Just a Point of View: The 10 Worst 'Game of Thrones' Episodes
Game of Thrones will go down in history as one of the best TV shows of all time. At the same time, its eighth and final season is going to be remembered as one of the worst seasons ever and probably the most hated one. While shows like Breaking Bad or The Wire received almost unanimous praise by the core of their fans, these shows never became a worldwide phenomenon like Game of Thrones. Lost paved the way, it was the first TV series that somewhat took advantage of the new digital era, but Game of Thrones really took it to another level. David Benioff and D.B. Weiss (and George R.R.Martin who wrote the books, although not all of them yet!) never really imagined that their show would actually become such a huge success, breaking the internet (figuratively), breaking hearts (maybe not so figuratively) and that they would receive so much love for the first seasons and so much hate for the last one. Truth be told, I am one of the millions of people that got really disappointed by the final season of the show (admit it, being here probably means you are one of us too). To be completely honest, I wasn't excited about season 7. In my opinion, D&D did an amazing job adapting Martin's material and in many ways they even made it better. The first four seasons of the show are undoubtedly exceptional, but they really screwed it up in the last two seasons, especially the last one. The writing got sloppy and rushed, the seasons were shortened and they managed to unite the whole world hating them!
So, to get to the point, the final season of GOT is a mess. It's a really bad season. We probably all agree about that. But were all season 8 episodes that bad? And what about the previous seasons? Weren't there any bad episodes in those seasons at all? In this article, I'm going to rank the worst 10 episodes of the series in my opinion. Again, it's my opinion and I have to admit I was a huge fan of the show and got really disappointed in the process (even though I don't think of myself as a "hater"). I'm not so sure I can really be objective but I'll give it a try. Feel free to comment and please be polite and respectful. And without further ado...
10. "The Bear and the Maiden Fair", Season 3, Episode 7
This was one of the most hated or one of the least loved, pick your point of view, episodes of the series before Season 8 came out. To be... fair, I never hated the episode myself, it's still decent. Up until Season 7 there weren't any really bad GOT episodes in my opinion anyway. On the other hand, this isn't a great episode or even a good one really. Most storylines are a bit boring and way too slow. Yes, there was a time when people kept complaining that this show was slow! It wasn't. But, well, some episodes were! So this one is a bit slow and it's definitely a filler. Kind of the calm before the storm as the Red Wedding approaches! It has its moments though. For example, I like Daenerys interaction with Razdal mo Eraz outside Yunkai. I actually believe Dany is at her best in Season 3. And what about the final scene of the episode? Jaimie decides to risk his life and save Brienne, a vital decision for both of those characters' storylines. Oh, and I love the song. Great way to end the episode!
9. "The Long Night", Season 8, Episode 3
The "hate" probably started here. This is one of the most anticipated TV episodes ever. And it's probably the most expensive TV episode ever made. And it was supposed to be the most astonishing episode ever made, having the longest and best battle we ever saw on TV and it was also supposed to actually be the climax of the series. And the truth is... it's not astonishing, the battle is good, but not great, some scenes look really expensive and incredible and others look, well, cheap and... pitch-black, even though I respect their decision to make this battle look more frightening than epic. I also don't hate the writers' decision to make Arya the one to kill the Night King and I actually expected the Night King to die in "The Long Night".
No major characters died in this episode and that's a bit problematic considering this is the show that killed off its main character in the first season! Actually, as they showed as in the next episodes, half the human army, surprisingly, survived even though that's not what we witnessed on-screen! My main issue with this battle is not the battle itself, but the aftermath. It's a chain of events actually. And that's why, in the end, I feel that "The Long Night", even though it would be a mistake to call it a bad episode itself, it's still kind of disappointing, mainly due to the great expectations it never fulfilled and the awful aftermath.
8. "No One", Season 6, Episode 8
I really wish I liked Arya's storyline in Braavos. I wanted to like that storyline from the moment she flew Westeros at the end of Season 4. But I don't. And this episode marks the conclusion of that storyline and that conclusion, is, in my opinion, kind of
disappointing. I'm not really a huge fan of the Riverland's siege either and the way Jaimie settled it, well, that's bad writing! And we weren't used to bad writing until that point. By the way, Blackfish kind of... died... off screen... really? OK, I understand that you probably think I hate this episode! I don't. There are no bad GOT episodes in the first 6 seasons really. But it's another filler leading to the best battle of the series ("Battle of the Bastards") and one of the few episodes of those seasons where the writing is questionable. Still, the flow is good and technically the episode is great and I like, for example, the cinematography of Arya's and Waif's chase scene. I just expected more from an episode titled "No One" and that whole storyline.
