Sunday, May 25, 2014

Favorite Game of Thrones scenes - 1x01-4x07

By s. Sunday, May 25, 2014
You may remember that a while back I published my list of my favorite Game of Thrones scenes (part 1, part 2). Since today is the Sunday of Doom - because of Memorial Day weekend in US HBO is not airing the new episode anywhere in the world, I figured that I will update my top 10 scenes with season 3 and season 4 scenes.

Honorable mentions - I am the khaleesi of the Dothraki, 1x04; Will you fight for me? As free men?, 3x04

10. First I killed the pyromancer... - 3x05 Kissed by Fire
There are several outstanding acting moments in Game of Thrones that you think of instantly when it comes to a certain character. With Tyrion, for me it's the story of his wife he told in first season. That scene brought Peter Dinklage an Emmy. It's so much more puzzling then that a scene even more powerful didn't bring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau any big nominations. In this incredible scene Jaime reveals to Brienne why he killed the king and broke his oath all those years ago. It turns out that the King wanted to burn King's Landing along with its innocent inhabitants. Jaime saved all of their lives yet he didn't tell anyone about what really happened because he figured no one would believe him. Waldau's performance here, his breaking voice, Jaime's wounded pride and pain that he is being hated not loved for his most heroic act and the stunned look in Gwendoline Christie's eyes make it one of the show's best acted scenes.

9. Catelyn waits for Robb - 1x09 Baelor
That scene has previously not been included on my list but after you rewatch the show once Red Wedding happened you just can't not include it. Catelyn waits for Robb at the edge of the woods. The battle against Lannisters ended and she doesn't know whether it was won or not, whether her son is alive or dead. The look on her face when she sees Robb unharmed and victorious is such pure joy. It made everything that happened later so much worse.

8. The Purple Wedding - Take him! Take him!!! - 4x02 The Lion and the Rose
 The first addition from season 4 is the terrific Purple Wedding. The whole sequence could be here, as it's directed as one huge scene. The mockery of the kings in the joust moment would definitely end up somewhere in second top 10. But it's after King Joffrey dies that the best scene happens. As stunned Tyrion holds the cup, Cersei starts yelling at the guards to take Tyrion as she believes he is the one who killed her son. The way Headey transforms her pain and sadness to blind fury is amazing to watch.

7. The Red Wedding - The Lannisters send their regards - 3x09 The Rains of Castamere 
While Cersei has her fury, Catelyn had her madness. Horrific, catatonic madness. As she watches, with tears in her eyes, as her last free child falls on the floor dead Catelyn lets out a soul tearing scream and does what she promised - she cuts Walder Frey's wife's throat. Once her scream faints Catelyn looks catatonic as if she was dead already right before her own throat is cut as well. Emmys and Golden Globes have made many horrible mistakes but not rewarding Michelle Fairley for what she did here is a stain that will never be forgotten.

6. The Rains of Castamere - 3x09 The Rains of Castamere
There is a handful of scenes that played out exactly like in my mind when I was reading the book. This is one of them - as one of the Freys locks the door, the band starts playing a song. The song that has no business being played at Frey/Tully wedding. The Lannister song. Catelyn slowly turns her head to look at the band in horror and she knows, she knows that something terrible is about to happen

5. I will be your champion - 4x07 Mockingbird 
As that scene from last week's episode was reaching its conclusion, with Pedro Pascal securing his position as one of the few who completely captured the book character, as the lines that gave hope and sorrow were spoken and as Ramin Djawadi's outstanding score accompanied everything in the background, I knew this was one of the best scenes the show has ever had. Oberyn reminds imprisoned Tyrion that the champion of the Crown, the Mountain, raped and killed his sister and killed her children. He tells Tyrion, who has abandoned hope, he will be his champion. And it's all so powerful.

4. Wildfire - 2x09 Blackwater 
During the siege of King's Landing by Stannis Baratheon, it's Tyrion leading the defense. He has a plan - send just one ship in Stannis'a direction. The trick is - the ship is filled with Wildfire, mysterious substance that when lit, burns everything around it. Tyrion gives Bronn the sign and he shoots a single, lit arrow - that arrow hits the water igniting the Wildfire and the following explosion is the most spectacular scene the show has had so far.

