It goes without saying, especially now that the especially grim fifth season has ended on one huge downer of a cliffhanger: watching Game of Thrones is quite the masochistic experience. Winter is coming and everything is all bad, and each passing season is a lesson in learning to expect thee absolute worst, bruh. Each year is identified with at least one episode that stands as the climax for a season's worth of mounting tension and conflict, but instead of just being exhilarating, the anxiety is on 1000. At this point, we've learned that "event episode" on Thrones just means some wild shit is going to the character(s) you want it to happen to the least.

With season 5 in the books, there have now been eight event episodes over the years that, while thrilling, also taught us to expect the unexpected. (But has Thrones' penchant for instead just delivering the worst possible outcome now become a cliche slash self-parody? Discuss.) From Ned Stark to this season's back-to-back jaw-dropping sequences, we ranked every GoT episode that validates why we sit through a half-season's worth of table-setting and also explains why viewers don't even waste time rooting for a character anymore.