Categorie archief: Game of Thrones

Top 50 Game of Thrones Characters (2017 edition)

Another season passed by way too soon… Unfortunately, Game of Thrones is slowly coming to an end and with the final season looming ahead, it’s not a bad idea to count down the fifty best characters of our favourite television series. A big bunch of Game of Thrones characters went through a thrilling ride this season. Daenerys and Jon finally met each other and fell in love while Jaime and Cersei broke up and part ways. Sansa and Arya were reunited but struggled to accept each other past choices. We’re totally heading toward the endgame of Game of Thrones and it’s interesting to find out how the characters evolve each season and what characters truly stand out by the end of this epic series. This is 2017’s top 50 Game of Thrones characters.

Before we count down the 50 best characters of 2017, you might want to have a look at last year’s top five characters.

5 (12) Davos Seaworth

4 (3) Arya Stark

3 (4) Jaime Lannister

2 (1) Tyrion Lannister

1 (2) Jon Snow

 Special thanks to the awesome subreddits:

  • /r/Freefolk
  • /r/GameofThrones
  • /r/Asoiaf

More than 18,000 votes were counted this year! That’s amazing. Thank you all.

For those who want to consult previous years’ results:

TOP 50 – 41 of 2017 (IT’S A MAN’S WORLD…)


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We already start with a newcomer this year. It’s no one but Jeor (fookin) Mormont, ladies and gentlemen. The former Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch wouldn’t want to return alive or dead to the Wall after the Night King had crossed it with his army of undead. On the other hand, he certainly didn’t deserve to be stabbed in the back by his own men. He was one of those few honourable characters that actually cared to save the people of Westeros from the doom that lied beyond the Wall. Leading his own expedition caused his downfall. Jeor Mormont has been brought up on several occasions in the seventh season and our voters haven’t forgotten him as well. The old bear opens our list at #50.

Jeor’s best moment: Jeor Mormont gives his Valyrian Sword, Longclaw, to Jon Snow in ‘Baelor’ 

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Now we will begin the dance, the Braavos dance… Arya was introduced to Braavos way back in the very first season of Game of Thrones. Her interest in Braavos never ceased as she decided to travel to Braavos in season two. Arya’s no stranger to water dancing as she demonstrated to Brienne of Tarth last season what she’s capable of. She always hides a bit of Syrio Forel in her own character development. This First Sword of Braavos didn’t have a lot of screentime in Game of Thrones but managed to remain a fan favourite after many years. Some fans were even convinced that Syrio Forel was still alive one way or another as his death was never shown to the audience. His last words made an everlasting impression on us as viewers. ‘What do we say to death?’ ‘Not today.’ What a character he was… He may have been killed by a coward like Meryn Trant, he’ll always be a hero to us. Syrio Forel debuts this year at #49. Welcome in our list, coolest water dancer out there.

Syrio’s best moment: Syrio fights the kingsguard with a wooden sword and gives Arya time to escape in ‘The Pointy End’.

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This list would be incomplete without the King Beyond-The-Wall so here he is. Mance Rayder does lose two spots this year, but still makes the fifty best characters yet. Ciarán Hinds did a remarkable job back in season three, four and five and brought Mance Rayder truly alive with his raw acting. Even though Mance made a lot of wrong choices throughout his life, we understand them and feel for this sympathetic character. He fought for freedom and safety for his people, even though he himself failed to provide those things to his people. He was a man of his word, promising us the biggest fire the North has ever seen. Funny is that Mance Rayder is a very honourable man, even when he’s about to die for his people and morals. Still, he broke his oath and got executed for it in the end. This tragic character well deserves a spot in our list and ends at #48 this year. We’ll end with one of my favourite quotes of him. ‘The freedom to make my own mistakes was all I ever wanted.’

 Mance’s best moment: Mance’s last conversation with Jon Snow before he’s executed by King Stannis Baratheon in ‘The Wars to Come’.

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Look who’s back in our list… It’s Thoros of Myr! After last year’s absence, Thoros of Myr deservedly makes a return at #47. We all mourned our favourite Red Priest when he got killed off in the seventh season of Game of Thrones after being mortally wounded by an undead polar bear and freezing to death not much later. Ironic, isn’t it? A fire worshipper freezing to death. He was an inspiration to many people in the world of Game of Thrones, being a fearless fighter. The failed drunk priest didn’t fail to bring his friend Beric Dondarrion six times back to life. The Lord of Light believed that Thoros was there for a greater reason. Why wouldn’t he provide him with such powers otherwise? We wished to have seen more of him but that doesn’t take away that he did much with so little he got. He ain’t fooling anyone with that topknot. We happily welcome you back in our list, Thoros!

Thoros’s best moment: Thoros, the Hound and Beric Dondarrion seek shelter and look into the flames to find out that they’re there for a reason in ‘Dragonstone’.

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One of Game of Thrones finest actors is Michael McElhatton. I don’t think anyone would disagree with me. Roose Bolton did appear as a sympathetic character in the second season, but after his monstrous betrayal during the Red Wedding we couldn’t help but hate his character. Roose Bolton came across as a cunning and excellent strategist, seeming to be loyal to House Starks. He truly was a wolf in sheep’s clothing. He did make one big mistake in the end, though. He underestimated his greatest rival out there, his own bastard son, Ramsay. Roose fully deserved to suffer a tragic fate, mirroring the death of his own king he killed. Some may believe he was poisoned by his enemies, but we know better. Lord Bolton will always appear to us as one of those evil, mysterious character. A true player of the Game of Thrones. He loses six spots and ends at #46 this year.

Roose’s best moment: Roose trolling Jaime about the fate of his sister/lover in ‘Kissed by Fire’.

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Podrick Payne finally (!) enters our list. How many years did we wait for this moment to happen? This gifted young man is one of the most kind-hearted and loyal characters in Game of Thrones. He has been the silent counterpart of Tyrion Lannister and Brienne of Tarth. Lately, he’s become no more than a background character who’s providing comic relief to the viewer but I do think they’re keeping him alive for a more important reason. Perhaps it’s for his magic c*ck? Who knows? His training with Brienne of Tarth will pay off in the final season as he’ll certainly face the Army of the Dead. It might not be very clear what’s in store for our Pod, but we do look forward to learn his endgame. As for now, he makes his long-awaited entry at #45. Thanks for voting for Pod.

Podrick’s best moment: Podrick’s saying goodbye to Tyrion as Tyrion calls Podrick the most loyal squire that ever lived in ‘Breaker of Chains’.

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One of the most anticipated appearances in Game of Thrones’s seventh season certainly was Rhaegar Targaryen’s. Rhaegar might have had no more than 10 seconds of screentime, he’s one of the most influential characters in the series. The biological father of Jon Snow caused a lot of trouble by ‘abducting’ Lyanna Stark and marry her in secret. It wasn’t a horrifying story in the end, but a tragic love story between two people whose houses rivalled one another. Who else got ‘Romeo and Juliet’ vibes from this story? I must admit when I saw Rhaegar Targaryen’s marriage with Lyanna finally revealed in Game of Thrones tears were streaming down my face. What a bittersweet revelation it was. I do hope we’ll get some more Rhaegar scenes next season as he’s certainly one of the most interesting characters we know so little about. Rhaegar Targaryen enters the list at #44. 

Rhaegar’s best (and only) moment: Rhaegar’s secret but sincere marriage to his greatest love, Lyanna Stark in ‘The Dragon and the Wolf’

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This terrifying character doesn’t climb one spot this year and he won’t be happy about it. The Night King finally got his screen time extended last season and showed even more of his evil nature. The moment he killed off poor Viserion, he truly became one of those villains we’re wishing a tragic death upon. The Night King might be a victim at the hands of the Children of the Forest, he’s certainly the biggest threat to any character in Game of Thrones alive. His arrival has been warned since the very first moment in Game of Thrones, so we do realize that he’ll be one of the main ‘evil’ players in the endgame. Since he’s breached the Wall, he can begin to invade Westeros with his huge army of undead men, giants and even dragon. To be honest, him flying on undead Viserion was somewhat epic to see. I’m really holding my breath until next season because I’m sure the ravage he’ll bring Westeros will devast us as viewers.

Night King’s best moment: The Night King shows off his epic powers to Jon Snow and resurrects a massive army of undead freefolk in ‘Hardhome’.

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Another great character makes the top 50 and this makes me happy, even though he loses five places this year. Brynden Tully or famously nicknamed ‘Blackfish’ didn’t appear in many scenes, but he was a force to be reckoned with. He had lots of great and witty lines and the actor, Clive Russell, did an outstanding job with the little screen time he got. I’m certain most of you wished to see him survive in Game of Thrones and support the Starks during the Battle of the Bastards. I still believe he would have made a better ex-machina than the Knights of the Vale. Sadly, the Blackfish’ premature end didn’t stole that moment away from us. He was great in his final scene, though. It wasn’t out of character to have him fight for his family house but it was a wrong discussion to not show one of the most legendary fighters final fight. Brynden Tully ends at #42 this year.

Brynden’s best moment: The Blackfish confronts Edmure Tully about his ‘victory’ and puts his nephew in his place in ‘Walk of Punishment’.

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Every year, Khal Drogo proves us that he hasn’t been forgotten among fans. This grey character certainly wasn’t a fan favourite during the first episodes of Game of Thrones but when he received Daenerys’s respect and vice versa, we started to care for Drogo. He was a strong fighter, perhaps even one of the strongest fighters the show has ever known. This Dothraki leader was Daenerys’s first lover and lasted an everlasting impression on her. The Dothraki are back with full force since season 6 and never ceased to impress us with their battle scenes. The best Dothraki character is Drogo and I’m certain that will never change. Unfortunately, Drogo loses quite some spots this year. He has been lower in this list in 2015 (46th place), so it’s definitely not his worth position. Let’s hope he’ll climb somewhat higher next season. When the sun rises in the west and sets in the east… We won’t forget you, Khal Drogo.

Drogo’s best moment: Khal Drogo promises that Daenerys shall sit on the Iron Throne before the Mother of Mountains and that their son will be the Stallion that Mounts the World in ‘You Win or You Die’

 

TOP 40 – 39 of 2017 (TO THE WALL AND BACK)


 

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Exactly like Khal Drogo, Edd loses six spots this year. Edd’s role in the seventh season certainly was a bit of a letdown since he only appeared for like 30 seconds or so. This character definitely survived much longer than we anticipated and we don’t complain about it. He’s proven to be a kind and down-to-earth Jon loyalist and he gave us one of the best humoristic scenes throughout the series. Remember that gaze of him when he watched Tormund flirting with Brienne. That’s brilliant acting by Ben Crompton. We wish to see a bit more of Edd next season, although the current circumstances predict anything good. Jon’s prophetic words did come true, though. The Wall was knocked down when he was gone. Let’s hope poor Edd does survive the imminent Long Night. For now, he ends at #41.

Edd’s best moment: That epic moment when Edd commands men of the Night’s Watch to drop the scythe in ‘The Watchers on the Wall’.

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A man is not pleased.. A man has lost four place this year. Jaqen H’ghar is slowly losing his popularity, but certainly isn’t forgotten among fans. He has got to be one of the most mysterious characters in Game of Thrones. We know so little about him that we even can’t say for sure if Jaqen H’ghar is one person or not. This faceless man trained Arya Stark to become faceless as well, even though she never finished her training course. Have we seen the last of the Faceless Men and more especially Jaqen H’ghar? I doubt so. His storyline was somewhat repetitive and disappointing in season six, but this man really keeps intriguing us in many ways. Jaqen H’ghar ends at #39 this year.

Jaqen’s best moment: Jaqen H’ghar meets up with Arya Stark, gives her an Iron Coin of the Faceless Men and tries to convince her to come to Braavos with him in ‘Valar Morghulis’.

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 The greatest swordsman the Game of Thrones universe has ever known absolutely deserves a spot among the fifty best characters, isn’t it? Arthur only appeared for four minutes in this show but look at the influence he got on fans. The sword fight against Ned Stark, Howland Reed and co. really was one of the best fight scenes we got to see in Thrones. His epic fighting style made the character even better. This honourable fighter didn’t receive the justice he deserved and got stabbed in the back by Howland Reed and later on finished by Ned Stark. Arthur Dayne will always be remembered as one of the most legendary fighters and we keep hoping to see more of him in future spin-offs. He loses two spots this year and ends at #38.

Arthur’s best (and only) moment: Arthur showed what he’s capable of during the epic sword fight against Ned, Howland and co and even wields two swords in ‘Oathbreaker’.

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Last year, Bran Stark was the biggest climber of 2016 and climbed an impressive twenty-three spots higher. This year, it’s a bit of the other way around. He goes back thirteen spots and ends at #37, not belonging to the thirty best characters anymore. The reason is a bit obvious in my book. Just like Meera Reed told him in the seventh season, he died in that cave. Bran lost a lot of his human side after he became the Three-Eyed Raven. He’s basically a walking all-knowing source, having access to information from the past, present and even the future. He’s an extremely important character and he’ll have a big part to play in the endgame of Game of Thrones. Still, we miss the characteristics that made Bran, Bran. He’s merely becoming a source of information so his character doesn’t develop any further any more, which is quite sad. Nonetheless, I’m curious to find out what will happen to Bran in the final season. At least, Bran doesn’t have to wait to find out..

Bran’s best moment: Isaac Hempstead-Wright was outstandingly good during the beheading of Rodrik Cassel in ‘The Old Gods and the New’.

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‘Hold the door’ will never have the same meaning anymore since Hodor’s tragic death back in season six. Unfortunately, this sweet giant loses four spots on our list this year. Even in death, Hodor chooses to stay close with his best friend Bran, even ending a spot ahead of him. Ever since last year, Hodor hasn’t left the list of fifty best characters and I think he never will since such he was given such an iconic death. The man didn’t have many words, but we were all emotionally so invested in him we’re still not over the man’s death. That alone does make Game of Thrones a remarkable show. Hodor or Wylis ends at #36 this year.

Hodor’s best moment: Hold the door… Hold the door… Ho-door… Hodor… in ‘The Door’

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THE BIGGEST LOSER OF 2017 

Finally, we meet the first woman in our list and who better than Lyanna Mormont, really? This little lady is as sharp as a razor and doesn’t mince her words, to anyone. She was one of the most acclaimed new characters of last year, even entering the list very highly at #22. Lyanna appeared in a few scenes this season, giving her opinion on the current issues of the North. We’re now awaiting a reunion between her and Jorah Mormont for next season. How would Lyanna react to the return of her uncle? I don’t think she’ll welcome him with open arms. Whatever the case, we’re in for more fun Lyanna Mormont, the youngest feminist Game of Thrones has known so far. Miss Mormont ends at #45 this year, losing 13(!) this year.

Lyanna’s best moment: Lyanna’s emotional and sincere speech when Jon was proclaimed King in the North in ‘The Winds of Winter’.

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The first climber of this year is Euron Greyjoy and it’s no surprise. His character was somewhat dull and unauthentic in season 6, but did he return with a vengeance this season. His scenes with Queen Cersei and Jaime were providing some comic relief in King’s Landing and his moves were quite smart and unpredictable. Euron has a greater plan up his sleeve and he’s convinced that he shall be king of the Seven Kingdoms rather soon or late. We’ve seen how dangerous and bloodthirsty Euron can be when he killed the Sand Snakes and captured Ellaria, Tyene and Yara. Everyone knows Euron isn’t a reliable ally and Cersei might realize this as well. We hope she’ll stop him before it’s too late. Euron had a remarkable, interesting season and Pilou Asbaek really took the role for granted. He climbs seven places this year and ends at #34. What is dead may never die!

Euron’s best moment: Euron released the kraken, showed his strength at sea to Yara and Ellaria and turned Theon back into Reek for a glimpse in ‘Stormborn’.

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One of the strongest actresses on the show was Michelle Fairley and I still miss her after many seasons. Her character may have made a lot of many decisions throughout her life, the love she shared for her children made her such a sympathetic character. In the end, all Catelyn wanted was to be reunited with her children. The Lannisters took everything away from her: her husband, her daughters, her oldest son. The most heartbreaking moment was when she realized she had lost everything and couldn’t care about living anymore. We’ll never forget the horrifying look on her face during the Red Wedding and of course that last scream of her. Catelyn still goes strong this year and remains a beloved character. She remains at #33 this year.

Catelyn’s best moment: Catelyn’s conversation with Talisa about Jon Snow was heartbreaking and so well-acted by Michelle Fairley in ‘Dark Wings, Dark Words’.

