WotW Awards: Best Dramatic Scene Preliminary Round

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This is one of the biggest categories in the Watchers On The Wall Awards: Best Dramatic Scene! Our readers submitted a wide variety of choices, and now it’s time for the community to narrow down the list to only the very best five dramatic scenes of Game of Thrones season 4.

As with the other categories, we’re asking you to choose FIVE candidates for Best Dramatic Scene in this preliminary round. You may choose fewer than five, if you want to, but no more than that.

At the end of 72 hours (Saturday 9/6/14 at 6:00PM Eastern Time), whichever five nominees have the most votes will continue on to the finals. (Note: in the final rounds, you will only have one vote to cast in each category!)

 

The results of the poll will be revealed when it’s time to choose the final winner of Best Dramatic Scene in a few weeks. For now, sit back and bask in the abundance of quality choices.

Happy voting!

Sue the Fury
Susan Miller, Editor in Chief of WatchersOnTheWall.com

67 Comments

  1. Arya refuses to kill the Hound
    Arya kills Polliver
    Tyrion’s trial
    Grenn and NW men say their vows as Mag the Mighty charges the gate
    Oberyn’s monologue in Tyrion’s cell

  2. Oberyn’s cell monologue
    Tyrion’s trial
    Joffrey’s death
    Arya kills Polliver
    Arya refuses to kill the Hound

  3. I didn’t want to pick any character more than once, so picked:

    Oberyn vs the Mountain
    Tyrion’s trial
    Arya kills Polliver
    Sansa confesses to the Lords of the Vale
    Joffrey’s death

  4. Just thinking at the most of these scenes again make me shiver… it was a difficul choice also this time but I voted for:

    Tyrion’s trial
    Grenn and NW men say their vows as Mag the Mighty charges the gate
    Oberyn’s monologue in Tyrion’s cell
    Joffrey’s death
    Reforging of Ice

  5. Hope Jaime, Tyrion and the beetles gets a few votes. Thought it was a very emotional and philosophical scene that doesn’t get the credit it deserves.

  6. A few were no-brainer choices, for me. A couple of them were tough, though. I could have easily chosen a few others. I went with:

    Tyrion’s trial
    Grenn and NW men say their vows as Mag the Mighty charges the gate
    Oberyn’s monologue in Tyrion’s cell
    Arya kills Polliver
    Reforging of Ice

    Edit: Now that it’s too late, I may well have substituted the chaining of the dragons for Arya killing Polliver. I spaced out on the chaining of the dragons as I was reading through the choices.

  7. Here’s my list. There are some scenes that I think are great and consequential for characters I love, but these are the scenes that actually affected me, literally giving me goosebumps:

    *Tyrion’s trial
    *Sansa’s confession to the lords of the Vale
    *Grenn & NW men say their vows as Mag the Mighty charges
    *Oberyn’s monologue in Tyrion’s jail cell
    *Oberyn’s introduction at the brothel

  8. Yara tries to rescue Theon should not even be a candidate haha

    My picks:

    Tyrion trial
    Oberyn monologue in Tyrion’s cell
    Joffrey’s death
    Tywin and Tommen discuss being a good king
    Arya refuses to kill the Hound

  9. Laura,

    I disagree. It was dramatic for Oberyn, trying to get the Mountain to confess while he was fighting. The suspense and the, like, build up of emotion. You really felt his desire for justice, even if Elia and her kids were barely mentioned before Oberyn was introduced in the show. Pedro Pascal did a great job, besides the actual fighting part, which was also very good as an action scene. I’d say it was more effectively a dramatic scene than an action scene, though, you know.

  10. I love reviewing these lists because it reminds me that no matter how much little things may irk me here and there, there really are an incredible amount of great scenes in the show, and it was hard to choose my top 5.

  11. Tyrion’s trial
    Grenn’s vow at the tunnel
    Tywin and Tommen discuss being a good king
    Oberyn vs The Mountain
    Reek shaves Ramsay

  12. This is a must win for Rory with that amazing performance in his final scene. Probably my favorite curtain call of the series. Right up there with Yorens.

  13. Seven Hells, the categories just keep getting harder and harder, and this might be the toughest one yet! I was able to narrow my selections down a bit by deciding not to select any of the fight scenes or character deaths, because I know that both of those types of scenes have a chance of being their own respective categories. That made it slightly easier … only not really, because damn. But at least, even faced with this abundance of riches, I had one clear starting point.

