Watchers on the Wall Awards: Best Episode of Season 7

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Winter has come, and it’s time to wrap up voting for the Season 7 Watchers on the Wall Awards, with our final category today!  Game of Thrones fans have nominated their favorites over the past couple months, reminiscing and celebrating the very best of the best of the latest season. With a thorough process of open nominations, preliminary polls and this final round of voting, we’ve uncovered what makes fans laugh, cry and stand up and cheer. The complete award results will be announced in ten days’ time, on January 15th at 7PM EST in a live ceremony broadcast here via YouTube streaming. Cast your last vote for season 7, and be sure to join us on the 15th for a night of awards fun, discussion and giveaways!

It’s time to choose the Best Episode of Game of Thrones season 7. Every episode is up for vote, and we’ve helpfully provided a summary of the highlights for each one, in case you haven’t had time for a rewatch lately and need some refreshing!

Dragonstone

Episode 1, “Dragonstone”

Directed by Jeremy Podeswa, Written by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss

Daenerys finally arrives in Westeros, going home to her family seat of Dragonstone. Winter comes to House Frey, thanks to Arya. Later she encounters a band of kind Lannister men on the road. Jon and Sansa meet with the Northern lords and make key decisions. Samwell confirms the existence of dragonglass on Dragonstone. Jorah’s presence at the Citadel is revealed. Bran and Meera arrive at the Wall safely. Euron proposes to Cersei, but realizes he needs to bring a gift to win a queen. The Hound revisits a place he once robbed, and sees visions in the flames with Thoros’ encouragement.

Stormborn

Episode 2, “Stormborn”

Directed by Mark Mylod, Written by Bryan Cogman

Team Targaryen plots their next move, Olenna encourages Daenerys to embrace her dragon heritage, and Varys defends his past actions to his queen. Euron attacks Yara and Theon’s fleet, killing Obara and Nymeria Sand and capturing Ellaria and Tyene. Theon abandons his sister and flees into the water. Melisandre arrives on Dragonstone and pushes for Dany to meet and ally with Jon Snow. Qyburn reveals to Cersei a new weapon to use against the dragons. Arya reunites with Hot Pie and learns that Jon is now King in the North. Against the wishes of Sansa and the Northern lords, Jon heads south to meet the dragon queen. Sam treats Jorah’s greyscale with a painful cure.

Queens Justice

Episode 3, “The Queen’s Justice”

Directed by Mark Mylod, Written by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss

Jon and Davos land on Dragonstone and meet Daenerys. Arriving at an impasse when Jon refuses to bend the knee, Dany decides to grant him access to the dragonglass source. Melisandre faces off with Varys before departing the island. Cersei receives Euron’s gift of Ellaria and Tyene, and agrees to marry him…eventually. Jaime is not thrilled. Tyene is sentenced to death by Cersei, and her mother is doomed to watch her rot in the dungeons. Bran and Sansa are reunited at Winterfell. Archmaester Ebrose is amazed by Jorah’s sudden cure; the knight leaves to return to his queen. The Unsullied launch an attack planned by Tyrion to take Casterly Rock, but discover they’ve been tricked after seizing the castle. The Lannisters take Highgarden easily, and Olenna Tyrell is sentenced to death by poison, revealing to Jaime in her last moments that she killed Joffrey.

Spoils of War

Episode 4, “The Spoils of War”

Directed by Matt Shakman, Written by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss

Bran says goodbye to a heartbroken Meera Reed. Later, Littlefinger presents Bran with the catspaw dagger, and is unnerved by the boy. Arya comes home to Winterfell, and reunites uneasily with her sister Sansa and Brienne, taking on the latter in a sparring match. Jon discovers ancient cave paintings on Dragonstone showing the White Walkers, and shares his info with Dany. Daenerys reacts to the loss of her allies and failed plans, and realizes it’s time to be a dragon. Cersei presents the Iron Bank with Highgarden’s gold to pay back the crown’s loan. The rest of the loot however is lost when Dany attacks, decimating the Lannister forces with fire and her Dothraki army. Bronn manages to wound Drogon with Qyburn’s weapon. Jaime makes a suicide run at Dany on the battlefield, and is saved by Bronn, with the two men falling into the water.

