The 15 Best ‘Game of Thrones’ Episodes, Ranked According to IMDb

Although Game of Thrones concluded in 2019, its popularity has persisted in part due to the debut of its prequel and sequel House of the Dragon as well as the show’s enduring quality. However, despite some controversy surrounding the finale among viewers and critics, the milestones the program attained during its eight-season existence are irrefutable.



Game of Thrones, which has a 9.2 rating on IMDb, is among the best television programs of all time for several reasons including superb performance, epic staging, and sharp writing that brought the characters to life without a hitch. There are several episodes throughout the entire series that are nearly perfect, demonstrating how adored this program is by both fans and critics.

Updated on June 29, 2023, by Jessie Nguyen:

Audiences still adore Game of Thrones to this day despite the fact that it concluded in 2019 and is widely regarded as having one of the most disappointing endings in history. The show undoubtedly has meticulous world-building and a thoroughly crafted plot, resulting in lots of episodes with high ratings.

15 “Fire and Blood”

Season 1, Episode 10 (2011)

_Fire and Blood_

IMDb Ranking: 9.4/10

While the brothers of the late King Robert(Mark Addy) individually challenge Joffrey’s (Jack Gleeson) claim to the throne, the North breaks away from the Seven Kingdoms and announces Robb Stark (Richard Madden) as king. Meanwhile, the witch’s cunning magic causes Daenerys’s (Emilia Clarke) baby to be born dead and malformed, while Khal Drogo (Jason Mamoa) is left in a vegetative state. After sacrificing herself in Drogo’s funeral pyre, she walks out unharmed when the embers die the following morning, with three newly-hatched baby dragons.

Many of the best characters on Game of Thrones experience substantial character growth in this episode, notably Daenerys Targaryen, who gains a new title and power following the death of her husband Khal Drogo. The birth of Daenerys’ dragons also has significant implications for the rest of the series and continues to be one of the show’s most iconic scenes.

14 “And Now His Watch Is Ended”

Season 3, Episode 4 (2013)

_And Now His Watch Is Ended_

IMDb Ranking: 9.5/10

Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is still depressed about losing his hand after having it amputated in the last episode. Meanwhile, the remaining Night’s Watch men at Craster’s Keep fighting their host because they are starving. As a result, Craster (Robert Pugh) and Mormont (James Cosmo) are killed in the struggle. To exchange one dragon for the Unsullied army, Daenerys meets with the enslaver Kraznys while Cersei (Lena Headey) grows impatient with the Tyrells.

The episode contains lots of epic moments that go down in cinema history including Daenerys’s acquisition of the Unsullied, and the fiery death of Lord Commander Mormont. It also features a significant amount of political intrigue which is complex and engaging, adding to the depth of the show and contributing to the show’s reputation.

13 “The Children”

Season 4, Episode 10 (2014)

_The Children_

IMDb Ranking: 9.6/10

As Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane) and his army invade the Wildling camp and capture Mance Rayder (Ciarán Hinds), Jon’s (Kit Harington) truce meeting with Mance comes to an abrupt end. Bran (Isaac Hempstead Wright) finds the weirwood tree he saw in his visions, but as the group is attacked by skeletal creatures, Jojen (Thomas Brodie-Sangster) is killed. The Three-Eyed Raven is discovered to be an elderly man enclosed in tree roots inside a safe cave after being saved by a Child of the Forest who then takes the others there. Arya leaves for Braavos after refusing to go with Brienne (Gwendoline Christie) and leaving The Hound (Rory McCann) to his death.

The episode includes pivotal moments for the character arcs of Bran and Arya as well as major character growth. It also features several epic moments including the battle between Brienne and the Hound, the arrival of Stannis at the Wall, and the revelation of the true nature of the White Walkers. “The Children” is also visually stunning, with beautiful shots of the landscape and impressive special effects that fans cannot help but be in awe of.

12 “The Watchers on the Wall”

Season 4, Episode 9 (2014)

Kit Harington as Jon Snow fighting a man in Game of Thrones.

IMDb Ranking: 9.6/10

The Wildlings attack from both sides of the wall as The Night’s Watch gets ready for the fight. Grenn (Mark Stanley) and five other people risk their lives to stop the Giant from entering Castle Black through the tunnel. Meanwhile, Alliser Thorne (Owen Teale) joins the battle in the southern sector, leaving the Wall’s inept commander Janos Slynt (Dominic Carter) in charge. After witnessing Jon kill Styr, Ygritte (Rose Leslie) raises her bow at him but hesitates and is shot fatally by Olly (Brenock O’Connor).

