For over eight years Game of Thrones continued to be one of those shows that had us hooked with every twist and turn, magical and non-magical revelation, and unexpected death.
With its ending, the show left many viewers torn over how the writing, the character build up and the endings panned out. It even led people to question whether it really was the greatest show ever.
But here are some of the most iconic moments from the series that prove why exactly we fell in love with the show in the first place:
1. When Bran was pushed off the ledge by Jaime (Season 1, Episode 01).
This was the first time that GoT truly shocked us - because who really pushes a kid off a balcony? Someone who was caught having sex with his sister! It was also the scene that set up the audience to hate Jaime - until we got to know him better.
2. When Tyrion and Jon meet for the first time and give one of the show's most iconic lines ever (Season 1, Episode 01).
3. When you realize, for all their 'flaws', Cersei and Robert did run a Kingdom as the King and Queen for 17 years (Season 1, Episode 05).
One of those scenes, or rather conversations, that helped make the world of dragons, incestual relationships, and wights seems relatable.
4. When Daenerys ate a stallion's raw heart (Season 1, Episode 6).
She ate a heart. It doesn't get more cinematically amazing and shocking than that (or so we thought till the time). Just FYI though, Emilia Clarke ate - more like 'forced down' - 28 'hearts' made of solidified jam while shooting for the scene.
5. When Viserys died with a molten crown on his head (Season 1, Episode 6).
This was the moment that established the passion and conviction Daenerys had in her dreams, and the lengths her husband Khal Drogo was willing to go for her and her child.
6. When Ned and Cersei have one of the most iconic conversations ever (Season 1, Episode 07).
When the acting and writing is so brilliant that it matches, if not surpasses, even CIG and special effects. It's also the scene that provides an insight into why Cersei could never fall in love with Robert and how Ned Stark truly was one of the noblest men ever (guess who Jon Snow took after?).
7. When Ned Stark was beheaded, as both his daughters watched (Season 1, Episode 09).
If your heart still doesn't hurt over this scene, you're not a true fan. Also, the moment that convinced viewers GoT was anything but expected. And that Joffrey was a dick (there is no nice way of saying it).
8. When the dragons are born (Season 1, Episode 10).
Do I even need to spell out why this was an iconic scene? Oh, and in case you forgot, this also showed Daenery's conviction in herself and her idea of revenge - because she burned Mirri Maz Duur with the funeral pyre.
And yes, Drogon was the one who climbed on her shoulder. (Sobbing).
9. When Robb Stark is hailed as the King in the North (Season 1, Episode 10).
(And we believed in a world of hope again, sobbing intensifies).
10. When Arya and Tywin have a conversation on dragons and deaths (Season 2, Episode 07).
This was the scene that showed why, long before dragon fire and impressive fights, it was the dialogues that made GoT such an intelligent, fantastic, show.
From Arya recounting stories about the Targaryen sisters to stating that 'loyalty' killed her father and of course, that 'anyone can be killed', this was a conversation to remember.
11. When Jaime uses his wit to save Brienne from getting raped but loses his hand in the process (Season 3, episode 3).
That moment when we realize - in the worst possible way - that Jaime is actually not all that bad.
12. When Daenerys finds a friend and army with a single 'Dracarys' (Season 3, Episode 04).
The most 'LIT' response to an insult ever, literally.
13. When Jaime confesses to Brienne the truth behind being a 'Kingslayer' (Season 3, Episode 05).
What can easily be dubbed as one of the most emotionally charged moments from the whole series, a delirious (from pain) Jaime exposes the truth behind why he became a Kingslayer - and has Brienne, and the viewers, see him in a whole new light. Honestly, the whole bath scene between Jaime and Brienne was one of the finest performances by both, the actors and the writers.
14. When Jon and Ygritte discover a secret cave and we discover that Jon Snow knows something after all (Season 3, Episode 05).
Ever since Ygritte came into Jon Snow's life, his Night Watch's vow stood little chance. But this emotional encounter really had us rooting for Jon and Ygritte's love story - damn, they should have just stayed in the cave!
15. When Melisandre meets Arya and predicts her future as an assassin (Season 3, Episode 06).
Of course, after the eighth season, this scene has become even more significant. But even when the two first conversed, Melisandre confirmed what most viewers imagined Arya's future to be - a deadly assassin, who definitely knew how to hit her enemies with the 'pointy end'.