    Oberyn’s monologue to Tyrion in the jail cell: Cards on the table: if this scene makes into the final round, it’s going to be my pick to win the category. In a season full of brilliant and memorable moments, this one was my favorite. As a few people who frequent this site have noted (most consistently Annara Snow) moving Oberyn’s story about meeting Tyrion as a baby from their first meeting to Tyrion’s cell after he’s been accused, abandoned, and is just about out of hope was a great change on the part of the show. In this new context, Oberyn’s words added an additional layer of emotion and significance to an already charged scene, and to the pledge that he would make at the end of it to be Tyrion’s champion. The writing was great, and the acting was incredible. It’s hard to believe that this was the first scene that Pedro Pascal ever filmed for Game of Thrones – he’s spellbinding. And Peter Dinklage … Good God. Seeing him react to news that deep down he had known all his life but never had so brutally confirmed was heartwrenching. Dinklage’s angry speech at Tyrion’s trial was his most-widely celebrated moment of the season, and deservingly so. But I thought that his work in “Mockingbird”, and in this scene in particular, was the best that he’s ever been on the show.

    Tyrion’s trial: Of course, Tyrion’s trial was excellent in its own right. It unfolded almost like a short play within the episode, with multiple actors – Lena Headey, Sibel Kekilli, Julian Glover, Ian Beattie – all getting their moment to shine. And since we’re talking about the trial as a whole, we get to include the interlude between Jaime and Tywin in Tywin’s chambers, where Jaime offers to give up his place in the Kingsguard to save Tyrion’s life and realizes that was Tywin’s plan all along. Excellent work from Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Charles Dance there. Meanwhile, Tyrion’s speech needs no further lauding. It should have won Peter Dinklage an Emmy. He may have to settle for a handful of Watchers on the Wall Awards – which we all know are more prestigious anyway. 😉

    Sansa’s confession to the Lords of the Vale: This was a change from the novels, but an excellent one in my opinion. Sophie Turner’s excellent work has been overlooked and underappreciated by many for long time – much like Sansa herself. But there was no denying her credit after this scene, because she absolutely killed it. I loved the two scenes that came after this one as well (both in the poll) – Sansa telling Littlefinger that she knows what he wants, and Sansa confidently descending the stairs under Baelish’s lustful gaze (especially the latter, because it gave rise to the phenomenon of “Darth Sansa”, which remains one of my favorite Internet memes ever. Star Wars + Game of Thrones = Gold in my book). But without this scene, the latter two wouldn’t have a reason to exist. This was the moment that we realized just how much Sansa had learned, and that she might be a force to be reckoned with in the game.

    Arya refuses to kill the Hound: This was a wonderful scene in the book as well, but I found it even more powerful on the show because of the additional time that Arya and the Hound got to spend together in Season 4. Rory McCann, who embodied the Hound for four stellar seasons and slowly revealed him to be one the series’ most complex and fascinating characters, was never better on the show than he was in that moment. And it’s complimented perfectly by Maisie’s cold, silent stare. The power of acting without words.

    Tywin and Tommen discuss being a good king: God, I love this scene. I touched on it a bit when I wrote the Curtain Call for Charles Dance back on the old website,. At the time I said: Showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss describe Dance, quite rightly, as a “phenomenon”. In an interview with EW discussing the Season 4 finale, they expressed gratitude for the immense privilege of writing for his character. “He brings such power and specificity to everything that he does”, they declared, marveling that Dance was “so good that the dialogue writes itself”. To see what they mean, we simply need to look at Tywin’s lecture to Tommen in “Breaker of Chains”, wherein he educates his young grandson about what it means to be a good king. It’s a stunning piece of oratory, specifically crafted to showcase Dance’s immense talents. The speech does not appear in George R.R. Martin’s novels, but it feels – and it is – quintessentially Tywin Lannister.

    I stand by every word of that. Dance was a force of nature in that entire sequence, and Lena Headey’s silent reactions to Tywin’s disparaging remarks about Joffrey were just the icing on the cake.

    Very tough omissions include, but certainly aren’t limited to Jaime and Tyrion talk beetle crushing before the trial by combat (this scene took a lot of flak after “The Mountain and the Viper” aired from people who thought that it went on too long or was unnecessary, but personally, I loved it), Brienne and Jaime’s goodbye, Jon and Mance’s parlay, Arya killing Polliver, Grenn and company facing down the giant at the gate, Daenerys chaining her dragons … plus all of the fights and death scenes that I tried not to consider in order to narrow the field, only it didn’t really work. I’ll stop before I just list every damn scene in this poll. 🙂

  14. Rory: What???? No Little Finger pushing Lysa out the moondoor after confessing his love for Catelyn???

    Fan nominees! If you didn’t nominate, you only have yourself to blame.