 3. The battle is over...we have won! - 2x09 Blackwater
During the Blackwater battle it seems that the city will be conquered by Stannis. Cersei sits with her son on the Iron Throne  She plans on poisoning him and herself to avoid being executed. Just as she is about to give the poison to Tommen the door opens and she sees her father, Tywin Lannister walk in with his soldiers. She drops the bottle and as Tywin approaches he tells her that they won the battle. The whole scene is a beautiful ending to the show's most thrilling episode. While I do not think this year's battle episode can top Wildfire explosion - which was not only stunning but was also hyped through most of season 2, seeing how well Marshall did with 2x09 ending I have big hopes for the ending of 4x09. He can pull it off, depending on which moment closes the episode.

2. Await the King's justice - 1x04 Cripples, Bastards and Broken Things  
At that point Catelyn Stark is convinced that Tyrion Lannister is the one who tried to kill her son. Their paths cross in an inn. Catelyn stands up and starts off a small charade - she greets many men there, asking them if their lords are still her loyal allies, showing Tyrion how many friends she has. When he tells her he doesn't understand what she is doing, she announces that Tyrion tried to kill her son and calls upon the men to seize him in the name of the king and the lords they serve. They take out their swords in front of stunned Tyrion. The scene has a fantastic buildup, probably the best in the whole series so far. Djawadi's track Await the King's Justice also adds a lot to the scene, but it all works so well thanks to great acting by Dinklage and Fairley - Catelyn's conviction and the respect the men have for her is so evident. The moment all the men take out their swords to do what she asked them says more about the respect people have for the Starks than a thousand words.

1. Blood of my Blood - 1x10 Fire and Blood
After Daenerys Targaryen walks into the pyre with the body of her dead husband and three petrified dragon eggs, the scene cuts to black. The next morning Jorah approaches now extinguished area and sees Daenerys naked and unharmed. Something moves next to her legs and her shoulder. Jorah notices, shocked, it's three dragons that hatched from the eggs after three centuries of being gone from the world. He kneels before Daenerys, as do others, and profoundly moved he says 'Blood of my blood...'. Daenerys stands up and the dragon on her shoulder spreads out its wings and starts shrieking.

Number 1 is still the best scene of the show for me. I watched the whole first season in one night, shortly after it ended airing, so I didn't really have the time to go 'I bet these eggs will hatch in finale!'. I was completely stunned.

However, there are 4 scenes this year that I think will make it it to this top 10, 2 of which may finally dethrone the birth of the dragons. We glimpsed 3 of these scenes in promos, but 1 is such a secret I'm still not entirely convinced it's even in there. If the showrunners don't disappoint, season 4 may end up having the most scenes here.

My list shockingly doesn't include Stannis, even though the beach scene from Walk of Punishment is one of my most rewatched - it's completely out of character for Stannis to act the way he did there, but hey, it's Stephen Dillane acting turned on and rocking that scruff, so yeah I liked it, sue me. I also adored the bank scene and his scenes in Kissed by Fire as well as 'I'm running out of time' scene and leeches scene. But lucky for me - if the show doesn't disappoint - one of the upcoming 4 scenes I expect to love features Stannis.

Game of Thrones returns with trial by combat episode The Mountain and the Viper next Sunday.


  1. Blackwater always but great list overall :D

    1. I wonder if something tops Blackwater for you this season :)

  2. Fantastic list! I have just finished A Storm of Swords so I skipped all the scenes from S4. I agree with you on the rest, especially the scenes from The Rains of Castamere. I haven't actually seen any of them, but from the way you described them, it seems very close to how I pictured them while reading the books!

    1. Thank you! Are you reading the books before watching the show? Season 4 is based on ASOS, but it does reach into the following 2 books. However the 2 scenes I included happened in book 3 :)

  3. Nice list, I think mine isn't any different from yours.
    While I was spoiled about the red wedding (assholes everywhere, but at least I learn from the experience not to read anything related to GoT except for your blog), it remains the most shocking thing I've ever watched, EVER. Worse than that, I told a friend about the show and soon after that he was hooked. Before watching episode 9 of season 3 he was very wary about what was going to happen and I told him that there was absolutely nothing to be worried about and to just watch the promo (which was as you actually said then - very misleading). And almost a year after that he still reminds me about how I 'mislead' him. And now I am worried about what's going to go down as it seems some big things are coming, I at least hope there will be more no more wedding of the like. And one thing I keep wondering, will we see this season Margery getting married to Tomen and Cersei to the gay dude?

