The usual reaction to this show.note
"There is only one hell, Princess. The one we live in now."
Remember all the Nightmare Fuel that A Song of Ice and Fire had? With Game of Thrones, it's now in live action. Enjoy.
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- If Arya and Gendry want to role play. Arya can do it by wearing the faces of the people shes murdered and skinned.
- Aerys Targaryen II had a passion for burning people alive, and he was prepared to immolate his entire capital city in wildfire to spite his enemies.
- Wildfire itself is an alchemically created liquid that bursts into sickly green flames, the closest equivalent to antiquity's dreaded Greek fire. And not even ocean water can extinguish it, as demonstrated in the Battle of the Blackwater.
- Joffrey Baratheon is barely past adolescence, but he's uncompromisingly brutal and will not hesitate to maim or kill anyone who annoys him as long as he knows he can get away with it. Equally terrifying is that the Lannisters are willing to indulge him and keep him in power as long as they get to rule Westeros in his name.
- Any scene involving Ramsay Bolton. Some of the things he enjoys doing are flaying people alive and feeding people who bore him to his bloodthirsty hounds. And what makes him more terrifying than Joffrey is that he is actually intelligent and also a fearless fighter. He is easily the most evil monster in the entire show.
- The White Walkers in general, they're just too good at what they do. Take over Hardhome, check; giant wights, check; capture a dragon, check; destroy the wall, been there done that.
- The dragons are terrifyingly fast, exceptionally strong, and can easily light entire crowds of people on fire.
- Hell, the freakin music for the White Walkers is pretty unnerving. Doubles as Awesome Music.
1 - Winter Is Coming
- The White Walkers, if not solely for their utterly terrifying eyes.
- Though it is clearly a well-known form of justice and execution, there is a strong Dark Age tone to the scene where Ned's sons watch him decapitate Will, the Night's Watch deserter (who, in a way, was the first hero of the story), with his huge greatsword. It lets you know right away that our noble heroes the Starks have a dark side and aren't always completely right in their actions.
- When Princess Daenerys tells her brother that she doesn't want to marry Khal Drogo and that she wants to go home, Viserys starts talking to her as if she is a dumb child, casually explaining that aligning with Drogo and the Dothraki is the only way to get home and that he would let his entire army and their horses fuck Daenerys if it means getting an army to take back the Seven Kingdoms.
- An even better indication of how twisted and scary this series is going to be comes at the end when ten-year old Bran stumbles upon Cersei, the queen, having sex with her twin brother, Jaime Lannister. Then Jaime shoves Bran out of a window. Cue the end credits.
3 - Lord Snow
- Robert's discussion with Ser Barristan about the last words of their foes. He calls in Jaime to quiz him about his own experiences — and to needle him once again about the fact that, yes, he killed Aerys Targaryen. It backfires when Jaime replies perfectly calmly and coldly, "He said the same thing he'd been saying for hours: burn them all." Even Robert appears to be freaked out by this.
- Robert describing the first man he killed, a soldier sworn to House Tarly, who, after Robert already crippled him with his first blow, cowered on the ground and begged for Robert to "Wait, wait!" The way he talks about it really lets you imagine how awful it would be to be on the wrong side of Robert and his warhammer. It also shows just how merciless he can be toward his enemies.
5 - The Wolf and the Lion
- Ser Gregor Clegane cutting off the head of his horse in a temper tantrum.
- Gregor's first line in the series, immediately preceding this. Very eloquent:
- "Cut her throat. Be done with it."
- Jaime's chilling Death Glare, directed at Ned after he's driven a blade into Jory's eye.
6 - A Golden Crown
- A group of wildings discuss how they'll head south in order to avoid the White Walkers. Implying that the wall may not be keeping everything out of Westeros... or won't be for much longer...
- The discussion in the throne room about Gregor Clegane's lead invasion of the Riverlands butchering women, children and fishes so as to point the finger at the Tully house, shows how quick Tywin Lannister is to avenge a slight, any slight. Quite an Establishing Character Moment for a rich lord we're yet to even see.
- The Sky Cells are a pretty frightening concept when you imagine what it must like being a prisoner there. There's no protection from the elements, and you could never sleep easily, always fearing that you would fall out of the window — not to mention the terrifying vertigo you'd have all the time. It seems like the ultimate point is to drive prisoners to suicide and give them an easy means of accomplishing it. The floors are also somewhat slanted, meaning you can unconsciously find yourself rolling right off the edge in your sleep. Tyrion's Oh, Crap! look when that almost happens to him says it all. Apparently there are worse cells that have even steeper inclines.
- While it's a comparably tame scene for that show's standards (which, of course, isn't saying much), the way Viserys is killed (by getting a pot of molten gold poured on his head, AKA being involuntarily forced to participate in an ALS Gold Bucket Challenge video) is quite scary, as you can only imagine the pain... In addition, he dies gruesomely in front of his sister, who had to watch it and do nothing. Yeah, Viserys was a dick to her, but he was all she had, and she had to watch him die knowing that even if she wanted to, she couldn't do anything to save him.
- The way Drogo, in full Blood Knight mode, crouches down and gets in Viserys' face as he dies screaming. It's like Drogo just wanted to absorb and relish in all of the suffering he's inflicting.
- What Viserys did, or rather threatened to do, that prompted this grisly end is pretty horrible as well. He stumbles into the Dothraki's feast drunk and armed and starts shouting for his sister. When Daenerys tries to calm him, he goes straight up to her and holds her at swordpoint, specifically pressing the blade against her stomach, where she's pregnant with her and Drogo's child (and Viserys' own nephew). Viserys tells Daenerys to inform Drogo that if he doesn't hold up his end of their 'bargain', then he'll take Daenerys back, adding that he can "keep the baby. I'll cut the bastard out and leave it for him." It's clear from Dany's disturbed reaction and Viserys' deranged manner that he might not just be making empty threats; he is apparently far gone enough to actually go through with cutting his little's sister unborn baby from her womb in front of her husband.
7 - You Win or You Die
- The assassin who failed to kill Daenerys who is forced to walk tied behind her and Drogo's horse, naked and exposed to the elements. The state he's in, he doesn't look like he's going to last long.
- The exchange between Maester Luwin and Osha when she insists, despite his skepticism, the White Walkers have reawakened.
: The things
you speak of...they've been gone for thousands of years.
: They wasn't gone, old man...they were sleeping
. And they ain't sleeping no more.
- Khal Drogo's enraged declaration of war against Westeros.
- Ned's plan to seize the throne from Cersei and Joffrey goes completely awry when the Gold Cloaks he assumed were on his side begin killing his men alongside the Lannisters. Before he can draw his own sword, Littlefinger has a knife to his throat.
8 - The Pointy End
9 - Baelor
- The aftermath of the Battle of the Green Fork. Tyrion wakes up and sees he's being carted through the blood-soaked battlefield, where the hill tribesmen are seen holding down and mutilating the wounded Northmen.
- In "Baelor", while we don't get to see anything, the unearthly screaming noises coming out of Khal Drogo's tent as his life is "saved" through blood magic are more than a little chilling. Add in a little Fridge Horror, it's clear from the way that the other characters are acting that only Dany can actually hear the sounds.
- Ned Stark's execution is still unpleasant to watch. The utter build up towards the scene whilst Sansa screams hysterically for Joffrey to stop it, Ser Ilyn getting ready to use the sword, and Yoren constantly holding Arya back from watching is mentally unnerving. Worst is the fact Ned's only fear of the situation was that Arya may have to watch his execution to which luckily he died knowing she wasn't and Yoren was there, but just imagine the inner turmoil he would have suffered before death if Yoren wasn't there to shield Arya from watching. It gets worse. Once it was over, Yoren lifted her up so that she was looking over his shoulder. He was walking away from the Sept, so while Arya may not have seen the execution as it happened, she did see her father's headless body and the Hound holding up his head.
- It's quite unnerving to see Varys acting insanely out of character - running to Joffrey to plead with him. And friggin Cersei is begging for him to stop.
10 - Fire and Blood
- The episode opens immediately after Ned gets decapitated. We are greeted to some sickening shots of the blood-soaked blade, The Hound holding the severed head up in the air, the crowds roaring in applause, guards dragging away the headless corpse, Sansa fainting in horror at Cersei and Joffrey's feet.
- Sansa not only has to see her father's execution - but Joffrey makes her look at his severed head mounted on a spike. As well as Septa Mordane's and presumably other members of her household she's known all her life.
- The aftermath of Daenerys and Mirri Maz Duur's attempt at blood magic to save Drogo. He was indeed healed of his fatal wounds and illness, but is left in a permanent catatonic state.
Mirri Maz Duur: He lives. You asked for life. You paid for life.
Daenerys: This is not life! When will he be as he was?
Mirri Maz Duur: When the sun rises in the west and sets in the east, when the seas go dry, and when the mountains blow in the winds like leaves.
- Also, the price of the spell turned out to be greater than a mere horse, since Dany's child Rhaego came out of her womb stillborn and freakishly deformed. The docile way Mirri Maz Duur describes the poor thing really sells it. It's the epitome of Body Horror, with a little Adult Fear added into the mix.
Mirri Maz Duur: "Monstrous'', twisted... I pulled him out myself. He was scaled like a lizard, blind, with leather wings like the wings of a bat. When I touched him the skin fell from his bones. Inside, he was full of grave worm".
- "I am the dragon's daughter, and I swear to you that those who would harm you will die screaming."
- Then Dany proceeds to burn Mirri Maz Duur alive.
1 - The North Remembers
2 - The Night Lands
- Littlefinger's pleasant little story about a whore he bought who was much too sad and how his losses were mitigated. It's as much what he doesn't say as what he does — nothing about his tone when he says "he wanted to transform her" suggests that the man who bought that poor girl was not just going to turn her into Westeros's Next Top Model. The rumors earlier in the series of him catering to necrophiles don't help. (Another unpleasant possibility, could this man perhaps have been Qyburn?)
- We actually get to see hints of what happens to Craster's sons. It's not pretty. The hissing and snarling of the watching White Walkers doesn't help either.
4 - Garden of Bones
- In the opening titles, amidst all the beautiful clockwork intricacies of the different cities on the map, Harrenhal is a blackened, broken piece of clockwork where nothing works or moves.
- We find out that Joffrey is more interested in watching women forced to beat each other, possibly to death, than having sex. While this may have been more to send a message to his Uncle, it's still disturbing how gleeful he looks during it.
- This is especially horrifying for Ros, who has barely gotten over seeing a woman's baby girl get butchered, and is now forced by an insane boy to slowly beat one of her friends to death with a mace for his sick pleasure. And he threatens to shoot her with his crossbow if she doesn't do it.
- Arya gets to watch people being tortured horribly by ingenious use of a rat, a bucket and a torch (which actually was a real method of torture in the past), killed and having their heads hammered onto pikes for at least two days, all the while knowing she could very well be next. Many of the people she's with are watching their families receive this treatment.
- The fact that the Mountain picks the guy who was staring at him. He had escaped being picked before, thinking it was because the Mountain was put off by his stare, but it turns out that it was completely random. The idea that someone could be so completely detached from humanity that he literally has no more reaction to someone looking at him than to a turned back is terrifying.
- The closing scene, wherein Melisandre gives birth. The shadow child/son/demon/shadow sounds like Stannis.
5 - The Ghost of Harrenhal
- Renly's death. Being stabbed in the back by a shadowy assailant, and seeing your own wound in the mirror — and then as you're choking on your own blood, you see that your attacker looks quite a bit like your older brother. And then it roars at you before it disappears.
- It all happens so quickly that neither Catelyn or Brienne have time to react; Catelyn notices something dark with spindly limbs rapidly crawling through the tent past her feet...then seconds later Renly is dead; at first all Brienne can do is scream "NO!" in shock and horror while Catelyn can't seem to say anything at all.
6 - The Old Gods and the New
- Theon executing Ser Rodrik Cassel. He doesn't have the strength or proper armament to behead him in a single swing, so there is a gruesome scene of Theon repeatedly hacking away and then roughly kicking Ser Rodrik's head away. At least the first blow seemed to kill him, meaning he didn't feel any of the subsequent ones. Bran and Rickon are watching the whole time and both are sobbing and screaming, with Bran even pleading with Theon not to do it and that he'll do anything if he'll just spare Rodrik.
- The riot at King's Landing turns into this when the starving townspeople start dismembering and devouring members of the royal entourage and Sansa is chased down and almost raped by a group of men. Sansa screaming and pleading as she's held down is really hard to watch. Thank god the Hound had a Big Damn Heroes moment, though it was really close.
- What really drives it home is Tyrion's utterly horrified reaction as he witnesses a man being literally torn to pieces.
7 - A Man Without Honor
- The Pyat Pree doubles. They slit the throats of the Thirteen without a flicker of emotion. Their dissonant serenity follows Daenerys as she tries to escape: 'A mother should be close to her children!' Stab one through the back? It just sighs in exasperation and disappears, leaving only garments behind.
- Sansa's first period, especially when she realizes that now she's fit to marry Joffrey. A prospect that she doesn't relish.
- Daenerys and Jorah's attempt to escape the Qarth council chamber, with doubles of Pyat Pree blocking their every path. The off-kilter camerawork just adds to the unease.
- Theon presenting the burnt corpses of the boys.
8 - The Prince of Winterfell
- The troops that Jaqen had killed effortlessly and undetected, then propped up in their at the gate of Harrenhal so that Arya, Gendry and Hot Pie can escape. What did he do to that guy's head?
9 - Blackwater
10 - Valar Morghulis
- Having Brienne killing you is scary already. Having her state to your face that she is going to kill you, in the slowest and most painful way possible, by ramming a sword up your crotch, while you're lying on the ground unable to do anything about it is a lot worse.
- In a fit of rage after his defeat, Stannis starts strangling Melisandre, asking her "Where is your god now? Will he save you? Where is your god!?" To which she submits, holding out her arms as if allowing him to kill her, and says, "Inside you."
- What's more haunting is the way she calmly describes what Stannis's future will be like if he stays his course:
Melisandre: This war has just begun. It will last for years. Thousands will die at your command. You will betray the men serving you, you will betray your family, you will betray everything that you once held dear... and it will all be worth it. Because you are the Son of Fire, you are the Warrior of Light. You will sweep aside this pretender and that one. You will be king.
- Dany's experience in the House of the Undying. Eventually she comes to the throne room of the Red Keep in King's Landing. Why is this scary? Winter has come.
- The scene gets even scarier when we reach the actual time of the scene later in the series and see the events leading up to that moment. All that snow and destruction didn't come from the White Walkers; Dany did this all by herself.
- Three blasts. Even more chilling is Edd and Sam's slow realization of what is happening for the first time in thousands of years.
(second blast blows)
Grenn: Two blasts is Wildlings. (draws sword)
Edd: We're not fighting them alone. Come on!
(third blast blows)
Grenn: Three blasts?
- The fates of Doreah and Xaro — locked in an dark, empty vault to slowly die of thirst, starvation or asphyxiation.
- Bonus points in how they would likely resort to cannibalism in order to survive a bit longer. That is, if they didn't suffocate first.
- Might be lessened by the very easy He's Just Hiding! theory that, like his claim that the vault was full of treasure, Xaro's claim that the vault is "impenetrable" is a lie.
- Our first good look at a White Walker, and the massive army of wights at the end.
1 - Valar Dohaeris
- We don't see the battle for the Fist of the First Men, but the sounds of it in the prologue are horrific enough; the screams of men and animals, the clash of swords, battle cries and the truly demonic howling of the White Walkers over it all effectively gives the chaos and horror of the Night's Watch fighting a hopeless battle against an enemy devoid of pain, fear or mercy, without ever showing a sight of the battle itself.
- The state of Harrenhall. 200 prisoners of war were butchered by the retreating Lannisters and left rotting in the open just to spite Robb. As Robb surveys the carnage one of the bodies starts to cough, his throat slit, seemingly the only survivor. His name? Qyburn.
- During Tyrion and Cersei's conversation, we get a glimpse of Cersei's Troubling Unchildlike Behavior growing up. It's easy to see where Joffrey gets it from:
Cersei: You've slandered me to father before.
Tyrion: Slandered? When?
Cersei: You told him I had my guards beat that servant girl at Casterly Rock.
Tyrion: You did have your guards beat her. A girl of nine, I believe.
Tyrion: (disgusted) She lost an eye, if I remember correctly.
- The Unsullied, a slave army trained from birth with only a quarter of them surviving. Their final test is to buy a newborn baby slave and kill it in front of its mother. They currently number eight thousand. The scene where the slave trader slices off one of their nipples to demonstrate that they're impervious to pain isn't too pleasant to watch.
- Dany sure is lucky Ser Barristan Selmy came to her rescue or she'd have fallen prey to the Manticore that was inside a seemingly harmless hollow ball the warlock girl gave her. The Manticore itself is creepy enough; a large shimmering green scorpion-like bug with what looks like a face on its stinger and a poison so powerful it kills in seconds.
2 - Dark Wings, Dark Words
- Orell during his warg period. There is a brief three second shot of him looking up to the sky with completely white and vacant eyes *shudder*
- While well deserved, Theon's torture at the hands of the Bolton men qualifies.
Theon: WHAT DO YOU WANT?!
Guard: I want to do this.
