Every Game of Thrones Episode Ranked by Tomatometer
Updated October 20, 2021 to reflect the most current scores
The final episodes of Game of Thrones88% smashed viewership records for the series, once again proving that it, like its Mother of Dragons, has the love of the masses — until they didn’t. Season 8’s episodes were extremely divisive among both critics and on social media, and several were battling for last place on the Tomatometer.
The series, from creators David Benioff and D.B. Weiss and based on author George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire book series, released 73 episodes since it first began airing on HBO in 2011. Over the years, a vast pool of Tomatometer-eligible TV critics have weighed in season-by-season, week-after-week to be counted toward the episodic scores of one of the biggest phenomenons in TV history.
We give you a full accounting below, ranking the episodes by score from lowest to highest, with ties being broken by the number of reviews, so that an episode with more reviews ranks higher on the list. Where two or more episodes had the same score and the same number of reviews, the number of “Top Critics” weighing in broke those ties.
For five and a half seasons, the series managed to stay entirely Fresh. Not every episode reached 100% on the Tomatometer, of course, but there were no Rotten episodes to be seen until “Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken” (episode 6 of season 5), which was the only Rotten episode until May 2019, when two more episodes turned up Rotten.
The final season, with four episodes ranked in the bottom five of the entire series, is last among the series’ eight seasons with a 55% score. The other seven seasons were all Certified Fresh with scores in the 90th percentile. Season 1 is the next lowest–scoring season with an excellent 91% Tomatometer score.
Season 3 currently boasts the most episodes in the top 10: four episodes with 100% scores. Seasons 4 and 5 follow close behind, with two episodes earning perfect scores with more than 40 reviews each. Season 4 has the highest season-level score of any of the eight at 97% on the Tomatometer. While season 6 saw an episode average of 94% on the Tomatometer, “Book of the Stranger” (episode 4 of season 6) wowed 63 critics, earning it a 100% score and the coveted top spot in our ranking.
Seasons 1 and 2 saw fairly high episodic scores (the average score across their 20 episodes was 97%), but that was when approximately 20 critics were reviewing each episode. The number of weekly reviews practically doubled after season 3. Virtually every new season saw a jump in coverage; each year, approximately five new critics began covering Game of Thrones episodically. By the end of season 7, more than 60 critics covered the series week to week. For season 8, the number of critics weighing in each week rose to over 100.
Read on to find out exactly where the final episodes ranked in our list of every episode of Game of Thrones ranked by Tomatometer.
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Critics Consensus: If nothing else, "The Iron Throne" is a bittersweet -- if unfortunately bland -- series finale that ensures Game of Thrones fans will linger on the fate of their favorite characters for some time. Will they ever be satisfied by the show's conclusions? Ask us again in 10 years.
Synopsis: After much turmoil and bloodshed across the Seven Kingdoms, the battle for the Iron Throne comes to an end, and... [More]
Critics Consensus: Death, destruction, and the deterioration of Daenerys' sanity make "The Bells" an episode for the ages; but too much plot in too little time muddles the story and may leave some viewers feeling its conclusions are unearned.
Synopsis: Daenerys and Cersei weigh their options after their confrontation at the city gates. Their armies await instructions as they sit... [More]
Critics Consensus: Unbalanced storytelling and unnecessary, excessive brutality add up to disturbing viewing, although "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken" still includes enough plot revelations to offer hope for future episodes.
Synopsis: Arya begins training; Jorah and Tyrion encounter slavers; Trystane and Myrcella make plans; Jaime and Bronn reach their destination; the... [More]
Critics Consensus: Winter is here and Arya Stark may officially be the baddest woman in the land, but despite delivering some epic and emotional moments "The Long Night" leaves a few things to be desired (lighting, anyone?) heading into the final stretch.
Synopsis: Brienne and Jaime prepare the armies for battle; Arya is desperate to prove her worth as a fighter as the... [More]
Critics Consensus: "Lord Snow" is an intriguing and heavy transitional episode with standout performances from Bean and Gillen, though it would be better served with more focus on character change and development.
Synopsis: Ned learns of the Crown's profligacy; Jon Snow impresses Tyrion; Catelyn follows her husband to King's Landing; Arya studies swordsmanship.... [More]
Critics Consensus: Underscored by an especially heartwrenching moment and a spectacular display of power, "The Dance of Dragons" successfully delivers the shock and awe audiences have come to expect from the series' penultimate episodes.
Synopsis: Stannis faces a difficult decision; Jon returns to the Wall; Mace visits the Iron Bank; Arya encounters someone from her... [More]
Critics Consensus: What "A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms" lacks in forward narrative momentum it makes up for in cryptic callbacks, intimate moments, and the promise of imminent battle -- though some fans may find their patience tested. The things we do for love.
