9. The Battle of the Bastards
Season 6, Episode 9: "Battle of the Bastards"
It's hard to connect the inexperienced kid making out with his girlfriend on top of the Wall with the resurrected warlord drowning under a mountain of corpses, fighting to retake his ancestral home. But that's Westeros for you: You've got to grow up fast if you want to survive, and even that's no guarantee. This merciless match-up, pitting Jon's Northern alliance of wildlings and Stark loyalists against smiling psychopath Ramsay Bolton's army, outdid every other human-versus-human battle for sheer carnage. Its depiction of the horror of war, a central tenet of both the show and Martin's books, was so hideous that by the time Lady Sansa Stark sent in the cavalry, it felt less like a victory and more like a mercy killing. The sheer scale of the nightmare was unprecedented.