(shoves pick under his fingernail)
3 - Walk of Punishment
- The Walk of Punishment, where slaves are crucified after being tortured for the tiniest disobedience. Daenerys offers water to one, but he refuses, looking forward to being free in death.
- The scene of Locke chopping off Jaime's hand alone is nightmarish. We don't even get the kindness of a Gory Discretion Shot, we watch the bastard bring the knife down on Jaime's hand and the moment it's done it takes a few seconds for Jaime to realize what just happened and he pulls back his stump where his hand once was as he begins to scream in horror and we see the injury in all its disgusting glory.
- Brienne's attempted gang rape at the hands of the Boltons. For a character so strong, confident, and generally badass and awesome to be brutally beaten and dragged off into the darkness while screaming in fear is extremely unnerving.
- Theon gets caught in his attempt to escape the Dreadfort and is captured by Bolton men. They actually brace him to the ground and pull down his pants as one of the Bolton men seems to be undoing his while promising to fuck Theon into the dirt. We are left with the horrific certainty that they were going to rape Theon right there and then had the boy not come and saved Theon. Going from the remarks their leader made this is standard practice for them whenever they apprehend escapees.
- It's pretty raw when Theon gets chased into the woods on horseback by Bolton men, and one of them knocks him off his horse by striking him in the chest with a morning star. The fact that he survived this without wearing any armor is even worse. What makes it extra painful is the ringing sound effect mixed with Theon's agonized gasp when he hits the ground. Ouch. Very ouch.
- The spiral of severed horse parts arranged in the snow, no doubt left by the White Walkers for the Night's Watch to see.
4 - And Now His Watch is Ended
- In the opening credits, among all the clockwork on the map, Winterfell is shown burnt to a crisp, with black smoke billowing from the burnt remains. It's incredibly creepy and unsettling.
- The story of how Varys was castrated: a sorcerer fed him a potion that paralyzed him but left him fully able to feel the pain, then used the parts for a spell that let him talk to some demon or spirit. Varys is a man who knows of terrible things, yet he still has nightmares of the voice coming from the flame. And then the reveal of that very sorcerer in a box, very much at Varys's mercy. The background music is extremely creepynote , Tyrion looks more and more freaked out until the revelation, the sorcerer is clearly terrified and whimpering through his gag, and Varys is... calm, and very satisfied. What truly makes the scene is that you feel terrible for Varys. He's describing the worst and most terrifying moment of his life and its hard to not feel bad for him. And then you see Tyrion's face as he looks at the box and is connecting the dots. And that's when you realize that behind the persona that Varys shows to other characters, he's truly one of the most dangerous men in series.
- Cat shaking Bran up a tree in one of his dreams, calling back her last conversation with him in a deranged fashion, before pushing him off the tree... "Promise me! Promise me! PROMISE ME!!!"
- Theon suddenly discovering that he's been led straight back into his torture chamber is terrifying; he's so stunned he can't even articulate the betrayal and can only beg incoherently, while his betrayer has a truly deranged look of enjoyment on his face. Also, while it's not elaborated on in the scene, so might be more a case of Fridge Horror, it makes you wonder; what sort of person would go through all that trouble (including killing some of his own men) and build up so much trust (including getting the only true confession of Theon's feelings in the series), just for the sake of playing some sort of game? Someone who wants to move up in a Crapsack World.
- The scene at Craster's Keep is all very subtle and very effective Nightmare Fuel, as tensions in the house rise and you can just see the more level-headed brothers of the Watch getting more and more uneasy, knowing something awful is about to happen. Everyone's reactions are chillingly realistic, as anyone who's been in a similarly unstable situation with many people involved could tell you.
- Rast and some other brothers staging a mutiny against Lord Commander Mormont at Craster's Keep, with Rast stabbing Mormont in the back. There's a Hope Spot where it looks like Mormont might at least choke Rast to death before he dies, but then Rast stabs him again and throws him on the ground before stabbing him over and over.
5 - Kissed by Fire
6 - The Climb
7 - The Bear and the Maiden Fair
- Osha's story about how her lover disappeared, and then came back one night... as a wight, who tried to kill her even after she stabbed it in the heart. She had to burn down their home to kill it, and is clearly still traumatized.
- Theon's already nightmarish torture reaches a distressing new low. After the torturer baits him with beautiful women in order to get him aroused, he then brutally beats a weeping, trembling Theon to the ground before having two of his cronies hold him down, and then after smugly stating how he knows that Theon's cock is his "most precious part" and that he is "just going to make a few alterations", he crouches over a shrieking, flailing Theon's crotch with a hooked gelding knife, and gleefully prepares to start cutting while Theon begs for mercy... And note that the camera goes out of focus at the end of the scene. Yes, we've actually reached the point where even this show thinks something is too horrible to be shown onscreen.
- The actual 'sex' itself is an exercise in Fan Disservice. At no point in the scene does it seem sexy — at best it seems to be a cruel parody of Theon's wildest fantasies, and at worse seems like actual rape, considering the girls climb aboard while Theon cringes and explicitly tells them to stop.
- Locke and his men putting Brienne into a pit with a hungry bear, with only a wooden sword to defend herself. And laughing and singing as they anticipate her getting killed and eaten.
8 - Second Sons
- Gendry's ordeal at the hands of Melisandre. First he is drugged with likely spiked wine and then is seduced by her, only to be tied to the bed and have leeches attached to his chest, abdomen, and... somewhere very painful.
- Granted it's directed at Joffrey after he persists in making a total asshole of himself again and this borders with Moments of Awesome and Funny, but Tyrion's very audible and cold rage in his tone and the look of fury on his face as he drives a knifepoint into the table and fearlessly threatens to cut off Joffrey's dick in front of everyone certainly left many viewers as silent as the court. Note that up until this point, Tyrion has done nothing worse than slapping his nephew and making non-serious threats behind his back and all to help him be a better man, but it's obvious at this point after Joffrey has attempted to have him killed and refuses to quit humiliating him, Tyrion's hatred for Joffrey is just as strong if not stronger than Joff's.
- Joffrey's ever growing madness. It's very subtle, but he's pretty much telling Sansa to her own face how he plans to invoke lord's right and rape her after Tyrion's had her. He doesn't wait for a response telling her Ser Meryn and Ser Blout will hold her down for him.
- The White Walker stalking towards Sam and Gilly, while a huge flock of crows perch on a nearby weirwood tree and scream. We also see just how useless normal weapons are against the White Walkers, when it grabs Sam's sword and shatters it.
9 - The Rains of Castamere
- Arya is falling deeper and deeper into Troubling Unchildlike Behavior. One example is the way she calmly turns towards Sandor "The Hound" Clegane and tells him, "Someday, I'm going to put a sword through your eye and out the back of your skull."
- The Red Wedding.
- The Rains of Castamere starts to play. Nothing even happens as it does, but after an entire season of references to the song, the viewer already knows it's the Lannister's theme and know something really, really horrible is about to happen.
- Catelyn turns to Roose Bolton (Robb's most powerful bannerman present and thus supposed to be his closest protector) for reassurance after the Rains finishes playing, only for him to slowly turn towards her with a flat-out disturbing, smug Psychotic Smirk (up until now, he has been a stoic, silent, and serious man with little obvious discontent with the Starks) and Kubrick Stare as he looms her via his eyes to lift the sleeve of his shirt to which Catelyn notices he's wearing chain mail and thus understanding immediately he has betrayed Robb.
- Lothar Frey repeatedly stabbing Talisa's pregnant stomach. And after it happens she stands up, clearly so stunned by the attack that she has no idea what to do - allowing us to see the blood gushing out while she screams in pain.
- Some soldiers are playing at dice in the yard. As soon as the carnage starts, the Frey men all pull out their swords and violently massacre the shocked Stark soldiers before they can react. After this, some soldiers surround Grey Wind's pen and shoot him with crossbows.
- Robb getting shot multiple times with crossbows bolts.
- Roose Bolton: "The Lannisters send their regards." *STAB*
- Walder Frey is completely indifferent to Catelyn's holding a dagger to his own wife's throat, saying that he can always find another wife. Not to mention that the poor young girl looks terrified when Catelyn grabs her.
- Catelyn has a catatonic reaction to Robb's death. She just slits the throat of Walder's wife and then looks on in Stunned Silence before Black Walder Frey comes up and slices her own throat open.
- Not exactly. If one watches that scene again you will clearly see that Catelyn has an absolute look of horror and is silently crying her eyes out as Robb dies in front of her. Then she screams/cries out in anguish as she slices Frey's wife's throat before her own death.
- The complete lack of credits music after this scene does not help matters.
- An extremely subtle one, but for those who have followed the third season through the King's Roadmap, soon after this episode was broadcast, the app disappeared and in its place was a page just saying 'Gone'.
10 - Mhysa
- The box that is sent to the Greyjoys, containing Theon's "favorite toy", looks like it's made from a Greyjoy breastplate, most likely Theon's own. The message that accompanies the box threatens to wipe all the Ironborn out if they don't leave the North, and promises to send more pieces of Theon if they don't withdraw immediately.
- Bran's story about a Night's Watch cook who killed his king's son and served him in a pie. The king liked it so much he asked for more.
- The Evil Gloating scene between Walder Frey and Roose Bolton about the Red Wedding, while several Frey servants are cleaning the bloodstains off the floor. Now, Joffrey may have had his insane outbreaks, but he is just a child. This is the first time we see competent, serious villains revelling in the heinous crime they just committed. The smile Roose gives deserves special mention. The creepy smile just goes to show, like father, like son.◊
- Arya once again demonstrating further slippage into Cute and Psycho territory, in the sheer cold and calculated manner with which she plays an innocent girl before brutally murdering the Frey Soldier who claimed responsibility for desecrating Robb's body. As well as the reveal that the knife she used was one she stole from the Hound, without him even knowing it. Suffice to say, even the Hound looks scared of her at this point. For extra creepiness points, the music that plays while Arya contemplates both her first adult kill and the Braavosi coin she used to distract her victim with is none other than Jaqen H'ghar's theme.
- Ramsay decides that "Theon" is too noble a name, and decides to give him a name more befitting someone as broken as him. Like "Reek." Theon is in for a whole lot more suffering, but the scene just positively drips with No Yay, with Ramsay getting uncomfortably close to Theon and smelling him. Even though his identity was an open secret... for some viewers that are close followers of the books, the speaking of Ramsay's name in this episode counts as this.
- The Small Council meeting, where Joffrey gleefully tells Grand Maester Pycelle to send for Robb Stark's head, as he's planning to serve it to Sansa on his wedding feast. Everone present — Varys, Tyrion, Pycelle, even Cersei and Tywin, are alarmed (each in their own way) that their twisted little "king" is getting completely out of hand. And when the master schemers are scared, guess what that means for the general populace.
- The sight of the Freys massacring the Stark forces is horrific. The entire camp is in flames. Men are being butchered all around. We see a man with his legs cut off, a man being lynched, and a man being stabbed over and over by at least 5 people. And then we see those Frey bastards parading around the decapitated body of Robb with Grey Wind's severed head impaled on it◊ while mockingly chanting "The King in the North." It really hammers home how twisted and evil the Freys really are. And unlike when Ned was executed, Arya has a front-row seat to witness the profaning of her brother's corpse. Even the Hound has this "Holy shit, this is fucked up" look on his face as this is all going down. Contrast this to how the Lannister soldiers dispatched Ned Stark's household in Season 1. They were merciless and quite brutal, yes, but there was a sense of efficiency and professionalism. With the Freys, they rejoice at their cruelty and seem to take pleasure in killing the Stark forces in the most painful ways possible.
1 - Two Swords
- The title sequence finally features the seat of House Bolton on its clockwork map, arguably the most Nightmare Fuel-inducing location since Harrenhal. The Dreadfort is jarringly gritty brown with fading paint, scratch marks and dried blood stains, is enclosed by spiked battlements and towers shaped like meat tenderizers, and its centerpiece displays what looks like a dried piece of flayed skin with the Bolton sigil painted on it, being stretched over a miniature torture rack by the rotating gears of the castle. The sequence is made worse by how the camera then immediately shifts to the west of the Dreadfort to show the burnt out husk of Winterfell.
- Sandor and Arya's visit to the tavern. A group of Gregor's men are there and are helping themselves to food and drink, uncaring that this is the innkeeper's livelihood. Worse, they've gotten hold of the innkeeper's daughter and are groping the terrified girl, with the strong implication they plan on doing more than that. When her father begs them to let her go, Polliver simply tells him "Shut your mouth and pour us more ale, and we may not take her with us when we're done with her." Polliver also suggests that Sandor trade them Arya for some chickens and makes it very clear what they'd do with her; he also makes it clear he and his men have going round the countryside robbing helpless civilians and raping women for some time. During the subsequent fight at the inn, Sandor kills one of the men by repeatedly slamming his head onto his own knife (through the eye specifically) and the guy doesn't die straight away either. Even though he's hardly sympathetic, it's still not a good way to go.
- Arya killing Polliver. Rather than the rushed, passionate act from the book, here she's very calm and deliberate, even sadistically drawing it out, making it clear that something snapped in her at the Red Wedding. The Psychotic Smirk she gives riding the white pony, willingly, with Sandor and the Dissonant Serenity as their horses approach the war-torn wasteland shows her descent into madness as well.
- Oberyn remembering what happened to his niece and nephew and his beloved sister Elia; she was raped and killed by Gregor Clegane. And all this horrible information related very quietly but not at all calmly; Tyrion looks honestly scared, as if he expects Oberyn to suddenly lash out and slit his throat. While hardly the most gruesome death in the entire lore, it nearly does take the fucking biscuit. She was apparently split in half with his broadsword. Before having her head crushed by the Mountain. Her children, the crown prince and princess had equally grisly deaths, enough so that battle-hardened soldiers of the rebellion couldn't look under the Lannister cloaks they'd been wrapped in without losing the contents of their stomachs...
- The Thenns and their eating habits.
- The Meereenese get wind of Dany approaching their city, the largest of the slaver cities, and kindly decide to "point her" to the city by way of over a hundred crucified slave children on every mile marker between her and Meereen. The state of the bodies clearly signify that their deaths were not quick... The first girl sacrificed also visibly resembles Dany, making this even more of a slight towards her personally.
- When Daenerys tries to calm Drogon, who is squabbling with his siblings over some meat, he whirls around and snarls at her. Dany is visibly frightened, and with good reason. The dragons are getting bigger and more dangerous by the day, and now the only person who could control them is having trouble with it...
- The forging of the titualar "Two Swords." Accomplished by melting down the Stark family sword, Ice, and reforging it into two separate swords. Not only is this Tywin Lannister's final victory over the Starks, but Ice is a ''Valyrian steel sword." Melting it down makes it. . . just steel. Some of the sting is taken out by Tywin later commenting that only a few smiths are able to work with Valyrian steel, indicating that both swords may retain their unique properties, but if the smith wasn't as skilled as he claimed, or just rolled bad dice that day. . .
2 - The Lion and the Rose
- Ramsay goes hunting. Damn.
- The fact that his "girlfriend" seems to enjoy it just as much as he does. One has to wonder if she is just as much of a psycho as Ramsay is, or if Ramsay conditioned her to be that way.
- Ramsay is a blunt instrument. He can break people down, but he can't rebuild them in his own image. Lady M appears to be just naturally share his inclinations. One wonders how long she's going to last before he gets bored, regardless.
- Though we thankfully get a Gory Discretion Shot with a closeup of Theon, the look on Theon's face as he watches her get torn apart by Ramsay's dogs and the horrid wheezing sounds that the girl makes as she dies are truly the stuff of nightmares.
- Theon Greyjoy's face when he is told that Robb Stark is dead.
- The utterly broken and trembling wreck Ramsay has transformed Theon into is simply horrifying, with his complete inability to do anything to defy his master, or even draw blood from Ramsay while shaving him with a razor while Ramsay was taunting him over the death of Robb. Even Roose is shocked by what his bastard has done.
- Ramsay's greeting of his new step-mother, Walda. He's perfectly polite to her and calls her 'mother', but do we honestly believe his pleasure is genuine? Walda will need to watch her back...
- Melisandre having the non-believers of the Lord of Light at Dragonstone burned at the stake. One of them is the brother of Stannis' wife Selyse, who is possessed by mad zealotry as her brother pleads with her and then screams along with the others in agony.
- How about their dinner afterwards, where Selyse begins to talk about how 'sinful' Shireen Baratheon is on the heels of her telling Stannis that a new sacrifice is needed for the Lord of Light? Stannis actually stops chewing and just stares as he realizes that his wife is honestly thinking of burning their little girl to death.
- Worse yet, the moment Stannis forbids this she immediately suggests in a dangerously casual way that Melisandre go and see her... No wonder even Melisandre was looking creeped out by the end of that scene.
- It gets worse. Remember in Season 3, when Melisandre performed a ritual to burn three leeches in place of the 'usurpers' standing in the way of Stannis' claim to the Iron Throne? As of Season 4, two of those three kings are dead: Robb Stark and Joffrey Baratheon. Aside from Daenerys' dragons, it's starting to look like the only active supernatural power in this world is a god that demands sacrifice by fire. Which makes you wonder exactly how 'benevolent' the Lord of Light really is...
- "There's only one hell, Princess... the one we live in now". Chilling because of Melisandre's usual Dissonant Serenity but also because, knowing how Westeros is, it's not far from truth.
