Game of Thrones: 10 Essential Episodes You Have to Watch

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* Games of Thrones Season 7 now airing
* Catch up on the series 
* Stream seasons 1-6 and watch new season with free HBO trial

It’s hard to believe Game of Thrones is now into its seventh season. With so many plot twists, turns and deaths over the years, it can be hard to keep track of everything that’s happening on screen.

Luckily, you can get caught up on the first six seasons for free right now with Amazon’s 7-day HBO free trial trial. Get the benefits of Prime Video, plus HBO unlimited access to all previous episodes of Game of Thrones. You’ll also be able to stream the new season live. (If you’d rather not sign up for the free trial, individual episodes are also available to stream on Amazon starting at $3.99 ).

With each episode around 55 minutes and 10 episodes per season, you may not have enough time to watch them in time for the new season. So here are our picks of 10 essential must-watch episodes to get you (mostly) all caught up. Grab your favorite GoT gear, settle in with some popcorn and let the binge watching begin.

Warning: descriptions may contain spoilers.

Season 1 Ep. 1 – “Winter Is Coming”

Of course the first episode is a given. After all, it’s here where we’re first introduced to some of the most famous houses of Westeros. This episode sets up the entire series, and while it starts off a bit slow, it’s a definite watch.

Stream Winter Is Coming

[caption id="attachment_55802" align="aligncenter" width="638"]winter is coming game of thrones hbo Image courtesy of HBO[/caption]

Season 1 Ep. 9 – “Baelor”

A controversial new king starts off his reign by having a main character executed. On the other side of the world, everything seems lost to Daenerys Stormborn. At the Wall, Jon Snow doesn’t know if he should stay or should go. This episode established the series as one of deep intrigue, mystery and unpredictable plot twists.

Stream Bealor


Season 2 Ep. 9 – “Blackwater”

Stannis Baratheon, late King Robert’s oldest brother, is set on taking King’s Landing by storm. But you’ll soon learn that in Westeros, nothing is ever like it seems. Epic battle scenes and great plot development make this one a must-watch. This episode also brought home two Emmy Awards — for best sound editing and best sound mixing.

Stream Blackwater


Season 3 Ep. 9 – “The Rains of Castamere”

Betrayal — the Starks never seem to get enough of it. What follows is the unforgettable and traumatizing “Red Wedding.” This was the episode that had everyone talking. Spoiler: Bring tissues. Lots of tissues.

Stream The Rains of Castamare

[caption id="attachment_55801" align="aligncenter" width="642"]game of thrones red wedding hbo Image courtesy of HBO[/caption]


Season 4 Ep. 2 – “The Lion and the Rose”

The marriage meant to seal the partnership between the Lannisters and the Tyrells doesn’t go the way they all expected. Can Sansa Stark seize a chance to finally escape King’s Landing? Also, Tyrion Lannister faces charges for a crime he didn’t commit. The costumes in this episode were honored with an Emmy win.

Stream The Lion and the Rose


Season 4 Ep. 10 – “The Children”

Jon Snow seeks peace with the King Beyond the Wall, but an unwelcome surprise stirs up trouble. Bran Stark finally starts his training and Tyrion Lannister leaves a mess behind in King’s Landing.

Stream The Children


Season 5 Ep. 8 – “Hardhome”

Cersei gets a taste of her own medicine, Daenerys meets an old friend and a new one, Arya takes on a new task, and Jon Snow faces the real enemy at Hardhome while attempting to save wildlings. Expect some of the coolest battle scenes in the series. Peter Dinklage also submitted his scenes from this episode to claim the “Best Supporting Actor” Emmy in 2015.

Stream Hardhome

[caption id="attachment_55799" align="aligncenter" width="677"]peter dinklage emmy awards game of thrones Photo by Paul Buck/Epa/REX/Shutterstock[/caption]

Season 5 Ep. 9 – “The Dance of Dragons”

One of the most shocking episodes of all. This one is a rollercoaster ride filled with highs and lows — and a lot of fire. From a controversial burning to the first dragon ride of the series, this episode has it all. Needless to say, this episode won an Emmy for “Best Visual Effects.”

Stream The Dance of Dragons


Season 6 Ep. 9 – “Battle of the Bastards”

The most intense battle of any Game of Thrones episode yet. Two bastards take the fields. House Stark might lose it all, but the North Remembers.

Stream Battle of the Bastards

[caption id="attachment_55800" align="aligncenter" width="670"]game of thrones season six finale Image courtesy of HBO[/caption]


Season 6 Ep. 10 – “The Winds of Winter”

By the end of last year’s explosive season finale, a mystery is solved. We have a new king in the North and a new, old queen in King’s Landing. Indeed, winter is here, but a heat wave is on the horizon. How will it all go down? Here’s hoping season seven is full of answers.

Stream The Winds of Winter

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