16. When Theon (and the viewers) realizes the extent of Ramsay's evilness (Season 3, Episode 07).
Yes, Theon did a fair share of questionable things. And he was definitely an annoying prick when the series started. But did he really deserve to be emasculated? This was the moment that actually helped Ramsay transform him completely into his meek slave Reek.
17. When Jaime 'single-handedly' rescues Brienne from a bear fight (Season 3, Episode 07).
Let's admit it, Jaime could have left her behind. But he didn't. He returned to save her, risked his own life, delivered a smartass remark - and convinced even the strongest of doubters that he wasn't all that bad, okay!
18. The Red Wedding (Season 3, Episode 09)
It will never not hurt. But this was truly expert direction, from the second the scene is built up (when Catelyn notices Roose Bolton wearing armor) to the moment it ends, the audience sported shocked gasps.
And right after it, when you think it's finally come to an end, Arya and the Hound stumble upon a desecrated Grey Wind. And it's the worst kind of heartbreak ever.
Oh, also the reason most of us know of The Rains of Castamere.
19. When Daenerys is crowned 'Mhysa' (meaning mother) by the slaves she rescues (Season 3, Episode 10).
Not just an absolutely powerful moment, but perhaps, also an indication of how Daenerys' belief that she was meant to 'right the wrongs' of the world developed.
20. When Joffrey Baratheon succumbs to poison aka The Purple Wedding (Season 4, Episode 02).
What a satisfying moment! The tormentor we'd grown to absolutely hate finally splutters to a painful death. A special mention to how the creators had us rejoicing over his death, sympathizing with Cersei's anguish, and fearing for Tyrion's future - all with one death sequence. That is storytelling at its best.
21. When Tyrion - abandoned and betrayed - demands a trial by combat (Season 4, Episode 06).
Peter Dinklage's acting prowess was at fine display in this scene. But if you look back at it, one of the most iconic scenes ever has no special effects, shocking deaths, or unexpected betrayals. It's just Tyrion's impassioned speech.
22. When Petyr Baelish pushes Lysa Arryn to her death and cements his position as an evil mastermind (Season 4, Episode 07).
Technically, the game of thrones began because of a lie that Petyr Baelish plants - with the help of his lover Lysa Arryn. And this is how he repays all that she does for him!
23. When the Mountain and the Viper have an eye-popping duel, literally (Season 4, Episode 08).
If only Oberyn was a little less cocky! And the Mountain was a little humane. If only.
24. When Ygritte gets shot by Olly and dies in Jon Snow's arms (Season 4, Episode 09).
Lucky in battles, unlucky in love. That's Jon Snow for you.
25. When Arya leaves the Hound to die, and heads to Braavos to train (Season 4, Episode 10).
Right when the audience is on the verge of believing that these two unexpected travel companions could become actual friends, Arya leaves Sandor Clegane to die. And heads off to gain the training she needs to avenge all that her family's been through.
26. When Tyrion kills Shae and Tywin after Jaime helps him escape (Season 4, Episode 10).
Having lost the trial by combat, Tyrion is sentenced to murder when Jaime helps him escape. On his way out, Tyrion makes sure to exact revenge on the two people who completely broke his trust - his father and his lover. And yes, Tywin deserved that death.
27. When Jon Snow is made Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch (Season 5, Episode 02).
The nine hundred and ninety-eighth Lord Commander, this was the first time when a former bastard was recognized as the leader he was always meant to be. This is also the scene where Samwell Tarly's emotionally charged speech convinces everyone to vote for Jon Snow, despite his love for the wildlings.
28. When Cersei is arrested by the High Sparrow's army (Season 5, Episode 07).
This is the first time that we see one of the cleverest, even if evil, characters on the show fall victim to her own machinations. And it's definitely unexpected.
29. When Night King reanimates the dead as wights at Hardhome (Season 5, Episode 08).
Easily one of the most memorable moments as Jon (and the audience) sees the true extent of the Night King's powers for the first time - the ability to instantly raise dead people as part of his army.
30. When Stannis burns his own daughter, Shireen, at the stake (Season 5, Episode 09).
*Can't write. Still emotional over this.*
31. When Drogon rescues Daenerys from the fighting pits at Mereen and she rides him for the first time (Season 5, Episode 09).
32. When Sansa and Theon finally take the leap to safety (Season 5, Episode 10).
After already having her plans thwarted by Reek aka Theon once, Sansa is left with no help. And then we see Theon emerge again as not only does he help Sansa escape, but actually takes the near-fatal leap with her.
