• Robb Stark’s victory at the Battle of the Whispering Wood showcased his leadership skills and weakened the Lannister army.
  • The Battle of the Blackwater, led by Tyrion Lannister, destroyed Stannis Baratheon’s chances of winning the Iron Throne.
  • The Battle of Castle Black, led by Jon Snow, ended the Wildling threat and prepared Westeros for the Long Night.

The world of Game of Thrones is known for many things, and warfare is one of the most significant. Throughout the series, almost every character was caught in the middle of a huge battle, the majority of them not making it to the end of the series as a result. But some battles mattered more than others.


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Between the consequences of particular battles, the sheer scale and level of death in others, and the moments in some that helped make the series as beloved as it remains today, there have been many major conflicts throughout Game of Thrones.

9 The Battle Of The Whispering Wood

Proved Robb’s Leadership & Changed The Landscape

Jaime Lannister captured following the Battle of Whispering Wood.

Season 1 of Game of Thrones didn’t feature that many huge battles. The budget was a little lower and the political mysteries surrounding the death of Jon Arryn made up more of the runtime. However, there was one bigger and more significant than any that had come before when the first confrontation came between Lannister and Stark forces.

Robb Stark proved himself to be a real leader when he managed to surprise even Tywin Lannister, taking on Jaime’s army and ruining them, even taking Jaime captive. In one stroke, he massively weakened the hand of the Lannister army and proved himself to the North and the South all at once.

8 The Battle Of The Blackwater

Destroyed Stannis’ Chances Of Winning The Throne

Blackwater Game Of Thrones

Though Stannis Baratheon did not die until the fifth season of the show, his only real chance at the Iron Throne came late in the second season. His army far outweighed the might of King’s Landing. With Tywin Lannister and the main force of the Lannister army away from the city, it was a tactical time to strike. If it wasn’t for Tyrion Lannister, he would have taken the city and maybe ended the Lannister control six seasons early.

The Battle of the Blackwater was one of the largest battles the series ever saw. Between Tyrion’s amazing gambit to empty the fleet and use wildfire to destroy the ships of Stannis, and his later rallying of the troops after Joffrey left the battle, he won this fight. Without him, Tywin’s army would not have returned in time to save the city and ruin the one big chance Stannis ever had.

7 The Battle Of Castle Black

Ended The Wildling Threat

Jon Snow holding Ygritte in his arms during the Battle of Castle Black

Much of Jon Snow’s journey through the earlier seasons of Game of Thrones focused not on the threat of the Night King, but on the Wildlings. Spurred by fear of the Long Night into moving southward, a Wildling army that Jon knew intimately came to Castle Black, striking from both the north and south in an attempt to take the castle quickly.


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Jon arrived in time to warn the men of Castle Black and help take charge of the defense. Despite the bulk of the Night’s Watch fighting force having been drawn away to a different part of the wall, they managed to repel the Wildling threat. Without this victory, the Long Night would have been a much greater threat, and Westeros would have been desperately unprepared for it.

6 The Battle At Hardhome

Showcased The Night King’s Might

A White Walker fights with Jon Snow at Hardhome in Game of Thrones.

In another battle that took place in the far North, Jon Snow attempted after the Battle of Castle Black to bring peace offerings to the Wildlings, encouraging as many people to get south as possible in the face of the Night King. Their peace meeting occurred in the village of Hardhome, but they were interrupted by the Night King.

This huge conflict was a brutal one. There was no winning for the Wildlings and Night’s Watch against such a force – there was only mitigating the number of deaths they would suffer. The frantic battle was one of the most impressive and surprising moments of the series, and it finally defined the Night King as the primary villain above all others in the show.

5 The Siege Of Meereen

Ended Daenerys’ Troubles

Daenerys Targaryen's forces meet with the slavers with war in the background

In the same episode that the Battle of the Bastards occurred, Daenerys made one of her biggest moves in the history of the show. After dealing with the threat of the Slavers for many years, she finally unleashed the power of her dragons on them when they attempted to retake the city of Meereen from her.

Taking control of the entirety of Slaver’s Bay and ending such a major threat was a triumphant moment, and it showed a fundamental difference in Daenerys that would prove hugely important as she continued to warp over the next couple of seasons.

4 The Battle Of The Bastards

Finally United The North

GoT Battle of the Bastards

Jon Snow’s rebirth and leaving of the Night’s Watch was massive, as it laid the foundation for him to pick up where Robb Stark left off in uniting the North under a true leader. First, though, he had to take on and defeat Ramsay Bolton, who had managed to become as hated a villain as Joffrey by this point in the show.


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This was another massive battle, and it remains one of the most well-remembered from Game of Thrones due to both the scale, the story surrounding it, and the consequences. With Ramsay’s defeat came a united North, and the Starks began reforming their power base, which had been scattered and destroyed over the past few seasons.

3 The Battle Of The Goldroad

Daenerys’ Real Westeros Arrival

Daenerys Targaryen attacks the Lannister-Tarly armies in Game Of Thrones.

Daenerys arrived in Westeros and seemed to be taking her conquest a little slowly at first. Fortunately, she soon remembered that dragon surprise attacks were a viable strategy, and she made use of them by taking the loot train that was returning to King’s Landing after sacking Highgarden, almost killing Jaime Lannister in the process.

The sack of Highgarden was retaliation, and the end of the Tyrell house, but it was also necessary because of the many debts the crown had. Without being able to return this loot train to the city, Cersei’s chances of surviving the battles to come were greatly weakened.

2 The Battle Of Winterfell

Ended The Long Night

Daenerys wields a dragonglass sword alongside Jorah Mormont

The threat of the Night King was one of the major features of the eighth season of Game of Thrones. In a grand battle, Daenerys and her forces united with Jon Snow, the entire North, and even Jaime Lannister to fight the threat of the Long Night. The battle itself was a mess, and the challenge was almost too great.

Arya Stark was the one who managed to finally kill the Night King, just before he could murder Bran Stark. Without this moment, the Night King would have marched south with his army and probably taken at least all of Westeros. This moment was one of the defining ones by which the series is remembered, for better or worse, as a massive culmination.

1 The Battle Of King’s Landing

Finally Broke The Lannisters

Game of Thrones Danaerys in the Bells

The final major battle in Game of Thrones was shocking in many ways. Nobody expected Daenerys to come to the city with such a level of vehemence. For Cersei, such brutality was expected, but for all the subjugated people, the kind of people Daenerys had spent most of her time in Slaver’s Bay fighting for, this was a brutal and undeserved death.

This battle saw the end of major characters and the end of the war that had been raging since the beginning of the show. Daenerys would take total control of the city, and then shortly afterwards be killed by Jon Snow because of the madness this assault showed in her.

game of thrones

Game of Thrones
First Episode Air Date
April 17, 2011

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