Eastwatch

Episode 5, “Eastwatch”

Directed by Matt Shakman, Written by Dave Hill

Jaime and Bronn survive the loot train attack. Daenerys executes Randyll and Dickon Tarly, despite Tyrion’s suggestions for another way. Daenerys happily welcomes Jorah back to her service. Jon realizes he needs proof to secure Cersei’s cooperation in the war against White Walkers, and decides to capture a wight. Davos and Tyrion visit King’s Landing, with Tyrion meeting secretly with Jaime while Davos tracks down Gendry. Gendry shares his true identity, as a bastard of King Robert, to Jon on their first meeting. Jorah also joins Jon’s mission to Eastwatch. At the Wall, the men recruit the Hound, Beric and Thoros to their cause. Cersei reveals her pregnancy to Jaime. Frustrated by the Citadel’s refusal to acknowledge the White Walker threat, Sam and Gilly leave and head north. In Winterfell, Littlefinger maneuvers Arya into discovering an incriminating letter concerning Sansa. At Eastwatch, the group of men journey out together to begin their hunt.

Beyond the Wall

Episode 6, “Beyond the Wall”

Directed by Alan Taylor, Written by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss

Littlefinger’s manipulation of Sansa and Arya continues, with Sansa deciding to send Brienne away, and Arya challenging her sister’s past actions. Sansa finds Arya’s faces, and grows more afraid of her. Tyrion and Daenerys discuss tactics and Jon Snow, and Tyrion pushes Dany to consider the future after the war, including the succession. Beyond the Wall, the wight hunt begins with banter and a talk between the Hound and Tormund about their mutual  acquaintance Brienne. The men face an undead snow bear and capture a wight successfully. With a huge amount of wights on their tail, Gendry runs to send a message. The injured Thoros dies in the cold. The wights attack, and the men are saved from certain death by Daenerys’ arrival with her dragons. Viserion is killed by the Night King, and Dany is forced to retreat with the men. Jon is saved by his uncle Benjen, who sacrifices himself and gives Jon his horse to escape. Afterward, a recovering Jon bends the knee to Daenerys and accepts her as his queen. Viserion is raised by the Night King with a touch.

Dragon Wolf

Episode 7, ” The Dragon and the Wolf”

Directed by Jeremy Podeswa, Written by David Benioff & D. B. Weiss

Enemies gather at the Dragonpit for a demonstration of the undead. Jon confesses he’s bent the knee to Daenerys. Tyrion and Cersei have a private chat about their family and the past. Cersei reconsiders, and decides to support the cause against the White Walkers, committing her army to the fight. Later, she admits to Jaime that she was lying, and her twin leaves her for good, as it begins to snow in King’s Landing. Theon and Jon discuss being Greyjoy and Stark; Theon resolves to rescue his sister Yara, defeating an Ironborn to rouse his men to the cause. With a vision and Gilly’s earlier discovery, Bran and Sam confirm Jon’s true identity as the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark- and heir to the Iron Throne. Daenerys welcomes Jon to her bedroom, as Tyrion watches unhappily. The tensions between Arya and Sansa come to a head. Littlefinger is exposed by Sansa, and executed by Arya. The Night King breaches the Wall, using Viserion’s blue flame, and his army of wights march south.


Final round rules: Cast your vote for the winner in the Best Episode Poll. In the finals, fans have one vote to cast in each category! At the end of 72 hours (Monday 1/8/18 at 3PM EST), the episode with the most votes will be the winner! The results of the poll will be revealed during our live Watchers on the Wall Awards ceremony taking place on January 15th, 2018, at 7PM EST!

78 responses

Jump to (and Always Support) the Bottom

    1. My ranking:
      1. “The Spoils of War”
      2. “The Dragon and the Wolf”
      3. “Stormborn”
      4. “Eastwatch”
      5. “Dragonstone”
      6. “Beyond the Wall”
      7. “The Queen’s Justice”

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    2. Spoils of War and The Dragon and The Wolf were quite iconic in my mind.

      Beautiful storytelling and great plot development.

      Either or deserves it!

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    3. Episode 4: Spoils of War

      Action packed. Two major houses throwing down against each other. Dothraki in an open field and Drogon lighting it up. Jaime’s charge at the end….

      If that wasn’t enough, Arya came home and showed off her water dancing skills and Bran reminded LF that chaos was a ladder.

      I believe it was the shortest episode, too. It was an embarrassment of riches, indeed.

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    4. I voted for ‘The Spoils of War,’ but I can never really relate when people compare their Top Ten or Top Five or Top However Many favorite episodes. Every episode has great stuff and crappy stuff in it, in my view. For instance, my favorite GoT scene of all is Tyrion’s trial; but ‘The Laws of Gods and Men’ also includes Yara’s failed attempt to spring Theon from the Dreadfort, which I think is a lousy scene. So how can I call that episode my favorite? They’re all mixed bags.

