The 25 Best Game of Thrones Episodes, Ranked According to IMDB

What are the absolute episodes of all time?

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It's been enough time to do an all-time ranking of Game of Thrones episodes right? Almost five years of passed, and the show has a spin-off prequel series in House of the Dragon, so it's been definitely been more than enough time... right? It goes without saying that Game of Thrones is one of the most successful and popular shows in recent history. First airing in April 2011, GOT spanned a total of eight seasons running all the way until May 2019. Ignoring the rather disappointing conclusion to the show that was season 8, the first seven seasons brought us loads of thrills, gasps, entertainment, cliffhangers, and lots of Twitter chatter. In that sense, it's unlikely we'll ever see an era quite like the Game of Thrones one again. Today we're going to relive the magic by looking at the best Game of Thrones episodes ranked according to IMDB.

In retrospect, GOT is a show that achieved cult status in the sense that it developed a massive fanbase. There's always going to be new fans that are super curious and have begun watching for the first time. If you've recently finished binging the series, or are just in the mood for a little throwback because you were a huge fan yourself, this list is for you. In the meantime, HBO has a lot of other shows you can check out as well.

Westeros and Essos unite!

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25. "Beyond the Wall"

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Season 7, Episode 6

  • Release Date: August 20, 2017
  • IMDB Ranking: 9

Starting things off is "Beyond the Wall," which was the sixth episode of season 7. The main plot focused on Jon Snow (Kit Harrington) and his raiding party as they took a journey through the North. While Thoros (Paul Kaye) is killed, the groups captures a wight which proves them to be a threat. Over at Winterfell, Arya (Maisie Williams) confronts Sansa (Sophie Turner) about her letter to persuade Robb (Richard Madden) to bend the knee to Joffrey (Jack Gleeson). The two go back and forth with petty jabs with Arya ultimately threatening her with the Valyrian steel dagger before leaving with the dagger. At Dragonstone, Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) is due to meet Cersei (Lena Headey), but thinks she's out to set a trap for him. Even with that suspicion, Tyrion cautions Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) against taking action which frustrates her.

Beyond the Wall, there's an attack against Jon and his group from the wights to which Daenerys arrives to burn them. As the wights continue to attack, Jon gets pulled into the water, but winds up being saved by Benjen Stark (Joseph Mawle) who sacrifices himself by giving Jon his horse. The episode received positive reviews from critics.

24. "Book of the Stranger"

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Season 6, Episode 4

  • Release Date: May 15, 2016
  • IMDB Ranking: 9

In this episode, Sansa and Jon reunite at the wall, later receiving a message from Ramsay (Iwan Rheon) in which he challenges to take back Winterfell and rescue Rickon Stark (Art Parkinson). Jorah (Iain Glenn) and Daario (Ed Skrein) sneak into Vaes Dothrak, and all the while Cersei and Olenna Tyrell (Diana Rigg) are plotting to go against the High Sparrow. Jon, Sansa, and Daenerys reuniting and taking charge of all the khalasars was the major talking point of this episode as it referenced some of the events that took place in season one, receiving positive reviews from critics as well. Everyone looks a good "tie everything together" moment, and "Book of the Stranger" was effective at delivering that to perfection.

In retrospect, the continued character development, relationships, and storylines can be praised as well as it set the tone for future episodes and seasons.

23. "Mockingbird"

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Season 4, Episode 7 (2014)

  • Release Date: May 18, 2014
  • IMDB Ranking: 9

"Mockingbird" was full of mess. Full of mess do you hear? Daenerys sleeps with Dario and order him to retake Yunka. As the seasons progress, viewers continue to learn that Daenerys will stop at no means to get what she wants, and this is an example of that. Also occurring is Tyrion struggling to find an opponent for his trial by combat, and the Night's Watch prepping for Mance (Ciarán Hinds) to attack. Over at Castle Black, Jon's expertise is being ignored, while on the other side Brienne (Gwendolyn Christie) and Podrick (Daniel Portman) get clued in on Arya's whereabouts.

