A Game of Thrones
- King Robert Baratheon is normally a Large Ham and Boisterous Bruiser. However, when he first gets to Winterfell, the first thing he does is pay his respects to his lost love Lyanna Stark. Whether you view Robert as a good man or a bad one, his love for Lyanna and for the Starks as a whole, is genuine.
- The direwolves, Ghost and Nymeria, of the two 'odd' Stark children, Jon Snow (an illegitimate child) and Arya (the tomboy) bond just as closely as Jon and Arya do.
- Jon giving his little sister Arya the sword Needle as a parting gift, as they are among the closest siblings to each other (aside from Robb and Jon, raised side by side as brothers and best friends) and know that they probably won't see each other again for a long time. Plus, of course, "stick them with the pointy end" and "don't tell Sansa!"
- When Tyrion is hanging out with the men of the Night's Watch, Maester Aemon calls Tyrion a "giant among men." Tyrion is almost too touched to say anything.
- Ned's conversation with Arya on her behavior: "(Arya) had never loved him so much as she did in that instant."
- Tyrion showing a newly crippled Bran how he can still learn to ride a horse. And Tyrion doing so because Bran's brother Jon asked Tyrion to help Bran in whatever way he could.
- The Hound winning the tournament by saving Ser Loras' life, and the crowd cheers for him for the first time ever. By extension, Ser Loras forfeiting the joust and giving the Hound the victory (and prize money) in return.
- Jon helping Sam out, befriending him, and making him feel at home among the Night's Watch, specifically this line: "We're not friends, we're brothers." And it's not just Jon who shows such sentiments. After a devastated Jon makes a desperate attempt to desert following his father Ned's execution so that he can join his brother Robb and avenge their father, Pyp, Grenn, Halder, and the rest of Jon's friends work together to find Jon and bring him back before he can be arrested for desertion. Remember, a few weeks ago, Pyp, Grenn, and Halder didn't even like Jon because they thought Jon was a snooty high & mighty lordling before they and Jon became True Companions, along with Sam. Now they are prepared to risk being mistaken for deserters themselves all just to bring one of their own back to safety.
- Syrio Florel does not mind teaching a girl how to fight and, in fact, is willing to be hired for a longer term and travel all the way to continue tutoring Arya.
- Jon’s elated reaction to learning his brother Bran is going to live when his brother Robb writes to him. The way it was set up makes this even better. When he realizes the letter is about Bran, he thought that Bran had died and ran all the way to Jeor Mormont, prepared for the worst. When he learns the truth — that though Bran is crippled, he is alive — Jon is just so happy that Bran is going to live.
"He woke up," [Jon] said. "The gods gave him back." "Crippled," Mormont said. "I'm sorry, boy. Read the rest of the letter." He looked at the words, but they didn't matter. Nothing mattered. Bran was going to live... Jon ran down the stairs, a smile on his face and Robb's letter in his hands. "My brother is going to live," he told the guards. They exchanged a look. He ran back to the common hall, where he found Tyrion Lannister just finishing his meal. He grabbed the little man under the arms, hoisted him up in the air, and spun him around in a circle. "Bran is going to live!" he whooped.
- Lord Mormont giving Jon his family's sword.
- An often overlooked one: Hoster Tully, in one of his more lucid moments, talks about the Battle of the Camps
Hoster: "I saw. Last night, when it began, I told them...had to see. They carried me to the gatehouse...watched from the battlements. Ah, that was beautiful...the torches came in a wave, I could hear the cries floating across the river...sweet cries...when that siege tower went up, gods...would have died then, and glad, if only I could have seen your children first. Was it your boy who did it? Was it your Robb?”Catelyn: "Yes, It was Robb...and Brynden. Your brother is here as well, my lord."
- When the fierce Khal Drogo asks Dany why she chose "Rhaego" as their son's name, she tells him she named him after her brother, who was killed before she was born. The Khal thinks for a moment, smiles at Dany, and tells her that he thinks it's a good name.
- "He was no true knight."
A Clash of Kings
- After Sansa is ordered to strip her clothes in court by Joffrey, Tyrion arrives on the scene, orders someone to cover her, and puts her up in the Hand's quarters, in Arya's old bedchamber. Tyrion orders his own people to guard Sansa from Joffrey, and even offers to assign a female guard if that would make Sansa feel more comfortable.
- Sansa basically melts the heart of a drunken, scared, merciless and desperate (at that point) killer by singing a song to him.
- And earlier, she gathers with other scared women, children, and elderly people to sing and pray before and during the Battle of Blackwater. Sansa prays for her family and friends, for Tyrion Lannister and Sandor Clegane, for all the soldiers fighting, for their loved ones, and even for people who have already died or who she's never met. This really shows how compassionate she can really be.