7. "Sons of the Harpy", Season 5, Episode 4
Talking about storylines that I don't like, the "Sons of the Harpy" storyline is one of my least favourites of the whole show. It started with great promise and Ramin Djawadi wrote a fantastic music theme (as always), but it quickly declined. At the end of this episode Barristan Selmy dies and honestly, they couldn't have killed him in a stupider way. He didn't go down as one of the greatest warriors of all time, Barristan the Bold, he went down as an old man getting killed in an alley. Disappointing and pointless. Need I remind you that he is
still alive in the books? This episode marks the beginning of the "Sand Snakes" storyline and most people don't really admire that one either. I have to admit though that I love Sansa's and Littlefinger's scene at the crypts of Winterfell. Their whole interaction is great and Littlefinger actually gives us as some major hints about Rhaegar and Lyanna and... Jon! Still, one scene can't save a whole episode and this one is average at best.
6. "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken", Season 5, Episode 6
"Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken" is House Martell's motto. Oberyn Martell was a great character and his death scene was disappointing, shocking and brilliant all at the same time! Only if he wasn't so cocky! The rest of the Dornish characters though, weren't so great, in the show at least. Before Season 8 started this was the lowest rated episode of the series on both Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB. Most of the storylines of this episode aren't exactly great, whether we're talking about the Dorne storyline or the Arya storyline (yeah, I've already mentioned I'm not a huge
fan) or even the Jorah and Tyrion storyline. Most people, though, hate this episode due to Sansa's rape by Ramsay. It's a disturbing scene, no doubt. But is it a bad one or an unnecessary one? I'm not so sure about that. Anyway, I can't honestly say I like this episode. And obviously, few people did. Even though Tyrion's "guess again" line was pretty good! You remember the line, don't you? It's the one about dwarfs not actually having dwarf sized cocks! Oh, and Bronn has a nice singing voice too!
5. "The Bells", Season 8, Episode 5
Technically this episode is impeccable! Well, almost! Everyone in the development and the production department has done an amazing job, expect for the writers! Seriously if we try, I mean if we try really hard, to forget the bad writing, this is one of the most stunning TV episodes ever made! The visuals are great, the CGIs fantastic, the actors have given great performances! Especially Emilia Clarke has really surpassed herself and its a shame that Daenerys' storyline was never properly developed. The moment that she flips and starts burning the whole King's Landing and becomes Mad Queen while her troops massacre women and children is shocking and well directed, but that was never really earned. Do I need to also point out that Ramin Djawadi's music is epic? I guess not! Probably the peak of the episode is the long anticipated "Clegane Bowl". And that's, Sandor Clegane's storyline, one of the few storylines that were both satisfying and true to the character's nature all along. What a waste of a good journey though regarding Jamie's storyline! His fight with Euron is, well, awful (unfortunately Euron as a whole is awful) and his demise holding the love of his life was supposed to be truly emotional, but... it's not! And what about that white horse at the end of the episode? OK, we behold a pale horse, we get it! But what's the point? And what's the point of Arya running around as the city falls apart besides watching the whole atrocity from the point of view of a beloved character? What's the point storywise? I really wanted to love this episode. But the writing ruined it for me as it ruined the whole eighth season and most of season 7. Such a pity!
4. "Eastwatch", Season 7, Episode 5
From this point on a show that methodically and slowly developed its world and the politics and its characters' arcs becomes, for no apparent reason, a world class sprinter! I don't really hate this episode to be honest. Most of the scenes could have been great scenes if they weren't so rushed. I do hate the scenes at Winterfell regarding Littlefinger's plot, especially since I now know where that storyline was supposed to lead and well, the way they treated Littlefinger and the way they decided to kill him off just for cheap shock value, that sucks! And their decision to bring the dead to the living is just moronic! That's bad writing. To make a long story short, that's an episode that doesn't feel like Game of Thrones. Like the way Game of Thrones used to be anyway. And even though I don't really hate the episode, I hate with all my heart the fact that "Eastwatch", in my opinion, is the starting point of the downfall of one of the greatest shows ever made.
