Watchers on the Wall Awards: Best Episode of Season 8

We have a big category up for voting today in the Watchers on the Wall Awards: Best Episode! It’s a tad easier this year, as we only have six episodes to choose from, but they’re six episodes packed with love, action, death, blood, and epic drama, from start to finish. We’ve provided a summary for each one, in case you haven’t had time for a rewatch lately and need a bit of refreshing. Read, remember, cry, think it over, and vote for your favorite episode of the final season of Game of Thrones!

Thursday January 01, 1970

Episode 1, “Winterfell”
Written by Dave Hill and directed by David Nutter
The royal procession arrives in Winterfell, and Jon is reunited with Arya and Bran.  The Northern lords meet and question dangers to come. Tyrion and Sansa discuss their marriage and the current situation. Jon goes on his first dragon ride, with Daenerys. Arya has a less than tender reunion with the Hound, and a warmer one with Gendry. Daenerys and Sam meet and he learns of his father and brother’s deaths. Euron presents Cersei with the Golden Company, and she gives in to his advances. Theon rescues Yara, and decides to return to Winterfell to defend it. Bronn is sent away with a new mission. Sam reveals to Jon that Jon is Aegon, son of Rhaegar Targaryen- and heir to the Iron Throne. Last Hearth and the Umbers are discovered to have been attacked by the army of the dead, with young Ned Umber reanimated as he’s pinned to the wall. Jaime Lannister arrives in Winterfell, under the watchful eye of Bran Stark.

Thursday January 01, 1970

Episode #2, “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms”
Written by Bryan Cogman and directed by David Nutter
Jaime stands trial for his crimes before Daenerys and the people of the North. Later, he and Bran meet in the godswood to reckon with their past. Afterward, Jaime shares a warm and honest reunion with his brother Tyrion, and offers to serve with Brienne as she prepares for the battle. Arya visits Gendry in the forge and requests a custom weapon. Jorah encourages Daenerys to forgive Tyrion for his lapses in judgment. Sansa and Dany face off in a private meeting and find some common ground and conflict. Theon is welcomed home to Winterfell. Grey Worm promises Missandei he’ll take her home to Naath someday. The leaders makes plans for the battle and consider what the Night King really wants: to destroy the memory of the world. People gather around the fire to pass the time until the army of the dead arrive. Arya and Gendry get a lot closer. Sam gives Jorah the sword Heartsbane, while Jorah shares a moment with young Lady Mormont. Around the fire, Brienne of Tarth is knighted by Jaime Lannister. Tyrion asks for a song, and Pod Payne sings “Jenny of Oldstones”. Jon tells Dany the truth about his parentage, and the dead arrive at Winterfell.

Episode 3, “The Long Night”
Written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss and directed by Miguel Sapochnik
Melisandre returns unexpectedly and lights the Dothraki arakhs, but their fiery charge is snuffed out quickly. A first wave of Unsullied and catapults also fares poorly against a tide of wights. Jon and Dany take to the air with dragons, blasting wights, but the White Walkers fight back. The Unsullied are ordered to retreat. In the battle, Sam is surrounded and nearly killed but saved by Dolorous Edd, who is then killed. Melisandre lights the trenches around the castle. In the crypts with Varys and the women, Tyrion regrets his powerlessness, but Sansa reminds him he’ll be needed in the time to come. The Night King directs the wight to break through the trenches, and Winterfell is breached. Brienne and Jaime fight together, and Sandor Clegane freezes; he breaks through with Beric’s encouragement to help Arya. Lyanna Mormont takes on a giant, and kills him with her last breath. Arya sneaks through the library, and reunites with Sandor, Beric, and Melisandre. Dragons and their riders battle in the skies over Winterfell. The Night King falls to the ground, and Dany learns that even dragonfire cannot kill him. The Night King resurrects everyone that has fallen this night, and the dead in Winterfell’s crypts, who attack the unarmed women and children inside. Dany and Drogon are swarmed by wights, and Jorah comes to Dany’s aid; he dies of his injuries. Wounded Viserion blasts Winterfell with blue fire as the battle rages on and Jon runs.  Theon and other shoot the dead in the godswood, defending Bran, until the Night King kills Theon. Arya saves Bran at the last second, slaying the Night King, causing all White Walkers to shatter, and all  wights to fall where they stand. At dawn, Melisandre leaves Winterfell and dies.

