According to the internet, which I trust implicitly and never question, the last few episodes of this season’s Game of Thrones left a bit to be desired. Director Alan Taylor admitted that the pacing was rushed a bit and some plotholes were simply driven over by action set pieces at times, but was this really the worst season yet?
I headed on over to Rotten Tomatoes and looked for the worst reviewed episodes of all time. Here’s the thing: not that many episodes in the entire run of Game of Thrones have been poorly reviewed. It’s a testament to the quality of the show, one of TV’s all-time best.
With the taste of Season 7 still in your mouth, how do these episodes stack up for you?
“The Night Lands” (Season 2, Episode 2) – 83%
Gendry, who just made his reappearance in the series this past season, is on the run. Jon lurks about at Craster’s keep. Theon heads back to the Iron Islands. It’s family drama galore! Perhaps this episode stuttered a bit for some because Robb and the other Starks weren’t as prominent, but Tyrion is really coming into his own here, so no complaint from me!
“The Bear And The Maiden Fair” (Season 3, Episode 7) – 81%
People were understandably getting frustrated with Theon’s storyline here. He continues to be tortured and there doesn’t seem to be much of a point to it. But this episode was the first in which we didn’t feel bad for rooting for Jaime Lannister, particularly when he comes to the rescue of Brienne as she faces off against the cutest enemy in the entire series, a bear. Meanwhile, Tyrion and Sansa might be getting married? It was a weird time.
“Beyond The Wall” (Season 7, Episode 6) – 81%
Pacing matters. How else to explain this episode’s appearance on the list? We got an incredible lake battle in the North, a zombie bear (A. ZOMBIE. BEAR.), and Arya is creepy as hell. Then there’s an ice dragon. It was the first time we ever saw a dragon defeated, but by the end of the episode, fans were pulling out their abacuses (abaci?) and hastily calculating wind approach vectors and raven flight speed, not to mention the availability of giant steel chains at Lowe’s stores north of the wall. That’s all probably not a good look for a show which usually leaves said fans only saying, “How long til the next one???”
“Lord Snow” (Season 1, Episode 3) – 80%
This episode is perhaps best known for talking. Ned Stark talked with Littlefinger, who still didn’t have his raspy voice yet. Tyrion, at Castle Black, talked about Jon Snow while Jon Snow tried to fit in. It was an early episode dedicated to character development and many people found it to be just plain boring. Still, Viserys was put in his place and any episode with Tyrion is at least a decent episode in my book.
“Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” (Season 5, Episode 6) – 58%
Here it is: the worst-reviewed Game of Thrones episode ever. On this list, this is the only one I remember thinking was truly awful. Of particular offense, the Dorn storyline comes to an end when the Sand Snakes attack. The battle is lame and wrapped up quickly. It was the culmination of a several episode storyline featuring my favorite traveling companions: Bronn and Jaime. But the part that really got the internet going was when Ramsay Bolton raped Sansa on their wedding night. I’m not sure what the internet expected – Ramsay’s a bad dude – but apparently fans weren’t ready for something terribly bad (rape) to happen, as opposed to something kind of bad (mass murder)? Oh, and Arya’s time with the Faceless Men gets pretty boring here.
So what do you think? Are these the five worst episodes? What is missing? Hit us up down below or send a raven to me on Twitter at @LRM_Brian.