- Even if he's scaring Sansa and approaching her in a very disturbing way, Sandor shows the depth of his twisted affection for Sansa by offering her a way out — to leave with him — and this is the closest thing to a Declaration of Protection you'd get from a Tsundere like him:
Sandor: I could keep you safe. They're all afraid of me. No one would hurt you again, or I'd kill them.
- Tyrion getting truly appreciated by a group of his peers for the first time in his life, as his troops use him as a battle cry in the Battle of the Blackwater.
HALFMAN! HALFMAN! HALFMAN!
- The scene where Pod rescues Tyrion from Ser Mandon Moore. First because of Tyrion automatically assuming that it was Jaime, thus reminding us that only Jaime, Jaime, has ever treated him with kindness, and then for the subsequent revelation that it was plucky young Pod, the previously useless, timid squire, rescuing his liege.
- Book 2 has the one where Stannis tells Davos that he is right for wrongfully putting his trust in his fickle lords bannermen.
Stannis: Davos, I have missed you.
- Stannis again of all people, when he tells his tale of Proudwing. Even though he's very rigid, Stannis is very bad at hiding his feelings for certain people in general. Comments about Robert, Renly, his parents, Maester Cressen and Shireen all could count as him having a heartwarming moment. Or, at least, as much as Stannis can express it.
- When Thorne arrives in King's Landing, Tyrion sends him back to the Wall and asks him to say hello from him to Lord Commander Mormont and Jon Snow.
- The entirety Gendry and Arya's burgeoning friendship, with bonus points for them unknowingly mirroring their father's friendship a generation before. And that they quickly develop a mutual Chronic Hero Syndrome in their travels.
It didn't matter. The only thing that mattered was that they had Gendry. Even if he was stubborn and stupid, she had to get him out.
- Gendry's reintroduction defending Arya from Hot Pie and Lommy's bullying.
- During the attack on the Nights Watch recruits, Arya falls behind to save a little girl - the other boys rush ahead but Gendry comes back to help her. And then when they're trying to escape through a tunnel, Gendry tries to get her to go first but Arya stays back again to free the prisoners.
- Later when Gendry's captured, Arya doesn't hesitate to go back to get him, even though she'll has to get through at least twenty soldiers - by her estimate - to save him.
- Gendry tells Arya that he's figured out she's a girl but promises that he won't tell anyone. His promise prompts Arya to trust him with who she really is, the only time - before or since - she's confided her true identity to someone. (Rather than them knowing or figuring it out themselves).
- Willful, somewhat simpleminded, and lecherous Edmure Tully when his sister angrily demands to know why he let a bunch of useless people into a castle just about to be besieged: "Because they were my people, and they were afraid."
- Bran's thoughts about Winterfell as he and his companions are escaping.
At the edge of the wolfswood, Bran turned in his basket for one last glimpse of the castle that had been his life. Wisps of smoke still rose into the grey sky, but no more than might have risen from Winterfell's chimneys on a cold autumn afternoon. Soot stains marked some of the arrow loops, and here and there a crack or a missing merlon could be seen in the curtain wall, but it seemed little enough from this distance. Beyond, the tops of the keeps and towers still stood as they had for hundreds of years, and it was hard to tell that the castle had been sacked and burned at all. The stone is strong, Bran told himself, the roots of the trees go deep, and under the ground the Kings of Winter sit their thrones. So long as those remained, Winterfell remained. It was not dead, just broken. Like me, he thought. I'm not dead either.
- The fact the Maester at Dragonstone is one of few people who truly love Stannis for what he is and died in his futile attempt to kill Melisandre is both CMOH and a factor that make his death more tragic.
- While on a Night's Watch ranging beyond the Wall and even in the harsh conditions, Jon fondly thinks of his sisters when he observes a pretty winter morning beyond the Wall and knows so well how each of his sisters would regard it:
Jon: So there is magic beyond the Wall after all. He found himself thinking of his sisters, perhaps because he’d dreamed of them last night. Sansa would call this an enchantment, and tears would fill her eyes at the wonder of it, and Arya would run out laughing and shouting, wanting to touch it all.
A Storm of Swords
- Small Paul deciding to carry Sam to safety.
- A small bit where the Tyrells are trying to wed Sansa to Willas Tyrell. Margaery sees Sansa's doubts and begins to speak lovingly of her brother's attributes. Keep in mind that they don't actually need Sansa's approval or consent; Margaery just wants her brother to be happy and for Sansa to see the same good in Willas that she does. It works, as Sansa was looking forward to the wedding. Too bad the Lannisters got wind of the plan.