22. "Two Swords"

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Season 4, Episode 1

  • Release Date: April 6, 2014
  • IMDB Ranking: 9

The title "Two Swords" referred to the sword Tywin forges from ice, and Ned's large Valyrian steel sword. Tywin gives the sword to Jaime, but Jaime refuses to leave the Kingsguard as commanded by Tywin so that doesn't go as planned. Meanwhile, Tyrion has Prince Oberyn Martell (Pedro Pascal) over as his special guest ahead of Joffrey's (Jack Gleeson) wedding. Over at Castle Black, Jon is standing trial from the Night's Watch council, and across the narrow sea Daenerys takes her army to Meereen. With a runtime of 58 minutes, "Two Swords" set a new viewership record for HBO at the time of its airing, with the episode being praised for its cinematography and storyline.

21. "The Wolf and the Lion"

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Season 1, Episode 5 (2011)

  • Release Date: May 15, 2011
  • IMDB Ranking: 9

This fifth episode of season 1 was about further introducing storylines that would be expanded upon in later episodes/seasons. In "The Wolf and the Lion," The Silent Sisters are perform rites over Ser Hugh of the Vale's corpse while stitching up the wound that killed him. There's some gossip surrounding Ser Hugh and how seemingly achieved his position out of nowhere along with the money to buy his new armor. Lord Ned Stark (Sean Bean) and Ser Barristan Selmy (Ian McElhinney) are the ones doing the gossiping while also pointing out how it was odd that Ser Hugh matched up against Ser Gregor Clegane in the tournament. Also happening is Catelyn (Michelle Fairley) capturing Tyrion to take him to her sister, Lysa Arryn for trial in his crime attempts towards Bran.

Meanwhile, Robert is putting a plan in motion to have Daenerys killed. He tries to recruit Eddard (Sean Bean), but Eddard doesn't want anything to do with the plan, and quits as a result.

20. "The Queen's Justice"

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Season 7, Episode 3 (2017)

  • Release Date: July 30, 2017
  • IMDB Ranking: 9.1

The seventh episode of season 3, "The Queen's Justice" centered primarily around Cersei getting her revenge on both the Sand Snakes and Olenna Tyrell. This is also the episode where Jon and Daenerys finally meet each other in rather entertaining fashion, which was long-awaited and heavily praised by critics. The fates of Ellaria (Indira Varma) and Tyene Sand (Rosabell Laurenti Sellers) are decided upon, and Sansa reunites with Bran, which again was another talking point of this episode. Also happening is the Unsullied infiltrating and capturing the castle, but being overrun by Euron's Iron Fleet (Johan Philip "Pilou" Asbæk) who destroys their ships and leaves them stranded. In the meantime, Jaime is the Lannister army to take Highgarden, which adds another layer to the dramatics of this episode.

19. "Mother's Mercy"

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Season 5, Episode 10 (2015)

  • Release Date: June 14, 2015
  • IMDB Ranking: 9.1

"Mother's Mercy" was about as violent as you could get when it comes to Games of Thrones. The finale of season 5, the events of Stannis' (Stephen Dillane) attack on Winterfell is still being felt, which ultimate ends in his defeat and death. Tyrion is running Meereen for Daario (Michiel Huisman) and Jorah (Iain Glen) as they leave to go after Daenerys, while Arya challenges the Many-Faced God. Perhaps the most important element of this season finale is Daenerys being captured, and Jon appearing to have been murdered. Also important is Cersei confessing to her sins and doing the walk of atonement in King's Landing demanded of her before standing trial, which is what garnered lots of praise after the episode aired.

The fate of Jon Snow being left wide opened as the season ended was also another element of the storyline that was praised, making this a top 20 Game of Thrones episode for sure.