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The night is dark and full of terrors, old and ancient Melisandre. We didn’t see her much in season 7, but her story isn’t over yet. Melisandre promised Varys last season that she’ll return to Westeros, one last time. We know that she’ll die next season but the circumstances are still a mystery to us. Will she be executed for her past mistakes? Or will she actually perish during the Great War? We don’t know that yet. Melisandre always remains, together with Jaqen H’ghar, the most mysterious duo in the show. We got to see a more human and fragile side from Melisandre since the last few seasons. She’s slowly becoming a good character, although we won’t ever forgive what she has done to Renly and poor Shireen. Melisandre loses one spot this year. Hopefully she’ll be back with full vengeance next year.

Melisandre’s best moment: Melisandre removes her necklace and shows a glimpse of her most fragile and vulnerable side to the viewers in ‘The Red Woman’.  

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No man was kinder, or gentler or kinder. True spoken words by Samwell Tarly. Maester Aemon really was one of the kindest Game of Thrones characters out there, always giving his wisest council to those who sought help from him. I am glad Aemon got a peaceful death, dying of old age. On the other had it’s so sad that he lived to see own family being brutally murdered and that he realized that the only living Targaryen lived miles and miles away from him. In reality, he never got so close to his family in Castle Black. Too bad, he won’t ever find out about Aegon Targaryen. He would be proud of him and his family. We will always remember Maester Aemon when we speak of the Night’s Watch. Peter Vaughan truly brought this character alive and lives on in Aemon’s character forever. Maester Aemon loses two spots this year and ends at #31.

Aemon’s best moment: Aemon reveals to Jon his true identity and tells how much the death of his family members affected him in ‘Baelor’.

 

TOP 30 – 21 of 2017 (WOLVES, SPIDERS AND OTHER BEASTS )


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A year ago, she was the biggest loser in our list losing fourteen spots. Ygritte shows she hasn’t been forgotten among fans and gains back nine spots this year. Perhaps Jon’s recent relationship with Daenerys made us think back of this time that he got a relationship with Ygritte which was really one of the most intimate and tragic love stories in Game of Thrones yet. Ygritte has become a part of Jon Snow and just like Khal Drogo had a huge influence on Daenerys, Ygritte changed Jon for good. The wildling went down fighting for freedom and died in the arms of her lover. We couldn’t imagine a more bittersweet death for her. Ygritte ends at #30 this year.

Ygritte’s best moment: Ygritte doesn’t want to say goodbye to Jon and shoots him with arrows, having them missed on purpose in ‘Mhysa’.  

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He was one of the very first characters that we grow to hate from the first episodes on. There wasn’t anything good to tell about this boy, although Joffrey made some smart remarks like preventing Daenerys from gaining more power way back in season three when nobody cared about ‘curiosities beyond the Narrow Sea’. He was an unredeemable prick and nobody really cared for his death but his mother Cersei. Many were even relieved that he died. Jack Gleeson, the actor, on the other hand, did a terrific job bringing this evil Joffrey alive. Joffrey was certainly one of the best evil guys in Game of Thrones and he still isn’t forgotten among the fans. We loved to see Joffrey go, but we were saddened to have the actor leave the series. Joffrey remains one of Game of Thrones’s best characters, even climbing one spot at #29.

Joffrey’s best moment: Joffrey Baratheon showed his truly evil side and became one of the most hated character after he ordered Ned Stark to be executed in ‘Baelor’.

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Another honourable and legendary fighter among this list is Barristan Selmy and he’s still going strong here. Barristan didn’t have the epic death scene everyone hoped for but his character brought us a handful of epic scenes we’ll never forget. Barristan Selmy lived his life to serve his king, but never got to serve a king or queen he actually believed in. That was until he met Queen Daenerys Targaryen, a person he actually cared for and believed in. He even told her some stories about her brother Rhaegar, whom he really appreciated. Just like Daenerys, we were very upset to see him go. This year, ser Barristan loses one spots and still maintains a strong position right at #28.

Barristan’s best moment: Barristan is dismissed by King Joffrey and Cersei but still manages to quit like a boss in ‘The Pointy End’.

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Your House will disappear.. Your name will disappear.. All memories of you will disappear.. Sansa’s words didn’t really come true, though. He still is doing quite well in our top fifty best characters. Ramsay is, in my opinion at least, the worst Game of Thrones character to date. His death was thus the most satisfying one, alongside Joffrey and Walder Frey. He didn’t exit without leaving an everlasting mark on his victims like Sansa and Theon. Both became in their way stronger under his torture and are still alive and kicking, unlike Ramsay. Ramsay Bolton did kill a lot of characters himself, just think of Osha, Roose Bolton, Walda Frey and Rickon Stark. We couldn’t wish death sooner upon this monstrous character. Ramsay does lose two spots this year, still kicking this list at #27.

Ramsay’s best moment: Iwan Rheon brought us one of the best acted and most satisfying TV-deaths ever in ‘The Battle of the Bastards’.

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Bow you shits, Bobby B is here (and how)! Robert Baratheon makes an impressive ‘comeback’ in our list after almost disappearing last year. Robert loved whoring and hunting in his last days and the last one caused his death, although his ‘loving’ wife played a part in it as well. Robert Baratheon definitely wasn’t the worst king Westeros has known but he wasn’t the most pleasant man to keep company with. His hatred toward the Targaryens was a bit too much if you ask me. Are the Baratheons all gone from the world? Perhaps Gendry might have a last part to play in the war to come, honouring his father’s house. Daddy B would be proud of his son. Sixteen spots higher this year and Robert Baratheon ends at #26.

Robert’s best moment: Robert’s honest and somewhat awkward conversation with Cersei Lannister in ‘The Wolf and the Lion’.

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THE BIGGEST CLIMBER OF 2017

Last year, he made his long-awaited arrival in our list at #44 and look where he stands this year! Another huge climber next to Robert Baratheon is Beric Dondarrion and that’s no surprise to be honest. Beric had a larger role to play in the most recent season, fighting alongside Jon and co. against the Army of the Dead. Beric is here for a reason, as he stated himself. He has been brought back by Thoros of Myr, a character that’s no longer with us. I don’t see him surviving the series but I do think he’ll have an important role to play in bringing down the Night King. Why would the Lord of Light want to keep him alive for so long? Beric Dondarrion did have a questionable fate in his last scene this season. So we have to wait quite some time to find out whether he survived or not. Let’s hope for the best. I still want to see this epic character fight the dead with his flaming sword. Beric Dondarrion climbs eighteen (yes, nineteen!) spots and ends in the middle, at #25.

Beric’s best moment: Beric Dondarrion fights with Sandor Clegane during the latter’s trial by combat in ‘Kissed by Fire. 

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He makes a small step forward, but he goes forward at last. Ser Friendzone has been cured successfully, thank the gods and is still among the living after the seventh season of Game of Thrones. His wish may never come true, but he still doesn’t give up serving Daenerys Targaryen. We can easily forgive him for his mistakes in the past and could call him an honourable man, even though that’s not entirely true. There’s no better man in the world than Jorah the Andal to pronounce ‘Khaleesi’ so rough and yet so epic. And he was rocking his new armour this season! We hope Daenerys’s promise come true and Jorah will indeed by next to her side if she rules the Seven Kingdoms. Until that time, Jorah is taking a steady position right at #24.

Jorah’s best moment: That heart-breaking moment when Jorah decides to leave Daenerys Targaryen to not bother her with his disease but she commands him to find the cure in order to be back with her it is in ‘The Door’.

 

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Ouch.. Not so good news for our favourite spider, Lord Varys. Unlike other seasons, Varys has a disappointing storyline this season and not much stuff to work with. His character was reduced to Tyrion’s sidekick, when he was so much more in previous seasons. Still, he remains one of my favourite characters thanks to Conleth Hill’s amazing portrayal. Varys may have been a less sympathetic character in the first seasons, that has entirely changed since he chose to side with Daenerys Targaryen, a Queen he truly believes in. His true motivations might lie with the common folk but we will certainly find out next season if that’s entirely true. Sadly, Lord Varys has lost some fans and votes and loses eleven spots, disappearing from the best 20 characters after having his position secured for this year. Perhaps next season will be a better one for Varys and we’ll see him back where he belongs. For now, he ends at #23 this year.

Varys’s best moment: Varys tells Tyrion about the reason why he lost his manhood and how exacted revenge after all those years in ‘And Now His Watch Is Ended’.

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The former King in the North does lose one spot this year, unfortunately. Ever since 2016, Robb Stark is slowly losing popularity but we can’t call the 22th position a bad spot. It’s quite the opposite. Robb Stark was a Stark by all means. He was honourable and loyal, but not so true to his word as his father was. That one mistake cost his head, literally. The Young Wolf might be young forever, he did have an emotional time on Game of Thrones and one of the worst character fates. He died in much pain and agony, together with his mother. The Red Wedding isn’t a celebration we’d like to think back at. Young Robb Stark ends this year quite well at #22 and he deserves it.  

Robb’s best moment: Robb Stark is proclaimed King in the North in an epic scene in ‘Fire and Blood’.

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This one makes me sad… Margaery Tyrell no longer belongs to the top 20 best characters of Game of Thrones this year. Margaery arguably was one of the best queens that ruled the Seven Kingdoms. Being groomed by one of the best, her grandmother Olenna Tyrell, Margaery also cared for the common folk and always found a way to make the best out of a situation. Trouble really started from season five on, right after Tywin Lannister died. Cersei Lannister no longer saw a reason to stop the Tyrells from increasing their power and started to bring them down eventually. Margaery got imprisoned, tricked the High Sparrow into believing that she converted herself and the king to the pious believers of the Faith. In fact, Margaery was pulling all the strings and was winning the Game of Thrones. Unfortunately, Cersei used an inhumane way to get rid of everyone that tried to put her in checkmate. Our golden rose ends gracefully at the 21th place.

Margaery’s best moment: Margaery played Joffrey like a fiddle and profiled both of them as capable and beloved leaders to the common folk during ‘And Now His Watch Is Ended’.

 

THE 20 BEST CHARACTERS OF 2017

TOP 20 – 11 of 2017 (FIGHTERS AND MASTERMINDS)


  

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Here are the twenty best characters of 2017… And I am glad she’s part of it. I could talk for hours about my love for this woman and I am very glad to see her gaining popularity this year. Olenna Tyrell started out as a funny, witty character and fully changed into a broken, but still sharp lady. Her story is quite tragic but she still managed to get the upper hand of almost everyone in any conversation. Olenna was a remarkable strong force in the show and stole every scene she was in thanks to Dame Diana Rigg’s terrific acting skills. I always wished that she was able to avenge her family herself, but unfortunately she never got the chance to. After all those great scenes, Olenna even won her own death scene. Only the Queen of Thorns could do that. She deservedly ends at #20 this year.

Olenna’s best moment: Olenna gets a painless death by Jaime Lannister but not before admitting that she killed his son in a gruesome way in ‘The Queen’s Justice’

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Way back in 2015, he ended at #42 and look where he ends this year! He wasn’t a very popular character back then, but since season 6 we all grew to care for Samwell Tarly. He is the kind of person Westeros need in order to be saved from the doom that’s coming upon them. Samwell tried to learn more about defeating the White Walkers and to convince the Citadel to undertake action. He failed to convince them, but received a lot of important information. He discovered a mountain of dragonglass in Dragonstone, he cured ser Jorah from greyscale and he found out about the secret marriage between Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. Samwell is, without a doubt, one of the most important and vital characters in Game of Thrones and his role will certainly get expanded in the final season. Could he ever make the top ten best characters? We’ll find out next year. For now, he ends very well at #19.

Sam’s best moment: Samwell and Bran put the pieces of the puzzle together and learn that Jon Snow is the true heir to the Iron Throne in ‘The Dragon and the Wolf’.

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The Lady of Winterfell stays right where she is, at #18. You don’t hear me complaining. Sansa Stark had one of the most interesting arcs in Game of Thrones, changing from a naïve girl to a strong-minded lady. Her view upon the world of Game of Thrones changed drastically throughout the years and she had no choice then to change it. She was forced to marry the sadistic Joffrey and Ramsay, she got manipulated by better players like Littlefinger and Tywin Lannister, but in the end she learnt a lot from her past. Sansa Stark is starting to receive the respect she deserves and I’m very happy about that. Her reunion with her sister Arya was one of her main plotlines last season and it was a struggle to accept how much they both changed. In the end, they realized that they need each other if they want to survive the coming winter. How beautiful… Sansa ends at #18.

Sansa’s best moment: Sansa becomes a vital player of the game and exacts revenge on the man who manipulated her since she was a child in ‘The Dragon and the Wolf’

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It’s been a few years that Stannis Baratheon is no longer with us, but he certainly isn’t forgotten yet. Stannis was one the best grey character the show has had. He definitely wasn’t a bad guy as he cared for the threat beyond the Wall and was the only person to save the Night’s Watch during their war against the wildlings. He did make many mistakes in the past that couldn’t be forgiven and he got rightfully punished for them. Stannis himself accepted his fate and realized he had lost everything thanks to his lust to power. Stannis Baratheon was a man with an iron will and went way too far to achieve his goals. I wonder what choices he would have made if Melisandre’s didn’t keep him company. I guess we never know. Stannis loses two spots this year and ends at a respectable 17th position, being the best Baratheon character the show had ever had.

Stannis’s best moment: Stannis Baratheon saves the day and comes to the rescue to help the Night’s Watch win the war against the King-Beyond-The-Wall in ‘The Children’.

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He keeps climbing! It’s unbelievable. After a climb of seventeen steps last year, Tormund keeps going forward in our list ending at #16 this year. This ginger wildling wasn’t a fan favourite in his first season, but as the series progressed, we started to like this guy more and more and now we can imagine Game of Thrones without him anymore. Tormund provides, together with Sandor Clegane, the best kind of humour in the show. D&D should really think about a spin-off series where Tormund and The Hound decide to travel around Westeros. I never thought to see Tormund in season eight, the final season, but here we are. His last scene didn’t predict anything good but this character is way too epic to not get a memorable death on-screen. I doubt we have seen the last of Tormund Giantsbane. After all, he needs to make a lot of babies with Brienne of Tarth. Tormund ends at #16 this year.

Tormund’s best moment: Tormund’s funny conversation with the Hound during their mission in ‘Beyond the Wall’.

 

THE 15 BEST CHARACTERS OF 2017

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Brienne’s certainly one of the strongest female character in Game of Thrones, literally and figuratively speaking. Brienne didn’t have a memorable storyline in season 7, so it surprises me to see her climbing on our list. Don’t get me wrong, I am very happy to see this strong character popularity increasing still. It’s also funny to see her right above Tormund. Fate brought them together! Brienne’s endgame isn’t very obvious and it looks like she’s right in the middle of a love triangle. The most honourable woman in Westeros definitely deserves a high spot in the list of best characters and I’m glad to tell you she made the fifteen best characters of this year. She deserves so for keeping her oath to Catelyn Stark after all those years. Brienne of Tarth ends at #15.

Brienne’s best moment: Brienne of Tarth fights for Arya in an epic battle against the Hound in ‘The Children’.

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Entering the fifteen best Game of Thrones character, at last. Here’s Theon Greyjoy. Theon Greyjoy had a remarkable ride throughout the series. He had the best character development in my opinion, although he was underused this season. Theon suffered immensely in Game of Thrones, even suffering the worst fate of any character now that his sister is abducted and maybe tortured as well. Theon is slowly finding his identity underneath the burden again and found the strength to motivate his men to rescue Yara from Euron. If Theon manages to free Yara and make it out alive is an open question. If this is Theon’s true endgame, then I doubt all three of them are going to survive the rescue attempt. Theon is undoubtedly a very well-written character and I am looking forward to the final conclusion of his arc. This year, he climbs three spots and ends at #14.

Theon’s best moment: Alfie Allen’s facial expressions when he turned into Reek again after Yara got captured by Euron in ‘Stormborn’.

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Exactly like his protégée Sansa Stark, he stays right where he is at #13. Thirteen may be an unlucky number and so was Littlefinger’s fate this season. He tried to set up Sansa Stark against her sister but he got killed off in his own web of lies. Petyr Baelish was an exceptional character, gaining more and more influence each season. He kept using Sansa to gain more power but like he once stated himself, knowledge is power. Bran has become a source of knowledge, so it was a lose-lose situation for Petyr Baelish since he plotted so much in secret and behind everyone’s back. Was he really in love with Sansa or was that just another lie of him? Only Petyr knows. He ends at #13 this year.

 Littlefinger’s best moment: Petyr Baelish gets trapped in his own web of lies and can’t find a way to escape justice anymore in ‘The Wolf and the Lion’.

