The end is finally upon us. 8 seasons, 9 years, 73 hours of television. It has all come down to this. The final season of Game Of Thrones has been received very poorly by many fans, with writers David Benioff and DB Weiss taking the vast majority of the criticism. Let's avoid the criticism for now and think back to the times Game Of Thrones has given us some of the most incredible television moments ever. Here's a countdown of some of the most shocking moments ever.
10. Cersei blows up half the cast
This was just ruthless efficiency from Cersei. Blowing up the Sept of Baelor with wildfire removed the troublesome Tyrells and the High Sparrow. This was highly satisfying, as most of us didn't really care about the characters killed, and was quite the spectacle. One of the few times we were on Cersei's side.
9. Shireen's sacrifice
This was just flat out brutal. Out of all the shocking and gruesome deaths on Game Of Thrones, this has got to be up there as the worst. I remember watching this through my fingers, hands over my face, it is absolutely traumatising watching a little girl burn. The moment where her screams of help turn into screams of agony is honestly horrifying.
8. The resurrection at Hardhome
Season 5 was a bit of a slow season. The previous season was full of action; Joffrey and Tywin dying, Tyrion's trial, the battle at the Wall, it was breakneck stuff. In comparison, season 5 was a bit dull at times. Episode 8 of season 5 however, was a cracker. Jon and his Night's Watch crew went to rescue wildlings from a camp up North of the Wall. Unfortunately, the excrement hit the ventilator quickly enough, as the Night King and his homeboys arrived to the party. Some of the best fight scenes of the show ensued, with Jon taking down a White Walker and Wun Wun the giant taking names too. The ending though, what about that for a bloody ending.
7. Hold The Door
You'd nearly tear up reading that phrase. Everyone's favourite gentle giant met a grisly end back in season 6, giving his life so that Bran and Meera could live. One of the most gut-wrenching moments in the entire series for sure. Hodor deserved better. Rest in peace Hodor, a true Westerosi hero.
6. Viserion returns
For this, I think we can overlook the minor plot holes of season 7, because it was just really really cool. Jon's madcap plan to capture a wight backfired, with Daenerys losing a dragon to the Night King. This was just jaw-dropping. We thought it was bad enough when the dragon got shot down, but when the Night King brought him back, that's when we knew things were getting really serious.
5. The Mountain vs The Red Viper
Tyrion's trial by combat resulted in probably the most incredible fight scene ever on the show. Jaw-dropping athleticism from both actors/stuntmen, and I think that ending will be ever seared into our brains. Nightmare stuff, especially since it was a character as cool as Oberyn Martell. Let his death be a lesson; never turn your back on a mountain.
4. Jon dies but it's grand
Look, we know he comes back, but it was still tough at the time. Jon was our boy, we had his back from day one, and it was brutal to see his Night's Watch brothers betray him. Spare a thought for those of us who read the book first, the final line of the last book is "Jon never felt the fourth knife, only the cold". I had three years of wondering whether he lived or not.
3. The Purple Wedding.
Weddings are getting a bit of a reputation. Joffrey's was a spectacle in many ways, for the extravagant party, and for the groom getting poisoned. Glad as we were to get rid of Joffrey, it was a pretty shocking way to go.
2. Ned Loses His Head
Poor old Ned. Nice fella but he just didn't have the guts for the 'game of thrones'. Proof that being sound just gets you killed. This was all the way back in season one, before we knew what we were dealing with. You could see it coming, but I think we all fell into the trap of thinking "they're not actually going to kill off the main character are they?"
1. The Red Wedding
Hate to trigger the flashbacks here folks but this happened. Tough call here between Ned and the wedding for the number one spot, but Walder Frey's treachery shades it. This had it all. It was brutal, and nobody saw it coming. One of the most shocking moments in television history. George RR Martin said it was the most difficult thing he's written and shed a tear while writing it. If you didn't shed a tear while watching it, you're a better man than me. Robb dead, Catelyn dead, Talisa stabbed in her pregnant stomach, and worst of all, Grey Wind peppered with crossbow bolts. I'll warn you, it doesn't get any easier on a rewatch.
Game Of Thrones, g'lucktya, you'll be missed. Roll on the spin-offs.