  15. Lots of incredible scenes here but Grenn and company facing down the giant was quite powerful. And unexpectedly so.

  16. The first three were easy – the last two were really rough, too many wonderful ones to choose from!

    Tyrions trial

    Grenn and other NW reciting their vows

    chaining of dragons

    Sansa’s confession

    the beetles. It wasn’t just Tyrion remembering a person from his childhood. It had true meaning to the story, and he knocked it out of the ballpark.

    Omission – Oberyn and Mountain fight! (or is that in another category?)

    And yeah, the moondoor. Surprised no one nominated it

  17. Too many great scenes to choose from, even with five choices.
    Still, I think when it comes down to my final choice, it will have to be Arya not killing the Hound.

  18. Arya and The Hound’s final scene will forever be one of my favorites. Actually, a show filled with amazing moments and even more brilliant “deaths”, I think this scene is perhaps my favorite GoT moment to this point. Both rocked this season but we really got to see just how dark Arya has become, and just how desperate The Hound really was in that moment. Maisie didn’t need many words to sell it and Rory was absolutely incredible.

  19. Sue the Fury,

    Yes! Seeing them listed instantly recalls memories of all the exciting and emotionally intense moments of this season. I knew I wanted to keep the chaining of the dragons on there , and that meant choosing just one Sansa scene and just one scene at the Wall.

    Here be my picks:

    Stannis arrives at the Wall
    Sansa’s confession to the Lords of the Vale
    Arya finds and gets on the boat to Braavos
    The chaining of the dragons
    The Hound tells Arya the story of how he got his burns

  20. There are a ton of great choices to choose from but on re-watch, I’m surprised by how powerful the chaining of the dragons scene is. Great work by Emilia but especially by the SFX crew to capture first the innocence and then slow realization followed by distraught rage of Viserion and Rhaegal.

    I’m also a sucker for dialogue-free scenes that effectively convey unsaid emotions.

  21. Trial

    I can be your hero, baby

    Chaining of the dragons (I still cry, y’all.)

    Arya doesn’t kill the Hound cuz he’s doing just fine killing it himself.

    Stannis arrives at the Wall

    Joffrey’s death, Missandei/Grey Worm, Dark Sansa Descends, Grenn and Mag all have my love but not my vote.

  22. Jared:
    And Peter Dinklage … Good God. Seeing him react to news that deep down he had known all his life but never had so brutally confirmed was heartwrenching.

    At the risk of sounding “actory esoteric,” Dinklage’s work in that scene was like a Master Class on what acting teachers/coaches/directors mean when they talk about the importance of listening.

  23. Tyrion’s trial
    White Walker baby reveal
    Jon and Mance parlay (looooved this scene)
    Dark Sansa descends
    Reek shaves Ramsay

    This one was deffinetly one of the most difficult for me, I loved almost all of the nominated

  24. This is so difficult. Right now I have at least 6-7 I can’t see myself not wanting for, and some 5-6 more I’d like to vote as well.

    I need some time and perhaps a rewatch or two of the scenes in question to make up my mind.

  25. An incredibly difficult group of choices. There are easily 12 scenes that could go in here. I tried to change it up a bit here and there, so I went with:

    The cold open: The show’s best one yet. Completely wordless. Tells a small story all by itself. It’s not a WTF moment or an outright horror moment, just a slow, contemplative opening that sets the stage for the entire season.

    Arya gets on the boat: This scene was lost, honestly, because of the desire for the Sullied, including myself to an extent, to focus on a scene that wasn’t there, instead of this. Arya has been with us from the beginning. This is a great season-ender.

    Sansa’s confession: Our girl learns to be a player. YEAAAH.

    Grenn and the others say the vows: Because I’m a sucker whenever someone says the vows, and this was a true chill moment.

    Oberyn’s monologue: It’s just awesome. I especially love the ‘But what about what I want?’ line. Another “chilling” moment.

    Honorable mentions: Arya refuses to kill the Hound (great), Joffrey’s death scene, the Hound tells Arya of how his brother maimed him, the Oberyn/Mountain duel, Tywin talks with Tommen (that’s a stellar moment), Jon buries Ygritte.

  26. “That’s not a monster; that’s just a baby” oh my lord, I cry every single time. Pedro AND Peter do amazing work there. Far and away my number one.