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The one and only Martell in this list is Oberyn Martell and what a character he was. Oberyn only survived one season of Game of Thrones but his character brought us so many unforgettable moments. The way Oberyn got introduced made him a remarkable character immediately. His death angered Dorne and in particular Ellaria Sand so the ball got rolling many seasons after his death. We may all conclude that Oberyn was the most important Martell to date as a lot of side plots are centered around his character and his tragic death. Unfortunately, the Martells will never be able to get revenge for Oberyn’s and Elia’s unfortunate deaths. Oberyn was an honest and inspiring character and every year I am happy to see him ending so high. He does lose one spot this year, though. Oberyn ends at #12.

Oberyn’s best moment: Oberyn’s emotional conversation with Tyrion Lannister in Tyrion’s dungeon in ‘Mockingbird’.

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What a journey did he have last season! From fighting dragons to meeting Dragon Queens, Bronn was with a doubt one of the most badass characters of the seventh season. This man doesn’t just say whatever he thinks, but he owns everyone in conversation. Bronn is a bit of a selfish character and can’t you blame him for that. He doesn’t need to be honourable in his opinion and seizes every opportunity if there’s something to gain for him. He has been a friend of the Lannisters for a good time now, so I hope his debt get paid at some point. Bronn really deserves a beautiful castle and a hot, highborn lady. I’m curious to find out what’s in store for him now with Jaime Lannister out of King’s Landing. Will he join his comrade back to North or does he think of his own well-being and stay right where he is? We’ll certainly find out next season. Bronn almost made the top 10! He does climb three spots though and ends at an impressive 11th place.

Bronn’s best moment: Bronn wields Qyburn’s scorpion to kill off Drogon in the badass episode ‘The Spoils of War’.

THE 10 BEST GAME OF THRONES CHARACTERS OF 2017

TOP 10 – 1 of 2017 (THE BEST OF THE BEST)


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We open the top 10 best characters with the first Lannister we come across, Cersei Lannister. Just like last year, she gets the honour to open the top ten. Queen Cersei had an impressive arc since season 5, becoming one of Game of Thrones’s most prominent characters. Although her path toward the endgame is becoming darker and darker. Cersei has lost all of her children at this point and the fact that there’s one more yet to come, eases Cersei’s mind for the time being. She has something to fight for. If she loses the child, Cersei’s madness will be unleashed and with Jaime gone, there’s no one left to reason with Cersei. King’s Landing would be a damned place. The Queen of the Seven Kingdoms keeps her strong position very well and ends at #10.

Cersei’s best moment: Cersei uses a wildcard to get rid of all those who tried to put her in checkmate in ‘The Winds of Winter’.

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Papa Lannister loses one spot this year. Such a brilliant and well-acted character (thanks to Charles Dance) definitely deserves a place among the ten best Game of Thrones characters. He hasn’t been forgotten at all and I think he never will. One of the cleverest and pragmatic characters certainly is Tywin Lannister and his character always kept its value throughout all seasons so it was sad to see him leave the series. Tywin Lannister wasn’t a sympathetic character at all, making me disliking him from the moment he treated Tyrion like he means nothing to him. I do understand the choices he has made, as they were clever and did the Lannister name only justice. With him gone, House Lannister started to crumble and he would turn in his grave if he found out that Cersei was queen now. Tywin keeps his high position, deservedly at #9.

Tywin’s best moment: Tywin’s final confrontation with his son Tyrion in ‘The Children’.

 

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Two years ago, Ned Stark would still be a top five character. Times have changed and Ned Stark slowly loses his top position, ending relatively high at #8. Ned Stark is an iconic Game of Thrones character and the list would definitely incomplete if he didn’t make the top ten. Ned Stark’s character was the catalyst of almost every important event in Game of Thrones and I wouldn’t mind if the series ended with a scene where Ned Stark is remembered, just like in ‘The Wolf and the Dragon’ where Sansa and Arya share memories of their father. Ned Stark would be so proud of his children. Too bad he isn’t around anymore to see where they stand now. He ends at #8 in 2017.

Ned’s best moment: Ned Stark iconic death scene in ‘Baelor’ laid bare the whole philosophy behind Game of Thrones. 

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Wow, I didn’t expect this to happen. Arya Stark doesn’t belong to the five best Game of Thrones characters anymore. I am bit gutted about this as she’s definitely one of my favourite TV-characters ever. Arya had an emotional season, reuniting with her brother and sister, hearing that Jon is still alive and has become King in the North and seeing Nymeria again after all those years. We were also confronted with Arya’s coldness last season. She truly has become a cold serial killer but for good purposes only. Her quarrelling with Sansa wasn’t the writers’ best choice, but her last conversation with Sansa makes up for that. Arya Stark is one of Game of Thrones’ strongest female character as she’s one of the few female characters that make it to the top ten. She ends at #7 this year.

Arya’s best moment: Arya poisons all of the male Freys to bring winter upon their House in ‘Dragonstone’.

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No need to look sad anymore, Sandor Clegane. You’re going up! The Hound had a thrilling season, fighting the dead and bringing one into King’s Landing. Cleganebowl was even teased by the end of the seventh season. Sandor wasn’t a beloved character in the first season and many blamed him for the death of Mycah. As the seasons passed by, the Hound started to realize that you can use violence for good purposes as well and he began to change his view on the world. He started his path down redemption. The Hound really is the definition of a wolf in sheep’s clothing. You would be terrified if you met this guy for the first time, but when you get to know him better you’d find out there’s a broken man inside, a good soul that can only be seen by those who want to. The Hound remains one of Game of Thrones’ best characters, ending at the sixth spot this year.

The Hound’s best moment: The Hound wants to eat all the fucking chickens and gets rid of everyone who stands between him and his chickens in ‘Two Swords’.

WE ARE ENTERING TOP FIVE


But before that, I first want to mention the characters who were thrown out of the top 50 this year:

  • The Mountain (2016: 50th place)
  • Yara Greyjoy (2016: 49th place)
  • Gendry (2016: 48th place)
  • Wun Wun (2016: 46th place)
  • Meera Reed (2016: 45th place)

THE GREAT GAME: THE BIG FIVE

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Ser Davos Seaworth opens our top five again this year, keeping his position at #5. Davos has always been a loyal advisor, once to Stannis Baratheon and now to Jon Snow. Even though the character gives wise council to those who need it, he also provides some comic relief at times. Davos is a funny and witty character and often these traits makes the best characters. Ser Davos is certainly one of the good guys and I hope he’ll survive the series, counselling whoever is king or queen then. The Onion Knight has also been quite fond of children, especially young girls like Lyanna or Shireen. It would be a fitting ending for his character that he’ll take care of Jonerys’s baby girl by the end of Game of Thrones. Maybe I’m just hoping for too much. We all grow to love Davos and that’s why he ends so high this year again.  

Davos’s best moment: Davos confronts Melisandre with Shireen’s death and gets emotional in ‘The Winds of Winter’.

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Tyrion Lannister was the best Game of Thrones character two years ago. Since then, he started losing his position and now disappears from the top three and I can see why. Tyrion had an amazing arc right up to season 4, which was in my opinion when his character’s popularity peaked. Tyrion didn’t have a very interesting storyline since season 5 and mainly became Daenerys’s sidekick. He didn’t have nearly as much well-written dialogues anymore and he started to become quite dull in season 6. Season 7 changed that somehow and Tyrion did get a handful of memorable moments in season 7, like his long-awaited confrontation with Cersei. Aside from all this, Tyrion remains a character we’re all very invested in and we wish to see him survive Game of Thrones, earning a position he deserves to have. Tyrion’s main strength has always been his intellect and it would be nice to see more of that witty side in the final season. Tyrion get kicked out of the top three and ends right at #4.

Tyrion’s best moment: Nothing can top Peter Dinklage’s performance during the trial scene in ‘The Laws of Gods and Men’.

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It’s a real surprise to see him here! This means we have a different best Game of Thrones character this year! Wow, I am excited for this, but sad to see Jon Snow / Aegon Targaryen losing his position. Jon Snow has become one of the central characters in later season, perhaps the most important character in the TV-series. He did have a remarkable season this year, meeting Daenerys Tagaryen, falling in love with her and of course the revelation that he’s Aegon Targaryen a.k.a. the true heir to the Iron Throne. Jon Snow grew out to become a very capable leader who actually cares for his people. He’s the right kind of king that should sit on the Iron Throne. After such a ‘Jon Snow’ driven season it’s a bit weird to see him lose his head position, but I’m up to surprises anyway. I’m looking forward to Jon Snow’s conclusion next season, although I fear it’s going to be a very emotional and impactful one. Jon Snow receives bronze this year. Well done, nonetheless!

Jon’s best moment: The Night King and Jon Snow staring at each other in a horrifying confrontation in ‘Hardhome’ will always stay with me.

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THE BEST MALE CHARACTER OF 2017

He almost made it to the top position! Jaime Lannister keeps climbing and ends at a spectacular 2nd place this year. What a surprise. Jaime had a wonderful season and became one of my favourite characters this year. His confrontation with Olenna made up for one of the best scenes in the series, his fight scenes during the ‘Spoils of War’ were amazingly good and him leaving King’s Landing made me much more emotional than I would have thought. What a character development did he get throughout the years. From being the guy we all hated to the guts, to a character we started to care for and now cheer for. Only Game of Thrones could make us do that. Even though we all love Daenerys, wasn’t he just epic when he tried to kill her off on his own in order to save Westeros from the Mad King’s daughter. It wasn’t a wise decision, though. Jaime receives silver this year. Could he make it to the very first postion next year? We shall see.. For now, he’s the best Lannister character.

Jaime’s best moment: Jaime’s emotional confession to Brienne of Tarth in ‘Kissed By Fire’ changed our view upon his character for good.

THE BEST GAME OF THRONES CHARACTER OF 2017

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THE BEST FEMALE CHARACTER OF 2017

The biggest surprise of 2017 is undoubtedly Daenerys Targaryen climbing to the first position. And it wasn’t even close! Daenerys had the best arc in season seven. She arrived in Dragonstone, met up with a lot of important characters like Jon Snow or the Lannister siblings/lovers, used fire and blood against team Cersei, rescued Jon and co. from the White Walker threat and lost a dragon in the process. Her biggest moment this season was her boat sex scene with Jon Snow. The moment Daenerys arrived with her dragons and took the risk to save Jon Snow and co. from the White Walkers, we all embraced her as our Queen. Daenerys Targaryen may have had more boring seasons. like season 4 and 5. Season 7 was Dany’s strongest season to date, making the viewers struggle to actually classify her as good ruler or a bad one. We came to the final conclusion that she really deserves the Iron Throne in the end and even if her character wasn’t 100% well received among fans, we all agree at this point that she is the best character in the entire season. We love you, Khaleesi. Congratulations!  

Daenerys’s best moment: Daenerys flying on Drogon above her Dothraki army ready to attack the Lannister soldiers in ‘The Spoils of War’. 

Thanks for those who took the time to vote for my poll or some who even upvoted my post so I could receive more votes. It was a pleasure to host this interesting poll and to see how character’s popularity evolves each season. I hope to see you back at some point in 2018. Take care!

For those who can’t get enough and want to know where the other characters stranded. 

51. SHIREEN BARATHEON

52. YARA GREYJOY

53. MISSANDEI

54. THE MOUNTAIN

55. MEERA REED

56. VISERYS TARGARYEN

57. HOT PIE

58. BENJEN STARK

59. GENDRY

60. WUN WUN

61. QYBURN

62. ALLISER THORNE

63. GREY WORM

64. LYANNA STARK

65. DORAN MARTELL

66. GILLY

67. RENLY BARATHEON

68. QHORIN HALFHAND

69. WALDER FREY

70. TOMMEN BARATHEON

71. KARL TANNER

72. YOREN

73. EDMURE TULLY

74. OSHA

75. GRENN

76. TYENE SAND

77. JORY CASSEL

78. ROS

79. ELLARIA SAND

80. HIGH SPARROW

81. MAESTER LUWIN

82. AERON GREYJOY

83. DICKON TARLY

84. KEVAN LANNISTER

85. MACE TYRELL

86. DAARIO NAHARIS

87. IRRI

88. BROTHER RAY

89. TALISA STARK

90. GREATJON UMBER

91. YOHN ROYCE

92. OLLY

93. MYRCELLA BARATHEON

94. AREO HOTAH

95. JOJEN REED

96. BALON GREYJOY

97. LANCEL LANNISTER

98. ANGUY

99. LEAF

100. ROBIN ARRYN


 

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Top 25 best of Game of Thrones soundtrack (2017 edition)

Season 7 has already come to an end but not without delivering another wonderful brand new soundtrack. To be honest, what would Game of Thrones be without its wonderful soundtrack? Ramin Djawadi honestly never disappoints and we’re here to ‘honor’ his work by picking the 25 best music pieces of his work in Game of Thrones. Sounds like an impossible job, isn’t it? Will ‘Light of the Seven’ remain at the first spot this year? Let’s find out. 

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Jon and Ygritte’s love theme finally makes an entry in our list, opening the top 25. Jon Snow’s love story with Daenerys Targaryen became one of the central storylines of last season. Nevertheless, we were reminded of Jon’s previous relationship with Ygritte. If one listened carefully, you could hear bits of ‘You Know Nothing’ in season 7’s ‘Dragonglass’. Jon may have found love again, we will never forget the scenes he shared with Ygritte on screen. Their moments together were so passionate that Kit Harington (Jon Snow) and Rose Leslie (Ygritte) started a relationship together. They’re still together today. ‘You Know Nothing’ found inspiration in one of Game of Thrones’ most famous catchphrases, spoken by Ygritte (You know nothing, Jon Snow). It’s sad to know that these same words were Ygritte’s final words to her lover. 

 

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The first variation on the famous House Stark theme in our list is ‘Winter Has Come’ and captures one of the show’s most important moments, namely the proclamation of the new King in the North. This motivating song made us all go chanting ‘The King in the North’, as Jon Snow finally stepped up his game and got named King, just like his brother Robb in season 1. Now that winter truly has come, the North will need a capable ruler and Jon fits the bill. ‘Winter Has Come’ makes its first appearance in our list on number #24. 

 

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The one and only Greyjoy theme loses two spots this year but still manages to remain in the top 25 for three consecutive years. Well done, House Greyjoy. We first hear this theme when Theon Greyjoy decides to fully embrace his inner Greyjoy and to baptize himself in fuction of the Drowned God. Theon had a remarkable ride in season 2 and it may have been his best season in the series. We were happy to hear the Greyjoy theme at last and it’s peculiar in it’s own way. The title ‘What is Dead may Never Die’ refer to the words of House Greyjoy as this song is the personification of House Greyjoy itself. As for season 7, House Greyjoy is still going strong. Theon finally found himself once again and Euron has become one of the most powerful players. 

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Winterfell has always belonged to House Stark, even though it hasn’t always been ruled by a Stark. In seasons five and six the Boltons took Winterfell and changed the beautiful place for good. Since season 6, House Stark has retaken Winterfell and it belongs to its true owners again. This beautiful rendition of the Stark theme was first played in season 2, during the sack of Winterfell. Bran and Rickon had to flee their home in order to survive. ‘Winterfell’ was played again when Sansa was rebuilding her family’s castle in the snow. In ‘The Winds of Winter’ when Sansa and Jon were standing on the walls of Winterfell, we heard ‘Winterfell’ a last time. We will always be happy if Winterfell is ruled by a Stark. And as the saying goes, there must always be a Stark in Winterfell. I am glad that this rendition still manages to climb one spot this year. 

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Queen Cersei will not be pleased to find out that her coronation song has lost a considerable amount of places. Last year this version of the Lannister theme entered the list on #13. ‘Hear me Roar’ screams House Lannisters, yet it sounds darker and more powerful. You can even hear ‘Light of the Seven’ in this song as it had a strong effect on the current position of House Lannister. Cersei made a risky move but it paid her off very well last season. Queen Cersei was crowned Queen of the Seven Kingdoms and ‘Hear me Roar’ was absolutely a fitting song to capture the essence of that scene: ‘dark and powerful’. The coronation was, without a doubt, one of the most powerful scenes in Game of Thrones even though few words were said. It was all about the music and the facial expressions. And we must admit, Lena Headey’s facial expressions are always the best. 

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Two years ago, ‘The Children’ would have ended at the first place of our list. Since last year, this song keeps losing a lot of places and ends at #20 this year. ‘The Children’ contains the typical Stark theme, bits of ‘King in the North’ and Arya’s Faceless theme. The variation of so many different themes is what makes this song so atypical compared to the other Stark songs. ‘The Children’ is the very last song in season 4 and can be heard when Arya leaves Westeros behind to head to Braavos in order to find Jaqen H’ghar. 

