"There is only one God, and His name is Death. And there is only one thing we say to Death—not today."
- —Syrio Forel, the First Sword of Braavos
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Winter Is Coming
- When we first see Eddard he is executing a deserter. Our first impression is simply of a stern, cold-hearted king. He is gradually revealed to be a deeply honorable man and a loving father and husband.
- More of a general series of moments, but the obvious love and camaraderie between the entire Stark family. Whether it's Jon and Robb helping Bran with archery, Robb cracking up at Arya's prank on Sansa, Jon's amusement at Arya running around in a battle helmet, Rickon laughing at Arya and Bran play fighting, Catelyn affectionately scolding Bran for climbing, Ned's absolute acceptance of Catelyn as a Northerner in the godswood... On re-watch, this makes what's coming for the Starks all the more tragic...
- Tyrion trying to provide some advice to Jon about his being a bastard son and to wear it as armor so it can't be used to hurt him.
- Bran pleading with his father to spare the wolf pups, Jon using the First Men's beliefs to save the pups and using his illegitimacy so each of his five brothers and sisters can have a pup. Though Jon omits himself so his siblings can have a pup each, he still gets a pup of his own when he finds a white one nearby.
- Summer saving Bran from the assassin.
- Jon giving Needle to Arya, followed by her glomping him.
- The farewell between Robb and Jon, where they hug each other goodbye.
- Ned to Jon: "...Starks have manned the Wall for centuries and you are a Stark. You may not have my name, but you have my blood". A far cry from how most lords treat their bastard children. And Fridge Brilliance when you remember that Jon, in responding to the "where's your direwolf pup?" question from Bran in the previous episode (before he saw Ghost) responded, "...I'm not a Stark."
- When Tyrion joins his brother and sister for breakfast, Jaime greets him with an affectionate "Little brother" and smiles at his crude jokes — a contrast from Cersei's annoyed reaction.
- The scene when Ned has to kill Lady is utterly heartbreaking. But there is a tiny detail that is rather touching. As Ned leaves to do the deed, he tells Jory to take Arya and Sansa back to their rooms. As Jory starts to lead them away, notice that he puts a comforting arm around Sansa's shoulders as she sobs.
- Also fairly heartbreaking given how things turn out, but when Sansa disdainfully refers to Mycah as the butcher's boy Arya snaps back that he's her friend and tells her to go away. Then when Joffrey hurts Mycah, Arya immediately attacks Joffrey so her friend can get away.
- Although is also a CMOF and CMOA, Tyrion smacking Joffrey for refusing to go to the Starks after Bran's fall. This is just the first clue that Tyrion is the nicest guy in a family of assholes.
- Jon using his superior, highborn training to teach the other recruits (who were his initial opponents) how to sword fight. And Jon becoming close friends with these guys.
- Dany and Khal Drogo lying together after she tells him that she is pregnant. Marital bliss, of a sort.
- The look on Ned's face when Cat rides away shows that he not only loves her but greatly admires her.
- Tyrion and Jon's final goodbye atop the Wall: a bastard son of a Stark and a dwarf of a Lannister, departing as somewhat-friends. For bonus points, watch Tyrion's face when Jon says, "I'm going to miss you." You can't imagine Tyrion hears that very often.
- Ned comforting Arya over Mycah's death and reassuring her it wasn't her fault. And when he discovers Needle, instead of taking it away he hires her a swordmaster so she can learn to fight properly. Given how patriarchal Westeros is and how much Arya struggles with being a lady, it's sweet that her Dad just wants to let her be happy even if it's not proper.
Cripples, Bastards, and Broken Things
- Every damn thing Jon does for Samwell Tarly. By the end of the episode, their friendship is real.
- Tyrion designing a saddle so the crippled Bran can still ride a horse.
The Wolf and the Lion
- Renly wears black clothing throughout Season 1 (black is one of colours of House Baratheon), but he sports a green brocade cloak (green is one of the colours of House Tyrell) when he watches Loras joust to subtly display his affection and support for the man he loves. Renly is essentially copying the Westerosi wedding practice of the bride being draped in a cloak featuring the colours of her husband's sigil, so his richly decorative green cape is a symbol of his commitment to Loras. Awww, how romantic!
- Sandor saving Loras from his Ax-Crazy brother Gregor and Loras declaring Sandor the hero of the day for it despite Sandor protesting that he's no knight. Along with Sansa being one of the first to give him a standing ovation.
- Robert and Cersei discussing the fractured nature of the Seven Kingdoms, and her observation that their marriage is what holds it together, resulting in an uproar of laughter from both of them. However terrible their marriage is, and however much they hate each other, it's quite touching that they can at least be partners in recognizing the sheer absurdity of it all. What makes it funnier (or sadder) is that they're right; as soon as Robert dies, everything takes a turn for the worse.
- Ned's promise that Robert's bastard daughter will "want for nothing." He didn't have to say anything or do anything, but he did.
- It's small, but note the pissed off look on Jaime Lannister's face when Eddard claims responsibility for Tyrion's capture. Remember, this man hates Ned Stark, and has been waiting for the opportunity to kill him in battle for years. When he thinks Ned ordered his wife to take Tyrion, it becomes less about his pride, and more about killing the man who brought harm to his little brother. Even back then, Jaime showed he was the only one who cared for Tyrion.
A Golden Crown
- Even while injured and bedeviled by politicans, Ned refuses to allow the Mountain's raiding and raping to stand and calls for his (or failing that, Tywin Lannister's) arrest.
- The horse-heart-eating scene, once you hear that Dany's people are chanting the name of her son — they are her people. She has found a home, a place. Her people love her, and would kill to protect her. You can see the pride on Jorah Mormont's face as well.
- Syrio and Arya's relationship. Particularly his "What do we say to the god of death?" speech where he lifts her spirits after her father is gravely wounded by Jaime's men.
- "A Lannister always pays his debts." With those words, Tyrion throws his jailor a bag of money, which has to amount to more than the jailor would ever see legitimately in his life. At least one Lannister has some sense of honor in this world.
- Theon and Ros bidding each other farewell, with Theon even sincerely saying "I'm going to miss you." It may have just been a job for her, but Theon clearly valued her company more than he had ever let on.
You Win or You Die
- Against all politically advantageous and devious leanings, Ned chooses to warn Cersei about what he's learned and urges her to flee the capital, for her sake and for the sake of her children. If only the man wasn't so gods-damned honorable...
- Khal Drogo's Roaring Rampage of Revenge Rant. A man who's ready to conquer the entire world for his wife and child... wow. Of course, he did promise to rape, pillage, and kill a very large group of people, the majority who had done nothing wrong to him or Dany, but chances are she would have stopped him, though. It has gradually become clear that he would do anything for her.
- The gratitude Drogo shows to Jorah counts as well, stating that he knows what Jorah did for Dany, and offers him his choice of stallion — a very generous reward, given how revered horses are in Dothraki culture.
- When Robert is on his deathbed one of the last things he does is ask Ned to cancel the bounty he put out on Dany. It seems, in his final hour, he is able to let go of some of the hatred he holds for her family.
- The otherwise sociopathic and cruel prince Joffrey seems to be showing genuine affection for the dying King Robert: he is clutching his hand and looks like he's about to cry.
- Sam telling the Night's Watch that he too will take the Oath with Jon before the Old Gods, despite being raised to believe in the Seven ("They never listened to my prayers, maybe the Old Gods will"). His friendship with Jon is so important to him that doesn't reconsider when they are informed that they'll have to go beyond the Wall to take the Oath.
The Pointy End
- Although they couldn't be more different, both mentors of the Stark girls - Syrio, a Braavosi swordsman and Septa Mordane, a refined proper lady - demonstrate genuine love for their charges and sacrifice themselves to protect Arya and Sansa. Syrio holding off half a dozen men to give Arya time to get away and Mordane telling Sansa to hide and going out to face the Lannister soldiers herself. It really indicates what kind of people the Stark family that they inspire such a deep level of loyalty and care among those who serve them.
- The pride in Maester Luwin's face when Robb calls the banners.
- Robb and his mother Catelyn meet back up, and race to hug each other as soon as they're alone.
- Daenerys is willing to do anything and everything to ensure Drogo's life. This is all for a man who, just eight episodes, she thought of as nothing but a terrifying savage.
- The look on Catelyn's face when Robb returns from battle unscathed.
- In his last moments, Ned calls out to Yoren, and manages to ensure Arya's safety one final time.
- Mormont giving Jon his valyrian steel sword Longclaw, this shows how much he trusts Jon, and how he is a Replacement Goldfish to his dishonored son Jorah.
- From Maester Aemon's confession to Jon that he would have done anything for his brother's grandchildren and great-grandchildren if he had his youth and energy — or even his sight — at the time of Robert's Rebellion, it's clear he still considers himself a Targaryen as much as a brother of the Night's Watch. This is made even more heartwarming by the fact that Aemon is actually telling this to one of the 'little children' of the Targaryen.
Fire and Blood
- Given their prickly relationship throughout the season, Robb and Theon get one particularly nice moment in this episode:
Theon: Am I your brother, now and always?Robb: Now and always.Theon: [draws his sword and kneels] My sword is yours, in victory and defeat, from this day until my last day.
- Rendered altogether moot by what Theon does next season. Asshole.
- Although arguably Theon doesn't owe the Starks any gratitude, given that he's basically a hostage.
- A subtle one since it happens in the middle of a massive Tearjerker. Catelyn is in so much grief over Ned's death she has trouble breathing and even standing but when she see's how much pain Robb is in; she immediately tries to regain composure and console him.
- The way Sandor Clegane attempts to look after Sansa Stark and protect her from Joffrey.
- Gendry defending Arya from Hot Pie and Lommy's bullying because he doesn't like people who pick on smaller boys, cementing him as a rare heroic character. It's also the beginning of his friendship with Arya — one of the most genuine and trusting relationships on the show.
- The scene is even more heartwarming given their father's lifelong friendship and Robert's wish for the two families to be close. Robert and Ned may have come to tragic ends but their children are still out there and another Baratheon-Stark friendship has begun.
- When Jorah is visibly worried that Dany could be contemplating suicide. While his worries were unfounded, his earnest fear for her is touching.
- Tywin tells Tyrion he was right about the value of keeping Ned alive as a bargaining tool to placate his sons so they could focus on potential rebellion from Robert's brothers, and admits he was wrong about presuming Tyrion a "drunken fool". Taken as a whole, Tywin is acknowledging that Tyrion is not as much a disgrace to the family as he's always treated him.
- Before that, as they remain alone, Tyrion reaches for the wine, and Tywin stops him. Then he pours, as if to say "just today, you've been a good boy".
- Sam attempting a You Shall Not Pass when Jon attempts to leave to fight alongside his brother Robb and avenge his father's death. Then Grenn and Pyp go after him too, whereafter they all bring Jon back.
Mormont: Honor made you leave, honor brought you back.Jon: My friends brought me back.Mormont: I didn't say it was your honor.
- And they do so despite knowing THEY could very well be executed for trying to help a "deserter" themselves...because, "we're your brothers now." And then they chant the Night's Watch Oath around Jon in a Circle of Friendship to convince him. Even Lord Commander Mormont has to comment upon the loyalty of Jon's friends:
- Dany's hatching of her three baby dragons, the first in three hundred years, and her followers pledging their loyalties to her, starting with Jorah Mormont. After so long, dragons have finally returned to the living world, and with them the last Targaryen princess takes her first step to reclaim the throne her ancestors held, with a khalasar who will follow her not out of fear or desire for power, but devotion and love.
"Blood of my blood."
The North Remembers
- Tyrion giving Sansa his sympathies over her father Ned. What's amazing was the fact despite it was her mother that arrested him before, he holds no grudges against her since she's innocent. Also he believes Joffrey had no right to kill Ned. Tyrion may be small, but he's got a big heart.
- When Tyrion dotes on his niece and nephew, Myrcella and Tommen.
- Sansa saving the life of the drunk knight, Ser Dontos, first by convincing Joffrey that it would be bad luck to kill someone on his name day and then by proposing that instead of executing the knight, they keep him around as the court fool. The Hound backs her up.
- One of the Gold Cloaks refusing to kill the little baby.
The Night Lands
- When one of the scouts Dany sent out is returned dead and in pieces, Dany comforts the scout's lover and promises her that they'll give the body a proper funeral pyre, so he can join his ancestors in the afterlife.
- Matthos telling his father Davos his belief in the Lord of Light comes from his prayers to him being answered for Davos' safe return every night he was away at sea.
- Davos saying Stannis is his god because he provided Matthos a future as a knight.
- The scene where Ros is crying over the murdered baby Barra. To clarify, her sorrow is completely heartfelt and sincere, contrasting with the reactions coming from Cersei (it's bad but it had to be done), Tyrion (it's a bad political move) and Littlefinger (it's bad, but crying is bad for business too, so shut up). A bit of real, unselfish sorrow for an innocent life.
- Gendry revealing that he's known Arya is a girl for a while and promising to keep her secret. Arya responds by telling her real identity. After everything she's been through it's heartwarming that she's actually found someone she can trust and that there are still some good people left in the middle of war.
Arya: "No one can know."Gendry: "They won't. Not from me."Arya: [Pause] "My name's not Arry. It's Arya...of House Stark."
Gendry: [Horrified] "So you're a high-born then, you're a lady?"Arya: "No! I mean yes, my mother was a lady and my sister but— "Gendry: "And you were a lord's daughter and you lived in a castle and...look, all that about cocks I should never have said that. And I've been pissing in front of you and everything! I should be calling you m'lady."Arya: "Do not call me m'lady!"Gendry: "As m'lady commands." [Arya shoves him over]. "Well that was unladylike!"
- Gendry's reaction to her real identity is rather sweet too, as he worries that he's been rude to a lady and apologizes for — among other things - using the word cock in front of her. Given the relentless violence and chaos surrounding them it's funny to see Gendry worrying about exposing her to foul language. Arya being Arya, she tells him she's not a real lady and things quickly return to their old friendship.
What Is Dead May Never Die
- Renly's acceptance of Brienne into his Kingsguard speaks volumes about his attitude towards gender roles. He himself understands how painful it is to be frequently mocked for not adhering to them (Robert and Stannis have bullied Renly for his lack of combat experience), so his empathy towards Brienne's situation contributes to him being accepting of her masculinity.
- Upon first meeting Brienne and getting a good dose of her unladylike personality, Cateyln watches her fondly, clearly thinking of Arya.
- Margaery trying to get Renly to do his duty and have sex with her. She could have been very brusque about it, but she first tried to seduce him and then comforted him when he was clearly not affected. She even reveals that she knows about him and Loras, and tells him she wouldn't mind if her brother had to "help." Renly can spend as much time with Loras as he wants as long as he consummates their marriage and gives her a child to protect their alliance. For a woman whose husband clearly wanted nothing to do with her romantically, she came across as very kind and considerate.
- Sam giving Gilly his mother's sewing kit.
Gilly: You shouldn't give that away.Sam: I'm not giving it away. I'm giving it to you.
- In an odd way, Cersei's anguish over Tyrion's deal to wed off her daughter Myrcella. After she's been pleading her love for her children as the motivation for all her nasty deeds, here's the proof of how sincere it is. She didn't want Myrcella forced into an unhappy marriage the way she was with Robert.
- Myrcella and Tommen prove that they're nothing like their older brother Joffrey, during the incredibly awkward dinner with Sansa and Cersei. Myrcella just seems so pleased to have another young lady to talk about dresses, and Tommen, well:
Tommen: Is Joffrey going to kill Sansa's brother?Cersei: He might. Would you like that?Tommen: ... No. I don't think so.
- In a strangely bizarre way, Yoren unbending to Arya about his own 'prayer' after a boy called Willem killed his brother. Becomes a Crowning Moment of Funny when, having told her about burying an axe in Willem's head so deep "they had to bury him with it" he says, with a smirk, "That'll help you sleep, eh?" It does, actually.
- Arya's quick thinking to save Gendry. Even if Lommy won't be saying otherwise, there's still a risk in purposefully deceiving their captors, and she cares enough about Gendry to take the risk anyway.
- While discussing the nature of power with Tyrion, Varys states power resides only where people think it resides, with no more solidity than a shadow on a wall. Then however, he adds that a small man can cast a very large shadow. It's a blink and you miss it combination of encouragement and approval from Varys for Tyrion's tenure as Hand, and after the remark Tyrion gives a genuinely happy smile. It makes sense: for Tyrion, it is probably the first time he's been acknowledged in such a way.
Garden of Bones
- Sandor giving Sansa his cloak after Joffrey has her beaten and stripped and the fact he is one of the few people in the crowd that actually looks upset by what is happening.
- Tyrion offering Sansa a hand up, purely a sympathetic gesture given how much taller she is. Also, watch how hesitant he is at extending his hand to her, clearly afraid to touch the traumatized girl (especially as he's fully aware that to her he's not only a Lannister, but also "the Imp") but determined to do as much to help her as she'll allow him to. As it turns out, Sansa trusted him enough to take his hand. And there's this line at the end of the scene;
Tyrion: (admiringly) Lady Stark... you may survive us yet.
- Tyrion sending Ned Stark's remains back with Littlefinger to his wife Catelyn, with the message that he should be buried with the rest of his family in the crypts at Winterfell.
The Ghost of Harrenhal
- Loras defending Brienne from his sister's accusation that the Maid of Tarth had murdered Renly even though she humiliated him in combat earlier. In spite of his own grief and anger, he knows that Brienne would NEVER have hurt Renly.
- Jorah laying out exactly why he's still supporting Daenerys: she would be a ruler loved by the people, who would be good for Westeros.
Jorah: I only want—Daenerys: What do you want? Tell me.Jorah: ...To see you on the Iron Throne.Daenerys: Why?Jorah: You have a good claim, a birthright. But more than that: you may cover it up and deny it, but you have a gentle heart. You would not only be respected and feared, you would be loved. Someone who can rule and should rule, centuries come and go without a person like that coming into the world. There are times — when I look at you — and I still can't believe you're real.
- Bran demonstrating he's a Stark during his audiences with the afflicted peasantry, a neat contrast to Joffrey's rule.
- Rodrik's smile at Bran ordering that Torrhen's Square be saved, seeing that he has what it takes to be the ruler of Winterfell.
- Brienne pledging her loyalty to Catelyn after Renly's death. Also, Catelyn persuading Brienne to flee with her; she could very easily have left the Maid of Tarth there, saving only her own skin.
- Tywin's growing fatherly relationship with Arya, particularly her smile at his saying she should make their next battle plan.
The Old Gods and the New
- Tywin's exchange with Arya about his son Jaime's dyslexia (even though it was never directly named, it's made clear by the description that this is what Jaime has). The Heartwarming-ness is compounded, because on top of the adorable awesomeness that Tywin cured his son's disorder with sheer bullheadedness (four hours every day), Tywin likes Arya enough to share such a personal story with her to begin with.
Tywin: You're too smart for your own good. Has anyone told you that?
- Tywin Lannister reminiscing with fondness about his weak but ultimately good father and smiling, something that happens once in a lifetime for this man.
- This exchange for Arya's own dear departed dad:
Tywin: What killed him?Arya: ... loyalty.
- Tyrion's first concern upon seeing the signs of an imminent riot? His nephew Tommen's safety.
- During the riot, after witnessing an insane mob (whom he is fully aware despise and blames him above even Joffrey) rip a priest literally to pieces barely a few feet away, Tyrion's first thought is to ask where Sansa is, having noticed her be cut off from the rest of the group. Although there's also his concern that, if she dies, Jaime's as good as dead too. Which is Heartwarming in it's own way.
- After brutally killing Sansa's would-be rapists, Sandor Clegane almost gently tells her she's safe before carrying her back to the castle. Then when Tyrion tries to thank him for rescuing Sansa, Sandor snarls "I didn't do it for you." and stalks off. Oh, Sandor, you do care. There's a subtle moment before the rescue that stands out on repeat viewings. When the riot first breaks out, Sandor first drags Joffrey back to the castle. (Understandable, considering he's technically supposed to be his personal bodyguard.) However, once Joffrey is relatively safe, Sandor practically throws the little bastard at another guard before turning around and hauling ass back into the city to find Sansa. Shows what his real priority is.
Sandor: You're alright now, little bird.
- Osha pretending to turn traitor, even going so far as to sleep with Theon, just so she can help Bran and Rickon escape from Winterfell. And when Osha kills the guardsman and brings Bran, Rickon and Hodor out, she covers Rickon's eyes so he doesn't see the corpse. A very motherly moment.
- After being rescued by Sandor, Sansa wonders why a complete stranger in the street hated her and wanted to hurt her even though they'd never met and Shae tells her, "Your horse eats better than his children." Sansa replies, "I would have given them bread if I had it." Silly, childish, simplistic... but good-hearted. Worthy of a princess.
- When Sansa says she hates Joffrey as much as the people do, Shae warns her not to talk like that in case the wrong person heard. Sansa's reply? "But you're not the wrong person."
- Catelyn's look at Robb when she sees he is obviously smitten with Talisa. She seems to hate that he's stuck in an arranged marriage as much as Robb does.
