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‘Binge Mode’: The Champions From ‘Game of Thrones’ Season 7

Mallory Rubin and Jason Concepcion pick the winners from every episode

HBO/Ringer illustration

After 67 episodes of Game of Thrones, we finally stand on the precipice of the end of the story: There are just six episodes scheduled for the eighth and final season, which will reportedly hit TV screens sometime in 2019. Mallory Rubin and Jason Concepcion have been there every step of the way, first recapping the previous six seasons this summer, then breaking down each episode of the latest season as it aired. Relive the latest season with the Binge Mode hosts—here are their picks for the winner of each episode of Season 7:

Episode 1—Daenerys Targaryen

Rubin: Of course it’s Dany!

Concepcion: Mommy’s home! She is home. This is the place of her birth. Just look at the emotion on her face, she’s been waiting for this her whole life. She spent the better part of her childhood a refugee, running from safe haven to safe haven, not knowing how she was going to survive the next day. And now she’s a queen returning to her ancestral home. She’s watching her dragons soar above Dragonstone where they can live free because there’s a volcanic mountain there. It’s incredible. Imagine seeing this!

Episode 2—Euron Greyjoy

Rubin: Really hate to give the W to a bad guy, obviously, but he swung things in a huge way. Dany lost valuable allies; she lost part of her fleet. The quick course of the Dornish army sailing up to establish a siege of King’s Landing, all that is off the table. Of course she still has boats, she still has the Dothraki, she still has the Unsullied, she has her dragons. Like, she's not completely without options here, but that’s a blow. Your first leg here goes poorly? That’s not great. Meanwhile, Euron, he got Yara for himself. He desperately wanted that. He sent Theon back into a Reek tailspin, and he captured Ellaria and Tyene to deliver on the “priceless gift” that he promised to Cersei.

Concepcion: He backed it up.

Rubin: He also had that incredible entrance.

Concepcion: It was like School of Rock or something.

Episode 3—Cersei Lannister

Rubin: What an episode for Cersei. She got revenge on Ellaria, who killed her daughter. She got revenge on Olenna, one of her real rivals and true enemies throughout this story since Olenna arrived in it. And she managed, for now, to please Euron. To kind of keep him content, “Oh, OK, you say you’re going to marry me? Good, I’ll chill for a bit.” Who knows how long that will last? Probably not long. But for now, he seems like he’s having a great time. She has gotten her servants to rock matching haircuts—this is tremendous. She is now engaging in sexual intercourse with Jaime basically out in the open, she has stopped letting fear rule her life. And she has secured the Iron Bank’s patience. Patience at worst, allegiance at best. She’s buying her time, she’s saying “Give me a couple weeks.” And she’s on the pathway there for success. And of course, most crucially of all, she won huge, huge gains over Dany. She is crushing Dany.

Episode 4—Daenerys and Drogon

Rubin: This is the ultimate reckoning, the dragons breathing fire onto the realm. This is what we've been waiting for. We got very excited when Dany arrived in Dragonstone and put her hand in the sand, but this is really it, this is really the thing this journey of Dany’s has been building to, this moment where she took flight and took charge instead of just letting everyone else make decisions and act on her behalf.

Concepcion: Drogon showed that, at least to everything below “big crossbow,” he is basically invulnerable. They fire arrows at his chest, he just lets them hit him rather than let Dany be exposed to the arrow fire. He absolutely destroys the loot train. Anybody who was at this battle is like “Guys, it’s a wrap. I don't want to do this.”

Episode 5—Jon Snow

Concepcion: There’s Dany landing Drogon in front of Jon. And Jon reacting in a way that no one reacts. When you land a dragon in front of somebody, people are terrified. And Jon is scared, sure, but he reaches out to touch Drogon, and Drogon is like, inhaling his aura. Absolutely is like, “Mmm, you smell good.” And then when he touches Drogon’s scaly cheek very gently, Drogon’s eye rolls back—there’s a lot going on there. Dany’s up there, and they cut back to her face several times as she’s like, “What’s going on down there?” She’s puzzled by what’s going on between Drogon and Jon, and then she comes down off the dragon, and doesn’t even talk about it.

Episode 6—The Night King

Rubin: Booooo.

Concepcion: Impressive episode from him. Threw a javelin like a mile and a half through the air and hit a moving target, which is a dragon.

Rubin: Literally no one on the Jets could do that.

Concepcion: No one on the Jets since when, Favre? Like ever. Anyway, survived a dragon attack, killed Viserion, raised Viserion as a wight dragon, found thousands of feet of chain somewhere north of the Wall. His performance in this battle underlined the stakes for the realm.

Episode 7—Rhaegar, Lyanna, Jon, and Dany

Rubin: The unions that define this story.

Concepcion: And it’s really a story about the power of love to overcome a lot of things: Wisdom, responsibility, your duty your family, your duty to the realm—you just want to be with a person. And that's what happened with Rhaegar and Lyanna, they created this person: Jon Snow, who now is having those feelings for his aunt, yes. Sure. Let’s put that aside for a second because in this world, it’s fine and also in that family it’s fine. It’s wonderful! So much of this story is shared histories and these kind of circles and loops that seem to come back in interesting ways, and here it is again. The dragon and the wolf.

Rubin: Our very first pointy end theme. Episode 1, Season 1.

Champion’s Purse Top Five:

Jon Snow: 10
Daenerys Targaryen: 9
Arya Stark: 4
Tyrion Lannister: 4
Margaery Tyrell: 3
Tywin Lannister: 3
The High Sparrow: 3

Disclosure: HBO is an initial investor in The Ringer.