18. "Myhsa"

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Season 3, Episode 10 (2013)

  • Release Date: June 9, 2013
  • IMDB Ranking: 9.1

The season finale of season 3 didn't disappoint as far as drama goes, which is all about the after events of The Red Wedding. Tywin is revealed to have been the instigator along with Walder Frey (David Bradley) and Roose Bolton (Michael McElhatton) in their attempt to attack the Starks by conspiring with the Lannisters. Frey gets the Seat of Riverrun with Roose being appointed the new "Warden of the North" as a result. In the North, Maester Aemon (Peter Vaughn) alerts the Westeros about the arrival of the White Walkers through ravens, and Daenerys gets deemed the "mhysa" by the freed slaves of Yunkai, which means "mother." Hence the name of the episode.

17. "You Win or You Die"

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Season 1, Episode 7 (2011)

  • Release Date: May 29, 2011
  • IMDB Ranking: 9.1

"You Win or You Die" picks up Tywin at his family's war camp where the dynamics of their family issues are discussed as Jaime reads Lord Ned Stark's order for Tywin's upcoming court appearance. This leads to Tywin being reprimanded by his father where he emphasizes that it was wrong for Twyin to attack Ned (Sean Bean), and that it's important for Tyrion to be freed from the Eyrie. Meanwhile, Robert (Mark Addy) is dying, and we witness Jon taking his vows to the Night's Watch.

While all of this is happening, Robert sends of his guys to poison Daenerys, but the man is unsuccessful and gets captured. The attack makes Drogo irate, and to retaliate, he vows he's going to attack the Seven Kingdoms. While the nudity and explicit scenes were criticized for being too vulgar, this episode was still praised with the line "When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground," being deemed as one of the most important in the series.

16. "A Golden Crown"

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Season 1, Episode 6 (2011)

  • Release Date: May 22, 2011
  • IMDB Ranking: 9.1

The sixth episode of the first season picks up with Eddard (Sean Bean) recovering from his battle with Jaime but still being forced to run the kingdom while Robert (Mark Addy) is out hunting. This means dealing with the Lannister attacks while he's away which isn't an easy task. Meanwhile at Erie, Tyrion gets put on trial where he confesses in mocking style to his many crimes, but not the crime of  Jon Arryn's murder or the attempted murder of Bran. As far as Bran goes, he's awakened by a vision of a three-eyed raven but rescued by Robb and Theon, and Daenrys is unharmed after grabbing one of her dragon eggs from a fire.

The shifting from one story to the next was rightfully praised in this episode, with the critics calling out the King's Landing and Visery storyline as well.

15. "Home"

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Season 6, Episode 2 (2016)

  • Release Date: May 1, 2016
  • IMDB Ranking: 9.3

Bran continues his training with the Three-Eyed Raven (Max Von Sydow). Meanwhile over in Kings Landing, Jamie consults Tommen (Dean-Charles Chapmin) for some advice. Unpleased with the High Sparrow's treatment of Cersei, he threatens the High Sparrow who is unfazed and returns the threat. Over at Castle Black, the Night's Watch is in full support of Alliser Thorne's (Owen Teale) leadership, and is content with standing behind the scenes and watching. We also witness other standout moments such as Ramsay killing his father after learning Roose's (Michael McElhatton) has given birth to a child, and having the wife and child kid as well.

Arya and the waif are continuing to battle as well, with new characters and storylines being introduced in the process. There's a reason why this episode is ranked highly in the grand scheme of the entire series.

14. "Valar Morghulis"

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Season 2, Episode 10 (2012)

  • Release Date: June 3, 2012
  • IMDB Ranking: 9.3

The season finale of season 2, many of the storylines through the season. The episode picks up dealing with the aftermath of Stannis's failed attack on the city, and Twyin being named Hand of the King. Then we find out that Sansa and Joffrey's engagement is getting annulled. In the Westerlands, Brienne (Gwendolyn Christie) discovers three women lynched by Stark soldiers for sleeping with Lannister soldiers, and kills the Stark soldiers as a result. This episode is also regarded for the reveal of Bran and his party arriving to a burned Winterfell and a dying Luwin (Donald Sumpter).

