The dust has started to settle on this week's episode of Game of Thrones, but the hype has shown no signs of slowing down. Almost 48 hours after HBO aired "The Spoils of War," people are still talking about it.
Fans seem to agree that the episode is the best of the season, but could it be the best of the series?
It's a valid question, if we're being honest. From start to finish, "The Spoils of War" was expertly crafted. Director Matt Shakman paced the events perfectly, leaving fans on the edge of their seats for every single minute.
This episode also contained almost every element of Game of Thrones that viewers crave. The Loot Train Battle provided loads of action, the Stark children were widely triumphant — Bran's witty commentary and Arya's sword skills being the highlights — Jon Snow grew closer to Daenerys and every character had some kind of emotional arc.
This episode had audiences in tears over a man who pushed a child out of a window after sleeping with his twin sister. That's no easy feat.
'The Spoils of War' is easily in the running for best Game of Thrones episode, but it has some stiff competition. It is now one of just five episodes to receive a 9.9 rating on IMDb (at the time of this article).
How does it stack up against the other four?
The Rains of Castamere
For a couple of years, many Game of Thrones fans looked to "The Rains of Castamere" as the best episode of the series, but it seems to have been topped over the last two seasons.
The episode included the infamous Red Wedding, killing off half of House Stark in one scene. It was tragic, and the shock factor likely led to many people holding the episode in high regard.
It was an unforgettable episode, to say the least.
However, in the seasons since that fateful moment, Game of Thrones has stepped things up.prevnext
Game of Thrones fans lost their minds when "Hardhome" aired during Season 5.
The episode saw Jon Snow make one of his boldest moves yet, as he went up to Hardhome with the Wildlings. While there, a devastating battle unfolded.
Jon and his army were attacked by The Night King, giving fans the first chance to see the ultimate villain in action.
There was breathless action throughout the episode; fans were beginning to call it one of the best television episodes in history.
They were probably right at the time. However, Season 6 contained two episodes that easily snatch that title.prevnext
Battle of the Bastards
The penultimate episode of Season 6 was an all-out war, bringing the kind of action to TV that was missing from many feature films.
Jon Snow faced off against Ramsay Bolton on the battlefield. There were moments of joy, agony, heartbreak and sheer helplessness. It was a war of epic proportions.
The only other time that a battle that intense has aired on TV since then was on Sunday night, when Jaime Lannister's army was torched by Daenerys. That being said, it's tough to compare the two episodes.
'Bastards' was great because of the battle, and it lasted most of the episode. 'Spoils of War' was great because of the battle — which was much shorter — along with all of the story that was packed into the first half of the episode.prevnext
The Winds of Winter
No matter how great either of those episodes were, it's really difficult to think that they topped the Season 6 finale.
"The Winds of Winter" pulled the rug out from under every viewer that was tuning in last year. The music from Ramin Djawadi set the tone and the story turned sharply around every corner possible.0comments
Cersei cemented herself as the biggest villain Game of Thrones had ever seen, and each scene crafted a mind-blowing twist that fans weren't ready for.
"Winds of Winter" was a nearly-perfect episode and, while 'Spoils of War' was incredible, it falls just short.prev