'Game of Thrones': 5 Greatest Battle Speeches
"Slay the masters" is good, but "Those are brave men knocking at our door. Let's go kill them" is better.
HBO's Game of Thrones is poised to unleash what will likely be its most epic battle to date.
In preparation for Sunday's "The Watchers on the Wall," we're ranking our five favorite battle speeches. Not all of them end well, but they are all great in their own way.
Check them out below, and for more on the episode, see our theories of what will happen here.
5. Robb (Battle of the Whispering Wood)
Season 1, Episode 9
"One victory does not make us conquerors. Did we free my father? Did we rescue my sisters from the Queen? Did we free the North from those who want us on our knees? This war is far from over."
Why it's entertaining, but not all that inspiring: This is Robb's big chance to make a statement, and what does he do? Make it all about himself and his family. It's also sort of a downer: "Hey guys, we just won a battle but who are we kidding? It hasn't accomplished anything!"
4. Yara (Attack on the Dreadfort)
Season 4, Episode 6
"They skinned our countrymen, and they mutilated my brother. Your prince. Your prince! Everything they've done to him, they've also done to you. As long as they can hurt our prince with impunity, the word 'Ironborn' means nothing."
Why it's better than Robb's: Yara fires up her men using sort of the same idea: "My family has been wronged." But she wisely appeals to the machismo of the Ironborn. An insult to their lord's family is an insult to them. And one thing about the Ironborn: They do not take insults well.
3. Theon Greyjoy (Sack of Winterfell)
Season 2, Episode 10
"You here that? That's the mating call of the Northmen. They want to f— us. Well I haven't had a good f— in weeks. I'm ready for one. They say every Ironborn man is worth a dozen from the mainland. Do you think they're right? Ironborn will cry out our names as they leap onto the shores of Seagard and Faircastle. Mothers will name their sons for us. Girls will think of us with their lovers inside them. And whoever kills that f—ing hornblower will stand in bronze above the shores of Pyke. What is dead may never die."
Why it's quite good: Theon's speech reflects some of his key characteristics. It's inappropriately sexual and more confidant than it should be. Still, it's quite rousing by the time it's over. The problem? The battle ended with him knocked out and subsequently tortured for months at the hands of Ramsay Snow.
2. Daenerys (Siege of Astapor)
Season 3, Episode 3
"Slay the soldiers. Slay every man who holds a whip. But harm no child. Strike the chains off of every slave you see."
Why it's great: Daenerys gives the best bait-and-switch in the shows history, tricking the slavers into trading 8,000 Unsullied for one dragon. Unfortunately for the slavers, the dragon remained loyal to Daenerys, while the Unsullied are also loyal to her -- their new master.
1. Tyrion (Battle of the Blackwater)
"They say I'm half a man. But what does that make the lot of you? There's another way out; I'm going to show you. Come out behind them and f— them in their asses. Don't fight for your king, and don't fight for his kingdoms. Don't fight for honor, don't fight for glory. Don't fight for riches, because you won't get any. This is your city Stannis means to sack. That's you're gate he's ramming — and if he gets in, it will be your houses he burns, your gold he steels, your women he will rape. Those are brave men knocking at our door. Let's go kill them."
Why it's the best: Despite being something of a joke around King's Landing, the "half man" proved himself the most capable leader in the city. It's easy to give great war speeches when you have dragons or are the handsome king of the north. Much more difficult to rally men when you've been ridiculed your whole life.
What's your favorite Game of Thrones battle speech? What'd we leave off this list? Sound off in the comments, and stay tuned to THR.com/GoT after Sunday's episode for a full recap and postmortem with director Neil Marshall.
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