GAME OF THRONES

Arya Stark in Game of Thrones 8x05 - The Bells
GAME OF THRONES

GAME OF THRONES 8×05: "THE BELLS"

The penultimate episode of Game of Thrones demands that we reconsider everything—including our investment in this show and these characters.

Ser Brienne of Tarth in GoT 8x02 - A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms
GAME OF THRONES

GAME OF THRONES 8×02: "A KNIGHT OF THE SEVEN KINGDOMS"

"A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms" is Game of Thrones at its absolute best. It is a last chance to remember—before all hell breaks loose—that this show was always about people, not special effects.

Jon and Daenerys in Game of Thrones 8x01 - Winterfell
GAME OF THRONES

GAME OF THRONES 8×01: "WINTERFELL"

"Winterfell" feels a little too much like a box-checking prologue to the final season of Game of Thrones, not the exciting opening chapter.

GAME OF THRONES 7x06 - Beyond the Wall
GAME OF THRONES

GAME OF THRONES 7×06: "BEYOND THE WALL"

"Beyond the Wall" might just be the dumbest episode of Game of Thrones ever, but there's good stuff here if we look beyond the contrivances.

GAME OF THRONES 7X05 - EASTWATCH
GAME OF THRONES

GAME OF THRONES 7×05: "EASTWATCH"

"Eastwatch" is something of a table-setting episode, but it also looks at how fathers live in their children, for better or worse.

GAME OF THRONES 7X01 - DRAGONSTONE
GAME OF THRONES

GAME OF THRONES 7×01: "DRAGONSTONE"

In "Dragonstone," the Season Seven premiere of Game of Thrones, survival may depend on reconciling the sins of the past with the needs of the future.

GAME OF THRONES

GAME OF THRONES 6×08: "NO ONE"

"No One" ever thinks they're the bad guy, but there comes a time when everyone has to ask themselves the question.

GAME OF THRONES

GAME OF THRONES 6×03: "OATHBREAKER"

In "Oathbreaker," we are reminded that the game of thrones is largely a game of words. Control the stories, and you can control the world.

GAME OF THRONES

GAME OF THRONES 6×02: "HOME"

In "Home," everyone grapples with how the mistakes of the past have led to the horrors of the present.

GAME OF THRONES

GAME OF THRONES 5×08: "HARDHOME"

Game of Thrones has always been about "us vs. them," but former enemies are finding common ground as the walls tumble down around them.

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GAME OF THRONES 5×01: "THE WARS TO COME"

The good lords are dead, and the rest are monsters. But in the new world order, individuals have the freedom to choose what kind of world they want to live in.

GAME OF THRONES

GAME OF THRONES 4×10: "THE CHILDREN"

In the beginning, GAME OF THRONES seemed like a show about keeping the children safe. Now it's becoming a show about keeping safe from the children.

GAME OF THRONES

GAME OF THRONES 4×07: "MOCKINGBIRD"

We all have a vision of the world the way it should be. It's a place where we all grow up in happy families (who care for us as they should), and we all go on adventures (which work out just the way they're supposed to), and we all fall in love and live happily after (with the person who will love us back forever). It sounds like a nice place, that world.

GAME OF THRONES

GAME OF THRONES 4×05: "FIRST OF HIS NAME"

"First of His Name" explores a theme that has been present all season: the way women are forced to navigate this world differently than men do, and to find ways to use their power differently.

GAME OF THRONES

GAME OF THRONES 4×04: "OATHKEEPER"

In a world in which every person is defined by their house, family, nation, class, gender, and allegiances, deciding to change can be a bit of a challenge.

GAME OF THRONES

GAME OF THRONES 3×05: "KISSED BY FIRE"

The peaks and valleys are a large part of the appeal of GAME OF THRONES, and the highs would not seem so high, or the lows so low, if the emotional beats weren't completely earned.

GAME OF THRONES

GAME OF THRONES 3×03: "WALK OF PUNISHMENT"

I take a little break from analysis, and approach "Walk of Punishment" as an excuse for some general appreciation and a long overdue geek-out. Because DAMN this show is good.

GAME OF THRONES

GAME OF THRONES 2×10: "VALAR MORGHULIS"

Horseshit is the foundation, glue, and currency of this entire society. For all the talk about honor in the Seven Kingdoms, it's lies that have the power to form alliances, grant kingships, topple lords, and move entire armies into battle.

GAME OF THRONES

GAME OF THRONES 2×09: "BLACKWATER"

As the penultimate episode of Season Two of GAME OF THRONES, "Blackwater" doesn't just meet expectations: it blows them out of the water.

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GAME OF THRONES 2×04: "GARDEN OF BONES"

Some people are born evil, some become evil, and some—if they're not careful—may go through life with the best of intentions but still leave evil in their wake.

Theon Greyjoy in GOT 2x03 - What is Dead May Never Die
GAME OF THRONES

GAME OF THRONES 2×03: "WHAT IS DEAD MAY NEVER DIE"

"What is Dead May Never Die" focuses on men who do not quite fit this society's harsh definition of manhood, as we see them fight to hold onto their hearts in a culture where a heart is largely seen as a weakness.

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GAME OF THRONES 1×10: "FIRE AND BLOOD"

"Fire and Blood," the 2011 finale of GAME OF THRONES, gives us a brutal dividing line between the prologue of history and an uncertain future.

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GAME OF THRONES 1×09: "BAELOR"

Given a choice between love and honor, wouldn’t we pick love every time? And, by that logic, can something be dishonorable and still be right?

GAME OF THRONES

GAME OF THRONES 1×06: "A GOLDEN CROWN"

"A Golden Crown" is all about justice; it's filled with characters all protesting, "It's not fair!" But justice, as we see this week, is very much a work-in-progress in GAME OF THRONES.

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GAME OF THRONES 1×05: "THE WOLF AND THE LION"

Of all the shows that could feature a guy getting a knife through the eyeball, a bludgeoning dwarf, a breast-feeding 7-year-old, a spontaneous equine decapitation, and a discussion of the economics of cadaver fucking, GAME OF THRONES has definitely become my favorite.