‘Game of Thrones’: Best (and dumbest) moves in ‘The Watchers on the Wall’ episode

Game of Thrones” is still sitting in fourth place with odds of 8/1 to win Best Drama Series at this year’s Emmys. However, this week on the show we saw an epic battle full of Mamoths, giants and graphic fight scenes that has raised the show’s stakes in a slew of technical categories. With the wall under siege, the Night’s Watch did a great job warding off the wildlings, so let’s have a look at the episode’s moves:

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Moves of the Week

1. Samwell Tarley keeps his cool
Sam can be a bit of a loose cannon but he really stepped up his game this episode: he found loopholes in the Night’s Watch oath, before pulling the moves on Gilly; he motivated people to fight; he got re-enforcements from the wall to defend Castle Black; and he kept his cool under all the pressure. 

WATCH: ‘Game of Thrones’ stars tattle Emilia Clarke, Nikolaj Coster Waldau

2. Jon Snow told them so
He’d been warning the watchers at the wall all season that an attack like this was coming. Hopefully, being proven right was consolation enough for all the heavy lifting he had to do this week. He did a great job making decisions on the wall, then came down and beat Styr the Thenn in a fight before using charm to give Ygritte just enough pause to stay alive in the game. 

3. Olly elevates his game
Putting a child on elevator duty during a siege at the wall was a huge risk. But little Olly really delivered. He sent people up and down the wall as needed, then used his toy bow and arrow to save Jon Snow and kill Egret.

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Dumbest Move: Ygritte loses ‘the Game’
Ygritte was a great archer with a lot of moxy but she was just a sucker for a smile from Jon Snow. Caught off-guard looking into his eyes gave Olly the chance to shoot her in the back. At least she got one final chance to say to her former lover, “You know nothing, Jon Snow.”

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Emmy Moves
On the Emmy ballot that came out last week, ‘The Watchers on the Wall’ was one of three episodes submitted in the directing category. With its grand scale and ambitious production values, it’s the show’s best shot at a win. And Kit Harington, who plays Jon Snow, finally has “that bona fide Emmy episode showcase we’ve been waiting for.”

Cast your ballot for Best Drama Supporting Actor using our easy drag-and-drop menu below. 

One thought on “‘Game of Thrones’: Best (and dumbest) moves in ‘The Watchers on the Wall’ episode

  1. Because Game of Thrones submitted three episodes for Directing, there will probably be a little bit of vote-splitting, which could hurt the show’s chances to make it into the field – especially since it hasn’t been nominated in the category since Season 1 (for the pilot). But purely on merit, Neil Marshal deserves to be in the field. Pulling off such an epic battle, one with the ambition of a feature film on a fraction of the budget (though it was the show’s most expensive episode ever) is a truly remarkable accomplishment. Cary Fukunaga’s work on True Detective is the only thing in the same league this year.

    Kit Harington is unlikely to make it into the Supporting Actor in a Drama field because the category is so brutally competitive, and many deserving potential nominees are going to be snubbed, including a few of Harington’s co-stars (except for Peter Dinklage, who’s a very deserving lock). But this episode was indeed a great showcase for Harington. The hour belonged to Jon Snow, and he owned it.

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