2. Arya assassinating Walder Frey
Game of Thrones doesn't throw a bone to viewers too often, but when it does, the fan service makes you stand up and cheer. If the Arya-in-Braavos plot spun its wheels this season with repetitive fight scenes vs. the Waif and the comic shenanigans of a troupe of farting yuksters, we can't argue against how it all paid off: Arya is now a freaking assassin. If she wants to infiltrate House Frey, chop up the noble sons into mincemeat pies, feed the baked goods to their wicked father, and then slit his throat, Arya can do that. The whole thing's disturbing -- even D.B. Weiss felt compelled to remind the audience that Arya is 100% a murderer now and we should all be worried about her future. But damn if the Red Wedding revenge wasn't a vicious, fulfilling surprise.
1. Tommen jumping to his death
Tommen the King was not a vital character. He was a puppet dragged around by multiple puppeteers, a kid forced into an elder position of power, a role that kept him in the crosshairs of Thrones' merciless creators. It was pretty clear that he was going to die this season. But the suspected method seemed likely to be death by wildfire. When that didn't happen, all bets were off, and after an encounter with the Mountain didn't end in bloodshed, it looked like young Tommen might stick around. The weight of his impossible life ultimately took its toll on Tommen, and that open balcony was just too tempting. Yes, the death was abrupt and borderline silly. But Weiss and Benioff stand their ground. This is the price of playing Tyrion's so-called "great game," and it's brutal.