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When Ice falls in love with Fire… We all know this was going to happen at one point in Game of Thrones and the set up to their relationship was beautiful and heartwarming. It’s certainly one of the most honest and tragic relationships on the TV-screen. The moment Viserion died may have broken our hearts, but it has certainly brought together Jon and Dany for good. This hauntingly beautiful theme enters our list on #19. 

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Daenerys’s first theme in this list is ‘Reign’. A very powerful rendition of the Targaryen theme and the Dragons theme. Daenerys demonstrates her power once again to the slavers and brings fire and blood to Meereen. With full force, she flies on Drogon’s back while Viserion and Rhaegal set themselves free. Then Daenerys decides to burn the slavers’ ships. The whole sequence was badass and one of the best cinematic scenes ever. Reign loses 3 spots this year, but still ends at a well-deserved 18th place. 

 

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The biggest climber last year was ‘Mother of Dragons’, which went from #21 tot #6. This year, Khaleesi’s theme doesn’t make it to the top 10 anymore. Still, it earns a respectable place in our top. Daenerys Targaryen manages to free her dragons out of the hands of the Warlocks of Qarth and learns a lesson of two, trust no one. The Mother of Dragons sacks the city and buys a ship for herself and her people to sail to Slaver’s Bay. ‘Mother of Dragons’ has to be one of the most optimistic renditions of Daenerys’s theme, illustrating that she’s back in the game. She definitely was. 

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Chaos isn’t a pit, chaos is a ladder. It’s weird to live in a world where Petyr Baelish isn’t alive any longer. Back in season 3, this master schemer had such great plans and lines and easily was one of the most fascinating and dark characters in Game of Thrones. From season 6 on Littlefinger’s character became a bit bland and lost its glory. Still, this soundtrack describes Littlefinger best: mysterious, powerful and pragmatic. Petyr’s dialogue with Varys was amazing and this song perfectly accompanied the scene. ‘Chaos is a Ladder’ does lose quite some spots and ends at #16. 

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A re-entry this year! ‘Dracarys’ has always been one of the most powerful dragon themes in Game of Thrones and installed the basis for later renditions of this epic theme. The scene where ‘Dracarys’ is first used when the dragons show their true strength. Daenerys’s close relationship with Drogon became obvious in this very scene. She uses dragonfire for the first time and hell breaks loose. The scene has grown out to become one of the iconic scenes of Game of Thrones and portrayed Daenerys as the most powerful female character in the series. ‘Dracarys’ is back with a vengeance and ends at #15. 

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What a rare Game of Thrones song this is, ‘Winter is Here’. This variation on the Main Titles is certainly beautiful but haunting as well and so was the scene where this song appeared in. Winter is King’s Landing. Sure it was wonderful to see snowflakes fall in the capital but we all know this means one thing, that winter is here. We know what winter will bring next season. ‘Winter is Here’ enters this list on #14 this year. 

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Another splendid song of season 7’s soundtrack and in my opinion the best variation on House Stark’s theme song. This version was used for Arya’s return to Winterfell, which brought tears to my eyes. All of the Stark children are home again and this songs conveys the message perfectly. The song is also used when Sansa and Arya reminisces childhood memories of their father and tell each other they miss him. The two sisters have finally found the way toward each other and now that winter is here they’ll certainly need each other strengths. ‘Home’ enters at #13. 

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Season 7 brought a lot of great themes and variations and The Spoils of War was another one among them. The episode ‘The Spoils of War’ was certainly the best one in the seventh season and was accompanied with this badass variation of Daenerys’s theme, the Dothraki theme, the Dragon theme and House Lannister’s theme. All of these variations and themes in one song must make up for a huge song! ‘The Spoils of War’ nearly missed the 10 best tracks from the Game of Thrones soundtrack. The best part in my opinion? The very end of Spoils of War part 2 when Jaime decides to save Westeros from the wrath of Daenerys Targaryen. Such an heroic scene and soundtrack. 

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It’s getting exhausting.. Can we already conclude that Ramin Djawadi’s best work was in season 7? The Army of the Dead is, without a single doubt, the most terrifying song throughout Djawadi’s oeuvre. The song captures one of Game of Thrones’s most iconic scenes: the fall of the Wall. The White Walkers can finally start invading Westeros and we’ll definitely see the consequences of that in season 7. The Night King now rides Viserion and used its powers to tear down the Wall to lead its army south and to increase it. This situation is certainly getting way out of the hand.. We’ll see how Westeros deals with that next season. As for the ‘Army of the Dead’, it makes a promising debut on #11. 

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And yet another track from the season 7 soundtrack makes it to the top 10. ‘Against all Odds’ accompanied another important and iconic moment in Game of Thrones’s television history. Daenerys saw the threat behind the Wall for the very first time with her one eyes and it was not without losses on both sides. Daenerys might have saved Jon and co. from the dead but also looked right into the eyes of the Night King. This was the first time we saw a truly frightened Daenerys. Against All Odds contains Jon Snow’s heroic theme song, the White Walkers’ theme, The Lord of Light’s theme, Daenerys’s theme and the dragons’ theme, in other word QUITE a lot!  The best part of the song is when Daenerys comes to the rescue. The end of ‘Against All Odds’ gets very emotional and sad as it points out to the Night King murdering poor Viserion which leads to Viserion’s tragic death and Daenerys having to flee the scene in order to save her other dragons. ‘Against All Odds’ enters the top 25 at #10. 

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Last year, the Tower made the top 10. This year the song loses two places.. I’m a bit sad about this. One of the most beautiful and important scenes throughout the history of Game of Thrones should have earned a better place. The best part of the song is when we hear the build-up to Jon Snow’s close-up. He may have never seen his mother, not knowing who she actually is, but the viewers know that she cared a lot about her baby. She would’ve been so proud of him now. When I first heard the song, I had goosebumps and I’m sure many will agree with me. ‘The Tower’ ends at #9 this year and I keep hoping for a better place next year. 

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Finally a song from the very first season! ‘Goodbye Brother’ has been the soundtrack for a lot of iconic scenes in Game of Thrones and mostly they involved Jon Snow. We first heard this track when Jon says goodbye to his favourite sister, Arya and when he’s about to say goodbye to Bran. The next time we hear this track is when he dies.. Not a pleasant scene, but this song will always remind us of that very scene. On a more optimistic note, this song has been re-used when Sansa and Jon first hug each other after so many years. I am sure we’ll hear ‘Goodbye Brother’ one more time before the show ends. The questions is when.. The song wins one spot this year and ends at #8.

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I am very very glad to see this song ending so high on this list. ‘Dragonstone’ is easily one of Daenerys’s best renditions of her theme. The return to her family home should be emotional (hence the quieter part from 1:05 to 2:20) followed by a majestic, grandiose variation of House Targaryen’s theme. The homecoming of the ‘last’ Targaryen should have been treated as a majestic moment and the soundtrack definitely provided the right vibes. ‘Dragonstone’ enters this list very high, namely at #7. 

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Finally! Finally the iconic main titles enters our list. It has taken 3 years to have people understand that this song belongs in the top 10 at least and it does make an impressive debut by entering the list at #6. The top 6 is opened by the song we hear the most when we watch Game of Thrones. We never grow tired of it. Surely, it will be a sad day when we hear this song for the very last time in the season finale of season 8 but let’s not think of that already. We all fell in love with ‘Main Titles’ since the second we’ve heard it and it describes the show perfectly with only one word: ‘epic’. 

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I remember hearing this song for the first time and I was absolutely thrilled. The infamous ‘Mhysa’ scene might have been a bit awkward for some, the accompanying soundtrack touched my soul. The choir together with Daenerys’s theme was one of the best choices Djawadi had made so far and used it more often it since then. Daenerys liberated thousands of slaves and provided a better life for then. Such an inspirational character deserves inspirational music and Mhysa is the only choice here. Too bad ‘Mhysa’ loses only one spots this year and but still belongs to the best five. I love it.

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Last year, the Winds of Winter made an amazing debut, entering the list immediately on the 2nd spot. This year, the Winds of Winter had to give back one spot but still manages to remain among the three best songs of the official Game of Thrones soundtrack by R.Djawadi. The song contains a variation of the Greyjoy theme and Daenerys’s theme. The choir that can be heard in the background is amazing as well. ‘The Winds of Winter’ is used during the very last scene of season 6 when Daenerys sails toward Westeros together with her new allies. It was a scene we strongly looked forward to and it didn’t disappoint. 

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It’s no surprise to see the Rains of Castamere ending so high. It doesn’t lose one spot compared to last year. The Lannisters are still going strong in our list, receiving a respectable 3th place. The song has been covered by the National and Sigur Rós throughout the series, but my favourite renditions remain ‘A Lannister Always Pays Its Debts’ and ‘A Lion’s Legacy’. Still, I’m very happy to see the Rains of Castamere still standing among the three best songs of the soundtrack. Yes, now the rains weep o’er his halls and not a soul to hear… 

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We ended season 7’s with the show’s most important revelation, Jon Snow’s status as heir to the Iron Throne. This very (!) important scene showed us the long-awaited wedding scene between Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen. We also learnt about the true name of Jon Snow being Aegon Targaryen and we finally got to see the epic boatsex scene ourselves. ’Truth’ may be one of the most emotional scores in the history of television and brought Ice and Fire closer than ever. This Daenerys/Jon theme may be one of the most romantic and beautiful themes the show has ever made so far. The highest entry this years belongs definitely to ‘Truth’, which makes a shockingly high debut right at #2. 

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Of course this masterpiece won’t just give up its first place. It’s a rare bird since it’s the only song in the official soundtrack that features the piano. The sequence itself made up for one of Game of Thrones best moments  both in direction and acting. ’The Light of the Seven’ remains the most popular song in Game of Thrones as it’s being streamed more than 30 million times on Spotify and is being used for more purposes of marketing (remember the epic season 7 trailer version). Ramin Djawadi’s soundtrack elevated the massive scene to a level the show hadn’t seen yet. This year, ‘Light of the Seven’ remains at the highest spot according to Game of Thrones fans. 

Thanks!

Thanks for those who have voted. I hope to see you back next year!

Special thanks to:

– Subreddits ‘Free Folk’, ‘Game of Thrones’ and ‘Asoiaf’

Top 25 playlist

The End is Here: Cersei Lannister’s endgame

Before season 8 starts, I will make an analysis of each character’s endgame. Today we will discuss Cersei’s endgame and how her last story will be told in the upcoming season.

EPISODE 1

  • There’s a reason why D&D left out Cersei’s miscarriage in the season finale. I don’t think they’re showing her miscarriage yet! They’re using it for the greater good. Her first scene would be together with Euron, who’s arriving in King’s Landing with the Golden Company. Euron will notice two things: Jaime gone and Cersei visibly pregnant. He would start asking questions. I don’t think Euron is stupid and he knows that Cersei’s only using him for her own good. He would want something in return now and with Jaime gone he wouldn’t wait longer. He has done a great deal in Cersei’s favour already: bringing her Ellaria Sand and her daughter, attack the Unsullied during their assault on Casterly Rock, ferrying the Golden Company to King’s Landing. Euron doesn’t want to lose more time and proposes Cersei to marry him right away. Cersei understands that she needs his alliance since she’s surrounded with enemies at all fronts. This time, Euron will stay a while in King’s Landing. Of course he will, who’s Cersei going to interact with otherwise? I’m sure he’ll bring Yara with him since it’s not a bad idea to remind the viewers of her whereabouts. Yara would be thrown into prison for the time being. This episode will mainly set up Cersei and Euron’s relationship for the rest of the season. Both are very wary of each other. The viewers can sense an imminent betrayal on both sides.

EPISODE 2

  • Episode 2 will explore Cersei and Euron’s relationship even more. One of the scenes we could get in episode 2 is a small council, now consisting out of Cersei, Euron, Qyburn and one of the leaders of the Golden Company. Qyburn would bring up that the Wall has fallen and the Night King would attack Winterfell first. Cersei and Euron won’t be sad about that, since all of their enemies gathered in Winterfell. It’s just wait and see for them now. Qyburn would also want to mention Jaime’s arrival with the stationed Lannister army in Winterfell as well. This news will certainly displease Cersei a lot, much to Euron’s delight. Cersei doesn’t want Jaime getting killed off after all. Another scene we could be getting in the second episode is the marriage between Euron and Cersei in a snowy King’s Landing. This scene could definitely mirror the marriage between Sansa and Ramsay, given the similarities between their marriage. A good thing that Cersei is pregnant right now so she doesn’t need to have sex with Euron. We will learn in episode 2 that Cersei still loves Jaime and that she’s trying to hide it for Euron but it’s too obvious that she’s lying. On the other hand, Cersei’s also shows a lot of hatred toward him. In her eyes, he still ‘betrayed’ her, though.

EPISODE 3

  • Remember that Theon Greyjoy is still out there planning to rescue his sister, Yara. According to Theon, Euron has turned tail and left to the Iron Islands. It would make sense for Theon to travel to the Iron Islands directly only to discover that no one is there. Euron will find out that his nephew has gone back to the Iron Islands to ‘attack’ him. Cersei will definitely try to convince Euron to sail his men to the Iron Islands to make him submit to his rule. With having Euron gone to the Iron Islands, she could start to plot against him and this is the ideal occasion. Why does she need Euron for at this point? Her army is being shipped to KL. Euron decides to leave eventually. He would take Yara with him to make Theon submit more easier. As for the fight at the Iron Islands, I think we’re in for a great character moment for Theon. Him and his men will definitely lose against Euron’s men but not without setting Yara free. Theon will die a heroic death, having his character redeemed at last. I can see this fight happening by the end of episode 3, though. With Euron being departed for the Iron Islands, Cersei can start plotting with Qyburn what she’ll do with Euron when he returns.

EPISODE 4

  • Euron Greyjoy and his men arrive back in King’s Landing after their victory. It’s not a pleasant return for Euron as Cersei has commanded the Golden Company to attack Euron’s army as soon as they set foot on King’s Landing. Euron’s army is destroyed quite quickly since the Ironborn are not as strong as the GC on land. A captured Euron is brought before Cersei and she lays her intentions bare. She admits to Euron that she only used him to get her army to King’s Landing and that she doesn’t need him anymore. She couldn’t stand him either way. Cersei would definitely choose to execute Euron and is delighted that she has gotten rid of him. At this point, she only has to deal with what’s left of her enemies’ forces and she understands that Daenerys and Jon will exact revenge on her for having betrayed them.

EPISODE 5

  • I do believe that this will be the ‘big action episode’ with Westeros fighting the Night King. I don’t think Cersei will appear in this episode, just as in previous season.

EPISODE 6

  • The war against the Night King has been fought and Westeros has won but not without having lost a great amount of their men. Daenerys is ready to take King’s Landing at this point. She will do that like her ancestors; on her dragon’s back. Of course, Tyrion and Jaime will try to convince Daenerys to not be queen of the ashes. Daenerys understands that Cersei wants to go to war with her and that she has prepared her massive army to fight Dany. Jaime asks Daenerys to let him talk to Cersei first, before attacking her. The reunion between Jaime and Cersei will definitely be heart-wrenching as we can see how much these characters do still love each other. Jaime indeed tries to make Cersei submit to Jaime but Cersei tries to do the opposite thing. She gives Jaime a last chance to redeem himself and wants him to fight for her and their baby or be executed. If that’s Cersei last word, then Jaime wants Cersei to have the Mountain execute him. Cersei, who went fully paranoid at this point, indeed orders to kill Jaime in front of her only to collapse after she realizes what she has done. Daenerys finds out that Cersei’s not submitting to her in any case and starts to attack King’s Landing with whatever is left of her army. During the fight, Cersei is visibly stressed out. Qyburn advises Cersei to rest since the baby can come any time soon and he’s right. Cersei’s water breaks way too soon. She’s being brought to her chambers by Qyburn who’s helping to put Cersei’s baby on the world. The baby is causing a lot of difficulties for Cersei and Qyburn states that he cannot save both of them. She has to either choose for her own life or the life of her baby. She decides to pull through and wants her baby child to survive. She wants Qyburn to keep her baby safe after Daenerys has taken King’s Landing. A very weakened and dying Cersei labours. She asks Qyburn if she can see her baby son before she leaves this world. She immediately recognizes the baby to suffer from dwarfism. She orders Qyburn to get the baby out of her sight and to let her die. This will be the end of our favourite villain, Cersei Lannister.  Just like Maggy the Frog predicted, a younger and more beautiful queen came to take everything away from her right before she dies…

LET ME KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW WHICH CHARACTER’S ENDGAME YOU WANT TO READ NEXT! 

