Over the years fans have come to love Game of Thrones’ world-building, politics, and unpredictability. However, the thrilling action and breathtaking battle scenes have also contributed to the show’s popularity.
Although Game of Thrones ended in 2019, it still remains one of the most popular television shows ever made. The last two seasons – 7 & 8 were a massive letdown to many of its fans. However, no one can deny the excellence of its earlier seasons. Besides the HBO show’s thrilling subplots and riveting political setting, its many battle scenes have left a major impact on its fans. Here we rank Game of Thrones’ major battle scenes from best to worst.
7. Battle of King’s Landing
The last on our list is the Battle of King’s Landing which took place in season 8. It was merely a battle as Daenerys Targaryen ends up burning almost the entirety of King’s Landing.
She and her Drogon end up burning the whole city with its civilians and many soldiers despite the ringing of bells indicating Cersei‘s surrender.
Jon Snow and Grey Worm are swiftly able to walk into the gates of King’s Landing as there’s hardly a battle left to fight.
6. Battle of Winterfell
While the Battle of Winterfell against the Whitewalkers in season 8 was still more of a battle than the King’s Landing one, it had one of the most unsatisfying endings ever. Many fans have also felt that the battle’s setting lacked logic on the part of the showrunners. One of the reasons is that the women and children are kept in the crypts where all the dead are buried. They do this despite knowing very well know that the Night King is able to raise the dead to join his army.
The battle does have its thrilling moments with the Night King entering the battle riding Viserion and raising the army of those who have died fighting him within seconds. But what shocked many is the massive plot armor nearly every major character carried.
Besides Ser Jorah, Lyanna Mormont, Beric Dondarrion, Theon Greyjoy, and a few others all the major characters walk out of the battle nearly unscathed. Many were also disappointed to see that Arya killed the Night King. She was the one character who had nothing to do with the Night King throughout the whole show.
5. Battle of Goldroad
The Battle of Goldroad is Daenerys’ first major battle in Westeros. Her army of Dothraki soldiers ambushes the Lannisters as they leave Highgarden loaded with supplies. However, Daenerys who clearly has a big army to maintain ends up burning the supplies along with the people.
Jamie Lannisters accomplice Bron has a weapon to shoot down the dragon but Drogon leaves the battle with minor injuries. However, what puts this one lower on our list is the lack of logic. Jamie who charges at Daenerys is met with Drogon attempting to burn him up but at the end moment, Bron jumps out of a bizarre angle throwing Jamie in the water.
The two men don’t sink in the water despite wearing heavy armor.
4. Battle of Castleblack
The battle of Castleblack is one of the most emotional ones in the series. It’s fought between the free folks and the Night’s Watch. It’s the one where Jon loves Ygritte whose a part of the free folk ends up dying in his arms.
3. Battle of Blackwater
The Battle of Blackwater is the first major one of the show. It takes place in season 2. It takes place when Stannis Baratheon attempts to attack King’s Landing to claim his right to be the next King. He arrives when the city does not have Jamie Lannister to protect it. The new king Joffrey is too chicken to fight or lead the army. Hence we see Tyrion Lannister rise to the occasion. It’s one of the first scenes that show just how capable Tyrion is. He too has no battle experience and is scared to his core but still strategizes it all, leads the army, and saves Kings Landing. Something he regrets doing during his trial for Joffrey’s murder in season 4.
2. Battle of Hardhome
Battle of Hardhome took place in season 5 and still remains one of the most thrilling sequences in the entire show. It’s the first time we see Jon face off against the Night King. It’s also the first time we see Night King’s power of raising the dead to become his pet zombies in play.
The White Walkers arrive at the wildling town of Hardhome. Jon bravely fights to protect the wildings aka the free folk. It’s the first time we see the massacre that the Night King and his army can cause.
The chef’s kiss in the scene is when the Night King raises the dead looking at Jon almost hauntingly as he boats off with a handful of wilding survivors.
1. Battle of the Bastards
Although the Battle of Bastards is full of plot armor too, it still scores the top spot on this list for a variety of reasons. We do agree that Jon being able to come out of that battle alive seems preposterous. He clearly has fewer resources than Ramsay Bolton. However, the cinematics, framing, and the element of shock and surprise, when Sansa shows up with the Vale army, make it even more thrilling.
Sansa does not tell Jon about the resources she has at her disposal. It is still hard for her to trust his men entirely, hence she keeps her bingo card up her sleeves. Just when we thought it was over for Jon, the Vale army arrives turning the tables.
What’s more riveting is that the battle starts with Ramsay murdering Rickon Stark which sends Jon into complete madness as he charges at the massive Bolton army on foot.