A Man Without Honor
- Even as Arya tries to steal knives and have him killed every few days, Tywin doesn't press her for details — even though he is obviously aware that Arya is lying about almost everything. He even comments that she reminds him of his daughter, and while that's probably not a compliment (as Cersei has made it to the top of Arya's hit list), Tywin sees Arya as a tough highborn girl smart enough to read, fight, and lie about her identity and even her gender. He clearly admires her Action Girl traits, and if their houses weren't so embroiled in conflict (and Tywin's Tywin-ness was less pronounced), it's easy to picture Tywin taking his favorite cup-bearer under his wing and acting as a mentor, though probably a tougher, gruffer, more cynical one.
- Tyrion and Cersei: sure they hate each other, but that doesn't mean Tyrion can't feel sympathy for Cersei regarding the little hellspawn she has to call a son. He can at least reassure her that the other two turned out all right, and Cersei seems to have just enough residual feeling for him to honestly trust him in her moment of weakness. If anything, it's made all the more poignant by the usual tone of their conversations — this is a rare glimpse at how the Lannister siblings could have turned out, under a better father.
- Shae trying to help Sansa hide the fact she's started bleeding; she has no real reason to like her mistress but is still rather sympathetic towards her anyway. It really shows the rapport that's grown between the two.
- Cersei telling Sansa to harden her heart, not allowing herself to love anyone except her children. Maybe not the healthiest advice, but now that she's realized how out of her control Joffrey is, she's going to do what little she can to make things easier for the girl she trapped into marrying him.
- Cersei's story about birthing her children gets heartwarming in a weird squicky sort of way:
"When they told Jaime he wasn't allowed in the birthing room, he smiled and asked which one of them proposed to keep him out."
The Prince of Winterfell
- Yara shows that she does care a bit for her brother Theon when she recalls him smiling at her as a baby, and emotionally asks him to come back home with her, since he'll surely be killed if he stays at Winterfell.
Yara: Don't die so far from the sea.
- It's obvious during the scene with Yara Greyjoy and her men in Winterfell that she wasn't kidding when she said her men would stand out in the rain for hours if she told them too. They don't just follow her; they respect her. One might even go so far as to say they love her.
Theon: I'm warning you...!Yara: (warning) Go on, then. Warn me.(Theon looks down the table, packed full of Yara's soldiers, all of whom have gone deadly silent and none of whom look happy about the way he's talking to her, and immediately shuts up)
- Tyrion's reunion with Shae, after he's had a scare thinking she's been captured.
- Despite his immense relief that Cersei got the wrong girl, Tyrion's still outraged over what happened to Ros and promises to help her however he can.
- Stannis's monologue saying, long story short, that Davos is the only man he trusts. It's comforting to know that the man who ended up bitterly resenting both his brothers still has such feelings in him.
- Several character have said that Stannis has no personality and would make a poor king. But Stannis shows that he's honest, reserved, insightful, rewards others' loyalty and empowers his followers largely on merit; it is easy to see why Davos is so loyal.
- Robb telling Talisa about Ned, especially when he calls his father the best man he ever knew. And then Talisa talks about how whenever she spoke to someone from the North, they all had nothing but love for Ned Stark. It really speaks volumes about what a good and noble lord Ned was to his people and how the world is a poorer place now that he's gone.
Talisa: I would have liked to have met him.Robb: He would have liked you.
- This exchange:
- Robb telling Talisa that, no matter how terrible he might feel about his situation, he has no right to just snap at her when she asked how he was. Consider that most kings would take for granted what they have a right to do. It gives you an idea what kind of a man and a king Robb is.
- Talisa telling Robb about the slave who saved her brother, and how she vowed to never live in a slaver city again, which is what finally pushes Robb to make his feelings clear.
Robb: I don't want to marry the Frey girl.Talisa: I don't want you to marry her. But you needed that bridge. I hope it was a beautiful bridge.
- Leading into their sex scene, which is one of the few truly loving and passionate instances of physical intimacy in the show.
- Sansa still having the doll Ned gave her, especially considering the way she'd turned up her nose at the gift when he first gave it to her. It's clear now that she's holding onto it now as a memory of her beloved father. That she picks it up while the battle is raging outside hints that she's looking for comfort from the doll because Ned isn't there to protect her anymore.
- Tyrion calling Bronn his friend.
Bronn: Oh, are we friends?Tyrion: Of course. The fact that I pay you doesn't diminish our friendship.Bronn: No. Enhances it, really.
- Blink and you'll miss it, but when Bronn passes Sansa and Shae on his way out, he spins around to give them a little bow.
- Bronn saving the Hound's life when he locks up in a middle of a battle due to his fear of fire. This is particularly significant because just before the battle began, both men were ready to kill each other.
- The Hound telling Sansa he's fleeing the city, and offering to take her with him and take her home.
Sansa: You won't hurt me.The Hound: No, Little Bird, I won't hurt you.
- Cersei's reaction when Lord Tywin enters the throne room to tell her they've won the battle. Considering the fact she had been moments away from Mercy Killing her youngest son, you can only imagine her immense relief when she sees the father she puts so much faith in come to her rescue.
Cersei: Father!Tywin: The battle is over. We have won!
- The city's defenders crying out "Half-man!" for Tyrion after they briefly retook the gate. This is the first time Tyrion really gets acknowledged for his deeds, and the look on his face is touchingly confused.
- What makes it even better is that it affirms what Tyrion said to Jon Snow at the start of the series: that a person shouldn't avoid what they are but rather armour themselves in it. In this case, Tyrion's men have turned what would normally be a bigoted taunt into a war cry.
- Tyrion and Shae's scene in bed. He admits with little sarcasm how genuinely afraid he is, and her response is to seriously and earnestly promise she'll protect him. Then, he shows concern for her getting hurt in a war she has no part in, and she simply answers she does have a vested concern in this war, i.e. him. Finally, she reminds him of what he said the first time they met — only, when they met, he used a four-letter word, and here, she says, "That I should make love to you like it was your last day on this earth." The next episode makes it even clearer, but this scene shows Shae is no longer trading sex and her companionship for money. Just as he's fallen in love with her, she's fallen in love with him.
- Shae telling Tyrion that she does actually love him, and refusing to abandon him. Tyrion is so touched that he starts crying.
"You have a shit memory. I am yours and you are mine, remember?"
- After her curbstomp battle and rebuke of Jaime, Brienne goes right back to what she was doing — cutting down the victims of the Northern army, so she can bury them.
- As her Khalasar loot Xaro's palace, Dany walks off with what she considers most valuable — her dragons. And they're sort of hugging / snuggling into their mother.
- The vision of Drogo telling Dany that he did not and would not pass on to the Night Lands without her.
- "I have known you for many years, Theon Greyjoy. You are not the man you are pretending to be. Not yet."
- Varys' reassurance to Tyrion when he wakes up after the Battle of Blackwater.
Varys: There are many who know that without you this city faced certain defeat. The king won't give you any honors, the histories won't mention you, but we will not forget.
- Arya refusing to go with "Jaqen" because she needs to find Robb and Catelyn. "And my sister. I need to find her too." Arya had been bitter toward Sansa for some time now. With this line, it's clear she's finally let it go.
- Robb and Talisa exchanging their marriage vows before a Septon and a heart tree.
- Sansa's goofy little smile and breathless giggling when she realizes she no longer has to marry Joffrey.
- As Maester Luwin is dying in Winterfell's godswood he asks Osha to protect Bran and Rickon, noting that she may be forced to protect them from her fellow wildlings. Osha dismissively says that she has no love for her own kind.
- Margaery visiting an orphanage, telling a boy whose father was killed in the Battle of the Blackwater to be proud of him, and promising that she will provide for all of them once she's queen.
- A rather subtle one was Sansa's reaction to being told Arya was alive by Littlefinger.
- Ros telling Shae to watch out for Sansa, and Shae's response.
Shae: I always do.
- Davos, stuck on a tiny piece of rock after the Battle of the Blackwater, attracts a ship's attention and is asked which king he serves, with the clear implication that the wrong answer will mean his death. Yet he unhesitatingly and proudly says he serves "the one true king of Westeros, Stannis Baratheon," which does turn out to be the right thing to say.
- Salladhor Saan's response to learning of Matthos's death. After previously just screwing with the kid and acting like he might seduce him, he's completely subdued as he tells Davos he's also lost a son, and that Davos was a good father.
- When Stannis finds out that Davos is still alive, you can see his mouth twitch as if trying to suppress a smile.
- After Pod drags Bronn away from his whorehouse and they find two members of the Kingsguard blocking Tyrion's door, Bronn doesn't even hesitate to fight the two knights when he thinks Tyrion is in danger. Bronn also calls out them out for beating Sansa last season as he faces them down.
- Granted, the king he claims to have failed was a cruel monster, but Barristan Selmy's plea for forgiveness to Daenerys for his past failure and pledging his loyalty to her is in its own way very heartwarming.
Dark Wings, Dark Words
- After Jaime first angers Brienne with some mean-spirited jabs at Renly's homosexuality, he finishes with "I don't blame him, and I don't blame you, either. We don't get to choose who we love."
- Osha asks if Meera is ashamed of her brother not being able to fight. She replies "Some people will always need help. That doesn't mean they're not worth helping." And just to drive the point, they both look at Bran and Jojen.
- Shae warning Sansa to be wary of Littlefinger, and just generally being protective of her.
- The very gentle way in which Lady Olenna and Margaery calm Sansa down when she tells them the truth about Joffrey.
- Sansa finally telling the truth after Margaery reminds her she's to be Joffrey's wife is also heartwarming. She's been in a palace of cutthroats and traitors, but the thought of another woman being in the place that she was is incentive enough to risk it.
- Grenn and Edd helping up Sam after he's pushed down by Rast. Commander Mormont as well when he orders Sam to stay alive, and orders Rast to keep Sam alive, threatening him with death if he does otherwise.
Mormont: Tarly, I forbid you to die.
- The Brotherhood Without Banners. A group of warriors who are interested with protecting the weak. Just about every scene that they are in is warm, with them being genuinely friendly, happy, and generally having a good time at a tavern. It's just such a nice change of pace to see that there are truly good people in this world who will do the right thing for the sake of doing the right thing.
Walk of Punishment
- Hot Pie baking Arya a loaf of bread in the shape of a wolf. Granted, the shape needs work, but Arya doesn't have the heart to say so and just accepts the kindness.
- As they say their goodbyes, Arya calls out to Hot Pie after taking a bite of the bread and states how "it taste really really good". Hot Pie's expression after that alone is enough to warm your heart.
- Daenerys stopping to offer a condemned slave some water. Her voice as she tells him to drink is so incredibly soft and loving, you can tell exactly why her people would follow her to the ends of the earth.
- Jaime pulling a story out of his ass to save Brienne from being raped. There's nothing in it for him; it's just the right thing to do, and even the guy who pushed Bran off a tower knows it.
- The looks he shoots Brienne afterwards also count; a mix between "you okay?" and "I got this, man."
- After Daenerys arranges for Missandei to be given to her as part of her deal with the slavers, she asks the girl if she has any family she would rather return to instead of staying with her. Probably for the first time in her life, someone is giving Missandei a choice about what she would like to do.
- And when Missandei assures her that she has no family, Dany reminds her that she expects the truth — just in case Missandei, who was clearly afraid of her masters and survived by telling people what they wanted to hear, was just trying to placate her new mistress with false assurances.
- Even despite his severe change in fortunes, Tyrion still finds time and money to reward Podrick for his service so far the only way he knows how, with three of the most beautiful and expensive whores he can find followed by drinking with him and Bronn afterwards (though that may have been to find out just what he did that made said whores happy enough to refuse payment). A CMOF as well.
- Even more noteworthy — as Tyrion details to Pod, he's giving him the first whore for saving his life, the second for staying by his side while he recovered and the third for just always being a good, respectful, loyal squire. Reiterating that this isn't just a case of I Owe You My Life, Tyrion very seriously appreciates and values Pod and everything he's done for him.
And Now His Watch Is Ended
- Margaery's friendship with Sansa, a girl who she only knows as the one who was thrown over for her. Margaery spends most of her screentime as a Magnificent Bastard plotting to get her family into power, but whenever she's around Sansa she becomes completely genuine and shows true kindness to this girl for no other reason than she wants to. And the biggest moment comes when she proposes that Sansa marry her brother, and escape her miserable life in King's Landing for an idyllic one in Highgarden.
- Kind of subverted in that her proposal was more for political reasons. As discussed by Varys and Olenna, Sansa is a valuable pawn in the grand scheme of things. Still, Margaery at least treats her better than nearly anyone else at King's Landing. And being married to a noble knight and heir to Highgarden is certainly a step up from her current situation.
- And although Loras cannot be all that interested in Sansa, and their conversation is somewhat awkward, he makes a point of calling her "the most beautiful bride in the world," then describes her wedding dress and her new home to cheer her up.
- Not to mention the fact that Varys does want to get Sansa out of the bad situation she's in. Not only is she still Cersei's hostage, but it looks like Littlefinger is taking a very unhealthy interest in her. And there's the other fact that Olenna's "very obvious" solution is simply to marry Sansa to an honourable guy who they know will treat her well and get her out of harm's way.
- Varys agrees with Olenna that Sansa has had an interesting childhood, "sadly," and how he considered himself an admirer of her father (he did, in fact, desperately try to convince Joffrey to spare Ned's life at his execution). It says a lot that the Master of Whispers, who spreads lies and disinformation for a living, would say such a thing about one of the most famously honest, honorable men in the country.
- Also, think back to the previous episode. Joffrey wants to criminalize homosexuality. As was pointed out last season, it's a lot easier to fake straight when you're married. All Loras would have to do would be to get Sansa pregnant and he's mostly above suspicion, saving him from execution.
- In short, Margaery clearly sees the political value in Sansa Stark, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be friends or she shouldn't treat her kindly.
- Not to mention the other part of the conversation, where Margaery promises to invite Sansa to a famous masquerade held at her home city. Sansa looks thrilled at the idea of attending, but then sadly says "I don't think the queen would want me to leave King's Landing". Margaery's response is "You mean the queen regent? Because when I'm married to Joffrey, I'll be the queen." The way Sansa's face lights up at that is just so sweet! And the way Margaery says the line, like it's the most obvious thing in the world that she'll let her friend Sansa leave King's Landing if she wants to, is very heartwarming, however politically-motivated it might be.
- It must be said that a genuine concern and affection can coexist with a cold eyed knowledge of the political advantages of befriending the heiress of Winterfell. Human motives are rarely simple.
- Kind of subverted in that her proposal was more for political reasons. As discussed by Varys and Olenna, Sansa is a valuable pawn in the grand scheme of things. Still, Margaery at least treats her better than nearly anyone else at King's Landing. And being married to a noble knight and heir to Highgarden is certainly a step up from her current situation.
- When Daenerys tells the Unsullied that they are free and can leave if they choose to, they all decide to stay.
- When she gives the order to sack Astapor, she makes sure to order the Unsullied to not harm any children and to free any slaves they find.
- It's blink-and-you'll-miss-it, but when shit starts to go down in the courtyard of Astapor, you can see Jorah shielding Missandei behind him.
- After Jaime loses his hand, he has pretty much become utterly broken and has decided to simply let himself die and refuses to even eat. Brienne decides to repay his saving her from being gang raped by snapping him right the fuck out of his misery, calling him a coward and reminding him that he has just had a taste of what people in Westeros go through every day, and urging him to live and get revenge for what was done to him. This works perfectly, and as Jaime starts to eat Brienne quietly expresses her gratitude for him saving her earlier.
- Bonus points because this is how Brienne felt after Renly's death before she swore herself into Catelyn Stark's service. She knows all too well what it's like to forever lose something dear to her.
- In a somewhat subtle way, Jaime and Brienne trying to fight the Bolton men together despite being respectively one-handed and bound, because it looks entirely like they're only doing it because the other one is putting up a resistance.
- When the Hound, facing Beric Dondarrion, is told he'll be tried by combat, he makes a crack about if he'll be fighting Arya since she seems to be the bravest one there. Though it's clearly meant to be an insult, Beric just turns to look at Arya, smiles and comments "She might be."
- Arya still remembers her friend Mycah and calls the Hound out for killing him when he tries to give the Brotherhood a Shut Up, Kirk!.
- The crowd cheering for Joffrey and Margaery. It's small, but Joffrey looks genuinely happy when he sees the people cheering and waving for him.
Kissed By Fire
- Shireen Baratheon taking it upon herself to teach Davos to read after learning he can't, despite Davos having called himself a traitor, and the difficulties of sneaking into the dungeons for each lesson.
- Stannis actually taking the time to speak with his family. While he does realize that Selyse is insane, the scenes do a lot to humanize him.
- He tries to apologize to his wife Selyse for committing adultery, obviously disgusted with himself for dishonoring her and breaking a vow.
- When he walks into Shireen's room, his daughter leaps up and hugs him, while Stannis awkwardly hugs her back. Despite her suffering from a disfiguring disease, Stannis doesn't seem to particularly care.
- Selyse tries to dissuade Stannis from seeing Shireen. He insists "She's my daughter!" When juxtaposed with Tywin Lannister and the way he treats his children, it gets even sweeter.
- And the way Stannis reacts to his wife's statement that she's given him 'nothing' but stillborn sons. "That's not true!" Everyone else may be willing to lock Shireen away and forget she ever existed, but Stannis doesn't think of her as nothing.
- There's something rather heartwarming that despite having an borderline insane mother and an aloof and distant father, who have kept her hidden for most of her life due to her deformity, Shireen nonetheless has ended up as one of the kindest, most gentle individuals in all of the Seven Kingdoms.
- As evidenced by her stubborn insistence on seeing Davos, after being told that he's being locked away for treason, and the exchange they have at his cell.
- There's something touching about Barristan and Jorah chatting it up and trading war stories. Of course, it falls apart not ten minutes later, but it starts out like something.
- After Daenerys tells the Unsullied they can go back to their birth names or whatever else they want rather than their degrading slave names, their leader's response:
Grey Worm: "Grey Worm" gives me pride. It is a lucky name. The name this one was born with was cursed. That was the name he had when he was taken as a slave. But Grey Worm is the name this one had the day Daenerys Stormborn set him free.
- It also highlights the fact that they really are following her as free men, rather than slaves.
- Tyrion arguing furiously against Tywin's plans to marry him to Sansa, insisting that it's "cruel, even for you!" to marry her to a Lannister after being finally free from an engagement to Joffrey, with the subtext being that he also doesn't want to wish a marriage to a dwarf on her.
- This little exchange between Jaime and Brienne in the baths at Harrenhal:
Jaime: I'm sick of fighting. Let's call a truce.Brienne: You need trust to have a truce.Jaime: I trust you.
- Brienne beginning to realize that Jaime is more than just "The Kingslayer", after hearing why he killed the Mad King. If he hadn't killed him, then and there, Aerys would have razed King's Landing and all her people to the ground with wildfire.
- A very easy to miss moment: Tormund is content to let Orell crap on Jon Snow while listening in the background, but the second Orell pulls a knife on Ygritte, he tosses him aside pretty roughly.
- Beric and Thoros telling Arya how much they admired Ned and what a good man he was.
- Part Tearjerker but Arya's desperate insistence that the Hound should be brought to justice for killing Mycah. After all the terrible things she's seen and suffered she still remembers the boy who was her friend and is fighting for him.
- On the same note, despite the fairly harsh tearjerker, Arya insisting that she'll be Gendry's family when he says he's never had one. And he's the one who brings up their class differences not her. In a show full of nobles who couldn't care less about the ordinary people getting hurt in their squabbles Arya — from one of the most powerful families in Westeros — values a butcher's son as much as any royal and views an armorer's apprentice as part of her family.
- Olenna Tyrell's meeting with Tyrion, she heard that Tyrion was a Depraved Dwarf, but she see's him as a man just doing his job.
- Ygritte's stunned reaction to seeing the world beyond the Wall for the first time, followed by a Big Damn Kiss with Jon. Made doubly heartwarming since it comes right on the heels of Littlefinger's cynical, nihilistic "the climb is all there is" speech. No, Petyr, it isn't. Not when your loved ones are on the same damn ladder.
- Jaime collapsing in relief at learning Cersei survived the Battle of the Blackwater.
- Thoros describing how he regained his faith after so many years. When Ser Beric was killed in battle, he said R'hllor's funeral rites over him, for no reason but that he was his friend, and he wanted to mark his respect.. Ser Beric then came back.
- Brienne helping Jaime cut his meat since he can't do it with one hand.
- And then he puts his hand over hers to help her keep her temper. Can you say d'aaaaw?
- Nothing comes of it because Roose Bolton refuses him, but Jaime insisting that Brienne accompany him to King's Landing shows that he has come to care for her.
- Meera holding Jojen as he suffers through a precognitive fit.
- And given how she seemed prepared for it (she already had a cloth ready for him to bite down on, and seemed familiar with the situation), she's clearly done this for him many times before.
- It's easy to miss, but Olenna's complete acceptance and nonchalance over the fact that her grandson Loras is gay.
- Sam singing a hymn about the Seven to get Gilly's baby to sleep. Really the whole scene with the three of them.