Characters screen presence: Game of Thrones season 7 (episode 1-2)

EPISODE 1: DRAGONSTONE 

AMOUNT OF LINES SPOKEN BY ALL OF THE CHARACTERS IN  ‘DRAGONSTONE’

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HBO

29. Little Sam: 1 line
28. Alys Karstark: 1 line
27. Ned Umber: 1 line
26. Daenerys Targaryen: 1 line
25. Maester Wolkan: 1 line
24. Yohn Royce: 2 lines
23. Meera Reed: 2 lines
22. Jorah Mormont: 3 lines
21. Tormund Giantsbane: 4 lines
20. Robett Glover: 4 lines
19. Lyanna Mormont: 4 lines
18. Gilly: 4 lines
17. Edd: 4 lines
16. Brienne of Tarth: 4 lines
15. Bran Stark: 6 lines
14. Littlefinger: 9 lines
13. Ed Sheeran: 13 lines
12. Arya Stark: 15 lines
11. Samwell Tarly: 21 lines
10. Thoros of Myr: 25 lines
9. Walder Frey (Arya’s disguise): 26 lines
8. Beric Dondarrion: 28 lines
7. Maester Ebrose: 36 lines
6. Euron Greyjoy: 40 lines

TOP 5 CHARACTERS WITH THE MOST LINES IN ‘DRAGONSTONE’

5. Sansa Stark: 45 lines
4. Sandor Clegane: 51 lines
3. Jaime Lannister: 52 lines
2. Cersei Lannister: 52 lines
1. Jon Snow: 53 lines

EPISODE 2: STORMBORN 

AMOUNT OF LINES SPOKEN BY ALL OF THE CHARACTERS IN  ‘STORMBORN’:

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32. Maester Wolkan: 1 line
31. Dickon Tarly: 2 lines
30. Theon Greyjoy: 2 lines
29. Robett Glover: 2 lines
28. Lyanna Mormont: 2 lines
27. Yohn Royce: 4 lines
26. Euron Greyjoy: 5 lines
25. Tyene Sand: 5 lines
24. Obara Sand: 6 lines
23. Davos Seaworth: 6 lines
22. Nymeria Sand: 7 lines
21. Jorah Mormont: 10 lines
20. Qyburn: 11 lines
19. Sansa Stark: 14 lines
18. Missandei: 14 lines
17. Melisandre: 15 lines
16. Yara Greyjoy: 18 lines
15. Littlefinger: 18 lines
14. Randyll Tarly: 19 lines
13. Jaime Lannister: 21 lines
12. Grey Worm: 22 lines
11. Cersei Lannister: 22 lines
10. Ellaria Sand: 24 lines
9. Olenna Tyrell: 25 lines
8. Arya Stark: 25 lines
7. Hot Pie: 29 lines
6. Samwell Tarly: 34 lines

TOP 5 CHARACTERS WITH THE MOST LINES IN ‘STORMBORN’:

5. Archmaester Ebrose: 35 lines
4. Tyrion Lannister: 34 lines
3. Varys: 41 lines
2. Jon Snow: 57 lines
1. Daenerys Targaryen: 60 lines

ANALYSIS OF THE CHARACTERS’ SCREEN PRESENCE IN EPISODES 1-2

RANKING BY SPOKEN LINES ONLY**

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46. Little Sam (1 line)
45. Ned Umber (1 line)
44. Alys Karstark (1 line)
43. Dickon Tarly (2 lines)
42. Theon Greyjoy (2 lines)
41. Wolkan (2 lines)
40. Meera Reed (2 lines)
39. Tormund Giantsbane (4 lines)
38. Edd 4 lines
37. Gilly (4 lines)
36. Brienne of Tarth (4 lines)
35. Tyene Sand (5 lines)
34. Yohn Royce (5 lines)
33. Obara Sand (6 lines)
32. Bran Stark (6 lines)
31. Robett Glover (6 lines)
30. Lyanna Mormont (6 lines)
29. Davos Seaworth (6 lines)
28. Nymeria Sand (7 lines)
27. Qyburn (11 lines)
26. Ed Sheeran (13 lines)
25. Jorah Mormont (13 lines)
24. Missandei (14 lines)
23. Melisandre (15 lines)
22. Yara Greyjoy (18 lines)
21. Randyll Tarly (18 lines)
20. Grey Worm (22 lines)
19. Ellaria Sand (24 lines)
18. Olenna Tyrell (25 lines)
17. Thoros of Myr (25 lines)
16. Walder Frey (desguised Arya) (26 lines)
15. Petyr Baelish (27 lines)
14. Beric Dondarrion (28 lines)
13. Hot Pie (29 lines)
12. Tyrion Lannister (36 lines)
11. Arya Stark (40 lines)
10. Varys (41 lines)
9. Euron Greyjoy (45 lines)
8. Sandor Clegane (52 lines)
7. Samwell Tarly (55 lines)
6. Sansa Stark (59 lines)
5. Daenerys Targaryen (61 lines)
4. Archmaester Ebrose (71 lines)
3. Jaime Lannister (73 lines)
2. Cersei Lannister (74 lines)
1. Jon Snow (110 lines)

RANKING BY SCREENTIME ONLY**

Sourceninewheels0  (IMDb-user)

48. Little Sam (5 seconds)
47. Wolkan (10 seconds)
46. Yohn Royce (15 seconds)
45. Podrick Payne (30 seconds)
44. Meera Reed (45 seconds)
43. Obara Sand (45 seconds)
42. Nymeria Sand (45 seconds)
41. Tyene Sand (45 seconds)
40. Dickon Tarly (1 minute)
39. Ned Umber (1 minute)
38. Alys Karstark (1 minute)
37. The Mountain (1 minute)
36. Bran Stark (1 minute)
35. Edd (1 minute)
34. Gilly (1 minute)
33. Robett Glover (1 minute)
32. Lyanna Mormont (1 minute 15 seconds)
31. Brienne of Tarth (1 minute 15 seconds)
30. Tormund (1 minute 15 seconds)
29. Melisandre (1 minute 15 seconds)
28. Davos Seaworth (1 minute 30 seconds)
27. Olenna Tyrell (1 minute 45 seconds)
26. Qyburn (1 minute 45 seconds)
25. Hot Pie (2 minutes)
24. Beric Dondarrion (2 minutes 15 seconds)
23. Ed Sheeran (2 minutes 30 seconds)
22. Ellaria Sand (2 minutes 45 seconds)
21. Randyll Tarly (2 minutes 45 seconds)
20. Walder Frey (2 minutes 45 seconds)
19. Littlefinger (3 minutes 15 seconds)
18. Theon Greyjoy (3 minutes 30 seconds)
17. Thoros of Myr (3 minutes 30 seconds)
16. Yara Greyjoy (4 minutes 15 seconds)
15. Euron Greyjoy (5 minutes)
14. Jorah Mormont (5 minutes 15 seconds)
13. Lord Varys (5 minutes 15 seconds)
12. Archmaester Ebrose (5 minutes 30 seconds)
11. Tyrion Lannister (6 minutes)
10. Sandor Clegane (7 minutes)
9. Missandei (7 minutes 15 seconds)
8. Sansa Stark (8 minutes)
7. Cersei Lannister (8 minutes 15 seconds)
6. Grey Worm (8 minutes 15 seconds)
5. Jaime Lannister (8 minutes 30 seconds)
4. Arya Stark (10 minutes 45 seconds)
3. Jon Snow (11 minutes)
2. Daenerys Targaryen (11 minutes 45 seconds)
1. Samwell Tarly (12 minutes 45 seconds)

EP 1-2: RANKING BY SPOKEN LINES AND CORRECTED BY SCREEN TIME**

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HBO

48. PODRICK PAYNE

47. LITTLE SAM

46. THE MOUNTAIN

45. WOLKAN

44. MEERA REED

43. NED UMBER

42. DICKON TARLY

41. ALYS KARSTARK

40. YOHN ROYCE

39. OBARA SAND

38. TYENE SAND

37. NYMERIA SAND

36. GILLY

35. EDD

34. TORMUND

33. BRAN STARK

32. BRIENNE OF TARTH

31. ROBETT GLOVER

30. LYANNA MORMONT

29. THEON GREYJOY

28. DAVOS SEAWORTH

27. QYBURN

26. MELISANDRE

25. ED SHEERAN

24. OLENNA TYRELL

23. RANDYLL TARLY

22. ELLARIA SAND

21. JORAH MORMONT

20. HOT PIE

19. BERIC DONDARRION

18. YARA GREYJOY

17. WALDER FREY

16. LITTLEFINGER

15. THOROS OF MYR

14. MISSANDEI

13. GREY WORM

12. EURON GREYJOY

11. VARYS


10. TYRION LANISTER

9. SANDOR CLEGANE

8. ARCHMAESTER EBROSE

7. ARYA STARK

6. SANSA STARK

5. CERSEI LANNISTER

4. JAIME LANNISTER

3. SAMWELL TARLY

2. DAENERYS TARGARYEN

1. JON SNOW

Top 30 best Game of Thrones episodes (2016 edition)

 THE BEST 30 EPISODES OF 2016

We’ve already reached the last year list of 2016: the 30 best episodes of 2016. First, I want to thank the users of the IMdB-board ‘Game of Thrones’ and the Redditors of r/GameofThrones. The results this year were surprising, to say the least. Let’s not wait any longer and count down the very best thirty episodes.

A throwback to last year’s top 5:

  • 5. The Rains of Castamere
  • 4. The Children
  • 3. The Winds of Winter
  • 2. Hardhome
  • 1. Battle of the Bastards

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Director: Mark Mylod

‘The Broken Man’ contains a lot of memorable moments. Sandor Clegane returns as a broken man, trying to find a greater meaning behind his survival. Yet, he learns that killing is necessarily in this cruel world but that he can use his fighting skills for better purposes. That’s why he decides to join the Brotherhood later on season 6. We also have some great dialogues in the Broken Man. Do you recall Olenna and Cersei’s final confrontation? The acting was superb there. We’ve also had this touching scene where Olenna has to say goodbye to her granddaughter, Margaery. I admit, the two parting ways was very emotional. Septon Ray is another great character who was introduced in the Broken Man. His dialogues were strong and well-acted.Another great return in the Broken Man: The Blackfish. It was a great idea to bring this legendary warrior back into the story. Unfortunately, he didn’t last too long but he had some great last scenes, though. Good to see a resolution to his arc. In the Broken Man, we also meet Lyanna Mormont who later turns out to become a big fan-favourite. The cinematography was very beautiful in this episode too (e.g: Jaime’s close-up when he’s waiting for the Blackfish or Theon and Yara’s close up when they decide to leave Theon’s past behind. Beautifully done!) One thing I didn’t really like in The Broken Man was The Waif stabbing Arya. The scene was unnecessary and only served to increase the show’s shock value. For the rest, it deserves to end at #30 and to gain 8 spots in our list.


The Hound’s long-awaited return in ‘The Broken Man’. (HBO)

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Director: Brian Kirk

As the Tournament of the Hand of the King continues, we find out more about the suspicious death of Jon Arryn. Not only we have a kind of Cleganebowl, but we also meet House Tyrell by the introduction of ser Loras Tyrell. The build-up in this episode is excellent. We feel that a war between the Lannisters and the Starks is about to start, which causes the first casualties: Jory Cassel. The bloody confrontation between Ned Stark and Jaime Lannister was tense and a great ending to a great episode. Besides, we are also introduced to the Vale and its crazy residents. It’s also the moment where you start to really feel for Tyrion’s character. In the Wolf and the Lion, we also get a well-written dialogue between Cersei and Jaime about their wedding. One big theatre that causes the Seven Kingdoms to stay together for more than seventeen years. The Wolf and the Lion is another excellent episode, filled with well-written dialogues and decent action scenes. Unfortunately, The Wolf and the Lion loses 8 spots this year.

Ned Stark and Barristan Selmy talk about their opposition in the past. (HBO)

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Director: Alik Sakharov

Tyrion sealed his fate by choosing for a trial by combat. He receives three visitors the day(s) after his trial. His brother, Jaime, who would want to fight for Tyrion but admits that he could never win because of his lost sword hand. Another visitor is Bronn, Tyrion’s ‘best’ friend. Yet, Bronn chooses for gold instead of honor which fits his characters perfectly. Help comes from a strange corner in life. Oberyn visits Tyrion at night to tell Tyrion about his lust for revenge after the Lannisters killed his sister he loved so much. He decides to fight for Tyrion in order to seek his long-awaited revenge on the Mountain. The backstory, the acting, the raw emotions… Everything is great in the scene between Oberyn and Tyrion and has become as one of Game of Thrones best scenes. This slower episode contains a huge amount of dialogues: Arya and the Hound, Melisandre and Selyse, Daenerys and Daario, Daenerys and Jorah, Brienne and Hot Pie, .. I understand why a lot of people think of ‘Mockingbird’ as a boring episode but the quality of dialogue is incredible here. I loved the backstory of the Hound when Arya wants to treat his wound. The episode ends with a major death: Lysa Arryn is pushed through the Moon Door by Petyr. Petyr Baelish shows again how far he’d go to achieve his goals. We didn’t cry for Lysa but the acting in those scenes was perfect. Great episode! ‘Mockingbird’ gains 15 (!!) places on our list.

Oberyn emotionally tells Tyrion why he’s longing for vengeance. (HBO)

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Director: Daniel Sackheim 

‘The Book of the Stranger’ is an emotional rollercoaster, for sure. We start with the reunion between Sansa Stark and Jon Snow. We’ve waited for this since many years and the payoff was great. I’m sure many people have shed a tear there. Sansa and Jon also share their first conversation. The first seeds of the war between the Starks and the Boltons is planted in the Book of the Stranger. Sansa convinces Jon to fight the Boltons and to take their home. Yet, Ramsay influence even increases now that he’s got Rickon Stark. This episode also marks the return of Theon to Pyke. Yara witnesses how much Theon’s character has changed and the confrontation is hard. Another ‘Reek’ emerges in the form of Loras Tyrell’s character. We see how strong sister’s love can be this episode. Not only when it comes to Sansa and Jon or Theon and Yara, but also to Margaery and Loras. Margaery tries to make Loras believe in himself, but fails nonetheless. The ending was not everyone’s cup of tea. Many grew tired of Daenerys’s ‘epic’ scenes where she’s portrayed as a god but I think this could mark the beginning of Daenerys’s madness. She took a lot of pleasure in burning the khals and thought of herself as a goddess. We also lose one of our great characters: Osha. To be honest, her arc was very disappointing last season. It was still a pity to lose her. ‘The Book of the Stranger’ ends at #27 and loses quite some spots (14!). I am still happy it made the top 30, though.

     The first Stark children to reunite after the War of the Five Kings. 

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Director: Alik Sakharov

‘The Climb’ is a great episode which contains a good balance between action scenes and dialogue. The Climb can be viewed as a metaphor. Jon Snow, Ygritte, Tormund and the other Wildlings literally climb the Wall. On the other hand, Littlefinger explains his strategy to Varys. He likes to cause chaos in order to gain influence. He sees is it as an opportunity to climb the ladder even though the risk exist that he could fall off the ladder. The dialogue between him and Varys can also be considered as one of the very best scenes of Game of Thrones. The climbing of the Wall itself contains a lot of beautiful scenes (esp. the ending when Ygritte and Jon are standing on top of the Wall). Theon’s physical and mental torture continues. The plotline in King’s Landing is more intriguing than ever now that the Tyrells try to climb the ladder as well. For them, it ends badly. Tywin Lannister found out about their plan and puts a plan on the table to prevent it at all cost. Sansa didn’t take the opportunity to climb the ladder (she didn’t go with LF) and stays behind. Heartbroken. Arya meets the Red Woman, Melisandre in an interesting scene. The show also uses a fascinating way to foreshadow future plotlines (Arya meeting Melisandre again / Arya killing lots of people). ‘The Climb’ is a very decent episode and manages to climb 3 spots on our list.

Littlefinger reveals his strategies to Varys. 

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Director: Daniel Minahan 

‘You Win or You Die’ starts with an incredible dialogue between Tywin Lannister and his son Jaime. It’s always entertaining to see the first scene of a great character again and Charles Dance does a great job portraying him. It’s a great addition to have him among the cast. Ned Stark confronts Cersei Lannister, another awesome dialogue, where the legendary phrase comes from: ‘When you play the Game of Thrones, you win or you die.’ We realized how ruthless Cersei can be right there. A dark tone starts to take over this episode. We feel that things are going very wrong. Certainly after Robert Baratheon’s death. A pity to lose him so soon in the show. ‘You Win or You Die’ has a lot of other great moments: Jon finding out he becomes a steward not a ranger and later say his vows together with Sam, Khal Drogo’s speech about invading Westeros and of course Joffrey’s declaration as King of the Seven Kingdoms. It’s right here where I really became invested in the show. The pace, the perfect balance between action and storytelling and the written quality was incredible in this episode. Good that it still makes the best 25.

