June 7, 2023

Gabbing Geek

Your online community for all things geeky.

Gabbing Game of Thrones: Ranking the Seasons (Spoilers)

We are days away from the final season of Game of Thrones; one of the greatest shows of all-time!  In preparation for the season premiere on April 14th, we are looking back at the first seven seasons and making lists about…everything!

Today, we are looking at the seasons and how they rank against each other…

Here we go!

Ranking the Seasons

7th Best:  Season 7

What happened:  Ed Sheran sings a song.  Jon tries to get Daenerys’ support in his defense against the dead.  Jamie leads an attack on The Reach and executes the Queen of Thorns. Daenerys’ and Cersei’s forces do battle.  Euron takes down the Sand Snakes.  Just as it looks like Cersei is winning, Daenerys, Drogon, and the Dothraki rip the Lannister army to shreds.  The Night King kills a dragon and turns it into a wight.  Jon brings a solider of the dead to King’s Landing and gets a pact of mutual defense (which Cersei doesn’t plan to honor).  After feuding all season, Sansa and Arya team to execute Littlefinger. The season ends with the Night King using his dragon to destroy the Wall and begin the Great War.

Strongest Plotline:  It was really the battle between Cersei and Daenerys’ forces:  especially when Cersei was getting her revenge on Ollenna and Ellaria; who plotted the deaths of two of her three children (the third one is kinda on her…)

Weakest Plotline:  The plotline between Sansa and Arya was dreadful.  It epitomized the “off” storytelling that plagued the season.

Hot Take:  This season has me a little worried.  It was ok but it was more like a good genre show than the all-time great work of fiction that was the first six seasons.  Judged against other shows, this season might have been good, but judged against its other seasons, it was weak.  This was the first season they didn’t have George RR Martin’s books to guide the story and it really showed in ways I didn’t expect.  I hope Season 8 finds its footing.

6th Best :  Season 1

What happened: Introduced the world.  The White Walker threat is hinted at.   Daenerys becomes Khaleesi. Jon joins the Nights Watch.  Bran is pushed out a window by Jamie.  Robert is killed, Joffrey becomes king and tortures Sansa. Tyrion is accused of trying to kill Bran and escapes with the help of Bron. Arya becomes a free agent.  Ned is executed. Rob rebels and becomes the King in the North. Daenerys goes into the fire and hatches the dragons.

Strongest Plotline:  Ned’s pursuit of the truth of Robert’s children, and his ultimate fate, is about as good as it gets.

Weakest Plotline:  A lot of the early Dothraki scenes dragged on, but in retrospect a lot of the Season One scenes are a little slower when compared to frantic pace we would see later in the show’s run.

Hot Take:  Upon rewatching this season, it is amazing how unprepared we were for the chaos to come.  There were hints of the brutality and upheaval, but the pacing in the early episodes is practically calm compared to later plot pacing; even with main characters pushing kids out the window.

5th Best:  Season 5

What happened:  Stannis executes Mance. Jon is elected Lord Commander. The High Sparrow is allowed to re-arm the Faith Militant. Arya joins the Faceless Men. Tyrion is captured by Jorah and they travel to Mereen, where the fighting pits are reestablished. Jamie and Bronn head to Dorne to rescue Myrcella. Ramsey married Sansa. Tyrion meets Daenerys. Hardhome and the Wildlings. Stannis burns his daughter and dies to Brienne’s justice after losing to the Boltons. Cersei does the walk of shame.  The Good Masters spring their attack on Daenerys in the fighting pits.  Jon is assassinated by his men.

Strongest Plotline:  The whole second half of the season was awesome.  Stannis’s descent into madness.  Hardhomme and Jon Snow’s fate.  Cersei does the walk.  Tyrion finally meets Daenerys.  Drogon showing his fighting chops.

Weakest Plotline:  The whole first half of the season was weak. The Sandsnakes…the Faith Militant… Tyrion on the road to Mereen…. Sansa being in a prominent plotline…

Hot Take:  This season is so split.  The second half is nearly perfect. The first half is so boring.  I actually considered dropping the series the first couple of episodes.  So on the whole, the weak beginning drags this one down.