- Just before the bad news gets dropped, Tyrion's conversation with Sansa and Shae has a nice moment where the doggedly loyal Shae objects to leaving Sansa alone with Tyrion, which alarms Sansa, who is unaware of their secret relationship and rushes to apologize for her maid, who, from her perspective, has just backtalked one of the most powerful men in the Seven Kingdoms.
- The way Sansa says "But I trust her, even though she tells me not to." It's just so sweet how their relationship developed.
- Osha's concern for Bran's safety and for him getting to Castle Black so he can be with his brother Jon Snow. She doesn't give a shit about all the prophetic visions from the Three-Eyed Raven because to her, family is what matters most.
- When Arya and Gendry realize that Beric has sold him to Melisandre, Arya immediately jumps to his defense, yelling that he wants to join the Brotherhood in the hope it will make them reconsider. The previous episode showed that she was genuinely hurt by Gendry's choice to stay with the brothers instead of her, but she doesn't hesitate to use that decision in an attempt to keep him safe and get the life he wanted.
The Bear and the Maiden Fair
- After having another passionate sex scene, Talisa breaks the news to Robb about the 'little prince or princess' growing inside her. Robb's reaction, as well as the look on his face, is just touching, especially since he's had a rough season so far, and he has not been this happy since before Ned was killed.
- Jaime jumping into the bear pit to save Brienne is both this and a Crowning Moment of Awesome.
- His righteous fury on her behalf is adorable. "You gave her a wooden sword?" There's also the unspoken implication there that he knows she would stand a good chance of winning if the sword was real. That's right, he's so impressed with her skill that he believes she could win a fair fight against a bear!
- Even before that, the way he just runs through the place as soon as he's off his horse. And then makes it very clear to everyone that they'll have to kill him to get anywhere near Brienne at this point.
- Before that, Jaime promises to return the Stark girls to Catelyn, and not only does Brienne not dispute the value of his oath for a second, she calls him Ser Jaime without any mockery or irony whatsoever. Jaime's expression speaks volumes.
- Ygritte and Jon's conversation starts off as Crowning Moment of Funny but soon moves into heartwarming with this quote:
Ygritte: You're mine, as I'm yours. And if we die, we'll die. But first we'll live.
- Every time Ygritte and Jon cutely flirt in "The Bear and the Maiden Fair".
- Margaery consoling Sansa about being engaged to Tyrion, pointing out that he's a good man, and actually rather handsome. Not only is she trying to make her friend feel better, but she's one of the few people who's actually complimented Tyrion honestly.
- Saying very honestly that she wants Sansa to be happy.
- It's notable that this is the first instance where Margaery does not have an ulterior motive for her act of kindness.
- While Melisandre has a dark ulterior motive in finding Gendry, she does appear to genuinely bond with him whilst discussing their respective origins, particularly how a humble beginning does not matter if you aspire to greatness. Particularly when she reveals the truth about who his father really was.
- Daenerys, revealing once again what it means to be a queen:
- Jorah: We don't need Yunkai, khaleesi. Taking this city will not bring you any closer to Westeros, or the Iron Throne.Dany: How many slaves are there in Yunkai?Jorah: Two hundred thousand.Dany: Then we have two hundred thousand reasons to take the city.
- The best part is the way she says it. It's not a bold, dramatic statement of heroism. She's quiet, soft, she sounds like her heart is breaking. She cannot allow Yunkai's cruelties to stand; not as a grand statement, but because she is better than that.
- An extra layer of heartwarming is that she says this in front of Grey Worm, who accepts the statement with an equally subdued expression. The Unsullied are her people now. She feels that she owes it to them to free slaves when she can, because her people were once slaves. She won't just become the 'breaker of chains' when it has a direct advantage to her. She got one thing right: Rhaegar was not the last dragon.
- Keep in mind that Dany was herself sold into slavery by Viserys, given to the Dothraki as essentially a glorified concubine for Khal Drogo. She's actually been anti-slavery ever since the first series, as shown when she convinced Drogo to either free the slaves, or at least, the females that were going to be raped by his Khalasar. She's been trying to establish herself as a liberator, long before Astapor!
- The best part is that Dany is no Margaery. She's doing it due to her own experiences as a slave, and out of empathy and a desire to free this people from their horrible lives. Not out of a political agenda or desire to be more popular. The slaves in Yunkai are not warriors, they won't benefit her, she just wants to free them. That is what makes her quest great, she knows she should go back to Westeros and she knows she has no right to start wars in this land but she cannot possibly leave the Gulf Of Grief knowing more people are living a misery that is worse that what she herself lived.
- There's a small one right after Daenerys and her dragons send the Yunkish emmissary on their way. Sure, Drogon may be a ferocious, scaly, fire-breathing beast of legends, but the way he practically purrs and snuggles up to his mommy as she strokes his head is downright adorable, and actually quite touching.
- Thanks to Joffrey's dickery, Tyrion finds himself unable to reach Sansa's shoulders to hang the bridal cloak around her at their wedding. But Sansa kneels for Tyrion to let him.
Tyrion: But I promise you one thing, my lady. I won't ever hurt you. Do you drink wine?
- It's Tyrion's earlier attempt at comforting an unhappy Sansa paying off.
- At least Tyrion is man enough to inform Sansa of their betrothal in person and comes to her before the wedding to try to say, "very badly" that he is empathetic to her situation and that she will be under his protection from the scumbags of his own house. Aw, sweetheart!
Sansa: When I have to.
Tyrion: Well, today you have to. (Takes Sansa's arm, the pair of them smiling adorably.)
- Tyrion showing the basic consideration of actually warning her a considerable amount of time before the Wedding in order to allow her some time to come to terms with the wedding. Moreover, Tyrion actually seems like he doesn't actually want the marriage.
- A subtle, small one for Tywin as well. Yes he's more concerned about the well being of his family name and cares little for Tyrion, but somehow Tywin manages to gain one by angrily turning to the people in the audience as they laugh at Tyrion's humiliation as he attempts to wrap the marriage cloak around Sansa and instantly shuts them up with a glare.
- Even Cersei wasn't amused by Joffrey's dickery. Neither were the three Tyrells.
- After Tyrion spends his whole wedding to Sansa getting as drunk as humanly possible to make the consummation easier, he finally decides he can't do it as he watches the terrified teenage girl undress. So he promises her they'll sleep separately until Sansa decides she wants to sleep with him, if ever. Plus, Shae's reaction when she changes the sheets in the morning, and finds a lack of deflowering blood. Her demeanor visibly softens and her expression seems to read "OK. You don't totally suck."
Tyrion: (watching Sansa nervously undress) Stop. I can't... I mean, I could, but I won't.
Sansa: But, your father...
Tyrion: If my father wants someone to get fucked, I know where he can start! (shakes his head) I won't share your bed. Not until you want me to.
Sansa: ...What if I never want you to?
Tyrion: (raises his wine glass) "And so my watch begins..."
- One that's easy to overlook, but after Tyrion refuses to bed Sansa against her will, he passes out on the couch. The next morning when he wakes up, it seems someone put a blanket over him while he slept. Sansa was the only other person in the room the whole night.
- Arya's reaction to Sandor Clegane revealing he's taking her back to her family.
- Sam and Gilly's continued bonding together as they try to survive and protect the baby was cute enough, but when attacked by a white walker making a beeline for Gilly and the Baby, self confessed coward Samwell Tarly goes completely Papa Wolf on the terrifying and unkillable undead abomination, pulling a You Shall Not Pass on it despite being visibly terrified out of his mind, and then when his sword is shattered and he is thrown aside, he charges it again with the ancient obsidian knife he found the previous season and thus being the first man to kill a White Walker in the series.
- Davos telling Stannis that the reason that he's releasing him on that day is because he has doubts over Melisandre using Gendry. Even after being imprisoned by his king, Davos still sees and believes in the good in Stannis.
Stannis: You don't belong in a place like this.
- Just before that Stannis shows his opinion of Davos hasn't dropped in the slightest.
- And just before that, Stannis, the king with No Social Skills, earnestly tells Davos he's sorry that he lost his son.
- Ser Barristan, Jorah, AND Grey Worm all stepping into the negotiations between Dany and the Titan's bastard to make clear that nobody screws with their queen. Their exchanges make very clear they all have their reasons to fight for her and by gods, they WILL.
- A small but sweet one — once she begins to walk down the aisle, the only time Sansa manages to smile even briefly for the rest of the day occurs when Margaery smiles warmly at her right before she reaches the altar. Even more so when you remember how Cersei had literally threatened Margaery's life beforehand and how unhappy she looked during the feast — clearly, she was trying to put on a brave face to cheer up Sansa. Clearly, it worked.
- Just before that, Bronn is one of the only other people along that aisle genuinely smiling at Sansa as she walks down the aisle like he wants her wedding to be a happy one. Poor Sansa may be stuck in a marriage she desperately doesn't want, but both her husband and his loyal right-hand man (a surprisingly effective and resourceful team) are doing their best to be good to her.
- Heck, Bronn smiling period! He's probably the only one who sees any hope of happiness for Tyrion and Sansa as a couple. He's teased Tyrion about Sansa's beauty and knows he'll treat her well, so as far as he's concerned he does have a genuine reason to smile for Sansa as her wedding!
- Just before that, Bronn is one of the only other people along that aisle genuinely smiling at Sansa as she walks down the aisle like he wants her wedding to be a happy one. Poor Sansa may be stuck in a marriage she desperately doesn't want, but both her husband and his loyal right-hand man (a surprisingly effective and resourceful team) are doing their best to be good to her.
- Davos' excitement at successfully reading a full sentence, for what's probably the first time on his own.
- A very small but wholly unexpected one for Cersei at Sansa's wedding. As Joffrey heads off to continue his relentless dickery towards Sansa, Cersei tries to redirect him towards Margaery instead. Given that she is terrified that Margaery knows how to manipulate Joffrey, this basically goes against everything she cares about. Joffrey ignores her, of course, but at least she tried.
- When Tyrion tells his father not to worry about his "performance" since he himself has on many occasions called him "a drunken little lust-filled beast", Tywin seems almost like he's having a bit of friendly banter with his son before reminding himself that he hates Tyrion.
- Tyrion's hilariously awesome, even rather unnerving (due to how utterly enraged Tyrion had become at that point) threat to castrate Joffrey in front of everyone at his wedding party was made simply because the little shit would not stop tormenting Sansa by attempting to force Tyrion to go through with the "bedding ceremony", which would have involved her beings stripped naked by Joffrey and his mooks (and most likely sexually assaulted given Joff's threats to her) and carried to Tyrion's bed naked. The fact he would make such a threat to an Ax-Crazy scumbag and thus utterly humiliating him in public, a scumbag whom he knows has already tried to have him assassinated and whom has already had an ex-hand who offended him executed, because he was trying to make Sansa suffer makes an awesome scene all the more heartwarming.
- When Tyrion wakes up in the morning he is covered by what appears to be the cloak from the wedding, yet he wasn't covered when he went to sleep and Shae hasn't been in during the night, so Sansa must have covered him up after he refused to "bed" her.
- Mero spends the entire meeting in Dany's tent spewing innuendos and propositions at every female in the vicinity. Dany is (outwardly) amused by this, but Missandei suffers more pawing and is visibly shaken by the abuse. The heartwarming comes as the Second Sons are leaving, and Dany holds Missandei's gaze while she gives the order:
Dany: Ser Barristan? If it comes to battle, kill that one first.Barristan Selmy: Gladly, your Grace.
- Later in the same episode, when Dany picks up on Missandei saying that Dany speaks Dothraki only "reasonably well", Missandei immediately has an Oh, Crap! moment and fearfully tries to placate her mistress, in what is clearly a reflex from her time as a slave. A moment later when Dany makes a mistake, Missandei visibly struggles to muster her courage before daring to correct her, and gives a big smile when Dany simply accepts the lesson without rancor. It says a lot about their relationship that Missandei is getting over her slave's conditioning enough to not expect punishment from any tiny displeasure she causes.
- Sansa still has the doll Ned gave her, all the way back in Season 1.
The Rains of Castamere
- Sam explains the history of the Night's Watch to Gilly. Gilly is extremely impressed by his knowledge and says that he must be "a wizard", being able to get so much knowledge simply from reading. Sam gets this adorable little smile at that. Considering how poor Sam has been ridiculed for his love of books and lack of inclination to be a warrior, it must have meant so much to finally have someone admire him for his knowledge.
- "My father used to tell us that no wildling ever looked upon The Wall and lived.... and here we are, alive!"
- Not only that, but remember that Sam confided to Jon in Season 1 that he dreamed of being a wizard as a kid. Gilly calling Sam a "wizard" validates Sam's dream, at least to the woman he loves.
- The parallels of both Jon and Arya refusing to kill defenseless old men despite threats from their "allies" (the wildings and the Hound). After everything they've suffered and how brutal Westeros has become the Starks are still damn good people and won't stand by while innocents are killed. The pair were raised by Ned Stark and it shows.
- Osha agreeing to protect Rickon, and her goodbye to Bran as well, telling Meera and Jojen that Bran means the world to her.
Osha: "Come along, little one. We're going to have some adventures, you and I."
- There's also her comforting Rickon about leaving.
- In the same scene, Rickon says that he wants to go with Bran and protect him, because Bran's his brother. When Bran says no, Rickon's goodbye hug to Bran is both heartwarming and tearjerking, in an episode already full of tearjerkers.
- Sam and Gilly actually making it to the Wall alive against all odds, in an episode where we really needed to see that sometimes good things happen to good people.
- The happiness and relief in Lord Edmure's face when he sees that he scored a pretty Frey daughter. It all goes downhill from there.
Roslin: Lord Edmure, I hope I'm not a disappointment to you.Edmure: You're a delight to me, my lady.
- Catelyn talking about her wedding night and how Ned stopped her from having to go through the humiliating bedding ceremony.
"Every girl suffers the same, I'm sure you endured yours with grace."Cat: "Oh Ned forbade it. He said it wouldn't be right if he broke a man's jaw on our wedding night."
- Talisa suggesting to Robb that they name their potential son "Eddard". The look on Robb's face when she says "Don't you want to teach little Ned Stark how to ride a horse" seals the deal...then '''that''' song plays and this moment is turned into an utterly horrifying and depressing Tearjerker within ten painful minutes.
- Ser Barristan offering Jorah Mormont his help with the attack on Yunkai. Especially in contrast to their previous reluctant alliance and the hint of mistrust Barristan, Jorah and Grey Worm seem to have towards Daario.
- While coming in at a VERY dark and heartbreaking scene, Sandor Clegane rescuing Arya from the Twins during the Red Wedding while she was wandering in terrified shock through the carnage (picking her up the same way he did when saving her sister last season) despite all the grief and snark she had given him and the fact he could no longer ransom her is pretty much the sole moment in that nightmarish ten minutes which can be considered heartwarming.
- Not to mention how suicidally dangerous this rescue was given how he clearly realized what was about to happen/already happening and how he was surrounded by hundreds if not thousands of soldiers who might recognize him or simply mistake him for a Stark soldier and kill him.
- While it may have been brought about for political reasons, Robb Stark personally apologizing to the Frey girls is quite heartwarming because of how sincere it sounds; it makes you realize that, in spite of his recklessness when he married Talisa, he really does know that he slighted them and prevented one of them from getting away from the miserable Twins and the insufferable Walder, and he does genuinely feel bad about it. It's nice to be reminded that, in contrast to every other major player in the Game (with the exception of Tyrion,) Robb really is a Nice Guy. Though it only makes what happens next even more painful.
- Tormund taking hold of Ygritte during Jon's betrayal. His priority is clearly more about keeping Ygritte safe and not letting her do anything stupid, rather than getting revenge on Jon for what he's done.
- Jon Snow, knocks Ygritte down to keep her from helping him fight the other Wildlings, guaranteeing she won't also be branded as an enemy and saving her.
- Fridge Brilliance invites a moment of hope in the aftermath of The Red Wedding. The Rains of Castamere that plays during the wedding is about a vassal house that Tywin exterminated for betraying him. The song is meant to be symbolic that he thinks, with the death of Robb, he's now done the same to the Starks, with Sansa wed to Tyrion. However, Tywin is unaware that Bran, Rickon, and Arya are still out there. The Starks of Winterfell have endured, unbeknownst to Tywin.
- As the Hound is escaping the Red Wedding with Arya, there is a point where he is about to change his path so that he doesn't have to pass by fire. However, Robb's headless corpse is being paraded down the new path he is about to take. The Hound turns his horse around and goes down his original fire filled route so that Arya doesn't have to be taken near her brother's corpse.
- Sansa mentions that Arya used to prank her by hiding sheep dung in her bed...and looks back on those memories now with fondness. She really misses her sister.
- Similarly, the fact that he saved Sansa from a gang rape and murder actually makes Arya conflicted in her loathing of the Hound.
- Sansa mentions the "sheepshifting" as a way to get back at some men who laughed at Tyrion, showing that even if she doesn't want to be his wife she's starting to feel comfortable with him as a friend. She's also starting to act like a young girl again, in a good way, because she doesn't have to be so scared now that Tyrion's taking care of her.
- Sam meeting Bran and enthusiastically talking about Jon and Ghost. Given how horribly the Starks have been torn apart and scattered to every corner of the kingdom even just getting news of one their siblings is a gift.
- When Joffrey demands the head of Robb Stark to be sent to him, so he can serve it to Sansa as dinner, Tyrion point-blank refuses to allow it. He did his best to protect her while he was the King's Hand, and he's doing his best while he's her husband.
Tyrion: She is no longer yours to torment!
- Heck, the first one to speak against it is Varys, reminding him that Sansa is his aunt by marriage. His tone suggests that he can't believe Joffrey's so twisted.
- Varys offers Shae a bag of diamonds to sail across the sea and buy a mansion, because Varys believes Tyrion is the one man with the greatest chance of making Westeros a better place and she complicates that. He is giving her enough money to live like a queen for the rest of her days, enough to escape from the hellhole that is Westeros forever, and what does she do? She throws it back to him, because she loves Tyrion too much to abandon him. Also a heartwarming moment for Varys, because it shows he really does care about the realm in the end. While Varys is basically telling Shae to shove off and leave King's Landing, his method is unusually kind for the folks who play the Game of Thrones. Most probably would have simply had Shae killed or forcibly taken away. Varys offers her a better life, describing how she can easily go someplace where she can be rich and cared for and have countless suitors.
- Shae fiercely telling Varys that she loves Sansa, and that she would kill for her.
- Gilly finally names her son "Sam".
- Jon Snow finally makes it back to the Night's Watch.
- Jaime finally makes it home. After getting into King's Landing and not being recognized by a peasant, since his circumstances are so changed, Jaime looks around at Brienne uncertainly. She gives him a tiny smile, and that possibly gives him the confidence to keep going.
- Davos taking a moment to bond with Gendry ("Two boys from Flea Bottom") and even sharing memories of the street the shit used to float down, showing how they are Not So Different. Besides Arya, Davos seems to be the only person in all of Westeros who gives a damn about Gendry's life.
Stannis: What is the life of one bastard boy against a Kingdom?Davos: Everything.
- Davos helping Gendry escape: Gendry — after spending the last few episodes being betrayed by anyone he tried to trust — is hesitant and asks why he's doing it. Davos's answer? Because it's right.
- Yara outright defies her father's order to leave Theon as captive of Ramsay Snow. She proceeds to gather her men and make a heroic vow to free her brother. She also calls Balon out on his disowning of Theon and her speech has more impact on him than Theon's in "What is Dead May Never Die". Even if Yara thinks he's sometimes "the dumbest cunt alive", he's still her brother and she still loves him.
Yana: "I'm going to pick the fastest ship in our fleet. I'm going to choose the best fifty killers on the Iron Islands. I'm going to sail up the Narrow Sea, all the way to the Weeping Water. I'm going to march on the Dreadfort, I'm going to find my little brother, and I'm going to bring him home."
- Tyrion and Cersei once more confiding in each other about the war, their marriages, and Joffrey, again showing that despite their mutual enmity, they still have some affection for each other. Cersei tells Tyrion to get on with it and get Sansa pregnant — not for the family's benefit but for Sansa's; having a child will make her happy. Cersei does have some small regard for the girl, even if it doesn't show that often.
- Oddly enough, there's some tenderness in Tywin revealing that he didn't drown Tyrion the day he was born and instead raised the son as a Lannister. He Wants a Prize for Basic Decency, yes, but his voice and composure almost break down, which is so un-Tywinesque that it shows that once upon a time this man had a heart, hinting what the books state; the best parts of Tywin died with Joanna.
- Despite being bored with such things, Shireen sitting with Davos as he reads news and helping him where she can.
- After Arya kills one soldier upon hearing that he was responsible for desecrating her beloved brother's body, the Hound steps in to kill the rest of the soldiers. He then turns to scold Arya. Why? It wasn't because she stole his dagger. It wasn't because she killed someone. It was because she did it without telling him. Two interpretations can be derived: a. The Hound was concerned with Arya's safety and wants some warning the next time she does something like that again or b. Sandor wants to help her get vengeance.