    “Do it. DO IT. do it” holy

    Joffreys death

    “Night gathers…” Grenn 🙁

    “Shall we go?” Team Sansa forever

  27. Wait, duh, I actually didn’t pick the hound, I picked the cold open. Years rolling down my face in the first 4 minutes of the show- D&D you cruel bastards!

  28. This is a real embarassment of riches. Hiw many other shows can boast this many incredibly good scenes?

    I tried to be diplomatic, but I couldn’t pick which Tyrion scene I liked more, so I picked his trial and his convo with Oberyn. Picked both the Jon/Ygritte reunion and Grenn’s death. Last one I picked was Arya leaving the Hound to die, I think. Really wanted to pick the Tywin/Shae death and the dragon chaining too. Man, what a great year.

  29. If Tyrion’s trial doesn’t win this one, we’re as bad as the Emmy committee…

    And if the chaining of the dragons wins, people (just like the writers) clearly have no idea how heavy solid metal pieces actually wheigh…

  30. Sue the Fury: Fan nominees! If you didn’t nominate, you only have yourself to blame.

    I’ve said it before, Sue: many of us only arrived at The Wall only after the nomination phase was over, so that argument doesn’t really hold this time round. And by all means, nobody would mind (or even realize) if you had added a scene that was overseen by the fans. That said, on almost all occasions the lists are *very* exhaustive, and the decision to have this system of pre-nominations was a great one!

  31. Tyrion’s Trial, Chaining of Dragons, Grenn and others say their vows, Oberyn’s monologue with Tyrion, and Brienne and Jaime say goodbye.

  32. Morgan:
    Damn, it was ridiculously hard to chose just 5 for this one. Just goes to show great this show is.

    Word!

    Greatjon of Slumber: –Arya gets on the boat: This scene was lost, honestly, because of the desire for the Sullied, including myself to an extent, to focus on a scene that wasn’t there, instead of this. Arya has been with us from the beginning. This is a great season-ender.

    Agree completely and it made my selection, but I think it will be overshadowed by Arya leaves the Hound, two very strong scenes for the character in the same episode.

  33. Dogs:
    Laura,

    I disagree. It was dramatic for Oberyn, trying to get the Mountain to confess while he was fighting. The suspense and the, like, build up of emotion. You really felt his desire for justice, even if Elia and her kids were barely mentioned before Oberyn was introduced in the show. Pedro Pascal did a great job, besides the actual fighting part, which was also very good as an action scene. I’d say it was more effectively a dramatic scene than an action scene, though, you know.

    This.

  34. Can we just have a “fuck yeah!/happiest scene” category, with only one nomination, i.e. Joffrey’s death???

  35. All Hail the Wolf Girl: Word!

    Agree completely and it made my selection, but I think it will be overshadowed by Arya leaves the Hound, two very strong scenes for the character in the same episode.

    You’re probably right, and that’s fine with me. That’s also a great moment.

  36. Glad to see Reek Shaves Ramsey! This is the scene I had completely forgotten but was a great piece of work by both actors. But the one that will get my vote for best overall is Arya’s final blow to the Hound. Great acting by both and a huge payoff to the story. Chilling!

  37. Arya refusing to kill the Hound was one of the best acted scene in the entire series so that was my first vote

    I also voted for Tyrions trial, Oberyn’s monologue and Arya killing Polliver

  38. One of the options I chose was Ygritte’s funeral. I never cared too much either way about her in the books, the show made me adore her, but her actual death scene felt a tad mellowdramatic to me. But that absolutely gorgeous shot of Rose in the pyre had me bawling. Just a visually stunning scene.

  39. Greatjon of Slumber,

    Remind me what the ‘cold open’ scene is Are you referring to the Nightwalker and baby? (which is amazing) or something else

    Two unrelated questions for the mods (I asked in the forum but only getting an echo)
    1. When a poster is quoting someone, only the user name comes up. Is there a way to link from that to the actual quote so it can be reread? Some of us have trouble remembering dozens of posts and names

    2. Can you indicate on a post if there are new posts? It says how many there are, but doesn’t say if there are new ones. This will stop me from going back to each one and checking the bottom for one.
    Thanks!

