When HBO announced they were developing a new television series based on the A Song of Ice and Fire novels, many critics were not impressed. Those critics were assuming that since the novels had already been available for many years that most people will not care about it since they already knew the outcome.
It only took a few episodes of the first season before those critics realized that they were completely wrong. Game of Thrones has become one of the best cable television shows ever behind an amazing ensemble cast and some of the smartest writing we have ever seen on cable.
There are so many reasons why this show will always be considered one of the greatest of all time. It is unpredictable, well-written, and the characters are so complex that there is no good or bad. The viewers see the characters as human beings instead of heroes or villains, which is not easy to achieve on television.
But one of the biggest reasons Game of Thrones is one of the best shows on television is the battles. It is a fantasy series with dragons, Queens, Kings, brothels, backstabbing, cheating, and scheming. How could they not have the best battles on television?
Let's jump right in and take a look at an Official Ranking for every battle on the show, including season eight.
Note: Spoiler Warning!!! Spoilers Ahead!!! Spoilers, Spoilers, Spoilers!!!
27 The Battle Of The Forks And Whispering Wood
When Ned Stark found out that Lysa Arryn was accusing the Lannisters for the demise of her husband, he made the decision to head to King's Landing with King Robert to help protect him in a place with people he cannot trust. In doing so, Robb Stark was left the defender of Winterfell. But when Ned Stark is arrested for treason, Robb summons his bannermen to go to war against the Lannister army and demand the release of his father.
The Battle of Green Fork was his first battle, and the most important one because he had to make a deal with Walder Frey to marry one of his daughters in order to cross the river and take back Riverrun. The Battle of Whispering Wood led to the capture of Jamie Lannister.
The Battle of Yellow Fork was another victory by Robb which led to his army growing stronger and even closer to King's Landing.
26 Mutiny At Craster's Keep
After the Night's Watch was forced to retreat following the Battle of the Fist of the First Men, they ended up at Craster's Keep hoping he would help them recover and regroup. But they are met with reluctance and Craster does very little to help them, including feeding them. This led to a lot of tension between Craster and the surviving members of the Night's Watch.
Then, a ranger named Bannen falls of starvation, leading to the men planning a coup that would overthrow Craster and take the Keep and all of his daughters. The mutiny was led by Karl Tanner, who complained about the bread they were given, leading to an altercation between Craster and himself. After Karl slayed Craster, Jeor Mormont tried to step in and restore order but was then savagely stabbed in the back by Rast.
25 Second Siege Of Riverrun
By the time we get to the Second Siege of Riverrun, viewers already know that House Frey is anything but good or honest. They are the type to stab a man in the back before winning any battles. This was obvious when they were unable to hold Riverrun or even fight to get it back.
After Ser Brynden "the Blackfish" Tully took back Riverrun, he held it against the Frey army every single time they attempted to overtake them. It wasn't until Jamie Lannister arrived with his army that they were able to take back Riverrun. Instead of taking it by force, Jamie convinced Edmure Tully to go into his home and convince the Blackfish to stand down.
The only demise was the Blackfish as he was defending the castle. He was never going to surrender but knew that he would be able to fight long enough to distract them and allow Brienne of Tarth to escape.
24 Battle Of Oxcross
In one of the most lopsided battles we have ever seen on Game of Thrones, the Battle of Oxcross was a sneak attack led by Robb Stark in the middle of the night, during a rainstorm, which put his soldiers facing thousands of sleeping Lannister soldiers in their camps.
The Lannister army at Oxcross was being led by Ser Stafford Lannister, who was also defeated in the attack. This battle made King Joffrey very angry and he lashed out by torturing Sansa Stark in front of the royal court. The rumors about the strength of the Stark armies, and Robb Stark himself, began spreading throughout the kingdom, helping to turn Robb into a legitimate candidate for the crown.
