Watchers on the Wall Awards: Best Fight of Season 6

BestFight

Today we’re tackling Best Fight, the category with the most awesome punch-’em-ups, sword fights, and stabby highlights of Game of Thrones season 6. As we explained in the initial nomination suggestions post, this year at the Watchers on the Wall Awards we’ve split the Best Action category into two: a bigger-scale category for the entire action sequences and battles, and a smaller-scaled second category for fights. That way, everything is more equal, all things considered.

And there’s no time like the present to celebrate the show’s amazing stunt creations and hard-working stunt performers. Along with the actors who throw some punches, their work brought Game of Thrones another Emmy for Outstanding Stunt Coordination this year!

The finalists are:

Young Ned and friends take on the Kingsguard at The Tower of Joy.

Jon deflects Ramsay’s arrows and pummels him after the battle.



Tormund takes on Smalljon Umber with teeth and knife.

Jon faces multiple opponents in the chaos of battle in one long uncut shot.

Jon is crushed beneath his own men in battle, and fights his way to the surface.

You can see the results from our first round of voting in this category here!

Final round rules: Cast your vote for the winner in our Best Fight poll. At the end of 72 hours (Friday 9/23/16 at 2PM EDT), the fight with the most votes will be the winner! The results of the poll will be revealed during the live Watchers on the Wall Awards ceremony, which will take place in early October. Specific date to be announced in the near future!

79 responses

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    1. Kit in the North!
      Again so many Jon options, I feel they are going to split the votes 🙁 .
      I went for Jon fighting multiple opponents in a long uncut shot.

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    2. Seriously now, for me this has to be the TOJ scene. Who’d have thought that fighting with two sword could look so great! And seeing Bran discover Ned’s little secret adds another level of emotional involvement. All of the nominated scenes are great though, and I’d be happy for any of them to win.

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    3. Ah split voting is Kit’s curse this year lol.But anyway went with the long uncut scene during the battle cause it was great.Honorable mentions go to the Tower of joy fight because the choreography was really good.

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    4. Going for “Jon is crushed” simply because it’s so different to the usual concentration on flashing blades.

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    5. I think the Tower of Joy was the most consistent fight in the whole series, along with Brienne/The Hound and Oberyn/The Mountain. So my vote’s for them.

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    6. The Tower of Joy was great, but it was the one long uncut Jon-in-the-thick-of-it that had people at the edge of their seats … my niece (25 yr) was jumping up and down on the couch screaming!!

      The Kit in the North for the win!!

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    7. I voted for 4 of those 5 in preliminary rounds. This will be a tough choice…

      (….)

      I’m down to final two: Ned faces ser Arthur and Jon gets crushed by his own men.

      (…)

      (………)

      Well, I’ve made my decision and chose Ned vs ser Arthur. I watched that scene several times and it still continues to impress me. I did not expect ser Arthur to be portrayed THAT strong.

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    8. I was torn between the Tower of Joy and “Jon faces multiple opponents”. I finally chose the ToJ, simply because it uses less CGI.

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    9. Dee Stark,

      What are you talking about? The Tower of Joy was crap. It was supposed to be 7 vs 3 not 6 vs 2. Where was ser Oswell Whent? Why did ser Arthur have two swords? Why wasn’t Dawn a greatsword? Why didn’t it shine? There was no sadness in Ned’s voice…

      (I hope you understand that I’m just being sarcastic)

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    10. Lord Parramandas,

      okay, you had me fooled at first LOLs…
      those are the silliest complaints.

      as someone with an unbiased clean opinion (having not read the scene in the book) I thought it was amazing, not just me, but my unsullied sister and other unsullied fellow watchers… with that scene being one of our favorites of the entire season….

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    11. Dee Stark,

      Well, I’ve read the scene in the books (we do not see the actual fight there) and the TV version still exceeded my expectations. This scene alone is the reason why my rating of “Oathbreaker” bumped from 8 to 9/10. Like I said above, I rewatched this scene almost 10 times in a single day.

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    12. Watching Jon pummel the face of Ramsay was the only time I literally cried and cheered out loud at the same time… this season lol.

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    13. Lord Parramandas,

      I know the character was credited as Hightower but that was so obviously Whent imo. He was sharpening his sword on the whetstone and all of Hightower’s book lines were given to Dayne in the episode. Even physical appearance was way more Whent than Hightower

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    14. I really wanted to choose the Tormund vs Small Jon fight but I had to go TOJ.

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    15. My Vote: Young Ned and friends take on the Kingsguard at The Tower of Joy.

      Close Second: Jon faces multiple opponents in the chaos of battle in one long uncut shot.

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    16. Tower of Joy, easily surpassed my expectations. Also love the way Von Sydow says ‘far better’. Second would be Jon’s rise from being crushed, just beautifully shot!