- Sansa daydreaming about what it would be like to be married to Willas: she imagines them with puppies in Highgarden, and thinks about the names she would give her sons: Eddard, Brandon, and Rickon. She even pictures a daughter that reminds her of Arya.
- The entirety of Sansa and Margaery's friendship. Although the events of the story prevent them from staying close and the fact that the Tyrells might be manipulating Sansa, Margaery does genuinely seem to care about Sansa and calls her "sister". This is particularly shown when, despite cutting ties with Sansa when Sansa is forced to marry Tyrion, Margaery still sheds tears for Sansa and her situation.
- Following on from this, the fact that in spite of the fact that his family have cut ties with Sansa (due to her being a potential problem with their plans to supplant the Lannisters as the power behind the throne, now that she's married to Tyrion, Garlan still goes up to Sansa during her melancholy wedding feast and asks her to dance. Sansa had always imagined dancing with her husband at their wedding feast (something she both cannot and will not do with Tyrion), and this small gesture lets her have even a small portion of her dream back, if only for a moment. Well-named was Ser Garlan the Gallant.
- Stannis making Davos a Lord and his Hand for being honest and loyal to him. Stannis may seem like a harsh man but he certainly appreciates loyalty.
- A subtle one, but Jaime's joke about only rescuing maidens after freeing Brienne from the Bloody Mummers is an understated way of making sure that she really was unharmed during her captivity. Considering that just a few chapters ago he was an amoral bastard who cared only about himself and his twin sister... Also, "Her name is Brienne". What happened to calling her "wench", huh Jaime?
- Robb Stark reminding Catelyn Stark in A Storm Of Swords that Eddard Stark had four sons, not three. Thus reminding her that Jon Snow is also his father's son. Shows how close the two brothers are. And throughout the book, Arya and Bran often think of their big brother and even Sansa, the child closest to her mother, realizes how much she misses Jon and how much she wants to see him again. All the Stark siblings — Robb, Jon, Sansa, Arya, Bran and Rickon — think of each other with love and miss one another throughout the series, which is considerably heartwarming in this Crapsack World. Robb subsequently uses his powers as king to legitimize Jon as a Stark and make him the heir to Winterfell, confidently assuring his mother that Jon is his brother and would never harm a son of his. Made more poignant when Jon turns down Winterfell in A Dance With Dragons for his sister Sansa's sake.
- The Hound's Pet the Dog moment with Arya after the Red Wedding: "This thing about your mother.
- Jon getting elected Lord-Commander of Night's Watch. For reference, Jon is the bastard son of Lord Eddard Stark, and was often derisively addressed by his comrades-at-arms as "Lord Snow" (Snow being a surname given to noble-born illegitimate children in the North) as Jon is an illegitimate child with a young lord's upbringing. Only now, he really is Lord Snow.
- The scene in which Sansa remembers a snow fight with her siblings and builds a snow-castle Winterfell. And then it is reversed when her own aunt tries to kill her in the very same chapter.
- Before he ruins the scene completely, Littlefinger is actually quite endearing when he stops to help Sansa to build snow-Winterfell and gets hit in the face when she throws a snowball at him. Helps that, judging by some of his facial expressions and actions, he genuinely seems to be intent on helping Sansa build a snow castle by using his own creative mind. Makes you think that, despite all his actions as Littlefinger, Petyr is still in there somewhere...
- Another Bronn moment is — after he refuses to be Tyrion's champion when he's on trial for murdering Joffrey because his opponent would be Gregor Clegane and Tyrion can't offer him enough to make it worth risking his life against such an opponent — Bronn still shows some concern for Tyrion in regard to what will happen next. Bronn may be too much of a Combat Pragmatist to fight for Tyrion this time, but he still cares about him to some extent.
- Bronn seems to have made Lollys Stokeworth his Morality Pet, being kind to her beyond the demands of necessity. Maybe the battle-hardened killer is willing to be nice to people who are no threat to him?
- Lollys is a victim of a riot gang-rape and a bit daft but decent person, formerly single mother to his adopted bastard son, one of the last few living members of her family, not to mention his claim as head of the rich House Stokeworth. Perhaps despite what Bronn professes he has a soft spot for fundamentally decent/innocent people who suffer from some manner of social/physical handicap, are discriminated against by those around them and are caught up in bad situations not of their own design? Bonus points for those in some position of power who might help elevate his fortunes. Explains a lot, really.
