Let's get this out of the way right now. Westeros seems like a frightening place to live. Beheadings, massacres, war, rats eating people's chests?! No, thank you. However, what can be unanimously agreed upon is that the brutality in Game of Thrones has provided thrilling can't-look-away entertainment for years.
What can also be said about the show's violence is that it's shown through some of the most terrific fights scenes in television history. The final season will most likely deliver more great action, but for now, check out the list to see the ten best fight scenes in Game of Thrones so far!
10 Jorah vs. Qotho
Other than being known as the poster boy for friend-zoning, Jorah is also a world-renowned swordsman. The first season likes to passively tease Jorah's capabilities by only mentioning his skills through dialogue. It's probably why this moment ends up being so cathartic.
Up until this particular point, Qotho had already disapproved of blood magic being used to cure Khal Drogo's sickness. He'll do anything to stop it even if that means attacking Daenerys. This is where Jorah steps in and engages in brutal combat. Although the scene is brief, it's still filmed with great stability. The fight choreography is also effectively brutal with every hack and slash being felt. Moreover, this scene shows Jorah never lets anyone put his Khaleesi in the corner.
9 Dancing With A-Myself
Syrio Forel is like a real-life Puss in Boots. Even though the character only appears in the first season, he makes a big impression as Arya's witty and skilled dance instructor (sword teacher). Audiences are offered glimpses of Syrio's combat expertise while training Arya. Everything comes to a breaking point when soldiers from the Kingsguard are ordered to kill her.
Using only a wooden sword, Syrio is able to single-handedly take on all of the men. It's a fight scene of balletic blocking with every camera angle methodically placed so that each movement is given enough time to breathe. Truly a sequence worthy of Syrio's mantra, "What do we say to the god of death? Not today."
8 Dual Wielding
Ser Arthur Dayne must've had the buffest forearms in Westeros. Most people can barely hold one sword, let alone two. Contextually, this scene is interesting in that it's one of the show's only flashbacks that pauses long enough for an entire duel to play out. The set up involves a young Ned Stark attempting to save his pregnant sister whose being held captive inside The Tower of Joy. However, the infamous Ser Arthur Dayne is guarding the tower. Now, it's important to remember that there's a myth in the present day Thrones timeline claiming that Ned had struck down Dayne with ease. This scene proves what really took place that day was much different than the legend.
Granted, this scene has much more stagey choreography than any of the other fight scenes in the show. Still, the sequence is just as impressive with its eloquent Ray Park (Darth Maul actor) style combat. Is it bad that this scene is so well done that it kind of makes the viewer cheer for Dayne?
7 The Hound vs. Beric
When The Hound isn't eating every single last chicken in Westeros, he's avoiding fire like the plague. This fear is what makes his fight with Beric Dondarrion so intense. What's particularly special about the battle is that it's loaded with terrific character moments. Beric's flaming sword simultaneously shows his faith in the Lord of Light and also that gods may very well exist in Westeros.
The induction of fire completely raises the stakes against The Hound. Also, who doesn't think flame swords are cool? Seeing what's essentially a medieval lightsaber swing around is the stuff of high fantasy dreams. Someone call HBO and tell them to sell fire sword replicas!
6 Make Him Fly
Let's all say it together. "Mummy, I want to see the bad man fly!" Oh, the Eyrie. Between the fortress's insane moon door and questionable maternal dynamics, its been a bizarre source of entertainment from day one. The battle is one of the show's earliest examples to prove that the series could produce amazingly cinematic fight scenes.
Each component of the battle is specifically staged so that Bronn uses almost every prop on set. Another cool aspect of it all is that its the first time audiences are introduced to trial by combat.
5 The Fight For Arya
This dual is so much more than just a really tall guy and a really tall girl hacking away at each other. Rather, it's a culmination of Arya, The Hound, and Brienne's storylines from season four. What begins as a clash of ideologies regarding who could best look after Arya quickly turns into a physical battle between two of Westeros' deadliest warriors.
Featuring actual mountainsides as the fight's backdrop, every frame of combat is captured in gorgeous detail. The final result is a brutally majestic dance of steel and blood. Alright, we promise no more pretentious descriptions.
4 The Mountain vs. The Red Viper
Is it weird to have the burning sensation to crush a watermelon with a mallet after watching this scene? Everything about Tyrion's second trial by combat is what makes Game of Thrones one of the most consistently surprising long-form dramas ever made. Oberyn Martell A.K.A. The Red Viper of Dorne fights in Tyrion's place against The Mountain. Making matters more complicated is that Oberyn seeks revenge against The Mountain due to the fact that the giant warrior murdered his sister years before the trial takes place.
What follows is one of the finest one on one fight scenes ever conceived for a television show. The transitions between actors and stuntmen are virtually seamless. The best fight scenes are like well-told jokes. They've got setups and punchlines. And oh, what a punchline this is.
The pitch for this scene probably went something like, "What if a Megadeth album cover was turned into a battle scene?" Although Hardhome is not the defining Game of Thrones fight scene on this list like it is for a lot of folks, it's still an incredible achievement. The sequence revolves around Jon Snow attempting to convince a village of Wildlings that an army of White Walkers exist. Of course, the White Walkers attack the village at that very moment.
Up until this point, Hardhome had easily been the most ambitious battle sequence ever attempted on Game of Thrones. Even more impressive is that director Miguel Sapochnik somehow controls all of the chaos happening on screen. Everything that goes down feels like something out of a horror film except on a grander scale. What's also great about the scene is that it finally showed people that Winter was no longer coming. Rather, it was knocking on everyone's door.
2 Battle of Blackwater
The Battle of Helm's De--uh...we mean, The Battle of Blackwater is debatably one of the finest moments in television history. Acting as the show's earliest example of delegating an entire episode to one location, it proved that taking an hour to follow only a single storyline can have powerful payoffs.
Tyrion takes charge of King's Landing and wages an all-out defense against Stannis Baratheon's army. Every single part of the battle is shot with clarity so that every visceral kill is shown in stunning detail. However, what puts this war sequence over the top is that it never forgets to inject it with terrific character interactions.
1 Battle of Castle Black
Wildlings, giants, ice climbers, mammoths, oh my! This battle has it all. As far as action goes, it's definitely the show's crowning achievement. This is where Jon finally takes command of the Night's Watch and wow are the results amazing. The entire war is filled with one inventive set piece after another.
Some characters have moments of triumph and others have moments of tragedy. Ultimately, the sequence capitalizes on all of the things that make Game of Thrones such a phenomenon and delivers an unforgettable hour of television.