Daenerys coldness is also on display once more as she orders her dragon to Pyat Pree (Ian Hammore). She also seals Doreah (Roxanne McKee) and Xaro (Nonso Azonie) into Xaro's empty vault upon finding them in bed together. Like we said, cold.

13. "Fire and Blood"

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Season 1, Episode 10 (2011)

  • Release Date: June 19, 2011
  • IMDB Ranking: 9.4

We're now back at Great Sept of Baelor where there's the aftermath of destruction as usual in the form of blood, gore, and the whole nine yards. The headless body of Eddard Stark is revealed causing Sansa to faint. Meanwhile at Winterfell, Bran is having another crow vision where he was once again being led into the crypts. He and Osha (Natalie Tena) go into the crypts where find a very small Stark. Within this early action-packed episode, Robb is still out for revenge against the Lannisters, and Jon now officially has to make a decision on if he's team Robb or the Night's Watch.

The "Fire and Blood" episode stands out as a definitive early episode filled with intense drama Game of Thrones could bring.

12. "The Dance of Dragons"

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Season 5, Episode 9 (2015)

  • Release Date: June 7, 2015
  • IMDB Ranking: 9.4

Jon and the wildlings return to Castle Black, being greeted with a warm reception. Meanwhile in the North, Stannis' army is caught in a snow storm and is running low on supplies. Stannis gives Danos (Liam Cunningham) to return to Castle Black to ask Jon for supplies, and as he's leaving Stannis gives Melisandre (Carice Van Houten) to sacrifice his daughter, Shireen for better weather. In Braavos, Arya sees Tyrell (Roger Ashton Griffiths) who's accompanied by Meryn Trant (Ian Beattie), who's one of the people on her hit list. Over at Dorne, Jaime secures the release of Myrcella Baratheon (Nell Tiger Free) from Doran Martell's (Alexander Siddig) court, with Bronn (Jerome Flynn) being freed.

All of these were thrilling moments for viewers, but perhaps the most thrilling is without a doubt the attack on Daenerys where we were unsure of whether or not she was alive. By 2015, GOT's Twitter audience was well established, so there was plenty of chatter surrounding this episode.

11. "The Dragon and the Wolf"

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Season 7, Episode 7 (2017)

  • Release Date: August 27th, 2017
  • IMDB Ranking: 9.4

Praised for its pacing and delivery, "The Dragon and the Wolf" was the highest-rated episode at the time of its airing. Cersei, Daenerys, and their entourages are at the destroyed ruins at Kings Landing, with Cersei pledging her assistance on the condition of Jon remaining neutral between the Queens. She then finds out that Jon has sworn himself to Daenerys, which makes her retract her pledge as a result. Cersei also tells Jaime later on that she's going to be joining Jon and Daenerys. This episode also includes the pivotal moments of Harrag (Brendan Cowell) and Theon fighting, along with Arya accusing Littlefinger of being a murderer and having him executed.

There was also the big reveal of Bran telling Jon that his real parents were Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark. Can we also call attention to the visuals and imagery? They only seemed to get better with each season. Pure magic.

10. "And Now His Watch Is Ended"

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Season 3, Episode 4 (2013)

  • Release Date: June 15, 2014
  • IMDB Ranking: 9.5

This episode follows the events of Jaime distraught over losing his land. In King's Landing, Varys (Conleth Hill) tells Tyrion he's been made a eunuch by a sorcerer, letting him know that's he captured the sorcerer and is plotting revenge. In the Riverlands, Locke (Noah Taylor) torments Jaime for losing his sword hand by beating him, and making him drink horse urine. Bran is in the North, and arrives at what appears to be Deepwood Motte, and Theon (Alfie Allen) reveals his truth about the Stark brothers, and gets taken back to the dungeon he escaped from.