- After Jaime gives Oathkeeper to Brienne and sends her off to find and protect Sansa on his behalf (itself a minor moment), he turns to the White Book where the deeds of the Kingsguard are recorded (and he had been disappointed before to find his own list depressingly short because of the disdain Ser Barristan Selmy held for him—Selmy didn't even include most of his tournament victories). Struggling to write with his left hand, he records his defeats, imprisonments, disgraces and maiming. But he ends with "Returned safely to King's Landing by Brienne, the Maid of Tarth." Even more so when you consider how much it would mean to Brienne, who only strives to live her life by knightly ideals even though she knows for the most part she'll get nothing but scorn for it, to know that a deed of hers has been recorded in the legendary White Book for all posterity.
- Jaime and Tyrion Lannister are neither of them sweet fuzzy bunnies. It's clear, however, that there is a great deal of genuine affection and trust between them. It's especially heartwarming because it tends to turn up the most at moments when each is at his lowest. When Jaime is trying to get back to King's Landing from Riverrun, for example, he keeps himself going by remembering that he's going home to Cersei AND Tyrion, and the first thing that the usually proud Tyrion says when Jaime sees his scar is, "well, they sent me into a battle without my big brother to protect me."
- One thing that makes these books frustrating is that so many of the reunions that we hope for never happen. One does, however: after more than a year apart, Jaime rescues Tyrion from the dungeon and the two brothers see one another for the first time since Ned Stark's feast. Fittingly for the two snarkiest characters in the series, it starts with a joke.
Tyrion: Come and get me, you sons of a poxy whore! Afraid to fight a dwarf?Jaime: ... now, is that any way to speak of our lady mother?
- Throughout A Storm of Swords, Jaime seems to find Loras Tyrell arrogant and rather annoying. When he asks Loras about Renly, however, all of Loras's arrogance fades, and Jaime realizes that he was basically the same person when he was younger.
- Tyrion gets a few Calling the Old Man Out moments before he and Tywin have their final reckoning but this one stood out as a bittersweet one that might overlap a bit with Tear Jerker territory after Tywin asks if he'd forgotten that he's supposed to be impregnating his wife Sansa.
- “I had not forgotten, though I’d hoped you had. And when do you imagine Sansa will be at her most fertile?” Tyrion asked his father in tones that dripped acid. “Before or after I tell her how we murdered her mother and her brother?”
- Tyrion seems rather protective of Sansa during their marriage, even though it was forced. After the Red Wedding while Joffrey is gloating about his victory and saying that he's going to make Sansa kiss her brother's severed head, Tyrion coldly hits him with the following:
Tyrion: Sansa is no longer yours to torment, you monster.
- Though the scene is rather unsettling from Sansa's point of view, in hindsight Tyrion and Sansa's wedding night could be seen as this. Tyrion refuses to force himself on her and rather kindly tells her they can wait to consummate the marriage until she is ready. The whole situation sucks for both of them, but unlike the rest of the Lannisters, Tyrion at least seems to care about Sansa's feelings.
- During the actual wedding, Garlan Tyrell reassuring Sansa that her husband is better than the rest of his family, praising Tyrion's actions and plans during the Battle of the Blackwater and saying he was "made to do great deeds". At least someone noticed all the good Tyrion has done.
- At the end of Daenerys's story in A Storm of Swords, Dany wakes up in the middle of the night with her servant Missandei, looking over Meereen for a house with a red door.
- Oberyn Martell reminiscing about his visit to Casterly Rock with his sister, Elia. Elia picks up a baby Tyrion and coos over him.
- A moment that proves in a Lovable Rogue has his feelings: when Davos is returned to Dragonstone after the Battle of Blackwater and taken to see Sallador Saan, the sly, swift-talking pirate stops still and stares at his friend, apparently back from the dead. There is a pause, and the normally-cheerful, dismissive Saan makes a remark about having something in his eye. So did we, Sallador. So did we.
- Jaime trying to comfort Loras over the fact that he killed two innocent men that he thought had helped murder Renly.
Jaime: I would have done the same, ser.The lie came easy, but Ser Loras seemed grateful for it.
A Feast For Crows
- Prince Doran Martell setting aside time to watch the kids (both commoner and noble) in the Water Gardens pool with orders not to be disturbed. Before leaving to return to Sunspear, he says goodbye to a few kids he has come to dote on, again a mix of highborn and commoner kids.
- After years of thinking she was The Unfavorite, Arianne learns that her father loved her dearly all along and had great plans for her, namely making her Viserys III's queen. That plan didn't pan out, but she does come to see Doran in a new light and they reconcile. It's also worth noting that despite trying to overthrow him, Arianne never wanted her father to get hurt, only to acknowledge her rights. Even when she thought he didn't love her, she still loved him.
