Only a couple more days until Game of Thrones’ sixth season premiere, and while that’s not enough time to marathon all fifty episodes of the series to-date (unless you’re unemployed or really dedicated), we here at Sling decided to help you prepare by selecting the very best episode to watch from each of the five previous seasons.
Catch these episodes (and the other 45, too!) before Game of Thrones returns on April 24th at 9pm ET on HBO.
1. “Baelor” –This was the episode that made it explicitly clear to fans who had not read the books that, top billing or not, anyone can die on Game of Thrones. After nearly five years, it’s easy to forget how shocking Ned’s death truly was – imagine if Rick had died at the end of season one of The Walking Dead and all the other characters were forced to carry on without him. (Season 1, Episode 9)
2. “Valar Morghulis” –The second season finale might be most memorable for Dany’s visions in the House of the Undying, Robb’s fateful decision to break his vow to the House of Frey, and Arya’s encounter with Jaqen H'ghar. (Season 2, Episode 10)
3. “Rains of Castamere” (aka the Red Wedding) –RIP Catelyn, Robb, Robb’s wife, Robb’s baby, Robb’s
dog direwolf, and our hopes and dreams. All of the above snuffed out in the bloodiest five minutes in television history. Fans (figuratively) lost their heads as beloved characters (literally) lost their heads. Watch with tissues handy—you will need them. (Season 3, Episode 9)
4. “The Lion and the Rose” (aka the Purple Wedding) –For suffering through the emotional agony that is the Red Wedding, the Purple Wedding is your sweet, sweet reward because Joffrey FINALLY dies. Good job, Olenna Tyrell. Way to be the baddest grandma on TV now that Lady Violet is retired. (Season 4, Episode 2)
5. “Hardhome” –The fifth season of Game of Thrones officially outpaced George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire novels, and “Hardhome” shocked readers and viewers alike with an epic battle scene between wildlings and the ever-growing wight army of the Night’s King. (Season 5, Episode 8)