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    5. My ranking:

      1. “The Dragon and the Wolf”
      2. “The Queen’s Justice”
      3. “The Spoils of War”
      4. “Beyond the Wall”
      5. “Eastwatch”
      6. “Stormborn”
      7. “Dragonstone”

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    6. Dang it. I don’t even know if I can choose. So many of my favourite parts are in different episodes. The sea battle was just so good, and I feel like it hasn’t gotten the recognition. But….Spoils of War. I really loved that field of fire sequence enormously. Then Eastwatch because Jorah.

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    7. Spoils of War hands-down

      1. Spoils of War
      2. The Dragon And The Wolf
      3. The Queen’s Justice
      4. Stormborn
      5. Eastwatch
      6. Dragonstone
      7. Beyond The Wall

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    8. Best Episode – Episode 7: The Dragon and the Wolf

      This was an epic finale; the culmination of seven seasons of drama, character relationships and increasing tension. The opening section in King’s Landing, which gave us a good chunk of the episode, featured the first meetings between several principal characters ever, or for a long time. After seven years of battling each other, these men and women were meeting to see if they could, in fact, work together.

      The Dragonpit scene was a huge part of this, and was beautifully written and played. It was uneasy for the characters and for the audience. It was also Jon finally showing the wider leadership of the Seven Kingdoms proof that the danger the NW had been warning them about for years was real.

      After seven years of scheming his way higher and higher up the greasy pole of power, Littlefinger was finally brought back down to earth by the three surviving children of the man we saw him betray all the way back in season one, Ned Stark. LF’s fall was swift when it came, but seeing him begging for his life meant so much because of everything we knew had come before. The investment was entirely worthwhile.

      LF’s death was not the only area in which past investment made this a cracking episode. Theon finally showing his worth as an Ironborn; Theon receiving some measure of forgiveness for the crimes he committed against House Stark; Sansa and Arya finally acknowledging their mutual respect; the Hound squaring up against his brother (even if we didn’t get a full-on Cleganebowl!); Tyrion and Cersei’s tete-a-tete.

      Then there was the split between Jaime and Cersei. For years (since Jaime met up with Brienne and we started to have some sort of respect for him) we’ve yelled at our television screens for him to break with her. All those times he didn’t gave us a great pay-off when he finally did.

      Perhaps, though, one of the ultimate pay-offs came with the montage sequence in which Jon’s parentage was finally spelled out to the audience. The mystery of Jon’s heritage was introduced in the very first episode, Winter is Coming, and the reveal was built up to over subsequent seasons with clues dropped over the years. But not until this episode did we finally hear those words –

      He’s the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and my aunt, Lyanna Stark. He was born in a tower in Dorne.

      And…..

      Robert’s Rebellion was built on a lie. Rhaegar never kidnapped my aunt, or raped her. He loved her. And she loved him. And Jon……Jon’s real name…….(is Aegon Targaryen). He’s never been a bastard. He’s the heir to the Iron Throne.

      But this is Game of Thrones, so while answering the question of Jon’s heritage, we see him consummating his relationship with a woman we now know to be his aunt!

      On a serious note, though, I loved that the reveal of Jon’s claim was followed so closely by the Night King marching south. It brought back the words of LC Mormont in the very first season finale, Fire and Blood

      When dead men, and worse, come hunting for us in the night, do you think it matters who sits on the Iron Throne?

      Yeah, Jon may have the best claim to the Iron Throne – but does that matter when the Night King has managed to breach the Wall?

      And those final images of the Night King – on an undead dragon – bringing down part of the supposedly impregnable Wall, and the Army of the Dead marching south were spine chilling…….

      Added to that, the costuming was fantastic, and the score was top-notch as always. Winter is Here and, more so, Truth, are two of my favorite pieces in all seven seasons.

      Close Runners-up: The Spoils of War (for the Field of Fire, the Stark reunion and the Arya/Brienne fight) and The Queen’s Justice (for Jon and Dany’s first meeting, Bran’s return home, Tyene’s death and Olenna’s mic-drop).

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    9. 1. The Spoils of War
      2. The Dragon and the Wolf
      3. Dragonstone
      4. The Queen’s Justice
      5. Stormborn
      6. Eastwatch
      7. Beyond the Wall

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    10. Episode 3, “The Queen’s Justice” – My favorite

      Jon and Davos land on Dragonstone and meet Daenerys.

      Cersei receives Euron’s gift of Ellaria and Tyene, and agrees to marry him…eventually. Jaime is not thrilled. Tyene is sentenced to death by Cersei, and her mother is doomed to watch her rot in the dungeons

      The Lannisters take Highgarden easily, and Olenna Tyrell is sentenced to death by poison, revealing to Jaime in her last moments that she killed Joffrey.

