Every ‘Game of Thrones’ season ranked from worst to best, according to critics

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Helen Sloan/HBO

Now that season six of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” is in the can, we can see how it fared against previous seasons in the critics’ eyes.

This was the show’s highest-rated season to date, but that doesn’t necessarily tell you much about quality. Season six could’ve attracted more viewers by the nature of its unpredictability. It was the first season to surpass the George R.R. Martin books the show is based on, so there was an extra curiosity factor built into the season for book fans and the show’s fans.

According to Rotten Tomatoes, which assigns a score to reviews in order to give a picture of critical reception, the season was well-received.

“There were a lot of expectations on ‘GoT,’ since this was the first season almost entirely off-book, and most critics have agreed that the showrunners have pulled it off pretty spectacularly,” Rotten Tomatoes senior editor Grae Drake said in a statement. “There’s been a lot of table-setting this season, but with more characters converging, there have been fewer threads to follow, which has given them the time to focus on key storylines and move them along at a relatively brisk pace.”

In the end, where did season six rank among the show’s other years?

Here’s the ranking of “Thrones” seasons from worst to best, according to Rotten Tomatoes scores:


6. Season one: 89%

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Emilia Clarke as Daenerys Targaryen.
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HBO

Critics Consensus: “Its intricate storytelling and dark themes may overwhelm some viewers, but ‘Game of Thrones’ is a transportive, well-acted, smartly written drama even non-genre fans can appreciate.” -Rotten Tomatoes


5. Season five: 93%

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Kit Harington as Jon Snow.
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HBO

Critics Consensus: “Bloody action and extreme power plays return full throttle, as ‘Game of Thrones’ enjoys a newfound liberation from the world of the source material, resulting in more unexpected thrills.”


4. Season six: 94%

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Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister.
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HBO

Critics Consensus: “Bloody and captivating as always, ‘Game of Thrones’ plunges back into the midst of a world touched by grief, dread, and precarious sexuality.”


3. Season four: 95%

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Iwan Rheon as Ramsay Bolton.
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HBO

Critics Consensus: “‘Game of Thrones’ continues to be one of the best shows on TV, combining meticulously plotted character arcs with the spectacular design of the Seven Kingdoms.”


2. Season two: 96%

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Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark
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HBO

Critics Consensus: “‘Game of Thrones’ follows up a strong debut with an even better second season, combining elegant storytelling and vivid characters to create a rich fantasy world.”


1. Season three: 97%

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From left, Oona Chaplin as Talisa Stark, Richard Madden as Robb Stark, and Michelle Fairley as Catelyn Stark.
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HBO

Critics Consensus: “‘Game of Thrones’ continues to deliver top-quality drama for adults, raising the stakes even higher and leaving viewers hungry for more.”