23 Siege Of Casterly Rock
The Lannisters have defended Casterly Rock for thousands of years, without ever falling, not even once. That was enough to make them a target since no one would see it coming. The idea was presented by Tyrion as he spoke to Daenerys and the rest of her council. He suggested that the Unsullied army could sneak in, undetected, and take it by force.
When the Unsullied arrived, they did just that. They took it by force after sneaking in through a system of tunnels and secret passageways. But when they finally got inside, and wiped them all out, they noticed that there weren't very many soldiers defending it.
That's because Jamie Lannister used Casterly Rock to distract them and set them up for a trap that would allow Euron Greyjoy to destroy all of their ships during the attack. It trapped them in the Westerlands.
22 Battle Of Yunkai
The Battle of Yunkai was the first time we were able to see Daario Naharis in action and it was worth the wait. He was able to prove his value to Daenerys Targaryen by using his influence with the guards of Yunkai to get them to open the gates. Once they did, he was able to go inside and take them all out, allowing him to open the gates and let in Jorah and Grey Worm.
Right away, they were surrounded by Yunkish soldiers which they defeated easily. More soldiers would surround them until they were able to convince these soldiers to lay down their weapons and join their army. Since the Yunkish soldiers were mostly made of slaves, they quickly put down their weapons and let Daenerys take Yunkai.
21 The Battle Of Winterfell I
The Battle of Winterfell led to the downfall of Stannis Baratheon after underestimating the army of Lord Roose Bolton. This battle never should have happened but by this point in time, Stannis was so desperate to win a fight that he forced his troops to march into a snowstorm, leaving his forces weak and depleted once it passed.
The final straw was when Stannis allowed Melisandre to get into his mind and twist his thoughts around into thinking that he should sacrifice his only daughter in order to end the cold weather and help lead them to victory. By this point, many of his men fled this insanity, including Melisandre. After being defeated, as he lied next to a tree, Brienne of Tarth showed up to execute Stannis.
20 The Fall Of Winterfell
Theon Greyjoy was treated as if he was a part of the Stark family but was technically still their hostage following his father's defeat in the Siege of Pyke. In order to remain the Lord of the Iron Islands, Balon Greyjoy had to send Theon to Winterfell as their hostage and ward.
He enjoyed his time in Winterfell but always felt a sense of resentment towards House Stark. After returning to the Iron Islands, Theon decides to put together a crew and take Winterfell in order to prove to his father that he deserves to be the next Lord of the Iron Islands.
In order to do this, Theon plans an attack on Torrhen's Square, knowing the Stark forces would rush to defend it. They did and he was able to easily take Winterfell, which he lost rather quickly to Ramsay Snow's forces.
19 Second Siege Of Meereen
When Daenerys Targaryen took control of Meereen, she wound up being forced to remain there and deal with many ongoing issues including the Sons of the Harpy. As she was trying to figure out ways to defeat her enemies while also trying to become the true Queen of Westeros, her time on Meereen required all of her focus and she lost control of Yunkai and Astapor.
Then, after escaping the attack at Daznak's Pit on the back of Drogon, Daenerys left Meereen without letting anyone know when she would return. Her absence led to the slave-masters to start a siege to retake Meereen. But she returns with Drogon and also allows Rhaegal and Viserion, her other two dragons, to take out the Masters. She restored order and ended the siege not long after returning home.
18 Battle At The Cave Of The Three-Eyed Raven
Bran finally has a purpose, to become the new Three-Eyed Raven and help defend the world from evil, including the Night King and his army of the undead.
But while learning how to become the raven, he has a vision that shows him the truth behind the origins of the White Walkers. It was the Children of the Forest who created them to help them in the war of the First Men.
Even after being warned not to, he continues watching and then turns around to see the army of the undead including the Night King, who turns around to face Bran and grabs his arm. This marked Bran and allowed the White Walkers to enter the cave, which they do and they slay all the Children of the Forest, who try to protect Bran.
