In its entirety, game of thrones gave its fans many powerful characters, intriguing storylines and shocking moments. For any one-sided or visually stunning fights, there were also plenty of gritty and generally brutal fight scenes.
Some characters, such as The Hound, were portrayed in a way that saw almost every fight descend into chaos and brutality. Such brutality would generally be measured by the actual threat posed in the given situations, or by the degree of extreme violence exhibited. To that end, there would be plenty of honorable mentions, in a show rooted in shocking moments and conflict, with Daenerys’ demolition of King’s Landing being one of many.
ten Brienne and The Hound fought fiercely for custody of Arya Stark
There are several iconic scenes throughout game of thrones which saw multiple characters collide in highly anticipated situations. One such moment occurred in the final episode of the show’s fourth season when Brienne and Pod ran into The Hound and Arya and a tense exchange ensued.
Brienne wanted Arya to come with her so she could pay off her debt to Catelyn Stark, but Arya refused. As Pod tried to catch up to Arya, the Hound and Brienne fought fiercely. It was a huge clash between two fan favorites, with neither side pulling their punches. After a bloody affair, Brienne sent the dog racing down a hill, with Arya later leaving it there to die.
9 The Battle of Hardhome was a devastating loss for the Wildlings
The Night’s Watch had to endure many brutal battles in their campaigns against the undead. However, Hardhome was the first to feel an all-out terror invasion with alarming stakes. With Jon, Tormund and Night’s Watch to improve relations with the Wildlings, a horde of wights and White Walkers quickly burst onto the scene.
Many of their potential allies were lost, but Jon discovered that Valyrian steel swords could prove useful in the battles to come. The fleeing Wildlings and panicked soldiers showed how dangerous Hardhome could be when attacked.
8 The mission to retrieve a revenant almost ended in catastrophic failure
The strange alliance of fan-favorite random characters venturing north on a suicide mission was exciting for fans of game of thrones. The goal was to capture a single revenant to convince Cersei and the others of the true threat the White Walkers posed. The group was trapped in the middle of a lake, and as soon as the water froze, they were in serious trouble.
They had already lost Thoros of Myr to his wounds and the cold, and the last few were to fight for their lives in a chaotic sequence of close combat. Daenerys eventually arrived to save the day, but she lost a dragon in the process, with the Night King killing it from afar. Jon Snow was even dragged underwater and presumed dead before Uncle Benjen’s belated intervention.
seven Arya Crossed Another Name Off Her List When The Hound Just Wanted Chickens
Arya and The Hound formed a rather unlikely partnership, although it took them a while to get on the same page. At the start of the fourth season, Arya and the dog stopped at a tavern to take a break from their travels, but found themselves in a sticky situation.
In a room full of Lannister soldiers, the Hound was confronted with his betrayal of the king and things turned sour. The Hound fought many soldiers, some by brutal means, but the numbers nearly got the better of him. Arya also got in on the action, pulling off some devastating kills herself, including crossing a name off her list. She stabbed Polliver in the neck in a brutal end to a fierce close combat.
6 The Night’s Watch barely survived the first wave of wildling attacks
The Battle of Castle Black was the culmination of the resurgence of the Wildlings under Mance Rayder. Jon was with Tormund, Ygritte and the others for most of the trip, but eventually ended up in Castle Black, awaiting their arrival.
The ultimate showdown saw several notable characters die, from Pyp and Grenn to Ygritte. Ser Alliser Thorne was beaten by the crawling Tormund and had to be healed as the battle raged on. Jon even buried a hammer in the skull of Styr, a fearsome and crude Thenn. This whole battle was brutal and showed how the Night’s Watch wouldn’t survive another wave, prompting Jon to meet Mance Rayder.
5 Euron’s nighttime ambush against Yara and the Ellaria alliance was a shocking twist
The introduction of Euron Greyjoy in Season 6 helped establish the Iron Islands as a prominent part of the show. He immediately killed his brother, Balon, and drove Theon and Yara away, claiming the Salt Throne for himself. He even established himself as Cersei’s most valuable ally in the war against Daenerys.
One of Euron’s moments of glory came when his fleet ambushed an alliance between the Ironborn of Yara and the Dornish of Ellaria Sand. In the dark of night, Euron’s crew dismantled Daenerys’ allies and brutally killed two of the Sand Serpents, taking Ellaria, Tyene, and Yara prisoner, while forcing Theon to flee.
4 The Dothraki and Drogon were unleashed on Lannister’s army
In the Season 7 episode “The Spoils of War”, Daenerys Targaryen retaliated in her war with Cersei Lannister by unleashing the Drogon and his mighty Dothraki army on a supply train heading for King’s Landing.
Jaime, Bronn and their army fought for their lives against the fierce onslaught, but they were no match for Daenerys’ forces. The two barely escaped with their lives as the battlefield was littered with bodies and ashes everywhere. Daenerys then added insult to injury by executing Tarlys and all the other prisoners who challenged her.
3 The living pushing back the dead one last time was brutal, though dark
Despite the backlash that the final season of game of thrones received, the Battle of Winterfell from “The Long Night” was a brutal affair. With many characters thrust into a gritty situation, the stakes seemed high at the time.
The episode received a lot of criticism for its dark lighting, but it really captured how grim the combat conditions and overall situation were. Several notable characters were killed during this massive fight, and many more were lucky enough to survive the night. The sheer spectacle of undead soldiers teeming with the living was brutal enough on its own without the added horrors of creepy jumps, dragons, and the Night King.
2 Jon Snow vs the Boltons was a brutal fight of a battle
The “Battle of the Bastards” is remembered as one of the most iconic game of thrones episodes and battles for a number of reasons. He saw Jon Snow and his makeshift army march to take back his home, Winterfell, from the despicable Ramsay Bolton. True to form, Ramsay killed Rickon Stark in front of Jon, tricking him into making a mistake and charging.
This battle was brutal in its delivery, with mounds of bodies trapping Jon and his men, leaving them at the mercy of Ramsay’s superior numbers. Smalljon Umber’s death by Tormund summed up the fight perfectly. Jon ultimately prevailed, but only because of Sansa’s presence with Littlefinger and his men.
1 The conclusion of the mountain against Oberyn is not easily erased from the mind
Arguably one of the most infamous fights in the entire series, the Oberyn Martell mountain fight was a golden streak of multi-tiered entertainment. “The Mountain And The Viper” covered the trial by combat for the future of Tyrion Lannister, with Oberyn representing him against the Mountain, Gregor Clegane.
With Oberyn having an ulterior motive in the fight against Clegane, the fight became complicated when Oberyn refused to end the battle without hearing his opponent’s confession. Clegane eventually confessed to the brutal murder of Oberyn’s sister and her children, but only when he crushed the Red Viper’s skull. The moment was so shocking and disturbing that it will always be one of the most iconic game of thrones scenes.
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