My 7 Favorite Moments from Game of Thrones Season One
We are now at less than a week before the final season of Game of Thrones premieres on TV, and I have been looking back on the show’s run. So many twists and turns since the beginning of the show. Come to think of it, There aren’t that many people from Season One that have made it all the way to the end. The survival rate on this show is incredibly low.
Having looked back at seasons past, I decided to take a look at my favorite moments from each season. To start us, let’s go back and talk about the seven moments that I thought were game-changing, or in this case, game-defining in Season one of Game of Thrones.
#7- The White Walker Cometh, “Winter is Coming”
Despite being based on Medieval Europe, the world of Game of Thrones is also steeped in the supernatural, whether its inhabitants know it or not. As fans of the franchise are well aware of, the biggest threat to Westeros isn’t the Game of Thrones, but the White Walkers. The cold opening to the first episode gave fans a glimpse into the icy monsters that have been gathering in strength Beyond the Wall, and seeing them kill two of the three members of the Night’s Watch sent investigate is terrifying.
One of the big plot points of the show is the fact that few people, even in the Night’s Watch, believes that the White Walkers are real. The deserter from the Night’s Watch tries to tell Ned Stark of the threat, but even he doesn’t believe it. Westeros is now preparing to fight for its existence, but this moment was a foreshadowing of what was to come.
#6- Direwolf Puppies!, “Winter is Coming”
There were a lot of other scenes that I could have chosen, but my reasoning is simple: I love puppies; I love babies in general. Ned Stark and his sons come across the body of a dead stag and direwolf, along with her six pups. After Jon convinces him, Ned agrees to let his children adopt one of the direwolves for themselves.
Cuteness aside, I love this scene for being rife with symbolism and foreshadowing. The sight of the stag and direwolf having killed each other foreshadows the coming conflict between the Stark’s and the “Baratheon’s”. More importantly, is what this moment has to do with Jon Snow. The fact that it was Jon who persuaded Ned a subtle hint to his heritage notwithstanding, the discovery of Ghost reflects the struggles Jon went through. Without a mother in his life, he had to learn how to grow up quickly, and that made him strong, it made him who he is now, a man worthy of being a king.
#5- Tyrion’s Trial By Combat, “A Golden Crown”
Poor Tyrion went on quite a number of adventures in Season One, but I think the one I liked the most was his trial by combat in the Vale. After Catelyn Stark wrongly accuses him of pushing Bran out a window, she takes him to her sister in the Vale to punish him. Tyrion then makes the most hilarious confession before demanding a trial by combat. The battle that follows sees the mercenary Bronn defeat Lysa Arryn’s champion in combat.
Aside from Tyrion being hilarious in this scene, this moment marks the official start of the beautiful bromance between Tyrion and Bronn. They may be on opposite sides now, but it’s clear they still care about each other’s safety. Plus, Bronn’s underhanded but smart method of fighting his opponent is a big “screw you” to the idea of “fighting with honor”. When you’re fighting at a disadvantage, that’s stupid and will get you killed.
#4- A Crown for a King, “A Golden Crown”
From the moment I saw Viserys Targaryen, I knew that if he ever became King, he’d run Westeros into the ground. Everyone knew it; even Daenerys admitted it. But Viserys was too full of himself, too much like his father to see his faults. Then he had the arrogance to threaten to take back his sister, and kill her unborn child, right in front of her husband.
I personally loved this scene because it shows just how much Khal Drogo had come to love his wife. I could almost see the daggers in his eyes when Viserys threatened her and their unborn son. More importantly, it was a reminder about killing one’s enemies. A clever man does not need to use a sword to kill someone, which Viserys failed to understand.
#3- Ned Learns the Truth, “A Golden Crown”
One of the reasons that Ned Stark chose to become Hand of the King for Robert was so that he could investigate the death of their mentor, Jon Arryn. His only clues were his last words, “the seed is strong”, and a book on the history of the noble families of the Seven Kingdoms. But it’s only a passing remark by his daughter Sansa that makes Ned realize the truth: that Robert and Cersei’s children are bastards born out of incest.
The look of sheer shock on Ned’s face when he figures it out is priceless. Shock aside, this is the moment where everything changes. The revelation that Joffrey’s a bastard child is the spark that ignites the War of the Five Kings that would see most of the show’s cast die, Ned included. Hundreds of thousands dead because of a lie.
#2- Ned Stark’s Execution, “Baelor”
This was the single biggest mistake that Joffrey made, and he made a lot of mistakes in his life. After being arrested on false charges of treason, Ned Stark is forced to forgo his honor in order to protect Sansa’s life. He then proclaims that Joffrey’s the one true king, hoping that he will be exiled to the Wall. Then Joffrey stupidly orders for him to be executed anyway.
Ned Stark could be considered the main character of Season One of the show, so killing him off was just as shocking as it was in the book. Ned’s death backfires on Joffrey and sets the Seven Kingdoms against each other. Nice job breaking it, your majesty!
#1- Daenerys Reborn, “Fire and Blood”
Hands down, this was my favorite moment from the first season of the show. After being forced to put her comatose husband out of his misery, Daenerys is left with only a handful of followers. Whereas most people would give up, what does Dany do? She lights a funeral pyre for Khal Drogo, places her three dragon eggs and the woman responsible on it, and then walks into the flames. The next morning, she’s found nude and unharmed… with three baby dragons.
This scene is my favorite because it’s symbolic on multiple levels. Watching Daenerys walk into the flames and emerged naked but fine reminds me of the legend of the Phoenix: they burn themselves in flames before being reborn in the ashes. Gone was the timid girl we were introduced to in the first episode. In her place stood a young woman fit to be a queen.
This moment is also symbolic of the rebirth of House Targaryen. The world had thought that House Targaryen was finished: no armies, no allies in sight, and only one member known to be alive. But when I saw Dany emerge with her baby dragons, I heard a voice in my head, telling me that House Targaryen was not finished yet. And that Game of Thrones was truly destined for greatness.