- For as much of a little shit as he was, Joffrey's death by poisoning was still a rough way to go, even if it was deserved. Even Tywin looks horrified at what he's witnessing, and shields Tommen from seeing it. To wit, the suffocation is only the half of it. It's immediately followed by violent vomiting, seizures, and bleeding from every orifice, before he ultimately drowns in his own fluids. Jesus.
- Depending on how you look at it, Joffrey's face looks like a wight's, since the blue of his eyes show off more.
- As horrible as all this looks on screen, it's even worse in the book; Joffrey - who here is younger than the TV version - is so desperate to breathe that he claws his throat open.
- When Joffrey's body is lying in state, the painted 'eyes' covering his real ones look unsettling, especially if one's imagining what's underneath.
- Cersei's utterly insane fury at Tyrion is rather unnerving in itself. Throughout all four seasons she has rarely risen above an unpleasant Big Bad Wannabe with delusions of talent and intelligence, but as she watches her son die in her arms and is led to believe Tyrion is responsible she completely snaps and starts shrieking for him to be arrested like a madwoman, literally spitting with impotent rage, her homicidal expression letting the audience know she is going to fucking end Tyrion if it's the last thing she does.
: ... He did this... He poisoned my son. Your King... Take him. Take him! Take him! TAKE HIM!
- For book-readers... between that and the utterly cruel and unnecessary decision to feed the extra food to the dogs instead of King's Landing's poor makes it clear that the halfway sympathetic Cersei of the previous seasons is gone, and the monster of AFFC is here.
- Even worse, when Pycelle questions her decision she threatens to have him fed to the dogs if any of the extra food is given to the poor.
- The whole "reenactment" of the War of the Five Kings during Joffrey's wedding. Watching five dwarfs essentially humiliate themselves before the crowd and trivializing all the death and destruction that the war had brought into a comedy for Joffrey's own sick enjoyment is quite unnerving. Made even worse by the fact that amongst the audience are people like Sansa, Loras, Brienne (and possibly even Joffrey's own wife, depending on how much she really liked Renly), who have to watch this very disrespectful mockery of their loved ones and their deaths.
- The band Sigur Rós's rendition of "The Rains of Castamere" which appropriately plays during the credits following Joffrey's death. Unlike The National's version which has a sense of pride and upbeat factor, Sigur Rós's is simply somber, hollow, and very gloomy, sounding exactly given the circumstances like wake/funeral music what with percussion and pipe organ. There's also these creepy wheezing sounds periodically playing in the background which sound like screaming at times fitting Joffrey's manner of death by choking.
3 - Breaker of Chains
- Sansa being met by Littlefinger on that ship. See page quote for why this might not be a step forwards for her.
- Jaime raping his own sister by Joffrey's dead body. She repeatedly keeps telling him "it's wrong" through sobs, but he doesn't give a toss, and is nearly emotionless as he remorselessly plows her in a frenzy of pent-up aggression and sexual frustration. On what is supposed to be sacred ground, no less.
- Somehow the fact that Jaime was tenderly holding her and stroking her hair just seconds earlier makes it even worse.
- And the way he tells everyone to leave the sept before he speaks to Cersei. Did he have rape on his mind right from the beginning?
- Joffrey's body with the eye-stones on his eyes. The camera lingers on it at the creepiest possible angle.
- The northern village being attacked by Wildlings. One little boy's parents are both killed, his father by an arrow shot by Ygritte and his mother killed by Styr's ax. He only lets the boy go to warn Castle Black, but not before telling him he's going to eat his mother and father.
- The farmer's morbid description of life in the Riverlands now that the Freys are in charge. Unlike the Tullys, the Freys aren't interested in the plight of the common folk, so bandits and thieves run rampant across the lands. He can't go south, because that's Lannister territory, and he can't go north, because it's now ruled by the Boltons who aren't much better than the Freys and is plagued by constant raids from the Greyjoys and Wildlings. The Hound figures that the farmer and his daughter won't even survive the winter. That scene just spells out how much of a Crapsack World the Seven Kingdoms are for the common folk.
- Cersei's downward spiral continues when she furiously demands Jaime murder Tyrion as "vengeance" for Joffrey's death, and her even more furious reaction when he refuses.
- Edd's dark quip about the fate of Craster's daughters now that the Night's Watch mutineers have taken them for their own;
4 - Oathkeeper
- Aww looks like Jon Snow has made another friend at the wall... Wait, what is Locke doing at the wall?! This cannot bode well for Jon. And great, he is accompanying him north of the wall.
- The mutineers at Craster's Keep have turned it into their personal rape-camp and Karl is drinking from Jeor Mormont's skull. Then Craster's wives convince them to sacrifice his last baby to the White Walkers. They do, and again, the White Walkers take the baby... only this time, we see what happens next. The White Walker takes the baby far north to a glowing green-blue mountain and an altar made of ice, where he leaves it... and the GREAT OTHER (or at the very least a White Walker "king") appears to turn it into a new White Walker. And yes, whatever this creature is, it looks even more horrifying than the White Walkers. Confirmed by HBO that the figure at the end is in fact "The Night's King." Start panicking.
- There is something vaguely unsettling about White Walkers wearing armor, and having an ice fortress (it's implied that the huge citadel we see is in THE LAND OF ALWAYS WINTER, the Eldritch Location unmapped region of the North where the White Walkers are said to come from,) and a court. In all the other series and works, the White Walkers seem to be completely savage and barbarian, even though they have power over ice and the dead. Now we see that they're really more like the Uruk-Hai under Sauron at best, or The Fair Folk at worst (Martin had made a comparison with the Siddhe before, but only NOW do we see what he truly means.) Prior to that, the White Walkers were The Dreaded and The Horde, but nothing that could compare to say, Sauron or Jadis. Now we know that they have a leadership, that they can turn humans into White Walkers (It was just a theory before). And you are left with the horrible feeling that not even Daenerys and her Dragons will be enough to cut it.
- Which means because of Craster, there are 99 more White Walkers.
- Considering how long Craster has been sacrificing his sons, plenty of the younger ones might have been picked up by their own brothers/uncles.
- When the Night King picks the baby up, the boy grins for a moment. Given how he was raised, a complete stranger picking him up and supporting him when he cries might be the closest thing that baby has ever had to affection.
- And then just to make it worse, these same mutineers capture Bran and his group. The mutineers are especially pleased to see Meera... Especially considering the fact that Karl notes how her hair reminds him of his mother...
- Making all this even better? Apparently the original cut of the scene was even worse, but then the director and editors decided that even for this show, they'd gone too far. Exactly what that would entail is probably best left to the imagination.
- What is really troubling about it is Craster's daughter/wives immediately say "give him to the Gods" for his last son. Considering what they have undergone first under Craster and then under the Mutineers, as far as they are concerned, "the Gods" are a way better deal, since unlike Karl who's willing to kill the child, the White Walkers merely make it one of them. That's right: the White Walkers have treated them better than any fellow man.
- Fridge Horror invites this trope for the conversation between Olenna and Margaery. Margaery didn't know about Olenna's plan to poison Joffrey. Watch that episode again and notice she's by his side the entire time as Joffrey takes his fatal drink. If he had offered Margaery a sip, or if she had taken one of her own, that could have been Margaery collapsing to the ground with blood running from her mouth and eyes. And Olenna would have been forced to watch knowing it was her fault.
- Well, if it serves as a Nightmare Retardant, it doesn't seem like Margaery drinks at all (likely something her grandmother taught her, since getting drunk is stupid, and that's men's department where Tyrell women are concerned, especially since Cersei's not too subtle about her own drinking habits), and Joffrey is not exactly to type to offer a drink to anyone, unless Margaery asked for it. Also, Olenna put the poison on Joffrey's cup only (during Joffrey's pigeon-pie cutting, likely right before Tyrion took the cup), and Joffrey started gasping and dying on spot after drinking just a little while Margaery has her back to him and he's mocking Tyrion. The timing didn't give any great chance to endanger Margaery. Also, Olenna's two seats away. She can easily call Margaery on spot, make a sarcastic comment, which would buy time for Joffrey to start gasping, and not look suspicious.
- During that hilarious/adorable scene where Maergery meets Tommen and his cat, Tommen reveals that Joffrey threatened to skin the cat alive and mix his innards up into Tommen's food for shits and giggles.
- Some of Margaery's lines towards Tommen get a little... creepy as well, such as her "our little secret" line and the whole attempted seduction thing. Especially when one considers she is pretty much a grown woman when he is at least 12 or 13. When she directed this toward Joffrey it was at least aimed at someone a) of age and b) wholly deserving of any and all emotional manipulation. Here she is basically sexually grooming an under-age boy who clearly has no idea what she is doing.
- Moreover, remember Olenna's story about seducing her future husband by sneaking into his chambers and fucking him to the point where he couldn't walk? Until she realized how non-sexually inclined he was, Margaery's gameplan was to have sex with a 12 year old boy in order to manipulate him out of Cersei's control... That there is a whole bag full of wrong and creepy, though overlapping with Deliberate Values Dissonance, as "coming of age" celebrations were around the age of puberty back then.
- Daenerys's sentencing of the slave masters of Meereen. Yes, they weren't nice people by any means; yes, Pay Evil unto Evil... but Daenerys is getting more and more ruthless in her pursuit of justice, and it's clear that Ser Barristan is starting to get worried about her state of mind. Plus, it's going to do absolutely nothing for her reputation across the rest of Essos.
- And, hey... Who can guarantee that all those people she killed also ordered the execution of the children? She may have filled the quota with people who were against it. This is later proven to be true for at least one of the masters in The Laws of Gods and Men, when the son of said master comes to Daenerys to beg for his father's and the other masters' corpses be taken down from their posts and be given a proper burial. Imagining how the man (and any others who objected to the children's crucifixion but were overruled like him) had to suffer the same fate as those that truly WERE guilty is truly mortifying to think about.
- And all of this is compounded by the final image of the scene — Dany standing alone with the screams of the crucified men filtering up to her balcony beneath a giant Targaryen banner. Ser Barristan's fears are justified... she really is her father's daughter.
- Cersei sinks ever deeper into hateful madness, exacerbated by heavy drinking. She is no longer content with having Tyrion killed — she wants Sansa's head as well, and she couldn't care less that Sansa is the last possible person who could've committed the deed. She might've had all the reasons to desire it, but it's just not her, and everyone admits that, but Cersei just doesn't give a shit.
5 - First of His Name
- Lysa's insanity and obsession with Petyr start off hilarious... but get terrifying when she begins to suspect he has affection for Sansa. Her kind demeanor changes to pure rage and envy so quickly one realizes Sansa is still a long way from being safe. Lysa telling the audience she's responsible for Jon Arryn's death doesn't help much.
- All the battles, all the deaths, all the massacres, every single event that has happened in The Series is because of one man, who's responsible for just about everything that has happened when he had Jon Arryn poisoned by his own wife. His name? Littlefinger.
- Littlefinger is a sinister and confident mastermind who isn't afraid of anything. He is clearly unsettled by Lysa's obsession with him.
- Not the worst fuel in the episode, but the look on Sansa's face when she learns that she's again about to face yet another unwanted arranged marriage.
- Karl attempting to rape Meera.
- Bran warging into Hodor and using him to kill Locke is essentially a Mind Rape. Of course, it was justified given the circumstances, but damned if the Stark children aren't getting darker and darker.
- The look on Hodor's face when warged by Bran is unsettling given that Hodor is otherwise possibly the gentlest character in the series. Which means that that expression of pure hatred and rage is actually Bran's.
- Locke's corpse is not a pretty sight either — his neck is ripped wide open, with his spinal cord protruding from the gash. Hodor is clearly traumatized by the sight of it. When Jon and the others see it, even they are quite shocked, wondering what the hell could have done that.
- The Iron Bank of Braavos. When Tyrion first learnt of the tremendous amount the kingdom owned it, he was worried, but still spoke of it as just another institution, powerful and ruthless, sure, but nevertheless just another strong player to consider. The way Tywin (who clearly knows much better) speaks of it... the Bank comes across as either the (not so) secret rulers of the world or, worse, an inexorable force of nature if not something beyond nature and comprehension.
- Which makes Davos and Stannis's decision to enter into business with them even more foreboding. Westeros is pretty much a wreck at this point; if the Lannisters can't pay their debts, how and where on earth is Stannis going to get the money to pay back his loan?
- The Lannisters squandered their wealth to fund their wars and were dependent on their gold that is now gone. If Stannis were to win his claim to the Iron Throne, he could certainly arrange a repayment plan from the collective tax income of the all of the Seven Kingdoms, gathered from the High Lords as war reparations. It might take decades, but the Iron Bank is in no hurry as long as the income is steady.
- Or, the Lannisters were incapable of repaying with the kingdom's money but simply unwilling to repay from their own and their vassals' coffers. Stannis could force them to, essentially subcontracting to the Iron Bank as a debt collecting agent or repo man. Stannis the Repo Mannis!
- Jojen's vision of when the end of their story comes. He just curiously stares at his hand, which is on fire.
- Karl was complete scum and deserved to die, there is no denying that. That doesn't make his death by sword-through-the-mouth any less unsettling, though.
- While Craster's keep being burned to the ground was awesome there's some Fridge Horror when you realize what Mance Rayder said last season "The signal to attack will be the largest bonfire the North has ever seen".
6 - The Laws of Gods and Men
- In the opening credits map, The Iron Bank finally has a place. The name of that place is the city of Braavos, guarded by a monstrous statue of the Titan. The way the statue moves and takes place is just... wrong.
- Also creepy and cool is the way a coin rolls down a large aqueduct and into the bank. From the books
- The histories and lore videos showed that the Iron Bank and the Faceless Men are the de-facto rulers of the city. If a noble fails to pay their due to the bank, they pay another noble to dispose of them. But if a regular merchant fails to do the same, they send the Faceless Men to send them down the rivers. Braavos is pretty much a gangster ruled city.
- Reek's bath scene... sweet R'hllor, Reek's bath scene. After proving his loyalty to Ramsay when some "nasty creatures" (Yara and her Ironborn) come to take Reek away from his beloved master (save Theon from his unspeakably evil captor) Reek is rewarded with a nice warm bath Ramsay made for him. After making him strip naked and get in the bath Ramsay begins to lovingly scrub his beloved pet with a sponge. As one can imagine in this description, the underlying Ho Yay of Ramsay's sadistic cruelty towards Theon over the past season is now flat out explicit and has reached pure Brain Bleach levels. The most horrifying part of the scene however is how utterly broken Theon has become to Ramsay's will, and has regressed to a frightened child in his terrified yet fanatical devotion to his tormentor, to the point where he violently and viciously resists Yara's attempt to save him and even wholeheartedly tells Ramsay how much he loves him, thus showing how Ramsay's Cold-Blooded Torture and Mind Rape skills are now on par with those of Room 101 in Nineteen Eighty-Four.
- Ramsay's question "Do you love me, Reek?" and Theon's answer are especially reminiscent of the quote "He loved Big Brother" from the aforementioned book.
- The way Ramsay speaks about Yara and her men in front of Theon - "creatures in the night" and "very bad men" is the most chilling evidence of how much he has broken Theon - he's talking to him like some twisted version of a father/older brother who tucks his son/sibling in and tells him there are no monsters under the bed. The once proud young man is now a terrified child who believes in boogeymen and mistakes his own sister for one of them. Also given Theon's upbringing, he's never received gentle treatment in his childhood. He told as much to Ramsay, and thus Ramsay's mock display of approval and care is, on top of everything, a cruel mockery of the childhood Theon wanted but never had.
- When Theon takes his shirt off and we finally see all the lacerations on his body from being viciously tortured. We see him being tortured and we see him in harrowing condition but this is where we finally see just how substantial the damage to his body is. Though thankfully we don't get to see...THAT scar. Granted, the twisted grin that appears on Ramsay's face when he notices it, isn't much of an improvement.
- Bonus psychological torture: If you look closely, the room is in fact Ramsay's bedroom. He is invoking Bathe Him And Bring Him To Me on Theon.
- Ramsay slaughtering most of the Ironborn under Yara's command while half naked and forcing her to flee and leave her brother for dead. Said Ironborn are described as being the best killers on the Iron Islands, proving exactly how dangerous Ramsay is. If Ramsay isn't shaping up to take the cake for being worse than Joffrey, it's because he already has at this point. Not to mention he walks in the room already bloody and scratched up, with the most Ax-Crazy Slasher Smile possible on his face.
- Proud Theon Greyjoy, heir to the Iron Islands, is now reduced to sleeping in a cage in the kennel.
- As... stunning as Dinklage's performance is in the final scene of the episode, Tyrion's sheer unrestrained rage at his father, his sister, Shae, and the ungrateful rabble of Kings Landing is terrifying to behold, especially when he roars at the court how much he wishes he had let Stannis kill them all in Season 2 and how much he wishes he could kill them all now, not to mention rubbing Joffrey's death in Cersei's face in the most brutal way possible. In this moment the snarky, witty, yet charming and kindhearted Anti-Hero of the past three and a half seasons dies, and the man who takes his place is more terrifying for a few moments than even the White Walkers. In the same scene, his complete heartbreak and tone of defeat when he says, "Shae... please, don't..."
7 - Mockingbird
- The Mountain clearly living up to his reputation when introduced by casually killing off prisoners of Kings Landing, even the ones who were begging for their lives. Blood Knight to a frightening degree.
