Warning: This post contains major spoilers for Game of Thrones! Read at your own risk...
While almost every episode of Game of Thrones seems to be well-received by TV audiences, there are five episodes that stand out as the absolute best.
Fans of the HBO series have voted on every episode of the drama on IMDB and the rankings tell a story that George R.R. Martin himself could not have written. Keep scrolling to see the top 5 episodes of all time for Game of Thrones according to the fans.
As a quick side note, none of the episodes from season 7 are featured on the list. However, for those who are up-to-date with the current season, it's not hard to imagine that several of the recent episodes could easily be cracking the list of best episodes.
5. "The Door" (Season 6, Episode 5)
"The Door" is the fifty-fifth episode of the series overall and was directed by Jack Bender. This particular episode features one of the most heartbreaking moments of sacrifice from a fan favorite character.
Hodor, played by Kristian Nairn, lays down his life for Bran Stark in a touching moment that left fans everywhere totally devastated. The scene was a massive revelation to a long-running mystery on the show, and it was just as moving for the actors as it was for the viewers.
When asked what his reaction was to learning how Hodor's death would play out, Nairn said, "I actually cried. I didn't cry openly, but I had a little bit of a sob to myself. It's just so sad. To me, it's very satisfying as well. It ties up a lot about Hodor. It ties him all together and kills him at the same time. It's very Game of Thrones. It gives you something you want with one hand, then cuts your hand off with the other one."
The episode was rated 9.7 out of 10 on IMDB with 44k votes.
4. "The Rains of Castamere" (Season 3, Episode 9)
The "Rains of Castamere" is the episode that contains one of the most heartbreaking and shocking scenes of the drama — the "Red Wedding."
Fans will remember that the "Red Wedding" was when Robb Stark's army arrives at the Twins, the castle seat of House Frey. The Stark armies arrive to attend Edmure's wedding, and Walder Frey is insulted that Stark broke his promise to marry one Lord Frey's daughters.
Then, a seemingly cordial wedding celebration turns into one of the most brutal bloodbaths of TV history. A slew of the major characters are killed off and families are pulled apart in the aftermath.
The episode was rated 9.9 out of 10 on IMDB with 58k votes.
3. "Hardhome" (Season 5, Episode 8)
"Hardhome" features one of the most iconic and unnerving images from the series. After winning the Battle of Castle Black, Jon Snow and Tormund Giantsbane take the Royal Fleet to a free folk fishing village beyond the wall called Hardhome and encounter an enemy that drastically outmatches them.
When Snow and his army arrive, the entire village had been invaded and destroyed by the White Walkers and wights. A gripping battle between Snow and the undead ensues and there are thousands of casualties along the way...or more accurately, they seemed like casualties at first.
Snow and a handful of his comrades barely escape and as they slowly drift into the water, the Night King resurrects all of those killed during the battle as wights. While Snow was lucky to make it out alive, he did learn a crucial fact in that Valyrian steel is just as lethal to the White Walkers as dragonglass.
While there's other thrilling action going down with Daenerys Targaryen in Meereen and with Arya in Braavos, the most exciting scenes are undoubtedly featured in the battle at Hardhome.
The episode was rated 9.9 out of 10 on IMDB with 62k votes.
2. "Winds of Winter" (Season 6, Episode 10)
At 68 minutes long, the "Winds of Winter" clocks in as the longest episode of Game of Thrones in the series' history so far. It was the sixtieth episode of the show and was directed by Miguel Sapochnik.
While seemingly every episode of GOT involves a major character dying, the "Winds of Winter" was exceptionally memorable in this regard. Several members of House Tyrell, the High Sparrow, and much of the population of King's Landing is burned alive with wildfire. Queen Cersei's son, then King Tommen Baratheon, commits suicide after his wife, Margaery dies in the explosion.
Another significant detail of this episode was that it was the point when the HBO series surpassed the books, according to Game of Thrones Wiki.
The episode was rated 9.9 out of 10 on IMDB with 98k votes.
1. "Battle of the Bastards" (Season 6, Episode 9)
A vast number of Game of Thrones fans have indicated that the "Battle of the Bastards" was without a doubt the best episode of the series. The episode featured a long-awaited and unforgettable showdown between Jon Snow and Ramsay Bolton that far exceeded anyone's expectations.
This episode was also directed by Sapochnik who described it as "the most logistically complicated thing I’ve ever been involved in.” Sapochnik spoke about the biggest overall challenge of pulling off the incredible battle scene.
"Like every time we charge the horses, it takes 25 minutes to reset all the fake snow on the field and rub out the horseshoe prints. So how many times can we afford to charge the horses each day knowing we need to give time for a reset that’s 10 times longer than the actual shot?
"Another thing was how to make 500 extras look like 8,000 when you are shooting in a field where there’s just nowhere to hide your shortfall. It becomes a bit like a bonkers math equation. And finally: How do you get these guys riled up enough to run at each other and get covered in mud and stand in the rain and then run at each other again and again for 25 days, 10 hours a day, without them just telling you to piss off?" he said while talking with EW.
The episode was rated 9.9 out of 10 with almost 50k more votes than "Winds of Winter."