- Bronn names his bastard stepson "Tyrion," in a political climate where it would be impolitic to the point of suicide to do so. And gets away with it. And remember when Cersei tried to have him killed because of it? Thereby managing to combine Heartwarming, Awesome and Funny in a single action. There's a reason he's an Ensemble Darkhorse. And, honestly, the only thing likely to please Tyrion more than a baby named after him is a baby who was named after him to purposefully piss off Cersei.
- Jaime: *THWACK* "You are speaking of a highborn lady, Ser. Call her by her name. Call her Brienne."
- Jaime's kindness towards Pia, a physically and sexually abused peasant girl, is one of the most powerful moments of his Heel–Face Turn: He beheads one of his own men for raping her, and goes to great lengths to ensure that the budding relationship between her and his squire is a happy one. In a world where commoners, women, and above all commoner women are preyed upon by the likes of Gregor Clegane and Vargo Hoat, compassion like that really stands out.
- After the events of The Red Wedding, no one could blame Edmure if he resented or hated Roslin for what the Freys did to the Starks and Tullys. But he doesn't. Not only does he never say an unkind word about her, but he still clearly considers her to be his wife, hopes to be reunited with her, and defends her when Jaime implies that she had any active role in the massacre. In spite of everything that happened, Edmure still loves Roslin enough to understand that she was an innocent pawn in what happened.
- Tommen standing up for Margaery when Cersei threatens her. It shows that although he is far too young to love Margaery as a wife, he cares about her like a little brother would. Unfortunately, it doesn't end well for him.
- Arya throwing everything into the canals of Braavos except for Needle, because even if the Many-Faced God decreed that she could have no worldly possessions, the Old Gods are the ones in her heart. And Arya's thoughts on Needle in the same scene. Needle is her family, the home she lost - Needle is Arya, and everything she ever loved, even when she's trying to be no one. Also doubles as a Tearjerker in the light of what has happened to House Stark.
Needle was Robb and Bran and Rickon, her mother and her father, even Sansa. Needle was Winterfell's grey walls, and the laughter of its people. Needle was the summer snows, Old Nan's stories, the heart tree with its red leaves and scary face, the warm earthy smell of the glass gardens, the sound of the north wind rattling the shutters of her room. Needle was Jon Snow's smile.
- Loras offering to take over Tywin's vigil so that Jaime can rest.
- Septon Meribald's "Broken Men" speech is mostly just sad, but the way he beseeches the others to have compassion for Shell Shocked Veterans who were once honest men definitely falls into this. Most people just write them off as worthless outlaws, but Meribald recognizes what PTSD does to a person.
A Dance with Dragons
- Jon turning down Stannis' offer of Winterfell and legitimacy out of loyalty to his father's Gods, his half-sister's claim of inheritance and his oath to the Night's Watch.
- All the more so because it proves once and for all that Robb was right about Jon (see above), and Catelyn was wrong.
- Indeed, throughout the book, we see just how wrong Catelyn was about Jon being a threat to her own children. Jon gives a lot of really good advice to Stannis (whom he prefers to the Boltons & Lannisters, big surprise). But he always tries to maintain a veneer of the Night Watch's famous neutrality. But as soon as it appears that his sister Arya is in the clutches of Ramsay Bolton, Jon throws caution to the winds, sending Mance Rayder to rescue her. And after that, when it seems Stannis has lost & Ramsay is on the hunt for Arya again, Jon promptly decides to go to war against the Boltons, with a few dozen men at his back.
- Also, he comes to the decision with the return of his direwolf Ghost, who had been gone for most of the book. He finally gets a moment of levity amongst the fighting and politics and it's Ghost's return which allows him this peace and clarity.
- The North remembers. Lord Manderly plans to slaughter those who betrayed his king and so many of his friends. And an entire army of northmen prepare to lay down their lives in a winter battle for Ned's little girl, in respect to "The Ned". The love that the North still has for Ned Stark and his family is touching and powerful indeed.
- All the scenes with Penny, the cute little dwarf who pulls Tyrion back from the brink of Knight Templardom.
- In ADWD, Theon thinking about Robb:
Theon: Where was I? I should have died with him.
- Kevan Lannister's loving attitude towards his wife and children. After Tywin's funeral, he also confronts Cersei on how badly she has fucked up as a parent, vowing to raise Tommen properly after he is appointed Regent. At the end of book 5, he's shown having supper with Cersei and Tommen, admiring Tommen's good nature and kind heart. It makes his death at Varys' hands even sadder, although Varys at least comments that Kevan is a decent man, which (barely) softens the blow.