This was the battle where Hodor falls, holding the door just long enough to let Bran and Meera escape.
17 The Raid Of Highgarden
When Cersei became the Queen, one of her biggest pressing issues was the amount of debt she owed to the Iron Bank of Braavos. To help repay the debts, Jamie comes up with a plan to take Highgarden and what is left of House Tyrell. By doing this, he knew he would be able to take all their gold and use it to square their debts with the Iron Bank.
With the help of House Tarly, the Lannister army easily defeated what was left of the Tyrell forces and named Lord Randyll Tarly the Warden of the South. This position normally went to whoever was the head of House Tyrell but after he sacked Highgarden, he knew it was his duty to fill that position with someone who was worthy of it.
It was also the final time we got to see Olenna Tyrell, who was given a poison to drink that would end her peacefully. But right before she passed, she revealed the truth behind who poisoned King Joffrey to Jamie.
16 Sack Of Astapor
After Daenerys defeated Pyat Pree, one of the Warlocks of Qarth, and saved her dragons from capture, she found out that Qarth was actually broke. Their vaults were empty and there was nothing left for her to use. So she headed to Slaver's Bay and the city of Astapor, who had the Unsullied, one of the greatest armies the world has ever seen. She wanted to free the slaves and take the Unsullied to help in her march towards King's Landing.
Once she got to Astapor, she constructed a deal with Kraznys mo Nakloz to purchase his entire army of the Unsullied. In exchange, she gave him Drogon. But once she secured the trust of the Unsullied, she gave them the orders to slay all the slave masters and then turned to Drogon and said her most infamous command, "Dracarys!"
15 Mutiny At Castle Black
One of the hardest things Jon Snow has ever done was bringing the wildlings and the men of the Night's Watch together to form an alliance and face the White Walkers as a united front, in order to defeat them one day. But by doing this, it caused some of the Night's Watch to resent Jon Snow.
The Night's Watch has been fighting the wildlings for many years and when their Lord Commander chose to be neutral, people started choosing sides. Many of the Night's Watch decided that Jon Snow was a traitor and they would treat him as such, with a knife to the heart. After fooling Jon into coming outside, the group of mutineers began stabbing him in the heart, one by one, leaving Jon Snow to fall in the snow.
14 Assault On Dreadfort
When Theon Greyjoy loses Winterfell during the Sack of Winterfell, Ramsay Snow takes him prisoner, holding him hostage at The Dreadfort. Ramsay begins to torture Theon, breaking him down, layer by layer, until he is no longer Theon, he becomes Reek, a broken down version of Theon who is more like a pet dog than a Greyjoy.
In an effort to free him from Ramsay, Theon's sister Yara attacks the Dreadfort and finds her brother sleeping in a dog kennel, refusing to leave with her. He was so scared that he bit her just to let go of him and leave him to stay right where he was, in the cage. A fight ensues and Yara somehow escapes without Theon, who stays to be with Ramsay, who he now sees as his master.
13 Assault On The Targaryen Fleet
When Yara Greyjoy is given the command of the Targaryen Fleet by Daenerys following a meeting at Dragonstone of all their allies. Daenerys instructs Yara to take the fleet to Dorne, to recover and rebuild, and bring with her Theon, Ellaria, and the Sand Snakes along for the ride.
However, while sailing in the open sea, Euron shows up and begins taking out the entire fleet. He lands on the deck of the Black Wind, Yara's ship, and begins fighting all of the men on board, trying to get to Yara. After defeating everyone he encountered, Euron finally reaches Yara and they lock into a battle. He eventually gets his axe and holds it to Yara's throat when Theon shows up to save the day. But instead, he jumps off the ship and flees the fight.
12 The Red Wedding
Although it did not look like a fight, The Red Wedding was a very important battle that ended the conflict between House Stark and House Lannister after Walder Frey savagely defeated Robb Stark, his pregnant wife Talisa, Lady Catelynn Stark, and the rest of the Northern army including Grey Wind, Robb's direwolf.