Also occurring is Cersei becoming uncomfortable with the Tyrells, and The Night Watch being fed up with (Robert Pugh). This episode was filled with just the right amount of dialogue and action, which had viewers anticipating the next move. The pinnacle of the episode is Daenerys giving the Unsullied the choice to leave thus resulting in their demise, or to remain free with her. They choose to remain free with her.

9. "The Children"

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Season 4, Episode 10 (2014)

  • Release Date: June 15, 2014
  • IMDB Ranking: 9.6

At one point, "The Children" was actually considered to be the best Game of Thrones episode of all time by some. The season 4 finale, the episode follows the events of Battle at Castle Black. Jon meets Mance (Ciarán Hinds) to negotiate, which results in a friendly conversation about old times. That's about as friendly as it gets though as the negotiations stall to say the least, and Mance leaves Jon with the ultimatum of allowing the undead through the tunnel, or he'll retaliate. In Meereen, Daenerys allows a supplicant to be sold back to slavery for a safer life, while in Kings Landing Gregor dies from Oberyn's poisoned spear, and Tyrion kills Tywin with a crossbow.

8. "Baelor"

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Season 1, Episode 9 (2011)

  • Release Date: June 12, 2011
  • IMDB Ranking: 9.6

In this episode, Robb goes to war against the Lannisters. Over in Lhazar Drogo's (Jason Mamoa) wound has become infected, to which Jorah (Iain Glen) warns that if he indeed dies, the bloodriders will be his successor and kill Daenerys as a result. As such, Daenerys is desperate to save him. Over at the wall, Jon is battling with whether or not he should be team Robb, or with the Night's Watch. Jon has also gotten a revelation that he is Aemon Targaryen, aka the great uncle to Daenerys, which is part of what makes this decision so difficult as he's having to choose between the Night Watch and his family.

"Baelor" proved to be a loaded episode in which we got to fully understand Jon's plight, while also watching Robb capturing Jaime Lannister. The storytelling was spectacular, with the anti-climatic moment being Arya Stark's father getting beheaded due to a false confession.

7. "The Door"

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Season 6, Episode 5 (2016)

  • Release Date: May 22, 2016
  • IMDB Ranking: 9.7

Tyrion enlists the red priestess Kinvara to deem Daenerysthe chosen one of the Lord of Light. Meanwhile, Jorah finally admits his love for Daenerys, which is a revelation that leads her to wanting him by her side when she achieves her goal of conquering Westeros. At the wall, Sansa challenges Littlefinger (Aidan Gillen) about wanting to marry her off to Ramsay (Iwan Rheon), which leads to the revelation from Littlefinger that her uncle overtaken Riverrun with his army. Also happening at the same time is Bran discovering the dark secrets of the Night King and the White Walkers during one of his visions. He splits his vision to be one based in the past while dealing with Hodor (Kristian Nairn) in the present.

The split visions are too much for Bran, and he ends up entering into the conscious of Wylis. This winds up revealing the truth about Hodor, and what made him the way that he is. The levels of storytelling were superior in this one.

6. "The Lion and the Rose"

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Season 4, Episode 2 (2014)

  • Release Date: April 13, 2014
  • IMDB Ranking: 9.7

Ramsay (Iwan Rheon) gets the full story from Rickon Stark (Art Parkinson) about what happened to Bran, which leads to him ordering the killing of the Stark brothers. The main focus of the episode, however, is the wedding day of Joffrey (Jack Gleeson) and Margaery (Natalie Dormer), who gets married at the Sept of Baelor. It's not the standard happy day though as Joffrey decides to present a rather sadistic and insulting play that represents the War of the Five Kings. He insists Tyrion participate in the spectacle to which he gets met with a cold response. The event ends with Joffrey choking to his death (to which he accuses Tyrion of being responsible for poisoning him), and Cersei has Tyrion arrested.

