6. "A Golden Crown" (Season 1, Episode 6)
This first-season standout showed that GoT was getting very good at painting in shades of gray. Tyrion's trial in the mountain stronghold called the Eyrie was both one of the show's funniest sequences ("I made the bald man cry!") and its most unsparingly savage (Tyrion's blade-for-hire Bronn dropping his opponent through a trapdoor to his death). Elsewhere, lovable King Robert revealed himself as a wifebeater, while Dany's preening bully of a brother, Viserys Targaryen, broke down over knowing he'd never be loved by anyone. In the end, that includes his sister, who orders his gruesome execution with molten gold. The metallic "clunk" as his freshly gilded head hits the ground will echo in our heads for a long, long time.