These are the moments that keep us coming back!
fan, but for all its misery and drudgery, the show does have some pretty sweet payoffs. We finally got to see several big ones this past season, and it was a much-needed pick-me-up after experiencing Season 5\'s unending awfulness. That final Season 6 episode got us thinking about the show\'s greatest payoff moments — the moments when you pumped your fist, shouted, "YES!" (or "YAASS!"), and walked around like your team just won the Superbowl for the next 20 minutes. Here we\'ve ranked 22 of those payoffs from least to most satisfying.
22. Oberyn Martell Extracts Justice from the Mountain
It was thrilling to watch Oberyn Martell pick apart Westeros\' most feared warrior. He feinted, parried, jabbed, and stabbed his way to victory all while publicly outing the Mountain as a villain who raped and murdered Oberyn\'s sister. Of course, our enthusiasm was tempered when the Mountain proceeded to use the last of his considerable strength to knock Oberyn off his feet and pop his head like a grape, which is why this is number 22.
21. Bran Wargs Into Hodor to Kill Locke
It wasn\'t the biggest payoff on the show, but it was very satisfying to see Bran put an end to the deplorable Locke in Season 4 by warging into Hodor\'s body to snap the villain\'s neck.
Tyrion (wisely) shows so much restraint the first couple of seasons that to see him finally deliver a much-deserved tongue lashing to everyone involved in his sham of a trial in Season 4 was a fist-pumping moment. Unfortunately it didn\'t do him much good to angrily declare, "I wish I was the monster you think I am! I wish I had enough poison for the whole pack of you. I would gladly give my life to watch you all swallow it."
When push comes to shove, Samwell Tarly is no coward. When a White Walker threatened Gilly and her son in Season 2, Sam saved her by felling the supernatural monster with an obsidian blade.
So many mixed emotions! It\'s sad to watch the sequence where Tyrion takes a detour from his escape from King\'s Landing to kill his father and Shae (after he finds her sleeping in his father\'s bed). It\'s like watching someone walk over the edge, and it\'s so dark. But on the other hand, he finally kills his evil dad, who definitely had it coming.
The first signs of Jaime\'s hidden nobility started to show when Locke took him prisoner along with Lady Brienne. He lost his sword hand while convincing Locke\'s men not to rape Brienne, and later, when Locke stuck her in a pit with a bear with nothing but a practice sword, Jaime came rushing to the rescue. And Jaime\'s never been a straight heel since that moment.
After paying his dues by infiltrating the Wildlings, scaling the Wall with the Wildlings, and then saving Castle Black from those Wildlings, Jon Snow was facing imprisonment or worse at the hands of Janos Slynt and Alliser Thorne. He survived that brush with disaster to come back and win the loyalty of the Night\'s Watch (or so he thought) when they elected him Lord Commander. His resolve was immediately tested by Slynt himself, who ended up losing his head to teach everyone not to mess with Lord Commander Snow.
At the end of Season 5, it was reasonable to assume Sandor Clegane had succumbed to his injuries after his battle with Brienne, but Season 6 brought us a reformed Hound who finds himself almost forced into being the hero we knew he could be. Watching him finally fight for something other than himself was a big payoff for his fans.
We\'ve known all along Cersei was someone who was willing to escalate any situation above and beyond what her opponents were expecting or prepared for. And when the High Sparrow backed her into a corner, he certainly wasn\'t prepared for her to destroy the revered Sept of Baelor and kill everyone inside to prove who really ruled King\'s Landing. While it was certainly satisfying watching the Sparrow\'s insidious following go up in flames, it was bittersweet seeing the Tyrells taken out with him.
When famed magician Pyat Pree kidnapped Dany\'s dragons, you knew this was not going to end well for him. Confident that he had the upper hand on the Mother of Dragons, Pree thought he had Daenerys trapped when she used her dragons\' loyalty, and their apparently anti-magic flames, against him.
Creepy angry Viserys showed his true colors early on as he pouted and screamed through a few early episodes. But he pushed his dominant position over his sister too far when he demanded she and Khal Drogo give him the army he was promised to take back the Iron Throne. Drogo responded by giving us our second most memorable kill of the first season (RIP Ned #1), dumping a cauldron full of molten gold on Viserys head to give him his long-coveted golden crown.
Arya Stark blew her first big assignment for the Many-Faced God by going rogue to mutilate and murder Ser Meryn Trant. The show made sure to show how terrible he was as he entered a brothel and refused every girl he was offered except the very youngest. Arya took advantage of his disgusting proclivities by posing as a young prostitute before revealing herself, stabbing out his eyes, and ultimately slitting his throat.
When Daenerys was taken prisoner by Khal Moro and brought to Vaes Dothrak to join the Dosh Khaleen, she was facing a lifetime of boredom — if she wasn\'t put to death. Instead, she turned it all around by killing all the assembled Khals in a huge fire and walking out naked and unscathed to lead the Dothraki horde back to Mereen.
From the moment Jon Snow met Ygritte, book readers were waiting for her to utter the words, "You know nothing Jon Snow." But the biggest payoff of the relationship came when she helped him break his vows to the Night\'s Watch by doing it in a cave.
In Season 6 we finally saw Daenerys\' dragons become the awesome war machines we knew they could be. The big moment came when she met the slavers who were expecting her to surrender, and she flipped the tables with a trump card named Drogon.
This moment would be ranked higher if it hadn\'t been so thoroughly telegraphed. By the time the camera cuts back to Jon Snow taking a deep shuddering breath, everyone knew what was coming, but that didn\'t mean it wasn\'t satisfying.
When Daenerys agrees to trade one of her dragons for all the Unsullied, her advisors plead with her not to go through with the deal. True to her word, she delivers a dragon to Kraznys mo Nakloz and is given the special whip that marks her as the leader of the Unsullied. Then she proceeds to take the Unsullied and command her dragon to char Kraznys to well-done.
Arya Stark got revenge on Walder Frey for the Red Wedding this season, and her actions made it clear she\'s a Faceless assassin in all but name.
The highlight of Season 2 was watching Tyrion Lannister protect King\'s Landing from Stannis Baratheon\'s forces. First he prepared a massive deadly trap by fire bombing Stannis\' fleet with Wildfire. Then, when the opposing army was at the gate and Joffrey had abandoned the fight, Tyrion rallied the remaining troops and led them on a city-saving charge against Stannis\' infantry. If his dad had just recognized Tyrion\'s contributions, maybe he wouldn\'t have died on the toilet.
fans at some point fantasized about punching Joffrey Baratheon in his smug little face? Most of those fans couldn\'t help but cheer when Joffrey found himself choking to death at his own wedding in Season 4.
Daenerys has more moments than any other character on this list, but our favorite is still one of her first. It was the last shot of the last episode of the first season when she walked out of Khal Drogo\'s funeral pyre unscathed with three newly hatched baby dragons.
We didn\'t think anyone could be worse than Joffrey Baratheon — until we saw more of Ramsay Bolton. Over and over, Ramsay proved to be the most awful despicable horrible human on the show, and watching his perfectly orchestrated final fate was the most satisfying moment of Season 6, and arguably the entire series.
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I'm the Senior Editor for movies on Zimbio.com, which means I spend way too much time thinking about the geekiest possible ways to approach the cineplex. I'm also hopelessly addicted to audio books. Follow me: Twitter | Google
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