The end is near for Westerosi folk.
After seven seasons of fantasy-fuelled spectacle and more watercooler moments than we can even count, HBO’s Game of Thrones is now about to finish off what’s been a truly fantastic run. April 14th is the date for your diaries – in case you haven’t heard yet – as that’s when the Night King (essentially death incarnate) will be unleashed upon the Seven Kingdoms.
It’s the fateful battle between fire and ice – between the living and the dead – that has viewers around the world giddy with anticipation to see what HBO’s cooked up, and while expectations are currently sky high (and understandably so), programming chief Casey Bloys has assured us many times already that season 8 will deliver on everything we could ask for and more.
But with the premiere quickly approaching, no doubt fans are beginning to do their Game of Thrones marathons to catch up, and while you could watch every episode to refresh your memory, that’s a huge commitment and one that not many would have time for. So instead, writer and executive producer Bryan Cogman has revealed the 21 most important outings to rewatch ahead of the new season, and you can find them below.
- “Winter Is Coming” (Season 1, Episode 1)
- “The Kingsroad” (Season 1, Episode 2)
- “Baelor” (Season 1, Episode 9)
- “Fire and Blood” (Season 1, Episode 10)
- “What Is Dead May Never Die” (Season 2, Episode 3)
- “The Old Gods and the New” (Season 2, Episode 6)
- “Blackwater” (Season 2, Episode 9)
- “Walk of Punishment” (Season 3, Episode 3)
- “And Now His Watch Is Ended” (Season 3, Episode 4)
- “Kissed by Fire” (Season 3, Episode 5)
- “The Rains of Castamere” (Season 3, Episode 9)
- “The Laws of Gods and Men” (Season 4, Episode 6)
- “The Mountain and the Viper” (Season 4, Episode 8)
- “The Children” (Season 4, Episode 10)
- “Hardhome” (Season 5, Episode 8)
- “The Door” (Season 6, Episode 5)
- “Battle of the Bastards” (Season 6, Episode 9)
- “The Winds of Winter” (Season 6, Episode 10)
- “The Queen’s Justice” (Season 7, Episode 3)
- “The Spoils of War” (Season 7, Episode 4)
- “The Dragon and the Wolf” (Season 7, Episode 7)
MORE FROM THE WEB
Over on EW, Cogman goes into a bit more detail on each installment and why they’re considered essential viewing. When it comes to “Blackwater,” for instance, he wrote:
Our first big battle! And it’s awesome. But I love this episode (written by Grand Maester George himself) for its intimacy and the rare opportunity we had to zero in on one location and a smaller group of characters. Boy, we put the crew through hell making this episode. Little did they know… (insert evil laugh here).
Meanwhile, speaking about “The Rains Of Castamere,” an episode that’s widely considered to be one of the show’s most iconic, he said:
The Red Wedding. This was the episode that changed everything — both for the story and for the life of the show. I’ll never forget the experience of shooting that scene (more or less in sequence) over the course of a week. Michelle Fairley performed her final, gut-wrenching moments with 100 percent commitment during every single rehearsal and every single take — even when the camera wasn’t on her.
Frankly, all of the episodes that Cogman mentions above are worth watching over again. Even if not to refresh your memory, as they’re simply just excellent hours of television. But again, if you don’t have time to marathon the entire series, those 21 installments should do the trick.
Game of Thrones season 8 will be with us later this week and yes, as much as it pains us to say it, this really is it; the final hurrah. Will you be tuning in when it takes its final bow, though? Sound off in the usual place below.