Over 8 seasons, Game of Thrones has had 150+ speaking roles, unsurprising given that exposition in high fantasy relies so much on dialogue. On the other hand, Game of Thrones sheathes its pen in favor of the sword whenever words aren’t enough to satisfy the action requirements for a given scene. Westeros is largely governed by absolute monarchies, whose leaders are wont to exert their influence via force rather than democracy.
There are dozens of verbal interactions that help characters negotiate, plan, organize, or even express themselves. That said, Game of Thrones is based on a simple, yet elegant, narrative philosophy — if pictures are worth a thousand words, then high-budget TV productions are worth a lot more. Some scenes are just better with action.
9Arya Annihilates House Frey In A Single Stroke
Few Houses have suffered as much as the Starks of Winterfell. Ned endures a humiliating trial and execution, Sansa is exchanged and bartered like a commodity, and Robb & Catelyn are unjustly murdered during what should have been a celebration of Northern unity.
Arya manages to slip under the radar and vanish off the face of Westeros, all the while plotting her revenge-soaked return. She eventually assassinates Walder Frey after feeding him his own son, before proceeding to annihilate every living male member of House Frey.
8The Hound Meets His Brother In Battle
The Hound and the Mountain aren’t equal in terms of strength — in fact, Sandor is terrified of Gregor because the latter had bullied and abused him since childhood. Their separate storylines intersect during Daenerys’ ransacking of King’s Landing.
The Mountain permits Cersei to save herself as he fully intends to resolve the longstanding animosity between the two brothers. The Hound loses his life in the consequent battle, but he is nevertheless victorious because he perishes along with the Mountain. Unfortunately, Cleganebowl wasn’t very popular with the fandom due to the scene’s blunt pacing.
7Jaime Tries To Assassinate Bran Stark
The incestuous relationship between Jaime and Cersei is a taxing burden to hide. Despite King Robert Baratheon’s disinterest in his wife’s private life, the Lannister siblings play fast and loose with the religious doctrines of Westeros, which raises several suspicions, notably Ned Stark’s.
The first person to uncover Jaime and Cersei’s dalliance happens to be Bran, who unwittingly witnesses the brother-sister pair indulging in intercourse. Jaime assures Bran that he has nothing to worry about, but then pushes the boy out of a tall tower.
6Jon Kills Daenerys For The Sake Of The Realm
Jon hesitates when Tyrion begs him to “take care” of the Daenerys problem, not because he’s afraid of punishment, but because he fears losing the person he loves. Over time, Jon understands that Daenerys is unlikely to stray from her authoritarian politics, leaving him to fulfill the most difficult task of all.
Jon struggles to sway Daenerys’ mind, but realizes that there is nothing he can say or do that will prevent another violent regime sprouting from the ashes. Jon wordlessly kills Daenerys right in front of the Iron Throne, a symbolic gesture that is one-upped by Drogon melting the throne into a puddle of lava.
5Daenerys Demonstrates The Power Of Motherhood On Several Occasions
Daenerys is unable to conceive after her stillborn son, but that doesn’t matter to her. Drogon, Rhaegal, and Viserion are the only children that Daenerys cares about. She “births” the three dragons in the funeral pyre of her husband and emerges from the flames triumphant and renewed.
Daenerys’ maternal affection for her fire-breathing children extends to thousands of indentured souls living on Essos. She routs the incompetent leaders of the Free Cities and frees their slaves, earning the epithet Mhysa for her humanitarianism.
4The Night King Tanks A Torrent Of Dragon Fire
Cersei abandons the North to its own devices, hoping that the army of the dead would take care of her political opponents. Countless lives are lost in the subsequent Battle of Winterfell, including major characters like Melisandre and Jorah Mormont.
Although Daenerys and Jon throw their best at the White Walkers, there are gradually outnumbered. Even Drogon’s ultra-hot fire has zero effect on the Night King — the latter silently scoffs at Daenerys’ attempt to destroy him.
3The Starks Execute Littlefinger Before He Can Waste More Of Their Precious Time
Sansa’s trust in Petyr Baelish has been waning ever since the Vale fiasco; Bran’s Greensight later confirms his sister’s feelings. Sansa coldly accuses Baelish of meddling in the War of the Five Kings for his benefit.
Utterly unnerved by the situation, Baelish starts begging for mercy, claiming that he did everything out of love for Sansa and Catelyn. Sansa is unmoved by his pleas and signals Arya to carry out the sentence. Baelish’s execution puts an end to his scheming, untrustworthy habits.
2The Vale Lends Its Help At The Battle Of The Bastards
Jon Snow musters significant support for the fight to regain Winterfell. However, Ramsay Bolton makes short work of his enemy, encircling the attacking soldiers with a ring of his own men. Jon and his allies would have been crushed under the weight of collapsing bodies had it not been for the Vale’s last-minute arrival.
Hundreds of cavalrymen join the fray, flipping the outcome of the battle. This allows Jon to pursue Ramsay into the Winterfell courtyard, where he expresses his hatred and anger using his bare fists. Ramsay’s treacherous bargaining strategies fail to save him from either Jon or Sansa.
1The Breaching Of The Wall Leaves Westeros Open To Invasion
The Wall has stood for thousands of years, protecting the inhabitants of Westeros from a mysterious evil. Castle Black administers the regions around the Wall, although most conscripts are forced into the Night’s Watch against their will.
The Wall’s existence is justified when the White Walkers make their appearance, but most people are confident in the structure’s integrity. Unfortunately, the Night King’s recent acquisition, the resurrected Viserion, helps him shatter the Wall with minimal effort. The wight army promptly marches into Westeros.