4th Best:  Season 3

What happened:   Jon and Ygritte fall in love and climb the wall. Jamie and Brienne have a Hope/Crosby road adventure. Arya meets the Hound and has a journey of their own. Jamie loses his hand. Dany gets the Unsullied army and frees the slaves. The Brotherhood Without Banners come onto the scene.  Jamie’s redemption begins.  Tyrion marries Sansa.  We are introduced to Daario. Davos plots against he Red Woman in Storms End plot.  This little thing called the Red Wedding…

Strongest Plotline:  The Red Wedding might be the best single moment, but the star-crossed love story between Jon and Ygritte carries the season.

Weakest Plotline:  Though I love Davos, his plot in Storms End was dull and plodding.  He is better used as a supporting character, but his leading scenes are often contrived.

Hot Take:  This was the season where things just went crazy.  The Red Wedding was the tipping point where things went off the rails…in a good way!  Once things went mad, there would be less time for sweet, simple moments like loves and affectionate exchanges like Jon and Ygritte.

3rd Best:  Season 2

What happened:   Tywin and Robb battle in the Riverlands.  Renly pretends at being King and is killed by Stannis and the Red Woman.  Tyrion becomes the acting Hand of the King. The bastards of Robert are all killed or pursued. Jon and the Nights Watch range north of the wall. Ygritte and Jon’s romance begins. The Battle of Blackwater Bay ends with Stannis’ defeated. The Whitewalkers are revealed as a much more an intellectual threat that previously thought.

Strongest Plotline:  The Battle of Blackwater Bay and the lead up to it.  That was as intense a moment as the series has produced.  The Wildfire.  Tyrion leading the charge.  The Hound abandoning the King.  Cersei’s willingness to poison Tommen. Riveting!

Weakest Plotline:  Anything dealing with Caetlyn Stark and her dreadful advice to Robb. She is just so awful…

Hot Take:  This season is the best version of the politcal side of the Game.  Other seasons trade in war and betrayals, but this season is where Tyrion is in the city trying to navigate the legalistic side of ruling a kingdom…

2nd Best:  Season 4

What happened:  The Purple Wedding, Dorne comes to Kings Landing. Dany takes Mereen and rules.  Arya travels with the Hound and becomes a killer. Davos frees Gendry. Bran goes North of the Wall. Brienne undertakes a task of honor. Jon kills the mutineers. Littlefinger and Sansa go to the Vale.  Tyrion’s two trials. The Mountain and the Viper. The Battle of Castle Black. Stannis comes north. Bran finds the Three Eyed Raven. The Hound fights Brienne. Tyrion kills Tywin after Jamie frees him.

Strongest Plotline:  The Purple Wedding and its aftermath.  Joffrey dies… Tyrion is framed.  The Red Viper and the Mountain fight.  Tyrion escapes and kills Tywin on the shitter.  Amazing television.

Weakest Plotline:  Bran’s journey north of the Wall. That plotline was dreadful in its build up, even if him gaining Greensight would pay dividends a couple of seasons later. ZZZzzzz….

Hot Take:  So much intrigue.  This season we got a LOT of Tywin and Tyrion, two of the best performers in the show, going toe to toe.  Add in The Red Viper, the Battle of Castle Black, and Brienne whupping the Hound?  BOOM!  About as good as it gets. ABOUT as good…

Best Season:  Season 6

What happened:  Jon is resurrected and hangs his attackers.  Arya becomes a badass and kills the Waif.  Bran wargs back in time and learns the truth about Jon’s past…and Hodor’s Hodor… Sam and Gilly journey to the Citadel in Old Town.  Theon goes back to the Iron Islands and finds his traitorous uncle has killed his father.  Daenerys kills off the Khals and claims the Dothraki army as her own.  Jon rallies the Wildling army to defeat Ramsey.  Cersei has her vengeance and kills…everybody.  Arya returns to Westeros and takes her frustrations out on the Freys. Jon is named the King in the North.

Strongest Plotline:  The lead up to, and battle with, Ramsey.  He was about as awful as Joffrey, and much more competent.  It was so satisfying to see him fed to his dogs after losing the Battle of the Bastards.

Weakest Plotline:  The Daario and Jorah buddy comedy was dreadful. They had zero chemistry.  I know they were supposed to hate each other, but I didn’t even buy that.

Hot Take:  This was the best season of television in the history of the medium.  The weak plot I noted above was not that bad and it was short.  Everything else was utterly brilliant.

Let’s hope Season 8 ranks as high!!!

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