If you haven't yet watched Seasons 1 - 4 of Game of Thrones, beware - spoiler alert!
In anticipation of the Game of Thrones Season 5 Binge Weekend, starting Saturday 12 March at 22:00 on M-Net Edge, take a look back at the first four seasons and the top moments that made fans gasp, cry, cheer and stare at their screens in horror and dismay.
These defining moments are what kept us on the edge of our seats and begging for more and, although we had to think twice about leaving off moments like Sam Tarly killing a white walker, Brandon Stark being pushed off the tower and the torture of Theon Greyjoy, there could be only ten. Here they are:
1. The Red Wedding
In what was one of the most shocking moments in TV history, the penultimate episode of Season 3 had viewers recoiling in disbelief when a seemingly blissful wedding was turned into a bloodbath. Betrayed by Walder Frey, the Stark banner-men and soldiers are brutally massacred, culminating in the death of Robb Stark, his pregnant wife Talisa and his mother, Catelyn, placing a grim emphasis on the phrase “nice guys finish last”.
2. The Execution of Ned Stark
The moment that Eddard “Ned” Stark was betrayed by Littlefinger and beheaded by the coward Joffrey Baratheon set the tone for the danger and deceit that was to follow in the battle for the Iron Throne.
3. The Assassination of King Joffrey Baratheon
Audiences were given justice with the long-awaited death of Joffrey Baratheon in Season 4. Poisoned at his own wedding, fans were glued to their seats during Season 5 to see if the assassin would be uncovered.
4. Prince Oberyn’s Defeat
The horrific death of Prince Oberyn at the hands of The Mountain, in a trial by combat for Tyrion Lannister, was a bleak reminder not too get too close to any of the characters, old or new.
5. The Moon Door Push
We all knew Littlefinger was deceptive, but the moment he pushed Lysa Arryn through the moon door to her death cemented his cold-bloodedness as well.
6. Viserys Targaryen’s Death Crown
Viserys Targaryen, the infamous “Beggar King” and brother to Daenerys Targaryen, meets his inevitable doom after threatening Khal Drogo and the Dothraki. His wheeling, dealing and whining are put to an end when he finally receives his “Golden Crown” – a pot of molten gold poured over his head.
7. The Destruction of Astapor
Game of Thrones’ bold approach to fire, blood and power is epitomised in the destruction of Astapor by Daenrys, as she takes command of her army of freed slaves and reclaims her dragon.
8. Daenerys Targaryen becomes the Mother of Dragons
We got our first glimpse of dragons at the end of Season 1 when Daenerys stepped into her husband’s funeral pyre with her dragon eggs. She stepped out unscathed and bearing three hatchlings, which have grown in size and might throughout the series. Hopefully we’ll see plenty more of them in the seasons to come.
9. The Battle of the Blackwater
In an event that defined the grand scale of action and effects of the worldwide phenomenon that is Game of Thrones, the Battle of the Blackwater was an unforgettable moment of assault on land and sea driven by Stannis Baratheon, in what was ultimately a failed attempt to take King’s Landing.
10. Arya Stark Deserts The Hound
Young Arya Stark has not had it easy since her family was ousted from King’s Landing. She continues to meet adversity around every corner, so it’s understandable that her heart has hardened. Her turning point came at the end of Season 4 when she abandoned her travelling companion, The Hound, to his death and left on a ship bound for Braavos. Where will her path take her now?