3. "Beyond the Wall", Season 7, Episode 6
SHAME! SHAME! SHAME! STUPID! STUPID! STUPID! RUSHED! RUSHED! RUSHED! Need I say more? Remember what I've written about not really hating "Eastwatch"? Of course you do, you've just read that! Well, forget about it! I HATE THIS EPISODE! I despise it! This isn't Game of Thrones, this is total trash! And it's the first time that I felt this way watching a GOT episode. An episode that's a long one and of course, the penultimate of the season and it was supposed to be epic! IT'S NOT! At Winterfell, the "plotting" continues and so do the "misunderstandings" and of course, the stupidity! At Dragonstone there's an interaction between Daenerys and Tyrion that could have been good and actually vital to the story, if it was well written. It's not! Some of the interactions between the members of the... Fellowship though are actually pretty good! But then, the action starts and I really want to rip my eyes out! Where's the Mountain when you need him? The directing is, surprisingly bad, the pace is problematic and the writing... well let's say that's not "beyond the wall", that's beyond stupidity! Gendry sprints to the wall, sends ravens asking for Daenerys' help and she flies all along from Dragonstone beyond the Wall to become... "deus ex machina" and to save them all, losing a dragon in the process! All that happens in just a few minutes of screen time! Thoros dies in this episode and no one cares. Viserion becomes the Night King's puppy and that's a bit shocking, but not in a good way. I could have liked this episode if it was split into more episodes, with better writing and with NO TIME TRAVELLING! Now that I think about it, actually, I can say exactly the same for season 8 as a whole! I guess in this episode D&D kind of foreshadowed the future of the whole series!
2. "The Last of the Starks", Season 8, Episode 4
First of all, thematically, "Last of the Starks" is two episodes and it should definitely have been divided into two episodes anyway!The first one is about the aftermath of the "Long Night" and it's mostly a filler that would be best fitting in a full ten episode
season.. The living get to bury their dead and that scene is actually beautiful and emotional. And then, they get to celebrate! I'm a bit conflicted regarding the celebrations, they feel awkward and interesting both at the same time! They get to drink wine and... coffee(!) and play games and have some fun and Tormund gets to praise Jon and piss off Daenerys, because that's D&D's way to develop "Mad Queen" I guess! More importantly, though, Brienne and Jamie get to have sex and, oh, that was awkward! The two actors have great chemistry both on and off screen and it's a shame that their interaction in this episode doesn't really work out. Most dialogues of the episode, unfortunately, are badly written and a bit badly performed too! The Starks get to gather for a last time and Jon shares his secret... off screen(!) and via proxy (Bran) and that's another rushed and pointless scene. And then the planning of the attack starts and the forces decide to split preparing their final attack and from this point on, the "second" episode begins and that episode is rushed and awful! Daenerys loses a second dragon to... Jan "Euron" Jelezny even though she should have seen the ships waiting for her miles away, but she "kinda forgot"! And then, Missandei dies in a "shocking" way built to give some excuse for Daenerys turning Mad Queen in the next episode. I have to admit, I liked Missandei. I didn't give a rat's ass for her death though. And that's on D&D. From this point on, I kinda lost my faith in the show and, unfortunately, I was right.
1. "The Iron Throne", Season 8, Episode 6
Undoubtedly, "the Iron Throne" is the most hated episode of Game of Thrones and the worst in my opinion, mostly because it's a disappointing and undeserving ending to a great series. Most people think that this and Dexter's endings are the two worst finales of good TV shows ever and I can't disagree. First things first, what about the terrible title? Really? "The Iron Throne"? Up to this point, no one really cares who sits on the Iron Throne anyway! The title should have either been "A Dream of Spring" or "A Song of Ice and Fire" (total misuse of this title during the episode). When even the title of a finale isn't inspiring, that foreshadows what comes next. And the episode is totally disappointing. I like the "Third Reich scene" and the way Tyrion dismisses Daenerys. But that's actually all I like! That and Djawadi's music of course! Jon finally takes action and he kills Daenerys in the DEFINITION of a scene that was supposed to be shocking and emotional but it's not! And then, somehow, Bran becomes king and Jon goes back to the Wall FOR NO REASON AT ALL and Bronn becomes a member of the Small Council and probably the wealthiest person in Westeros. I mostly laughed when watching the episode, even though deep inside I really wanted to cry! I definitely believe that Daenerys is going to become Mad Queen in the books. That's so G.R.R. Martin! It's not about the destination, it's about the journey. It was never earned, her becoming Mad Queen, by the writers in the show. I even more strongly believe that Bran is going to become king in the books and actually, I believe Martin has some surprises in mind regarding Bran. He is going to be a really important character in the books and it's a pity the way they underused him in the show. Game of Thrones ends with a scene similar to the one it started with. A full circle. Fitting but hugely disappointing too...
© 2019 Demos Karayiannopoulos