- More so when he looks at Cersei and asks her whom he's fighting. He does not smirk, he does not say the words with an ounce of duty in his voice, not annoyance or anticipation. He asks like he wonders what's for dinner or something really mundane. Then Cersei asks if it matters. And the Mountain just shakes his head. This guy has only two modes of emotion: Murderous fury and even worse: a half-bored interest in killing.
- Littlefinger stops beating around the bush, straight up admits that Sansa is his Replacement Goldfish for Catelyn, then kisses her. For a bit of a meta example, it could have potentially been one of the most uncomfortable scenes to film in television history. Coming right off a discussion where he tells her that she could have been his daughter. Squick.
- Robin's completely casual conversation about "making people fly" — he implies Lysa doesn't just do it to criminals, but anyone she happens to dislike, and proudly says when he grows up he'll do the same.
- Littlefinger coldly shoving Lysa Arryn out of the Moon Door to her death hundreds of feet below, all while Sansa is watching.
- Mellisandre and Selyse's scene has the revelation that Mellisandre is very intent on taking Shireen to the wall with them, for some purpose even Selyse (who aside from despising her for being sinful/heretical/deformed/alive is insistent on not taking her with them) instantly accepts. Now what possible reason would a witch obsessed with using the blood of kings to fuel her magic have to take a princess with her? And what possible thing could make Selyse (who has already been shown to be willing to have her own brother burnt at the stake) happy to take her despised child with her? Poor Shireen just can't catch a break.
- Oberyn's mention of Cersei's vicious Groin Attack on an infant Tyrion, and how she wouldn't stop trying to twist his penis off until Jaime forced her to stop. The woman's clearly been cruel since childhood. In addition, all the vicious rumors about baby Tyrion's appearance could count, showing how truly despised he was simply for being born with dwarfism.
8 - The Mountain and the Viper
- The death of Oberyn at the hands of the Mountain was easily the most nightmarishly violent and brutal death shown in the ENTIRE series... and yes that's including Ser Hugh, Talissa, and all those guys gutted and bisected by the Clegane Brothers. After a furious yet brutal fight which he easily won due to his skills and swiftness, Oberyn gets far too cocky and enraged over Gregor's continued silence so he stands a little too close to his seemingly dying body... only for Gregor to grab his leg, pull him down on top of him, and smash his face in and knock out most of his teeth with a single punch. He then wrenches himself on top of Oberyn, shove his thumbs into his eye sockets, and as he literally begins to crush his skull, roar in triumph how he killed his sister's children, then raped and murdered her, punctuating this by exploding his skull with a sickening crunch. We see and hear all of this, including the aftermath with Oberyn's brain spilled out onto the floor.◊
- Oh yeah, and during the part where Oberyn has two thumbs wrenching into his eye sockets, the poor guy is actually shrieking in agony. Good luck sleeping after watching that. Ellaria's screams are heart wrenching, and only add to the horror. There's a reason she is pictured atop this page.
- Perhaps what makes this even worse is the sheer Oh, Crap! the audience experiences, which then turns into pure Squick when you realise that, after the Mountain punches Oberyn in the face with his mailed fist, you're given a loving shot of the latter's teeth scattering across the ground.
- Here◊ is a helpful gif which illustrates the horror quite nicely.
- And here's the actual scene. You may really want to rush off here immediately afterwards.
- Some added Nightmare Fuel for the scene? When Gregor literally fucking mounted Oberyn and began to crush his skull, he could well have been consciously re-enacting his rape of Elia for the sheer sake of it. Seeing it happen to the dashing badass Oberyn was horrifying enough, but the reminder he did exactly this and MUCH worse to Elia whom had been so lovingly described by Oberyn as the kindest and most gentle person imaginable is just nightmarish.
- Cersei's reaction to that scene. She could be given pause due how brutal it is. An Oh, Crap! wouldn't be unwarranted either, seeing how Oberyn's death and Gregor's confession will anger Dorne and might have doomed one of her two surviving children. But instead, she's smiling smugly, because now she gets to see Tyrion die. She's become so cruel and so shortsighted that she's endangering her own daughter in order to kill her brother.
- Jaime and Tyrion's reactions are no better. Jaime looks like he's about to throw up, and the look on Tyrion's face is pure, sheer hopelessness personified.
- Come the season 5 finale, her actions have indeed cost her daughter's life.
- More understated but still terrifying on a Fridge Horror level is Roose Bolton's little speech to Ramsay at how vast the North is, and how much power Roose now wields since the Ironborn are being driven from his new domain... said power he is now willing to bequeath Ramsay as his true son and heir for taking Moat Cailin for him. While all other sadists and scumbags are either dying horribly (Joffrey, Rorge and Biter, Polliver) or will soon be dying horribly (the Mountain) and even the Lannisters as a whole are losing their grip on power. Ramsay Bolton, arguably the most depraved and cruel of all of them, is now in line to inherit half of Westeros.
- Though it's far more understated than the gore-fests described above, the Stark girls are an equally big source of horror in this episode.
- Sansa calmly throwing her lot in with the man who has made his creepy advances towards her quite clear and murdered her aunt, because there is literally no better option available to her is awful to watch.
- And Arya? When she's told that Lysa Arryn is dead, and her last hope of her being reunited with her family is gone, she breaks down into hysterical giggles that sound utterly insane. It's a chilling reminder of how damaged she is, and how close she is to losing her mind completely.
9 - The Watchers on the Wall
- The Thenns' warg, both when warging and when not; as creepy as Orell looked when he was warging, at least he looked fairly normal the rest of the time. That fish-eyed stare, yeesh... the close-up shot didn't help, either.
- The "Scythe", tearing apart Wall and man alike with thunderous force, pretty much reducing the Wildling climbers to a fine red mist. All that remains are their hands, embedded in the Wall, still holding their climbing axes...
- The idea that there is probably more than one Scythe dotted along the wall as part of the defenses and that the entire Wall could be littered with the remains of frozen, half-severed Wildling hands from centuries past.
- The unanswered question of just what the Scythe was originally built to prevent from scaling the Wall? Wildlings, Giants, or White Walkers?
- The giant lifting up the gate and charging to where Grenn and his five men were waiting. It's easy to understand why one of them was so terrified.
- The barrel that exploded atop the wall, killing several people, and causing one to let go of the rope holding up one of the archers over the edge of the wall.
10 - The Children
1 - The Wars to Come
- The title sequence has a subtle change: Winterfell now carries the sigil of House Bolton. This could be considered unsettling.
- The flashback of little Cersei's visit to Maggy the Frog. There's a decidedly eerie air to the whole scene, Cersei shows she already has rather psycopathic tendencies - and then Maggy proceeds to creep the girl out by drinking her blood, and telling her that her children will have golden crowns and golden shrouds, implying they'll all be crowned and all die because of it. And then she laughs at Cersei's confusion and fear.
- White Rat's murder; he was getting what little emotional comfort he could from paying a prostitute to sing him a lullaby - implying no woman would want to get near him without being paid - and then, at this vulnerable moment, he's attacked and brutally killed.
- Mance Rayder's death. He's sentenced to be burned by Stannis, and even after calmly accepting his fate, he starts to panic as the flames begin to engulf the pyre. Thankfully, Jon puts an arrow in his chest before he actually catches on fire.
- Daenerys going down to visit Viserion and Rhaegal. The dragons aren't exactly happy to see their mother again. After them snapping and roaring at Dany, she is unable to calm them and is forced to run out of the chamber.
2 - The House of Black and White
- After Mossador is executed, all the slaves immediately begin hissing at Dany before starting to pelt the former slave masters with stones, then direct the stones towards her. A riot breaks out and Dany is forced to flee back to the pyramid while heavily guarded. Fortunately, it doesn't turn out as badly as the riot that Joffrey caused.
- Ellaria's idea of vengeance on the Lannisters: cutting Myrcella into little bits and sending them to King's Landing.
- Why can't Tyrion just go outside for a walk? How many dwarves are there in the world? What's Cersei going to do, have them all killed until one of them is Tyrion? ... Yes. That's exactly what she's going to do, starting with an unfortunate dwarf who just happened to look a little bit like Tyrion. And then Qyburn continues to rack up his creepy points by asking to keep the head for his "studies."
- Gilly remembering what happened to two of her sisters who had greyscale; Craster quarantined them from the rest of the group, but the people in the long house could still hear them. "They didn't sound like themselves any more." Eventually, when the scale covered them, Craster dragged them out into the woods on ropes like animals. And all this is said to poor Shireen, who is none too happy to learn what might have happened to her. Gilly doesn't answer when Shireen asks what happened to the sisters in the woods, but it's not too hard to imagine.
3 - High Sparrow
- The flayed corpses of Lord and Lady Cerwyn being displayed at Winterfell and Ramsay's casual explanation for it. Apparently Reek's horrified expression has become his default face, but apart from that he looks more or less unfazed by the gory scene, as if this was a perfectly normal sight for him nowadays.
- Just as you thought she couldn't do any worse than Joffrey, Sansa gets betrothed to Ramsay Bolton, a man who so far caused a new elaborate entry on this very subpage with nearly every appearance he ever had on the show. The Reaction Shot of his equally sadistic lover does not help the matter. You never wished so hard for Littlefinger to know what the hell he was doing when he contrived this arrangement for Sansa, the girl he supposedly loves. Somehow, his assurances that she'll be able [to control him are not reassuring at all, especially if one remembers how Ramsay treated his previous bride and how, in the books, he treats the one he receives there instead of Sansa.
- Qyburn being completely unperturbed by Gregor thrashing around on the table, in a moment reminiscent of Audition.
- The Red Priestess in Volantis seems a bit eerie on her own already. And then she gives Tyrion that long, haunting Meaningful Look...
4 - The Sons of the Harpy
- Cersei authorizes the Sparrows to take up arms and re-brand themselves a the Faith Militant, turning them more into a cult of Knight Templars. It's stated in the very same scene that the Faith were banned from carrying weapons in the past. Their subsequent rampage through King's Landing gives the audience an idea why that might have been.
- The raid on Littlefinger's brothel, the Faith Militant seize whores and patrons alike mid coitus and dole out some rather nasty beatings. Bonus points for when Olyvar spots a group of Sparrows about to stab two men to death for having homosexual sex, and realizes just how much trouble he's in if they find out about his own sexuality. No wonder he runs for it.
- Not only that, but the seven-pointed star-shaped scars on their foreheads during the riot scene only cranks ups the Nightmare Fuel, really enforcing the idea of the Sparrows as a dangerous cult. We even get a close-up look at the "procedure" when we see Lancel Lannister getting a star carved into his head à la Inglourious Basterds. The closest thing to anesthetic is a leather belt between his teeth as the knife cuts into his forehead, and yet he sits up quite calmly afterwards, no doubt accepting the pain as righteous and punishment for his sins. Brrrr.
- The way Cersei exacts her revenge on Margaery for her earlier humiliation in the previous episode. First, she sends Lord Tyrell on a mission to Braavos to collect from the Iron Bank, guarded by her 'most trusted' knight. It's all but outright stated that Mace will meet an 'unfortunate accident' during his trip. Then she outs Loras, who is then arrested by the Faith Militant for being a homosexual. She takes Margaery's family from her, and also deprives Highgarden of its Lord and male heir, in one fell swoop. It's more than clear that she will stop at nothing to hurt Margaery, no matter the damage she causes to King's Landing and the few alliances her family has left.
- Our introduction to the Sand Snakes. They've got a man buried in the sand up to his head with scorpions crawling all over him. Obara explains that he came to her trying to sell information about Jaime Lannister, to which she and her sisters apparently did this to him to ensure he was telling the truth about Jaime being in Dorne. Once Ellaria arrives and enlists the girls in her plot to start a war with the Lannisters through Myrcella, Obara callously thrusts a spear into the poor bastard's head. While it could be argued that the man had to die for overhearing their conversation, it's still pretty cold to terrorize and murder a guy who was going to help you either way.
- "You know nothing, Jon Snow." The look on Jon's face really sells the horror of hearing those words again.
- Though it is mostly a heartwarming moment, Stannis's story about Shireen contracting greyscale as a baby — and the fact that everyone actually told him to give up on her and send her to the ruins of Old Valyria to live out her short life with the Stone Men — is a rather surprising and effective case of Adult Fear. Luckily, Stannis had the resources and sheer determination to save his daughter's life.
- The guerrilla warfare that The Sons of the Harpy take part in against Dany's forces. It's a terrifying display as they are able to use the crowded, labyrinthine streets of Meereen to get the drop on The Unsullied (who aren't used to combatting enemies in such environments). They swarm pairs of Unsullied, grabbing them and holding them down to be stabbed to death before they are able to do any significant damage to their numbers.
- The fact that they are apparently members of Meereen's now downtrodden aristocracy makes it even more twisted when scenes of The Sons of the Harpy's ruthless mass killings of The Unsullied are juxtaposed with Hizdahr zo Loraq diplomatically arguing for their rights. If this is how monstrous the ruling class was before Daenerys arrived, it seems Daenerys made a huge mistake by letting them remain within the city.
- Watching two heroes like Grey Worm and Barristan Selmy get slashed up and taken down by these hordes of thugs is as scary as it is tragic.
5 - Kill the Boy
6 - Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken
- The slaver captain giving the order to cut Tyrion's throat. Then demanding that his cock be cut off to be sold for its "magic powers." Even though they ultimately don't go through with it, it lets you know that Dany's anti-slavery campaign is truly just. Plus, Tyrion begins audibly panicking, which is rather unsettling when you consider what a smooth talker he usually is.
- There is a real world equivalent: African albinos. They are murdered fairly frequently because their body parts are thought to be magical.
- The Hall of Faces. A roomful of Facial Horror.
- The fact that Littlefinger can pit so many huge players against each other with effectively one conversationnote so easily is as terrifying as ever.
- Brother Lancel is quite scary as well. This was a girlish Butt-Monkey who Tyrion made his bitch, Cersei sucker-punched and Robert sent on a Snipe Hunt. Now he's a scary Church Militant who gives Littlefinger a Death Glare. Baelish holds his nerve but he's clearly scared at seeing people he can't really manipulate with money, whores and bribes. After all, there's not much you can do against someone who walked out of the richest family in Westeros to become a warrior monk.
- Myranda telling Sansa about all the women Ramsay "got bored with" in complete Dissonant Serenity as she washes the latter in a bath tub. Very dark. Thankfully, Sansa is able to turn this into an awesome moment by telling Myranda in no uncertain terms that she is Sansa Stark, that Winterfell is her home, and Myranda will not touch her.
- Sansa's rape at the hands of Ramsay Bolton. And Theon being Forced to Watch. Even worse when you consider that Theon's presence was his "punishment" for Sansa not taking his arm to be given away.
- The wedding. Clear proof that there really is no such thing as a "normal wedding" in Westeros after all. Also, the look on Ramsay's face after Sansa says her vows is terrifying; a Slasher Smile couldn't even begin to compete. Add to that the fact that Theon is wearing the SAME outfit that Robb wore at the Red Wedding.
7 - The Gift
8 - Hardhome
9 - The Dance of Dragons
- Stannis, under the guidance of Melisandre, finally decides to sacrifice his daughter and only heir Shireen to the lord of light. What makes this scene even more harrowing is that all the while Shireen is screaming for her parents and then in agony as the flames consume her. Her mother is powerless to save her and Stannis is commited to the act.
- Stannis's cold and resolute expression as she's burning and screaming, in contrast to his men, who are openly horrified and/or ashamed. And then her screams just cut off...
- Melisandre's perfectly placid smile as Shireen screams and burns. If it wasn't clear before, it's clear now. Individual people mean nothing to her unless they're contributing to her god in any way.
- It's worth noting that, despite what some might say on this entry, Stannis appears extremely uncomfortable during the whole process, at least as much as this notorious deadpan can appear to be uncomfortable. For instance, when he first enters Shireens tent, she asks him "are you not cold?" This, along with his noticeably slurred speech as he rambles to his daughter, affirms that he is clearly rather drunk, to numb the immense guilt of the action he is about to undertake. This is a man who is known to stay away from the drink under almost any circumstance, a habit he breaks just to make it bearable. And when he's staring at Shireens burning body? That's not a face of indifference - it's a man's mind warring with itself, wondering whether it was the right thing to do for the good of the realm.
- Shireen's screams are nightmare-inducing, especially for any parents who may be watching. This scene feels more uncomfortable than any rape scene that has occurred so far on the show.
- Stannis orders the hanging of his army's sentries for failing to detect Ramsay and his 20 men sneaking into the camps and destroying the army's supplies, regardless of why they failed to detect them. This is eerily similar to something that Gregor "The Mountain" Clegane did in the books.
- Arya finds Meryn Trant in Braavos and follows him and his men to a brothel. She sees Trant examining various prostitutes, only to reject them for being too old. We learn what he means when the madame brings in a little girl who can't be any older than thirteen or so and Trant accepts; even his men are disturbed. What's worse, Trant tells the madam that he wants a new girl for each night he spends in the city... Implying that he either wants virgins to break in, or that they'll be in no suitable condition to repeat said activities the following day.
- The random creep who, when Arya is pitching her wares, asks: "how much for your little clam?" *shudders*
- The Sons of the Harpy suddenly popping up everywhere in Daznak's pit, perfectly accompanied by the most haunting example of Ominous Latin Chanting the show has used so far.
