30. Bolton Army Long Shields
The Battle of the Bastards (episode 6.9) is undoubtedly one of the greatest battle scenes ever brought to screen. Beyond the epic scale and its incredibly gritty, visceral feel that sets it apart from the previous gold standard, Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy, the Bolton-Stark showdown is notable for its inspired use of shields. Shields pretty much always play a supporting role, and a defensive one at that, but in this instance, they take on a chilling starring role as the Bolton forces surround Jon Snow and his men, forming a wall of long shields that then begins to constrict, crushing them. If not for the Knights of the Vale, it’s almost certain that the Bolton banners would still be flying over Winterfell.
29. Gendry’s Bull Helm
Proof of Gendry’s smithing skill, his prized creation is the one possession he takes with him after being sent away by his master, Tobho Mott, to join the Night’s Watch. Little does Gendry know that the smith’s dismissal was for his own protection, as Joffrey has sent the goldcloaks to murder all of Robert Baratheon’s bastard children, of which Gendry, unknowingly, is one. But the goldcloaks go beyond the city walls to track down his traveling party on the Kingsroad, attacking in the night after Night’s Watch recruiter Yoren refuses to hand the boy over. The untrained traveling party loses the fight, and Gendry is forced to leave his helm behind, but for a very good cause—with some quick thinking, Arya Stark manages to convince the goldcloaks that they already killed the boy named Gendry, using the bull helm’s location next to a corpse as evidence.
28. Arya Stark’s Frey Pie
Arya Stark knows her Westerosi legends (thanks, Old Nan), and cooked up the perfect vengeance for Walder Frey by paying homage to the story of the Rat Cook. As recounted by Bran Stark to Meera and Jojen Reed back in “Mhysa” (3.10), many years ago a king visited the Nightfort, the chief castle on the Wall at the time. In retaliation for some unspecified offense, the Nightfort’s cook killed the son, chopped him up, and fed him in a pie to the father, who liked it so much he had a second piece. The gods, offended by the cook’s betrayal of guest right, transform the cook into a rat doomed to eat his own children. Arya takes her own spin on the tale by feeding the guest-right-betraying Frey his heirs in a pie she made herself—betrayed king, vengeful cook, and righteous god all rolled into one while Frey gets to play the role of the cursed rat.
27. Battle Planning Table at Dragonstone
No good commander would ever think of going to war without a good map for strategizing. In addition to being one of the most impressive maps of Westeros seen thus far in the show, the battle planning table at Dragonstone has the singular privilege of being the only such item to be at the center of not one but two campaigns to secure the Iron Throne. It’s also the table on which Melisandre probably conceives Stannis’s demon shadow-baby, so I’d give it a good disinfecting before getting all up-close-and-personal if I were you, Daenerys.
26. The Iron Islands Driftwood Crown
Nobody in Westeros is particularly invested in the Iron Islands besides the Iron Islanders. After all, the islands are basically a pile of rocks and the residents worship a kraken god. So long as the residents stay on the Iron Islands, mainland Westeros really doesn’t care what goes on there, or which Greyjoy wears the driftwood crown. Unfortunately, Iron Islanders are notoriously bad at keeping to themselves, and they also have a lot of ships, which are an incredibly useful thing to have in wars, meaning that the rest of the realm is forced to care at least a little bit about the Greyjoys and the lands they rule over for the time being.
25. Baelish’s Mockingbird Pin
Some men like to travel incognito. Others like to announce their presence wherever they go. For all the sneaking around he does, Petyr Baelish still likes to make his identity known on his travels, as he’s never spotted without this trademark mockingbird pin.
24. Khal Drogo’s Gold Belt
After making a cameo appearance in the series premiere as part of the outfit Khal Drogo wears when he marries Daenerys Targaryen, this gold belt returns in “A Golden Crown” (episode 1.6) in a starring role. I’m not sure what sort of EZ-melt gold it’s made of, but bending a few laws of nature seems to be a reasonable price to pay for one of the most gruesomely satisfying deaths in Game of Thrones history.
23. Joffrey Baratheon’s Crown
There have been many kings and crowns in Game of Thrones, but no one wears a crown in a way that’s damnably irritating quite like Joffrey. Much like his “father” before him, Joffrey’s crown resembles antlers in homage to his supposed Baratheon lineage. However, Joffrey’s crown is particularly of note for how it evolves over time. After Margaery arrives on the scene and sinks her claws into everyone’s least favorite king, his golden antlers are modified to be interwoven with Tyrell rosebuds.
22. Wooden Stag Given to Shireen by Davos
Shireen Baratheon’s main goal in life seems to be to spread literacy throughout Westeros, and apparently, she’s a pretty good teacher, training both Ser Davos and making significant progress with Gilly in spite of her mother’s disapproval of her interacting with a wildling before leaving Castle Black. She’s too good for this world, and her friendship with Davos, who carves toys for her such as this stag—in honor of her House—is one of the sweetest things Game of Thrones has ever seen. As such, it’s hardly a surprise that it all ends horribly, with Shireen burnt at the stake in an ill-conceived attempt at turning the tides and Davos discovering what became of her when he finds the charred remains of the toy he gave her in the ashes of her sacrificial pyre.
21. Jorah Mormont’s Royal Pardon
Presumably, Jorah Mormont began spying on Daenerys for the crown because he hoped to be allowed to return to Westeros someday. However, by the time that day comes, it feels more punishment than a reward, as Daenerys bans him from her service for his betrayal. Jorah, loyal bear that he is, refuses to accept this turn of events and then spends the better part of two seasons trying to get back in the Dragon Queen’s good books. In the end, all it takes is getting caught by slavers, winning a few battles in the fighting pits, begging forgiveness, getting sent away again, getting Greyscale, begging forgiveness a second time, and then finding a cure for said Greyscale. Easy peasy.
Related Topics: Game of Thrones