      I’ve seen enough of big battles… I like the amazing story and smaller conflicts… sword fights

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    11. Some good points being made so far, but while I stand by my vote, I figure there’s only one thing left for me to do to ensure I made the right choice–I’m going to have to re-watch S7. Again. Starting now.

      I know it’s a sacrifice but I’m willing to take one for the team….the things we do for love. 🙂

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    12. mau:
      Clob,

      Did S7 have the best ratings on IMBD?

      Second.

      S1: 9.1 avg
      S2: 9.0
      S3: 9.1
      S4: 9.33
      S5: 8.89 (unfairly lower due to “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken”)
      S6: 9.11
      S7: 9.23

        Quote  Reply

    13. 1. The Spoils of War
      2. The Dragon and the Wolf
      3. The Queen’s Justice
      4. Dragonstone
      5. Beyond the Wall
      6. Stormborn
      7. Eastwatch

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    14. No question in my mind: Episode 4, “The Spoils of War”

      A real kick-ass episode albeit having the shortest running time 😛

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    15. mau:
      My ranking:

      1. “The Dragon and the Wolf”
      2. “The Queen’s Justice”
      3. “The Spoils of War”
      4.“Beyond the Wall”
      5.“Eastwatch”
      6.“Stormborn”
      7.“Dragonstone”

      We’re almost identical. I only changed Stormborn and Eastwatch. How much I loved spoils of War, I found the final just perfect (maye a little bit less perfect than Winds of Winter but still almost perfect). The emotion throughout that episode was amazing. Tyrion Cercei, Jaime and Cercei, Sansa and Arya bounding for the first time as sisters.

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    16. Clob: Second.

      S1: 9.1 avg
      S2: 9.0
      S3: 9.1
      S4: 9.33
      S5: 8.89 (unfairly lower due to “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken”)
      S6: 9.11
      S7: 9.23

      I still don’t get the hate for Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken. The only reason I read was because of the ending. That scene was so important for battle of the Bastards.

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    17. Its between “The Spoils of War” and “The Dragon and the Wolf”

      I would’ve picked Episode 7, but the head scratching conclusion to the Winterfell plot drags it below episode 4.

      Though the single best scene of the season was the conversation b/t Tyrion and Cersei.

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    18. Dragon and the Wolf. Few episodes of this great series have left me more elated than the great finale of this season. Absolutely perfect and satisfying.

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    19. kevin1989: I still don’t get the hate for Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken. The only reason I read was because of the ending.

      Agreed. As I and others have written here before, it’s actually a pretty solid episode. It seems to have suffered a beating from the hate stick internet wide for basically two scenes; the wedding night closing scene and the poorly choreographed/performed Water Gardens fight.

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    20. Clob,

      The Water Garden fight I can understand, I almost thought I was watching a spin-off from Charlies Angels. But still the rest was solid.

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    21. 1) Spoils of War
      2) The Dragon and The Wolf
      3) The Queen’s Justice
      4) Stormborn
      5) Eastwatch
      6) Dragonstone
      7) Beyond the Wall

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    22. Went with “The Spoils of War”.

      I really do admire episode director Matt Shakman’s focused, inventive and original interpretation of the script. Also enjoyed his DVD commentary on the episode, referencing and acknowledging Coppola’s classic “Apocalypse Now”, and the late Jonathan Demme and “Silence of the Lambs” for the scene between 3ER/Bran and Littlefinger. The hard cut to the close-up of Bran “looking into the soul” of Littlefinger is apparently a direct homage to Lecter/Clarice. I re watched that “chaos is a ladder moment” and it really works – Bran channeling Dr. Lecter M.D

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    23. Alba Stark:

      To add, my full rundown of season seven:

      1) The Dragon and the Wolf
      2) The Spoils of War
      3) The Queen’s Justice
      4) Beyond the Wall
      5) Eastwatch
      6) Stormborn
      7) Dragonstone

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    24. 1 – The Spoils of War
      2 – Eastwatch
      3 – The Dragon and the Wolf
      4 – The Queen’s Justice
      5 – Beyond the wall
      6 – Stormborn
      7 – Dragonstone

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    25. All I know is that “Spoils of War” and “The Dragon and the Wolf” take the top spot. I really enjoyed season 7 in general so I feel pretty fondly about all of the episodes. Including the divisive “Beyond the Wall”.

