5 Game of Thrones Horror Episodes That Do Nasty Things to Your Psyche
Game of Thrones had many ways of instilling dread in the audience: from the constant fear of losing favorite characters to straight-up horror like in these episodes.
S4E9: The Watchers on the Wall
There are no undead in this episode, but this time (and the only time on our list), Game of Thrones doesn’t need the White Walkers to instill dread in the viewers. The showdown between the Night Watch and the Free Folk is terrifying enough on its own, and you can’t help but feel the crows’ fear pulse through your own veins.
As the massive army of wildlings approaches the Wall, the silent terror of the Watch is palpable and thick as a mammoth that’s making its way over. Mammoths, giants, and other mighty beasts in the Free Folk’s army don’t even come close to the horror of losing the characters you’ve grown to love on both sides of the slaughter.
S6E5: The Door
The importance of this episode in terms of Game of Thrones lore can hardly be overestimated: it’s in The Door that we learn the true origins of the White Walkers. Brna’s warging abilities revealed how these terrifying beings had come to (un)life, but the price for that was the attack on the Three-Eyed Raven’s cave and people.
The undead army is the main dealer of horror sequences in Game of Thrones (as you might have deduced from this list), but it’s not the wights themselves that fill you with dread in The Door. The tragic backstory of Hodor, the story of sacrifice and doom, suddenly unfolds before us, leaving us devastated and teared up in the end.
The looming threat of Night King’s undead army has been looming over Game of Thrones characters and viewers alike since the start of the show, but it wasn’t until the attack on Hardhome in Season 5 that we saw just how powerful and devastating the White Walkers truly were. It was a realization as dreadful as it was well-crafted.
The entire population of the village of Hardhome was slaughtered by the army of wights in the most unsettling, claustrophobia-inducing, and cinematically gorgeous sequence ever. The weakness of men, the terror of the butchered, and the sheer coldness of the undead as they methodically exterminated people were shocking.
S7E6: Beyond the Wall
Horror is not about screamers and ghosts and witches and blood. It’s about feeling the icy grasp of terror on your neck as you watch a show despite sitting comfortably at home. Game of Thrones Season 7 might not be the most acclaimed one, but Beyond the Wall achieves totally new levels of dread the audience hasn’t felt before.
The tension builds up slowly as we watch the group of fan-favorite characters venture (you guessed it) beyond the Wall, where every sound of wind reminds us of a wight’s breath. And when suddenly, the characters find themselves surrounded by a never-ending undead army with Night King in charge, the terror kicks in full force.
S8E3: The Long Night
The climax of the Night King storyline, Season 8’s The Long Night is another peak of horror in Game of Thrones. This time, the show puts its audience into complete darkness filled with screams, groans, and sounds of ripping flesh. The “no escape” desperation and the eternal fear of death rule over characters and viewers alike.
The final face-off between the unstoppable forces of death and the hopeless defenders of life turns into a brutal onslaught, and there is no time to think amid all the bloodshed and terror that engulfs you in this episode. You can only feel dread watching your favorite characters grow more exhausted and terrified by the second.