The episode is still regarded as having one of the best fight scenes in the Game of Thrones universe that demonstrates that nobody is safe. Along with valiant Grenn and Pip dying in the battle, the episode also shows the fan favorite Ygritte dying in Jon Snow’s arms, leaving a sad ending for their love story. Additionally, it is the first time Jon assumes leadership and demonstrates his abilities, while Slynt continues to demonstrate his incapacity and cowardice.

11 “Baelor”

Season 1, Episode 9 (2011)

_Baelor_ (Season 1, Episode 9)

IMDb Ranking: 9.6/10

The episode continues to follow several storylines, with a conflict between the Stark and Lannister increasing and Khal Drogo’s health deteriorating, but King’s Landing’s events where King Joffrey Baratheon’s order to behead Eddard Stark (Sean Bean) after promising to spare his life will live on in infamy.

The episode is the turning point for Game of Thrones, which will forever be remembered as one of the greatest moments ever on for its shocking twists everyone knows by now. No character is safe in this cinematic universe, which solidifies the show’s brutal reputation.

10 “Blackwater”

Season 2, Episode 9 (2012)


IMDb Ranking: 9.7/10

King’s Landing is attacked by Stannis’ fleet, but Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) is leading the defense and uses wildfire to destroy many of the assaulting ships, forcing Stannis to launch an attack on land. Meanwhile, the Hound is overcome and retreats inside, denouncing Joffrey and departing. Cersei tries to kill both her and Tommen when Stannis’s force enters the castle, however, Tywin (Charles Dance) arrives in time and forces Stannis to retreat.

The episode features a massive battle sequence that was incredibly well-made, with impressive special effects and smart war strategy, contributing to the franchise’s reputation. It also features several pivotal moments of the show including The Hound leaving King’s Landing and unforeseeable defeat to Stannis’ fleet. It’s an emotional and action-packed episode that both fans and critics still cannot stop talking about until now.

9 “The Laws of Gods and Men”

Season 4, Episode 6 (2014)

_The Laws Of Gods And Men_ (Season 4, Episode 6) (1)

IMDb Ranking: 9.7/10

The episode features Stannis Baratheon and Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) visiting Braavos to negotiate with the Iron Bank of Braavos, Yara Greyjoy’s (Gemma Whelan) unsuccessful attempt to save her brother from the claws of Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon), and Daenerys eventually coming to grips with her duties as the ruler of Meereen. Nonetheless, Tyrion’s trial, in which he is accused of murdering Joffrey, takes center stage in this episode.

The trial is a farce since it has been set up to find Tyrion guilty with many coming forward to testify against him, but his former lover Shae is the most shocking of them. Both critics and viewers praised the episode, praising Dinklage’s masterful portrayal of the character – especially for capturing Tyrion’s anguish, rage, and determination to fight back.

8 “The Lion and the Rose”

Season 4, Episode 2 (2014)

Margaery and Joffrey at their wedding in Game of Thrones.

IMDb Rating: 9.7/10

The main emphasis of the episode revolves around the highly anticipated royal nuptials of Joffrey Baratheon and Margaery Tyrell (Natalie Dormer). After consuming tainted wine during the reception, it ends with Joffrey’s horrible demise. Additional plotlines are Bran’s prolonged voyage north of The Wall and House Bolton’s attempt to recapture the North.

Bran, Theon (Alfie Allen), and Davos’ stories all progress in the episode, but they all fall short of what is happening in King’s Landing which is still regarded as one of the most satisfying deaths in TV history. In the pandemonium following the king’s demise, Tyrion is apprehended as the major suspect, resulting in the infamous trial, while Sansa (Sophie Turner) is escorted away from King’s Landing.

7 “The Door”

Season 6, Episode 5 (2016)

The Door” (Season 6, Episode 5) (1)

IMDb Rating: 9.7/10

The episode sees Daenerys realize the extent of Jorah Mormont’s (Iain Glen) devotion to her, Jon Snow makes plans to unite the north against the Boltons while Bran discovers the origin of the White Walkers and unintentionally makes the Night King (Vladimir Furdik) aware of his status, leading to one of the most devastating deaths of the show.

Bran, Meera (Ellie Kendrick), and Hodor (Kristian Nairn) attempt to escape as The Night King rapidly appears, murdering the Three-Eyed Raven (Max von Sydow), the Children of the Forest, and Summer. In the process, Meera constantly shouts “hold the door,” which causes a young Hodor who Bran wargs into while in a vision, to have a seizure and slowly shorten the phrase to “hodor.” The realization that Hodor was always destined to give his life for Bran at this precise time is such a heartbreaking one.