  40. The ones that made it:

    The chaining of the dragons
    Because of what Emilia pulls off there, acting wise, towards probably sock puppet things; also because the dragons have emotions. Did *not* expect that.
    Grenn and company say vows
    Because exactly the right amount of badass/determination being conveyed, and the omg it’s GRENN that’s going to die! sad feels mixed together.
    Tyrions trial
    Because it delivered, and more then that: it was concise n well-acted.
    Reek shaves Ramsay
    Because that’s what season 3 led up to. Not that weird-feeling Yara escape thing.
    Hodor realizes what he’s done after killing Locke
    Because it almost made me cry. And because, yes, I know it’s good for story streamlining, but I’m going to miss Hodor 🙁

    The ones that didn’t make it by a fraction of an inch:
    Arya not killing the Hound
    Arya taking ship to Braavos
    Jaime and Tyrion talk crushing beetles
    Oberyns monologue
    Ygrittes funeral
    Reforging of Ice
    Tywin and Tommen

    So yeah. When do we get to the easy categories? 🙂

  41. ash,
    To answer your questions,

    1) No there currently is no way to link back to an actual quote within a comment and I don’t think we can do that. Technically speaking the entire comment is given a unique number and that is what is linked to whenever you hit Reply to someone (so the user name that comes up is linked back to their whole comment and cannot be linked to individual words within the comment).

    Here’s what I do to refer to the actual quote. I copy the part of their comment I want to refer to, click Reply, then after the link to their name appears in my comment field, I click the b-quote button and paste the quote within the b-quote tags. That’s the only way to do it so far as I know.

    2) This question confused me because I think you are confusing the terms “post” and “comment”. When the WotW puts up a new article, that is a “post” and responses to the post from people in the community are “comments”. So if you meant “Can you indicate on a post if there are new comments?” the answer is yes and no. The count of comments at the top of a post get updated any time you refresh the page. We can’t indicate in the count if there are new comments to the post because we don’t know what the count was when you as an individual last visited (unless we load your browser up with cookies for every single post and every single comment count on the site–not a good idea). BUT every time you make a comment on a post you have the option of selecting “Notify me of follow-up comments by email” and “Notify me of new posts by email”. The first one will email you any time a new comment has been added to that particular post. The second one will email you any time WotW staff adds a new post to the site. That’s the best way to get notified of new comments and posts.

    Let me know if you still have questions.

  42. Argggghhhhh, this is a VERY difficult one to winnow down. Here’s my picks in no particular order:

    –Tyrion’s trial
    –Arya refuses to kill the Hound
    –Grenn & the other NW men say their vows as Mag the Mighty charges the gate
    –Oberyn’s monologue in Tyrion’s jail cell
    –Cersei tells Tywin the truth about her and Jaime

  43. Hello, this is my first post 🙂

    I voted for:

    – Tyrion’s trial
    – Joffrey’s death
    – Arya kills Polliver
    – Oberyn vs The Mountain
    – Stannis arrives at the Wall

  44. Dame Pasty,

    Thank you for that. On another site, we use posts to mean comments, and ‘threads’ to mean posts. So I just need to wrap my head around that. And thanks for the suggestion to refer to the quoted comment. Thats a really good idea and will save me from scrolling up trying to find the one I want.

    I will use the Notify me of new posts link; I just anticipated a daily slew of email which could get crazy, but I can play with it.

    Thanks for your patience!

  45. “Joff’s death”, “Tyrion’s trial”, and “Stannis’s arrival at The Wall”, “The White Walkers find a baby and change him” and “Ice is reforged in two swords”…

  46. Oberyn’s monologue in Tyrion’s jail cell
    Ygritte’s death
    Lysa interrogates and flips out on Sansa, who in turn, starts learning to manipulate her by playing dumb.
    Green and his men recite the Night’s Watch oath as the giant approaches
    Missandei and Grey Worm share their backgrounds being enslaved.

  47. Really hard to narrow it down to just five. But let’s do this :

    Tyrion’s trial : obvious.

    Oberyn’s monologue in Tyrion’s jail cell : I remember being so fucking bumbed when I first thought this monologue wasn’t going to appear in the show. Like, not hearing “only Cat” I could live with (even though it’s a shame), but not this. Then it happened, and it’s Pedro Pascal talking to Peter Dinglage, and it was magic.

    Ygritte faces down Jon Snow in battle and then dies : simple, to me, Jon descending from the lift, the panoramic shot at Castle Black ending with Ygritte’s death, are the best five minutes of the season. The moment where Jon sees Ygritte, smiles, making her lose her composure : P E R F E C T I O N.

    Arya refuses to kill the Hound : D&D can thank the old gods, the new, and all the other kinds there is, for finding Maisie Williams for the role of Arya.

    The reforging of Ice into two swords : strongest season introduction in all four seasons. It conveys so much information about story, characters, mood, foreshadowing… Without one single word. Nicely done.

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