Episode 6, “The Climb”
Game of Thrones is at its worst when it tries to cram too much into a single episode. There are so many characters and plotlines going on at once, that show does itself a disservice when it attempts to give them all screen time in the same episode. “The Climb” is such an episode. It checks in on pretty much everyone in Westeros without advancing the plot much. We bounce from Tywin and Olenna, to Sansa, to Tyrion and Cersei, to Littlefinger and Varys, to Melisandre and Arya, to the Stark/Tully contingent meeting with the Freys, to Roose and Jaime and Brienne, to Sam and Gilly, and of course they couldn’t leave out the obligatory Theon torture scene. The saving grace of the episode was its namesake, the climb, when Jon Snow and Ygritte’s scaling of the Wall was juxtaposed with Littlefinger’s metaphor-heavy monologue. Other than that though, meh.
Episode 7, “The Bear and the Maiden Fair”
This episode didn’t stuff in as many scenes as “The Climb,” but the parts it did include were a little boring by GoT standards. The episode features a lot of sitting around and talking, with little action. Dany sits around Yunkai. Yawn. Sansa and Margaery walk around chatting about boys. Snore. Qyburn gives Jaime his life story. “Oh that’s so interesting, tell me more,” said no viewer. And we can’t forget Theon’s lengthy castration scene, which felt totally unnecessary. The Theon torture plot had already worn out its welcome; this was just overkill. Like “The Climb,” though, this episode did feature a climax that was much better than the rest of the episode, with Jaime going full-on hero and leaping into the bear pit to rescue Brienne. If not for that, it would’ve been the worst of the season.
Episode 10, “Mhysa”
Which brings us to the finale. Maybe it’s because it had the unfortunate luck of airing after the Red Wedding in Episode 9, but we felt like the finale didn’t accomplish a lot. Once again, it packed too much into the episode. To give you an idea of how many scenes this episode had, it had one featuring only Roose Bolton and Walder Frey. Yay? And some of the scenes felt redundant. Tywin tells Tyrion he’s a disappointment- — get out! Stannis gets pissed at Davos — no way! Dany releases some slaves — you don’t say! The episode also featured cameos from several characters we hadn’t seen in forever, such as Pyp, Maester Aemon, and Balon and Yara Greyjoy, leaving casual viewers to ask, “Wait, who the hell is that?” And let’s not forget that long-awaited Cersei and Jaime reunion scene; if you blinked, you missed it. And of course, continuing the trend of weak episodes featuring Theon and his tormentor, we learned that Theon’s torturer is... wait for it... the bastard son of Roose Bolton! What a reveal! No one cared, and the payoff wasn’t worth watching those awful torture scenes all season. We hope that this episode was just setting the groundwork for what will be a killer Season 4 premiere, but as it stands now, “Mhysa” is our pick for the worst episode of Season 3.
What did you think was the worst episode of the season? Sound off in the comments below — and don't miss our take on the best ones, either!