TV's crazy year of action includes Game of Thrones going to battle and superheroes facing off.

By Derek Lawrence
December 26, 2016 at 10:39 AM EST
Helen Sloan/HBO

Arrow

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We've seen it all on TV in 2016, whether it was invisible cars, Hillary Clinton singing "Hallelujah," or the 75 twists so far on This Is Us. And then there was the action — the scale of which has never been more impressive.

A decade ago, series like 24 served as the gold standard for high-octane action on TV, but what the Fox drama was doing can barely be put in the same category as some of the sequences that took place in 2016. For example, the extended battle scene in the Game of Thrones episode, "Battle of the Bastards," took 25 days to shoot and required 600 crew members, 500 extras, and 70 horses.

Not all of the year's best action moments needed such an undertaking — many only required legendary superheroes or zombies.

Here are the craziest action scenes of 2016.

‘Game of Thrones' goes to battle

Illegitimate children! Giants! The least known Stark dying! The "Battle of the Bastards" had it all. The showdown between Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon) wasn't the first epic war scene on GoT, but it was the most visually stunning, gruesome, and thrilling. Living up to the network's old slogan, "It's not TV. It's HBO," the series delivered an action sequence that would rival any $150-million blockbuster.

DC Heroes face off: A not-so-civil war

It wasn't the epic battle in Captain America: Civil War, but it was pretty damn close. While the four-night crossover of The CW's DC series had a lot of great moments, the most thrilling was Flash (Grant Gustin) and Green Arrow (Stephen Amell) facing off against their superhero friends, thanks to the Dominators taking control of their minds. Seeing Flash try to outrace Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) and Arrow fight the White Canary (Caity Lotz) one-on-one was worth the price of admission. <iframe src="//giphy.com/embed/m5pBKaYxKWTC0" width="480" height="270" frameborder="0" class="giphy-embed" allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" resize="0" replace_attributes="1" name=""></iframe><p><a href="http://giphy.com/gifs/m5pBKaYxKWTC0">via GIPHY</a></p>{Æúww^wgwÙý¸óŽw徺ïÝó·<ÓžšåΚ

Team ‘Arrow' faces its demons

The monumental DC television crossover took a slight detour during the Arrow portion, sending Starling City alums Oliver (Amell), Diggle (David Ramsey), Thea (Willa Holland), Sara (Lotz), and Ray (Brandon Routh) into an alternate reality, courtesy of the Dominators. After finally realizing what happened and ready to leave, the heroes went up against their greatest adversaries: Malcolm Merlyn (John Barrowman), Damien Darhk (Neal McDonough), and Slade Wilson (Manu Bennett). What ensued was an incredible battle royale, which even featured the super villains being taken out in similar fashion to their real-life selves. <iframe src="//giphy.com/embed/o07GsGKzDkROw" width="480" height="270" frameborder="0" class="giphy-embed" allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" resize="0" replace_attributes="1" name=""></iframe><p><a href="http://giphy.com/gifs/o07GsGKzDkROw">via GIPHY</a></p>ÑÞ_ožù{Öûs–œs¾<swN6íÞ·åÞ{¦Ÿ

There's no way out on ‘The Walking Dead'

Remember when the biggest threat to Rick and crew were the walkers? Well, they got a break from crazy politicians and aspiring baseball players in "No Way Out" when Rick (Andrew Lincoln), Carl (Chandler Riggs), Michonne (Danai Gurira), Jessie (Alexandra Breckenridge), Ron (Austin Abrams), and Sam (Major Dodson) tried to navigate through Alexandria while camouflaged in walker guts. In the impressively choreographed sequence, everything was going fine until Sam froze, still psyched out from Carol's (Melissa McBride) scary tales. Before we knew it, he was walker food. And so was a distraught Jessie, prompting Rick to cut his new girlfriend's hand off since she had a tight grip on Carl. This just gave Ron another reason to hate the Grimes family, leading to him to pick up Rick's gun. Thankfully, Michonne stopped him from killing anyone, but couldn't save Carl from getting shot in the eye.

‘Fear the Walking Dead' enjoys a beach day

For the early run of season 2 episodes, Fear the Walking Dead hit the water, eventually taking a pit stop for a little beach fun. And by beach fun, we mean being cornered by a large group of walkers. Things looked bleak for Daniel (Ruben Blades), Chris (Lorenzo James Henrie), and Alicia (Alycia Debnam-Carey), until what initially appears to be a walker appears. Turns out it was actually Nick (Frank Dillane) completely covered in blood and guts, having discovered the key to going undetected. After taking down enough of the walkers to ensure the passage of his friends and family, Nick stopped for a chilling face-to-face encounter with a walker himself.