- When The Sons of the Harpy reveal themselves, they don't just start killing Unsullied and Second Sons. They go after whoever is close to them and not wearing a mask, stabbing to death everyone from freedmen to their own fellow aristocrats.
- Just when you think he's going to have a massive effect on Dany's queenship in Meereen, possibly even being the orchestrator of the ensuing Sons of the Harpy coup, Hizdahr zo Loraq is unceremoniously stabbed to death by the terrorists just as he tries to lead his future queen to an escape route.
- Daario does not react to the attack on Hizdahr until after it has happened. In fact, he apparently just stands by and watches as the Sons of the Harpy attack from behind. While some have thought he was just shocked that Hizdahr wasn't the one behind the attack, it's more likely Daario just let him die to Murder the Hypotenuse. If so, it looks like his threats weren't just for intimidation.
- It's hard to tell at first, but Drogon is pretty damn indiscriminate when he's breathing fire at people. There are Unsullied and Meereenese civilians getting burned to death just for being near the Sons of the Harpy that are endangering his mother. It lets you know that good and bad people alike are going to inevitably be caught in the (literal) crossfire of whatever future war Dany and her dragons will take part in.
10 - Mother's Mercy
- Jon Snow is lured out by the hope of news of his uncle Benjen, only for Alliser Thorne to stab him with each of the other brothers present taking their stab too, even Ollie, saying "For the Watch" in front of a cross marked "Traitor". Jon falls and blanks out in a pool of rapidly growing blood as the episode ends.
- The abuse the young girls suffer as the hands of Ser Meryn Trant is as tearjerking as it is unsettling not just for obvious reasons but it also shows how disturbingly low the Dirty Coward is willing to stoop so as to feel powerful due to being such a wimpy, ineffective, weak, stupid, incompetent, pathetic fighter without his armour and big fookin' sword.
- Everything about Arya's killing of Ser Meryn. The way she hardly flinches when he punches her, the way she's cowering on the floor doing her best Sadako Yamamura impression and of course all the gore and Eye Scream when she actually does the deed. He had it coming of course, but it was still just as disturbing as it was satisfying.
- When she slits his throat, the shot is framed almost exactly the same way as Catelyn's death.
- Arya Stark repeatedly peels off faces from the poisoned man until she finds her own. And then she turns blind. Equal parts weird and disturbing.
- The Reveal about the true nature of the Faceless Men is even more disturbing. Neither "Jaqen H'Ghar", nor "the Waif" exist - those characters were just masks, and there's no way to tell who they really are, or even if there's such a thing as "they". And Arya is training to become one of them!]]
- Jaime watches helplessly as his second child dies in his arms after being poisoned.
- Gregor's back, and what little you can see of him through his armour isn't looking so great.
- To elaborate... Well, take a look for yourself.◊ All we see of his flesh are behind the eye sockets of his helmet - noticeably, a Kingsguard helmet that has been molded and buckled uncomfortably over his face (perhaps to keep the whole mess together). Heavily bloodshot, cold eyes embedded in extremely bruised and bloodless flesh. When Qyburn tells Cersei that "Ser Robert Strong", as he's now known, has taken a vow of silence, you can't help but imagine why.
- The aftermath of The Battle of Winterfell where Stannis' army is completely massacred by the Boltons. We're treated to the sight of Ramsay killing off stragglers, followed by a bird's eye view of all the dead troops while unsettling music plays.
- Myranda describing Ramsay's plan for Sansa is unpleasant, to say the least. It makes Myranda's death all the more satisfying.
1 - The Red Woman
- Melisandre, this stunningly gorgeous woman who's been the object of worship by men in her run, disrobes, removes her necklace and transforms into an ancient crone, hunchbacked with stringy white hair, revealing she's centuries old and this is the real body that's lain with so many men.
- Daenerys captured as a slave by a Dothraki horde, trying to keep her composure as members of the Khalasar (who don't know who she is, or that she understands Dothraki) talk about how they're going to rape her after she's presented to their Khal.
- Trystane's death by spear through face. Yep, even worse than the last time this highly specific method of fatality occurred! He's not as bad off as his dearly departed uncle, but there's precious little of anything recognizable left of his face after! Made all the more disturbing by his young age, and having done nothing to deserve his fate.
2 - Home
- A lowborn man who flashed Cersei during her walk of shame gets his comeuppance... When Ser Robert Strong gives him the magic trick of making his head disappear against a wall, what with all the gore and little pieces of brains and chips of bone flying apart and sticking to the stone.
- And to add further fuel to the nightmares, keep in mind that when he was alive he needed two hands to pull off the same trick on Oberyn. Now he only needed one and he didn't even look as if it took much energy from him. This is pretty much Wun Wun killing the crossbowman in term of brute strength and ease.
- Ramsay is now Warden of the North. He now has nobody left to hold him back or reign him in, he is finally in complete control of his house. Let that sink in.
- Walda and her newborn son are fed to his hounds by Ramsay. Though we are spared this horrible sight (as the camera focuses on Ramsay the whole time), we do hear very briefly, her agonized cry as she has her throat torn out, followed by the sound of rending flesh as she and her child are being devoured. Brrrr...
- Before that, just the simple look that Ramsay gives Maester Wolkan when he dares contradict him about letting his stepmother rest.
- Euron Greyjoy's eerie calmness right before he murders Balon.
- More Fridge Horror than anything, but imagine being Jon Snow right now; his last memories are of being betrayed by his brothers for doing what he thought to be right and getting several knives to the gut for his trouble, and now he's lying on a table naked and gasping for breath. It's gotta suck to be him right now, and it's only gonna suck worse when he reveals himself to his brothers.
- If what happened to Lord Beric Dondarrion is any indication, its possible that Jon may have lost a bit of his own soul as well after being brought back to life. Thankfully, the following episode reveals he retained his humanity.
- Jon's sudden, sharp gasp might be an auditory Jump Scare for some viewers.
3 - Oathbreaker
- Rickon has returned... And now he is Ramsay's hostage in Winterfell. Be very afraid for him. Especially since Smalljon Umber implies that Harald Karstark is a pedophile.
- Shaggydog's fate isn't just this, but because all the Stark children seems to share the fates of their dire wolves, Rickon may soon follow.
- Just before they are brought back in, Smalljon Umber tells Ramsay he has a present for him. Ramsay asks if it is a girl and adds that he has a preference for redheads....
- With Jon Snow announcing his departure, the Night's Watch is entirely SCREWED six ways from Sunday. Let's count those ways:
- 1) The Lord Commander, who's arguably their best fighter has had it with them and is leaving.
- 2) The new Lord Commander has very little leadership experience and may not have the full support of his peers either.
- 3) The remaining officers who had the leadership experience to guide the new Lord Commander were traitors who have just been hanged.
- 4) The wildling horde that have been let through the Wall are only loyal to the former Lord Commander, and could potentially kill them all at his command.
- 5) There are only about forty brothers left manning Castle Black against tens of thousands of wights and R'hllor knows how many White Walkers.
- 6) Given that the Lord Commander will likely take his Valaryian steel sword with him, they also have NO means to kill said White Walkers (with the last of the dragonglass being lost at Hardhome).
- All things considered, the most the Night's Watch can hope for is a quick death and that their corpses are too mutilated to rise again.
- And even if he stays they are screwed, the Boltons are willing to attack the Wall to get him but they sure won't stay when the White Walkers shows up.
- Once again, Melisandre inquires a recently-resurrected man as to the nature of the afterlife and what he knows about it. And once again, it turns out that Jon Snow knowing nothing is actually quite literal. Melisandre, and the audience, now has confirmation as to the nature of death in the universe of the show, and it means that every single faith is wrong, including the Lord of Light's. Death is a void, a true cessation of existence.
4 - Book of the Stranger
- The pink letter. All of it. Written by Ramsay destined to Jon Snow who has reunited with his sister Sansa. Ramsay declares he will force Jon to watch as he butchers all the wildlings that he saved, and have Sansa gangraped by his soldiers just before Ramsay pulls out his eyes and feed them to his bitches. It's so horrible that Jon can't even bring himself to finish reading.
- Adding to that, there's a refrain that comes up a lot in the letter: "Come and see." It's a sentence fragment that is known in the west for one reason: in the Christian Bible, it signals the beginning of the apocalypse.
Johnny Cash: And I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four beasts saying, Come and see.
- Osha's death. It's preceded by her being washed and dressed accordingly and brought before Ramsay, the implication being clear. She plays along and tries to pull a knife while trying to distract him. She attempts to stab him, but he is faster and pulls out a knife and plunges it into her throat, and she bleeds to death on the floor as Ramsay nonchalantly peels some fruits in the background. Even worse, the knife he's peeling his apple with was the exact same one he stabbed her with not ten seconds ago!
- The worst aspect is that Ramsay knew precisely what she was capable of when inviting her in, having tortured it out of Theon. He went into that scene with his eyes wide open and played her like a fiddle For the Evulz, deliberately giving her a Hope Spot only to snatch it away.
- Doubles as a tearjerker in that Osha's sacrifice is futile. Rickon will die anyway. On top of that, no-one will even remember her. Most of the people in Winterfell who knew her, and what she did for the Starks, are dead.
- Daenerys burning the Great Khals alive with a small, contented smile on her face. Sure, it's a definite case of Kick the Son of a Bitch (since they threatened to gang-rape her), but it's still disturbing.
5 - The Door
6 - Blood Of My Blood
- Bran has many distorted visions while greenseeing, including catching our first glimpses of King Aerys II Targaryen, The Mad King himself, during his final moment when he ordered King's Landing to be burned to the ground and being killed by Ser Jaime.
- Also Fridge Horror strikes when one takes a closer look at the wildfire snippets of the vision, which show what appears to be the wildfire barrels stored under King's Landing detonating in a chain reaction. We know the Mad King was foiled from ordering this by Jaime, and we also know that the barrels are still there (and only some of which were used to decimate Stannis's fleet in Season 2), which strongly suggests that something or someone might ignite them in the future, which would wipe out King's Landing and the half million people who live there.
- After Arya refuses to fulfill the contract and reclaims her sword and identity, the Waif returns to J'aqen and is given the order to kill her. J'aqen tells the Waif not to let Arya suffer a cruel death, but her cruel smirk as she leaves shows she has no intention of doing that.
- Likewise, Arya. She knows the Faceless Men will come for her, and hides herself in the dark, holding Needle and waiting for someone to show up.
7 - The Broken Man
- Arya rests against the parapet of a bridge to take a look at the Titan of Braavos without anyone else in sight and doesn't notice an old lady approaching behind. The old lady gets Arya's attention and suddenly slashes her across the stomach, grabs her and stabs her several times in the gut while twisting the knife for good measure, before finally unmasking to reveal a very smug Waif. Arya barely manages to escape by jumping into the canal below.
- In the aftermath, Arya wanders around the streets of Braavos, soaking wet and dripping blood while clutching her stomach. She's in very desperate need of medical attention, but she can't trust anybody because anybody and everybody could be the Waif or another Faceless Man in disguise waiting for the right chance to finish her off. Fridge Horror and Paranoia Fuel in one Up to Eleven.
- As Sandor is cutting wood by himself, we can hear the sounds of screams in the distance. As if we needed a reminder why Sandor was by himself and angry, we're then shown the butchered remains of the smallfolk who refused to part with what little they owned to the Brotherhood Without Banners. The Septon himself was hanged from the building they were constructing.
- Further fuelling the nightmare is the thought that the Brotherhood, once calling themselves the protectors of the common folk of the Riverlands, are now nothing more than robbers and fanatics. Between Lannisters, Freys, Starks and the Brotherhood, the people of this area just can't ever feel safe.
- Thankfully, the next episode shows that these men were actually traitors to the Brotherhood, who themselves are still more or less okay guys.
- The cold, matter-of-fact way Sandor snatches up the ax lets you know that the next episode will be practically dripping with gore.
8 - No One
- The Mountain shows off some of his new strength as Robert Strong, casually tossing a sparrow aside who tried to attack him, and then, with barely any effort, ripping his head off, with his bare hands.
- If you look closely near his eyes, you see his skin moving and understand that he's grinning. He still likes killing.
- Jaime threatening to kill Edmure's newborn son shows that for all his Character Development, he's still the same guy who pushed Bran out of the window.
- Whatever exactly the Waif did to Lady Crane, it sure looks horrifying.
- Although the audience mercifully don't get to see the actual act itself, Arya kills the Waif and cuts her face clean off. Part of her test it might've been, but it still comes uncomfortably close to the "hobbies" of the Boltons. She may not be "No One", but you have to wonder how much is left of the sweet, innocent girl we once knew, and how far she might go in the name of revenge...
- An minor example, but it's disturbing how such nice and kind-hearted woman like Lady Crane is a little unstable. She reveals she got experienced in healing because she is a Yandere who would date all sorts of bad men, stab them if they turned out to be unfaithful and then patch up their wounds in regret. When Arya asks what happened to Bianca, Crane implies that she disfigured Bianca for attempting to have her killed, effectively ending her career as an actress.
9 - Battle of Bastards
- The way Ramsay Bolton approaches the battle. He's not a soldier like Jon, he doesn't know how to fight with conventional tactics. What he does know, and what he is very good at, is creating an obscene amount of pain. Both physical and mental.
- His effortlessly drawing out Jon Snow to his doom by using Rickon as bait, missing on purpose three times until Rickon's inability to zigzag catches up to him.
- The Corpse Mountain. A pile of hundreds upon hundreds of bodies, not just of Jon's forces, but Bolton's own men and horses too. All cut down indiscriminately by swarms of arrows until they form a steep wall they have to climb over to get to Bolton. Most of the poor souls aren't even dead yet, begging for help, trying not to be crushed as more soldiers die on top of them or either put down like dogs by those still on their feet and who are scouring the killing fields for the helpless and dying. At one point we see a man whose legs have been sheared off, desperately trying to climb out and over the mashed hill of cadavers, his entrails trailing behind him. Ramsay has made the wight army look like merely the second most horrifying dead men on the show.
- The Charnal House. After promising Tormund that Jon won't let Bolton flank them, the Red King provokes him into a position where they're encircled anyway. Not by cavalry but by a towering shield wall of infantry, who all steadily advance with long pikes and deep ominous battle cries to mark the tempo, pressing Jon's forces back against the mound of corpses. It is easily the most horrifying moment in the show, as the once proud army goes from valiantly trying to break the line to devolving into a swarm of rats, trampling and choking each other in their attempt to escape, pressed in so tight they can't move as the spears hem them in from all sides. Jon is almost suffocated by his own army, and the use of P.O.V. Cam and Impairment Shot mean we get to experience the event in horrifically effective first person.
- Jon's Extreme Mêlée Revenge dips into this toward its end, as he goes from a righteous warrior to a half-mad wild animal. Even the Wildlings are put off by this side of him.
It's a horrible moment when your hero goes a little bit too far. The audience should feel
"Yes, yes! Ramsay's getting what he deserves, he's still getting what he deserves. This is... Okay, stop
. Could you... stop now?" You go from hating the person who's being punched, and then something should slightly turn into "oh, this is my hero... becoming a monster".
- Jon in general during the battle quickly turns into a Blood-Splattered Warrior and undergoes Combat Breakdown even without losing Longclaw. As Ramsay is attempting to take him and all his offense out with a never-ending hailstorm of arrow shafts; Jon is literally cleaving his way through dozens of Bolton footmen with battle-frenzy clearly in full effect. Special mention to both Jon's Extreme Mêlée Revenge, via sword point, of a mook unlucky enough to be smashed down by one of his own horses and the Skyward Scream Impaled with Extreme Prejudice moment.
- While he thoroughly, thoroughly deserved every bit of it, Ramsay's death via Sansa feeding him to his own hunting dogs is still gruesome to watch, in particular having to hear Ramsay, who up until this point in the series always acted calm and collected, die screaming in agony as he's devoured alive, helpless to even fight back. As Sansa walks away, the audience at home can still hear the tearing of human flesh as the hounds converge on Ramsay, leaving it up to one's imagination of whether Ramsay died shortly afterwards or is still just alive long enough to feel all his skin and meat be ripped from his very body, choking on his own blood, living his last few minutes in unbearable agony...
- It can also be quite disconcerting to see Sansa watching then walking all away from this with a Psychotic Smirk, seeming to take some form of sadistic pleasure in Ramsay's grisly end. It's not hard to sympathize with her, of course, after everything. All the same, she's pretty much growing to be similar to the bitter, vindictive Catelyn Stark in her last days, with their dialogue almost similar:
Sansa (in this episode): Your words will disappear, your house will disappear, your name will disappear. All memory of you will disappear.
- Ramsay's last words to Sansa are that a part of him is now in her. This could be true in a physical sense, in that he got her pregnant, which is already ripe with unpleasant implications (although disproven by the Word of God). But, more disturbingly, it could be true on a psychological level as well, in that his abuse has hardened Sansa, made her vicious and nihilistic, a kind of person who would, say, feed a helpless prisoner to hounds and watch it with a smile. At least to some extent, Ramsay did shape her into his own image.
