Leading up to season 2, the writer of House of the Dragon has offered a tantalizing glimpse of Blood and Cheese’s dramatic entrance. The debut season of this Game of Thrones prequel was truly remarkable, rekindling the excitement within the franchise. However, as we all remember, the final season of Game of Thrones left many fans yearning for answers to numerous unresolved mysteries.
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During its prime, Game of Thrones delivered moments of sheer brilliance. Season 4, for instance, delved into the aftermath of a malevolent king’s demise, and season 8 steadily built up to an epic culmination. Across its eight seasons, the series masterfully wove together a tapestry of exhilarating moments and intricate political intrigue, etching unforgettable memories in the hearts of its dedicated HBO viewers.
8. Season 8 (2019)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 55%
The final season kicks off with the epic showdown against the White Walkers as they threaten the North. The grand finale, of course, centers around the ultimate battle for the Iron Throne.
While it wasn’t a complete catastrophe, the conclusion of the series did make some sacrifices, particularly when it came to providing deeply satisfying resolutions for beloved characters. Fans, in particular, expressed their disappointment with the fates of characters like Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau), Jon Snow (Kit Harrington), and Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke). However, it’s worth noting that the much-anticipated Cleganebowl delivered a highly satisfying showdown. Nevertheless, the decision regarding who ultimately claimed the throne left many scratching their heads. In the end, it left a lingering feeling of unfulfilled potential.
7. Season 1 (2011)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 90%
Eddard Stark (Sean Bean) finds himself compelled to return to King’s Landing, taking on the role of King Robert Baratheon’s (Mark Addy) Hand. Ned’s mission: to uncover the mystery behind the murder of his predecessor.
This inaugural season, the very inception of this remarkable fantasy saga, laid the foundation for the epic narrative that would unfold. Sean Bean’s portrayal was nothing short of extraordinary, and his character’s untimely demise set the stage for the show’s signature unpredictability. Mark Addy, too, delivered an iconic and scene-stealing performance, while Daenerys’ own captivating journey embarked with a sense of profound intrigue.
6. Season 5 (2015)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 93%
Jon Snow has ascended to the prestigious position of Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch, while in the heart of King’s Landing, the young King Tommen Baratheon (Dean Charles Chapman) grapples with a new and looming threat.
The initial four seasons of the series were nothing short of exceptional, delivering extraordinary television. However, the fifth season, while still possessing many commendable aspects, might be perceived as a slight step down for some viewers. The various subplots received mixed receptions, with the Dorne storyline being a particularly notable misstep. Nevertheless, this season undeniably belonged to Jon Snow, with his character arc providing a truly exhilarating narrative.
5. Season 7 (2017)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 94%
The penultimate season strategically brings together the central plots of the series, setting the stage for the highly anticipated Season 8. Among its pivotal events is Daenerys Targaryen’s arrival in Westeros, marking the beginning of her campaign against the Lannisters.
This season was marked by its excitement, particularly in how it laid the groundwork for the impending conclusion of the show. While it wasn’t without its flaws, occasionally featuring perplexing narrative choices, the season’s shorter episode count allowed each installment to carry significant weight. Moreover, it offered numerous central characters the chance to leave a lasting impression.
4. Season 6 (2016)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%
This season prominently showcases the intense battle between the Starks and the Boltons for control of Winterfell. Meanwhile, in King’s Landing, Cersei Lannister, portrayed by the talented Lena Headey, faces the daunting task of defending her family’s legacy.
Season 6 undoubtedly earns praise, notably for its decision to bring back the character Sandor Clegane, portrayed by Rory McCann. This season marked a compelling return to form after the events of the fifth season, and it showcased Jon Snow at his finest. Season 6 concluded in a highly satisfying manner, with the ‘Battle of the Bastards’ episode standing out as one of the series’ most powerful moments.
3. Season 2 (2012)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%
In this season, the spotlight shifts to the tumultuous War of the Five Kings, while Daenerys Targaryen embarks on her quest to find allies, accompanied by her three newly hatched dragons.
Season 2 of the series successfully broadens its scope by introducing a plethora of new characters, enriching the already expansive fantasy world. With multiple contenders vying for the Iron Throne, this season managed to surpass the excellence of its predecessor in Season 1. Notably, Peter Dinklage’s portrayal of Tyrion Lannister shines as a true highlight of this season, and some might argue that his performance in Season 4 is the only one to surpass it. The show’s universe expands significantly, making it an even more immersive and captivating experience.
2. Season 3 (2013)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 96%
In this season, Robb Stark, portrayed by Richard Madden, is on a relentless quest for vengeance after his father’s unjust demise. Simultaneously, Jon Snow embarks on a perilous undercover mission, while the indomitable influence of Daenerys Targaryen continues to expand.
This season notably introduced Charles Dance’s masterful portrayal of Tywin Lannister, which added a compelling new dimension to the formidable Lannister family. However, it concluded in the most heart-wrenching manner for the Stark family, serving as a stark reminder that in the ruthless game of thrones, rooting for the virtuous often leads to heartbreak. The season masterfully heightened the stakes, leaving viewers emotionally devastated yet undeniably eager for more. Life in the treacherous realm of Westeros was a far cry from fair.
1. Season 4 (2014)
Rotten Tomatoes Score: 97%
In this season, Tyrion Lannister finds himself thrust into the harrowing center of a murder trial, while Sansa Stark is finally granted a glimmer of hope to escape the torment of King’s Landing.
The pivotal moment of season 4 revolved around the demise of Jack Gleeson’s detestable Joffrey Baratheon. It was a season where Peter Dinklage truly had his time to shine as Tyrion. With memorable events like Joffrey’s well-deserved demise, Tyrion’s impassioned outburst and subsequent trial by combat, this season was rife with sensational moments. Moreover, it deepened the intriguing bond between Arya Stark, played by Maisie Williams, and the enigmatic Hound, and introduced the charismatic yet tragically short-lived character of Oberyn Martell, portrayed by Pedro Pascal. It’s safe to say that the show reached its pinnacle in the fourth season, a zenith it perhaps never quite managed to surpass in the seasons that followed.