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    26. I ended up changing my mind and voting for Dragon and the Wolf. Despite LFs death not being properly earned (IMO), there was just so many amazing pieces of conversation and some of the best character moments.

      Episode 4 is the best episode of the season, but emotionally, episode 7 just hit home for me. The moments between the 3 Lannister siblings were so powerful. They are the best characters in the series without a doubt.

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    27. Haven’t voted but based on the synopses, and on my recent rewatch, its gotta be 4. It had a mix of all the things we crave – good dialogue, enjoyable story, excellent acting, quiet moments and massive out of this world battle I’ll have to look up and see how I fared, but for me, its 4

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    28. No question: I think we got more quality per minute in Spoils of War than perhaps any episode of GoT. It was also beautifully paced and perfectly balanced. It was mostly heart and intrigue in the first half with Arya’s return, the reunions, and her challenge to Littlefinger. The symbolic pivot point was Jon and Dany looking at the Children’s cave painting and his support of Theon. And the glorious conclusion was the unrelenting and gorgeously shot action of the Field of Fire 2.0. Character development plus action–what a combination. Runner-up: Dragon and the Wolf.

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    29. 1 – The Spoils of War
      Best: “Chaos is a ladder”, Arya/Brienne spar, cave paintings, the loot train battle

      Worst: The new random accent change of Tycho Nestoris, Bran’s goodbye to Meera

      2 – The Dragon and the Wolf
      Best: Snow in King’s Landing, Tyrion/Cersei conversation, Jon/Theon conversation, Bran/Sam discover Jon’s true identity, Wall finally coming down, Littlefinger finally biting the dust

      Worst: Tyrion all pissy about Jon and Dany hooking up, the payoff of Littlefinger biting the dust should’ve been better, but the whole WF plot was a mess

      3 – The Queen’s Justice
      Best: Jon/Dany finally meeting, Mel/Varys conversation, Cersei smooshing the Sand Slugs, Ebrose/Jorah/Sam scene, Casterly Rock/Highgarden montage, Olenna admitting her guilt in Joffrey’s death

      Worst: Bran/Sansa reunion

      4 – Dragonstone (This episode is underrated IMO)
      Best: Winter coming for House Frey, The Army of the Dead marching, Sam finally realizing Dragonstone has Dragonglass (even though he should’ve taken the hint from Stannis 2 seasons earlier), The Brotherhood at the farmer’s house, the poop soup montage

      Worst: I actually couldn’t think of anything here, so I’ll just go with the bitching and fuss about the Ed Sheeran cameo.

      5 – Beyond the Wall
      Best: Beyond the wall banter, Dragons burning up wights, Jon/Dany convo towards at the end, dead Viserion raised by NK

      Worst: WF plot, the wights looked more goofy than scary, Benjen saving the day out of nowhere, Viserion dying was a bummer

      6 – Stormborn
      Best: Seeing Balerion’s skull, sea battle, Dany/Mel convo, Sam treating Jorah’s greyscale

      Worst: Dany/Varys convo, Theon going PTSD again, Arya/Hot Pie reunion, more Jon/Sansa arguing

      7 – Eastwatch
      Best: The meeting at Eastwatch, Davos tracks down Gendry (even though it was rather easy),

      Worst: Bronn/Jaime’s rather lucky escape from the loot train battle, Winterfell plot, debating about whether or not Dany burning the Tarly’s was ok, the random fermented crab meat convo,

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    30. It was a really tough choice between Spoils of War and Dragon and the Wolf.
      This season was so awesome, there was #1 picks in each episode.
      SoW just won out over DatW.
      Let’s hope S8 eps are even more amazing.

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    31. Eastwatch & Beyond the Wall are both good episodes but have too many flaws for me to seriously c9nsoder voting for them.

      Dragonstone and Stormborn are both very, very good episodes, in my opinion. Excellent, character-driven setup, but not as satisfying as my top 3.

      Queen’s Justice, Spoils of War, and Dragon and the Wolf are all excellent. Maybe not perfect but their highs far outweigh their lows. I think I will vote for Spoils of War, but I’d be happy with either Episodes 3 or 7 winning it instead.

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    32. Spoils of War is probably the best of them in terms of quality and story. However I voted with the heart. The heart said Beyond the Wall even while I asked myself for the millionth time where the hell did the NK got the chains?! I got over Gendry’s marathon skills. After rowing for several yrs I’m assuming he really is in tip top shape!

      Pretty incredible directing, camera angles, image shots and visual effects. And for once I thought all the acting was stellar. I felt Dany’s/Emilia’s pain. Hard to top that. Otherwise it would have been Spoils of War for sure.

