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All Sixty Episodes of Game of Thrones, Ranked

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Sand Snakes

60. “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” Season 5, Episode 6

The reasons “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” lands as the worst episode of Game of Thrones come from all over the map, but let’s start with the good stuff. For the first time in the series, we are shown the Hall of Faces, when Arya’s mentor Jaqen H’ghar takes Arya deep below the House of Black and White for what has to be one of the strangest tours of all time.

Other highlights of the episode include Tyrion’s fantastic dialogue with a slaver regarding whether or not Tyrion is anatomically proportional, along with Olenna Tyrell’s arrival back in Kings Landing after Loras is arrested for buggery. As always, Olenna and Tyrion continue to have some of the best dialogue on the show, and any scene they are in instantly raises the bar for the rest of the cast.

Littlefinger, freshly returned from dropping off Sansa at Winterfell, promises to smash Roose Bolton for trying to marry Sansa to Ramsay. Sure, that’s a marriage Littlefinger arranged, but as always he’s playing every side against the other. Loras and Queen Margery are both eventually arrested at Loras’ inquiry and taken into custody, much to the delight of Cersei and the horror of poor little Tommen.

And now for the bad stuff. First up, we have the most poorly choreographed fight scene in the series, pitting a one-handed Jamie Lannister and Bronn against the Sand Snakes of Dorne. Continuing the widely panned Dornish road trip story line, Jaime and Bronn try and “rescue” Myrcella from an attempted kidnapping attempt by Oberyn Martell’s bastard daughters. Almost nothing about the scene works, and we should all just try and move on.

And then there’s perhaps the most controversial moment yet aired on Game of Thrones, as newly married Ramsay Bolton and Sansa Stark retire to a bridal suite following their wedding, with Theon Greyjoy in tow, before Ramsay rapes his new wife offscreen as Theon looks on. The act served no purpose for either character’s story arc—viewers were already familiar with the sadistic nature of Roose Bolton’s bastard son. Sansa, meanwhile, had started to grow into someone who actually controlled her fate, as opposed to simply reacting to events. Fans were infuriated by the regression, along with the sexual violence inflicted upon her.

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    • WARN: Do not click for Katy Perry, this website has some virus or trojans. I think so. I had to crash my computer on this Katy Perry Game of Thrones website for the video full episode. Smh @ Katy Perry.

      Also I think this is not the real Katy Perry, but importer. Of course it’s obvious, but you don’t know, Katty Perry probably also likes Game of Thrones , or it could be her assistant from Twitter. One time I talk to the real Art Garfunkel on website for the Walking Dead show, so this is why it’s possible, but not this or the click would go to the Katy Perry web or email. Send me the email for Katy Perry if you want to prove it.

  • Why on earth would you put this article over 51 slides?

    I was actually excited to read this, but there is no way I am clicking through all that annoying clickbait. Disappointing.

    • You do realize that clicking your mouse is literally just as much work as scrolling, right? Actually, it is more work, considering you need to keep the scroller moving as you page down, rather than just hitting next and having all that content load up for you.

      Also, there are some ways content is displayed better. Who wants to scroll through thousands and thousands of words when each episode can be given its own page?

      Stop being such a f*cking baby. If you’re honestly to lazy to click a fucking button (again, easier than scrolling for days) then you have some serious problems.

      I am loving this post. Lots of great info on each episode. Looks like a ton of work was put into it. This isn’t clickbait. Buzzfeed is clickbait. This is an in-depth article that consists of thousands of words that you get to read for free.

      In short, STFU.

      • Corey, is it possible to get this on a single HTML page ? I want to print and save it to a pdf doc…

        • I don’t have it available as a longform piece, the whole piece contains a lot of code. Sorry!

    • Clicking can be a pain, but you should be able to cycle through the slides just by hitting the forward and backward arrows on your keyboard.

    • I agree with SomeoneinWesteros. It’s not about clicking. It’s about refreshing and loading which (for some people does take a bit of time and) for winteriscoming.net is 50 clicks on a fairly cheap article.

      Sry, we don’t do clickbait.

  • Regarding the rape of Sansa on her wedding night the writer says: “The act served no purpose for either character’s story arc—”

    But how can we even know it served no purpose yet? It very well could come into play, as the series is not yet finished.

