Season five of Game of Thrones might be over, but memories of its greatest - and most harrowing - moments will stay with viewers for a long time yet. And if critics’ reviews and audience numbers are anything to go by – the season finale drew the show’s largest audience ever of 8.11 million viewers – this season could well have been the best so far.
Needless to say… SPOILERS AHEAD!
One reason for its success could be the show’s new-found liberation from the source material. The last 10 episodes saw the show enjoy a lot of creative freedom from the world of George Martin’s tomes, meaning even those fans who’ve read the books were in for some unexpected surprises. People who’ve never met in the books are becoming the best of friends on the screen, while other characters who are still alive in words have met an untimely death on the screen.
Still, a huge part of the enjoyment this season came from the incredible moments of drama that unfolded on our screen. Here are our top five highlights from season five:
It was the stuff zombie movie lovers live for – and, if reports are true, this 20-minute battle sequence between Jon Snow’s men, the Wildlings and the White Walkers took a month to film. This dedication and attention to detail from all the cast shows, as the formerly slow-moving White Walkers sped up dramatically for this epic confrontation between the living and the dead.
Tyrion and Daenerys
The quick-fired repartee between two of our long-time favourite characters was worth the wait when they finally met, as Daenerys put Tyrion to the test to find out if he’d make a worthy advisor. And as much as we felt that these two heroes would probably still survive on their own – together, they might just be unbeatable.
Arya: a Faceless Man
It’s a seriously exciting prospect: Arya Stark on the path to join her long-admired friend Jaqen H’ghar and the Faceless Men as a deadly assassin. Arya’s character has gone through so many transformations through the series so far – but this could well be the most intriguing yet.
Cersei’s just desserts
After watching Cersei engineer the imprisonment of both Margaery and Lores Tyrell with the help of the High Sparrow – as well as being just generally evil for the past five seasons – it felt like just desserts to see her finally get her comeuppance when her spiritual leader turned on her.
And finally, one of the moments that many Game of Thrones fans have been waiting for since our Khaleesi stepped out of the fire at the end of season one: her dragon (with a particularly great sense of timing) came to the aid of his mother – eventually flying her away to safety on his back. While we’ve had a growing idea of the power of Daenerys’ dragons through the whole series so far, we finally saw that promise come to life this season.
If you can’t wait until next year for a Game of Thrones fix, we’re with you.