Episode 4, “The Last of the Starks”
Written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss and directed by David Nutter
The battle’s dead are given a funeral pyre, and Jon eulogizes them. At the feast, Dany legitimizes Gendry, Davos and Tyrion ponder Melisandre’s death and the future,  and Tormund toasts Jon as the hero and king, while Dany watches on. Jaime, Brienne, Pod and Tyrion play a drinking game. Drunk and jealous Jaime later shows up in Brienne’s room and the two of them make love. Sansa and Sandor have a conversation about how far they’ve come since they saw each other last. High on life Gendry tracks down Arya and proposes, but she gently lets him down. Dany and Jon kiss and struggle with his recent revelation. The war council takes stock of their assets and allies, and decide they must head south toward Dragonstone and King’s Landing. The last of the Starks meet in the godswood. Bronn confronts Tyrion and Jaime, and makes a deal. Arya and Sandor hit the Kingsroad. Jon says goodbye to his friends in the North. Sansa shares the secret of Jon’s parentage with Tyrion; he reveals it to Varys and the two ponder the far-reaching ramifications. The fleet is attacked by Euron, Rhaegal the dragon is killed, and Missandei is captured. Cersei gloats. Tyrion and Varys consider their options, especially now that a new contender for the throne has been presented. Jaime receives a raven informing him of a new threat to Cersei; he departs Winterfell. Daenerys and her army meet with Cersei at the gates of the city. Missandei is executed.

Thursday January 01, 1970

Episode 5, “The Bells”
Written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss and directed by Miguel Sapochnik
Daenerys grieves, and Varys plots and makes a choice. Varys is executed by dragonfire. Jon pledges loyalty to Dany but rejects her romantic overtures. Dany and her advisors make plans for attacking King’s Landing. Tyrion frees his brother and says goodbye to Jaime. Dany and Drogon destroy Euron’s fleet, and they and the Unsullied annihilate the Golden Company. Lannisters surrender and the bells ring, but Daenerys snaps and scorches King’s Landing. Northmen attack, and Jon kills one of his own men assaulting a woman. Jaime runs into Euron and the two give each other mortal wounds. Sandor urges Arya to walk away from her path of vengeance and survive. Sandor confronts The Mountain, as Cersei escapes quietly, and the brothers duel to the death. Cersei and Jaime reunite, just before the Red Keep collapses and kills them. Arya runs through the city, dodging fire and explosions; she tries to help a mother and daughter but fails. Waking up in the rubble of the city, she finds a horse and rides away.

Episode 6, “The Iron Throne”
Written and directed by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss.
The survivors take in the devastation of King’s Landing; Tyrion discovers his sibling’s bodies. Grey Worm executes surviving Lannister men, to Jon’s horror. Daenerys gives a celebratory speech, and Tyrion quits. Tyrion pushes Jon to see how dangerous Daenerys is and to take action. Jon urges forgiveness, and Daenerys counters with her vision of the world. Rejecting it, Jon kills Daenerys. Drogon melts the Iron Throne and carries away Dany’s body. Lords meet at the Dragonpit, debate and choose a new leader for Westeros with Tyrion’s persuasion: Bran Stark. Tyrion and Jon meet in prison and muse over what’s happened. The Starks say farewell at the docks. Brienne writes in the final details of Jaime’s paige in the Kingsguard’s Book of Brothers. The new Small Council meets, they squabble over administrative details, and Samwell presents “A Song of Ice and Fire.” Sansa is crowned Queen in the North. Arya goes on a journey to finally find out what is west of Westeros. Jon returns to the Wall and reunites with Tormund and Ghost. He goes north with wildings, and we see that grass is growing, and spring is coming.

Final round rules: To choose the winner, cast your vote in the poll below. In the finals, unlike the preliminaries, fans have one vote to cast. At the end of one week (Monday 11/18/19 at 12PM ET), the episode with the most votes will be the winner! The results of the polls will be revealed during the live Watchers on the Wall Awards ceremony, specific date to be announced in the near future!

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