One of the most outstanding aspects of Game of Thrones is its battles. The show set a new standard for television action sequences by blending superior choreography, effective storytelling, and riveting drama. With the final season of Game of Thrones just days away, it’s a fine time to bust out the retroscope and pick the best Game of Thrones battle.
This was a tough decision for me. I adore “The Battle of Blackwater Bay” from season two. After being conditioned to heavy use of CGI in swords-and-sorcery combat by The Lord of the Rings films, I was amazed by the heavy use of practical effects in “Blackwater.” It was also the first epic battle in Game of Thrones and despite what Prince said, the first time can be the greatest. While “Blackwater” will always be one of my favorite Game of Thrones moments, there’s one battle that’s undeniably greater.
To me, “The Battle of the Bastards” from season six can’t be beat. Yes, it seems obvious to pick the Emmy Award-winning battle as my favorite, but the writers, directors, and choreographers managed to make the choice (delightfully) difficult. In addition to the aforementioned “Blackwater” fight, “Hardhome,” “The Frozen Lake,” “The Loot Train Attack,” and “The Battle of Castle Black” were all glorious. Still, “The Battle of the Bastards” had too much going for it.
The sense of claustrophobia when the Bolton army surrounded Jon Snow’s ragtag forces was palpable. It was done so effectively that many viewers felt uncomfortable as the good guys were getting pinched. It’s remarkable for a television show to evoke physical sensations from viewers.
Wun Wun was arguably the MVP of “The Battle of the Bastards.” As a giant, he did all sorts of awesome giant things. It was a joy to watch him slaughter the vile Boltons. It was heartbreaking to watch him die for the good of his side.
The death of Ramsay Bolton was one of the most satisfying moments in the series. After Joffrey
Lannister Baratheon, Ramsay was probably the most hated character on Game of Thrones. He tortured, raped, killed his father, killed babies, cut off penises, and did many other abominable things. Watching him finally get his comeuppance was delicious.
Aside from Rickon Stark’s inability to run in a zigzag, “The Battle of the Bastards” was the perfect Game of Thrones action sequence. It was a ferocious skirmish that was uniquely filmed and choreographed. It had everything that made the show’s battles great and did it better than the rest.
Now it’s your turn. What’s your favorite Game of Thrones battle? Kindly make your choice and explain your pick in the comments section.
Here’s a clip of “The Loot Train Attack” as a bonus…because dragons are cool and Bronn is cooler.