5. "Blackwater"

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Season 2, Episode 9 (2012)

  • Release Date: May 7, 2012
  • IMDB Ranking: 9.8

An early episode, "Blackwater" was all about the Battle of Blackwater Bay as Stannis Baratheon's army arrives at Kings Landing for a battle of the city against Tyrion Lannister. Seeing as though this episode only focused on Kings Landing, there wasn't the usual back and forth between the storylines that was a normal occurrence for episodes, yet it worked, and worked very well. With nonstop drama going back and forth, Tyrion's father Tywin (Charles Dance) unleashes a surprise attack on Stannis and his army, which leads to him basically having to tap out as he has to be dragged to safety.

4. "Hardhome"

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Season 5, Episode 8 (2015)

  • Release Date: May 31, 2015
  • IMDB Ranking: 9.8

Now we've gotta back it up a year to the events of "Hardhome, " in which the battle against the Army of the Dead was at the center of attention. The battle was led by Jon, which ultimately ends with him and his remaining troops having to flee as the Night King brings back the dead. There's other stuff going on in this episode as usual, with Arya stealing the identity of Lanna the oyster seller, Sansa finding out that Theon (Alfie Allen) isn't responsible for the deaths of Bran (Issac Hempstead Wright) and Rickon (Art Parkinson), but instead two farm boys who's bodies he burned on purpose. Cersei being charged with murder. The usual from Game of Thrones.

3. "The Winds of the Winter"

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Season 6, Episode 10 (2016)

  • Release Date: June 26, 2016
  • IMDB Ranking: 9.9

Right after "Battle of the Bastards" we had to deal with the events of the "The Winds of the Winter," which aired the week after. It's hard to follow up what considered to be one of the best television episodes ever, but "The Winds of the Winter" held its own. The season finale, Cersei and Loras Tyrell (Finn Jones) are standing trial by the Gods, but as you all know nothing truly phases Cersei or stops her from destroying anything and anyone in her way. Meanwhile, Jon officially gets declared King of the North as in the process of that Bran gets the ultimate reveal of Jon being the son of Lyanna (Bella Ramsey) and Rhaegar Targaryen (Wilf Scolding). Maury and Jerry Springer vibes.

Also happening at the same time is Sam (John Bradley) and Gilly (Hannah Murray) arriving at Citadel, and Daenerys taking her crew to Yara Greyjoy (Gemma Whalen), the Tyrells, and the Sand Snakes. A lot for a season finale, but that's what happens in a season finale...a lot.

2. "Battle of the Bastards"

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Season 6, Episode 9 (2016)

  • Release Date: June 19, 2016
  • IMDB Ranking: 9.9

Did you know it took 25 days to film the battle in this episode? Just a little fun fact for you guys. Considered to be one of the greatest television episodes of all time, this was terrifying battle of the North. You had Daenerys on the attack against her enemies, which ultimately led to an alliance being formed with Theon (Alfie Allen) and Yara (Gemma Whelan). The pact is formed as the two give up their fleet in exchange to for the help with taking over Euron. Then over at Winterfell, Jon, Sansa, Tormund (Kristofer Hivju), and Davos (Liam Cunningham) are trying to negotiate with Ramsay.

It kind of doesn't go well as the neither party can secure a deal favorable to their terms and deaths are promised. The next day is the battle of Winterfell and, well, lots of people die. Ramsay dies too so that ends up being the final memorable event in what was truly an awesome episode.

1. "The Rains of Castamere"

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Season 3, Episode 9 (2013)

  • Release Date: June 2, 2013
  • IMDB Ranking: 9.9

Whew. There was a lot going on in "The Rains of Castamere." The wedding of Edmure Tully (Tobias Menzies) and Roslin Frey (Alexandra Dowling) was at the center of the attention in this episode, and highly anticipated because the wedding remains one of the most exciting element of the book. Sometimes weddings bring peace, and other times they bring drama. The latter happened in this episode thanks to Robb and Catelyn , and now Jon's loyalty is challenged. Oh, and Daenerys hasn't forgotten about her plan to invade Yunkai either.

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