- The ending, Dany and her army wait outside Yunkai in the aftermath of the battle. After a moment of nothing, the front gate opens and slaves start pouring out in front of the army. Jorah, Barristan, and several Unsullied ready their weapons as if expecting a fight. Missandei proclaims Dany as the woman they owe their freedom to. Dany corrects Missandei, explaining that the slaves don't owe her their freedom; that they themselves are the only ones that can choose to be free. They start chanting "Mhysa" (the Ghiscari word for mother). Dany then walks into the crowd of people she just freed so they can see her face to face, smiling for the first time in many episodes. Despite all the downright depressing crap that's happened on the other side of the world, at least somewhere in the world, someone is actually being rewarded for being the hero, especially after what we saw happen earlier to Robb Stark.
- At Olenna's shocked reaction to Brienne, the latter steels herself for more of the usual insults about how grotesque she is. Instead...
Olenna: Aren't you just marvelous! Absolutely singular! I hear you knocked my grandson into the dirt like the silly little boy he is.
- Brienne smiles in spite of herself, taken completely aback.
- Margaery gifting Brienne with one of her gentle smiles and squeezing her arm — whether it's an act or not, it's the kind of gesture of acceptance, gentility, and respect that Brienne never receives.
- This moment is made extra heartwarming when you recall that Margaery had accused Brienne of Renly's murder in Season 2.
- Although we suffer some pretty hard Mood Whiplash a few seconds later, Drogon laying his head down in Daenerys's lap while she strokes and soothes him is so sweet. He even nuzzles her hand like a puppy!
- Tyrion speaking to Sansa about her mother. It's a mix of this and Tear Jerker when he talks about his admiration of her.
- Shae insisting that Sansa needs to eat, even after everything. She may be losing patience with Tyrion in half a million ways, but she still cares for the lonely, broken little Stark he married and would never take her frustration out on Sansa.
- When Oberyn offers to let Tyrion join him in an orgy, he backs down since he's married. Really shows Tyrion is a dedicated husband despite his past reputation of sleeping with more than one girl.
- Fridge Brilliance: By stating that he no longer sleeps with prostitutes, especially in an establishment run by Littlefinger, (1) he doesn't arouse suspicion about him being with anyone else, further protecting Shae, and (2) he continues to not view Shae as a prostitute.
- Jaime and Brienne continue to speak to each other when back in King's Landing. They bicker as they are wont to do, and Jaime even wonders if she's secretly a Lannister as every member of his family has been a pain in his ass since he got back. This could be seen as a strange way of him considering Brienne as family.
- Of course, considering Jaime's relationship with certain members of his family, the fandom has been quick to point out that this is both not the best phrase for him to use, and also an extremely awkward way to flirt with the only girl in Westeros who is more than a match for his acidic personality.
- Brienne is wearing a man's shirt and an open riding skirt in King's Landing — and it suits her perfectly. She doesn't look half so awkward when she's given a chance to embrace her true nature. She looks almost comfortable in her own skin.
- Arya reclaims Needle, Jon's last gift to her. AND she gets revenge on the man who stole it, but that's a different type of moment.
- Also, part of the reason she goes after Polliver is because he killed Lommy back in Season 2; she even echoes what he said as she kills him. She didn't know Lommy for that long, but he was still her friend dammit, and she's sure as hell going to shiv the guy who did him in.
- A subtle one earlier in the same scene is when Polliver offers a starving Sandor a roast chicken in return for being able to rape Arya, which her facial expression indicates she thinks Sandor would readily do so, only for a dangerously calm Hound to contemptuously steal his drink in front of him and tell him in no uncertain terms that he will butcher him and his men if he does not shut up (and give him his chicken).
- Before that moment, the Hound really didn't want to get into a fight with these men, being both hungry and outnumbered. The look on his face right before he steals the drink practically screams, "Okay, I'm going to kill everyone in here."
- Sam admitting he sometimes "wants to hate Jon" is adorable in context, as it is in response to Jon's near tearful recollections of Robb and how Jon wanted to hate him for being a better fighter, rider, and ladies man than him; but could not help loving him, anyways.
- It's sweet to hear Arya say that her brother gave her Needle, not her half-brother or her bastard brother. She loves him just like she loves any of her other siblings.
- Despite being in a Nightmare Fuel moment, Dany vowing to look at the faces of each and every crucified slave child on the way to Meereen before burying them (after removing their slave collars), despite Ser Barristan offering to send men ahead to bury them.
- Grey Worm's silly arm strength contest with Daario, showing that he's still able to form a personality outside of being a soldier, despite a lifetime of training designed specifically to eradicate his humanity.
- Not only that, he's apparently developed a crush on Missandei, too.
- Everyone feels sorry for Jorah, and Daario can come across as a bit of a sleaze, but Dany's little smile after Daario brings her some flowers is a stark reminder that despite everything she's been through, she's still just a teenager. As soon as Daario is out of sight, she drops the Ice Queen façade and lets herself enjoy the attention of a cute guy.
- The entire scene between Dontos Hollard and Sansa. Dontos thanks Sansa for saving his life, pointing out that nobody else would have done so. As thanks, he gifts her his mother's necklace, saying it would be better off in her care than his. This affirmation that Sansa is indeed a good person is probably just what she needed, as she was still reeling from the events of the Red Wedding.
- Especially heartwarming as the scene baits the audience into thinking that poor Sansa is going to have something awful happen to her, only to go in a completely different direction after Dontos reveals himself. A small kindness from a few seasons ago finally pays off, with nothing negative to the character. As much as Westeros is usually a Crapsack World, not everything is hopeless.
- And in the next episode, Sansa is shown proudly wearing the necklace throughout the wedding, having kept her promise.
- "I've seen you slip a shaft through a rabbit's eye at two hundred yards. If that boy's still walking, it's because you let him go." Oh, Ygritte...
- When the Magnar and Tormund are talking, Ygritte keeps her arrow fixed on Styr, clearly intent on shooting him should he make any violent moves against Tormund. Even though they'd just been arguing, she's protecting him.
The Lion and The Rose
- Varys taking the time to warn Tyrion that Shae has been discovered and Tywin plans to murder her, even while visibly alarmed at the prospect of being found out for the warning.
- Stannis is shown to be burning Ser Axell Florent, a loyal servant who provided many ships to him as a sacrifice. Davos asks what the victim did to deserve this as a reward for his loyalty. Stannis points out that Davos has not been loyal or done as much — yet in spite of this, Stannis keeps him alive because he values their friendship.
- Stannis will not let his (slightly crazy) wife Selyse take the rod to his daughter, Shireen, and also seems reluctant to let Melisandre go and see her.
- Stannis' meat dinner is going bad but Selyse refuses to serve fish because she knows he hates that. She also reminiscences about his efforts to keep her fed during the siege of Storm's End. She never wavers in her devotion to a husband who despises her.
- It's debatable if you want to call this heartwarming or Nightmare Fuel, but Melisandre coming into Shireen's quarters to talk to her. She's doing it to convert her to worship the Lord of Light, but she calls her 'Princess' without scorn or irony, and even touches the greyscale scars on Shireen's face, gently. Given the life the poor girl's had, this might be the first expression of maternal affection she's had in a long while.
- Margaery continues to treat Brienne with the utmost dignity and respect, which is contrasted sharply by Joffrey's sneers and Cersei's mocking. Also, despite being the first person to suspect Brienne of Renly's murder, Margaery is now quick to jump to her defense from that very accusation.
- While it was unnecessarily cruel — throwing the only person who ever treated her like she was important in Brienne's face and mocking her for it — Cersei's dislike for the lady knight seems to stem entirely from the fact that Jaime cares about Brienne, enough that it makes Cersei jealous. "Do you love him?" indeed — whether it's romantic or not, Cersei, you can't stop either of them from caring.
- Although it was said to make a jab at Cersei, Oberyn's comment that in Dorne they're disgusted by raping and murdering girls and women rather than being disgusted by people of low birth. From everything we see and hear of Dorne his comment does seem to be a genuine reflection of their freer and more open-minded society.
- Ever since he's returned to King's Landing, Jaime notes that "Every Lannister has been a pain in my arse". Here we find the single exception: Tyrion who doesn't insult him, mock him for his failures but simply thinks of a way to bring Jaime back in shape, telling him that he can become The Southpaw by practicing and correcting his muscle memory, and fixing him up with an instructor who'll keep quiet to ensure Jaime remains The Dreaded.
- Jaime also drops his guard completely in the scene, admitting his vulnerability to Tyrion in a way that he doesn't with other people, showing how close the two brothers are.
- Also, Tyrion has a soft spot for "bastards, cripples, and broken things", somewhere Tyrion must appreciate the irony that having given Bran a saddle design for a paraplegic, he's now trying to help the man who crippled him, his own brother.
- When Mace Tyrell presents Joffrey with his wedding gift Joffrey refers to him as "father," deeply honoring Mace. No subtle cruelty, no complaining afterwards, nothing. Whether Joffrey's feelings were genuine or not, it's one of the very few Pet the Dog moments Joffrey has in the whole series.
- Tyrion gives a history lore as his wedding gift for Joffrey, citing that it's a book every king must read. This shows that the dwarf still cares for Joffrey and hopes that this annoying nephew of his would someday become a good king.
- The moment is immediately ruined when Joffery hacks the book to pieces with his brand new Valyrian steel sword.
- Sansa picking up the goblet that Joffrey kicked so Tyrion wouldn't have to crawl around looking for it anymore.
Sansa: We have a new queen.Tyrion: Better her than you.
- Not only that, but she looks Joffrey straight in the eyes with a defiant glare while doing so.
- There are a few times in this episode where their interactions fall into this category. When dismissing Shae, one of Tyrion's excuses is respect for Sansa.
- Especially compared to the books, where Tyrion does continue whoring.
- Also this:
- After Joffrey humiliates Tyrion, Sansa quietly asks if they can leave the wedding yet. Tyrion replies, "Let's find out."
- It's subtle, but right before "Robb Stark" is "killed" during the wedding performance, Tyrion places his hand on Sansa's.
- Tyrion also quietly orders the dwarf performers to be given twenty gold pieces each for having to participate in the humiliating performance. As in the books, this would make said performers wealthy enough to never have to degrade themselves like that again.
- Might be more of a Tearjerker, but Loras leaves the wedding in a huff when "Renly" is being abused during the dwarf joust. After a whole season of not being able to openly express his grief over Renly's death (which led many viewers to assume that Loras was no longer affected by this loss), it's reassuring for book readers to see that Loras is still in mourning and just not able to openly show it.
- Margaery, for all the joyful facade that she puts on for the entire wedding, is visibly furious at the display. Is she angry because of the offensive depiction of Renly "riding" Loras (the latter is portrayed as girly-looking and curly-haired — an obvious reference to her brother), for Sansa's sake (Margaery does glance in Sansa's direction to see how the girl is coping shortly before "Joffrey" starts humping the fake direwolf head), and/or just because the whole thing is vulgar and cruel? The audience doesn't know, but she's very upset.
- For all their ambition, the Tyrells' displeasure at the utterly tasteless parody demonstrates their closeness as a family. This scene implies that Mace is accepting of his son's orientation and of Loras' love for Renly, which is a rare trait in a Westerosi father. Olenna believed that Renly was foolish for claiming the Iron Throne and frequently teases her grandson, but she clearly does NOT approve of their relationship being openly mocked. Margaery is certainly pissed off over the Loras-like doll being used as Renly's "horse," and she knows this awful caricature deeply hurts her brother.
- Likewise Tywin's look of utter disgust during the humiliation towards Tyrion. Say what you will about the man, but even he lacks pleasure in the way Joffrey mistreats his youngest son. Nobody treats Tyrion like crap and makes his life a living hell but me.
- In a way the whole wedding feast and the fact that virtually everyone present is disgusted at Joffrey's skit and abuse of Tyrion. Throughout his posturing you see every major character — from Margaery, Loras and Olenna, Tywin, Jaime, Tommen and Tyrion himself, Sansa and Brienne, Varys and Pycelle, Oberyn of Dorne and Ellaria — all looking uncomfortable and disapproving. Cersei is the sole person who finds his behavior amusing. Yes, most of the guests are ruthless plotters and have committed horrible acts of their own for various reasons but it says something that none of them relish in war and torturing others for the sake of it the way Joffrey does. Their universal disgust at his actions may well be the biggest moment of unity in the whole series.
- Subtle example. When Bronn is brought to escort Shae out, Bronn gently puts a hand on her. Sadly, it doesn't help.
- Later, Bronn comforts Tyrion, telling him he did the right thing.
- At the wedding when Joffrey goes from simply choking to collapsing and vomiting, Tywin rushes to Tommen's side and covers his eyes so he doesn't have to watch his brother's fairly gruesome death. It's likely there's a pragmatic aspect to it, considering Tommen is next in line to the throne and the King has quite blatantly been assassinated before their eyes, but Tywin's concern for his grandson's well-being is clear either way.
- Also some Fridge Brilliance when one considers Tywin's... troubled relationship with his children and oldest grandchild, it makes quite a bit of sense why he would be rather protective of his only descendant (bar the absent Myrcella) who is neither an embarrassment, a psychopath, nor a failure in his eyes.
- It's strangely heartwarming and deeply saddening to see Cersei and Jaime holding their son together as he died, for once acting as concerned parents — when it was already far too late and their child had gone off the deep end and ended up assassinated for it.
- When Joffrey collapses, Jaime immediately runs to his side out of concern. Sadly (or perhaps not), it turns out to be of little use.
- Despite Joffrey being a complete shit to Tyrion the entire wedding and publicly humiliating him right before he chokes and dies Tyrion shows genuine concern when the first signs of something wrong with him appears. It speaks to Tyrion's innate humanity that he was able to forget his anger at that moment.
- During the Dwarf War of the Five Kings, Tommen is shown laughing right along with Joffrey at first, only to catch a sight of Tyrion's Death Glare and quickly realize that it's not funny in the slightest. He immediately stops smiling and proceeds to remain silent for the entire rest of the meal, looking utterly guilty. This shows that unlike Joffrey (or even Cersei), Tommen actually cares about Tyrion, is a decent enough person to understand that his Uncle was deeply hurt by this mockery, and realizes he made a mistake by laughing at his expense.
Breaker of Chains
- Tyrion's farewell to Pod after Pod's display of Undying Loyalty is both this and a tearjerker.
Tyrion: There has never lived a more loyal squire.
- For clarification, Pod has remained loyal to Tyrion even when the latter is thrown in jail and is in the worst trouble imaginable (thus, ensuring there is zero financial or power incentive to remain loyal), even when Bronn has fallen under suspicion and is being interrogated himself (thus, making it clear that as an associate of Tyrion he himself is in the line of fire), and even when someone approaches him offering a knighthood should he lie about Tyrion buying poison, he does not even hesitate to refuse despite knowing how it was basically a death/torture sentence to refuse.
- Even more than that, when Tyrion asks Pod whether he's going to take the offer Pod just stares at him in shock — just considering betraying Tryion never even occurred to him.
- Conversely, despite being in said "worst trouble imaginable" and needing all the friends he can get, Tyrion is horrified at the prospect of Podrick suffering and dying because of him and orders him to find Jaime and then leave the city to safety, though unlike when he tried this with Shae, he is at least able to tell Pod how grateful he is for his Undying Loyalty.
- Even earlier in the scene, it is rather amusingly sweet when Pod reveals all the random things he has managed to smuggle Tyrion to make his stay in jail more tolerable.
- Jon looking protective of the poor boy whose village was just attacked and whose parents were killed by Wildlings.
- Tywin protecting Tommen during the Wedding gave hints that the boy could be his Morality Pet. We see more signs of it here, as he gently gives him a lesson in statecraft and his duties as king. Of course, he's doing this while Cersei is in the Sept mourning her son and is incredibly insensitive when he rubs Joffrey's failures while he's laid in state.
- What kind of King does Tommen want to be? A good one. And then his answers to what makes a good King — holiness, justice, strength, and finally wisdom. It's a far cry from his older brother's view on kingship and a faint hope that the Lannister's might actually produce a decent ruler.
- Jaime gets a genuine one when he puts a comforting hand on Tommen as he passes him by and tells him that he'll make sure he's all right, probably the first time he's tried to be a real father to his incestuous offspring.
- When Cersei asks Jaime to outright kill Tyrion, Jaime is appalled, reminding her that he's their brother and that he would never do that.
- When Dany reaches Meereen, the Masters of the city all gather at the gate expecting to hear her address or threaten them....only for her to utterly ignore them and instead talk to the slaves, promising to free them and avenge their suffering before catapulting the broken collars of the slaves she has liberated over the walls to them.
Jorah: I've been by your side longer than any of them, Khaleesi. Let me stand for you today as well.Dany: You're my most trusted adviser. My most valued general and my dearest friend, I will not gamble with your life.
- Missandei's translation of the "champion" of Meereen's taunts is one, in a subtle way. When we first met her she was cowed and terrified of saying anything that would make her master angry, and censored herself heavily to avoid being punished. The fact that while she's visibly uncomfortable she is making an effort to translate accurately and precisely, without fear that Dany will beat her for giving offense, shows that she's beginning to move past her years as a slave.
- Grey Worm is the first to, quietly and firmly, request the honor of killing Meereen's champion. It's no coincidence that he's the only member of Dany's council who is also a former slave.
- Jorah's commitment to his Queen and Dany's reaffirmation that he is still her most loyal and loved follower.
- Davos and Shireen continuing their reading dates.
- The bit where Davos has his Eureka Moment and impulsively kisses Shireen on the forehead. God knows when the last time Shireen got that kind of affection was. The way she then just happily asks what it was for and gladly takes part in Davos' plan speaks volumes about how close their relationship is, with no standing on ceremony or concerns about their different social ranks.
- "We don't have much, but any man who bled for House Tully is welcome to it."
- Bonus point that this is said to Arya, who is part Tully through Catelyn. It's a sweet reminder for Arya that both sides of her family were kind and honorable rulers who cared for their people. And the farmer is unknowingly helping the granddaughter of his former beloved lord.
- It may not have ended well, but Sam and Gilly's conversation was 7 shades of sweet.
Gilly: Thank you.Sam: For what?Gilly: For worrying about me.
- Gilly's matter-of-fact approach to Sam being upset that the other members of the Watch don't believe he actually killed a White Walker. She knows the truth, and he knows the truth, so in her book that's all that matters. Why should Sam care if people who weren't there don't believe him? They know what happened, so he should be proud and secure in the knowledge of what he's capable of.
- Every time she refers to 'Little Sam', the baby; it's just a reminder that he really did make an impression on this girl.
- Your mileage may vary on this given who her rescuer is and just how evil he has shown himself to be (and the fact his intentions towards her are... well pretty damn obvious), but Sansa finally escaping the Lannisters and leaving King's Landing, the city which had tormented her beyond her darkest nightmares, being under the protection of Littlefinger has to be some solace to her and the audience.
- Despite Olenna's complaints about her late husband's stupidity, she was nevertheless somewhat fond of him, as her eyes begin to tear up a little bit and her voice breaks when she reminisces about the day he died.
- Arya's fury over the Hound betraying and robbing the kindly farmer and his daughter. At this point Arya has witnessed countless atrocities and — as Sandor mentions — her parents and brother were killed largely because they were too trusting. But despite everything she's still disgusted at hurting innocent people to benefit her own survival.
- Grey Worm being taught by Missandei how to speak Westerosi, by talking about their pasts and their slave lives, is both this and a serious tearjerker. Heartwarming because it shows how these two former slaves are bonding and how much they have grown since being freed. Tearjerking due to how their former lives were taken from them.
- Mhysa! Mhysa! Mhysa!
- Daenerys's BRUTAL revenge towards the Masters of Meereen (she has 163 of them crucified on every mile-post from the city) is dark as all hell but shows just how far she is willing to go to avenge the slave children.
- As a counterpoint, Ser Barristan pleading with Dany to be merciful towards them, or at least not to stoop to their level in her quest for justice. It may be somewhat naive, and doing to the Masters what they did to the children may be considered "just" retribution for their awful crime, but the fact that in a world as screwed up and harsh as that of Game of Thrones, even in the face of the monstrous evil he's witnessed, Barristan can still maintain his compassion and believe that injustice should sometimes be met with mercy is a very heartwarming and precious thing.
- Margaery's scene with Tommen. Although some parts of it border on the squicky (and some go right over that border!) when she kisses him on the forehead his eyes go wide, and you realize that's probably the first bit of tenderness he's received in quite a long time.
- Olenna revealing how much of an awesome Grandmama Bear she is when she casually reveals to a shocked Margaery that she was the one who murdered Joffrey in order to protect her granddaughter from his sadism and cruelty. Cool Old Lady doesn't even begin to cover it.
- Doubly so as another (unstated) reason is that she also wanted to protect Loras, since she knew that Joffrey was planning to make homosexuality punishable by death. And because Joffrey's "tribute" to Renly at the wedding feast, riding an effigy resembling Loras, utterly pissed her off.
- Despite all the evidences pointing to her, and despite her hatred for his family, neither Tyrion nor Sansa believe that the other is guilty and therefore responsible of their current predicament. Pretty sweet from the outcast couple, especially compared to their relationship in the books...
- Bronn telling Jaime that Tyrion named Jaime for his champion, because he knew Jaime would ride day and night to come fight for him. This moves Jaime to finally visit Tyrion in jail, where "The Kingslayer brothers" have a bittersweet fraternal chat.