- Dany's counterattack has some nightmare fuel just for having dragons involved. Imagine you are a soldier doing your duty when you see three enormous beasts fly over to a ship that could possible hold someone you know, then mercilessly and continuously burn it. Then put yourself in the place of those suffering said attack. Dany knew full well the fear a dragon can put in someone's mind and she used it brutally. Tyrion's line to the remaining master just sells the bit
Tyrion: Tell your people what happened here. Tell them you lived by the grace of Her Majesty. When they come forward with notions of retribution or ideas about returning the Slave Cities to their former glory, remind them what happened when Daenerys Stormborn and her dragons came to Meereen.
10 - The Winds of Winter
- The music at the start already tips you off that something is very wrong in a subtle way: heavily depending on piano, an instrument not usually heard on this soundtrack.
- Cersei has Pycelle brutally stabbed to death and blows up the Sept of Baelor while the High Sparrow, her uncle Kevan, cousin Lancel, Mace, Margaery, and Loras are inside. The resulting explosion levels several city blocks. Cersei then waterboards Septa Unella with wine before sentencing her to unspecified tortures at the hands of the undead Gregor. While Cersei does take measures to keep Tommen safe, she is completely unconcerned when he kills himself, anyways. While it's said Littlefinger would burn the kingdom to be king of the ash, it's Cersei who actually went through with it and succeeded. It's clear that Cersei has completely lost her mind, and at the end of the episode, she is the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. Seven Save Us from the Queen.
- Pycelle's death was especially nightmarish. Qyburn standing in the shadows looking like Hannibal Lecter doesn't help much. It's pulled straight from the books (except for who orders it), and is shown in all its gory, Troubling Unchildlike Behavior glory. Remember the time Arya went to town on a couple of Frey soldiers with a knife? Think that times about twenty.
- In case you had any doubts about how hot wildfire is, you can clearly see the High Sparrow's flesh boil off his bones when the flames hit him. Bruh...
- Special note to Lancel's death because he was the only person who saw what was coming and realized what it meant. Too wounded to do anything else, he had to crawl to try and save dozens of lives before it was too late. The sheer terror that surely went through his mind in his final minutes is numbing.
- When Gregor appears in Unella's cell, he removes his helmet and while his face is framed in shadow, we get a few glimpses of it being absolutely rotten. Take a good close look and sleep well.◊
- And now, revealed in all his pestilent glory. WARNING! Shock content.
- The last scream Unella lets out when the door shuts. Oh, dear God... And you don't know what the fuck's going on behind that door. Given that GoT's not shy about showing every kind of violence imaginable (take how Pycelle dies moments before, for instance) and they're not showing you this, it's very likely You Do NOT Want to Know.
- Given Ser Gregor's proclivities in life, it's actually made terrifyingly clear what's going to happen in that cell. Unella is going to be raped and tortured by a zombie until she dies. At least if Gregor were still alive, he probably would have ended up killing her once he got bored.
- It gets worse still if you believe Qyburn actually figure how to bring back the dead, Cersei is petty and insane enough to return Unella back to life until she finally get bored all for the sake of revenge.
- For those still uncertain about what's happening well, a Freeze-Frame Bonus shows that that rotten face of his is smiling
and there's a reason he's taking off his armor
- Someone was unlucky enough to get crushed by a giant bell.
- During Tommen's suicide, you can hear the sound of things burning, along with faint screaming of men and women in the distance. With how much wood there is, who knows when King's Landing will stop burning...
- Tommen's suicide is even more unsettling in just how calm he is about the whole affair. There's no turmoil, no tears, we don't even get to see his face. All he does is stare out the window for a few moments before taking off his crown, placing it offscreen, and then climbing up on the window's ledge and falling forward. The sad piano piece that accompanies the whole scene from the opening up to the suicide also sells the tone of just how hopelessly broken this poor boy is. He just wanted to be a good king...
- The pies. The infamous Frey pies. The only change from the book is that Arya is the one serving them to Walder Frey himself, right before she slits his throat. Best Served Cold indeed.
- The fact that Arya either somehow stole a face from the House of Black and White, or callously killed a servant girl and took her face, just to get close to Walder Frey so that she could put a knife in him.
- Arya's face as she watches Walder Frey choke on his own blood can only be described as ecstatic, which is even more unsettling than her serenity at killing Meryn Trant.
- There's potentially worse: Arya may have taken her name back, but nothing says some part of her isn't still No One. She might be killing for personal reasons that follow Westerosi ideas of justice and revenge, but any death still serves the Many Faced. Arya is basically using the tools of the Faceless to act kind of like the Stranger rather than the Warrior: a Westerosi take and twist on the Many Faced.
- Although it happened more than 20 years ago, Lyanna Stark's death is one. She's slowly and painfully dying of postpartum bleeding. When Ned finally reaches her, she's so weakened that her speech is broken. Her bed is a pool of her own blood, and it ain't pretty.
- From Ned's perspective, this is 100% Nightmare Fuel, since his little sister dying of childbirth was the least thing he was expecting, after having fought a war to rescue her. Also promising her to protect her son is pure Adult Fear, given that the kid is Rhaegar Targaryen's last surviving child and hiding him would be treason against the new king, who was not only Rhaegar's number one enemy, but also Ned's best friend. "I wish you good fortune in the wars to come" indeed.
- One can only imagine if he had his father's looks and not his mother's...
1 - Dragonstone
- Our first shot of the White Walkers in this season shows one of the worst fandom fears regarding them: Undead Giants.
- While it still qualifies as a Moment of Awesome for Arya, this moment counts due to her engineering the destruction of a Great House by herself: she summons the Freys to the Twins while disguised as Walder and has the handmaidens serve poisoned wine to everyone, which the girls had no idea of would happen. She leaves a warning to them saying that House Stark still remembers and winter has arrived for them. We can't stress how much we don't want to get on her bad side.
- The exact process of what Arya did is as follows: she posed as a servant girl to get close enough to a lord to kill them, stole their face to pose as them, then called a feast of their house together to covertly poison and kill them all. Arya committed a massacre as bad as the Red Wedding or Green Trial, but she did it alone, with far fewer resources, and no one knows she was behind it. Even without her face-stealing Arya has total anonymity to go anywhere and do anything, and has proven she can be utterly ruthless in pursuit of a victim. Without a doubt Arya Stark has become one of the most dangerous serial killers in Westeros. No one is safe from her. The girl who five seasons ago swore she would kill Cersei is now perfectly capable of doing it.
- Imagine seeing this from the perspective of one of the Frey children. Your father, quite unusually, calls for a feast, wines and dines every single one of his male children, then rises up to proclaim words of pride and gratitude to you, who never get to hear those from him (as old Walder is well known to). Then he begins talking eerily and then it hits you: he has poisoned you and all of your siblings. Anyone who knows the stories of parents murdering their entire families AND the Jonestown mass murder/suicide might have trouble sleeping after this.
- After Sam's storyline of the episode keeps playing up how dull his new life is, we get an out of nowhere Jump Scare as Jorah Mormont, now with greyscale covering his entire arm at least, suddenly reaches through the bars of his cell and almost infects Sam just to get word of whether Daenerys has arrived yet.
- Remember that farmer and his little girl who invited Arya and Sandor in their home for dinner back in Season 4? When Sandor came back to the house together with the Brotherhood Without Banners, he saw their corpses on side of the room, post-decayed.
- Even worse? It's implied that they only died because Sandor stole their last bit of money, figuring that the winter would kill them before they starved to death. Turns out he was wrong, and they did start to starve before the father decided to commit a murder-suicide to spare his daughter the agonizing death of starvation.
- Thoros asks Sandor to look into the fire and tell him what he sees. At first, Sandor thinks this is stupid, then he sees a vision of the army of the dead marching toward where The Wall meets the sea.
- You know how this gets worse? Among the Castles of the Night Watch name-dropped during Jon's court discussions prior to this scene is Eastwatch-by-the-Sea, i.e. the easternmost Castle of the Wall facing the Bay of Seals. Tormund and the Wildlings were just recently assigned by Jon to man that Castle. This Is Gonna Suck doesn't even begin to describe it. And it has graduated to canon come the Season finale, when the undead Viserion through the Night King's command brings it down.
- Brandon Stark has taken several levels in creepy since last season. Lying motionless and dead-eyed in the back of the sled, speaking in a voice that doesn't sound like his, talking about things he shouldn't know about...Edd is quite appropriately creeped out.
- Cersei's behaviour at the start of the episode. It's only hinted at, but it's obvious that she's starting to lose her mind. She's deadset on destroying all her remaining 'enemies' (even though winter has come) and believes that she will win this war and create a dynasty. She is half-way mad with grief and paranoia, refusing to see how fragile her queendom is, and all Jaime can do is watch helplessly.
2 - Stormborn
- We finally get a full, brightly lit shot of Jorah's grayscale, which covers his left arm and both sides of his torso on that side. It's not a pretty sight!
- The diagnosis isn't pretty either, at least ten years before death at most four months before he loses his mind, everything in between is him walking as a crazy leper.
- Sam trying to cure Jorah's grayscale is this, despite doubling as a Hope Spot. Firstly, we're aware that this treatment is forbidden, which means that Sam is risking both being expelled from the Maesters and contracting grayscale himself. Then there's the treatment itself, which involves Sam piercing the scaly crust with a knife and cutting the topmost layer of skin free. Complete with a perfectly lovely intimately close view of greenish pus welling from the initial cut. Add in the horrific crunchy, squelchy noise of Sam sawing and scraping away the first hunk of scales, Jorah's muffled whimpers and squalls of pain, and the sight of the raw, red flesh beneath, and it's just that perfect mixture of scary and disgusting. And if that weren't enough, the smash cut to the stew that's exactly the same color and texture as the greyscale pus is truly the Squicky coup de grace.
- When Sam mentions that one maester was able to use this technique successfully twice, the archmaester is quick to rebut his optimism with the information that the same maester died of, you guessed it, greyscale. Seeing the messy procedure produce spurts of pus, it's likely this is how he was infected.
- From what we see in his shirtless scene, Jorah's greyscale infection reaches below his belt. Implications... unpleasant.
- There is just something oddly creepy in Qyburn taking about a Dragon crossbow and saying how it could bring an edge to their fight against Dany. Considering dragons have been dead for a long time and the trio of dragons are Made of Iron, the overall creepiness of Qyburn stating this crossbow would kill the dragons based on scientific facts regarding their weakspots is unsettling.
- Ellaria, Tyene, and Yara are all taken alive by Euron and his men. Given that the Ironborn are known for raping and pillaging, and given that they might be taken back as Euron's "gift" to Cersei, they almost certainly would have been better off with a quick death than whatever horrors await them in the near future.
- Euron going Ax-Crazy on Yara's fleet. This is bad enough, as the man was clearly nuts to begin with, but even his men seem to have succumbed to the same frenzy — we see them doing things like ripping out the teeth and tongues of their dying opponents, slicing off ears of the wounded as trophies and even smashing faces in with spiked knuckle dusters.
- In actuality, the ripping out of the tongues of their opponents is to force the living crew to turn and serve them instead, the tongue being removed is so they may not speak out against it and mutiny. This goes with the name of Euron's ship, Silence. They are taking the able living crew to replace those lost during the battle.
- The appearance of Silence is just as terrifying as one would imagine in the books. The creaking sound, the black sails, the thunderstorm behind the ominous silhouette. True to its name, Euron's flagship appeared completely out of nowhere and in total silence, the Pirate Lord likely conjured said squall with his black magic to hide their approach. Not to mention that none of the crew members have tongues.
- The corpses of Obara and Nymeria Sand being displayed on the prow. While they were not at all pleasant people and did, in many ways, bring their demises upon themselves, the way their bodies were presented (Obara being impaled on a spike while Nym being hanged by her own whip) is chilling, which tells you that you should never mess with Euron Greyjoy. Even Theon is disturbed by the sight of it.
- Just the way Euron's voice bellows when goading Theon to stand up to him, all while having his axe head pressed to Yara's throat. And cackling sadistically when his nephew inevitably breaks. It's blood-curdlingly evil.
- And if you pay attention, you can hear snarling whilst watching people being mutilated. After his stay with Ramsay Bolton, is it any wonder he panicked?
- Even worse when you pay particular attention to Theon. Prior to Euron getting his attention with holding Yara hostage, he was holding his own fine. But once he finally pauses, he takes in the slaughter around him committed by Silence's crew. At first, Theon just stares on in wide-eyed horror. Then, he starts to twitch as a horrifyingly familiar theme comes crawling back in. In that one moment, Theon becomes Reek once again.
3 - The Queen's Justice
- The episode's title aptly refers to Queen Cersei Lannister's brand of justice towards those that wrong her. And in this case Ellaria Sand for murdering her daughter Myrcella. She thinks about all kinds of punishment she wants to deliver to her victims and tells how she dreamed about the ways she would make her victims pay, maybe having Ser Gregor smashing their heads, but that would have been too merciful. She opts to poison Ellaria's daughter with the same poison she used to kill Myrcella, while forcing Ellaria to watch as she dies in front of her. Cersei tells Ellaria that Ellaria will be forced to live and watch her daughter decompose in front of her.
Cersei: Your daughter will die here in this cell. You'll be here watching when she does. You'll be here the rest of your days. If you refuse to eat, we'll force food down your throat. You will live to watch your daughter rot, to watch that beautiful face collapse to bone and dust. All the while contemplating the choices you've made. (as she turns to leave) Make sure the guards change the torches every few hours. I don't want her to miss a thing.
- Cersei caressing Tyene's face in an oddly gentle way and calling her a "perfect Dornish beauty", while casually musing that she thought of having Ser Gregor crush her skull like a duck egg. While Ellaria is forced to watch helplessly, knowing that a horrible fate is in store for her daughter—and that it's her own fault her daughter is there in the first place. This scene is the epitome of Adult Fear.
- As Cersei leaves, Ellaria and Tyene desperately run toward each other, but are held back by their chains, which are bolted to the walls, leaving them unable to even hold each other in Tyene's final hours. Given Cersei's penchant for sadism, she almost certainly ordered the chains to be made exactly that way.
- The look on Ellaria's face when she sees The Mountain for the first time since Season 4. Given the fact that Oberyn was brutally killed by him right before her eyes, it is quite obvious that she is terrified of the sight of him.
- Melisandre's Shut Up, Kirk! to Varys as she leaves for Volantis, noting that she's already foreseen that she will die back in Westeros (likely at Arya's hands, given her cryptic "We will meet again" back in Season 3), and Varys will, too.
- Ever since he became the Three-Eyed Raven, Bran still pulls the Creepy Child vibes despite coming back to Winterfell. When Sansa hugs him and talks to him, there's no emotion in him and still speaks in a cryptic monotone voice. Then, he tells his sister that he can see things, including her horrific wedding night with Ramsay. Understandably, Sansa is freaked out with that and walks away from him, realizing that her little brother is a completely different person.
4 - The Spoils of War
- The charging Dothraki back up Robert's statement from all the way in Season 1: "Only a fool would meet the Dothraki in an open field." The first the Lannister army hears of them is the sound of their horses' hooves, and then the jubilant screaming starts...
- That and the Dothraki are basically "the other" for any child in the Seven Kingdoms: unknowable, foreign conquerors who have destroyed kingdoms in Essos and who have enslaved, murdered, and crushed their opponents. Now imagine you're one of those men grown to a Lannister/Tarly bannerman, and you see thousands of these men charging towards you. Not only that, but you know these particular men don't play by your rules, so far as you know them. The sheer fear of the unknown, the fact that they have tactics you only heard about second-hand, and seeing them in the flesh after many stories creates a blank because nothing in your training has prepared you for it.
- Despite being a epic battle scene, the Lannister/Tarly-Dothraki battle quickly shows how War Is Hell, this time a bit literally, given that a dragon participates in the struggle. Daenerys roasts several Lannister soldiers alive with even some being reduced to dust in seconds. And those were the ones that were lucky since we are treated to a shot of several others slowly burning to death in front of a very disturbed Tyrion.
- Drogon's entrance and the start of the battle is absolutely horrifying from the perspective of everyone fighting on the Lannister/Tarly side. The Dothraki army arrives first, and Jaime has confidence in his army's capability to receive them by forming a spear/shield wall. Then Drogon descends (accompanied by a haunting rendition of the Targaryen theme), resulting in a massive ''oh crap'' from everyone who's about to be on the wrong side. Note that for just about everyone on the Lannister/Tarly side, this is the first time they're seeing a live, mature dragon. Before they can even process what has appeared before them, Drogon burns a path through the unfortunate Lannister shield/spear wall, rendering their defense against the Dothraki horde moot and causing all hell to break loose.
- It gets even worse for the Tarly side. They were ancient bannermen of the Gardener Kings... who were wiped out on The Field of Fire, when Aegon unleashed all three of his dragons for the first and only time in his conquest. Imagine that for a moment: your family has passed down stories for ages of the terror of the Field of Fire... and suddenly you are facing the sequel... with Dothraki added to the mix.
- The scream of Bronn's horse when a Dothraki cuts one of its legs off.
- The Oner following Bronn is a particularly nightmarish sequence, as he frantically tries to escape the huge Dothraki who's gunning for him. He zigzags across a field of burning wagons and burning bodies, dodging enemies and the occasional panicked flaming ally. Punctuated by Drogon sailing out of the smoke above him like a demon flying out of Hell.