6 “The Mountain and the Viper”

Season 4, Episode 8 (2014)

_The Mountain And The Viper_ (Season 4, Episode 8)

IMDb Rating: 9.7/10

Tyrion’s trial by combat dominates this episode, with the majority of the other plotlines being resolved including Wildlings invading Mole’s Town, but Ygritte spares Gilly (Hannah Murray); and Roose Bolton (Michael McElhatton) legitimizes his bastard son Ramsay. The lone exception is in the Vale, where Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) is being protected by Sansa with some deft lying while Baelish is on trial for the murder of Lysa Arryn (Kate Dickie).

The Mountain (Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson) versus Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal) is a fun show, but its horrifying conclusion will live in infamy. Oberyn appears to have the advantage in the duel, but the Dornish Prince ultimately fails to owe to his tenacity in forcing Clegane to confess to killing his sister. The moment Oberyn died serves as another reminder to Game of Thrones fans that no character on this series is safe to count on.

5 “The Spoils of War”

Season 7, Episode 4 (2017)

_The Spoils Of War_ (Season 7, Episode 4)

IMDb Rating: 9.7/10

The final act of the series begins with Daenerys’ arrival in Westeros at the beginning of season seven. In order to win the war, Daenerys consults Jon and Tyrion before taking action on her own. When transporting the Red Keep’s gold, Jaime runs into an unexpected encounter.

The battle between the Lannisters and Daenerys’ army is expertly filmed, with fire and devastation pouring down as Bronn (Jerome Flynn) desperately tries to take out the powerful Drogon and save Jaime from being burned alive by dragon fire. The magnitude of the battle serves as a reminder to viewers of how enormous Game of Thrones can be and what makes it so renowned in TV history.

4 “Hardhome”

Season 5, Episode 8 (2015)

Kit Harington as Jon Snow fighting a White Walker in Game of Thrones.

IMDb Rating: 9.8/10

The final season of Game of Thrones may have hurt the show’s image thanks to it being one of the worst TV finales ever, but the battle scenes were always magnificent. This includes, “Hardhome” which is regarded as one of the most epic battles in the GoT universe. The main conflict of the episode is the fight between the Night’s Watch and the Free Folk against the army of the dead headed by the Night King at Hardhome, where Jon Snow leads a rare joint effort.

“Hardhome” is praised as one of the best episodes of the series and serves as a reminder of the Whites’ power and threat, as well as that of their King. The episode also showcases Jon Snow’s military prowess and leadership abilities, showing how he willfully saves those who would harm him in the interest of the greater good.

3 “The Winds of Winter”

Season 6, Episode 10 (2016)

_The Winds Of Winter_ (Season 6, Episode 10)

IMDb Rating: 9.9/10

The title of the season six finale, “The Winds of Winter,” strongly suggests that the main emphasis may be on the region north of the Wall. However, while Jon is proclaimed King in the North by the lords of the Northern houses, Cersei schemes to eliminate all of her immediate adversaries in one fell swoop, which also goes down in the history of television as one of the best scenes and episodes.

The episode marks the start and conclusion of several plotlines, including the revelation of Jon’s true parentage while Daenerys sets foot in Westeros for the first time. The episode’s soundtrack, “Light of the Seven,” which ranks among the greatest in the entire series, expertly blends melancholy and power.

2 “Battle of the Bastards”

Season 6, Episode 9 (2016)

Jon Snow facing an army in Game of Thrones.

IMDb Rating: 9.9/10

It is not an exaggeration to say that Game of Thrones is packed with epic on-screen battles that will go down in history as the best ever and “The Battle of the Bastards” more than merits inclusion on that list. The primary subject of the episode is the battle between Ramsay Bolton and Jon Snow over the control of Winterfell. Jon assembled an army, yet, he is vastly outnumbered.

The bodies are stacking up and actively affecting the battle, which is exceedingly harsh to watch. Ramsay receives a karma death by being fed to his own hounds, making it one of the most satisfying deaths for a TV character who should have died much sooner. It is yet another outstanding ninth episode of a season, with a fantastic battle at its core.

1 “The Rains of Castamere”

Season 3, Episode 9 (2013)

Robb Stark standing still and facing someone off-camera in Game of Thrones.

IMDb Rating: 9.9/10

The episode centers on Edmure Tully (Tobias Menzies) and Roslin Frey’s (Alexandra Dowling) wedding, which is also known as “The Red Wedding” and is one of the most iconic moments from the book series where Robb Stark and his banner-men are massacred at this wedding.

The massacre causes ripple effects throughout the Seven Kingdoms and intensifies the Starks’ ongoing sorrow in the early seasons. The episode’s title is the name of House Lannister’s signature song which recalls the tale of how House Lannister annihilated the rival House Reyne of Castamere when they dared to revolt. As it played in the wedding, it denotes the imminent bloodshed that will take place.

NEXT: ‘Game of Thrones’ Cast and Characters (And What They’re Doing Now)

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