- Cersei's conversation with Jaime reveals that he was always the one to come and defend Tyrion from his father and sister and anyone else who mocked him for his dwarfism. That's sad and heartwarming at the same time.
- Jaime gives Brienne three gifts to help her find and protect Sansa.
- Firstly, his priceless Valaryian Steel Sword, which she names Oathkeeper.
- He specifically gives her this sword as it was forged from Ned Stark's blade and thus he thinks it should be used to protect Ned Stark's daughter.
- Secondly, a badass set of dark blue armor tailor-made for her.
- Blue like sapphires.
- Thirdly, a widely grinning Podrick to act as her squire, whom Bronn gives Tyrion's axe as a parting gift.
- Jaime does this partially for Brienne but also as a favor for Tyrion in order to get one of his only true friends to relative safety.
- Moreover, the fact Jaime is so adamant on helping Sansa, the daughter of the man who despised and spat on him for so long (and Catelyn who did pretty much the same), shows just how much he has changed.
- Brienne and Jaime's bittersweet goodbye, and the subsequent look on Jaime's face as he watches her ride away with Brienne turning back for one last look as well.
- Just the fact Brienne and Pod — two of the nicest, most loyal characters of the show and aspiring knights that actually live up to what a knight should be — are able to get out of Kings Landing peacefully and aren't trapped in it's web of constant betrayal and lies. And that they're rare companions who will actually be able to trust each other. Such happy turns of events are rare to find.
- Firstly, his priceless Valaryian Steel Sword, which she names Oathkeeper.
- At the Wall, Janos Slynt and Alliser Thorne have conspired to get rid of Jon Snow by allowing him to go to Craster's Keep and kill the mutineers, but only with those who volunteer. He gets half the great hall to join him out of pure loyalty... although the moment is slightly ruined by Locke volunteering himself with evidently sinister intentions.
- And the first two to volunteer are Grenn and Edd, despite that their wanting to sit this one out would have been perfectly understandable after they just barely made it back from Craster's.
- Also when Jon attempts to address the hall, it goes ignored, which would have given Thorne another reason to ridicule him. Grenn decides to help a brother out by slamming his gourd on the table to get everyone's attention for his brother in black. Remember back when Grenn wanted to beat Jon up?
- Also remember that terrified little boy whose family was massacred by wildlings last episode? Turns out Jon Snow and his friends have basically adopted him into their little clique and are training him to become a brother in the Watch.
- The White Walkers "adopting" the babies they take is not nearly as horrifying as other theories, and actually a little adorable. Many watchers had always assumed they would wind up as dinner or some creepy forest decoration, so this is quite the relief, in a weird, twisted way.
- Compared to how eager Karl, "the legend of Gin Alley" was to kill them, the White Walkers come out like the good guys; I'd root for them over the Mutineers any day of the week.
- Following the "twisted relief" approach, it is implied Craster gave his male children as part of a pact for the White Walkers not to take his house. So, you could say they are merely following on their side of the pact, and they haven't attacked Craster's Keep. So, yes, the White Walkers are looking far more civilized than Karl's mutineers.
- Even better, when the Night's King picks up the baby, the child stops crying and reaches out affectionately towards him! Terrifying necromancer ice demons, but great with kids!
- Now imagine a White Walker baby. Absolutely adorable and basically Disney's Frozen waiting to happen.
First of His Name
- Cersei's and Margarey's conversation after Tommen is crowned. While it's still clear that Cersei can't stand the new queen, a small part of her is forced to acknowledge that Tommen needs someone like her. The two also come to some understanding of just how awful Joffrey really was.
- Despite the general creepiness and craziness inherent in EVERYTHING about Lysa, Robin, and the Eyrie, seeing Sansa find some last remnant of her family is heartening.
- Petyr continuing to teach Sansa his tricks might slightly count.
- Sansa stands up for Tyrion a bit while Lysa is calling him disparaging names by pointing out that he did not want the marriage either and that he did not force himself on her.
- Despite how the scene ends, Sansa and her aunt talking about Catelyn's childhood and generally talking like a loving aunt and niece is also heartwarming... until, of course, Lysa goes crazy again.
- Brienne finally warming up to Pod after all his fuckups when she finds out he killed a Kingsguard to protect Tyrion.
- Jon and Ghost finally reuniting.
- Oberyn assuring Cersei that Myrcella is happy and perfectly safe in Sunspear. Despite his burning hatred of her family, he's still willing to give that much comfort to a mother in pain.
- That whole scene was heartwarming. The last time these two characters talked, it was strictly Passive-Aggressive Kombat and implied threats. This time we get a genuinely sympathetic perspective on two dangerous people who truly love their children.
- It's honestly remarkable to see just how much Cersei — one of the most ruthless members of the house that butchered Oberyn's sister and her children — seems to sympathize with his situation.
Cersei: The gods love their stupid jokes, don't they? [...] You're a prince of Dorne, a legendary fighter, and a brilliant man feared throughout Westeros, and yet you could not save your sister. I am a Lannister, Queen for 19 years, and daughter of the most powerful man alive... and yet I could not save my son. What use is power if you cannot protect the ones you love?
- After hearing about Astapor and Yunkai being retaken by slavers, Daenerys vowing to put her campaign to invade Westeros on hold to ensure that the freed slaves in Meereen stay free.
- The Hound waking up and frantically looking for Arya. This is right after she put him on her death list.
- Despite the very evident loathing Arya has for the Hound in their scene, the fact Sandor is actually somewhat empathetic towards her and the hate she feels despite both her naming him on her kill-list, and her attempt to stab him in the gut (although he did invite the latter by mocking her fighting style). He even gives her back Needle despite how much he knows she wants him dead.
- Also, the fact Arya has added not just Melisandre, but also Thoros and Beric to the list shows just how much she wants to avenge Gendry.
- Especially heartwarming given the context: Despite how close the pair became, previous episodes showed Gendry felt insecure due to Arya's noble status and thought their friendship wouldn't survive her returning to her proper position. (Which was why he stayed with the Brotherhood rather than going on with her in the first place). Now he's gone and Arya's still on the way to her noble family but she hasn't just forgotten him, is mourning deeply and committed to avenging him. Never underestimate how much Arya Stark cares for people no matter their status.
- On that note, outside of Arya's close family, who does she want to avenge? A fighting instructor, a butcher's boy and a bastard from Flea's Bottom. Because they were all her friends and that's enough for her.
The Laws of Gods and Men
- Jaime swears to finally leave the Kingsguard so long as Tywin allows Tyrion to live. The fact he is willing to throw away what he is most proud of in order to protect his brother speaks volumes about his bond with Tyrion.
- Everything about Jaime's passionate defense of his little brother, especially a line that pierces Tywin's armour of contempt and makes him pause for a very brief moment.
Jaime: You know the last order the Mad King gave me? To bring him your head! I saved your life so you could murder my brother?
- Jaime's no saint but it's rather touching that he happens to be the only one in that trial that shows any concern for Tyrion's well-being.
- Although Yara's attempted rescue of her brother has a miserable ending, her continued care for her brother remains heartening.
- Daenerys taking appointments with her new subjects and hearing out their pleas. She is told by Missandei that there are over 212 people in line to see her, Dany's response is to tell her to send the next one in. Ruthless as she may be becoming, she still has a gentle heart and a lot of love to give.
- When a goatherd informs her of the loss of his flock to her dragons, Daenerys immediately tells him that he will be paid three times the goats' value. The goatherd, stunned, manages to stammer out what is obviously many, many declarations of thanks.
- The interaction between Stannis and Davos at the Iron Bank is perhaps the high point of their friendship. The Bank coldly and politely tells Stannis that he's a bad investment and a serious liability and they don't really care about bloodlines and how absolutely just his claim on the throne is. Stannis bears this stoically and walks away and Davos vouches to the council on Stannis' reliability and integrity and that look that Stannis gives him says it all. Here's a man who's been neglected and disappointed all his life for his honest service and it seems that it's the first time someone has stood up and spoken on his behalf.
- It's easy to miss, but the fact that Loras' body language often mirrors his sister's during Tyrion's trial indicates that Margaery had confided to her brother about Olenna's involvement in Joffrey's murder. Olenna looks down on her "silly" grandson and keeps him out of the loop, but Margaery clearly trusts Loras with their family's dark secret. Their synchronized reactions are a Call Back to "Valar Dohaeris" where they were very much on the same wavelength when they had dined with Cersei and Joffrey (which included a perfectly-timed Meaningful Look between brother and sister). It's a testament to the Tyrell siblings' closeness that even when they don't speak, they always seem to be attuned to each other's feelings.
- It's subtle but Oberyn doesn't seem to share the same discrimination against dwarves that most of Westeros does and his cynical reaction indicates he's one of the only people who recognizes Tyrion's trial is a sham. He's thoroughly apathetic about the whole process but he's not going to go along with Tywin's judgement the way Mace Tryell is and may well be the only judge who would have based his verdict on the truth not spitefulness or weaknesses.
- The return of Hot Pie is both this and a crowning moment of funny. Both due to seeing him happy and content in his job as a tavern cook and due to him revealing to Brienne of Arya's last location so that Brienne can keep her safe. Not to mention him giving Brienne a new wolf-cake to give to Arya.
- Just the fact that someone else now knows that Arya survived. As Brienne reminds the audience, she's been assumed dead since Ned's execution. Arya's now been on the run under various disguises for nearly three seasons, feeling totally forgotten about and in the next scene the Hound comments that he knows Arya feels alone but she isn't. Arya doesn't know it but there are people who care about her out there and they're trying to bring her to safety.
- Also Brienne and Pod's interactions in the scene are a refreshing piece of non creepy/non heartrending cute given how Brienne is starting to act far more trusting and almost parental around Pod. The way Pod talks so distantly about "the Lanisters" also seems to indicate that he seperates them from Tyrion and Jaime.
- Oddly enough, the show manages to make Bronn refusing to be Tyrion's champion in his trial by combat into one. Tyrion never had any illusions about their relationship and completely understands why Bronn's leaving him in the lurch, and they part on good terms after recalling the good times they've had.
- Also, when Tyrion goes for Gallows Humor and states that he'll have to kill the Mountain all by himself and ponders they could write a song about it, Bronn states he would like to hear it.
- Arya insisting on helping The Hound clean his wounds after the latter having his first onscreen Not So Stoic moment. This is after he spent the last few episodes being a dick towards her and other people in front of her.
- Earlier, Arya and Sandor came across a dying man whose hut was burned down. They share a philosophical discussion about death, with Sandor showing the utmost respect for this man and Arya reassuring him that "nothing" is not worse than where he is now. In the end, Sandor gives him a drink of water, then stabs the man in the heart, giving him a small smile and polite nod as the man passes out of the mortal realm.
- During his visit in Tyrion's cell, Oberyn tells him of how he and his family visited Casterly Rock and how his sister Cersei had told them that her newborn brother was a monster. When Oberyn was shown to baby Tyrion, he remarks that he didn't hide his disappointment.
Oberyn: "That's not a monster, I told Cersei. That's just a baby."
- His tone also makes it clear that he no longer considers Tyrion part of the group that killed his sister Elia, but as much a victim as she was. Also when he declares he will be Tyrion's champion, AFTER Tyrion's infamous quote "If you're here for justice, you've come to the wrong place". SOMEONE in Westeros isn't an Upper-Class Twit or an evil and selfish noble.
- Tyrion's face after Oberyn reveals he will fight as his champion is both this and a tearjerker, as he seems to be fighting back the urge to burst into tears of gratitude that this apparent enemy would be willing to fight the most dangerous fighter in the whole of Westeros.
- A small thing, but when Oberyn recounts Cersei hurting Baby!Tyrion, who does he say put a stop to it? Jaime.
- Sansa seeing snow for the first time after her captivity, aptly accompanied by the Winterfell theme.
- As always, while the scene inevitably ended in a metric fuckton of creepy, Littlefinger revealing he had Joffrey killed to avenge Catelyn was an ever so slightly humanizing moment for him...before he went and reminded everyone why we hate him. When he says it, Sansa smiles genuinely, touched by his ardour for her mother.
- And right before that, Robin saying he'd help protect Sansa someday was oddly cute. The kid may be crazy, but he also clearly means well and loves his family.
- Although she's still stuck with Littlefinger, just the idea that Sansa won't have to put up with her murderously insane, paranoid and jealous Aunt Lysa after she was pushed off to her death by Petyr has somewhat improved her stay in the Eyrie.
- Jorah snapping Dany out of the Black and White Insanity she'd been sinking into for the last few episodes, by reminding her that she would have killed him if they'd first met now. And she tells him to specify to Daario that it was him that changed her mind.
- While Robin stating that he'll throw anyone who bothers Sansa out the Moon Door is a little creepy at face value, it can easily be seen as Robin-speak for "I won't let anyone hurt you.".
- Keep in mind, Sansa's last insane fiance openly talked about how much he'd love to rape and beat her. While Robin is incredibly creepy in his love of throwing people to their deaths, he at least wants to do something creepy to make Sansa happy and she seems to appreciate that.
- Robin and Sansa's conversation is very cute, for the most part. They talk about her home, he asks her why there isn't a Moon door, and general creepiness aside, he says how when they're married, he'll get rid of anyone who she doesn't like. They even set about figuring out where to have a Moon door in the snow replica of Winterfell, acting in a very playful manner together. It quickly falls apart from there, but still.
The Mountain and the Viper
- Ellaria and Oberyn's final interaction. With all the dysfunctional, unhappy couples in Westoros, these two — who can't even be married due to her birth status — truly love each other.
- Also while it ended.... poorly, Oberyn finally avenging the horrifying death of his sister and mortally wounding the monster who raped and murdered her and her children. And yes, while his absolutely horrifying death at the hands of said monster when he lets his guard down takes the edge off this, at least he was able to ensure Clegane would die soon after he did — and more horrifyingly to boot.
- Ygritte sparing Gilly and her baby.
- Followed by Jon, Grenn, Pyp, and even Dolorous Edd assuring Sam that after everything else Gilly's survived, she may have survived the attack on Molestown too.
- Edd's line of how "she survived a white walker" also shows that the guys actually believe Sam's story about the White Walker while Slynt and Thorne both mock him for it. It is to be noted that Edd is known for his Brutal Honesty, so reassuring words from him mean quite a bit.
- Pyp telling his friends how he thought all of them were dead, since they went on Mormont's ranging and didn't come back, "not for ages." And then they all did...
- Roose Bolton officially accepting his son Ramsay as his own blood and allowing him to carry the Bolton name (and legacy) would be heartwarming if the two of them weren't, you know, the worst people ever.
- Grey Worm admitting that he's happy that he became an Unsullied, since it allowed him to meet Missendei.
- Daenerys braiding Missendei's hair and gossiping with her about Grey Worm. This is the closest we've seen her get to act like an ordinary girl.
- Jaime and Tyrion's talk before the Trial by Combat, where both reminisce on old times.
- Arya and Sandor appear to have mended their Odd Friendship some by the time they reach the Vale...even if their way of doing so is predictably morbid.
Sandor: (regarding Joffrey) Little shit deserved to die, but poison? Poison's a woman's weapon. Men kill with steel.Arya: That's your stupid pride talking. It's why you'll never be a great killer. I'd've killed Joffrey with a chicken bone if I had to.Sandor: (laughs) I'd pay good money to see that.
- When they reach the gate and Sandor announces them, he pauses for a while before referring to Arya as his "traveling companion."
- When Sansa reveals her identity to the lords of the Vale and covers for Littlefinger, the lords are all genuinely sympathetic to her story and immediately promise to keep her identity a secret. Lady Waynwood even gives her a comforting hug and tells her that what happened wasn't her fault. For all the sadism and manipulations we've come to see from the nobility of Westeros, it is very refreshing to see some authority figures act like human beings.
- Even though he doesn't give two shits about him, Littlefinger's pep talk to Robin Arryn that he's in as much danger inside the Eyrie as he is outside, so he may as well go out and see the world, is heartwarming in its own way. It's better advice than his mother ever gave him, and it gives some small hope that Robin may be happier and more confident in the future, and may even prove not a complete pawn in Littlefinger's games.
- Somewhat negated in that it's pretty clear that Littlefinger could more easily arrange for an "accident" while Robin's out in the wide world.
The Watchers on the Wall
- Everything between Gilly and Sam in this episode. To sum up:
- Gilly returns to Castle Black and Sam orders Pyp to let her in the gates, despite the brothers being told not to open them under any circumstances.
- Sam apologizes for sending Gilly away, comforts her after the horror she experienced in Mole's Town, and promises to never leave her again.
- Sam refusing to stay with her and abandon his brothers, as he swore an oath to help them. Before he goes to fight, they kiss.
- Gilly makes Sam promise not to die. And he keeps that promise.
- To a first-time viewer unaware of Sam's fate in the battle, hearing the initial promise almost verges on Tear Jerker when you remember what happened to the last guy who promised not to die.
- He keeps his promise and returns to find her at the end of the episode.
- Maester Aemon can still remember everything about the girl he loved before he joined the Night's Watch, even though he hasn't seen her for a lifetime.
- Despite all the talk about her wanting to kill Jon, Ygritte ultimately hesitates when she has the chance. When she's shot by an arrow and lies dying in Jon's arms, she admits that she still loves him.
- Jon holding back a smile when seeing Ygritte again. Sadly, it doesn't last long.
- Even Ygritte's death is poignant and touching, even if it's in the most heartrending way possible. Even while she lies dying in Jon's arms, a ghost of one of her old mocking smiles is visible on her face as she utters her Catch Phrase for the last time, and she succumbs to her wounds quietly and seemingly at peace with how it all turned out. It's a welcome change after what happens to Oberyn in the previous episode.
- Arya and Brienne's cute bonding moment over swords, their love of fighting, and their love for their fathers before Sandor showed up and started a fight... at which point the scene shifts to an awesome moment as these two powerhouses duke it out.
- In that same scene, the Hound's admission to Brienne that, yes, he is looking after Arya now, and there is no way in hell he will let someone he believes to be working for the Lannisters near her.
- The commentary states that this dialogue confirms that the Hound loves Arya and is no longer keeping her for a ransom.
- Also despite her biting off his ear, beating the shit out of him, hurling him down a cliff, and pretty much ensuring he will die very, very soon, the Hound bears no grudge and even tells Arya that she should go with her since she genuinely wants to keep her safe.
- Moreover, he knows he is dying and in his final moments his only thoughts are to make sure Arya is safe once he dies.
- In that same scene, the Hound's admission to Brienne that, yes, he is looking after Arya now, and there is no way in hell he will let someone he believes to be working for the Lannisters near her.
- Jaime freeing Tyrion and aiding Varys in arranging his escape by boat.
- The removal of his confession about Tyrion's first wife ensures their parting did not sharply diverge into another Gut Punch moment for Tyrion and that their final farewell remained thoroughly heartwarming.
- Varys teaming up with Jaime to save Tyrion of his own volition (rather than being bullied into it by Jaime as in the books).
Jaime: You have more friends than you thought.
- Not to mention their final hug.
- Varys packs Tyrion into the same crate he had the warlock who made him a eunuch shipped in from Essos. As he leaves it to the dockhands, he looks back... and goes to sit beside the crate, joining his friend in exile. Sure it is almost certainly due to him not wishing to be caught in Kings Landing once the shit hits the fan over Tywin's death and Tyrion's escape but it is nice to know Tyrion will not be alone or without friends wherever he is going.
- The final scene: the ship captain accepts and welcomes Arya onto his ship after seeing the coin and hearing her speak the words that one of her only friends in the last few seasons gave to her. She then sails the hell out of Westoros.
- On a more symbolic level, while on the ship she looks somewhat sadly as she watches Westeros being left behind. However, she then runs to the front of the ship to look ahead, and for the first time she looks happy. There's actually hope for her in the future now.
- Jon personally taking Ygritte's body north of the Wall and taking the time to burn her, honouring the dying wish she gave Jon before he failed to execute her.
- Jon offering to allow Tormund to preside over the funeral of his dead men, as well. Tormund's only concern boils down to Ygritte getting a proper funeral.
- The Three-Eyed Raven (A.K.A Brynden Rivers) promising that although Bran can never walk again, he will achieve the dream that he had wanted to come true: To fly.
- Jon successfully appealing to Stannis's respect for Ned and his sense of honor to persuade him to spare Mance and his wildlings, and to hear their requests for sanctuary behind the Wall out.
- Stannis telling Jon that his father was an honourable man compared to everyone else telling Jon that Ned was a traitor.
- The fact that Stannis arrived to help the beleaguered Night's Watch in their hour of need more than counts. After witnessing so many examples of scheming and betrayal in the pursuit of power from the noble houses of Westeros throughout the show, especially from the likes of the Lannisters, Freys and Boltons, it is truly refreshing to see at least one non-Stark noble who puts his duty to the realm and its people ahead of his own ambitions. No wonder Davos is so loyal to the man he considers the rightful king.
- Going deeper you remember that Ned Stark saved Stannis when he lifted the siege of Storm's End. Now he saves Ned's blood from another siege.
