Game of Thrones: Ranking Season 5

Here’s my ranking of the episodes in Game of Thrones: Season 5 (so far, of course). Feel free to comment with thoughts and/or criticisms! Would love to see what others think. Links to my full reviews of each episode are under each description. Enjoy!

10. Kill the Boy

kill the boy

Really strong material for Jon Snow, who must “kill the boy” and tries to maneuver around the Night’s Watch-wildling animosity and form a lasting peace between the two camps. Tyrion and Jorah’s exciting and just frickin’ beautiful trip through Valyria was a solid end to the episode.

However, I can’t get behind the important decisions Daenerys makes with such little buildup (burning the possibly innocent Maester and marrying Hizdahr). And while Winterfell had some strong moments, focusing on such a despicable character like Ramsay Bolton for so long weighed down the episode for me. We missed out on so many characters in this episode, and the material with the few characters we did get didn’t always hit it out of the park. Continue reading

Ranking Every Episode of Game of Thrones Part 4: The Top Ten!

Here it is, the top ten! Because this is done based on my own personal taste, I’m sure it will look completely different from whatever top ten list you have kinda-sorta formed in your own mind. And that’s okay! Please comment and discuss the list, I would love to hear from others about their own calculations on the quality of the episodes.

If you missed the rest of my ranking, look no further! Here are the rest of the rankings!

Part 1: (40-31)

Part 2: (30-21)

Part 3: (20-11)

The final countdown begins with…

  1. Mockingbird

mockingbird

Written by: David Benioff and Dan Weiss

Directed by: Alik Sakharov

Best Quote: “If you want justice, you’ve come to the wrong place.” – Tyrion Lannister

Best Scene

Before it aired, I expected “Mockingbird” to mostly be concerned with connecting Tyrion’s trial to the Moutain/Oberyn fight, throwing in Littlefinger’s murder of Lysa to add some excitement to a mostly transitional episode. So I was floored by just how good all the scenes in this episode were! Some were just plain fun, like Brienne bumping into fan favorite Hot Pie, or Daenerys’ very sexy scene with Daario. Others were powerful, like the Hound’s admission to Arya that it was his brother who burned his face. The tearjerkers keep coming in King’s Landing, where Tyrion has his last scene with Bronn. Despite the advantageous aspect to their relationship, I still almost cry when they shake hands for the last time, and Tyrion doesn’t want to let go. Later, Tyrion gets a visit from Oberyn in the best scene of the season. Tyrion’s reaction to the sad story of how his sister wanted him dead as a baby was powerful, and Oberyn’s vow to win justice for his sister was his strongest moment as a character. Littlefinger’s murder of Lysa (another awesome scene) was not the defining moment of the episode after all, but the cherry on top of an almost perfect episode.

“Mockingbird” may not have featured the most eventful moments of the season, but it did find each of its characters in their emotional climaxes, providing some of the most poignant scenes of the series.

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Ranking Every Episode of Game of Thrones Part 3: (20-11)

Here’s Part 3 of my Ranking! Episodes that would probably be the top ten of almost any other show, if Game of Thrones wasn’t so good so consistently. If you missed the bottom half of the list, here’s the links:

Part 1: (40-31)

Part 2: (30-21)

And if you want to just skip ahead to the top ten:

Part 4: The Top Ten

Here we go:

20. Man Without Honor

man without honor

Written by: David Benioff and D.B. Weiss

Directed by: David Nutter

Best Quote: “So many vows…they make you swear and swear […] It’s too much. No matter what you do, you’re forsaking one vow or the other.” – Jaime Lannister

Best Scene

While not as eventful as the preceding episode, “Old Gods and the New,” Season Two’s seventh episode finds quieter moments with its characters while in some of their most interesting material of the second season. For example: Ygritte’s relentless flirtation with Jon Snow, providing some of the best laughs of the season; Sansa’s terror at having her first period, followed by an honest conversation with Cersei; Cersei’s tearful admission of Joffrey’s monstrosity, and Tyrion’s awkward reaction to her.

Even a scene that could have been a major development of the plot, Jaime’s escape, is used more as a foundation for quieter, more interesting moments. Jaime’s bonding with Alton, and simultaneous plotting of his cousin’s death, was a great scene showing just how depraved Jaime’s morality was at that point. The show could have stretched out his escape, but instead he is quickly captured, providing him the opportunity to justify his actions to Catelyn in one of his most revealing scenes. Before Season Three, “Man Without Honor” was the most honest depiction of Jaime of the show, and the episode benefits significantly from it.

