Game of Thrones: Ranking all of the penultimate episodes

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Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones
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With Season 8, Episode 5 The Bells airing this past Sunday, we are officially done with Game of Thrones’ penultimate episodes. Let’s see how it stacks up against the penultimates from seasons past.

Game of Thrones made the penultimate episode an art unto itself. From the very first season, we were trained to expect big things from episode nine (five and six in the latest seasons), and the show almost always delivered.

Some are definitely better than others, but every season’s penultimate episode is memorable in its own way. Whether it be a breathtaking piece of spectacle or a shocking narrative turn, these episodes have left us shocked, confused, despondent, roused, and horrified in equal measure.

If we ask anything of our art and entertainment, it’s that it make us feel something. Whether you love or hate these episodes, there’s no denying that they passed that test with flying colors.

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But which one of these episodes is the best? These things are subjective and it isn’t likely that we’ll ever achieve a true consensus answer to that question, and that’s not what this list is trying to accomplish. This is my personal ranking. I don’t claim to be an expert, but I have strong feelings about these episodes and I expect you do as well.

If you disagree, and you probably will, please tell me why I’m wrong in the comments below! I truly want to know how big a fool I am.

So let’s get into it, shall we? Here is how we rank all of the penultimate episodes of Game of Thrones.