Heads up, violence fans! The next episode of Game of Thrones is (mild spoiler alert) supposed to be a doozy, and fans of the A Song of Ice and Fire series know why – The Battle of Blackwater is one of the most extreme sequences in the books, complete with swordfighting, giant ships exploding, lots of fire getting thrown around everywhere, and a couple of choice kills by an unexpected assassin. Because of the show’s overall budget, Blackwater’s supposedly been scaled down a bit compared to the over-the-top text, but it still has the largest number of visual effects of any GoT episode to date.
Budgets aside, it’s incredibly tough to get an effective fight sequence on television, even if you’ve got plenty of money. If you’re on a network, there’s the censors to worry about, and on most shows that aren’t written by George R.R. Martin, you have to worry about keeping most of your major characters intact in a believable way. And let’s face it, not every show is ready for “battle” — we’re never going to see Castle and Beckett throw down to save Manhattan from a bunch of aliens, Avengers style (though wouldn’t Stana Katic look amazing in the Black Widow jumpsuit?). Still, there’s been some great action to be seen on the small screen over the years. Check out our list of favorites, and add your own in the comments.
Band of Brothers
Of course we couldn’t do a list like this without mentioning one of the most famous battle-heavy shows in television history. In 2001, the miniseries was given highest budget of any HBO series ever, though that record was surpassed in 2010 by its sister show, The Pacific (more on that later). It’s seriously impossible to pick just one battle to rank over all the rest, but considering that the show is primarily about Lt. Richard Winters, who supposedly led up to 200 men in the assault on Brécourt Manor, the battle that we see going on there is definitely one of the bigger ones — and it’s only in the second episode!