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Ranking Every Episode of Game of Thrones: Part 2 (Numbers 30-21)

You know what’s fun? Reading nerdy thoughts analyzing and ranking episodes of a great television show…at least I think so, anyway.

Welcome to Part 2 of my ranking of Game of Thrones! These ten aren’t quite in the top half, but they aren’t the bottom ten either.

In case you missed the bottom ten:

Part 1: (40-31)

Or you want to skip ahead to the next posts:

Part 3: (20-11)

Part 4: The Top Ten

  1. Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things

cripples bastards broken things

Written by: Bryan Cogman

Directed by: Brian Kirk

Best Quote: “I couldn’t do it. Because all I could think was ‘What if I got her pregnant? Another bastard named Snow?’ It’s not a good life for a child.” – Jon Snow

Best Scene

Catelyn’s capture of Tyrion begs to be a cliffhanger, and it’s a pretty great one at the end of this episode. The problem is, given what both Tyrion and Catelyn had to do in the first part of the story, the fourth episode of Game of Thrones, “Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things” was the earliest that cliffhanger could occur. And there isn’t much that moves the plot forward in between Ned’s arrival to King’s Landing in the previous episode and Tyrion’s capture at the end of this one. So “Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things” stretches out the time in between by giving us monologue after monologue after monologue. Viserys explains the importance of dragons, Jaime reminisces about the Greyjoy Rebellion, Jon explains why he’s still a virgin, Alliser Thorne flashbacks to one of his misadventures up north, Littlefinger explains the Hound’s backstory… None of these scenes are bad. In fact, I found Jon Snow’s monologue particularly powerful and his budding friendship with Sam in this episode some of his strongest material in the first season. But taken all together, it’s a somewhat slow hour of television that doesn’t make much contribution to the plot until that cliffhanger ending.

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Ranking Every Episode of Game of Thrones: Part 1 (Numbers 40-31)

Hello! Welcome to my first post!

I love (perhaps a little too much) evaluating things, trying to understand why something works or why it doesn’t, why I like some things and others turn me off. I love top ten lists, and I love full on rankings even more. Most importantly, I love Game of Thrones. It’s grown to become my favorite television show. I’ve thought and rethought and then thought some more about the different episodes of Game of Thrones, which I liked, why I liked them, what the strengths and weaknesses are of each one. And after way too much geeking out, and some last minute re-tinkering after finally rewatching Season Four, I’ve compiled a list of all forty episodes of Game of Thrones, ranked worst to best. Under each selection I have a clip of the best scene, and an explanation as to why I placed it where I did. These explanations are (I think) pretty comprehensive, clear, and (hopefully) brief. I hope your enjoyment reading it is a fraction of what I experienced making it. Feel free to comment, even if (in fact, especially if) you disagree and want to discuss it.

Here are the other posts for my ranking:

Part 2: (30-21)

Part 3: (20-11)

Part 4: The Top Ten

Happy reading!

  1. Garden of Bones

garden of bones

Written by: Vanessa Taylor

Directed by: David Petrarca

Best Quote: “Born amidst salt and smoke…is he a ham?” – Renly Baratheon

Best Scene

Even the worst episode of Game of Thrones is pretty watchable, especially in King’s Landing, where Tyrion continues to consolidate power by turning cousin Lancel Lannister from enemy to spy. However, there are more than a few lines and bits of writing that could have been better (“My husband is my king and my king is my husband”; “I invoke summai!”; the cliché beginning to the Robb/Talisa romance).

My least favorite part of the episode, though, is the climax of hour. Melisandre’s giving birth to the smoke monster from Lost was uncomfortable to watch, but my problem with the scene runs deeper than discomfort. The Renly/Stannis rivalry had a lot of potential, but thanks to the vagina monster, it gets swept out of the way with no major effects on the larger story. Renly was just a way to prolong Stannis’ arrival at King’s Landing until “Blackwater,” quickly removed from the show with no consequence to his stern older brother. The smoke demon baby thing was such a contrived plot device, it makes the Baratheon rivalry that dominated “Garden of Bones” seem like a pointless waste of time. It’s no wonder the show has conveniently forgotten about its existence since.

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