Jon is disappointed with the results. I hope you are not. 

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Director: D.B Weiss

‘Two Swords’ had my favorite opening scene of all episodes! The forging of ‘Ice’ was an excellent opener to an equally excellent fourth season. It marked the fall of House Stark and victory of House Lannister (if the Red Wedding wasn’t heartbreaking enough, though). The aftermath of the RW is still very present in ‘Two Swords’. Sansa still has difficulties to put everything in perspective, while Jon remembers Robb. This episode also introduced the wonderful character ‘Oberyn Martell’. His introduction fitted his character so well: swift and as dangerous as a viper. Oberyn immediately stole all of our hearts. The best moment in Two Swords involved Arya and the Hound. Arya meets Polliver once again and seizes the opportunity to take Needle back and to seek revenge for Lommy. She manages to fulfill her wishes and crosses off another name off her list. The first episode was excellent and the best season premiere to date. The episode climbs 2 spots this year!

The Hound wants some chicken! 

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Director: David Nutter

Theon’s evil side starts to show in ‘The Old Gods and the New’. The start is very powerful, with Theon beheading ser Rodrik Cassel. The acting in this scene is amazing: props to Hempstead-Wright and Allen. Jon meets Ygritte is an iconic moment on the show and will become one of Jon main’s storylines throughout the tv-series. The riot in King’s Landing provides the needed suspense and shock to a slower second season. Arya and Tywin’s conversation is another well-written scene in the sixth episode. The overall pace and plot development is one of the episode’s main strengths. Theon’s evolution has become more intense and interesting than ever. The notorious ending where Daenerys shouted in agony for her dragons wasn’t loved by anyone, though. ‘The Old Gods and the New’ loses five spots this year.

‘Where are my dragons’? 

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Director: Miguel Sapochnik

Jon Snow starts his voyage to Hardhome, while Maester Aemon watch ended for good. ‘The Gift’ is a very darkish episode in my opinion. Sansa’s situation is depressing. We see how Sansa begs Theon to help her and when we think she’s finally about to be helped, we misplaced our trust in Theon. We are back at square one. Aemon’s death was a both heartwarming and sad scene. Stannis’s situation looks depressing as well. Melisandre tries to make Stannis sure that the Lord of Light needs Shireen so they can win the war in return. Olenna’s trying everything she can to get her grandchildren out of prison. Her conversation with the High Sparrow didn’t go as planned so she seeks a last resort: allying with Littlefinger. The conversation between those two is great (esp. the acting). Cersei finally gets what she deserves in ‘The Gift’. Her plan backfires and the Lion Queen herself ends up in prison. We happily watch her being thrown into prison but it’s also frightening to see how much influence the High Sparrow is gaining. ‘The Gift’ also marks the meeting between Daenerys and Tyrion! Something we’ve been wanting to see for a long time. ‘The Gift’ may be a slower episode, the written quality is almost back at the level of previous seasons.

Serves you right, Cersei! 

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Director: Alan Taylor

Tyrion wakes up after almost being killed at the Battle of Blackwater. His face is scarred for good. Stannis suffered a great defeat and has retreated to Dragonstone where he’s consumed by Melisandre’s vision. ‘Valar Morghulis’ serves as an excellent build-up to the third season: the marriage proposal of Margaery Tyrell, Brienne’s quest with Jaime, Robb’s marriage with Talisa. All of this will have a bigger meaning in the third season. Most arcs have a decent resolution: Arya escaping Harrenhal and meeting Jaqen once again, Bran and Rickon escaping Winterfell after it is burnt down, Theon’s rise and fall, Daenerys prophetic dream. Those are all memorable scenes so the episode didn’t bore us for one second. The last scene was terrifying and quite a dark ending to the second season. The second half of the second season was quite strong and it ended on a high note. Too bad ‘Valar Morghulis’ lost 5 places this year.

I am Hers and he’s Mine. 

THE BEST 20 EPISODES

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Director: Alex Graves

‘Kissed By Fire’ is one of my personal favorite episodes and I’m glad to see the episode climbing on our list. The episode starts with a great fight between Beric and the Hound. Beric is later brought back to life by Thoros (which paralleled nicely with Jon’s reanimation (mind the soundtrack during the fight and the ending of ‘Home’). Jon and Ygritte finally took a big step in their relationship. Qyburn proves Jaime that he’s an excellent Maester and removes his hand with ‘pleasure’. There’s a heartwarming scene between Arya and Gendry. Robb has a chilling scene where he beheads Lord Karstark. The acting, soundtrack and sphere are absolutely stellar here! We are introduced to the family Baratheon of Dragonstone. We meet the sweet Shireen who immediately becomes one of the nicest characters in Thrones. Jaime has a beautifully written and acted (!) dialogue with Brienne about the murder of the Mad King. Tywin puts his plan forward to end the Tyrell marriage plans before it can come true. ‘Kissed By Fire’ is another excellent Thrones episode with very well-written dialogues (Jaime / Tywin and his children) and great memorable scenes (Thoros vs. the Hound / beheading of Lord Karstark). Five spaces up this year!

Jaime bares his heart to Brienne. 

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Director: Daniel Minahan 

Daenerys discovers that she’s the dragon’s daughter after she finds out that she’s fire-resistant. She finally steps up against her evil brother and lets Khal Drogo burn him to death. Poor Tyrion is still locked up and chooses for a trial by combat (a choice he later makes again). The fight between Bronn and ser Vardis Egen was an awesome one. Since this season, ser Bronn became very popular instantly. Ned Stark sits on the Iron Throne for a short time, which was nice to see. The choices he made are honorable but not so clever. Joffrey declares his love to Sansa but we all know this will all hit back right into Sansa’s face. Ned does a major discovery: he finds out that Joffrey, Myrcella and Tommen are not Robert’s children. ‘A Golden Crown’ ends with one of the best death scenes in Game of Thrones yet: Viserys’ golden crown. Viserys seemed an interesting villain. Too bad we didn’t get to see more of him. This episode gains 3 spots on our list and enters the top 20.

Ned wakes up after being ambushed by Jaime Lannister. 

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Director: Alik Sakharov

‘The Laws of Gods and Men’ loses a great amount of places this year (-7). Although Peter Dinklage is giving the best of himself in this episode, the Laws of G&M possesses some flaws. Yara’s rescue plan was badly-written and too hurried. They better didn’t include it, as it made no difference to any storyline. Daenerys’s scenes were ok, although they started to drag a bit. It got really interesting when King’s Landing came into the picture. All of the scenes were amazing and Dinklage last speech was the best he has done in the show up to now. The emotions he conveyed to the small screen were one of the very best I have ever seen. Dinklage was really robbed of an Emmy that year. I’m sad to say that this episode didn’t make the top 10 this year! Hopefully next year!

Tyrion’s breakdown in ‘The Laws of Gods and Men’.

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Director: Jeremy Podewsa

‘Home’ brought us a lot of memorable and iconic scenes in Game of Thrones. First and foremost, we have Jon Snow being brought back to life. A moment where we’ve secretly hoped for and assumed to come true. The scene itself was a bit predictable but it served its purpose: cheering viewers! Not only good things happen this episode, you can think of the death of Lady Bolton. Poor Walda Bolton didn’t deserve this fate at all and we didn’t see this one coming. Or at least, not so cruel. Ramsay revealed himself to be the main villain of the sixth season and was declared as Lord of Winterfell. The Greyjoys came back into the picture and we met a new member of the family: Euron Greyjoy. His introduction was quite memorable as he immediately killed his own brother, Balon. The Ironborn finally seemed to get a more extensive arc this year and it didn’t disappoint (like Dorne). The Red Woman was a bit disappointing, but things really took off with ‘Home’. It was also nice to see Bran Stark again after an absence of two years. His vision with a younger Hodor was really fascinating. Good to see Wun Wun again in action in ‘Home’. This year, ‘Home’ loses 7 spots and ends at #17.

Tyrion meets Viserion and Rhaegal. 

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Director: David Nutter

A big surprise right here! Although Mother’s Mercy has its flaws, there were some truly excellent moments in this episode. I think most people will agree when I tell that I didn’t like Stannis’s resolution. It was rushed and he didn’t get the resolution he deserved. Encountering Brienne seemed a cheap way to finish his storyline. Other than that, I really liked this episode. Sansa and Theon’s escape was quite engaging, even though surviving the jump seemed a bit too lazy-written. Arya’s revenge on Meryn Trant was amazing, nothing to remark about that. The Dorne’s resolution was OK, it was the only logical ending it could provide and it was foreshadowed at the beginning of season 5 that another child of Cersei would die.  Afterward, I would have loved if Doran Martell worked together with Ellaria the whole time, revealing his master plan. Daenerys is captured by Dothraki. Nice to see those men again! I loved hearing their soundtrack after a long absence. Cersei’s Walk of Atonement was one of the very best scenes in Game of Thrones. The acting from Headey was sheer perfection! She made this episode together with Williams and Harington. The closing scene was the perfect ending scene to a dark and depressing season 5. Jon’s arc was one of the very best character’s arcs the show has seen.

Cersei’s Walk of Atonement 

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Director: David Nutter

Stannis’s camp is attacked by Ramsay Bolton and his 20 men. His army is starving and a lot of sellswords deserted him, he sees no other option than offering his daughter to R’hollor. Meanwhile, Daenerys decides to leave Meereen on Drogon’s back after the Sons of the Harpy attempt to assassinate her. The first half of the Dance of Dragons is quite slow which is weird because we usually see a more intense episode 9. Things really take off during Shireen’s death scene. Her death remains the most emotional one in the history of Game of Thrones (which means quite a lot since so many characters died). The acting of Kerry Ingram was on point, so was Dillane and Fitzgerald. Daenerys’s screentime is greatly expanded in ‘The Dance of Dragons’ and it gets really intense when the Sons of the Harpy attack Daenerys Targaryen. Drogon senses that his mother is in trouble and comes to rescue her. Her mounting Drogon is a moment where we’ve waited for since the beginning of Game of Thrones. The soundtrack that went along with that scene was very epic! ‘The Dance of Dragons’ does a good job this year and manages to climb 2 spots!

Drogon comes to the rescue!

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Director: Alex Graves

‘And Now His Watch Is Ended’ keeps it precious fourteenth spot and I don’t complain. This episode is one of the more eventful episodes in a slower third season. We see Jaime breaking down step-by-step and we learn more about Varys’s backstory. The situation in beyond the Wall has taken a 360 degrees turn as the Lord Commander is shockingly killed in a mutiny by men of the Night’s Watch. Craster finally gets what he deserves, though. The scenes in King’s Landing are more interesting than ever: Margaery clutching her claws into Joffrey, Olenna and Varys’s conversation about his plan, Margaery bonding with Sansa. All of the scenes were well-written and the actors did a wonderful job. Thoros confronts the Hound and Arya is able to avenge the butcher’s boy. The greatest scene in this episode is Daenerys commanding the Unsullied army. The scene has even grown into an iconic moment throughout the series. ‘And Now His Watch Is Ended’ ends at #14.

‘A dragon is not a slave’!

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Director: Tim van Patten

This iconic first episode can not miss our list, of course. ‘Winter is Coming’ got the party started. We first met House Stark: a happy family who happen to live in the cold North. We discover that there icy creatures beyond the Wall that are killing off humans. The Stark children all get a direwolf puppy and we are introduced to King’s Landing where the King and the Queen lives. Even though, nothing too great happens in the first episode (apart from Bran’s discovery) this episode is a bit nostalgic and a decent introduction to the series. We get a bit of everything in the series’ premiere: violence / nudity / .. Typical HBO-stuff but it’s a good way to introduce us to the wonderful world of Game of Thrones. ‘Winter is Coming’ impressively climbs 11 spots this year.Wow.

Daenerys meets Khal Drogo in ‘Winter is Coming’. 

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Director: Alex Graves

Too bad to see one of my personal favorite episodes fall so hard. ‘The Children’ gets pushed out of the top 5, ending at #12 this year. The Children is a beautiful episode. Not only the soundtrack, but also the conclusions to several character arcs. Tyrion, for example, had an amazing arc in season 4, arguably his best one throughout the series. Him killing his own father is a major development in his arc and serves as a complete change in his storyline. Arya is another character who gets a wonderful ending. She finally leaves the past behind and tries to start a new life in Braavos where she has always dreamt of. Jon says goodbye to the love of his life, Ygritte and Bran finally reaches his destiny. The episode causes a lot of major changes in the great game as the major player, Tywin Lannister, is killed off and Tyrion is on his way to support another Great House. ‘The Children’ is more of a poetical episode. A goodbye to a painful past. It ends at #12 on our list.

Tyrion and Jaime part ways. 

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Director: Alan Taylor

The aftermath of Ned Stark’s death is still very present in ‘Fire and Blood’, which is of course very logical given that Ned Stark was Game of Thrones’s main character. Robb and Catelyn Stark decide to not longer hide and to start an open rebellion to the crown. Poor Sansa remains in the capital and finally came to the conclusion that Joffrey is no more than an evil prick. His character is fully developed and becomes the main villain of the TV-series (during the first three seasons). Jon and Daenerys take major decisions: Jon stays within the Night’s Watch and goes on expedition beyond the Wall because he realizes that whatever lurks beyond the Wall is far bigger threat than the war against the Lannisters. Daenerys burns Drogo’s body and hatches her dragons. We first meet Drogon, Viserion and Rhaegal in an breathtaking closing scene. ‘Fire and Blood’ is an emotional ending to an excellent first season. This year, the episode almost managed to make the top 10. It ends at #11.

‘Blood of my Blood’… 

…2016’s TOP 10 EPISODES

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Director: Alex Graves

One of the most satisfying deaths in Game of Thrones happens in this episode. ‘The Lion and the Rose’ mainly centers around Joffrey’s marriage with Margaery Tyrell. Though, we all know that a wedding without at least one death is a dull affair and so Joffrey dies. Poisoned, he dies in the arms of his mother. Never we yelled so much after this pain in the ass died. For once, we were Littlefinger very grateful. Let’s not forget Olenna Tyrell’s part in it as well. The Lannisters start to have casualties as well. Not only the wedding appears, but also Roose Bolton returns home to the Dreadfort. We meet Walda Frey, Roose’s new wife. Roose doesn’t exactly thank Ramsay for running the Dreadfort in his stead. He has to make up for Theon’s brainswashing by making sure Moat Cailin is theirs. Melisandre burns another innocent lives and Bran gets closer to his destination. This episode is all about the Purple Wedding and it didn’t disappoint. The costumes, set, acting, everything was great about King’s Landing this episode and we finally got the long-awaited death scene. ‘The Lion and The Rose’ ends at #10, losing one place.

Joffrey gets his right cake served. 

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Actor: Neil Marshall

‘The Watchers on the Wall’ was one epic hour in Game of Thrones, no doubt about that. The storytelling wasn’t at its best but that’s ok. The prime focus was the battle and the action scenes and those were on point. The visual effects in this episode are great as it looked more like one short action movie rather than a TV-series. Storywise, I liked Blackwater more but the fighting scenes were way better in this one. Almost everything was present in this one: a strong build-up to the war itself and a great resolution. Too bad they didn’t include Stannis’s army invasion at the end of this episode but I understand the reasons why they didn’t. We also lose our beloved cast member, Rose Leslie, as the wildling Ygritte. The Watchers on the Wall really was another rollercoaster of emotions! It ends at #9 this year.

‘We are the Watchers on the Wall!’

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Director: Jack Bender

‘The Door’ provided another heartbreaking scene that no one saw coming: Hodor’s revelation. A seemingly unimportant character that surprised us all, was the sweet giant Hodor. We found out that Hodor is rather a contraction of ‘Hold the Door’, a phrase he kept repeating since Bran entered his mind in the past. Due to the trauma, he kept repeating Hodor all over again in order to save his friends from the Army of the Death. His fate was heartbreaking but the CGI that was used and the costumes were all amazing. Bran’s storyline in season 6 is at his best since he learned the ability to not only look into the past but also influence it. Besides the scenes beyond the Wall, we also got the Kingsmoot. Some people found it rather disappointing but I was ok with it. I think I expected a bit too much of Euron’s character, as I found the character to be a bit bland in ‘The Door’. Other than that, he still has the chance to evolve and we didn’t get to see him much at all. It’s still too soon to draw conclusions. Arya gets another task: she has to kill the main actress of a theater company. The woman, Lady Crane, seems rather friendly and compassionate. Arya’s slowly starting to turn against the principles of the Faceless Men. ‘The Door’ is a devasting episode which kept me open-mouthed by the end. The Ironborn seem to be more interesting than ever and it’s nice to have seen Jon leave the Night’s Watch (for good, hopefully). The Door keeps its eighth spot.