- Mance's response to hearing that a mere farmer managed to kill the last King of the Giants? Drink a toast to the both of them.
- Tywin's speech to Tyrion before Tyrion kills him, insisting that he'd never let Tyrion be executed, that Tyrion's his son and a Lannister no matter what, and that as much as Tywin's always wanted him dead, he admires and respects Tyrion's tenacity, determination, and ability to thrive despite being despised by everyone.
- Undercut, obviously (though Tywin's sudden change of opinion is understandable considering the intervening act), by Tywin's last words, after Tyrion shoots him.
Tywin: You are no son of mine.Tyrion: I am your son. I have always been your son.
- Undercut, obviously (though Tywin's sudden change of opinion is understandable considering the intervening act), by Tywin's last words, after Tyrion shoots him.
The Wars to Come
- Mossador, the slave who was one of the first to take up arms against the Great Masters in Season 4, is now a freedman on Dany's Small Council, advising her on public mood and the negative dissonance her actions will cause with the Sons of the Harpy.
- Also, Dany ordering a ceremonial burial for White Rat, a lowly slave soldier that was seen as less than human, but now a queen's man.
- When Dany goes to see Viserion and Rhaegal, though they are clearly not pleased at being shut away for so long and eventually force her to flee the crypt, they're in a position to do her serious damage but ultimately scare her away, indicating that they still retain some affection for their 'Mother'.
- Jon helping train Olly — although Olly was the one who ultimately killed Ygritte, Jon doesn't seem to begrudge him at all for it and still treats him like a surrogate younger brother.
- In a bizarre way, Jon's killing of Mance Rayder while he's being burned alive, to prevent him from suffering any further. The two have come to respect and like each other, and there's a last moment of acknowledgment between them as Jon frees Mance from his torment.
- Also, Princess Shireen refusing to watch Mance's suffering by simply closing her eyes while sitting next to her fanatic of a mother, who is too caught up in the spectacle to notice.
- Tormund later points to the act as a demonstration of mercy and courage, and likely is part of what causes them to develop into friends.
- There is a special kind of loving between people displayed when White Rat went to the brothel. Even a eunuch wants love, even if all it means is being held and sung to, and pretending like you're loved. Even if it ends in death, there's the fundamental message the we all want love.
- Varys's reason for saving Tyrion is he believes he is one of the few people who can help rebuild Westeros. He knows that Tyrion is smart, cunning, but also compassionate, which makes him the perfect adviser for Daenerys.
The House of Black and White
- Shireen teaching Gilly to read, and defending her to Selyse. Also how adorably happy Gilly is when she correctly identifies the letter 'S'.
- Sam's impassioned speech putting forward Jon's name as candidate for Lord Commander.
- Maester Aemon breaking his neutrality and casting the deciding vote for Jon.
- Jon's little grin after his brothers start chanting, "Snow! Snow! Snow!" is absolutely adorable, especially since this is the first time we've seen Jon smile like that since Ygritte's death.
- Lyanna Mormont reaffirming her house's loyalty to the Starks. At this point Ned, Catelyn and Robb have all been massacred; Arya, Bran and Rickon are assumed dead; Sansa in the hands of the Stark's enemies and Jon — a bastard in the Night's Watch — is the only one left in the North at all. Are the Northern houses bending their knee to the Boltons, Lannisters, or even Stannis? Nope, in the words of a ten year old girl: "Bear Island knows no king but the King in the North, whose name is Stark." It really tells you how beloved the Starks were that there are still people supporting them.
- Bronn, of all people, has an oddly sweet moment with his bride-to-be, Lollys Stokeworth, telling her not to worry about her "mean" older sister. After all, in Bronn's experience, "meanness comes around" (though the subtlety is lost on Lollys).
- Stannis shows flexibility and chooses not to punish Jon for aiding Mance, reflecting that the North is a difficult place to rule, even for Robert with the aid of Ned. Instead, he offers to raise Snow as Jon Stark, Lord of Winterfell, the first thing Jon ever wanted. In a bittersweet touch, Jon refuses because he made a vow and his place is with his brothers of the Night's Watch.
- Doran Martell levelheadedness amid grief; he loved his brother and is grateful to Ellaria for making him happy. He instructs his bodyguard to let Ellaria go unharmed despite her implied challenges and threats, and of course hurting Myrcella is out of the question. He's quietly appalled by Ellaria's suggestion.
"I loved my brother. And you made him very happy. For that, you will always have a place in my heart. But we do not mutilate little girls for vengeance. Not here. Not while I rule."
- Jaime, upon realising Dorne are angry about Oberyn's death, immediately decides he's going straight there to bring his daughter home to safety.
- Though she spends much of the scene being a huge bitch, the fact that Cersei and Myrcella have special matching necklaces is quite a sweet detail.
- A small one, but Arya smiling and looking at Braavos with interest as she arrives. It's heartening that despite how hardened she's become, she's still excited to be visiting a new place and a reminder that the little girl who just wanted to go on adventures and loved meeting new people is still in there.
- Drogon's reappearance atop the Great Pyramid, even though he could have flown across the known world and never returned, as Daenerys had feared last episode; it seems he will always come back to her.
- Brienne telling Pod the story of why she loved Renly. When she was younger, some boys were making fun of her so badly, she nearly fled the room in tears. Renly comforted her, danced with her, and told her that those nasty little shits weren't worth crying over.
- Just before that, Brienne apologizing for always snapping at Pod and deciding to teach him how to ride and fight properly. Pod simply states that Brienne is the best fighter he's ever seen. Topped with Pod managing to successfully light a fire.
- Sansa returning to Winterfell as its rightful lady. She's the first and only Stark to finally make it back home.
- And then one of the maids welcomes her back and tells her "The North Remembers," signifying that Sansa has more allies in Winterfell than she thought.
- Arya refusing to give up Needle, the one thing she has left of her family and her former life. The usage of Winterfell theme wordlessly conveys the thoughts that "Needle was Robb and Bran and Rickon, her mother and her father, even Sansa [...] and Jon Snow's smile." in a very moving way.
- After all we heard about how the Sparrows are a frightening bunch of fanatics, the High Sparrow turns out to be a humble, genuinely pious man who only wants to help the city's poor, and will happily get down in the dirt with them to do it.
Cersei: Why no shoes?High Sparrow: I gave them to someone whose need was greater.
- Jon insisting on Olly being allowed to attend all his meetings, just like Commander Mormont did for him. It also nicely shows that he doesn't bear the boy any ill will for killing Ygritte.
- Tommen and Margaery's wedding day/night has to be the happiest one in the history of the show. While there is still a power play for the new king, there is genuine warmth, tenderness, and merriment between the bride and groom, which is a rare thing in Westeros. It's a pleasant change compared to Robert/Cersei, Drogo/Daenerys, Renly/Margaery, Littlefinger/Lysa, Tyrion/Sansa, the Red Wedding, and the Purple Wedding. Plus, nobody dies!
- Though he can't go through with it, the way Tyrion charms the whore in the brothel is actually quite sweet — he treats her like a human being, tells he he'd pick her out of everyone there, and tries to make her feel better about everyone picking the whore dressed like Daenerys.
- The look of shock on Ser Alliser Thorne's face when John names him First Ranger. That Jon isn't abusing his position to appoint him Latrine Captain or giving him some other odious task shows his honor, and Ser Alliser knows this.
The Sons of the Harpy
- Tommen gets one when he attempts to confront The High Sparrow to negotiate Ser Loras Tyrell's release, only to be blocked off by a large gathering of Sparrows who refuse to let him enter the Great Sept of Bealor. One of his Kingsguard knights tells Tommen that if he gives the word they will "clear out this rabble." Tommen actually has to ask him if he means "kill them." When it looks like it's going to explode into a huge fight (which Tommen's side will likely lose, since they are surrounded and outnumbered), Tommen wisely backs down and returns to Margaery, telling her there was no way to get Loras back without resorting to violence. It seems Tywin was correct when he said that Tommen has the right temperament for a king, even if he does not truly have the power, authority, or birthright.
Tommen: We'll find another way.
- Stannis's tale of how, when Shireen was infected with greyscale as an infant, he refused to let her die or send her away to live with the Stone Men (essentially lepers).
Stannis: When you were an infant, a Dornish trader landed on Dragonstone. His goods were junk except for one wooden doll. He'd even sewn a dress on it in the colors of our House. No doubt he'd heard of your birth and assumed new fathers were easy targets. I still remember how you smiled when I put that doll in your cradle, how you pressed it to your cheek. (beat) By the time we burnt the doll, it was too late. I was told you would die, or worse, the grayscale would go slow. Let you grow just enough to know the world before taking it away from you. Everyone advised me to send you to the ruins of Valyria to live out your short life with the Stone Men, before the sickness spread throughout the castle. I told them all to go to hell. I called in every maester on this side of the world. Every healer, every apothecary. They stopped the disease and saved your life. Because you did not belong across the world with the bloody Stone Men. You are the Princess Shireen of House Baratheon. And you are my daughter.
- And then, when she hugs him, he hugs her back.
- It's also sweet and funny in equal measure that the trader was absolutely right about new fathers. Stannis bought the doll, didn't he?
- Makes it all the worse several episodes later.
- Ser Barristan telling Daenerys about her brother Rhaegar. Specifically, about guarding him in the streets of King's Landing, where Rhaegar would play the harp and sing for the people's pleasure. When Barristan collected the coins he earned for his singing, Rhaegar would sometimes give it to another minstrel or to an orphanage in Flea Bottom.
- The scene is mostly a Tear Jerker, but Gray Worm kills the man who is about to slit Ser Barristan's throat, allowing the man to have the Death With Dignity that he deserves.
- The fact that Barristan gives his life to defend a man who has been bred to believe he is by nature expendable and worth nothing, killing no less than fourteen men singlehandedly to do so. It proves that the members of Dany's group have very much become True Companions.
- Also, as he had already made clear way back in Season 1, when he was involuntarily retired from the Kingsguard, this is exactly how Barristan had always wanted to die: Standing up, fighting in service of a monarch that he truly believed in. Mission accomplished, old man.
- When Jaime's ship passed by an Island near the Stepstones (on the way to the Sea of Dorne), he asks a sailor if that is Estermont only to be told that it's Tarth, "the Sapphire Isle". The big smile Jaime gives on seeing Brienne's homeland and how fondly he remembers her is a great touch.
- While's Jaime's reaction to the request is more of a Tear Jerker, there's Bronn asking for him to pass on his regards if he ever sees Tyrion again.
- Despite referring to her as his "niece" and that he's (partly) doing it to win Cersei's affection again, the fact that when Jaime said he was going to get Myrcella back, one-handed, with no army and only Bronn for back-up, meant it. He may not have been able to be a father to Myrcella in the past, but his complete determination to get his daughter back is truly heartwarming.
- While's Jaime's reaction to the request is more of a Tear Jerker, there's Bronn asking for him to pass on his regards if he ever sees Tyrion again.
- When Tommen is obstructed by the sparrows and obviously has no idea what to do, one of the guards tells him to give the order, and they'll kill the sparrows for him. It's heartwarming how appalled Tommen is and refuses, but while mileage will definitely vary on this, it's also darkly sweet on the guard's part. Seeing his king needs help, he points out what he considers to be the best option, promises he'll ensure it's taken if Tommen agrees, and without showing any disdain towards Tommen, even tries to accommodate Tommen's moral unease by pointing out they'd be sending the sparrows to meet the gods the sparrows so fanatically worship. Obviously, this doesn't make his suggestion any less horrifying, but it did seem come to from a genuine desire to serve his king.
Kill the Boy
- Maester Aemon delivering the episode's title and probably the best advice any character can hope to receive in this series.
Aemon: You will find little joy in your command. But, with luck, you will find the strength to do what needs to be done. Kill the boy, Jon Snow. Winter is almost upon us. Kill the boy, and let the man be born.
- Every part of the conversation between Grey Worm and Missandei.
Grey Worm: Not death. I fear I never again see Missandei from the Island of Naath
(She leans over him, Big Damn Kiss)
- Sam has been keeping Aemon updated on what Daenerys has been up to, letting him see his family isn't necessarily over yet.
- A bit of a villainous one between Roose and Ramsay, where Roose assures Ramsay that he considers him his son, similar to the scene between Stannis and Shireen in the previous episode.
- The episode demonstrating that even though Winterfell is under control of the Boltons, the commoners are still loyal to the Starks due to their willingness to help Sansa and Brienne.
- Jon trusts and unchains Tormund, after goading him by wondering if Tormund is a coward no less, and then succesfully appealing to Tormund's protectiveness towards the free folk.
- Missandei advises Daenerys that advisors have their place, but sometimes she has to know when to forego their counsel and make her own decision. This leads her to stop trying to rule Meereen through brute force, and reach a compromise that shows she has respect for those traditions which deserve it.
- After starting to lament the fact that his father forced him to join the Night's Watch rather than let him be himself and become a maester, Sam quickly looks on the bright side, telling Gilly that if he hadn't joined the Night's Watch he would have never met her.
- "Keep reading, Samwell Tarly."
- To elaborate, Stannis and Samwell have a conversation that is ultimately about how to fight the White Walkers. Stannis is asking Sam since he's the only one who's killed a White Walker. He acknowledges that studying the history and lore at their disposal to better understand their enemy is useful, and thus so is Sam's love of reading.
- This is particularly heartwarming as we are again reminded of Sam's father, Randyll Tarly, the great soldier who looks down upon readers, servants and other non-warriors, especially his son. The fact that Sam's true worth is recognized by not only another of Westeros' great military commanders, but from a king and a man who respects his father.
- Possibly a bit of Character Development for Stannis as well, since he didn't automatically shun Sam for not looking like a warrior or for his love of reading. Perhaps he regrets the way he always treated his brother, Renly, for similar reasons.
- When Stannis tells Ser Davos that they will ride for Winterfell, Ser Davos appears to have been making a toy for Shireen when he came in. D'aww!
- Knowing that half the Night's Watch is composed of killers and rapists, Stannis refuses to leave his wife and daughter alone at Castle Black with limited protection.
- The normally talkative, cynical Tyrion stunned speechless, in awe at the sight of Drogon flying overhead.
- This is made all the more special if one has read the books. Tyrion says in 'A Game of Thrones' that when he was younger he wanted to see a dragon and was interested in them. As he grew older and more jaded he realized they were gone and would never come back. Seeing Drogon for Tyrion is a moment to be a child again and realize that there is magic and wonder in the world still and the old stories aren't just legend.
- An extremely twisted one since Roose just finished the story of: "how I raped your mother," but his next words to Ramsay are pretty much: "I looked into your eyes and I saw then what I see know. That you're my son." Ramsay's visible pride at hearing this is almost actually heartwarming.
Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken
- When Tyrion realizes Jorah wasn't aware that his father died, and tells him he's sorry.
Tyrion: What is it they say in the Night's Watch? "We shall never see his like again."
- Another touching moment is Tyrion reminding us of what a cool guy Jeor Mormont was.
- The way Jorah talks about Daenerys.
Tyrion: Why Daenerys? Why is she worth all this? As I recall, the Mormonts fought against the Targaryens during Robert's Rebellion.Jorah: Do you believe in anything?Tyrion: I believe in lots of things.Jorah: In something greater than ourselves, I mean. The gods, destiny. Do you believe there's a plan for this world?Tyrion: ... No.Jorah: Neither did I. I was a cynic, just like you. Then I saw a girl step into a great fire with three stone eggs. When the fire burned out, I thought I'd find her blackened bones. Instead, I saw her, Daenerys, alive and unhurt, holding her baby dragons. Have you ever heard baby dragons singing?Tyrion: No.
- "Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken. For Oberyn."
- The Martells versus the Sand Snakes. Although a pushover, Trystane was willing to fight to protect Myrcella from abduction. Shortly thereafter, the house enforcer Hotah interrupts the abduction plots of both the benign Jaime and the vengeful Sand Snakes, and arrest Ellaria for masterminding their plot. Say that Doran just needs Myrcella for his own ends, but it's rather more reassuring to believe he genuinely will not tolerate his future daughter-in-law being put in danger. It matches well with his brother's reassurances that the family feuds of house Martell should never be a cause to harm children.
- Trystane and Myrcella are shown to be head over heels in love with each other and eager to marry. Perfectly Arranged Marriage has long been established as being extremely rare in Westeros (even Ned and Catelyn, so far the show's most loving marriage, had to grow to love each other over the course of years) and in an episode that shows the absolute bleakest political marriage yet this one stands out as something positive.
- Arya refuses to admit it and maybe even fails to recognize it but thanks to Jaqen we learn that Arya did not completely hate the Hound.
- When Ramsay asks who is giving Sansa away, Reek remembers his name.
Ramsay: Who gives her?Reek: Theon, of House Greyjoy. Who was... who was her father's ward.
- Before Jon leaves for Hardhome, Sam gives him a bag full of dragonglass weapons, telling him "I hope you won't need it."
- Then Jon gives Sam a hug, which is shot in almost the exact same way as when Jon hugged Robb Stark the last time they saw each other in Season 1.
- Sam's eulogy for Maester Aemon, calling him (rather justifiably, given this show) the kindest and gentlest man in the world, who was nothing but helpful to so many people throughout his long life.
Aemon: Egg, I dreamed that I was old.
- Aemon's Famous Last Words, after all the complaints about the show changing things from the books and leaving Aemon's visit to Braavos Adapted Out it was heartwarming to see the show keep this iconic line in:
- Out of all the horrifying deaths that take place in this world, it's good to know that a decent man like Aemon got to die naturally of old age in his own bed.
- And earlier, seeing Aemon cooing over baby Sam and telling Samwell and Gilly how the baby reminds him of his younger brother, Aegon.
- For Sansa, the moment she finds out that her brother Jon Snow is still alive and has risen so far in the Night's Watch — she's fighting back a smile behind her look of astonishment. Also a Potential Hope Spot for her, to have family so close.
- Melisandre suggests sacrificing Princess Shireen to the Lord of Light in order to "guarantee" Stannis's victory. Appalled, Stannis completely recoils from her.
Stannis: She is my daughter... (flinches from her touch violently) Get out.
- Lady Olenna tries to negotiate her grand-children's release, even offering to make the High Sparrow the richest Septon who ever lived.
- There's the scene where Cersei tells Tommen how much he and Myrcella mean to her. And she actually makes you believe it.
Cersei: You are all that matters.
- Prince Doran allows Jaime to speak with Myrcella alone, to convince him that she is not in any danger. Since the door is left open and unguarded once she leaves, it can be assumed that he's also allowing Jaime to walk around his castle freely. For a man who has more reasons to hate the Lannisters than most, Doran is pretty damn courteous.
- After tormenting Bronn for a bit, with both her sexuality and the fact that she poisoned him, Tyene Sand gives him the antidote that will save his life. She easily could have let him die slowly. Good thing she thought he was handsome.
- The look of unconditional love Jorah casts Dany when he sees her again in the stands. His face, so dour and grim for every episode since, just lights up when he lays eyes on her.
- The pit fighter who frees Tyrion from his chains. It's a completely random act of kindness from the last type of person anyone would expect, and a small but immensely heartwarming moment considering what a Crapsack World full of backstabbers this is.
- Gilly taking Sam's virginity in gratitude for trying to save her.
- Tyrion saving Jorah's life by explaining to Daenerys the extent of his obsessive devotion to her and her cause. It's just great that there is finally an objective voice of reason in Daenerys's court, and that his first task is moderating the estranged but pivotal relationship between Dany and Jorah.
Tyrion: He worships you. He is in love with you, I think. But he did not trust you with the truth. An unpleasant truth, to be sure, but one of great significance to you. He did not trust that you would be wise enough to forgive him.
- In his following conversation with Daenerys, Tyrion also comes to admit that besides Jaime, Varys is indeed the only person in the world he trusts. Odd Friendship, indeed.
Tyrion: I had given up on life until Varys convinced me you might be worth living for.
- Theon confessing to Sansa that the two boys who were burned weren't Bran and Rickon, leaving Sansa with hope that she might still have family left.
- Of all the people in the world, Qyburn comes to visit Cersei in her cell. It's kind of morbid, considering the kind of people they are, but nevertheless, it's interesting to see just how reliable Qyburn is to his benefactor even after she's fallen so low.
- After attempting to draw a comparison between Dany and Cersei by remarking on the result of Cersei's loveless Arranged Marriage to Robert Baratheon, wondering if she will do to Hizdahr what Cersei did to Robert or vice versa, Tyrion is visibly relieved when Daenerys says, "Perhaps it won't come to that."
- As they prepare to treat with the Wildlings...
Tormund: Do you trust me, Jon Snow?Jon: Does that make me a fool?Tormund: We are fools together now.
- Karsi saying goodbye to her daughters while she puts them on a boat from Hardhome.
- When the White Walkers reveal themselves at Hardhome, Loboda, the new Magnar of Thenn, teams up with Jon to retrieve the dragonglass. He even calmly engages the Other they encounter to buy Jon time, dying in the process. This is the same man who, hours earlier, refused to trust or join with Jon, condemning him as his enemy. A lot changed in just a few minutes.
- The fact that Arya's first target for assassination is a loan shark who callously ruins people's lives while at the same purchasing some oysters. Since she's never been one to shy away from Pay Evil unto Evil, Arya's certainly pleased.
