'Game of Thrones': Ranking Each Episode From Season 6

8:00 AM 6/30/2016

by Josh Wigler

From "The Red Woman" through "The Winds of Winter," here's how the sixth season of HBO's Emmy-winning epic stacks up.

Courtesy of HBO

Click here to see where season six's 10 episodes rank on our all-time list.

  1. 10

    "No One"

    Season 6, Episode 8

    Courtesy of HBO

    Arya Stark's war with the Waif comes to an end, wrapped up neatly after a fairly frustrating cliffhanger one week earlier. The Riverrun story ends with a bit of a shrug as well, even if it's always delightful seeing Jaime Lannister and Brienne of Tarth sharing screen time together.

  2. 9

    "Blood of My Blood"

    Season 6, Episode 6

    Courtesy of HBO

    The outing is undeniably slowed down by Samwell Tarly and Gilly's trip to Horn Hill, where they suffer through one of the most uncomfortable family dinners in Game of Thrones history. But the episode is helped by the return of Benjen Stark, last seen in season one, his existence now residing somewhere between human and White Walker.

  3. 8

    "The Broken Man"

    Season 6, Episode 7

    Courtesy of Helen Sloan/HBO

    Sandor Clegane's return from the dead was foretold by book enthusiasts who read between the lines in A Feast For Crows, the fourth novel in Martin's fantasy series. But confirmation of his continued survival was a big treat nonetheless, especially because it further solified the inevitable clash between the Hound and the Mountain fans lovingly refer to as "The Cleganebowl."

  4. 7

    "The Red Woman"

    Season 6, Episode 1

    Courtesy of HBO

    Jon Snow remained dead through the season six premiere, a disheartening development in the moment, ultimately redeemed one week later. But the episode ended in a powerful way all the same, as Melisandre of Asshai revealed her true form as an impossibly ancient woman, hundreds of years older than anyone ever imagined.

  5. 6

    "Book of the Stranger"

    Season 6, Episode 4

    Courtesy of HBO

    "None of you are fit to lead the Dothraki… but I am." With those words, Daenerys set her entire storyline on fire, literally and metaphorically, by burning Khal Moro and his brutish blood riders to the ground and cementing her status as Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea. It stands proudly alongside the Dragon Queen's many badass moments throughout her run on Thrones.

  6. 5


    Season 6, Episode 3

    Courtesy of Macall B. Polay/HBO

    Jon Snow's first episode back from the dead saw him abandoning the Night's Watch, technically able to leave the sacred order due to his death and rebirth. Just as importantly, the episode featured an impressive flashback to the Tower of Joy, one of the most beloved sequences in Martin's book series, lovingly and faithfully rendered on the show… even if it didn't quite end with the equation some fans were counting on.

  7. 4


    Season 6, Episode 2

    Courtesy of HBO

    Historically, the second episode of season six will be best remembered as the one where Jon Snow came back to life. But that's selling all the other standout elements short, including Theon's tearful farewell to Sansa, his father's shocking death at the Iron Islands, Ramsay Bolton's brutal rise to power at Winterfell, and the first sighting of Bran Stark since season four — not to mention his first true use of time travel.

  8. 3

    "The Door"

    Season 6, Episode 5

    Courtesy of HBO

    When thinking about the purest and most brutal blindsides, Thrones fans often think back on Ned Stark's beheading and the Red Wedding. Season six added another painful memory to the list in Hodor's death — somehow both incredibly classy and extraordinarily devastating in the same breath. Losing such a beloved character in such a complicated and unexpected way is pretty much the only way to say goodbye to someone like Hodor. His final scene will always be etched in Thrones lore, a pop culture moment fans will be discussing for years and years to come.

  9. 2

    "Battle of the Bastards"

    Season 6, Episode 9

    Courtesy of HBO

    With respect to "Blackwater," "Watchers on the Wall" and "Hardhome," no episode can touch "Battle of the Bastards" in terms of sheer size and scale. The war for Winterfell is an absolute achievement, unlike anything ever seen on television before — almost more Saving Private Ryan than Game of Thrones at points. The episode earns bonus marks for stealthily featuring a second rock star battle sequence, as a dragon-riding Daenerys incinerates Meereen's would-be conquerers in the blink of an eye.

  10. 1

    "The Winds of Winter"

    Season 6, Episode 10


    Easily the greatest season finale in Game of Thrones history, and arguably the show's greatest episode yet; a neck-and-neck horse race with the top contender, and the probable winner if not for the Red Wedding's iconic status. There's not a single knock against "The Winds of Winter," from Cersei's Godfather-like slaughter of her enemies in the opening moments to Daenerys Stormborn sailing for Westeros in the closing ones. That's not even mentioning the reveal of Jon Snow's true parentage and Arya Stark's "baking bad" moment, either. The fact that season six's closing installment not only topped the seemingly unstoppable "Battle of the Bastards," but did so only one episode later, only adds to the finale's mythic quality.