In fact, the complete escape sequence, as the two wade through freezing water and Theon encourages and supports Sansa, is one of the most emotionally vulnerable scenes ever. And the two actors deserve all the praise for pulling it off as expertly as they did.
33. When Cersei is subjected to the 'walk of shame' (Season 5, Episode 10).
Lena Headey deserves all the praise for portraying a fierce mother, a conniving queen, a deceitful sister, and a shamed woman with equal conviction! Also, to bring one of the show's strongest villains to such a low point was brilliant writing and direction.
34. When Qyburn introduced the 'new' Mountain - who he has turned into Cersei's personal warrior (Season 5, Episode 10).
Right after her walk of shame, Qyburn introduces Cersei to the 'new and improved' version of the Mountain - who is near indestructible and pretty close to a zombie.
35. When Arya is blinded as punishment for killing Meryn Trant (Season 5, Episode 10).
Arya receives an unpleasant shock when she goes against the rules of the faceless men and kills a man from her original list for personal revenge. Also a not-so-subtle hint at how, for all her training, she's still Arya of House Stark from Winterfell.
36. When Jon Snow is betrayed and murdered (Season 5, Episode 10).
Damn it, Olly!
37. When Tyrion unchains the dragons, after an interesting conversation, of course (Season 6, Episode 02).
As Daenerys lays captured by Dothraki, and the city starts becoming restless without her rule, Tyrion decides to unchain her dragons (now fully-grown) and control the city in her absence.
38. When Jon Snow is resurrected by Melisandre (Season 6, Episode 02).
The only reason that convinces us to hate her a little less for Shireen's death.
39. When Sansa and Jon are reunited (Season 6, Episode 04).
It's the first of the reunions and frankly, the most emotional. After all, she's just survived a living hell and he's literally been resurrected after death. And it's the first time any of the Starks are reunited.
40. When Daenerys kills all the Khals and takes the Khalasar (Season 6, Episode 04).
Daenerys proves that when it comes to being a 'fiery' leader, she's the best. When she's captured and about to be subjected to rape, abuse, or worse for being a Khal's widow, she burns down the Khalasar and commands the respect of all the Dothraki.
41. When Hodor dies, trying to save Bran (Season 6, Episode 05).
Other than breaking our hearts completely, this was also the scene that showed us Bran's ability to influence a person in the past.
42. When Arya kills the Waif and reclaims her identity as Arya Stark of Winterfell (Season 6, Episode 08).
43. The 'Battle of Bastards', from Rickon's death to the moment that Jon stands alone, facing Ramsay Bolton and his army (Season 3, Episode 09).
Easily one of the most powerful battle scenes in the series (and that's saying something, considering the series features over five major battles), the sequence starts with Jon watching his little brother Rickon Stark succumb to Ramsay's arrows.
And the battle progresses continuously in Ramsay's favor, even as Jon Snow stands all alone, facing Bolton's army.
And thankfully, at the exact same moment, the Knights of the Vale come to the rescue.
The scene used over 600 crew members, 70 horses, was shot in 25 days and was the costliest episode of the season.
44. When Sansa sets Ramsay's hounds on him (Season 6, Episode 09).
Undoubtedly one of the best revenge scenes and the most well-deserved deaths.
45. When Daenerys names Tyrion as Hand of the Queen (Season 6, Episode 10)
Let's not forget, he was rejected by his own family and the people he saved - only to be accepted by her. Is it really a surprise that he believed so completely in her till the very end?
46. When Cersei blows up the Great Sept of Baelor (Season 6, Episode 10)
It was foolish for anyone to assume that Cersei would not avenge her shame. But the expertise of the scene was of how her win was contrasted with Tommen's suicide. And one can never disregard the absolutely brilliant background score, and flawless performance by Lena Headey (that evil, satisfied smile) and Natalie Dormer (the perfect marriage of anxiety and intelligence). Also, possibly one of those times, where a character ended almost everyone who stood in her path, in one go.
47. When Jon Snow is named the King in the North, at the exact same time that his true lineage is revealed (Season 6, Episode 10).
Jon Snow's true identity was not a surprise by the time the show revealed the information - and yet the reveal left the viewers impressed. Because it was made to coincide with the moment where the Northerners put their faith in a 'Stark' again, and named Jon Snow as the King in the North.
And before anyone ever forgets, it was Lyanna Mormont's speech that led the call for Jon being named the King.
48. When Cersei is crowned the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms (Season 6, Episode 10).
49. When Walder Frey dies at the hands of Arya Stark (Season 6, Episode 10).
50. When Arya lets everyone know that the Lannister may always pay their debts, but 'the North remembers' (Season 7, Episode 01).