- Lady Barbrey Dustin gives Theon some comforting company:
Barbrey: Why do you love the Starks?Theon: I … I wanted to be one of them …Barbrey: And never could. We have more in common than you know, my lord.
- The moment Bran tries to reach out to Theon through the heart tree of Winterfell's godswood, a crucial step in Theon reclaiming his identity. He decides he'd rather die as Theon than live as Reek. It's also a Tearjerker considering Theon's actions against Bran and House Stark in A Clash of Kings.
The old gods, he thought. They know me. They know my name. I was Theon of House Greyjoy. I was a ward of Eddard Stark, a friend and brother to his children. [...] And for one strange moment it seemed as if it were Bran’s face carved into the pale trunk of the weirwood, staring down at him with eyes red and wise and sad.
- Somewhere between a Moment of Heartwarming and a Moment of Funny; Daenerys remarks to Ser Barristan that a king needs "cheeks of steel" to cope with all the sitting and listening to petitioners. The next day she finds her hard ebony bench heaped with satin cushions. She is amused by Barristan's literal mindedness but she sits on the cushions.
- Wylla Manderly furiously calling out her grandfather when she thinks he has abandoned his loyalty to the Starks. She's wrong, but her Undying Loyalty to the Starks is quite touching to see.
Wylla Manderly: A thousand years before the Conquest, a promise was made, and oaths were sworn in the Wolf's Den before the old gods and the new. When we were sore beset and friendless, hounded from our homes and in peril of our lives, the wolves took us in and nourished us and protected us against our enemies. The city is built upon the land they gave us. In return we swore that we should always be their men. Stark men!
- And afterwards when Manderly confides in Davos how proud he is of Wylla for her courage.
Wyman: Wylla. Did you see how brave she was? Even when I threatened to have her tongue out, she reminded me of the debt White Harbor owes to the Starks of Winterfell, a debt that can never be repaid. Wylla spoke from the heart ... not every woman can be as brave as my Wylla.
- After struggling with an identity crisis for the entire novel and suffering through a horrible amount of torture, Theon manages to reunite with his sister, Asha, one of the few people in his family who loves him, and as a result, regains some of his sanity and positive self-image.
Theon: Theon, my name's Theon. You have to remember your name.
- Jon Connington raised the last living child of his best friend, whom he may have loved, and has done his damnedest to keep that child safe and secure, while also making sure that he doesn't end up like another Viserys. If every man were as noble in Westeros, then it would be a much better place.
- Jon defending Satin's ability to be his steward against the disapproval of his men:
Jon: Whatever Satin may have done in Oldtown, he is our brother now, and he will be my squire.
- Everything Jon does to rescue his little beloved sister.
Jon: Bring her home, Mance. I saved your son from Melisandre, and now I am about to save four thousand of your free folk. You owe me this one little girl.
- And he wonders if Arya still has the sword he had made for her - as the readers have seen over and over again, Needle is the one thing Arya will never give up because it's her final reminder of home...and Jon's smile.
The Winds of Winter
- Stannis declares that Theon is to be executed and a raven on a nearby table starts to freak out and scream Theon's name, despite most ravens not being smart enough to know words without being taught. The most likely conclusion is that Bran is warging in it and is upset by Theon's impending death.
"You saved me," Jeyne had whispered, as he was carrying her through the snow. She was pale with pain, but she had brushed one hand across his cheek and smiled.
- Throughout the scene, Asha constantly begs for her brother's life, claiming that she's not doing it because she loves him.
- There's a small moment where Theon remembers Jeyne's happiness at being rescued.
- Stannis orders that, should he die before the war is over, his soldiers keep fighting and sit Shireen on the Iron Throne or die in the attempt.
- Aeron Greyjoy's preview chapter is pretty horrifying from start to finish. But when Euron has his would-be salt wife, Falia Flowers tied to the prow of the Silence next to the Damphair, Aeron offers what little comfort he can. Made even more heartwarming when you remember earlier in the chapter, Falia had defied Euron and secretly brought Aeron some honeyed oatmeal to eat instead of the rotten meat Euron had been giving him. No doubt Aeron remembered that kindness.
Aeron: Falia Flowers, have courage, girl! All this will be over soon, and we will feast together in the Drowned God's watery halls.
- This may also count as a moment of awesome, as despite all that Euron has done, Aeron still maintains his Faith in the Drowned God. Fucked up as that faith is, that takes determination.