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    33. I voted for The Queen’s Justice, which had several of my favorite moments of the season. The Cersei/ Ellaria/ Tyene scene is excruciatingly fantastic. Jon and Dany finally meet, giving us “This is Jon Snow. He’s King in the North.” I love the scenes between Tyrion and Jon. Finally, Olenna lays some hard truths on Jamie. A perfect scene and perfect ending for our Queen of Thrones… er Thorns.

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    34. BTW off topic, on last nights The Late Show, Steve Colbert riffs on the NW bring in the ‘bomb cyclone’ (what an idiotic name), and that he expects to see a dragon with blue eyes any moment!

      And while I did laugh ( hey I live in a desert what do I know about snow) I seriously hope all of you in the eye of said storm make it out the other side without injury or damage. Find a way to stay warm, and remember there is supposedly a Hope of Spring coming at some point

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    35. 1 Spoils of War
      2 Dragon and the Wolf
      All about the pack ! for me; and the pride Jamie, Tyrion and Cersei.
      Don’t care about Dragons as much as I do human interaction.

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    36. Clob,

      The hate that “UUU” got always baffles me. Imo, UUU is one of the best episodes in the entire series, with some awesome acting, too.

      Anyway, it’s all about season 7 now, and I voted – perhaps a bit prematurely – for the season finale “The Dragon and the Wolf” because of Theon’s and Jon’s throneroom scene which moved me a lot (so did the beach fight) and because of the conversation between Cersei and Tyrion. When I wrote “prematurely,” it’s because as I typed this comment, “Spoils of War” began to come back to me but it’s been sooo long now since I’ve watched season 7, that I’d half forgotten it.

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    37. This is hard. I love every episode of Game of Thrones, but I really loved every episode in Season 7, and I found myself strongly considering five of them for this title. “Dragonstone” is one of the best season premieres, with incredible scenes like Dany’s homecoming, Sandor and the Brotherhood at the farmhouse, and Jon adjusting to his role as King in the North. “The Queen’s Justice” had the long-awaited meeting of Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen that lived up to the hype, the riveting acting showcase between Lena Headey’s Cersei and Indira Varma’s Ellaria, and Dame Diana Rigg’s last stand as Olenna Tyrell. “The Spoils of War” had the reunion of the Stark children at Winterfell, the visibly growing trust and affection between Jon and Dany in the dragonglass cave, and of course, the breathtaking battle sequence at the Field of Fire – the single best action sequence that I saw on any screen, film or television, this year. Even he two I didn’t really consider here, “Stormborn” and “Eastwatch”, are both rock-solid, above-average episodes in their own right, with great scenes like Euron’s surprise attack, Arya and Nymeria, Jon and Drogon, and the formation of the Magnificent Seven/Seal Team Snow.

      “The Dragon and the Wolf” came the closest. It did the near-impossible and emerged as a serious challenger to “The Winds of Winter” as the best season finale (and best episode) in the entire show. The Dragonpit summit. Tyrion and Cersei. Jaime and Cersei. Jon’s scene with Theon in the Dragonstone throne room and Sansa and Arya’s scene on the Winterfell battlements. Jon and Dany coming together just as Rhaegar and Lyanna did two decades before. The fall of the Wall. In any other year, this would have been an easy call.

      But you know what? The hell with it. These awards are subjective, and ultimately, they’re about passion. So I have to vote for the episode that made me feel that sentiment more than any other installment in this great, great season. I have to vote for “Beyond the Wall”.

      During the HBO Marathon leading up to the new year, I watched “Beyond the Wall” for the twelfth time. Even after everything that’s transpired since, it still works for me. It was thrilling, awe-inspiring, heartbreaking, and deeply emotional, with great dialogue and fantastic character work. It was everything I want from an episode of Game of Thrones and more.

      I know that not everyone loves the episode as much as I do. I know that damn well. I’m probably in the top 0.1% of people who love it, and that’s a place in which I’m very comfortable residing. But when I love something this much, those opinions matter even less to me than normal. You can only control your own feelings about something. And the feeling I got from the first viewing experience can never be taken away. None of the things that people have issues with bother me in the slightest, and the peaks that it reaches are, in my eyes, transcendent. Beric’s conversation with Jon about how “Death is the enemy” is perhaps my single favorite exchange of the season. Dany’s arrival to save Jon and the rest of the team is one of the most thrilling moments of the entire series, which made the turn into tragedy all the more gutwrenching. Viserion’s death was devastating, and rendered even more painful by the promise that was kept in the final scene when the Night King raised him again as his undead slave. But the light returned in the form of that Jon-Dany scene immediately preceding it, which is honestly one of the most beautiful and deeply affecting scenes that the show has ever done (and featuring Emilia Clarke’s very best work on the show). I could go on even longer, but I’ve rambled enough.