Because The Red Wedding caused the downfall of House Stark, and eliminated the entire Northern army, it became one of the most important fights on the show, and not just because of the shock value. It ended Robb Starks march towards King's Landing and gave House Bolton and House Frey power that neither one ever held before.
11 Uprising At Daznak's Pit
When Daenerys took Meereen, she immediately ended slavery and the fighting pits, which saw as a form of entertainment for the Masters since it was only slaves that would fight in the pits. But after the Wise Masters of Yunkai take back their city, and enslave the free people again, Daenerys sends someone to negotiate a deal. As part of the deal, the Wise Masters agreed to end slavery if she reopened the fighting pits.
At the same time, the Sons of the Harpy organized and started to overthrow the city, believing that it does not belong to her. So she changes her mind and opens the fighting pits just in time for the Great Games.
While Daenerys watches the fighting from her throne, the Sons of the Harpy reveal themselves throughout the crowd. They forced Daenerys into the center of Daznak's Pit and had her surrounded before Drogon showed up and took her off to safety.
10 Battle Of Castle Black
The self-proclaimed King, Stannis Baratheon, was still on the mend following his defeat at The Battle of the Blackwater, and fell into a deep depression as he returned to Dragonstone. After being convinced to travel North and help the Night's Watch, he answers the call to assist in the war against the White Walkers.
Meanwhile, the wildlings were stationed outside the wall locked in a battle with the Night's Watch that led to the death of Ygritte. However, since the wildlings were not expecting anyone else to assist the Night's Watch, they left themselves undefended on the eastern flank. Stannis arrived and easily wiped the wildling soldiers off the map.
As a result, Mance Rayder, King of the Wildlings, was captured and executed by Stannis at the wall.
9 Battle Of The Goldroad
For the first time in the series, Jamie Lannister came face-to-face with Daenerys Targaryen and her dragons. Prior to the battle, Jamie had captured House Tyrell, taking all of their gold to use to payoff the crown's debt to the Iron Bank of Braavos.
After their easy victory over the Tyrell army, Jamie is leading the army, and the gold, down the road near King's Landing but are stopped in their tracks when a dragon comes flying down along with a Dothraki cavalry of nearly 100,000 men to fight them.
Daenerys easily defeats the Lannister forces and could have defeated Jamie Lannister but he was saved by Bronn seconds before Drogon was going to set him ablaze.
8 Massacre At Hardhome
Jon Snow's goal of uniting the Night's Watch and the wildlings sent him to the town of Hardhome to negotiate a treaty between the two forces to work together and fight the White Walkers.
The meeting starts off poorly and Loboda, a Thenn warrior, refuses to partner with a crow. Jon, with the help of Tormund, finally convinces the wildlings to agree to a peace treaty and come back to the wall with him as they prepare to fight the Night King's army.
However, as they begin to get on the boats and start to head towards the wall, the White Walkers show up and begin attacking them. Jon Snow ends up battling with one of the Night King's Lieutenant's and defeats him before escaping on a rowboat while staring back at the Night King as he turns the wildlings into more soldiers in his army.
7 The Wight Hunt
If the King in the North, Jon Snow, was going to convince Daenerys Targaryen and Cersei Lannister to join him against the White Walkers, he was going to need some king of proof. So they plan to go as far beyond the wall as they could, to find the White Walkers and capture one of them to bring back to King's Landing.
This battle nearly turned into a massacre until Daenerys arrived with her dragons to defeat many of the White Walkers and also save the men.
Jon Snow was pulled down into ice water while the rest of the men left on the back of Drogon, but he emerged from the lake and prepared to fight when Benjen Stark arrived and helped Jon escape.
Viserion's demise turned him into exactly what the Night King was hoping for.