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    17. Voted for Jon facing multiple opponents.
      I could have easily gone with Jon vs Ramsey, just because I really really wanted someone to kick the shit out of this awful man.
      The Tower of Joy was a scene I enjoyed too, but I did think Ser Arthur Dayne was kind of showing off. This made it less realistic, in my humble opinion. On the contrary, Jon’s fight seemed real in its brutality.
      Talking about brutality, Tormund’s scene was a little bit too much for my taste.
      As for Jon is crushed etc, I didn’t really think it was a fight scene. I have already voted for it in best dramatic scene, I think.

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    18. Imo this is the best group of finalists so far. Meaning, all of them are certainly worthy of top consideration.

      I have to go with the JON FACES MULTIPLE OPPONENTS one though.

      Tower of Joy fight inner monologue was “Dayne is good! Cool, he’s twirling both swords… Huh, how is Ned going to beat… Oh, Howland.”

      Jon vs Ramsey: “Jon looks cool covered in mud… Damn, he’s catching arrows with the shield! He’s pissed and now Ramsey is pissing himself. *wham* punch 1, 2, 3.. hell yeah, keep hitting him… 20, 21”

      Tormund vs Smalljon “Tormund can’t die!! Ew, gross!!”

      Jon vs crushing claustrophobia “he won’t die – how does he get up? Okay, now what?”

      Jon vs multiples…. I think my brain melted down that first watch. All I remember is “HOLY SHIT!!” — WINNER! —

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    19. Dee Stark:
      Lord Parramandas,

      okay, you had me fooled at first LOLs…
      those are the silliest complaints.

      Well, this is the second time I had you fooled. The first time was in “The Red Woman” critics reviews article, when I “complained” that the list does not include Linda Antonsson, a No 1 superfan, the voice of GRRM and a critic with a “firm hand”.

      As you know, I would be one of the last people to compain about the changes.

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    20. Best Fight: Jon faces multiple opponents in the chaos of battle in one long uncut shot.

      As always, there were numerous fantastic fighting and battle sequences in season six – and I anticipate more to come in season seven! I loved all things Tormund in season six, and the fight he had with Smalljon Umber in 609 was fantastic. It was great to see that contrast between the Northern and wildling fighting styles, and such an animalistic kill at the end! It worked perfectly, and the entire battle sequence was exquisitely choreographed and shot. Given that Smalljon Umber killed Shaggydog and handed Rickon over to Ramsay, I can’t say that I was too disappointed when I saw Tormund rip out his throat.

      So, I was originally going to vote for the Tower of Joy fight. When I made my original submissions and when I voted on the short-list, this was the fight that I was ultimately going to choose (and the one I actually chose didn’t make my cut!!). I was looking forward to this fight from the moment I read that it would appear in the season, and I squealed internally when I saw the trailer; and the fight totally delivered. It was so well done that even though you knew Ned would ultimately prevail, a teeny, tiny element of doubt entered your mind. And even if the fight had been awful, it still had Arthur Dayne in it!!

      From season one onward, the best fighting scenes throughout tend to be those featuring Jon Snow. Having an actor that is committed, willing to go for it and do their own stunts does, I think, help. The crush was shot beautifully, and as I have said before is the moment, I feel, in which Jon chooses to live again – rather than having that choice made for him. It is also a fight which accurately reflects the setting of the type of battle that Battle of the Bastards is based on.

      The confrontation between Jon and Ramsay in the courtyard at Winterfell is amazing – there is something very feral in Jon’s eyes as he moves towards Ramsay, and when he begins to punch him it certainly feels that Ramsay is taking a beating for everything that has built up in Jon over a very long period of time. Yes, it does feel a little convenient that there is a shield close by Jon, but I love that it is a Mormont one!! It feels like yet again, Lyanna Mormont is there helping Jon!

      The sequence at the beginning of the Battle of the Bastards, when Jon fights a number of opponents consecutively in a single shot, was stunning. The chaos of the battle is clear, and following Jon through it is a bit like navigating through chaos! The fight was beautifully choreographed and flowed naturally – and felt like a genuine fight. There were elements that called back to the single-shot from Hardhome last year which also worked, and I love re-watching it. As Miguel Sapochnik said in one of the behind the scenes things, we don’t care if a random soldier is going to die – we just want to be sure that Jon isn’t! Kit is great at fight scenes, and this scene pulled together his acting and fighting talent, great stunt work, and fantastic cinematography and direction.

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    21. TOJ!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Just awesome. Sorry Jon Snow, but I’ve watched the Arthur Dayne fight about 50 million times. Brilliant.

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    22. Tower of Joy fight

      Frankly so many of these were *parts* of Jon Snow during the Battle of the Bastards that I think that might split the vote and guarantee the ToJ win.

