“Hardhome” (Season 5, Episode 8)

The siege of King’s Landing, the assault on the Wall, the Battle of the Bastards: As impressive as each of these conflicts are, they were also telegraphed for weeks. What happened at Hardhome, a remote wildling settlement to which Jon Snow and his newfound ally Tormund Giantsbane led a humanitarian mission to help its people sail south, happened out of nowhere. With only the barking of dogs, the rumble of thunder, and a cloud of mist as a warning, the dead were suddenly upon the living, and the White Walkers followed. The chaos of “Hardhome” marries cinematic combat to raw terror as effectively as television has ever done, culminating in the resurrection of countless fallen humans by the demonic Night’s King in a gesture that feels obscene in its transgressive arrogance.

“Hardhome” (Season 5, Episode 8) is found in...

10 Best Episodes of Game of Thrones...Yet!
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Item Position (rank): 9