- This episode also illustrates the unbelievably hot temperature of dragon fire. A crematorium typically burns a body at temperatures of 14001800 degrees Fahrenheit, and it takes 13 hours to reduce the body to ash. For Drogon's fiery breath to reduce a human to ash in seconds, we're talking temperatures similar to that of a nuclear explosion or the surface of the sun.
- In retrospect, seeing the effects of dragon-fire and comparing the results to the massive wildfire explosion of the Season 6 finale affirms two things: 1) neither of them is in any way preferable to the other; 2) there's a reason the mad Targaryens (King Aerys II, Dany's father among them) took to wildfire in the first place: they cause equally horrific results!
- When Jaime tries to ride down Daenerys, Drogon places himself in front of his mother and we get a lovely shot of the hellish glow of his fire welling up in the back of his throat. Jaime comes to the realisation that this is the last thing he's going to see before either being immolated, or cooked alive in his armour and had it not been for Bronn, he would have gone out like Aerys wanted him and everyone else to die.
- Whilst it can't compete with the intensity of the battlefield scenes, the painting of the Night King and his White Walkers is its own kind of creepy. The worst part are the blue eyes painted into them; they're so bright that they glow in the torchlight. It almost makes them look like they're watching you.
- Littlefinger's actual situation in Winterfell is both Nightmare Fuel and Paranoia Fuel. After talking with Bran he notices that the boy probably knows of his betrayal against Ned Stark and after observing Arya's martial skills he knows that Arya was around when he discussed the war against her brother Robb Stark with Tywin Lannister and now is very capable of killing him. One wonders what will happen to Littlefinger when he discovers that Arya now has the Faceless One's abilities to steal a face from anyone and pose as them.
5 - Eastwatch
- In yet another testament to his power, the Night King turns his head to look at the murder of crows that Bran is warging through to spy on the undead army marching towards Eastwatch, which sends the crows scattering. The subtle cracking sound of his icy skin as he jarringly fixes his gaze is what really clinches it.
- From his ability to touch Bran while he was in his vision form, it's quite clear that the Night King can defy reason even in a fantasy setting. It's more than likely that Bran had the crows scatter to prevent the Night King from repeating that same incident.
- The deaths of Randyll and Dickon Tarly. Both men refused to bend the knee to Daenerys following the attack, and both are brought before the surviving army and burned alive by Drogon. This manages to unnerve even Tyrion, who vouched for Daenerys showing mercy to Dickon.
- This is especially disturbing considering that her father was extremely fond of burning his enemies alive...
Your grace, if you start beheading entire families— Daenerys: I'm not beheading them. Tyrion:
(Turns to Drogon
) Your grace! Daenerys:
(Simply stares at Tyrion before turning to the Dothraki and gesturing them to get out of the way.
- Arya's disturbingly calm manner as she advocates that Sansa have Glover and Royce beheaded for advocating that she lead them instead of Jon.
- The shot of Littlefinger watching Arya running away with the letter from the shadows, smirking. He's been struggling to have any manipulative influence on Sansa, but now Arya's here — someone completely unfamiliar with "playing the game" or dealing with Littlefinger. He's found the ideal pawn.
- Jaime returns to King's Landing to report back to Cersei on what happened. His shell-shocked description of the horrors he witnessed on the battlefield not only make being on the wrong side of Daenerys' army sound nightmarical, but really drives home why Jaime believes the Lannisters are completely and utterly screwed.
: I just saw the Dothraki fight. They'll beat any mercenary army. They'll beat any
army I've ever seen. Killing our men wasn't war for them, it was sport
. Her dragon burned a thousand wagons; Qyburn's scorpion fired bolts bigger than you
, they couldn't stop it and she has three of them
! This isn't a war we can win
- Jaime's face when Cersei makes it plain, despite his insistence there is no way they can win, she intends to fight to the death rather than surrender to Daenerys...and she expects the same from him and the entirety of the Lannister military forces is one of horror as he realises that Cersei is so far gone to her insanity she would sacrifice the lives of thousands of her sworn soldiers (including his own) without a second thought, rather than give up her power.
- Tied into this is a brief moment at the beginning of the episode where Jaime notes he needs to report back to Cersei on the disastrous outcome of the battle. Bronn gives him a look and bluntly tells him "May as well jump back in that river". The look on Jaime's face afterwards clearly indicates that he thinks Bronn has a point and that even his relationship as Cersei's brother/lover might not protect him from her wrath for being the bearer of bad news.
- The way Drogon crawls towards Jon, especially the perspective it is filmed in. It makes the viewer feel absolutely tiny.
- The fact that Jon and Co have to go and face the Army of the Dead is this in spades. They are going into the most dangerous part of Westeros with only a handful of people just so that they can bring proof that the White Walkers exist. That is if they can successfully capture one and not die in the process. It's just a few against hundreds of thousands of Wights and several White Walkers. And as we seen the confrontation between the dead and the living in past seasons, it's very terrifying and dangerous. Not only that, Jon is King and if anything happens to him, it will send Winterfell into chaos and that's not including the part where he might be turned into an undead and added into the dead armies' numbers.
6 - Beyond the Wall
- The polar bear wight is terrifying enough on its own, but battling it in a blinding snow storm is even worse.
- Even the beginning of the encounter is the stuff of nightmares: even through the blizzard, you see that the bear is HUGE, and it is bolting right for them. Nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.
- One of the demonstrated surefire ways to kill a wight is to set it on fire. This makes for an extreme Oh, Crap! moment when the wight bear continues on after being set aflame, paralyzing Sandor with fright and causing another casualty for the group before Jorah can finish it with an obsidian knife.
- Imagine being trapped on top of a rock in the middle of a horde of wights with their masters looming over you. The only thing standing between you and them is a lake that will soon be frozen solid again and let them through. Not only that, the temperature is also freezing, at any moment, a member of your group could die of hypothermia, brought back to life by the Night King and attack you if you fail to notice in time.
- Arya's distrust of Sansa reaches its extreme when she threatens to kill Sansa and steal her face in retaliation for Sansa being intimidated into writing a letter to Robb urging him to surrender back in Season One, when she was a mere child.
- When Sansa's sneakily looking through Arya's things, she discovers the preserved faces that Arya's hoarded from her victims.
- Arya's confronting Sansa in the final Winterfell scene of the episode is just one giant dose of high-octane Nightmare Fuel. As a panicking, disgusted Sansa confronts Arya about the preserved human faces she found under her bed, Arya tells her (abstractly) about how she trained as Faceless Man, and now can steal the appearances of others by using their faces as masks. She does this in a casual, almost bored tone of voice. Then she grabs the dagger that Bran gave her and advances on her sister as, in the same nonchalant tone, she muses absently on what it'd be like to take Sansa's face. Then she flips the dagger around, gives it to Sansa, and leaves without a word. Arya's Creepy Child credentials just went through the damn roof...
- Just the fact that Arya could contemplate doing something to her own sister implies that she's not just a Broken Bird traumatized by her experiences — she could be seriously insane. Now imagine someone like that walking around inside the face of, not an evil old villain like Walder Frey, but one of the heroes of this story, giving orders on their behalf...
- As it turns out, this is all an act to fool Littlefinger. But that it comes across as being so convincing speaks volumes.
- Not only is Night's King able to kill a dragon with one throw of an ice spear, the episode's final scene has him revive the slain Viserion as a wight.
- Even more terrifying is that so far Valyrian steel and Dragonglass were the only thing to not explode or die at the attack of a White Walker, dragons don't even count.
- The manner that Viserion dies is very horrifying. The Night King hits him in his fire gland causing a explosion and we see massive fountains of gore and blood raining from the wound as he falls from the skies.
7 - The Dragon and the Wolf
1 - Winterfell
- When Qyburn informs Cersei that the Wall has fallen and the White Walkers are marching towards the Seven Kingdoms, her reaction to this is "Good." As seen in the Season 7 finale, Cersei is willing to let the Army of the Dead consume the entire North and the only thing that worries her is the Golden Company not bringing their elephants.
- When Tormund, Beric and Edd meet each other in Last Hearth, House Umber's stronghold, there are no survivors and the whole castle is covered with snow. The worst part? 11-year-old Lord Ned Umber's corpse is pinned on the wall with the White Walker's spiral symbol made of severed human limbs on it which Beric deduces as a message from the Night King himself. Then Ned's corpse bursts out in a Jump Scare before Beric kills him again with his flaming sword which also engulfed the spiral symbol. To think that the Night King left this kind of message shows he's indeed the biggest threat of all of Westeros.
- What makes the scene scarier is that you can actually see the corpse of Ned Umber's eyes open and glow blue and bright over Beric and Tormund's shoulder, building suspense right until the corpse screeches at them.
- The keening screech the undead Ned lets loose is truly a sound from the maw of Hell itself. Beric, Tormund and Edd all look horrified at the very sound of it.
- It's not the usual scraping, dessicated, Nazgul-like shriek heard from long-decayed wights, either (while that's terrifying enough, you know no living thing would ever let out a sound like that). It's a scream you'd hear from a terrified but living child, only it lasts for far too long.
- A bit of Fridge Horror, but when Beric and Tormund enter Last Hearth's courtyard, while there is bloodstained snow all around them, there are no bodies, raising the strong possibility that after the White Walkers massacred the castle's garrison, the Night King raised them as wights to join the Army of the Dead's ranks.
- We only get a brief glimpse of what's beneath his helmet, but Gregor Clegane looks even worse; his skin has turned a cyanotic blue-grey and his eyes are now completely blood-red. Whatever Qyburn did to reanimate him has clearly run its course, and he's literally just a walking corpse.
2 - A Knight Of The Seven Kingdoms
3 - The Long Night
- The Dothraki, despite being the most numerous force on the side of the living, are utterly curb stomped in under a minute. We hear the brief battle but do not see exactly what goes down, only the aftermath of a handful of Dothraki running straight back to Winterfell with many of them missing their horses.
- The sheer speed at which the light from their flaming arakhs just disappear in the distance. The faces of everyone seeing it makes it clear... they are doomed.
- As they charge, you can hear the war cries from the Dothraki, which give way to unholy screams of terror, and the shrieking of the undead.
- While much of the Dothraki are killed offscreen, briefly one unfortunate rider can be seen running headfirst into a wight giant. The look of terror on his face is extremely fitting.
- Right after the Dothraki are annihilated, the Unsullied brace themselves, pointing their spears forward into the inky darkness, with the inhuman gurgling and screeching of tens of thousands of wights growing closer and closer. And when they do appear, they overwhelm the front lines of the Unsullied with what can only be called a tsunami of undead corpses. The sheer swiftness and force with which they strike is nightmare fuel at its finest.
- The Unsullied do what they can to hold the line and stay in formation, but the wight tsunami does what a literal wave would do, with the wights simply climbing on top of each other and on top of the living men below them. Those on the front lines were not so much trampled but drowned by the sheer volume of wights pouring over them.
- The sheer scale of the Army of the Dead in general. Hundreds of thousands of zombified people surging forward in a tidal wave of necrotic flesh that overwhelm their enemies with sheer numbers, with no fear, no restraint, and no mercy. As the Living are pulling back inside Winterfell we get to see a panning shot of them as the Unsullied fight desperately to hold them back. The camera goes from the orderly spear lines of the Unsullied to an ocean of dead, making it seem less like an army and more like a force of nature.
- Unlike most (if not all) of the previous battles on the show, the majority of the battle is shot in low light or even pitch blackness with only a few torches guiding the way. It really does give the impression that the White Walkers are about ready to jump out and get you... and more than once they do.
- The view from Winterfell's battlements during most of the battle is utterly hellish, with fire and smoke all around, and the screams of the living mixed with the horrific screeches of the dead. All the bloodied living troops struggle to keep themselves alive amidst an unending stream of attacks from the wights, some of whom were once their friends and allies. Jaime, Brienne, Pod, and Sam, to name a few characters we know and love, are swarmed and nearly buried under attacking wights at some point or another.
- Arya, badly injured, hides under a table in the wight-infested Winterfell library. A drop of blood gets their attention — nowhere is safe for even the stealthiest living person.
- It's not just that. That single drop falls, and the dead don't just turn in her general direction — their heads snap to look at the table. Within seconds, one of them is right next to the table with a weapon drawn. While she does manage to escape, she draws attention to herself, and the next twenty seconds of footage are devoted to Arya running for her life as they pursue her.
- Almost all of the wights are dead, the Night King has shown himself, and Jon sees his back. The Kings meet face-to-face, and the undead lord raises his hands — every single dead body around Winterfell stands right back up. Even the long-dead Stark lords in the crypts. Where Sansa, Tyrion, Varys, Missandei, Gilly, and all the civilians are staying for their safety.
- The scene itself is also horrifying, as you're treated to a horrific amount of panic and screaming as the women and children in the crypts are helplessly butchered by the wights.
- The wights swarm over Drogon like ants crawling over an intruder. Drogon tries to shake them, forcing him to fly off and accidentally dropping Daenerys on the ground. Some wights that fell off from Drogon rise up and rush towards Dany. Fortunately, Jorah saves her in the nick of time.
- Lyanna Mormont's death counts as a smaller one of these, mostly due to the fact that she's a child. To elaborate, a giant breaks through the gates of Winterfell and almost smacks Lyanna to the side, who is picked up soon after. What the viewer then gets to see is the sights and sounds of a child slowly being crushed to death, with bone crunching and all.
- It gets even worse. Her corpse is among those shown being reanimated by the Night King.
- The way the giant holds her up to its face to revel in the pain of her death almost implies the wights, and their masters, are capable of sadism.
- Dolorous Edd gets his worst nightmare handed to him when he's stabbed to death trying to save Sam... and turned into a wight by the Night King.
- Daenerys bathes the Night King in a torrent of fire from Drogon and it does absolutely nothing. The Night King emerges from the flames completely unscathed with a smug smirk on his face, about the only time he has ever shown an expression other than his usual scowl, and his posture as he stares Daenerys down seems to wordlessly scream "Is that the best you can do?!". The look of horror on Daenerys's face only adds to the terror of the moment.
- Also after shrugging off the fire attack, the Night King's first response is to grab one of his spears and fling it at Drogon; he avoids sharing Viserion's fate by inches. Given how much more powerful Viserion became after he was killed and reanimated, the Fridge Horror of what the Night King could have done with a second undead dragon at his disposal, particularly one of Drogon's size, strength and ferocity, is terrifying.
- Jon, Dany, and the dragons getting lost in the fog might not be as outright horrifying as other examples this episode, but it is incredibly tense and terrifying in its own right. Rhaegal can't even see enough to stop himself from skimming the trees. Drogon coming out of nowhere and crashing into them is sure to get at least a scream out of some viewers, because he could have been mistaken for Viserion coming to pick them off.
- Undead Viserion is an absolute nightmare. His fire breath lasts much longer than it should, almost as if it could go on forever. After Rhaegal tears half his face off, it's constantly spewing out of his wounds. Adding to that, he seems to be Made of Iron even by wight standards, as he takes a lot of punishment from the green dragon, and it didn't even seem to slow him down.
- When Jon and Rhaegal attack the Night King and Viserion as the latter shoots blue flames all over the tops of Winterfell, there's a shot of these soldiers looking up to see these absolutely massive dark dragons battling it out in a smoky night sky. As if death, fire, zombies, and destruction on the ground wasn't enough, there are monster fights in the sky.
- And there's the hide-and-seek that he plays with Jon Snow, who is forced to desperately dive behind walls and corpses and out of the way of Viserion's blue flames, with no way of getting away or retaliating. And although he's saved in the nick of time, Jon is brought face-to-face with the rotting, mutilated, undead dragon that's opening its mangled mouth in front of him and spewing flames through open wounds in its neck...
- There's a moment in the episode where the people in the crypt hear somebody thumping on the door to the entrance. There are screams to let them in, followed by the sound of weapons being drawn, conflict... And then it falls silent. You'd think this was the point where the White Walkers break into the crypt, but they don't — it's a moment solely to unnerve and distract the viewer.
- The fact of how close the Army of the Dead came to victory. Had it not been for a last ditch effort from Arya, the Night King would have achieved his goal of eliminating the Three Eyed Raven for good (he was reaching for his sword for the killing blow when Arya struck, and had he reacted a bit faster, the Night King could have easily snapped Arya's neck or tossed her aside for his lieutenants to deal with), the Walkers would have gained thousands more wights for their cause and then turned south. Cersei's regime would have collapsed before their assault in days, and there's no telling what would happen if they crossed the sea to Essos...
- A bit of Fridge Horror here, but the fact remains with all those who died defending Winterfell, there is literally nothing the survivors have left to stop Cersei's mercenary army from wiping them out except Daenerys's two dragons. Two dragons might sound like plenty, but Qyburn's anti-dragon ballista is very prominently featured in the opening credits...
- The sheer scale of the losses the defenders of Winterfell have taken is made clear when the Night King raises the dead, and huge numbers of the fallen rise up to attack their former allies and friends. Once dawn breaks, the amount of bodies form huge mounds across the battlefield. Testament to the number of lives stolen by the Night King's campaign.
- The rendition of the White Walker theme used in the episode, with the use of droning brass, gives the already haunting theme an even more nightmarish feel. At times sounding almost similar to the Terminator score, it emphasizes the feeling of dread from the near unstoppable Army of the Dead.
4 - The Last of the Starks
- The very title of the episode has very ominous implications for the surviving Stark children...