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    23. Best Fight: Young Ned and friends take on the Kingsguard at the Tower of Joy.

      Honorable Mention: Tormund takes on Smalljon Umber with teeth and knife.

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    24. “Jon faces multiple opponents in the chaos of battle in one long uncut shot.”

      It was absolutely incredible! Some serious work by everyone involved.

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    25. I’m rather disappointed we weren’t given Jorah’s back alley fight as a choice. Shameful Kit stacking.

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    26. For me it was Jon facing multiple opponents. Although the choreography in the TOJ scene was brilliant, the choreography in this ONE SHOT scene was EPIC. The sheer number of people required for the shot, the requirement they hit their marks both in regard to time and place, and the brilliant acting of Kit to pull it all off, the idea to put the viewer on the battlefield with Jon, and the amazing direction to pull it all together was was sealed it for me.

      KITN

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    27. Watching Jon pummel Ramsey was by far the most satisfying, but the best fight scene has to be the Battle of the Bastards part 2 – the long uncut scene. Caught my breath throughout the entire thing.

      Kit worked his ass off for Season 6! Everyone worked their ass off for that scene…brilliant!!

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    28. i waited for the tower of joy for 5 long years just as I waited for Jon snows resurrection. Got them both in a fortnight lol. It doesn’t matter if the battle of the bastards scene/scenes were the best battles ever filmed for tv, the sheer importance of Toj within the story means it has to win this vote!!!!!

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    29. Fight for Winterfell. All great scenes, but this is the one I’ve re-watched the most thus far. I think it’s the ferocity and assurance Jon displays while closing in on Ramsey. I love it. Also, the placement of the blood and muck on his face strongly resembles a wolf face.

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    30. I still can’t get my brain around the legendary Sword of the Morning being turned into two Swords of the Morning…or maybe the shorter one is the Sword of Tea-Time… In any case, making that change to allow showier fight choreography weakened the symbolic impact of the scene for me. I do get it that if you’re a show-watcher only, you wouldn’t care. But this one vote is mine, and I’m not bestowing it here!

      The Jon-gets-buried scene also doesn’t really work for me, although him coming back up is visually impressive. I just find the cinematography and editing of the earlier part of the sequence visually muddled, even upon multiple rewatches. It isn’t until he wriggles out that it becomes clear to me that he was supposed to have been trampled and buried. Consequently, I don’t experience the panicky sense of claustrophobia that this scene is supposed to convey – just visual confusion and narrative discontinuity. So, no. (Your mileage may vary, of course.)

      Tormund rips out Smalljon’s larynx: morbidly funny but gross. Not particularly special.

      Jon pummels Ramsay: My runner-up, mainly on account of the unfurling of the direwolf banners at the end, which I found a real emotional rush. Watching a loved, honorable character finally going all animalistic was very disturbing and tough to watch, but powerful in a stomach-churning sort of way.

      My winner: Long uncut shot of Jon fighting multiple opponents. I don’t find the CGI entirely convincing in this sequence – a lot of the background activity almost looks like it’s being viewed through a scrim, though I suppose that can be explained away as the dust of battle. But what really sells this scene for me is the way that Jon’s life is spared over and over again by mere accidental collisions of some of his opponents, and the way he looks so exhausted, like he’s just staggering from one clash to the next. The randomness of war, of life, comes across here with tremendous power. Lots of people push away the concept of a random universe, where dumb luck rather than what one deserves often determines outcomes. But that’s reality, and one of the things that we love about GRRM’s vision is how he rubs our noses in it instead of romanticizing. So I see this as the truest of all the battle sequences nominated. And I’ve got to hand huge props to Kit for giving it his all.

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    31. They were all great but I went with Tormund vs. Smalljon. I knew they weren’t going to bring back Jon just to kill him and I knew the outcome of ToJ but I was very, very scared for Tormund and it had me at the edge of my seat whenever he was onscreen.

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    32. The uncut shot with Jon was an easy pic for me. Though I will be rewatching the ToJ scene after all the hype.

      As a “rule,” I haven’t been rewatching scenes for the vote. I find it easier to use my memory/original impression. Admittedly I’ve watched every episode at least twice..

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    33. Has to be Tower of Joy right? That scene was epic.

      For me it took the top spot away from Syrio’s take down of the Lannister men in season 1.

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    34. All of Battle of the Bastards is in my opinion part of one long sequence, which isn’t a fight as defined for this category. It’s however one magnificent battle.

      Here I vote for the swordfight like we haven’t seen with Blackfish, may never see anymore with Jaime and won’t see with Loras or Barristan. At the foot of Tower of Joy.

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    35. Tower of Joy hands down. It was genius to have Arthur Dayne fight with two swords because it visually set him apart from all the other sword fights we have seen over the years and served to show why he was a legend in his own time.

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    36. Strong group of nominees.