- The very idea that this guild of assassins, that even entire nations find difficult to scrape enough together to hire one of their best, train their acolytes on deserving targets that upset society for their own gain.
The Dance of Dragons
- Ser Davos's last interactions with Shireen. Plus, the fact that he was in fact carving a toy for her as some viewers suspected a few episodes back.
- Ellaria coming to see Jaime after being spared, during which she explains that those in King's Landing don't approve of the love they have/had for their respective others. She makes it clear that you can't control who you love, ending with telling him that both Jaime and his daughter are innocent of Oberyn's death.
- To make it clear she refers to Myrcella as Jaime's daughter rather than niece, and he doesn't correct her.
- Daario shielding Dany with his own body when he thinks Jorah is about to throw his spear at her. Seems the rogue swore his heart and life to her after all.
- For that matter, Jorah saving the queen of his heart after just surviving several instances of near-death, then he covers Daario's back from a Harpy and has a fantastic silent reconciliation with Daenerys.
- Tyrion rescuing Missandei from a Son of the Harpy.
- Hizdahr tries to lead Daenerys to safety when the Sons of the Harpy attack. Although he ends up being killed, he proves to be loyal to his queen, despite all that he has had to endure under her rule.
- Dany and Missandei almost pulling off an instance of Together in Death, when it seems all hope is lost.
- Even though Drogon proved to be uncontrollable and flew off, he still shows up to rescue his mother when she is in danger!
- Just the whole profound, almost ethereal, connection Dany seems to have to her dragon children. They represent everything she yearns for: kin, home, freedom and as Pyat Pree said, they are strongest in her presence and Drogon proves this quite soundly.
- The brothel's madame may have seemed abrasive when she tried to drive Arya away several times from the brothel, but by then she knew Ser Meryn Trant was a pedophile and was clearly eying Arya.
- Ser Alliser Thorne of all people gets his own moment in this episode when Jon, a bunch of brothers and several thousand wildlings return to the wall on the verge of starvation and freezing. Thorne deeply dislikes Jon and the wildlings, and is in a perfect position to abandon them to die, and because most of the other watchmen share his views, he could easily get away with it. Yet despite their run-ins, he opens the gate, saving all their lives. In a show rife with backstabbing and tragedy, it's a true rarity for a usually nasty character to do the right thing.
- Even though he's able to make it into a criticism, Ser Alliser also tells Jon that he has a good heart.
- The scene is still largely a Tearjerker due to the context, but Shireen's last scene with Stannis showcases what a bright and wholesome girl she is. When discussing the original Dance of Dragons, she states that she would not have sided with either Aegon II or Rhaenyra, because it was the opposing sides fault that the realm suffered in warfare. And then she expresses her desire to aid her father however she can, giving him a warm hug. Then Stannis says, "Forgive me."
- Also a Tearjerker but that Stannis realizes he has to send Davos away before burning Shireen because Davos would never let him do it. Stannis recognizes how much Davos loves Shireen and protecting her is the one thing he'd turn against Stannis for.
- For what it's worth, Selyse does finally come to her senses for the first time ever and tries to stop Shireen's burning at the last minute, even if it was far too late.
- Jaime negotiating Bronn's release, who could easily suffer a painful death or maiming for striking Prince Trystane. He's come a very long way, from a guy who would arrogantly challenge or insult anyone he came across to a man who genuinely strives to be a noble and selfless human being.
Jaime: The fault is mine. Bronn is merely a soldier, following my orders. If anyone should be punished, it's me.
- Once again, Prince Doran shows his levelheadedness and decency.
Doran: Many in Dorne want war. But I've seen war. I've seen the bodies piled on the battlefields. I've seen the orphans starving in the cities. I don't want to lead my people into that hell.
- Likewise, his son Trystane showing mercy to Bronn and freeing him rather than having him killed. (Which he'd be well within his rights to do, and certainly what most of the Lannisters would have done).
- Qyburn, of all people comforts Cersei after her walk of shame. As amoral as he is, he seems to truly value Cersei's support.
- Upon hearing that Ramsay intends to torture and mutilate Sansa the way he did to Theon, Reek finally snaps, kills Myranda, and escapes Winterfell with Sansa. As with Dany and Jorah in the previous episode, the two characters hold hands in a way that implies forgiveness and understanding.
- Also, when Sansa and Theon hold hands as they jump from the wall. Especially compared to earlier, when she refused to let Reek touch her, it's nice to see that Sansa and Theon at least have each other, and are working together.
- In a way, the Faceless Man who kills himself in place of Arya, as part of her lesson on the consequences of stealing life from the Many-Faced God.
- Part tearjerker but when the Waif asks Arya why she's crying over Jaquen dying, a distraught Arya replies it's because he was her friend. Despite everything, Arya is still a little girl looking for a pack and is happy to befriend anyone - even a Faceless assassin.
- All of Jon and Sam's conversation. Jon asks Sam what it's like to be friends with the most hated man at Castle Black, and Sam points out that Jon befriended and protected him when he was a bullied outcast in Season 1. Jon doesn't want Sam to go to Oldtown because he's the only true confidant he's got left, but let's him go to protect Gilly. And then proves himself to be true bro looking totally stoked that Sam finally got the girl.
- Jaime and Myrcella have their first father-daughter conversation. Too bad it's also their last.
Myrcella: I'm glad that you are my father. (they embrace happily)
- Even though he's known Dany for about a week if not less, Tyrion is the second, behind Jorah, of all people, to put himself forth to go on an expedition to find her. And Daario has to talk him down from it.
- Even though they're rivals for Daenerys's affection, Daario vouches for Jorah to Grey Worm: 'Our queen would be dead if not for him'.
- Turns out Daario does have some nice things to say about Grey Worm and Missandei.
Daario: He's the toughest man with no balls I've ever met... the people believe in you. They know you speak for the queen... And Missandei. Our queen trusts no one more than Missandei. Certainly not me.
- Tyrion and Varys reunite and find themselves ruling an old, dangerous city again, but this time they are not on guard against each other but chummy from the start.
Tyrion: I *did* miss you.
- Dany mothering over a bloodied and sleepy Drogon.
Daenerys: (tenderly) Oh, my poor sweet thing. (worried) Does it hurt?
- Plus, the huffing little sounds of contentment he makes when Dany finally manages to stroke the scales on his snout which she's been trying to do all season.
The Red Woman
- The fact that not all of the Night's Watch turned out to be traitors like Alliser Thorne and his thugs, and that some of them like Dolorous Edd are willing to strike against their brothers to take revenge for Jon's murder. Even many of the outside of Jon's inner circle are clearly horrified and furious at what Thorne has done. When Thorne's facing down all the men you can see he's thrown by the level of outrage among them.
Davos: "You're not the only ones who owe your lives to Jon Snow."
- Davos pointing out that they won't be alone in trying to avenge Jon. Because there are thousands of people everyone's forgotten about who have good reason to avenge his death - the Wildings. It's comforting that although Jon was killed for doing the right thing, his honour - much like Ned's - also won him a lot of friends and loyalty.
- In a very dark, twisted way, Ramsay's orders for what is to be done with Myranda's body could be seen as his way to try and honour her memory. He talks about how he met her as the kennel-master's daughter who constantly smelled of dog, and never feared Ramsay because what could he do that the dogs couldn't. When he orders her fed to the dogs, you can almost hear Ramsay thinking "she would have wanted it that way."
- After they cross the frigid river, Theon leads to Sansa to an uprooted tree and attempts to warm her with his own body heat. This quickly appears to become a real embrace and both visibly take solace and comfort from it. Both have spent years being victimized, tortured, and abused, and it's uplifting to see them trusting and relying on one another.
- Brienne and Pod rescue Sansa and Theon from Bolton men, and Sansa finally accepts Brienne's service, in a scene that mirrors the one between Brienne and Cat in Season 2.
- Before Brienne arrives, Theon suicidally tries to lure the Bolton men away, knowing full well it would result in his death or a return to Ramsay's dungeon, as a last-ditch attempt to protect Sansa.
- Sansa stumbles a bit in the vows, since she can't really promise Brienne a place at her hearth or meat at her table, but speaks clearly and confidently when she promises that she will not ask Brienne to compromise her honor. After a very long Trauma Conga Line for both of them, it seems Sansa finally has friends she can count on, while Brienne has an honorable cause to serve.
- Tyrion giving a coin to a destitute, terrified mother he comes across on the streets of Meereen, so that she can buy food for her child.
- Another subtle bit in the scene is that the woman's recoiling from Tyrion seems at first like more of the usual anti-dwarf prejudice, but then it turns out to just be a misunderstanding due to the language barrier that Varys quickly clears up.
- Daenerys tries to use her titles to intimidate Khal Moro, who is unimpressed since none of it means anything to him, and brags about how he will put a child in her. Dany doesn't seem to think much of that as she proudly claims that he will never beget a son on her; not only due to her infertility but because he can't even hold a candle to Drogo. Even in death, just invoking his name serves to protect the Moon of his Life.
- Jaime’s letter to Prince Doran revealed that he’s sending Trystane back to Dorne because he’s aware that Cersei would hurt him for Myrcella’s death which is the reason why he left Trystane on the ship. Likewise, he’s aware that Ellaria and the Sand Snakes are the culprits which prove that he’s not blaming Trystane or Doran for it.
- As Bran wargs into the past with the Three-Eyed Raven, he learns the truth: Hodor was once a shy, friendly stable boy named Wylis. He sees the young Stark children try to spar with him before Old Nan drags him away. The kids protest, saying he has "giant's blood" in him and if he learned to fight, he'd be unstoppable thanks to his size. Nan replies "Well he's never going to learn to fight because he's a stable boy, so leave him be." Bran is not only delighted to see his family during happier times, but to see Hodor able to speak and that he was always the Gentle Giant the fans have loved. He even begs to stay just a bit longer to take in the scene.
- In the same scene, Ned spars with Benjen and tells him "Shield up, or I'll ring your head like a bell." Jon had previously said the same thing to Olly while sparring, meaning that either Ned or Benjen passed that exact same advice on to him while training him.
- We also get to see Old Nan again, after Margaret John's death before the show even started airing forced them into The Character Died with Him.
- The smile Hodor gives Bran when the latter calls him by his real name. It's pretty clear he hasn't been addressed as himself in some time. And following that, Bran happily "introducing" Wylis to the others.
- If you didn't notice it the first time, Ned and Benjen are being trained by a young Ser Rodrik.
- The Wildlings have not forgotten what Jon did for them and help his loyalists reclaim Castle Black.
- The scene with Tyrion and the dragons, while very tense, nevertheless has a moment of heartwarming when Tyrion notes that he wanted to have a dragon when he was a child, and that it's amazing (if scary) to finally meet them long after he's lost all hope. The dragons snarl a bit but don't harm him, and once they're out of their chains their first act is to huddle with each other.
Tyrion: When I was a child, an uncle asked what gift I wanted for my name day. I begged him for one of you. "It wouldn't even have to be a big dragon," I told him. "It could be little like me." Everyone laughed like it was the funniest thing they had ever heard. Then my father told me the last dragon had died a century ago. I cried myself to sleep that night. But here you are.
- In addition, after Tyrion frees one of the dragons, the other leans in to him and offers it's neck too with it's shackle, even giving it's neck a little shake to indicate what it means, and that Tyrion should not feel afraid to approach. Tyrion was right upstairs, the dragons are very intelligent and learn quickly who their friend is. Granted this is Viserion and Rhaegal, the two much more well behaved ones...
- Missandei saying that the dragons have never harmed her is really sweet — they know Daenerys trusts Missandei above everyone else and, as such, the dragons will likewise trust and like Missandei.
- When Brienne talks to Sansa about Arya, she notes that Arya looked good but did not dress like a lady. Sansa in response smiles in a "Yep, most definitely Arya!" big-sister way.
- Sansa urging Theon to come with her to Castle Black and promising him a chance at redemption is also very sweet, even if he doesn't take her up on her offer.
- Davos' It Was with You All Along You Are Better Than You Think You Are speech to Melisandre. He has no faith or interest in Red Gods or Seven Gods or Drowned Gods. He has faith in her, because he's seen what she can do and knows its real, however she does it.
- And the fact that even though Melisandre doesn't believe she can, she still wants to try and help Jon in some way.
- Along with that, everyone's reactions to the ritual. Ed and Tormund have no reason to go with it, to them reanimation means Wights. But they do nothing to interfere and when it appears it won't work, they leave, sad that their friend can't come back.
- A bit of Fridge Heartwarming. Mel and Davos were Stannis's two most trusted associates, the closest thing he had to friends. He'd probably be happy that, with him gone, the two are working together to help the Night's Watch and thereby protect the Seven Kingdoms.
- The fact that Davos is even working with Melisandre at all is a sign of what a great guy Davos is. This is the woman who got Shireen killed and indirectly caused the deaths of Stannis and Selyse. And yet he still trusts her because he knows resurrecting Jon Snow is more important than anything else. Davos' level of forgiveness now borders on messianic. What a guy.
- Ghost happily waking up from his sleep when he sensed Jon coming back to life.
- Despite the potential loss of humanity by those resurrected by the Red God, Jon Snow retains his humanity. When he sees Edd standing in the crowd of Night's Watchmen, Jon goes to him and gives him a hug.
- Just before this, Tormund greets Jon with a huge Glomp.
- Gilly referring to Sam as the father of her son.
- Also, her utter joy at being on the sea and the pride she shows in her brief aside that she thought 'see' and 'sea' were spelled the same, but now she can read.
- In a small way, Qyburn's interactions with Varys' "little birds", who turn out to be adorable little children. For an amoral mad scientist, Qyburn is rather good with children, treating a boy's blackened eye while implying to have dealt with his abusive father himself. Also, there is the way the children flock about him when they are offered sweets. The children say that Varys was kind to them, demonstrating that Varys' claim earlier in this episode about how children are blameless holds at least some water, likely because he had suffered quite a bit himself when he was a boy.
- Even though it earns her a smack from the Waif, Arya still refers to Jon as her brother, not her half-brother.
- Also, even before talking about her brothers, she says, "My sister, Sansa", mirroring Sansa inquiring after Arya with Brienne in the previous episode. They may have had their differences in the past, but it's clear that the Stark girls miss each other.
- Arya coming to peace with the Hound.
Arya: "He was not on her list anymore. She had taken him off it."
Book of the Stranger
- After five years, we finally have an actual reunion between the Stark children. Specifically, Sansa and Jon. The pair stands in stunned silence before rushing to each other and embracing.
- Making their long hug even more moving is that, in both the books and on screen, these two characters who grew up together have not exchanged dialogue that we've seen (in the books, we only see their interactions in shared past family memories) as their family is separated very early on in the series. But at this point, all of that distance between them falls away. They are family.
- Just as heartwarming as their reunion are their interactions afterwards, where they reminisce over Old Nan's pies, Sansa apologises for being an ass to him as a child before trying a swig of the Watch's ale (and retching at how revolting it tastes), and the two agree they were stupid for ever leaving Winterfell. Given this is the first time the two of them ever interacted with real family since halfway through Season 1, this is especially heartwarming.
- Just the fact that Sansa, after so long, is finally safe — having been reunited with her brother Jon, who she loves and who loves her, and who is determined to protect her. She is more or less happy and is in a castle stronghold, surrounded with friends, family, and people who are more or less decent and don't bear her ill intent. Even Edd offers an apology about the poor quality of the food.
- Jon saying that Ned would come from the afterlife and murder him if he didn't look after his little sister was really sweet, because we know that that's pretty much what he'd do, and both Jon and Sansa, six seasons after his death, still hold Ned's memory and legacy in their hearts.
- The entire episode focuses on the love and loyalty that exists between brothers and sisters. Jon and Sansa are overjoyed when they're finally reunited and Jon doesn't hesitate to swear protection to his sister. Theon and Yara are also reunited, with the former saying that he did not return to become king, but instead to give the crown to his far more capable sister. And as usual, Loras and Margaery comfort and refuse to abandon each other, no matter the terrible circumstances.
- Littlefinger usurping control in the Vale. After showing Lord Royce how powerless he currently is, his first action is to have the army of the Vale join Jon and Sansa in marching against Ramsay.
- He may be a figurehead, incompetent and a little bit nuts, but there's something heartwarming about the fact that Robin Arryn's childlike rationale for giving LF the okay to mobilize the entire Vale for war against Ramsay Bolton and the North essentially boils down to: "Sansa's my cousin. We can't just leave her out there."
- Lady Olenna's usual sharp, sardonic tone drops instantly when she hears about Margaery's impending "confession". She's dead serious when she declares that it "will not happen" and not just because it would be harmful to the prestige of her house. She is not going to let her granddaughter be humiliated.
- Initially, Jon doesn't want to join Sansa in taking back Winterfell from Ramsay. Then they find out that Ramsay is holding Rickon hostage and he immediately changes his mind.
- Along those same lines, Jon's so protective of Sansa that he refuses to even read Ramsay's threat to rape her aloud.
- Tormund's first instinct is to immediately offer to help Jon fight, both out of concern for his people (as Ramsay stated ill intent for the wildlings lodged on Night Watch land) and to help his friend retake his home.
- Tormund's two brief interactions with Brienne are as heartening as they are hilarious. Like so many before him, Tormund is awestruck after one look at her...and for the first time in Brienne's life, it's because he has a mad crush.
- Though his watch has ended, and Jon understandably wants nothing to do with the Night's Watch, he is still referred to as the Lord Commander. And not just referred to. Despite his reluctance to accept the letter brought to the LC, the brother who delivered it makes no attempt to pass it to Edd, and Edd makes no attempt to take it either. Once again, John's sworn brothers are there for him in his darkest hour to reinforce his faltering sense of duty and set his priorities straight.
- Dany striking up a friendship with one of the girls in Dosh Khaleen, obviously seeing something of herself in her and she immediately orders Daario not to harm her when Jorah and Daario show up to save her.
- When Dany emerges from the burning temple unharmed and impervious to the heat and combustion, Daario is speechless. He's always been more flippant around his queen so she appreciates his sincerity but when he realises he was actually sleeping with a woman who is a dragon incarnate he kneels, bows his head and if you look closely at him while Jorah only has eyes for his khaleesi; Daario is actually mouthing a prayer in reverence, truly realising for the first time the place of honour he inhabits in her heart.
- Sansa makes herself a dress with the direwolf emblem on the front and asks Jon if he likes it, to which he says he does, especially the direwolf. She then shows him a cloak she made for him that she modeled specifically on Ned's cloak, complete with the direwolf emblem.
- She refers to Jon as Ned's son several times.
- Though it's a darker example, since he was still playing the game, but Littlefinger advising Sansa to seek out her uncle Brynden Tully and find an army that is loyal to her, and not to her half-brother.
- Sansa questions Davos Seaworth for being an outsider in the North during the war council at Castle Black when he suggests the Karstarks are no longer loyal to the Starks. Davos calmly reminds her that none of the Stark bannerman, who are known to be fiercely loyal to the Starks, rose up against House Bolton. Being a humble guy, Davos lets it go without saying that the only ones who did were himself, Melisandre and Stannis Baratheon.
- Also, despite essentially losing his main purpose for being there, Davos is still one of the most consistently proactive and noble figures at the Wall. Next to the likes of Jon Snow, Sansa Stark and Brienne of Tarth, this is pretty damn impressive for a man who was once just a smuggler from Flea Bottom.
- True to his word, Theon steps up during the Kingsmoot, declares his identity, and throws his support behind his sister's claim to the throne, sweetening the deal with an honest, passionate Rousing Speech. To this, and for the first time in the series, Yara regards her "dumb cunt" of a brother with an unironic smile — small, but warm and visibly proud.
- And after more than two seasons of being the broken and traumatized Reek, it's touching to see Theon regaining his identity and becoming himself again.
- Even though Euron still came out of the Kingsmoot on top, it's clear that Theon's speech had some impact, since Yara and he managed to abscond with the entire Ironborn fleet and what seemed like at the very least hundreds of men to man the ships.
- Dany thanks Jorah for saving her life, and finally forgives him. Jorah reveals his greyscale to Dany, and confesses his love for her. She tearfully commands him to go out and find a cure, because she needs him by her side.
- The actors portraying Cersei and Tyrion in the play are a loving couple and expecting a child.
- Arya saying that the actress who featured in a play that mocked Arya's own father among other things is actually a decent woman and she's obviously not quite all right with having to kill her. Too bad at this point it's either the actress or Arya...
- The fact that Arya is quite offended by the play and still retains some sort of moral code means that she hasn't lost her identity to the Faceless Men just yet.
- This might be just for propaganda but the play has a huge and welcome moment of accuracy where Cersei is warning her son to spare Ned three times.
- As the two of them prepare to leave the company of the Three-Eyed Raven, a grinning Meera regales Hodor with fond imagery of the real food they'll be able to eat once they return to the North, and Hodor laughs and merrily Hodors along in kind. It turns out to be the last real interaction Hodor ever has with anyone. No matter how it ended, Meera was at least able to give the poor bloke one last shred of happiness before time ran out.