- In Sansa's preview chapter, Lothor Brune nicknames Alayne's new betrothed Harry the Heir "the Arse" after he's been rude to Alayne calling her a bastard in her face. And Sansa is so grateful for this comment, that she hugs him. This moment is so similar in tone & content to a caring uncle comforting a distressed niece.... a role that the Blackfish once played to Sansa's mother, aunt & uncle. And it fits with Ser Lothor being one of the few men in Littlefinger's service who is a genuinely well meaning man.
- In Arianne's preview chapter she wishes she could reunite with her little brother Quentyn after she found out he never plotted to rob her of her birthright. Doubles as a Tear Jerker as she never will. He's already dead.
- Also she makes clear to her bastard little cousin Elia that no matter if she's a bastard, the Prince her uncle would never turn his back on his brother's daughter. The Martells are not perfect but are a loving family anyway and while Doran is no saint, he's a far more decent man than the equally powerful Tywin Lannister.
- Daemon Sand holds some grudges to Arianne and her father since he was denied her hand but you could tell his true feelings by the fact he's now Arianne's sworn shield and he's willing to go to a risky mission in her place.
- Aegon III lived a pretty sad life, but the best thing that ever happened to him was getting his younger brother back. Everyone believed that Viserys II had perished in the Battle of the Gullet, and Aegon suffered from Survivor Guilt because he'd had a dragon to escape on but Viserys hadn't. Years later Viserys turned up alive in the Free Cities, having been taken hostage by merchant princes. Alyn Velaryon recovered him, brought him back to Westeros, and reunited the two brothers. It's said this was the only thing that ever brought Aegon true joy, and Viserys was the only person he trusted fully.
- King Baelor walking through a pit of vipers to free his cousin, Aemon the Dragonknight, with full confidence that the Seven would protect them. He was wrong about Seven protecting them, but it was still a valiant feat. And for that matter, his treatment of the Dornish. He released their hostages and walked thousands of miles to Sunspear from King's Landing barefoot in a show of humility. On the king's way back, the Prince of Dorne, fearing that Baelor's death would threaten the new peace, commanded his bannermen to be as accommodating as possible.
"Baelor, your work is done."
- Baelor's kindness to the Dornish would be posthumously rewarded twenty years later when King Daeron II worked with his brother-in-law, Prince Maron Martell, to formally unite Dorne with the Seven Kingdoms, the capstone to which was to lay a golden wreath before Baelor's statue and declare:
- Ser Duncan the Tall, a lowborn hedge knight is to stand trial by combat for having attacked a member of the Targaryen royal family in order to protect a lowborn puppeteer woman who was being assaulted by the aforementioned Royal Brat. A large crowd gathers to watch the trial and Duncan wonders about why so many people would like to see his death. Then the smallfolk start issuing words of support, cheering for him, some women kiss him to wish him luck and a septon even blesses his sword.. He is in disbelief. "They are for me? Why? What am I to them?" His companions reply, "A knight who remembered his vows."
- Aegon the Unworthy once hosted a tourney and forbade Aemon the Dragonknight from entering because he wanted to name his mistress Queen of Love and Beauty. Knowing that Queen Naerys would be humiliated, Aemon entered the tourney anyway as a mystery knight known as the Knight of Tears, won, and crowned the queen instead. There's another layer of heartwarming to this. It's rumored that Aemon and Naerys were in love and would have rather married each other. If this is true, Aemon wasn't just looking out for his sister, he was defending the honor of the woman he loved.
- During Aegon's Conquest, Queen Sharra Arryn returned to the Eyrie's throne room to find her young son Ronnel, the last king of the Vale, sitting on Queen Visenya Targaryen's lap, asking his mother if he could go for a ride with the lady and her dragon. Not very heartwarming in itself, considering the Adult Fear Sharra must have experienced, but the touching moment came after. Once the Vale surrendered to Aegon, Visenya actually did take Ronnel for that ride on her dragon, Vhagar. Three times. It earned him the nickname 'The King Who Flew'. It could be seen as a Pet the Dog moment for Visenya. Her reputation in Westeros is one of a somewhat stern Lady of War with a manipulative streak who possibly murdered her nephew/stepson Aenys I to put her son Maegor (AKA Maegor the Cruel) on the throne. Yet she had enough of a soft spot to take a little boy for a fun ride through the sky.
- Another CMOH during Aegon's conquest is the story of the foundation of House Baratheon. King Argilac Durrendon of the Stormlands declared war to Aegon after he refused the hand of his daughter Argella in marriage and offered instead his Heroic Bastard half-brother Orys instead (mind that he was suggesting the closest guy to Aegon himself). Argilac ended up killed by Orys himself in duel and Argella decided to not surrender to Orys anyway but was betrayed and eventually handed over to Orys by her own people tied up and naked. Orys instead of raping her and taking her as a concubine, covered her up with his own cloak, offered her food and drink, and treated her respectfully. They eventually fell in love, got married and founded House Baratheon.
