Of course, being from Game of Thrones, not every scene among these is a happy one, for the reason that the world of Westeros is brutal and bleak. And that is part of why this HBO show is so compelling.
HBO’s Game of Thrones ends this year with its eighth season. The show has dominated the imagination of millions of fans around the world and its conclusion is one of the biggest events in pop culture this year. That is saying something since the Marvel Cinematic Universe also ends, in a way, in the same month Game of Thrones returns for its final season.
The excitement for the final season is high, and I thought it would be a great idea to reminisce and have a look at the scenes that made us fall in love with the show in the first place. Of course, being from Game of Thrones, not every scene among these is a happy one, for the reason that the world of Westeros is brutal and bleak. And that is part of why this show is so compelling.
The book readers among us knew it already, but the show made the event more tragic and shocking somehow. You see, Robb’s wife did not accompany him to the Twins (his wife was not Talisa, but that is another story) in the books. Not only did some of the most beloved characters die when the Freys, with assistance from Tywin Lannister and treachery of Roose Bolton, murdered Catelyn Tully, Robb Stark, and Robb’s direwolf Grey Wind, but Robb’s pregnant wife Talisa was stabbed — in the abdomen — in the show. While many more tragic events came in the show later, but nothing, for me at least, has managed to leave the same impact that the Red Wedding had.
A handful of brothers of the Night’s Watch went to a place beyond the Wall called Hardhome to invite the wildlings stationed there to join the Jon’s fight against the White Walkers. But as they were discussing terms, the Night King invaded with his Army of the Dead and massacred nearly everyone. Some of the wildlings and brothers of the Night Watch rallied but they were too few. The episode was gorgeously shot and the visual effects were outstanding. It did not feel like a small screen production at all. The zombies, the battle choreography, the weather effects, everything was done quite perfectly. It was also the first time the de facto hero of the show, Jon Snow, fought and killed a freaking White Walker. And we discovered that Valyrian steel can shatter the White Walkers like glass — just like dragonglass.
The first full scale battle in Game of Thrones occurred between Jon Snow and Ramsay Bolton. That moment when Jon stood on the ground before the charging enemies on their warhorses was incredibly thrilling in a cinematic way. The scale of the battle was absolutely humongous, and it looked even more expensive than Hardhome. The payoff, of Sansa getting her revenge on Ramsay by getting him eaten by his own hounds, was sweet too. But it was the shot of Jon standing his ground against all odds that lingers in the memory.
Every sane viewer of the show wanted the Viper to win, but we all realised something was wrong. While the Red Viper was clearly the more skilled fighter, and much faster, the battle was getting stretched. The Red Viper continued to taunt the Mountain, and despite getting lots of chances, did not kill him. The Mountain was getting angrier and more frustrated. And all it took was one minor mistake. Prince Oberyn Martell of Dorne fell to the ground, and Gregor Clegane crushed his skull like a watermelon. It was not the most shocking moment of the show (that would be the Red Wedding), but it does come close.