This is the first part of a two-part series
HBO's "Game of Thrones" has been an epic roller-coaster ride for its fans over the last eight years. Each season was packed with twists and turns, unpredictable betrayals, sudden deaths of memorable characters, and labyrinthine politics in the hunt for the Iron Throne, the most coveted seat in Westeros.
With the show’s finale set to air on Sunday, anticipation among fans has reached a fever pitch. As the conclusion to the epic saga nears, Dhaka Tribune Showtime looks back at 10 of the shows most memorable moments. When a show has as many twists as “Game of Thrones,” the subject of most memorable moment is bound to lead to some debate, but these are our personal favourites.
A potential hero dies
The pilot episode of "Game of Thrones" opens in a snowy forest, where a handsome knight (named Ser Waymar Royce in the credits) leads a party of three to investigate some dead bodies. Viewers who had not read the books may have thought Royce would serve as one of the show’s central characters, as we did, and then been extremely shocked when he was decapitated by a mysterious, blue-eyed ice zombie, later revealed to be a White Walker. In our opinion, it was one of the most spectacular “hooks” in TV history.
'The things I do for love...'
The twists and turns certainly did not stop after the opening 10 minutes of the pilot episode. After introducing some of the true major characters of House Stark, who would all survive for varying lengths of time, the episode ended with a truly dramatic turn. Queen of the Seven Kingdoms Cersei Lannister is revealed to be in an incestuous relationship with her twin brother Jaime, “the King slayer.” When young Bran Stark accidentally becomes witness to an illicit rendezvous between the two siblings while climbing a tower at his home in Winterfell, he is caught by Jaime before he can escape. After looking at the panic on Cersei’s face, Jaime says “the things I do for love” before pushing the child out the window. Although Bran survives, he is never able to walk again.
Hand of the King loses his head
The driving force of the first season is the conflict between noble, honest and honourable "Hand of the King" Eddard Stark, played by Sean Bean, and the ruthless Queen Cersei, played by Lena Headey. After Ned’s close friend and Cersei’s estranged husband King Robert Baratheon dies in mysterious circumstances on a hunting trip, Ned spends most of the season trying to reveal that the new King Joffrey is not Robert’s legitimate son, but the product of Cersei and Jaime’s incest. Viewers who thought Ned would be protected by his central position in the plot and honourable character were proven wrong in the penultimate episode of the first season, when Ned is executed after being betrayed and forced to confess to treason. As Cersei tells Ned in a meeting between the two, “when you play the game of thrones, you either win or you die."
Dragons rise from the ashes
One of the characters in the show who was developed the most is exiled princess Daenerys Targaryen, played by Emilia Clarke. Having been chased across the sea to the continent of Essos after Robert Baratheon took the throne from her father the “Mad King” Aerys II Targaryen, Daenerys outlives her abusive brother Viserys and rises to be Khaleesi, queen of the Dothraki, a tribal people who are unmatched horsemen. After her husband Khal Drogo, played by Jason Momoa, suffers a mortal injury, Daenerys makes a deal with a captured witch to keep the Khal alive. However, she realizes too late that the witch tricked her, saving Khal Drogo’s life but leaving him in a vegetative state.
After killing her comatose husband in an act of mercy, Daenerys decides to execute the witch by burning her alive with her deceased husband’s funeral pyre. Daenerys also puts three dragon eggs, which were given as wedding gifts, into the flames, and even enters the blaze herself. When the flames finally burn out at dawn, Daenerys is revealed to be unharmed, with three baby dragons. As the last moment in the last episode of the first season, it left fans awestruck and craving more.
A dwarf's moment of glory
Another character who is arguably among the show’s most loved and comedic is Tyrion Lannister, the dwarf-sized younger brother of Cersei and Jamie. While undoubtedly with a sharp wit, Tyrion is initially depicted to be a lecher who is more concerned with drinking and womanizing than responsibility or power. He also constantly suffers the disapproval of his tyrannical father, Tywin Lannister.
Tyrion finally gets his moment in the limelight when he is named as Hand of the King following Ned Stark’s death. His first true test arrives when Robert’s brother Stannis Baratheon lays siege to King’s Landing, the capital of Westeros, to press his claim to the Iron Throne in season two.
First, Tyrion demonstrates that he is a natural tactician, when he decimates half of Stannis’s fleet with a ploy involving a ship loaded with wildfire, a flammable liquid. Subsequently, after the maniacal and abusive King Joffrey shows his true colours and hides as the battle for the walls of King’s Landing is about to begin, Tyrion delivers a rousing speech for the troops, telling them to fight for their lives. His concluding line was “those are brave men knocking on our doors. Let's go kill them." In another twist, the episode ends with Tyrion being struck down, with no confirmation as to whether he was alive or dead.
These were some of the most memorable parts of the show, but there are many more worthy of mention and that is just in the first two seasons. Stay tuned for part two, where we will look at five more memorable moments.