- Sansa hearing that her brother Jon has been elected Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, and wistfully thinking how so sweet it would be to see him again. Prior to their family being separated, Sansa dreamt so much of being a princess betrothed to a prince at court and after all the hell she's been through since she's been separated from her family, it's both heartwarming and tearjerking whenever she fondly thinks of her siblings and of home.
- A minor scene but once Bran mentions that the statues of the tombs in Winterfell are usually reserved only for the Stark kings and lords, it reminds us that Ned's deceased siblings, Brandon and Lyanna, have their own statues next to their father Rickard thanks to Ned insisting to have them carved. It really shows how much love Ned has for them as well as doubles as a Tear Jerker over the fact they have died rather young.
- In a heartwarming-for-a-Lannister type way, Tyrion has clearly known about Cersei and Jaime's romantic relationship for quite some time, yet has never used the information against them. Contrast with the nanoseconds that it took both Lord Tywin and Cersei to use knowledge of Tyrion's personal life to try to manipulate him.
- Any time the Stark children reminisce about each other and Winterfell. It shows just how close-knit this family was and the love they have for each other.
Arya: Suddenly Arya remembered the crypts at Winterfell. [...] When the spirit stepped out of the open tomb, pale white and moaning for blood, Sansa ran shrieking for the stairs, and Bran wrapped himself around Robb's leg, sobbing. Arya stood her ground and gave the spirit a punch. It was only Jon, covered with flour. "You stupid," she told him, "you scared the baby," but Jon and Robb just laughed and laughed, and pretty soon Bran and Arya were laughing too. The memory made Arya smile, and after that the darkness held no more terrors for her.Bran: Back in Winterfell Sansa had told him that the demons of the dark couldn’t touch him if he hid beneath his blanket.Sansa: She remembered a summer’s snow in Winterfell when Arya and Bran had ambushed her as she had emerged from the keep one morning. Theyd each had a dozen snowballs to hand, and she’d had none. Bran had been perched on the roof of the covered bridge, out of reach, but Sansa had chased Arya through the stables and around the kitchen until both of them were breathless. She might even have caught her, but she’d slipped on some ice. Her sister came back to see if she was hurt. When she said she wasn’t, Arya hit her in the face with another snowball, but Sansa grabbed her leg and pulled her down and was rubbing snow in her hair when Jory came along and pulled them apart, laughing.Jon: He thought of Robb, with snowflakes melting in his hair. He thought of Bran, clambering up a tower wall, agile as a monkey. Of Rickon’s breathless laughter. Of Sansa, brushing out Lady’s coat and singing to herself. He thought of Arya, her hair as tangled as a bird’s nest.
- One of Davos' sons is named Stannis.
- A meta example. A thirteen-year-old fan tried donating all his £153 savings in order to get a grisly death in the books. Martin was touched by the man's effort, and instead of granting him a grisly death (since all the spots had been filled by that point) he donated $10,000 in the boy's name to a wolf conservation scheme, wishing him luck in his future endeavours.
- When Mad King Aerys demanded that Robert Baratheon and Ned Stark be brought to him and executed, Jon Arryn ignited the rebellion. He did so because he wanted to protect the two young men who he helped to raise.
- Another Robert's Rebellion example. The cassus belli is definitely kidnapping of Lyanna Stark. Stark (Ned, Brandon and Rickard) raise arms to rescue their sister/daughter, Robert Baratheon did the same to rescue his beloved and Jon Arryn to protect Robert and Ned. While many people lost their lives, The things I do for love indeed.
- Results of Davos smuggled supplies to blockaded Storm's End at Robert's Rebellion.
- First, Stannis cut three of his fingers and knighted him. Also making him his friend.
- Definitely hungry Stannis lets the weak ones eat first and himself last.
- Ned Stark loved and raised his illegitimate son, Jon Snow, just like his trueborn children and brought him up alongside them, wherein Jon developed loving and close relationships with his father, half-siblings, uncle and many at Winterfell — while many other nobles would have their illegitimate child fostered elsewhere and financially support them from afar. At worst, some nobles neglected their illegitimate children rather then caring for them and refuse to acknowledge them until there is no other option (like Ramsay and Roose).
- Oberyn Martell did the same as Ned. He gave his bastard daughters the kind of freedom even princesses can't dream of and trained them in various skills himself. It's no wonder they're so fiercely loyal to him.
- Ladies and gentlemen of TV Tropes, we all know why Ned really raised Jon Snow just like any son of his — and it is truly heartwarming.