Synopsis: Jaime presents his case to Bran, Daenerys and Sansa to answer for his mistakes; the gathered armies continue to prepare... [More]
Critics Consensus: While much slower in pace than the season that preceded it, "The Dragon and the Wolf" delivered satisfying conclusions to several story arcs, and masterfully set up the series' final season.
Synopsis: Tyrion tries to save Westeros from itself; Sansa questions loyalties.... [More]
Critics Consensus: A bit of well-placed levity perfectly compliments the shocking final scenes of "Walk of Punishment," adding up to hands down the most thrilling episode of the season so far-- minus one hand.
Synopsis: Tyrion gains new responsibilities; Jon is taken to the Fist of the First Men; Daenerys meets with the slavers; Jaime... [More]
Critics Consensus: "Kill the Boy" takes a fresh approach to themes of growth and change, using poignant storytelling to dramatize the challenges of making life-altering choices and struggles with power.
Synopsis: Daenerys makes a difficult decision; Jon recruits the help of an unexpected ally; Brienne searches for Sansa; Theon remains under... [More]
Critics Consensus: "The Pointy End" is a fast-paced transitional episode which, though written by source novelist George R.R. Martin, proves the show is now finding its own way as a separate entity from from the books.
Synopsis: The Lannisters press their advantage over the Starks; Robb rallies his father's allies.... [More]
Critics Consensus: Quieter and more meditative than previous episodes, "A Man Without Honor" is bolstered by incredible performances and a welcome return to an unlikely but surprisingly satisfying onscreen duo.
Synopsis: Jaime meets a relative; Dany receives an invitation to the House of the Undying; Theon leads a search party; Jon... [More]
Critics Consensus: While "Breaker of Chains" is a letdown after the Purple Wedding, the episode expertly weaves together a number of necessary plot points -- and still manages to deliver a very memorable scene.
Synopsis: Tyrion considers his options; Tywin extends an olive branch; Sam questions the safety of Castle Black; Jon proposes a plan;... [More]
Critics Consensus: If it's a bit more subdued than its predecessors, "Oathkeeper" is nonetheless a rock-solid installment of Game of Thrones -- one that features assured direction, strong action scenes, and intriguing plot developments.
Synopsis: Dany balances justice and mercy; Brienne is tasked with Jaime's honor; Jon secures volunteers; Bran, Jojen, Meera and Hodor find... [More]
Critics Consensus: "Garden of Bones" continues GoT's stellar second season with a bleak, disturbing, and powerful episode that culminates in a bizarre confirmation that the night is indeed dark and full of terrors.
Synopsis: Joffrey punishes Sansa; Catelyn tries to get Stannis and Renly to unite against the Lannisters; Dany arrives at the gates... [More]
Critics Consensus: "Valar Dohaeris" overextends itself trying to reintroduce a multitude of characters and plotlines, but is strengthened by its brilliantly acted two-person scenes (and three growing baby dragons).
Synopsis: Jon is brought before the King Beyond the Wall; Tyrion asks for his reward; Littlefinger offers Sansa a way out;... [More]
Critics Consensus: Though it's mostly concerned with moving its pieces into position before the finale, "The Prince of Winterfell" is a pleasantly subdued episode that makes the most of its character moments.
Synopsis: Theon holds down the fort; Arya calls in a debt; Robb is betrayed; Dany ignores Jorah's advice; Stannis and Davos... [More]
Critics Consensus: Despite lacking the big action reveals of the previous episode, "Kissed by Fire" is anchored by a devastatingly intimate scene between Brienne and Jamie, and plenty of Lannister intrigue.
Synopsis: The Hound is judged by the gods; Jaime is judged; Jon proves himself; Robb is betrayed; Tyrion learns the cost... [More]
Critics Consensus: The most unforgettable episode of Game of Thrones thus far, "The Rains of Castamere" (or as it shall forever be known, "The Red Wedding") packs a dramatic wallop that feels as exquisitely shocking as it does ultimately inevitable.
Synopsis: Robb presents himself to Walder Frey; Edmure meets his bride; Jon faces a harsh test; Bran discovers a new gift;... [More]
Critics Consensus: "High Sparrow" expertly weaves together characters from Game of Thrones' sprawling stories, though the episode ultimately belongs to Jon Snow, whose new position highlights unexpected qualities.
Synopsis: In King's Landing, Queen Margaery enjoys her new husband; Tyrion and Varys walk the Long Bridge of Volantis.... [More]