- Overlaps with Tearjerker — the number of corpses piled up on the funeral pyres, including many familiar faces and the anguish of those still living. There's no better reminder of the sheer scale of death and horror that everyone has had to go through.
- It is outright horrific to see Rhaegal thrashing and screaming all the way down to the sea after getting shot down by a hail of ballista fire from Euron's warships. His death might be even worse than Viserion's due to being pierced by several spears rather than just one precise hit with one of them impaling him right through the neck and blood flowing out of it like a fountain - it seems tailored by the creators to make sure to the audience that he isn't surviving this one.
- The "bring it on" look on Euron's face as Drogon bears down upon his ship, calmly aiming straight at her. This man is unhinged enough to face a goddamned dragon and be delighted at the prospect.
- And if Dany hadn't moved out of the way and Drogon hadn't ducked, Drogon would've faced the same fate as Rhaegal and Dany would be dead.
- There's also the near demonic grin that crosses Euron's face as he turns his ballista's sights onto Daenerys's fleet and decides to have some fun. This is immediately followed by Tyrion and the rest of the crew on Daenerys' flagship desperately diving for cover as the ship is torn apart in a hail of ballista fire.
- Euron may be a buffoonish nutjob most of the time, but his tendency to turn up when least expected, inflict horrific casualties and get away practically without consequence is extremely unsettling.
- Qyburn's new, improved ballistas have done what only the Night King himself could do, and there's dozens of them on the walls and towers of King's Landing and aboard Euron's warships. Cersei's Mad Scientist has made her a bigger threat to Daenerys than even the most powerful supernatural creature in the show.
- There's a dark psychological horror to the grip that Cersei has on Jaime. This woman sent a mercenary to shoot him and his little brother, and yet in the end, in the face of Brienne, whom he loves, he decides to go back to his sister/lover with whom he has the most toxic relationship imaginable.
- The expressions on Cersei's face as she listens to Tyrion's demands. It is true that she cares about her unborn child... but she's so utterly filled with paranoia, hatred, and desire to hold on to her throne that she would rather slaughter hundreds of thousands of innocents. She'd been going downhill for a long time, but to see yet another example of just how monstrous she has become is very disturbing to behold. The Night King might have been an eldritch monster seeking to exterminate all mankind and raise them as his undead puppets, but he at least was merely serving the purpose the Children of the Forest instilled in him when they created him. Cersei manages to top him by being a far more human villain, in that her motives are simply her own corrupt desire to hold onto power she has no right to.
- The Mountain's murder of Missandei. To think that she came so far and survived the Long Night only to be murdered by the Mad Queen's zombie henchman...
- It's thankfully out of focus, but in the background you can make out the blood pouring out from Missandei's neck and head.
- Missandei's last word is "Dracarys." Not only is it a Call-Back to when Dany used the command on Drogon to free Missandei and the Unsullied at Astapor, it heavily implies that she is telling Dany, "It's okay, I understand... go ham. Burn the place down."
- If the look of rage on Daenerys' face is any indication, she will.
- It doubles as a Tear Jerker of course, but frickin' Grey Worm looks away at the moment of her death. GREY WORM, who one episode ago was battling the undead one-on-one, who faced down slavers and crossed a sea to a new world, can't watch her die. As he has openly admitted, life without Missandei is his one and only real fear...
- Dany, especially after she sees Rhaegal get shot down. She flies Drogon at maximum speed directly at Euron's ship, screaming her lungs out. When she is forced to retreat, we see her practically spitting with loathing as she flies Drogon and herself to safety. After seeing Missandei die, quite possibly the most terrifying look we have ever witnessed forms on her face. She may finally have well and truly snapped, and after everything that she has lost, who can blame her? Cersei is about to find out just what makes Daenerys Stormborn the daughter of the Mad King.
- Made worse by the fact that Dany is already in a dark place, paranoid about what would happen to her if the truth about Jon Snow's parentage would leak out. And Sansa breaking her promise to Jon to tell Tyrion, implying that Jon would be a better ruler, does not bode well for anybody.
5 - The Bells
- Varys's death by dragonflame serves as this. In the middle of the night, he is led out to the beach. He is told he is to die. And from the shadows, less a mortal thing and more a floating maw of fangs, appears Drogon. A moment passes. Then two. And then you see the maw open... and then there's nothing but flame. The fact that Varys doesn't scream or make any sound at all makes it even worse.
- For extra fuel? Drogon looks like he's smiling right before he flambes Varys.
- The burning of King's Landing will go down as one of the most horrifying moments in Game of Thrones many horrifying moments:
- Upon seeing Drogon, Cersei's remaining forces put down their swords and surrender, and the bell is rung... but Daenerys decides to torch the city anyway, killing both soldiers and civilians by the thousands. The buildup is terrifying, with her perched on the rooftops with Drogon, and suddenly as she finally hears the bells, her breathing gets heavier and heavier and her eyes get wider as if the bell itself was what finally made her decide enough was enough, or perhaps the fact that Cersei had the opportunity to ring it long, long ago but didn't until most of her army was dead. In this moment, Dany realizes that no matter what, nobody in King's Landing will love her, all will hate and fear her, and she's had it — they can get what they feared.
- The Dothraki, Unsullied and even the Northmen slaughtering the civilians and Lannister soldiers who just surrendered. While some of the Lannister soldiers did fight back, the entire battle is completely one-sided. Even the civilians are caught in the line of fire and one of the Northmen attempted to rape a woman until Jon himself has to stop and kill him in self-defense.
- The Death Glare Grey Worm gives Jon for trying to prevent Daenerys's forces from starting a massacre is full of Foreshadowing for this trope.
- The carnage from Arya's point of view is a nightmare to behold, and even Arya herself is scared out of her mind just as much as she was when being overrun by wights. At some point, the explosions and crumbling buildings end up knocking her out, and there's a shot of her lying unconscious on the ground, covered in dust and blood pouring down her face and onto her neck. Sure, she wakes up, but one could be forgiven for briefly assuming her to be dead. She spends the rest of the episode running in terror with blood all over her. No killing the Big Bad this time.
- Let that sink in — Dany inadvertently came closer to killing Arya Stark than even The Night King himself or his wight army did.
- Arya's entire perspective on the event is similar to walking into a warzone where she has to dodge from dragon fire and falling debris. She's also very disturbed on seeing some of the civilians suffering from third-degree burns. While many viewers think that Dany burning her enemies with her dragons is awesome, Arya's perspective shows that War Is Hell not something to be glorify with.
- Seeing the look of horror and disbelief on Cersei's face is this. This is the same woman who smiled and sipped wine while the Sept of Baelor and a good chunk of King's Landing was incinerated by wildfire and dispassionately ordered that the corpse of her last living child (who had committed suicide because she was busy having fun torturing a defeated enemy instead of consoling him) be cremated shortly afterwards. Even she can't take in what Daenerys is doing.
- Ser Gregor betrays Cersei and Qyburn the second he sees Sandor, crushing Qyburn's head and moving in to finish his brother off for good. During the fight, his helmet and eventually his armor come off, revealing his skin to be gray and decaying, riddled with necrotic black veins and he simply shrugs off stab wound after stab wound, even one to the head, as if he were Mr. X from Resident Evil 2 (remake). He very nearly ends up crushing Sandor's head and eyes like he did with Oberyn. Sandor has to finish him off by diving with him through a crumbling wall into the fiery inferno.
- Even before that, when Cersei demands Gregor defend her, Gregor turns to face her with a baleful look that clearly shows off that his eyes have deteriorated to the point they are now blood red.
- The scene of Arya walking through the destroyed city in the aftermath and all the bodies that have been burnt are almost completely gone. A very unsettling reminder of how deadly and effective dragon fire is, not to mention the wildfire explosions occurring throughout the city.
6 - The Iron Throne
- Tyrion, Jon and Davos walk around the remain of King's Landing. The entire scene is a straight Scenery Gorn and you can definitely see the burnt corpses. In addition, a survivor of the massacre walks past Tyrion in a state of confusion. Even though he's out of the camera's focus, you can see how horribly burned he is.
- The Lannister soldiers being executed by Grey Worm, claiming they need to be defeated. When Davos asks how they could possibly be defeated more as disarmed stragglers on their knees, Grey Worm clarifies that they are still breathing, showing how no longer will he or Dany accept any surrender and only accept death for everyone who they deem their enemies even down to the lowest grunt.
- Daenerys's New Era Speech shows how far she got into the deep end of the abyss where she will not stop fighting until all those who opposed her are dead and she will force everybody in the entire world to bow before her. It definitely shows that the Targaryen pride and her willingness to use fear made her into a megalomaniac bent on taking over the world.
- When she claims she wants to 'liberate' the world, one of her first mentions is "from Winterfell to Dorne". Winterfell was definitely the place she was going to start with, because Sansa and the Northern lords have shown their disapproval of her upcoming reign. And even if we assume that Jon doesn't speak Valyrian, he must have heard the word Winterfell in her speech and realized that his sister will be the first to burn when Daenerys begins her conquest.
- Even more unerving is the claim that she had 'liberated' the men, women and children of King's Landing by burning most them alive, and promising to do the same to Winterfell and other places in Westeros and Essos and beyond.
- The nightmarish icing on top of all this? The entire scene is an extended homage to the famous Nazi propaganda film Triumph of the Will, with the rhythmic thumping of Unsullied spears evoking the sound of goose-stepping Nazi marchers. Emilia Clarke herself has stated that she based her performance on that scene on Adolf Hitler himself along with various other dictators.
- The picture of the throne room, ruined and without a roof, with snow falling in... especially when you remember Dany's vision in the House of the Dead way back in Season 2 showing this exact image.
- During Jon's conversation with Tyrion after Dany imprisons him for treason, Tyrion notes that, as evil as Tywin and Cersei were, the number of people they killed wouldn't reach HALF of Dany's body count after she literally burned King's Landing to the ground. Now think a bit harder about what Tyrion just said, and this moment gives us what is perhaps the most chilling realization in the entire series: Dany, the supposed heroine we have been cheering on for the last eight seasons, has perhaps killed more innocent people IN ONE DAY than pretty much all other characters combined have in their lifetimes (except for perhaps the Army of the Dead, but they are a nightmare category of their own)!!! Think of all the most despicable people on this show: Joffrey, Tywin, Cersei, Gregor Clegane, Roose Bolton, Ramsay Bolton, Walder Frey, the Ironborn (to some extent), the more savage Wildings... As monstrous as all these people were, as horrific as their deeds were, as much as they deserved to die, and as much as we cheered when they died... none of them killed anywhere near as many innocent people as Dany did! In some ways, the death toll really is a Song Of Ice And Fire... because the biggest mass murderers are the Night King (Ice) and Daenerys Targaryen (Fire).
: My father
was an evil man. My sister
was an evil woman. Pile up all the bodies of all the people they ever killed; there still won't be as many as our beautiful Queen slaughtered in a single day!
- As Jon walks towards the Red Keep to confront Daenerys, a huge avalanche of dust, ash and debris begins to tumble down in front of him. Only it's not really an avalanche; It's Drogon, rising from his slumber to face the intruder. The horror is threefold: first is that something that massive and lethal could hide in plain sight. The second is that Dany burned enough of the city for the ashes to utterly cover such a monster in less than an hour. The third is the apocalyptic imagery of an unstoppable behemoth emerging from the ruins as though it belonged there; that the utter death and devastation are the dragon's natural habitat, and such annihilation is what it exists for.
- In her final scene, Daenerys is terrifying in just how far she has gone off the rails: Emilia Clarke perfectly captures the beatific serenity of a zealot completely convinced of the righteousness of her cause. When Jon first enters the throne room to confront her, she is gleefully reminiscing about her childhood thoughts on what the Iron Throne would look like, utterly unconcerned with the devastation she wrought on the rest of the throne room. When Jon angrily lambasts her about her orders to arbitrarily kill all Lannister prisoners and the destruction unleashed on King's Landing, Daenerys is unrepentant, putting all the blame on Cersei for refusing to take Dany's mercy when it was offered and for thinking holding the city hostage would make Daenerys back down. When Jon all but begs Daenerys to show mercy to Tyrion and the rest, she flatly refuses to hear of it, insisting that anyone loyal to the old order has to die for the world that is needed to be born, before clearly terrifying and breaking Jon's heart simultaneously by going full Tautological Templar in insisting that the world she will bring about is good because she alone knows what that means, all while smiling at Jon in a manner that is simultaneously alluring and terrifying. It's both saddening and terrifying to see how the sweet, kind-hearted young woman who sought to free those in chains and enslaved has now become a monster willing to drown the entire world in oceans of blood to remake it into an image more pleasing to her.
- The Ironic Echo of "They don't get to choose". Jon ruefully says it to Tyrion regarding his sisters bending the knee to Daenerys, then Dany speaks it to Jon regarding anyone who disagrees with her idea of what is right. That line being thrown back at him by someone who hadn't heard it first is the final push Jon needed to spare the world another Mad Queen before a second city could be torched.
Trailers - Season 8
Histories & Lore
- The segment on Harrenhal describes the Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane creepiness about the most famous and largest castle of Westeros, with ghost stories about Lady Lothston (who seems to be Westeros' version of Countess Báthory) kidnapping and cooking children and bathing in blood, the ghosts of the builder and his sons haunting the halls, servants going to bed healthy and found in the morning as ashes... the impossibility of filling, garrisoning and repairing the place, its sheer size oppressing. "You will feel that Harrenhal, with its size, is devouring you. Years later, when you bury a grandson, or a great-grandson, the last of your line... you'll know it has."
- The longest Histories & Lore DVD extra ever released touched on the Dance of the Dragons note , part of the Season 5 release. While the story of the Dance itself is horrifying, the eeriness factor is even more ramped up by the fact that it is narrated by people who, by the end of Season 5, are all dead—and more eerily, are telling portions of the story which may well serve as a dark mirror to their own fates.
- Viserys Targaryen tells most of the narrative most bitterly, noting how the entire affair involved "[his] ancestors danc[ing] away [his] birthright, weakening House Targaryen to be "never be as powerful or as feared again."
- Robert Baratheon seems grim and proud recounting the roles House Baratheon played in asserting their independent choice during the war, and for that matter Rhaenyra's ruthlessness in winning the Throne, however temporarily (indeed, even if House Baratheon chose to betray Rhaenyra first!). For the Usurper, it's pretty understandable.
- Catelyn Stark's sole role in this story is recounting Queen Helaena's loss of her children and subsequent madness—something she experienced herself in a more horrific manner through the Red Wedding.
- Oberyn Martell recounts the last days of Daemon Targaryen, a free-spirited, maverick man who stood by his family (House Targaryen) through thick and thin and yet lost everything through their paranoia and mistrust—much like how his free-wheeling life was darkened by the loss of her sister Elia through House Targaryen's fall during the Rebellion. Daemon also falls in combat trying to avenge his family's losses against the Greens—much like Oberyn would against the Mountain.
- Joffrey, unsurprisingly, narrates the climax of the Dance where everything went wrong for Rhaenyra, King's Landing broke into hellish riot, and the Storming of the Dragonpit. He even recounts the death of one of her sons (also named Joffrey, but a decidedly kinder, nobler soul than the Lannister inbred). His contempt for Rhaenyra is almost equal to his irritation with his own mother Cersei, and his positive glee recounting Aegon II burning Rhaenyra reminds us why many compare him to Aerys II.
- And finally, Shireen Baratheon frames the story-telling, which she was reading herself for most of Season 5 before she was burned alive by Stannis and Melisandre. The grimness of it is highlighted when she ends the story with the rise of the child-king Aegon III and his equally-young wife, "scared children spouting oaths they didn't understand" — much like how she will die never understanding why her father had to sacrifice her.
- As for the Dance itself... imagine if you will a loving father naming his firstborn, a daughter, his heir. Then imagine the father is given a son, who grows to manhood. The king dies, with the daughter, Rhaenyra being still officially the heir as per the king's orders... but the son Aegon's mother and some around him convince him to press his claim as the male heir. The following struggles include the killing of children by their uncles or cousins or hired assassins, and end with Aegon ordering his dragon to burn Rhaenyra in front of Rhaenyra's last remaining son.
- The Blood and Cheese incident stands out. Queen Helaena goes to tuck her children in... then two assassins rush into the room and take the two boys, asking the mother which of them they should kill. Helaena names the younger, barely 2 or 3 (perhaps hoping he won't remember even if he is spared, perhaps because the older one is the heir)... to which one of the assassins whispers into the boy's ear: "You hear that? Your mama wants you dead." and they kill the older one anyway.
- In the segment of the Iron Bank, Tycho describes how the Iron Bank will have its due: If a prince or king can't pay up, the next one will be able to out of gratitude for the Bank supporting them against their rival. If a tradesman is hopelessly behind in payments, well... "the vicissitudes of trade are well known, and Braavos is full of people... who.are.not." Accentuated by showing a poor debtor, tied up and gagged, thrown into one of the many canals or maybe even the sea with a weight to eat with the fishes.
- The last shot of the Prophecies of the Known World shows a trio of Maesters reading a book as Sam's narration laments that they won't listen to his warnings about the Long Night coming, and they suddenly gain Icy Blue Eyes like most Walkers and Wights, meaning this is what will happen if they continue to ignore the imminent threat. What makes this even more eerie is that as the scene fades to black, the eyes remain in place too...