    • Absolutely it could, but I was ranking the episode by itself, and in regards to all the information we have at this point. It would be an impossible task to rank every episode on where we think it might affect things somewhere down the road.

  • Really, Sam had a hand in killing Jon. He convinced Olly that what he was about to do to Jon soon, was ok.

  • I appreciate the effort invested in putting all of this together and I think it’s a great idea but… come on… Some of those musings were kinda flat.

  • Blackwater down at No. 9 and The Children up at No. 5? No way! The Rains of Castamere had 10 incredible minutes, but the other 40 minutes were just ok, so having it at No. 2 is odd.

    Also, as LadyMorley said above, it’s too early to say that Sansa’s rape served no purpose. The pain of the rape and subsequent abuse was what made Sansa flee from Winterfell, and the same pain will quite possibly motivate her to gather the northern lords and come back to kick some Bolton ass. Also, Ramsay’s abuse and subsequent loss of Sansa is probably what will infuriate Roose and lead to the inevitable fallout between father and son.

    By the way, why have you spelt Daenerys as Danerys?

    • Quite honestly, I could switch the whole top ten around and have no problem I think.

      As for Sansa, I do have to rank the episode based off of what we know so far. Ranking every episode based off of what may or may not happen down the road would be an even more impossible task then ranking them all to begin with.

      Simple mental error. ;-)

  • Unbowed , Unbent, Unbroken wasnt the worst episode. I would have it ranked higher just for the beautiful, eerie visual of the winter wedding.

    The Sansa rape scene was an important scene because it set the wheels in motion for Reek to remember who he was . He finally has a reason to live, to help protect Sansa the best he can. I don’t understand how people don’t get that in retrospect after the escape. Sansa helped save Theon by making him remember.

    • People don’t want to understand how the rape scene wasn’t useless just because they’re butthurt feminists.

    • I could see ranking it last due mainly to the Sand Snakes sequence. There is great stuff in it though, the wedding as you mention, intro to the Hall of Faces, Tyrion & Jorah discuss Jorah’s father, etc

      • Tyrion and Jorah’s discussion was indeed fairly good. The episode overall was good, just those two parts.

    • A valid point regarding Theon, but to me not strong enough to justify the scene in and of itself. I did liek the wedding for sure.

  • No way kill the boy should be that low. And way too many season 5 episodes AT the bottom, in my not entirely humble opinion.

    But hey, everyone’s entitled to have one, right?

  • I’d dock Rains of Castemere a notch for that horribly choreographed scene in Yunkai, as bad as anything on Dorne

  • Corey, Thanks for all your efforts… and thanks for being such an open commentor with everyone else down here…. I wish more writers would do that. It’s made for fun and interesting banter. I would hope some would respond more kindly and in a respectful manner tho. That’s not just now… it’s all the time. Anyway, thanks!

    • Not a problem, always love to discuss!

      And I agree with the discussion point, it would make things more fun to be sure!

  • The official Game of Thrones wiki shows Episode 6×01 to be called “The Red Woman” (without sources though)
    Any suggestions on whether this is true or not?

    • Until I see it on my cable guide, I wouldn’t count anything as official.

      Edit: Or if it comes from an HBO press release. Red Woman is indeed the title.

  • Way too low: Cripples Bastards and Broken Things, What is Dead May Never Die.

    Too low: Kill the Boy, The Wolf and the Lion, The Pointy End, Kissed by Fire, You Win or You Die.

    Too high: Garden of Bones, The Climb, Mockingbird, The Children.

    Way too high: Valar Morghulis, Mother’s Mercy.

    Maybe I’m an outlier in generally disliking the Season 2-5 finales (“Mhysa” is okay, mostly because it’s Davos-heavy, while “The Children” is solid aside from adaptation stuff). They tend to mangle or rush Dany, Jon, and Stannis. Great list anyway, although to me “Mother’s Mercy” is bottom 10 stuff (it’s just rushing from one OTT cliffhanger/death to the next).

    • Haha, didn’t sound like you enjoyed the list, but looks like you did. Trust me, its very hard to rank them all. I ranked them first, then wrote them up, and re-ranked them again.