Daredevil and Punisher get acquainted

Daredevil (Charlie Cox), meet The Punisher (Jon Bernthal). Now, fight. Anybody hoping that the hero of Hell's Kitchen and the deadly vigilante would instantly become BFFs was in for a rude awakening upon Punisher's introduction in Daredevil's second season on Netflix. While the men faced-off a few times before ultimately coming to an understanding, their first fight packed quite the punch and ended with a bang. <iframe src="//giphy.com/embed/vz925rmVU4oXm" width="480" height="270" frameborder="0" class="giphy-embed" allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" resize="0" replace_attributes="1" name=""></iframe><p><a href="http://giphy.com/gifs/vz925rmVU4oXm">via GIPHY</a></p>}ý]ëw›ñÍšwž®Zë]ºoŸ;}­{åÍëÝ7

Daredevil continues to excel in hallways

How do you top season 1's amazing hallway fight scene? Well, you add a stairwell, of course! After another fierce battle with Punisher, Daredevil had to make it past an angry group of bikers. He didn't quite have to fight with his arm tied behind his back, but he did kind of have both his hands tied, one with an unloaded gun and the other with a chain. That didn't stop him, especially once he broke all the lights, bringing his foes into his world. Star Charlie Cox joked that they were paying homage to the epic scene in season 1, but on crack. And boy was he right.

Parkour hits Hawaii

The Hawaii 5-0 team has taken down hundreds of criminals over the years, but no chase proved more challenging and exhausting than the one that took place in the season 7 premiere. More familiar with shootouts and car chases, the task force wasn't prepared for their surprisingly biggest obstacle yet — parkour. Stuntman and parkour athlete Jesse La Flair portrayed a serial killer who even Superman himself, Commander McGarrett (Alex O'Loughlin), couldn't keep up with. Jumping from building to building, leaping cars, and scaling a crane, were just a few of the moves La Flair showed off in the exhilarating scene.

‘Person of Interest' sunroof sniper

Television has seen many car chases filled with gunfire, but it's never seen someone go full sniper through their sunroof while also steering with only their heel. That's exactly what badass assassin Root (Amy Acker) did in Person of Interest's final season. If the adrenaline-filled scene taught audiences one thing, it's that hair scrunchies are key in gunfights. <iframe src="//giphy.com/embed/ioroFXJhUci88" width="480" height="270" frameborder="0" class="giphy-embed" allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" resize="0" replace_attributes="1" name=""></iframe><p><a href="http://giphy.com/gifs/ioroFXJhUci88">via GIPHY</a></p>çO:}Þ;åí8ßÎxѧ»çßxó·šç^¸å÷|ק·

Luke Cage does damage

We already knew from Jessica Jones that Luke Cage (Mike Colter) was a force, but early in his own series, we learned that he truly can "Bring Da Ruckus." Scored to the Wu-Tang Clan's hit song, the scene found Cage becoming a one-man destruction crew, taking all challengers on with the help of a car door, a pipe he pulled from the wall, and a couch. Eventually, he realized that he doesn't even need to bother with weapons, considering he's bulletproof and all.

‘Lethal Weapon' goes full speed

Considering that the Lethal Weapon film franchise featured plenty of intense, action-packed scenes, the TV series had some lofty expectations to live up to. And the Fox drama delivered right off the bat. In the pilot episode, Riggs (Clayne Crawford) and Murtaugh (Damon Wayans) celebrated their new partnership by engaging in a high-speed car chase that led them into the middle of a Grand Prix race. Riggs leaped from one speeding car to another before then knocking out the driver of their target's vehicle. If only they had the budget to do a scene like that every week.

Daisy and Hive have a not very friendly reunion

Based on Daisy a.k.a Quake's (Chloe Bennet) skills in her Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. season 3 showdown with former coworker/Hydra agent Hive (Brett Dalton), maybe Captain America or Iron Man should have called her. The scene taught us all a good lesson: If a powerful superhero asks you to take her back, you take her back. <iframe src="//giphy.com/embed/Gpv4urRvvaT2E" width="480" height="270" frameborder="0" class="giphy-embed" allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" resize="0" replace_attributes="1" name=""></iframe><p><a href="http://giphy.com/gifs/Gpv4urRvvaT2E">via GIPHY</a></p>–úß^œ×͹ožùu×Üqÿ|×vµi¯6óFµÓ׸

The Demogorgon meets its match

Episode Recaps

The young kids on Stranger Things are always the ones getting the love, so let's show some appreciation for the teenagers. While Eleven (Millie Bobby Brown) ends up defeating the Demogorgon, Nancy (Natalia Dyer), Steve (Joe Keery), and Jonathan (Charlie Heaton) put up quite a fight against it. The beautifully shot scene is full of tension, especially with the Christmas lights serving as the only lighting. And for anybody who had loved Steve solely for his hair up to this point, they gained a whole new appreciation for Jean-Ralphio Saperstein's possible father. <iframe src="//giphy.com/embed/O1FrIH90rlI2c" width="480" height="270" frameborder="0" class="giphy-embed" allowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" resize="0" replace_attributes="1" name=""></iframe><p><a href="http://giphy.com/gifs/O1FrIH90rlI2c">via GIPHY</a></p>éþwéÎÛéÝ|›×¿;é­{wß=éÎÛÝöëvý

Arrow

Billionaire Oliver Queen — under the vigilante persona of Arrow — tries to right the wrongs of his family and fight the ills of society.
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