      I absolutely adore this episode. Genuinely, passionately, unabashedly, and unreservedly. It’s not going to win this poll, and I’m perfectly OK with that. I’ll be more than happy to see “The Spoils of War” or “The Dragon and the Wolf” take the title – as I expressed above, I loved those episodes as well, and from a more objective perspective, they may in fact be better. But I’d be lying if I didn’t vote my heart on this one. You can make all of the rational arguments in the world, but sometimes, you have to see it to know. Now I know.

      Best Episode: “Beyond the Wall”
      Close Second: “The Dragon and the Wolf”
      Extra-Close Third: “The Spoils of War”

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    38. I’m with you on this one, for the same reasons.

      I loved Spoils of War and The Dragon and the Wolf too, but episode three is the one I remember the most (scene- and quote- wise).

      Chreechree:
      I voted for The Queen’s Justice, which had several of my favorite moments of the season. The Cersei/ Ellaria/ Tyene scene is excruciatingly fantastic. Jon and Dany finally meet, giving us “This is Jon Snow. He’s King in the North.” I love the scenes between Tyrion and Jon. Finally, Olenna lays some hard truths on Jamie. A perfect scene and perfect ending for our Queen of Thrones… er Thorns.

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    39. ash,

      “BTW off-topic…”

      Briefly off- topic as well, for all you Jaime/NCW fans out there….

      As I was watching S7 clips on YouTube, I came across a Jimmy Kimmel parody skit of the illustrated children’s book, “Elf on the Shelf.”
      But this version was “Lannister on the Bannister”, featuring a miniaturized Jamie in costume, scaring the sh*t out of two kids into behaving, and ending with Jamie remarking to their appreciative (and receptive) mom how much she looks like his sister…

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    40. Clob: Second.

      S1: 9.1 avg
      S2: 9.0
      S3: 9.1
      S4: 9.33
      S5: 8.89 (unfairly lower due to “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken”)
      S6: 9.11
      S7: 9.23

      Wait? I thought Season 7 was not good. That is what everyone was saying… 🤔🤣🤣

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    41. kevin1989:

      I still don’t get the hate for Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken. The only reason I read was because of the ending.

      Agreed. I was astounded by all the vitriol directed towards GoT after it aired. I remember bursting out laughing when I read that Claire McCaskill, a U.S. Senator from Missouri, had stated that she would no longer watch the show because of the rape scene. Uh, OK, Claire. You watched five seasons during which murder, torture and slavery were depicted with an unblinking eye, but the (unseen) assault on Sansa was what did you in? You had no issue with the flaying of the old woman who tried to help her, but royalty gets raped on her wedding night in a medieval world and that sends you running off to pack your bags?

      Clearly, I’m still pissed about the hypocrisy of it all.

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    42. Jared,

      I just want to say that I love, love, love this comment (as I do all your comments). You’re a wonderful writer and an amazing contributor to this amazing community.

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    43. Jared,

      I think you are absolutely right about ‘Beyond the wall’. Loved it too and rewatched it several times. Very good dialogues. Loved the humor between Tormund and the hound. And also very emotional. Emilia was great in her scene with Kit.

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    44. Chilli,

      ”Emilia was great in her scene with Kit.”
      _______________

      Sort of off-topic, for fans of Emilia & Kit aka Mhysa and King Crow:

      Excerpted from 1/6/18 Variety:

      “Brad Pitt Bid $120,000 to Watch Game of Thrones with Emilia Clarke [and Kit Harington]”

      “Winter is officially here for Brad Pitt. Pitt offered to pay $120,000 to watch an episode of “Game of Thrones” with Emilia Clarke — but he was outbid. Pitt bid six figures to watch a “Game of Thrones” episode with Clarke on Saturday night during a silent auction at Sean Penn’s annual gala for Haiti, held at Milk Studios in Los Angeles, California.

      “During the charity gala, the auctioneer announced the opportunity to watch an episode with Clarke, who was in attendance at the A-list event, along with her “Game of Thrones” co-star Kit Harington, though the cast members were seated at separate tables.

      “The auction to watch the episode with Clarke started at $20,000, but the race quickly escalated. At one point, the auctioneer yelled out ”Is the King in the North here?!” But as it turned out, Harington had stepped out of the gala [momentarily].

