season 6 was a pretty damn stellar season of television. 🙂

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    44. After watching Battle of the Bastards I thought I had seen de best episode of the season. And yet, Winds of Winter was, for me even better. It has everything.

      In third place it was Home.

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    45. Northop,

      That’s exactly what happens in the books, they attack a city they know has 2 dragons in it, hell they might not even know Drogon is gone. And Dany is still there when the siege begins, they attack while the only person who can control them is still there.

      Here they attack only after she is gone.

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    46. The Dragon Demands,

      Heard it here folks, anyone who votes for EP9 does it because of a knee-jerk reaction and they are much to stupid to realize the disaster they just watched.

      You could’ve written that entire comment, without insulting other people based on what episode of a TV show they liked.

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    47. Season 6 is outstanding in terms of my ratings. No 7s, three 8s, two 9s and FIVE 10s. It’s my highest rated season in both rating average and ranks average. So here is my list:

      10) The Red Woman – 8/10 (rank 40)
      9) Blood of my Blood – 8/10 (rank 34)
      8) The Broken Man – 8/10 (rank 33)
      7) Oathbreaker – 9/10 (rank 28)
      6) No One – 9/10 (rank 23)
      5) Home – 10/10 (rank 17)
      4) Book of a Stranger – 10/10 (rank 12)
      3) The Door – 10/10 (rank 4)
      2) The Winds of Winter – 10/10 (rank 3)

      And the winner is…

      1) Battle of the Bastards – 10/10 (rank 1)

      I won’t waste my words on why this episode is my favorite. Everything is written HERE in my review.

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    48. Wow, once again a tough one…I loved The Door, I loved Episode 1 due to the great writing and Davos front and center, but in the end as much as I also loved BOTB, I had to go with Winds…”The King in the North” and “Winter is here.” Best episode of the entire series to date.

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    49. The Door.

      TWoW was a great episode, but frankly we all knew what Jon’s true parentage was all along. No surprise there.

      But Hodor…..poor Hodor…. That was a shocking and tear-jerking episode for sure.

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    50. So many great episodes – very difficult decision, but in the end I went with the one that had the biggest visceral impact on me: THE DOOR.

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    51. It was difficult. I’ve never been affected by an episode of television like I was by The Door. I’m a grown-ass man and the emotion from the ending was something I’ve never experienced. In total though, I had to go with The winds of Winter. Everything, from the score, to seeing so many “loose ends” tied up, was amazing. An EPIC hour of television, possibly one of the greatest hours of television in history.

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    52. Voting for The Door, because every scene in that episode was just beautifully directed, acted and shot. Episode 9 bored me a lot more than it should have and episode 10, while having some extremely good bits also had some underwhelming moments. The Door, however, was consistently awesome.

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    53. Voted for The Door. I’m sure Winds of Winter will win, and it will be deserved. BotB was a spectacle to behold, but I’ll take suspense and drama over action any day. If it was “coolest episode” I’d vote for Bastards in a heartbeat.

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    54. Mihnea,

      I haven’t read every chapter of the last book yet, but whatever happens in it, that doesn’t change that what happened is not really logical. Even if it happened similarly in the books.

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    55. ‘The winds of winter’s opening scene was completely binding, I could not look away and the score had my heart racing. Excluding the logic of it all(Lancel), it was satisfactory to watch Cersei get her revenge and become a fairy tale evil queen. I didn’t really care much for the Tyrells, Tommen or the faith, the show had too much coming up so they had to go.

      The king in the north scene was cheesy as hell. My god it had me cringing. Lyanna Mormont’s delivery of lines was a big part. It all felt really silly and cartoonish the way they all held up their swords and yelled forever ugh! Robb’s KITN scene was way more inspiring and powerful.

      And how do you skip the scene where Daenerys meets Varys?!?! The guy who sent assasins to give her poisoned wine and was the Usurper’s spymaster?? Surely Tyrion must have put a good word for him, and him securing Dorne and The Reach for her are obviously pros, but it’s unforgivable to just throw Varys in the ship with her without showing us their first meeting.