    1. Ha, misleading was actually very kind of you - the shock was only bigger and that is one of the things that make that event so memorable. I heard opinions that some book readers think the upcoming events may cause RW kind of shock among non book readers - there are so many twists and turns left in this season.

      As for Margaery and Cersei it's very hard for me to say as I don't know how much of their storyline we will see this season. It may as well be that we only see Margaery in one short scene this year and the rest of her storyline next year.

  4. The most impressive thing about Thrones is that I was reading from top and thought that any of them, from Michelle Fairley's scenes in the Red Wedding to Cersei's fury could very well be number 1 -- these scenes are better than most shows at their best. And yet as I scrolled down, I literally got chills because these scenes were so powerful. Absolutely incredible is what Thrones is. I'm so glad you're here to cover it so extensively!

    Blood of my Blood is, hands down, the best scene yet. I have never been as in love with this show as when watching this. Uh. Remember when Clarke was great?

    1. It is just filled with so many great moments. People tend to complain about fragmented nature of the show but as far as individual scenes go? No show can top that. Each storyline gets its own climax and it rarely disappointed.

      Clarke was so good in season 1. I'm so let down by her work this season and even more so the showrunners keep featuring her so prominently - that screen time should be given to someone better with more thrilling storyline.

  5. I think the baby dragon scene is my #1 as well. I also like #2 on your list when Catelyn challenges all of the men to take Tyrion into custody. Even though the audience knows Tyrion to be innocent, that is a great scene of Catelyn showing off her muscles. Actually it's probably my favorite Catelyn scene.

    Unfortunately, the red wedding is so painful for me to watch I can't consider it a favorite. Michelle did a great job in that scene. It was horrifying.

    Pedro did a fantastic job in his scene on your list. He did an AMA on reddit this past weekend. He said that was his very first scene for GoTs. I can't believe that. He's so fabulous.

    1. Glad you liked Cat scene too! It's so under-appreciated.

      I think I only saw RW scenes three times. The least out of all scenes and epiosodes. It's too painful but the way it was adapted was so respectful to the book.

      He was so cute during this AMA! Loved his answers.

  6. Excellent list! I absolutely love all of the scenes you've included.

    1. Thank you! I'm gonna do a summary post for season 4 in June and probably do something like this just for that season :)

  7. Reading this has reminded me how sad I was when they didn't nominate Coster-Waldau and Fairley. How unfair. As they nominated him to the Critics TV Choice Awards in May/June, if I'm not wrong, I was really hopeful about him getting an Emmy nomination later but it never came. Same with Fairley. I even expected a Golden Globe nod to them. I think right now my favorite performances on the show have to be Fairley during the Red Wedding (since she listens to the music, you can see the tragedy in her eyes... and the end with her crying desperately and then looking like dead before she’s actually killed was terrific), Pedro Pascal in the Champion scene, Peter Dinklage in the one you've mentioned from season 1, Coster-Waldau with the wolf-lion line in that scene you've chosen and Lena Headey in the Purple Wedding.

    I really agree with your top, love that you have included that moment from season one with Robb and Catelyn, I got really emotional rewatching it. Then, the ending of season 1, still makes me shiver, no words to describe it the feeling when I watched it. And Wildfire and the moment Charles Dance being perfect as Tywin enters at the end, Cersei dropping the bottle, and The National playing in the credits, are still two of my favorite moments too with the dragons’ birth being the top of them all.

    1. My list of favorite acting would pretty much be the same! These are just shining examples of their craft but for Headey I'd chose the moment from Blackwater when she tells Tommen a tale before poisoning him. There are just so many emotions there and she was stellar the entire episode.

      I'm really hoping the show tops those these season I feel bad having Dany at the top given how lame she became.

  8. Awesome list! I would probably put the Red Wedding higher simply because I could not believe what was happening (my girlfriend going into hysterics probably enhanced that effect), but I can't argue with your choices at all.

    One of my goals after this season ends is to finally read the books, then rewatch the entire series from the beginning. I imagine this is the show that can get even better on rewatches.

    1. Thank you! I also took rewatchibility into account and I cannot watch RW too often :/

      I rewatch entire show from the beginning before each season and yes, it does :)