‘And he held the door.’

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Director: Alex Graves

A newcomer in our top 10 is ‘The Mountain and the Viper’. Perhaps this is the best 1v1 combat I have ever seen in Game of Thrones. It was brutal and emotional at the same time. We started to care for Oberyn Martell and to see him go out in a way like that was gut-wrenching or better formulated, mind-bending. The worst death a character can receive, that’s for sure. At least, Oberyn achieved his goal and got ser Gregor confessing his crimes. Another heartbreaking scene is the exile of Jorah Mormont. Daenerys feels deep inside that there’s no one more loyal than Jorah, but if she wants to become a capable leader, she needs to punish those who betray her. The scene is sad, esp. when Jorah admits that he loves Daenerys. We also see Sansa’s character becoming darker and she’s starting to apply what Littlefinger taught her. Ramsay, on the other hand, manages to take Moat Cailin with the help from Theon and gets rewarded. He’s legitimated by Roose Bolton and father and son head to their new home: Winterfell. Yeah, it still stings! ‘The Mountain and the Viper’ isn’t the most eventful or best battle episode but the shocker at the end was well thought out and not only there for shock value. Oberyn had an amazing arc and still today, he’s regarded as one of the best GoT characters even though he only appeared in 7 episodes.

Jorah’s heart is broken.. again! 

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Director: Alan Taylor

Another iconic Game of Thrones episode makes a big climb on our list. ‘Baelor’ is the first true shocking episode of Thrones which revealed its cruel nature. No one would have guessed that the show dared to kill off its central character, but here we are. In ‘Baelor’ we are introduced to Lord Walder Frey, a man we would rather not meet. We also learn more about Khal Drogo’s fate and the fact that he won’t live long anymore. Daenerys’s arc becomes more interesting than ever now that she has to lead the Dothraki herself. The war between Robb and Tywin is the main storyline in Baelor and it’s a pity we never got to see the actual battle, but what comes after the battle is the true shocker and no battle could have filled that gap. The acting, the storytelling, everything about this scene gave me shivers. I remember myself to be very quiet after this episode ended. It still hurts to watch this. ‘Baelor’ ends at #6 and climbs 6 places!

‘Can you bring back a man without a head? Not six times, but once?’

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Director: Neil Marshall

I am glad that ‘Blackwater’ makes it to the top 5 this year! What a great battle and way of storytelling it was! I loved the slow but imminent build-up, the careful use of CGI, the written quality of the dialogues. In my opinion, this is the best battle episode we have had in Thrones. Not because of the visual effects but of the well-written story. This war is so complex because we don’t know which side we have to root for. The outcome was so uncertain, that’s what made this episode so tense. No important character dies during this episode, but it still manages to hold a lasting impression on its viewers. The Wildfire explosion, for instance, was a great visual scene. Even better than the one we got in ‘The Winds of Winter’. I loved how there was a good balance between the actual battle scenes and the dialogues. It provided a better build-up to the ending of this wonderful battle. Blackwater ended at #5.

‘But now the rains weep o’er his hall and not a soul to hear.’

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Director: Miguel Sapochnik

One of the best visuals I have ever seen during a battle on the TV-screen is, without a doubt, during Hardhome. Not only it marked the first dialogue between Daenerys and Tyrion but also introduced us to the Night King himself. We briefly saw him in ‘Oathkeeper’ but we first saw him in all of his glory, showing his powers to us. Just like Jon Snow was, we were all terrified of the ending scene where the Night King raised the wildlings from the dead. All of the scenes in Hardhome were amazing and the battle itself kept us at the edge of our seats. ‘Hardhome’ also showed us Cersei in imprisonment and how low she has sunken when she had to drink water from the ground. We still didn’t feel bad for her, though. Too bad, this visual wonder called ‘Hardhome’ doesn’t make the top three this year. Still, it ends at a beautiful 4th place.

Daenerys and Tyrion talk about their cruel fathers.

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Director: David Nutter

‘The Rains of Castamere’ is the episode where everybody refers to when talking about Game of Thrones. This is how cruel the show can be. They make you care for characters for almost three seasons and you’d expect to see a good ending for them because they have suffered more than enough, and then you get this. ‘The Rains of Castamere’ is like an episode I like to rewatch soon. Not that it is bad or too cruel but because of the raw emotions Michelle Fairley and Richard Madden pulled off during the last 15 minutes of the episode. Fairley really deserved that Emmy, though. Other scenes worth mentioning are the Daenerys’s invasion of Yunkai (too bad we didn’t see a bit more of the battle, though) and Bran and Jon almost meeting each other. Bran also makes a very vital discovery when he accidently enters Hodor’s mind. ‘The Rains of Castamere’ is one of the iconic Game of Thrones episodes that SHOULD end high on the list. It’s this episode that made Game of Thrones of what it has become now.

Arghh.. It still hurts! 

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Director: Miguel Sapochnik

Unfortunately, Battle of the Bastards lost its first position. The episode was the first battle episode with a very positive outcome! Oh, we did all sheer when Sansa and Littlefinger (yeah even Littlefinger) showed up during the battle with the knights of the Vale. The battle was stunning, given that the budget was even higher this season, the CGI was breathtaking. The battle in Meereen, for example, was wonderful to see. Daenerys flying on Drogon and setting the slaver’s fleet on fire was the best visual scene I have seen in Game of Thrones up to now. The battle was very impressive as well, something I have never encountered in any series before. Miguel Sapochnik has outdone himself in Battle of the Bastards and it’s great to see his episode end so high on our list.

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Director: Miguel Sapochnik

‘The Winds of Winter’ deservingly ends at the highest position of our list this year! What a great episode it was! The storylines wrapped up and most of them had a breathtaking conclusion (e.g Bran finding out about Jon’s parentage / Cersei having her vengeance on her enemies and becoming Queen / Jon becoming King in the North / Daenerys sailing to Westeros / Arya killing Walder Frey / Sam arriving in Oldtown). We have all waited a long time to see these things play out in Game of Thrones! After having more depression season finales (e.g. Mother’s Mercy), we end with a positive note: Daenerys allying with House Tyrell, Dorne and Greyjoy and sailing to Westeros. The soundtrack used in this episode is the best the show has had up to now (e.g: Light of the Seven). The cinematography is another wonderfully executed aspect of this episode. Sapochnik did an amazing job again. We hope to see him directing one more episode before it all ends. ‘The Winds of Winter’ won this year, but I am certain that we still haven’t seen the best of Thrones yet. We shall see next year!

RIP Queen Margaery – Queen of our hearts! 

Thanks for all of your votes! I hope to see you next year again. 

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Arya Stark: an elaborate analysis of the character

SEASON 1: SHAPING ARYA’S IDENTITY

  • Introduction to Arya’s main interests: ‘death‘ (e.g. from her facial expression when she saw ser Hugh of the Vale dying to killing a boy by accident) and ‘warfare‘ (e.g: she’s rather interested in developing her fighting skills than learning embroidery; then improving her fighting skills with Syrio Forel)
  • Shaping Arya’s character: character traits* (‘outcast‘ just like Jon, that’s why the two like each other so much; behaving like a ‘tomboy‘, strong feeling for justice (typical Stark trait) and not holding her tongue for anyone. Ned Stark’s death fueled her lust for revenge and bringing death to those who have wronged her.
  • Early seeds in Arya’s arc which will come to fruition later: Season 1 laid the basis for Arya’s hatred toward the Lannisters (esp. Cersei and Joffrey) for killing Ned and Nymeria and to betray their House >< Arya will somehow exact revenge on the Lannisters in S7-8; Arya saying goodbye to Jon <> Jon and Arya being reunited in S7-8; Arya and Nymeria part ways <> Arya and Nymeria are reunited in S7; Arya hating the Hound for killing the butcher’s boy <> Arya punishing The Hound for killing Mycah by bringing up evidence so his trial by combat in S3 can take place; Arya and Sansa arguing and not liking each other <> Arya and Sansa clash in S7; Ned telling Arya that the Starks need to work together if they want to survive winter <> Littlefinger playing out Arya and Sansa and later failing to do so in S7; Arya learning about Braavos <> Arya sailing to Braavos in S4; Arya seeing Syrio Forel getting killed by Meryn Trant <> Arya murdering Meryn Trant to exact revenge on SF in S5  
  • The encounter with Syrio Forel and how it shaped her character: philosophy behind the gods and belief (‘death’ being the only true god there is) as Arya is inspired by it in later seasons.
  • Set up for S2: Jaqen H’ghar in the cage; meeting Gendry, Hot Pie and Lommy Greenhands; Yoren bringing her to safety
  • Arya’s evolution in S1: from struggling with her identity (e.g: not feeling like a lady) to being forced to lose her own identity (e.g: having to flee KL and taking on the identity of Arry)
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Arya Stark in season 1- HBO

 

SEASON 2: ARYA STRUGGLING WITH HER OLD IDENTITY (OPTION 1: CHOOSING FOR HER OLD IDENTITY)        

  • Meeting Jaqen H’ghar and his lasting impression are Arya’s main developments in the second season. Arya comes in contact with Jaqen (we don’t know whether it was orchestrated or not) — Arya’s again confronted by another method of killing (which seems to fit the true nature of her character) — Arya getting acquainted with the Faceless Men
  • Continuing the shaping of Arya’s character: being groomed by two men with strong and sharp philosophies: Yoren (wanting to tell Arya not to become obsessed with thoughts of revenge as he was) and Tywin (furthering the oppression of her identity and become ‘no one’)
  • Early seeds in Arya’s arc which will come to fruition later: Yoren telling about his prayer <> Arya being influenced by Yoren’s philosophy uses her own prayer of doomed men throughout S2-S8; Arya losing Needle because Polliver stole it from her <> Arya retrieving Needle from Polliver in S4; Polliver killing Lommy Greenhands in a cruel way <> Arya mimicking Polliver’s way of killing Lommy to kill Polliver himself in S4; Arya meeting Littlefinger in Harrenhal and learns more about his traitorous nature <> Arya executing Littlefinger in S7; Jaqen H’ghar giving the coin to Arya in order to seek him in Braavos <> Arya seeking out Jaqen H’ghar in Braavos in S5
  • Arya’s main interest being triggered again: ‘death‘. Arya has to become ‘the god of death’ herself. In season 2, she has the power to decide over the death of multiple characters (e.g the Tickler, Amory Lorch, ..)
  • Another layer to Arya’s character: being extremely short-sighted (e.g.: killing three of her ‘minor’ enemies instead of ending the war immediately by ordering Jaqen to kill Tywin or Joffrey; wanting to kill Tywin in a rage without thinking about the consequences for herself)
  • Set up for S3: the Brotherhood Without Banners frequently being mentioned by the Tickler; Arya choosing not to travel with Jaqen H’ghar but to go to her family instead
  • Arya’s evolution in S2: being fueled by the opinions of strong men (Tywin, Yoren and Jaqen), she struggles with herself as she has to choose between her two identities, Arya Stark and Death (to exact revenge on her enemies [Jaqen’s offer to follow him to Braavos] or (to NOT exact revenge on her enemies and to go back to her family) [Yoren’s advice to not make the same mistake as he did]. She ultimately chooses for the latter.
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Arya Stark in season 2 – HBO

 SEASON 3: ARYA BEING DRAWN TO HER OTHER IDENTITY (REALIZATION THAT OPTION 1 DIDN’T WORK OUT WELL)       

  • Arya starting her quest to find the remaining members of her family. In episode 2, the quest is being interrupted by the meeting with the Brotherhood Without Banners. She’s confronted with her past once again (reunion with the Hound). The Hound brings up Arya’s identity again (‘What in the seven hells are you doing with the Stark bitch’?).
  • Arya’s main quest is to go back to her family => quest in interrupted but later continued by the Brotherhood Without Banners => quest is interrupted again when the BwB decide to travel south first => Arya had enough of delaying her quest and decides to travel by herself once again => The Hound kidnaps her and decides to bring her home in exchange for ransom
  • Another piece of evidence of Arya’s short-sightedness and quick temper: Arya demonstrating to Thoros that she can fight but Thoros easily defeats her; Arya trying to kill the Hound with a rock while he’s asleep. Another, more humane layer of her character: ‘grief‘ and ‘empathy‘ (grief: to Thoros ‘Can you bring back a man without a head?’) (empathy: to Gendry: ‘You can be my family’)
  • Early seeds in Arya’s arc that come to fruition later: Arya saying goodbye to Hot Pie at the Inn <> Hot Pie being the key to linking Arya with Brienne’s storyline in S4; Arya meeting Melisandre and adds her to her prayer <> Arya will confront Melisandre once again in S7-8; Melisandre foreshadowing Arya taking on her new identity (eyes she’ll shut forever) <> Arya chooses a new path onwards S5
  • Arya being confronted another time with the notion of ‘death‘: Arya experiences first-hand how the Red God brings Beric Dondarrion back to life. The different views on ‘death’ remains a strong influence on Arya’s arc. This time, Arya realizes how much ‘death’ can be controlled by outside forces and later by herself. Arya learns more about the Red God.
  • Planted seeds from previous seasons coming to fruition now: Arya confronts the Hound of killing the butcher’s boy when they meet again in the same inn; Arya seeking revenge for the butcher’s boy; Arya loathing the Freys for what they have done to her mother and brother <> Arya assassinating Walder Frey for orchestrating the Red Wedding in S6
  • Another major tragic event in Arya’s life leads her further to her embracing new identity ‘death’ (e.g: the death of her brother and mother)
  • Another man ‘grooms’ Arya (mind parallels with Sansa’s arc). The Hound points out that Arya is way too soft and won’t survive if she doesn’t kill more easily. Arya’s appalled by the Hound’s philosophy at first.
  • Set up for S4: The Hound being redeemed in Arya’s arc (starting with him bringing Arya home and not to the Lannisters); Arya killing her first man on purpose and being drawn to her other identity, ‘death’.
  • Arya’s evolution in season 3: Arya first wants to seek out her family and by many struggles on her path, she finally reaches her destination. Being disappointed and hurt all over again, she’s becoming more drawn to her other identity, ‘death’.

 

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Arya Stark in season 3 – HBO

SEASON 4: ARYA EMBRACING HER NEW IDENTITY (CHOOSING FOR OPTION 2)           

  • Arya’s quest is continued, even though she is convinced it won’t work out well this time. The Hound decides to bring her to the Vale, to her aunt Lysa. On their way, they encounter Polliver. Arya first gains respect for the Hound when he helps her clearing her enemies out of her way. She’s slowly starting to understand the Hound’s philosophy behind his killing. When he talks about the backstory of his burned face, Arya starts to respect him even more. She starts to care for him (e.g treating his wounds). When the Hound and Arya arrive at their destination, Arya isn’t disappointed when she finds out that her aunt has died. Arya later encounters Brienne of Tarth who offers her the choice to travel with her as she will bring her home. She grabs the chance to escape both Brienne and The Hound as they are fighting each other. She wants to fulfill her quest on her own, as she always intended to do. Others slow down her path. Arya has fully redeemed the Hound, he’s no longer part of her prayer. She decides not to kill him but leaves him alone to die. She no longer wishes to exact revenge on him. We later learn that the Hound is still alive, due to Arya’s choice not to kill him. Arya travels to a nearby port and speaks to the captain of the ship. She first wants to travel to her half-brother, Jon Snow. The captain brings up ‘Braavos’ again and Arya decides it’s time to leave her old identity behind and to embrace her new one. With the realization that her old identity only caused her a lot of pain, she looks at Westeros for one last time and decides to move on in her life and to leave ‘Arya Stark’ behind for good.
  • Early seeds in Arya’s arc that come to fruition later: Arya having respect for Brienne as a warrior when they first encounter <> Brienne and Arya spar with each other in S7
  • Planted seeds from previous seasons that come to fruition now: Arya retrieving Needle and exacting revenge on Polliver for murdering Lommy; Arya chooses to sail to Braavos to seek out Jaqen H’ghar
  • Arya’s becoming more fascinated with/drawn to her other identity (g: her facial expression when she kills Polliver; telling the Hound that she likes to see Braavos one day; embracing another identity when they encounter the father and his young daughter in the Riverlands (playing the Hound’s daughter); The Hound making her realize that she needs to become a killer just like him if she wants to survive.; When she gets the chance to travel to Braavos, she no longer chooses for her family.)
  • Another evidence of Arya’s short-sightedness and quick temper: when the Hound is insulting Syrio Forel, Arya attacks him with Needle. The Hound responds angrily and slaps her.
  • Arya being confronted with ‘death‘ again. This time, she encounters a dying man. They talk about the whole notion of ‘life’ and ‘death’. Arya learns that ‘death’ can also be a gift, to release someone out of his pain.
  • Set up for season 5: Arya decides to start her quest alone this time. She chooses to leave her old identity, Arya Stark, behind and sails toward a new destination, Braavos.
  • Arya’s evolution in season 4: Being more and more drawn to her new identity, Arya takes the decision to leave old Arya behind to give her other identity a chance.
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Arya Stark in season 4 – HBO