6 Destruction Of The Great Sept Of Baelor
You can argue all you want but in our eyes, this was a battle and deserves to be at the top of our rankings. Not only was it a move that would eventually lead to Cersei becoming the Queen, but it also blew up multiple main characters and almost all of the Tyrell family.
We lost Margaery Tyrell, Ser Loras Tyrell, the High Sparrow, Ser Kevan Lannister, Grand Maester Pycelle, Lancel Lannister, Mace Tyrell, and, as a result of the explosion, King Tommen ended up throwing himself out a window.
No one saw this coming and when it was over, out came a new Cersei, a darker one that would continue down the path of self destruction that we have seen most recently in the season eight premier.
5 Battle Of The Blackwater
The Battle of the Blackwater was the show's first major battle and is also one of the best episodes ever. The entire second season led to this battle, giving viewers a chance to see the point of view from both sides and how they were preparing for the fight. It was built like the infamous World War II film, Tora! Tora! Tora!, where they show you the American and the Japanese preparations for the attack on Pearl Harbor and beyond.
This battle even gave us a surprising moment involving a massive wildfire explosion which led to the destruction of most of the Baratheon ships. That surprise moment was not the last either. We got to watch as King Joffrey run off, with his tails tucked between his legs, and Tyrion stepping in to led the army at King's Landing.
4 Battle Of Winterfell II
The development for the Battle of Winterfell started during the first scene of the show's first episode when three members of the Night's Watch encounter a white walker. From that moment on, everything that happened on the show was leading towards the fight between the living and the undead.
Even though it is ranked close to the top, the Battle of Winterfell was not the best battle on the show, and that can be kind of disappointing because this should have easily been the show's top battle. The Final War is about Dany and Cersei, and the fight for the Game of Thrones, but that was still not as important as this one.
Still, the final few minutes of this fight was incredible, with the surprising ending featuring Arya defeating the Night King as one of the show's greatest moments. That alone carried this up the rankings.
3 Battle Of The Bastards
For the first few seasons, many fans, ourselves included, were just waiting for Sansa Stark to grow up. It happened the moment she stood next to Jon Snow and refused to negotiate with Ramsay Bolton prior to the Battle of the Bastards. She knew that he was not to be trusted and anything he said was just another way to play mind games with his enemy.
Sansa even tried to convince Jon Snow not to fight him until they had a larger army, he refused and rode into battle anyways. She left Winterfell before the fight to go get the Knights of the Vale without anyone knowing.
Her decision to grab the Knights of the Vale led to the defeat of the Bolton army and retaking of Winterfell. Although many fans loved how they shot this battle, it was one of the best because of how important it was to progressing the overall storyline of the show.
2 Breaching Of The Wall
Since the Night King was able to resurrect Viserion, one of Daenerys' dragons, after he fell in The Battle Beyond the Wall, he was finally able to breach the wall.
During the season seven finale, when the army of the White Walkers reaches Eastwatch, they hold their position just outside the wall. Tormund watches, not sure why they all stopped marching until he hears a dragon cry coming from off in the distance.
It ends up being the Night King, riding Viserion as he flies right up to the wall and begins firing away until that entire portion of the wall comes crashing down. This allows the army of the undead to begin their march into Westeros.
1 Battle Of King's Landing
This fight began a long time ago, back in season one when Viserys Targaryen, Daenerys Targaryen's brother, became his quest to take back the crown from Robert Baratheon. Daenerys took over his quest when she realized he would be a horrible ruler, unworthy of the crown, and had him executed. That was when she started planning on taking over King's Landing.
So after dealing with the loss of her two closest, and best, friends in the world, Daenerys was down to nothing and went mad while riding on the back of Drogon. After the Queen's Army surrendered, it should have ended, but she burned them all instead, even the innocent families that lived inside King's Landing. She destroyed everyone.
This battle ended the lives of many of the show's biggest characters including Jaime Lannister, Euron Greyjoy, Cersei Lannister, Sandor Clegane, Qyburn, and Gregor Clegane.