      The war that is coming is going to ravage Westeros, Cersei and Daenerys are equally desensitized, they show this when Cersei barely reacts at all when looking at Tommen’s corpse, and Dany actually says she felt nothing when sending Daario away. They are apathetic queens who won’t really care what happens to the commons. Put that in contrast with Jon who now feels more than ever and knows the horror of death, and I think next season has some really exciting possibilities.

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    56. Voted for E9 – the BotB. The cinematography was brilliant as was the CGI along with the Battle of Meereen.

      E10 the WoW was equally as good. The blowing up of the Sept was incredible!

      A pity we’re only allowed one vote 😉

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    57. I can’t choose! I want to go with WoW but then I think of how much edge of seat anticipation I felt right before and while watching BoB. So it’s too tough a choice. I will say that both of these were the only episodes I truly really loved this season. There were scenes I enjoyed in the others but overall epsidoes not really as much. Not that it matters, especially now, but I think if Kit had turned in “Oathbreaker” for his Emmy nom he would had more chances of winning because of the material and he was just very impressive at the beginning and end of it.

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    58. The Dragon Demands,

      …lot of problems with the North stuff (how is this narrative payoff for Sansa at all? Why are they acting like this? Why would you have Jon point out in the *episode itself* “ramsay’s men will abandon him when he’s losing”…then show them fighting to the death when he’s actually losing?! Nonsense.)

      I voted for Winds, but if you try and get past the concept of Jon as a brilliant, even a half-way decent commander, then the Northern bits of the BoB work. In fact, this is partly why BoB was such a brilliant episode: Not only did it have one of the best medieval battles I’ve ever seen, but it also did the unpredictable thing, and exposed the resurrected hero as a third-rate commander. It’s difficult to recalibrate expectations for Jon to the extent that the viewer accepts this, but there it is.

      Anyway, in answer to why Jon would believe that “Ramsay’s men will abandon him when he is losing,” only to be proved wrong later: BECAUSE JON IS WRONG.

      That, in turn, makes the appearance of the Vale something other than a stereotypical last-minute rescue. This rescue is necessary, not because our wise commander deserves it, but because our moody, suicidal, unwise commander needs it. Without the Vale, Jon would lose, not because he was flanked or trapped or tricked. He would lose because he made a series of very bad decisions.

      hm. Now I’m thinking I should have voted for BoB. lol.

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    59. Voted for The Door.

      It managed to surprise me, move me, and keep me emotionally invested in all of the storylines – no inconsistencies of character or story, no cringeworthy writing, no overly blunt exposition or foreshadowing, no recycling of themes or scenes that have worked so well in previous seasons. It did have Sansa’s confrontation with Littlefinger, all the Children of the Forest stuff, that brilliant play depicting season one, Kinvara, Theon fighting his demons and supporting Yara, Jorah and Dany…and on top of that Hodor.

      Winds of Winter had that breathtaking opening sequence, and the library…oh! the library. Also Dany making Tyrion hand, and finally sailing for Westeros. But it also had Davos in a scene that was meant to move me but I simply felt I’d seen before, a King in the North-making scene I felt I’d seen before, hints of Sansa’s story going places I’ll hate, and Walder Frey getting killed in too much of a rush.

      I’ve considered Battle of the Bastards briefly – while it was beautifully shot n made, I simply did not have the emotional investment in it I did have in ‘Blackwater’. You knew how it was going to end before it started, because you weren’t made to care for both parties equally. Ramsay had become too much ‘evil’ for that. Something would save the day, surely. I even caught myself impatient at Rickons last moments – ‘he won’t make it, just get it over with already, gah, third arrow ofcourse, yep!’. So no.

      I’d sooner have gone for The Broken Man – for Brother Ray’s storyline, Sandors return, Yara’s therapy of Theon, Robett Glover speaking true words, Margaery saying goodbye to her grandmother, Jaime and the Blackfish.

      But yeah. Hodor.

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    60. It probably sounds tiresome by now, but it’s Episode Nine “Battle Of The Bastards” for me. As much as I like all the others, I just can’t get over what an achievement that episode was!

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    61. Question for moderators:

      Will you tag all awards posts with “Awards”? (The latest tag brought me to a Sept 9 post.)

      Also, when is the actual date for the announcement of the winners?

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