By Megan McCluskey
Updated: August 17, 2017 2:44 PM ET | Originally published: June 17, 2016

Warning: This post contains spoilers for season seven of Game of Thrones.

Beyond the Wall,” the sixth episode of Game of Thrones‘ seventh season, is just days away, which means it’s almost time to see Westeros’ dream team — Jon Snow, Tormund, Jorah Mormont, Gendry, Beric Dondarrion, Thoros of Myr and the Hound — come face to face with the army of the dead. Blood will no doubt be shed and lives will almost certainly be lost during the hour — something that’s become the norm in the penultimate installment of each season of the HBO drama.

The decision to have a season’s climax occur in its second-to-last episode is a narrative choice that works for Thrones. Now, that’s not to say that major plot developments don’t occur in the show’s season finales (cough cough, Jon Snow’s death). But while the final episode tends to tie up loose ends and introduce new storylines for the following year, the second-to-last generally functions as the axis on which the events of the season turn.

So before Sunday’s long-awaited clash decides the fate of the realm, let’s take a look back at all the insane things that happened in the penultimate episodes of Thrones‘ first six seasons.


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