This is possibly the only time that the show does not begin with the opening credits, but rather Arya's speech as Walder Frey, followed by her confident walk across the hall that bore witness to the Red Wedding, with the dead men of House Frey lying around her.
*Oh, that smirk!*
51. When Daenerys arrives at Dragonstone, finally! (Season 7, Episode 01).
After a journey that crossed six seasons, and countless battles and struggles, Daenerys Targaryen finally makes it to the original home of the Targaryens.
52. When Jon and Daenerys meet for the first time (Season 7, Episode 03).
Daenerys had an introduction that could've lasted a whole season. Jon Snow had Ser Davos' 'eloquent' phrase.
53. When Olenna Tyrell makes sure that Jaime and Cersei knew who plotted Joffrey's murder all along (Season 7, Episode 03).
54. When the Stark sisters reunite (Season 7, Episode 03).
Also, a shoutout to Sansa reminding everyone that the most important Stark reunion was still pending at the time. GoT really did callbacks better than most shows.
55. When Daenerys and Drogon burn the Lannister army to the ground at Highgarden (Season 7, Episode 03).
56. When Viserion is killed by the Night King (Season 7, Episode 06).
Okay, let's admit it, everyone's heart broke at this moment. Also, another fine display of the extent of Night King's power - because as the battle in Mereen proved, normal spears don't exactly bring down fully grown dragons.
57. When Viserion is resurrected as a wight Dragon by the Night King (Season 7, Episode 06).
*And the belief that the Night King is impossible to defeat became stronger.*
58. When the most cunning man in the Seven Kingdoms aka Petyr Baelish aka Littlefinger is deceived, put on trial, and executed (Season 7, Episode 07).
Simply goes to prove, the Stark siblings learned not just from their mistakes, but their parent's as well. (Except Jon, but then...)
59. When 'the Wall' succumbs to wight Viserion's dragonfire (Season 7, Episode 07).
Though they were physical items, The Wall and The Iron Throne were symbolically as much a part of the story of fire and ice as any of the characters. And the two got destroyed by exactly that - fire and ice - respectively.
60. When finally, after season 1, Arya and Jon are reunited at Winterfell in the final season (Season 8, Episode 01).
61. When Jon rides Rhaegal for the first time (Season 8, Episode 01).
62. When Brienne of Tarth is knighted and becomes the only female knight in the Seven Kingdoms (Season 7, Episode 02).
63. When Arya kills the Night King and proves that no one does sneaky like she does (Season 8 Episode 03).
It just so happens that the GoT S8 documentary, The Last Watch, gives a glimpse of the huge effort it took to bring alive this scene.
64. When Tyrion helps Jaime escape, and their conversation reminds us of the other, equally powerful, Lannister sibling duo. (Season 8, Episode 05).
Their complete conversation is a sobfest. Rightfully so!
65. When Daenerys burns more than half of King's Landing to the ground, literally, and becomes the 'Mad Queen' (Season 8, Episode 05).
Though King's Landing is traditionally shot in Croatia, for this particular scene, the producers created a complete fictional city - only to have it burned down.
66. When Jaime and Cersei die as they were born, in each other's arms, and Tyrion discovers them under a pile of rubble (Season 8, Episode 06).
67. When Daenerys Targaryen proclaims herself as the rightful leader to the Unsullied and Dothraki, even after burning King's Landing to the ground (Season 8, Episode 06).
The moment that shows how Daenerys' belief that she is truly bringing about a 'better world' is absolute. Also, what jaw-dropping brilliant cinematography.
68. When Tyrion, as a prisoner, convinces the informal council why Bran should be the new ruler of the Six Kingdoms. (Season 8, Episode 06).
Tyrion really was one of the finest 'Hands' ever.
69. When Sansa Stark is crowned the Queen in the North (Season 8, Episode 06).
Just like Daenerys, she was kidnapped, raped, defiled, and sold for 'alliances'. And yet she survived. And managed to make North an independent kingdom. She truly was the most deserving queen the North could hope for. And finally, her childhood dream of being a queen comes true in the most glorious way ever.
Looking back at the entire series, it wasn't easy picking the best moments. Because more often than not, it wasn't the action but the dialogues between the characters that truly became memorable. And that is perhaps the greatest reason why the show had us emotionally invested for so long.
All images are screenshots from Hotstar, unless specified otherwise.