  • As a massive Cersei fan, your post regarding episode 2 of season 1… Cersei would never, kill her own child just because Jamie wasn’t the father of it.

    • That was always my assumption based off how she told the story, and consistent with her actions in the books. She aborts a child by Robert, and never bears a living child by Robert. (She goes to great lengths to never allow him the opportunity.)

  • Season 5, episode 6: worst episode
    Season 5, episode 8: best episode.
    Episode six unfortunately had people boycotting the show. The timing was horrible.

  • Great list man. For me, Rains is #1, but I agree with Watchers on the Wall being high, that is great. Also love Baelor, Blackwater, Hardhome, etc.

  • I think Hardhome is a very much overrated episode, the action and effects are great, and it’s enjoyable to watch but when compared to any episode from the second half of season 4, I just don’t find it very intriguing. Maybe it’s because I haven’t read the books (but I completely object to being called a ‘casual fan’) so this event may not be that important to me, I preferred episodes 7,9 and 10 of that season. I didn’t enjoy episode 6 due to the sand snakes fight and that alone (it was awful) I’m not sure why people were so angry about a non-graphic rape scene but absolutely fine when the same character shows us the corpse of an old lady he skinned earlier that day… My favourite episode is ‘The Children’ by the way…

    • The hardest part of making this list, and it goes to the strength of the show, is that it is hard to argue with what you are saying. As a book reader, (I read them all three times each) Hardhome got extra points for coming out of nowhere. The show creates a lot of original scenes, and they are usually quite good.

  • I like the Sansa rape scene and theon looking helpless on her, it was a shock, and that’s what got is about.

  • My top 10 would give credit where it’s due to The real best episode at my #1…
    #10 Kissed by Fire S3_E5
    #9 The Lion and the Rose S4_E4
    #8 Mothers Mercy S5_E10
    #7 Baelor, S1_E9
    #6 Blackwater, S2_E9
    #5 Rains of Castamere S3_E9
    #4 The Children S4_E9
    #3 The Dance of Dragons
    #2 Hardhome S5_E7
    #1 Watchers on the Wall S4_E9

    • I can’t argue you with your list much. It’s all so close. Seeing WonW in IMAX was amazing.

  • lol ranking all the episodes is a very hard task. I enjoyed every one episode till now and I was excited in every moment while watching them. In other shows there are episodes that are quite boring but not in this one!

    • After fixing Sansa’s hairnet, she moves to the left, dropping the poison in Joffrey’s cup as she does so. It’s a wide shot, so its hard to catch.

    • The first 2/3 of the season were not my favorite, similar to the novels on which they were based. I disliked many of the shortcuts the show took with the source material, and the Sand Snakes were especially terrible. The entire Dornish storyline was fairly lame, as opposed to the the novels.

  • Watchers on the wall was a good episode but it was not better than ” Blackwater “. The lannister army shouting through their throats ” halfman halfman, halfman ” brought goosebumps like no episode had ever. That was the best scene ever. I agree with the list, just switch these 2 episodes is all and cheers for putting so much material!!

    • Indeed, that was a very good episode. I’d love to see it in IMAX some day!

      Thank you thank you.

  • Thank you! These cliffs notes-esque recaps were peppered with the perfect hilarious commentary. I enjoyed reading them, and My SO found them even better as I read them out loud.
    As you mention at the beginning, my tastes would probably swap around some in the top 20, but your top 10 are gold. I’ve never really been a fan of Blackwater but understand the achievement involved so am OK with its ranking, but otherwise would more your 9 up a bit and swap 1 & 2 so the red wedding is #1. Even as a book reader that episode is just the best (and worst) at ripping out hearts and still leaving us wanting more.

  • Corey, kudos to your writing style, and how you peppered your humor throughout your piece. Regardless of where each episode placed for each of us, it could have been pretty drab of an article if just the facts only were written. I mean, most of the readers here have probably watched GoT episodes several times over, right? Your humor kept me motivated to keep reading on… thank you very much!

    • Thanks for the compliments, and I am glad you enjoyed it. I have indeed watched the series several times over. I’ve converted most of my friends and family to the show, and usually watch along with them to answer questions.

  • Woah. Finally got time to get through all this.

    Epic read. Hilarious. Insightful. Hats off, Corey.