      “Meanwhile, Pitt bid $80,000 to watch an episode of “GOT” with Clarke. Then he outbid himself to $90,000. When Harington came back into the room, the actor offered to also sit in on the episode viewing. And that’s when Pitt raised his own bid to $120,000.

      “In the end, Pitt was outbid by a gala-goer who ended the auction at $160,000. The charity event [benefitted] the J/P HRO & Disaster ReliefOrganizations…”

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    45. “Chaos…is a ladder.”

      Because of that, episode 4 is my favorite episode of all time. I have hated Littlefinger with passion since the first time we met the rat. Yes, the character is amazing and Aidan Gillen should have at least 4 Emmy’s by now for his portrayal of Petyr. Yes, the character was watered down to nothing on Seasons 6 and 7, but the hate never went away, it was established earlier. Not even the death was as sweet as the moment he knew, he will never leave Winterfell alive.

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    46. Kungfujim:
      “Chaos…is a ladder.”

      Because of that, episode 4 is my favorite episode of all time. I have hated Littlefinger with passion since the first time we met the rat. Yes, the character is amazing and Aidan Gillen should have at least 4 Emmy’s by now for his portrayal of Petyr. Yes, the character was watered down to nothing on Seasons 6 and 7, but the hate never went away, it was established earlier. Not even the death was as sweet as the moment he knew, he will never leave Winterfell alive.

      ramses:
      Kungfujim,

      I second this. I absolutely love Bran’s delivery of that line.

      It was definitely one of the reasons I voted for Ep 4. You could almost hear the clock start ticking over LF’s head when Bran threw those words back at him–LF’s time was coming to an end. It was well done!

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    47. This was a tough choice, but ultimately I chose “The Spoils of War”. It wasn’t just for the reasons everyone else has said, although they are great reasons. I chose it because of the literal spoils it portrayed, and the sickening feeling that descended over me because it was so well done. For the first time, I watched characters that I rooted for fighting each other, people dying when every human was needed to combat the White Walkers, and food destroyed that was desperately needed to keep humanity alive through the Long Night. I started the episode cheering, and on the edge of my seat, and ended it on the edge of my seat, and staring off in shock like Jaime Lannister. Tyrion’s face as he surveyed the battle and the devastation, and with his heart in two camps, was everything. This is war. Stupid, tragic, wasteful, needless war, in the face of everything else on the Earth (or in the universe) that can kill us.

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    48. Loved and voted for “Beyond the Wall”. Visuals were stunning, plus the push of the plot to the cliffhanger that’s supposed to last for two years. Oh yeah, that episode so rocked.

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    49. I had a very difficult time choosing between Spoils of War and the Dragon and the Wolf. Chose the latter, but I believe my favorite **scene** of the season was the end of Spoils of War

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    50. It was hard for me to choose between episodes 4 and 7 and finally decided for Spoils of War, because it made me weep for four times, for different reasons.

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    51. I went with beyond the wall…

      mostly because Emilia was FANTASTIC in that episode, the visuals, the reality, the conversations, and the ability for the show to make me weep for a cgi dragon lol

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    52. Wow, I didn’t think so many people would go for “Spoils of War.” I guess it will be close between that and Ep 7.

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    53. Arg, I missed this poll! Oh well here’s my ranking if anyone cares…

      Ep 4
      Ep 7
      Ep 2
      Ep 6
      Ep 3
      Ep 1




      Ep 5

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    54. Shy Lady Dragon:
      It was hard for me to choose between episodes 4 and 7 and finally decided for Spoils of War, because it made me weep for four times, for different reasons.

      What were the 4 times, and what were the reasons? Inquiring minds want to know. 🤓

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    55. Ten Bears,

      Well, if I had the courage to admit having wept, I would disclose the reasons:
      1. Meera leaving broken hearted after Bran seemed to have lost his feelings and identity (I used to ship these two)
      2. Arya, finally at the gates of Winterfell, being mocked by those stupid soldiers (but her sparring with Brienne and her final reply, “no one”, filled my heart with joy)
      3. Hating Bronn for his attempt to kill Drogon, but neverthess fearing for Bronn’s life
      4. Being unable to join “team Jaime” or “team Drogon” and praying for both to survive.

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    56. QueenofThrones,

      Lol Eastwatch was that bad for you then, eh?!

      I didn’t enjoy it as much as the rest of them myself and I was super disappointed in Dany’s decision to burn the Tarlys. That character choice hurt me more than the logical improbability of Jamie not drowning with all that armor of on him 😔 I guess it showed that she does have an inflexiblility in her and an inclination towards ruthlessness that she acknowledges and Tyrion is expected to curb to some degree.

        Quote  Reply

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