      Jon being crushed was nominated for best dramatic scene, and I think that was a better fit as far as categories go. It’s a great moment for it’s dramatic effect, but it’s not like it has any fight choreography or anything, certainly not enough to put it above the other nominees.

      Tormund versus Smalljon Umber was a very satisfying moment in the Battle of the Bastards. There’s not much complicated fighting in it, just Smalljon punching Tormund in the face over and over, and then Tormund brutally fighting back when Umber is distracted. Even though the fight itself wasn’t masterfully done, it was still a satisfying fight. Even more so was Jon’s standoff with Ramsay, which, again, wasn’t satisfying because of the choreography of the fight, but because of the tension between the two characters.

      For best Fight Scene though, I try to really see which fight scene was strongest on the action dimension. Which of these scenes had the best action, irrespective of the emotions going into it? For me, there are two very strong contenders, the Tower of Joy swordfight and the single-shot of Jon Snow at the beginning of the Battle of the Bastards. I’m a sucker for swordfigthts, so I voted for the Tower of Joy fight scene. Once it got to one versus four, that scene was kind of a beautiful thing to behold. One versus multiple people is hard to pull off, and the difficulty of the task makes their finished product one of the best fight scenes in the series, in my opinion.

      But, I also recognize how difficult it must have been to pull of that single-shot of Jon Snow, especially with the horses. That is also an incredible achievement. I don’t think I would be the bit disappointed if that won the category instead of my first choice.

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    37. Sorry Kit, gotta go with the Guv’ner of Nassau (aka Arthur Dayne) in this one. One of the best choreographed fight scenes ever seen on TV

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    38. Of the scenes to vote for, Jon Snow stompin’ Ramsay Bolton to within an inch of his miserable excuse for a life, and stopping just in time to give his sister the chance to be the one who kills him. Ok, politically so incorrect and totally unworthy of any of my spiritual growth and development but seriously, oh so satisfying. Oh yeah, King of the (f—ing) North.

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    39. It was the Tower of Joy that got my vote. The best choreographed sword fighting I’ve even seen.

      The Battle of the Bastards was brilliant of course, but that was what it was… a battle involving thousands. A bit more than a fight between adversaries.

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    40. Jon being crushed for me! I hate that I have to choose between all those masterfully done scenes!! Chose it because it reminds me of a birth (rebirth)…

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    41. Can we just get Battle of the Bastards as one very long action sequence?

      Anyhow, it was between long uncut Jon and Jon getting crushed. I went with Jon getting crushed.

      I’ve a phobia of being buried alive/being crushed to death, made worse by the fact that I grew up in an earthquake zone. The scene of Jon getting crushed terrified me. Harrington usually leaves me cold, but he was brilliant in that scene.

      It was also (imo) a battle between Jon’s desire to die and Jon’s desire to get the hell out of there. Anyhow, he made it out, but it was a close thing.

      Without those phobias, would have gone for “Jon faces multiple opponents.” 🙂

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    42. Gotta go with the long take, especially when it was as intense and well-done as that one was. They keep making it harder to top themselves with these epic battles each year! Also loved the slow-mo shot of Jon facing the charging cavalry and preparing to go down fighting.

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    43. Saw this, and wanted to vote Battle of the Bastards and nothing else. Kit Harington so deserves this one. Read the comments to see which of the three got most votes. I think I can very well live with voting for the long cut of Jon going through battle – the fighting his way back up through the press of bodies one was the one might’ve voted for otherwise, but it was a close call anyway.

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    44. I have to go with Jon and multiple opponents. I loved the TOJ and like Sue I’ve watched it many times, but for action and fighting it has to be BOTB. That long cut scene was amazing!!

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    45. I think the long, uninterrupted shot with Kit is going to win, if only because people love Kit and they love those one-shot scenes. That said, I voted for the Tower of Joy. Usually, fighting with two swords looks downright ridiculous, but whoever this swordsman was (I can never remember his name) he did an amazing job. Choreography, execution, score – everything was great in that scene and I love that it ended in a very anti-climactic, but ultimately very realistic way.

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    46. I voted for the ToJ scene, not only because it was increadibly coreographed but it showed in one scene Arthur Dayne’s awsomeness. The guy was a legend in his time, well respected by good warriors / fighters like Ned, Barristan Selmy and Jaimie.

      To me this scene and Jon’s fight against Ramsay were the finalists. The BoB scenes, as incredible as they look, are battle scenes. I may be totally wrong, but when I think of a fight I think of a smaller one-on-one or fewer people than a battle.

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    47. Lots of pretty good fight scenes this season but Ser Arthur Dayne’s dual-wielding badass-ary (is that a word? Badassness sounds wrong) at ToJ was epic, shame they couldn’t get Dawn to look right but the actual sword-work was outstanding.

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