Game of Thrones season 7 makes year-end best-of lists


As we approach the end of 2017, many sites and publications are creating their “best of” lists. Game of Thrones season 7 made many of those lists, which should come as no surprise to anyone.

To start, Highlark put the show at #15 on its list of the best shows of 2017, noting that while season 7 “wasn’t its strongest,” it was still solid, with excellent visions and fun fight scenes. “Who doesn’t love Dragons?” No one.

TV Guide also downplayed season 7, putting it at 22 on its list of 25 shows, saying that it “propelled the narrative forward” and delivered on many long-hoped-for events, including confirmation of the R+L=J theory, Jaime breaking away from Cersei and Littlefinger finally meeting his maker.

Ditto Indian Express, which gave it the 10th spot on its list of the 10 best shows of 2017. “Seventh season of HBO fantasy drama Game of Thrones was arguably its weakest, but with its continually insane production values, and some spectacular battles, it was still pretty damn good.” Seeing a  pattern?

Rolling Stone was kinder, giving Game of Thrones the number 10 spot on its of the 20 Best TV Shows of 2017. “[T]his season packed an entire epic into seven crazed weeks: battles, betrayals, ice dragons, blue fire, White Walkers and Arya Stark finally avenging the Red Wedding.” It also made The Atlantic’s list of the 20 Best Shows of the Year.

Really, Game of Thrones season 7 has been appearing on best-of lists everywhere, from Uproxx (9th on a list of the 10 best shows), The Daily Beast (14th on a list of 20), The Hollywood Reporter (8th on an enormous list of 46) and Digital Spy (2nd on a list of 25). Feel the love.

TIME named Episode 703, “The Queen’s Justice,” as one of the best episodes of 2017. It cited Lena Heady’s masterful work as Cersei, with particular praise for the scene where she tortures Ellaria and Tyene Sand.

"Cersei may not be the central character on an ensemble show, but she yearns to hold the show’s spotlight by holding onto her throne, and Headey—tormenting her prisoners, brazenly flaunting her incestuous relationship—sold Cersei’s desperation, as her familiar world keeps on melting away."

The show made other Best-Episode lists, although usually it was the action-packed “The Spoils of War” that took home the gold. Entertainment Weekly put the episode at #6 on its list of the Best 10 Episodes of 2017, praising it for “giving us an on-the-ground view of what it would be like for an army to confront an incendiary monster.” The episode also made The New York Times’  roundup of notable episodes, and Uproxx’s Alan Sepinwall named Drogon’s strafing run of the Lannister lines as one of the Best TV Images of 2017. “Sometimes…you just want to watch a dragon burn up Lannisters, you know?”

Over on The Ringer’s list of the best TV episodes of 2017, Alyssa Bereznak had a good write-up of the power of this episode:

"Revisiting the scene [of Jaime’s charge] months later with full knowledge of who was spared, I still can’t help but hold my breath the moment that Jaime stands staring down Drogon’s throat, while Dany recognizes she’s the target of his spear. The stakes of this battle were years in the making. However excruciating it was to watch, hypercharged moments like it are exactly why we invest hours of our lives in television."

INews went even further, and named “Spoils” as the single best episode of the year, period. It praised the “calm but compelling” scenes in the first three-fourths of the episode, but is mostly here for the Loot Train Attack:

"The result is a truly thrilling battle, which – despite being set in a fictional universe – reveals the horrors of war. Jaime can only watch as his comrades are set ablaze…Given the six-and-a-half seasons of bloodshed that led up to this episode, and its jaw-dropping prior battles, that the Field of Fire could still drop so many jaws is testament to its success."

Season 7 may have had its issues, but I have no doubt that the Loot Train Attack will go down in history as one of its great scenes. Film School Rejects named it the best television scene of 2017, praising its production values and, most important, how it plays with perspective, showing us a big battle from the losing side.

But enough war. What about loveTV Guide named Jon and Daenerys’ hook-up as one of the best sex scenes of the year. TV Line was all over it, too, naming it one of the Sexiest Scenes of 2017. They included the Grey Worm-Missandei love scene too, for good measure.

In fact, TV Line was all over Game of Thrones in general, with Viserion’s resurrection and Sansa and Arya’s gotcha execution of Littlefinger appearing on its list of the year’s biggest plot twists. Meanwhil, Sam’s poop-scrubbing montage made its list of Scenes We Wish We Could Unsee.

Now let’s go back to war, because this is that kind of show, Variety put Lady Olenna, Viserion, and Littlefinger on its list of the most meaningful deaths of the year, while Viserion opening his zombie eye made EW’s list of the 32 Most Shocking Moments of 2017. Viserion’s death made TV Line’s list of the year’s biggest deaths, and named it the fifth best drama of the year.

LOS ANGELES, CA – JANUARY 06: Writer/producers David Benioff (L) and D. B. Weiss attend the 17th annual AFI Awards at Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on January 6, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Meanwhile, Game of Thrones showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss landed at #21 on Recode’s list of important people in tech, business, and media. Why? “They’re the most important assets at HBO, and HBO is the most important part of Time Warner, and AT&T thinks Time Warner is worth $86 billion.” Good point.

Emilia Clarke (Daenerys Targaryen) also got some love, making the top three on IMDb’s list of the 10 biggest stars of 2017.

According to Tech Crunch, Game of Thrones was the most downloaded television show on iTunes for 2017. The show shares the same rarefied air as AMC’s The Walking Dead, HBO’s limited series Big Little Lies, NBC’s This is Us, ITV’s Victoria and FX’s The Americans.

And heading back to Best-of lists for a second, EOnline put Game of Thrones of the 10 Best TV Shows of 2017. “There is a reason Game of Thrones is the most tweeted-about show of 2017,” it wrote. “It’s still must-see f–king television, even after seven seasons.”


Next: Diana Rigg recalls Lady Olenna: “It was about time that the old bag croaked”

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