 

SEASON 5: ARYA’S TRAINING TO FULLY POSSESS HER NEW IDENTITY AND HER FAILING TO DO SO

  • Arya starts her new quest, alone this time. She has fully embraced her new identity and seeks out Jaqen H’ghar, someone from her past as ‘Arya Stark’. The Faceless Man doesn’t let her inside the House of Black and White, which frustrates Arya. Arya drops her coin in the water and decides to give up on her quest already. The Faceless Man realizes that by dropping her coin into the water, Arya fully left her past behind. She also demonstrates to have a passion for killing as she kills the street thugs. The FM takes the decision to let Arya in, but Arya keeps referencing to him as Jaqen H’ghar as he wears the identical face. Jaqen makes Arya sure that he is no one, just like she has to become. He teaches Arya about the one true god, the Many-Faced God or ‘death’; an identity Arya has to take on herself. Arya plays the Game of Faces, a game she has played many times before (e.g: when meeting Tywin she had to play someone else). Arya also has to get rid of the things that remind her of her ‘old self’. She fails to do so, as she hides Needle somewhere. Arya quickly becomes good at telling lies. She’s permitted to the Hall of Faces and gets her next task: becoming someone else. Arya already knows how it feels to play someone else (e.g: Arry), so she has no trouble to embrace a new identity. In reality, Arya is finding herself once again during the training. She has to apply everything she has learned from others (Yoren forced her to play Arry; The Hound taught her more about killing an ill man; ..) to find herself again. She then crosses paths with another strong character trait of herself: lust for revenge. Arya bumps into Meryn Trant in Braavos and immediately follows him. Arya returns to the House of Black and White and the Jaqen realizes that Arya hasn’t left her old identity behind. Jaqen actually is a supporter of a combination of Arya’s identities (= a Faceless Man who has to clear out Arya Stark’s enemies /Arya and death combined.) Jaqen H’ghar and the Waif are both ‘no one’, both have been set up Arya’s quest to let her find her new identity. The Waif is, in contrast to Jaqen, a supporter of regular training and wants Arya to follow the same training as any other FM. Arya then betrays the FM and steals a face from the Hall of Faces to murder Syrio Forel. Jaqen and the Waif aka ‘no one’ seemingly punishes her, but she only goes on with her training. Arya is experiencing an illusion set up by Jaqen H’ghar. The Waif suddenly takes off her face and puts on the face of Jaqen. Arya suddenly sees her own face on Jaqen’s, an illusion to test if she’s afraid of her own mortality. If she wants to fully possess her new identity, she needs to not fear death any longer. She actually proves to be scared when she sees her own face and loses her sight. In fact, Arya isn’t really punished but rather advances in her training because there’s still a lot of work to do. She is made blind by Jaqen, so she can learn to rely on her other senses. Jaqen knows that being made blind will be in her favor sooner or later.
  • Planted seeds from previous seasons that come to fruition now: Arya seemingly met Jaqen H’ghar, but it is really him?; The Hound learned her to give someone the quick mercy of death. Arya applies what he has taught her in a different way. She let an ill girl drink from the poisoned water. She dies thereafter.; Meryn Trant being crossed off Arya’s prayer and Syrio Forel being avenged.
  • Arya’s training consist of steps she has already taken in her life: taking on another identity (Arry vs. Lanna; as she was being forced by Yoren), giving the quick death of mercy (the dying man vs. the little dying girl; as taught by the Hound). It is Jaqen’s intention to let Arya have a blended identity: old Arya bringing death with the guise of Many-Faced God or Arya killing her enemies with many other faces.
  • Early seeds that will come to fruition in later seasons: Arya plays against the rules of the FM and becomes the enemy of the Waif. The Waif doesn’t want her to become Faceless >< Arya can clear the Waif out her way in S6; Arya secretly hides Needle >< Arya retrieves Needle in S6.
  • Another evidence of Arya’s short-sightedness and quick temper: using a face from the Hall of Faces to kill Meryn Trant without thinking about the consequences of it
  • The FM seem to watch Arya’s steps extremely closely. How would they retrieve Arya’s coin from the water otherwise? They know that Arya has hidden Needle from them, they know that she went to see Meryn Trant. Jaqen knows about this and supports her ‘rebelling’, but the Waif doesn’t approve.
  • Set up for season 6: Arya being made blind references a new step in her training, she’s almost there. She may have the support of Jaqen H’ghar, but with playing against the FM’s rules, she has become the enemy of the Waif.
  • Arya’s evolution in season 5: Arya accepts her new identity and wants to be trained to become no one. She’s still struggling a lot to leave her old identity behind and fails nonetheless.
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Arya in season 5- HBO

 SEASON 6: ARYA FINALLY TAKES ON HER NEW IDENTITY            

  • Arya’s still blinded and has to fulfill another task: to rely on her other senses. The Waif visits her and continues to taunt her on purpose. She wants to break her both physically and emotionally. Jaqen H’ghar also comes to seek her out and because of Arya’s strong determination of becoming faceless, Jaqen decides to permit her to enter the HOBAW again. Despite Jaqen has proven the Waif that Arya has a strong determination to become faceless, she still believes she isn’t one of them. The Waif continues to train Arya and against her expectations, the Waif is proven to be incorrect. The Waif desperately tries to confront Arya with her past so she can make a mistake. Arya Stark passes every test she has to go through so the Waif fails. Jaqen H’ghar is proven correct this time, much to the Waif’s annoyance. She’s permitted to see once again. Jaqen still supports Arya to have a blended version of her old and new identity and gives her another task. He confronts Arya on purpose with her old identity: she has to watch a play about her family. He realizes that Arya will fall back to her old identity and so gets against the principles of the Waif. He tells Arya that ‘one way or another, a face will be added to the Hall’. Or it will be Arya’s or The Waif’s, as he realizes that the Waif will come after her once she betrays the FM. Arya has gotten the instruction to kill Lady Crane, someone who reminds her of her mother. Arya starts to ask questions about Lady Crane to Jaqen, meaning that she’s starting to feel empathy for Lady Crane. Jaqen realizes that Arya’s beginning to indeed betray the FM and sends The Waif after her. Arya suspects Bianca, the younger actress, to have paid the FM but in fact, it is Jaqen who has set up the entire murder on Lady Crane. Arya starts to care more for Lady Crane and is visibly touched by the performance. She betrays the FM and tells Lady Crane that Bianca wants her dead. Being sent by Jaqen, the Waif witnesses Arya’s betrayal. Arya’s ‘final’ task was never to kill Lady Crane, but to kill ‘the Waif’. She has gotten to the point where she almost became no one, but he wants her to keep her identity in a way. Jaqen sends the Waif and ask to not let her suffer. Of course, he knows that the Waif won’t treat her softly, but he has to remain in his role. His plan has been working out up to now. Arya retrieves Needle, fully embracing her old identity again. She even decides to travel to Westeros again, but Jaqen won’t let her go until she’s fully passed his test. The Waif indeed finds Arya and stabs her to let her suffer. She’s convinced that Arya won’t make a chance against a trained Faceless Assassin. The Waif a different face again and murders Lady Crane. Lady Crane has sparked the memory of Arya’s mother, Catelyn Stark. So Arya does everything to fight back against the Waif. Arya’s blindness indeed had a critical meaning after all, because Arya is able to kill off the Waif in the dark. She has fully passed her task and Jaqen got rid of the Waif as he wanted to. He tells Arya that a girl finally is no one. Arya tells Jaqen that she’s Arya Stark of Winterfell and that she’s going home. This is what Jaqen wanted the whole time. Arya leaves the HOBAW and Jaqen remains behind with a smile on his face. Arya uses her recently acquired identity to kill off Walder Frey. She has become the Many-Faced God who comes the bring the Gift to everyone on Arya’s list. She’s able to kill Walder in cold blood and fully acquires all of the skills a FM possesses.
  • Another evidence of Arya’s short-sightedness and quick temper: walking and staring publicly on a bridge in Braavos while she betrayed the Faceless Men was a short-sighted and stupid decision
  • Planted seeds from previous seasons that come to fruition now: Arya being blinded had a purpose and was set up by Jaqen H’ghar; Arya’s wish to become a highly-trained assassin came true; Arya can clear the Waif out of her way; Arya avenged the Red Wedding by giving Walder Frey the same death as her mother’s.
  • Early seeds that come to fruition in later seasons: Arya has left the HOBAW and decides to travel back to Winterfell >< Arya arrives in Winterfell in S7. Arya murdered Walder Frey to avenge the Red Wedding, yet she there are much more Freys to take care of >< Arya will go RW on all of the Freys in S7
  • Jaqen H’ghar promised her way back in season 2 that he would teach her how to get rid of all of her enemies. He fulfilled his part and taught her so. Arya’s endgame has become clear now in ‘Game of Thrones’. She has to clear out some major players out of the Game. She brings death.
  • Set up for further seasons: Arya using her new ‘powers’ in future seasons.
  • Arya’s evolution in season 6: Arya’s quest to acquire the powers to become a highly-trained assassin came with many up’s and down’s. She always wanted to become a trained warrior (hence she trained with Syrio Forel way back in S1). She’s now ready to bring justice to those who wronged her.

 

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Arya Stark in season 6 – HBO

SEASON 7 AND 8: ARYA’S NEW IDENTITY DOESN’T FIT IN HER PREVIOUS LIFE ANY LONGER.

  • Considering the leaks are true, we already know some parts of Arya’s storyline in season 7. Allegedly, Arya holds a banquet to poison all of Walder Frey’s sons. She also frees Edmure, so chances are great that Edmure get back Riverrun. Before Arya reunites with Sansa and Bran at Winterfell, she meets Nymeria again. Then she finally sees her sister and brother again, but as we learned in season 1, Arya and Sansa don’t get along well with each other. Littlefinger will take advantage of the situation and play out Arya and Sansa against each other to get rid of Arya. Arya doesn’t trust Littlefinger from the beginning as she saw him together with Tywin Lannister in Harrenhall. LF makes Arya sure that Sansa never was a true Stark by heart and wrote a letter to Robb to swear fealty to Joffrey. The two will almost come to a clash. Perhaps Arya will threaten to kill Sansa? Bran tells Sansa that Littlefinger is setting her up against Arya Stark. Sansa Stark takes a firm decision and shows her loyalty to her family by ordering Arya to have LF executed. Arya indeed executes LF.
  • Major conclusions in season 7: Arya and Sansa finally learn to work together, as Ned told Arya to do so way back in the first season. The sisters learn that the Starks must always work together if they want to survive winter. Arya and Sansa’s relationship will the prime focus in Arya’s storyline next season. Next to that, Arya will also reunite with Nymeria which is another great resolution in her arc. She’ll also spar with Brienne of Tarth, who she encountered in S4. According to the leaks, Jon finds out by a raven that Arya and Bran are in Winterfell. Jon and Daenerys travel North in the season finale, while Bran and Sam solve the puzzle behind Jon’s legitimacy.

How will Arya’s storyline end in season 8? Two theories on the subject matter: 

THEORY 1: We know that the Waif spoke against Arya’s rebellion during her Faceless training and she can’t be the only one there with this opinion so the theory could go as following: Arya  stays in Winterfell, meanwhile the Faceless Men are looking for Arya to execute her for rebelling against them. After season 7, Arya thinks that she’s safe and sound with her family but then one of the Faceless Men shows up and almost manages to kill Sansa Stark. The Faceless Men wears the face of the Waif. Arya’s able to intervene but realizes that she isn’t safe in the North any longer so she travels South. She doesn’t want to bring Sansa and Jon in danger. With Nymeria by her side, she travels South to King’s Landing. She decides to take off the last two names on her list: the Mountain and Cersei Lannister. On her way to King’s Landing, she crosses paths with the Hound who was also present during the Dragonpit Parlay. Arya tries to convince him to fight the Mountain. The Hound thinks that it’s true madness  to fight the Mountain but Arya explains to him that she’s a trained assassin now. The Hound agrees if he gets to finish his brother. Arya first kills Qyburn and decides to wear his face. She first attacks the Mountain by surprise. It is the Hound who’s the one to finish him. We’ll get an amazing fight scene where Sandor is finally able to kill his brother. Unfortunately, Sandor is mortally wounded. Cersei, who’s left unguarded now that the Mountain is gone, is visited by Qyburn in the Throne Room. Qyburn tells Cersei that Arya Stark came to King’s Landing to kill her. Cersei instructs Qyburn to find the girl and to bring her to her. Qyburn takes off his face and tells Cersei that that wouldn’t be necessary. Arya reveals herself and mortally wounds Cersei with her knife. She brings forward Nymeria to finish Cersei for once and for good. She leaves the Throne Room and finds a dying Sandor Clegane. Sandor asks Arya to kill him this time, telling her that she has become a real killer. A better killer than he ever was. Arya stabs him fatally in the heart and leaves King’s Landing, hearing the bells tolling in the background. In the Riverlands, she finds out that the White Walkers have already invaded the North and will soon take the Riverlands as well. Not wanting to bring her family, she decides to stay in the inn of the Riverlands where she has another encounter with a Faceless Assassin. She quickly leaves the inn and heads more North where she finds herself in the middle of a battle. She sees Jon Snow among the men fighting and witnesses how Jon is about to be killed by a group of wights. Wanting to warn her brother, she is a by attacked Wight from behind and is heavily wounded. Collapsing on the ground, she shouts for Jon who doesn’t seem to hear her. Arya dies with Needle between her frozen fingers. Nymeria doesn’t want to leave her side. Having to flee the battlefield, Jon finds his sister back frozen to death. At first, he doesn’t know her but he seems to recognize Needle and Arya’s direwolf. Much to his anguish, he collapses after realizing that he has found back his sister. Jon, being in tears, takes Needle from Arya’s frozen fingers and takes her body South to burn her before she turns into a whight.

THEORY 2:  Arya will not kill Cersei as she has chosen to return to Winterfell, not to cross off another name of her list. She meets Daenerys Targaryen and is reunited with Jon Snow in S8. The reunion will be heartbreaking, of course. Daenerys finds out about Jon’s legitimacy and responds in a way no one would have ever guessed. Daenerys eventually becomes the true villain of the series. After she has found out that Jon is the true heir to the Iron Throne, she desperately kills Jon Snow out of anxiety to have her power taken away by him. Jon, who really loved Daenerys, passes away. Daenerys thinks that they are plotting to clear her out of the way, just like they did with her father. She claims to be the Prince Who Was Promised and believes that she’s the one to save Westeros, not Jon Snow. It’s ultimately Arya who avenges Jon Snow’s death and kills Daenerys with Needle. Arya has always been short-sighted and quick of temper, she’ll seal the fate of Westeros by killing Daenerys. Westeros will ultimately fail during the invasion of the White Walkers and Cersei, who’s left alone with Jaime, experience first hand how the world collapses. Cersei will try to blow up King’s Landing with wildfire when the WW reach KL. In a final confrontation with Jaime, Cersei will try to blow up King’s Landing and therefore kill everyone inside King’s Landing including herself and Jaime. Jaime will try to stop this madness and tries to stop her by killing her. After realizing that he killed the only woman in his life, Jaime is so heart-broken that he doesn’t give a shit about the world anymore. He’ll die during the final explosion in King’s Landing, with a dead Cersei in his arms.  Wouldn’t that be symbolic: together coming in the world and together leaving the world? Cersei becoming the ultimate heroine by saving Westeros from the doom, while Daenerys became the outright villainess. Back to Arya, Arya will die trying ferociously to save Westeros, but is frozen to death with only Needle between her frozen fingers.

Arya’s main focus has always been the notion of ‘giving death’, so I do think she’ll kill off a major character during her endgame. My bet is on either Daenerys, Jaime or Cersei. She told Jaqen in season 6 that she would go back to Winterfell, so I don’t think she’ll travel to KL first. According to the leaks, Arya goes to Winterfell after having the Freys all murdered. I think she’ll stay in the North, as she has already been in King’s Landing once. Her endgame will take place in the North, defending her family with Nymeria by her side. Arya’s known for taking short-sighted decisions, so it wouldn’t be too weird for her to kill the murderer of Jon Snow, Daenerys, and thereby sealing the fate for Westeros, having killed the Prince Who Was Promised. 

Which theory do you like the most? Let me know in the comments below. 

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Arya in season 7 – HBO