- When Varys is mocking Kinvara by telling her of Melisandre's own failed predictions about Stannis being the Prince Who Was Promised, he mentions the Battle of the Blackwater, and specifically credits Tyrion with Stannis' defeat there. As he promised his friend way back when, he'll never forget what he did to save the city.
Blood of My Blood
- After being banished from his home and seeing Gilly reduced to becoming a servant for his family due to his father's hatred of Wildlings, Sam asks Gilly and her child to elope with him.
Randyll: He dishonors us.Melessa: You dishonor yourself.
- Gilly defending Sam from his abusive father, telling him that killing a White Walker in battle makes him a greater warrior than he is.
- While his father is a massive Jerkass it's clear that the rest of Sam's family adores him. His mother in particular is very proud of his intelligence and is instantly fond of Gilly and Baby Sam as well.
- Even Sam's brother Dickon is civil to him and Gilly throughout the meal and tries to find common ground by talking about hunting. This is in spite of the fact that Randyll sent Sam to the Wall so that Dickon could be his heir instead. The brothers don't seem to hold any animosity towards each other over the whole thing. Dickon may be his father's preferred heir, but thankfully he doesn't seem to have inherited any of his father's Jerkass tendencies.
- Sam's sister lending Gilly one of her dresses and giving her a makeover for dinner.
- Sam's mother gently leading Gilly from the room after Randyll starts to verbally abuse her for being a Wildling. She even calls her husband out as she leaves:
- The reaction of Cersei to Joffrey is, though a sweeter take of the real reaction, actually spot-on, to the point where Arya is serious and contemplative (after the narm of the previous scene made her laugh). After the play, she gives the actress a few tips, namely to add some rage at the people who took her beloved son, and the actress compliments Arya's expressive eyes and it's implied she sees herself in Arya.
- A couple of minutes later, Arya comes back, saves the actress, and warns her of the one who wants her dead: the actress of Sansa who was muttering Cersei's lines off-stage while watching the play.
- In a strange way, J'aqen asking the Waif to give Arya a quick, painless death after he finds out she didn't fulfill the contract.
- Arya retrieving Needle from its hiding place, showing once and for all that she is not 'No One'. She knows damn well who she is. She is Arya Stark.
- The actress complimenting Arya's eyebrows also works on a meta level if you've watched Maisie Williams' Youtube video about her New Year's resolutions, where she reveals that for most of her life thus far she's been very insecure about her looks, especially her eyebrows, but is now going to stop wishing she could be more classically beautiful and work with what she has.
- Things become less gloomy with another Stark reunion, this time between Bran and uncle Benjen.
- Margaery's brief look of relief when she sees her father and grandmother leading the Tyrell army to get her and her brother.
The Broken Man
- Olenna flat out refuses to leave the city, even with the looming threat of the High Sparrow and his fanatics, if it means leaving Margaery and Loras behind.
- The one thing that convinces her to leave is Margaery slipping her a note with the Tyrell rose, signifying that she is still playing the game. The look on her face when she realizes what it means is a mixture of relief and pride. She has complete faith in Margaery's ability to handle the situation.
- The fact that immediately after the High Sparrow mentions that he wants to try and "redeem" Olenna, Margaery immediately moves to get her grandmother out of there.
- Septon Ray is a kind man who believes strongly in the power of redemption. He took in Sandor Clegane despite knowing of his crimes and encourages him to turn his life around and find peace. While Ray's ward strongly disagrees with Ray's philosophy, he seems to respect the Septon, which is a huge turn around considering what he used to be like. And when Sandor returns to the village and finds Ray and his flock massacred, his first reaction is to take up his axe and avenge the only man who saw good in him.
- Ray's treatment of Sandor is quite heartwarming as well. For almost his entire on-screen appearances The Hound is either: belittled, feared, ordered around, or attacked, by everyone he meets. Seeing Ray treat Sandor as a simple human being and interacting without a hint of fear is quite a thing to watch. The best part is Rey's last conversation with Sandor when Rey suggests that he has some ale waiting for him; this is one of the few times that we see Sandor crack a genuine smile even if it's a small one.
- Yara's faith in Theon is quite lovely to watch. It's the kind of Tough Love that befits the Ironborn, yes, but it's clear that she wants him to regain his Season 1-2 confidence — and when he affirms that yes, Theon Greyjoy is still there and not at all ready to give up, the characteristically biting and aloof Yara actually hugs him and kisses his forehead, the first gesture of love anyone's given him in years.
- She actually apologises for teasing him, something we've never heard anyone do before.
- When Jaime arrives at Riverrun, the first thing he does (okay, second thing after insulting the Freys) is order Edmure bathed and fed. Considering that Jaime knows exactly what it's like to be a prisoner to an enemy army during a time of conflict (and lost a hand because of it), this comes off as a great bit of character development and empathy for this normally arrogant character.
- Brynden "Blackfish" Tully states he would be ready to die to defend Riverrun because he was born there and it's his home.
- When some of the Free Folk start questioning his leadership, Jon gives a very heartfelt, honest, non-patronizing speech to them, saying that he wouldn't ask them to march on Winterfell against the Boltons with him, if there was any other way. Tormund also speaks up on his behalf, saying that Jon died for aiding and sheltering his people and they are cowards if they don't repay his loyalty in kind. Jon then promptly shakes hands with his former detractor and even Wun-Wun is impressed.
- Arya's genuine happiness after she manages to book a ship cabin to Westeros. Granted she grabbed an Idiot Ball in wandering around Braavos in the open but it's sweet that she's actually hopeful about the future and has truly left No One behind. Then of course the Waif shows up...
- Missandei's adorable attempt at making a joke.
- Grey Worm could not look any more in love as he gazes adoringly at Missandei while she laughs at his joke.
- Hell, just Tyrion trying his damnedest to get Missandei and Grey Worm to loosen up a bit and act like human beings.
- Though he introduces himself by putting Pod in a chokehold, Bronn is very clearly happy to see the young man again and playfully ribs him on still being a squire. When Pod mentions Brienne has been teaching him to fight, Bronn offers to teach him some more pragmatic moves. The whole interaction comes off like an older and younger brother — despite the two technically being on opposite sides of the conflict (Pod squiring for Sansa Stark's sworn sword in Brienne, and Bronn acting as something of a lieutenant/bodyguard for Jaime Lannister). Given that last episode Bronn was bummed about the whole not getting paid and still having to work it's clear that Pod made his week.
- It turns out that the Brotherhood Without Banners haven't lost their cause after all. Beric and Thoros are most definitely not happy with the actions of the three Brotherhood members responsible for the massacre in the previous episode, and waste no time in punishing them for it.
- In a way, Beric letting Sandor personally hang two of the three men since they killed Brother Ray, whom Sandor in his own words describes as his only friend.
- After the hanging, Beric doesn't hold any grudges despite being "killed" by Sandor the last time they met. The two have a friendly conversation and Beric even goes so far as to offer him a place in the Brotherhood, clearly recognizing that Sandor wants to do good with his life.
- Following the Downer Ending of the previous episode, the murders of Ray and his flock seemed to show for certain that the Brotherhood Without Banners had gone to the dark side. Many viewers feared a major offscreen Face–Heel Turn for Thoros and Beric, especially given that in this consistently crappy world, armies that care for the common man last about as long as a glass shotgun. Not so — Beric and Thoros are as heroic as ever, and now they've got Sandor Clegane on their side.
- Lady Crane patching up Arya and bonding with her.
- Brienne confirms to Jaime that Lady Sansa is now safe, fulfilling his vow as much as her own.
- And then Brienne tries offering the sword Oathkeeper back to Jaime. He refuses, telling Brienne that it's hers. "It will always be yours." A massive show of respect that shows Jaime really does care for her.
- As a side note: Nikolai Coster-Waldau said that line with the interpretation that Jaime is talking about his heart.
- And when he sees Brienne and Podrick escaping Riverrun, rather than attempt to capture them since he knows they will eventually be his enemies, he lets them go.
- And then Brienne tries offering the sword Oathkeeper back to Jaime. He refuses, telling Brienne that it's hers. "It will always be yours." A massive show of respect that shows Jaime really does care for her.
- Brynden Tully takes one good look at Sansa's letter and he says, choked, that she is just like Cat. It's plain he really loved his niece.
- Arya reaffirming her identity and a wish to go home.
- For his part, Jaqen simply smiles at this and gives her a respectful nod, and has a proud smile as she walks away. It seems that all he wanted was for her to find her proper place in the world, with him or not.
- Tyrion tells Varys he'll miss him, in a Call Back to "Mother's Mercy", except this time without any hesitation or embarrassment whatsoever.
Battle of the Bastards
- Tormund's Undying Loyalty to Jon in this episode. They've come a long way since he threatened to throw him off the top of the Wall.
- After so long, after everything they've gone through with Ned's beheading, The Red Wedding, Jon's assassination and rebirth with them being scattered to the corners of the world, at last the Direwolf sigil is once again seen hanging from Winterfell, House Stark is home at last.
- All the Stark forces, Wildlings and everyone fighting for Jon and Sansa is outraged when Ramsay kills Rickon just before he reaches Jon, and even some of Ramsay's troops look disgusted.
- Building on the above, the sheer devotion Davos, Tormund, and all the Wildings and Northmen show Jon in general manages to be a solid combination of tearjerker, awesome, AND heartwarming. As several commentators have pointed out, Jon's forces knew full well that they were up against very steep odds and that they might all die fighting the Bolton forces. Jon made a plan to use Ramsay's anger, recklessness, and bloodlust against him via a pincer movement, but after Rickon's death, Jon charged towards the Bolton forces alone in despair and anger. Tormund, Davos, and the rest of the men all knew immediately what Jon was going to do, and yet without hesitation they broke from the plan and followed him, saving him from dying in a suicidal one-man charge. They didn't do it because of Jon's orders or because they were trying to salvage the plan or win the battle; they did it because they loved Jon and didn't want to see him die alone on the battlefield. They were all willing to die for him because they knew he would do the same for them. In the end, Jon and his men's devotion to each other more than paid off...
- Despite how incredibly sad it is, it is heartening that when Rickon dies, he is going to be buried in the crypts of Winterfell where the Starks belong—with his father. This is further heartening considering that in the books, it was never clear whether Ned Stark's bones managed to come home to Winterfell at the height of the War of the Five Kings. In this continuity at least, it did.
- In a series where the smallest of comforts can count as heartwarming, it's at least nice to think that Rickon's last moments were spent thinking he'd almost reached Jon, and knowing how desperately his brother was trying to save him. He didn't die unloved.
- When the two queens, Daenerys and Yara, are preparing to seal their alliance, each first turns to their respective comrades, Tyrion and Theon, for a nod of approval. A formality, of course, but still nice to see they value their support and opinion. Especially so for Tyrion, whose wisdom Dany seemed to have lost faith in earlier.
- The cities of Bay of Dragons (former Slavers' Bay) are now finally free from slavery (hopefully) for good.
- On a subtle note, for the first time since probably Season 4, all three dragons are working (and fighting) together with Dany.
- Tyrion's jabs at Theon may have been mean-spirited considering all that Theon went through, but it turns out they're mostly motivated by the fact that he believed Theon had killed Bran and Rickon. It turns out Tyrion is, after all, still quite fond of cripples, bastards, and broken things.
- When Wun Wun falls to his knees after breaking down the gate of Winterfell and bearing so many arrow wounds, he and Jon share a meaningful look, and the latter reaches a hand out as a silent gesture of thanks and comfort for everything the giant did. Jon won't let a little thing like a difference in size get in the way of being A Father to His Men. Shame Ramsay spoils the moment with an arrow to the eye.
- Davos reaffirms his Undying Loyalty to Stannis Baratheon. And Tormund does the same for Mance Rayder. It highlights that, even though the men they believed in died, they continue to fight for their cause. Because Davos and Tormund know that their cause was ultimately right.
Davos: It wasn't the Boltons defeated Stannis, but Stannis himself. I loved the man. He lifted me up and made me something. But he had demons in his skull whispering foul things.
- A case of Freeze-Frame Bonus after the battle, when Rickon's body is brought into Winterfell. A wildling is being helped to walk by a Northerner.
The Winds of Winter
- The Direwolf is once again emblazoned on top of that rotunda at Winterfell in the opening credits.
- With the confirmation that Jon Snow is, indeed, the child of Lyanna and Rheagar, Ned's dedication to upholding his final promise to his sister and raising Jon as his own — despite the stain on his honor and the rift it made between him and Catelyn — is the epitome of this trope.
- In retrospect, by going to the Wall, Jon got to meet and form a positive relationship with his paternal great-granduncle Maester Aemon, who is also rather well-liked by most of the other black brothers.
- Also in retrospect Jon and Arya's particularly close relationship among the Stark siblings gets even sweeter with the reveal of who Jon's mother really is, as Arya is implied to be Generation Xerox of Lyanna — meaning Jon had a special attachment to his mother without even realizing it.
- In spite of her fear of her own impending death and the physical agony she must be in, Lyanna's first priority is to ensure that her newborn son will be safe.
- Thinking about it, the very fact that two Kingsguard — one the Lord Commander and the other Westeros' greatest swordsman — were guarding Lyanna and her son probably means that Rhaegar valued Jon, even if they never met. Since the Kingsguard is supposed to only assist the king and his direct family, it says something that Rhaegar sent them to protect his unborn child.
- Jon Snow is — finally — accepted in the North. Not only this, he is named The White Wolf and the King in the North.
- Having their own ways, the Wildlings don't join in declaring Jon the King in the North. However, when Lord Manderly dubs him the White Wolf, a couple of them raise their drinks in salute.
- Then there is the fact that the Wildlings were there. Their presence is likely still a sore spot for much of the Northern lords, as well as the Knights of the Vale, but Jon isn't going to deny their contribution and involvement.
- Having their own ways, the Wildlings don't join in declaring Jon the King in the North. However, when Lord Manderly dubs him the White Wolf, a couple of them raise their drinks in salute.
- The Direwolf on Winterfell is not the only emblem that is back where it belongs: Dany officially names Tyrion as Hand of the Queen, pinning a newly made Hand brooch on him. Bowing is pretty much all he can do to keep from crying.
- Tyrion tries to console Daenerys for having to leave Daario — badly, as both he and she have no problem admitting. Then he tells her that, after being a cynic all his life, he's finally found something to truly believe in: her.
Tyrion: For what it's worth, I've been a cynic for as long as I can remember. Everyone's always asking me to believe in things — family, gods, kings, myself. It was often tempting until I saw where belief got people. So I said no thank you to belief. And yet here I am. I believe in you. It's embarrassing, really. I'd swear you my sword, but I don't actually own a sword.
Daenerys: It's your counsel I need.
Tyrion: It's yours. Now and always.
Daenerys: Good. I, um... I had something made for you. I'm not sure if it's right.
(Daenerys pins the Hand of the Queen brooch on Tyrion)
Daenerys: Tyrion Lannister, I name you Hand of the Queen.
- Tyrion tries to console Daenerys for having to leave Daario — badly, as both he and she have no problem admitting. Then he tells her that, after being a cynic all his life, he's finally found something to truly believe in: her.
- Jon and Sansa reaffirming that they are brother and sister no matter what and must trust and work together to survive the coming winter. Considering the rampant backstabbing and disastrous state of so many familial relationships on this show, it's downright refreshing to see two siblings who genuinely love and trust one another.
- When Jon questions his connection to their family, Sansa says that he will always be a Stark to her.
- Once declared King in the North, Jon appears more than a little overwhelmed and lost by the new responsibility. However, when he looks to the side, his sister is sitting right there with a contented and proud smile. It's enough to calm Jon down and allow him to steel himself for what's to come.
- The young and vocal Lyanna Mormont stating that House Mormont will stand with House Stark until the very end. She also gives the northern lords a brutal and well-deserved "The Reason You Suck" Speech.
Lady Mormont: He's my king! From this day, to his last day!
- And instead of making excuses, Lords Cerwyn, Manderly, and Glover sincerely apologize for refusing the Starks in their hour of greatest need, and proclaim Jon as their king.
- What really seals the moment is when the camera pans over to Littlefinger. Three seasons of scheming and plotting to make Sansa his figurehead "Lady of Winterfell." All derailed by a feisty 10-year old girl.
- Davos in the kingmaking scene. Not too earlier in the episode, he was on the verge of tears after revealing the true fate of Princess Shireen and Melisandre's complicity in the act to Jon, and during the council he's swept up in the passion of the moment, raising his sword and yelling "KING IN THE NORTH!" with all the others present.
- Mace Tyrell loses it at the sight of Loras having the seven pointed star carved into his head and has to be held back from intervening. It's not surprising to see Margaery trying to reason with him, but Kevan Lannister putting a reassuring hand on his shoulder is pretty touching.
- Margaery trying to comfort her younger brother, even as they know they're about to die.
- On that note, remember that Margaery was the first in the sept to realize the danger of their situation. With the distraction provided by Cersei's absence, it's possible she could have slipped out unnoticed by the Sparrows and saved herself. Instead, she chose to loudly warn everyone at the trial, openly defy the High Sparrow, and try to lead her brother to safety.
- When Lady Tyrell speaks with Ellaria and Sand Snakes about her family dying at the hands of Cersei, she mentions Mace first.
- In Hindsight, knowing that Arya, in the Riverlands and having recently killed Walder Frey, Black Walder, and Lame Lothar is almost home and will soon be reunited with her family.
- Jaime's discomfort at Walder Frey trying to compare himself to him. He is right that they are guilty of the same sins and have a deserved reputation of infamy, but Jaime knows Walder holds none of his redeeming qualities and killed his king to obtain power for himself, rather than to save lives as Jaime did. The sense that Jaime is about to plunge a dinner fork into Lord Frey's heart is palpable.
- Walder Frey even tries breaking the ice by reminding Jaime of all the dirty dealings his father had with him. As if Jaime needed any reminder of why he despises him.
- Theon seeing the Kraken banner flying triumphantly as Yara stands proudly beside him is a moving scene when one realizes the former broken and beaten dog of Ramsay has managed to regain his identity as a Greyjoy, mend the relationship with his sister, and outlive the monster who mutilated him.
- Samwell taking in the sight of the Oldtown Library. The largest collection of knowledge and stories ever seen in the show's world.
- Sophie Turner adopted the Northern Inuit Dog who played Lady. On some meta-level, there is a universe where Sansa gets to keep her wolf. It just doesn't get much sweeter than that.
- Big Name Fan Larry Williams teary-eyed in gratitude after opening a poster signed by the producers and Sean Bean.
- The real life interactions of the cast.
- While also brilliantly hilarious, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau giving Joffrey advice on how to be a normal human being.
- The commentaries are pretty much full of these.
- In the commentary track for "Mhysa", Iain Glen (Jorah Mormont) thanks the show because it made him cool in the eyes of his son, who has been indifferent to his earlier acting work.
- EVERYONE in the cast/crew is quick to point out that Jack Gleeson is a really nice guy in real life, lest the fans get the wrong idea and think Jack has anything in common with Joffrey.
- For "The Rains of Castamere", Michelle Fairley, Richard Madden, and David Nutter (the episode's director) are commenting on the Red Wedding, with Fairley noting that this is her first time watching the episode. As the credits roll, Fairley can be heard gasping heavily and sniffling, clearly fighting back tears. Madden sounds similarly emotional, mentioning how invested he was in his time on the show. The actors thank David Nutter for "guiding them brilliantly" and cap the commentary off with this gem:
Michelle Fairley: And Richard, I love you to pieces.Richard Madden: I love you, too, Michelle.
- Everybody, from fans to co-stars and directors, congratulating Jack Gleeson on his character's final scene. For a character so hated, to get such praise and admiration is surprisingly nice.
- Kristian Nairn (Hodor) was informed of a young boy who has nonverbal autism and loves Hodor, and communicated with him via hodoring to the boy's delight.
- In this interview with Pedro Pascal, a central topic is Oberyn Martell's death. It ends with this exchange:
- Interviewer: Do you have a final message for the fans?Pascal: I'm completely grateful that there are fans. I'm sure Oberyn is finding a way to have an even better time in the afterlife.
- Also, this photo. Kind of lightens the mood after one of the most brutal deaths in the entire series.
- This tribute from David Benioff and D.B. Weiss to the "extras" of Season 4.
- Wilko Johnson beating cancer, along with the outpouring of relief from fans. Also counts as a monumental Moment of Awesome for the man himself, considering he beat stage four pancreatic cancer.
- Sean Bean happened to be filming a movie near where Sophie Turner was filming Season 5, so he got to pop over and see how his TV daughter was doing years after leaving her behind, describing her as having developed into a tremendous actress.
- Aimee Richardson (Myrcella) surprised Kerry Ingram (Shireen) on her 16th birthday after telling her she couldn't be there.
- Ian Beattie has shared that he adored being part of the show so much that he was actually tearing up throughout the filming of his death scene, making him quite grateful for the stabbed-eye prosthetics that spared him the awkwardness of people noticing.
- The large number of enthusiastic reactions to Jon Snow's resurrection.
- The same can be said for the return of The Hound.
- Soon after "The Door" aired, Kristian Nairn was given a spectacular cake modeled after the door Hodor kept shut. He promptly shared it with Isaac Hempstead-Wright.