"There is only one God, and his name is Death. And there is only one thing we say to Death...Not today."
—Syrio Forel, First Sword of Braavos
"You are the Moon of my Life. That is all I know, and all I need to know. And if this is a dream, I will kill the man who tries to wake me."
"Goodbye, Ser Jaime."
—Brienne of Tarth
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1 - 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 helping Bran with archery, Robb laughing at Arya's prank on Sansa, Ned's absolute acceptance of Catelyn as a Northerner in the godswood... On rewatch, this makes what's coming for the Starks all the more tragic...
2 - The Kingsroad
Summer saving Bran from the assassin. Who's a good boy? Who's a good boy? You are!
Jon giving Needle to Arya, followed by her glomping him.
The terse, short goodbye between Robb and Jon, before the latter heads for the Wall.
When Tyrion joins them for breakfast, Jaime greets him with an affectionate "Little brother" he 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.
3 - Lord Snow
Jon teaching the other recruits how to swordfight, even after they'd tried to throw him off the Wall.
Dany and Khal Drogo lying together after she tells him that she is pregnant. Married 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 of a Stark and a dwarf of a Lannister, departing as somewhat-friends.
4 - 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.
5 - 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 as a subtle way of showing 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.
6 - 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.
7 - 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 RevengeRant. 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.
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.
8 - The Pointy End
Syrio holding off half a dozen men so that Arya has time to get away.
The pride in Maester Luwin's face when Robb calls the banners.
Robb and Catelyn meet back up, and race to hug each other as soon as they're alone.
9 - Baelor
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.
10 - 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.
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.
Sam attempting a You Shall Not Pass when Jon leaves the Wall, then getting their other friends to go after him and bring him back.
1 - 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.
2 - 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.
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 allows him to be 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 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 donít 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.
4 - Garden of Bones
Sandor giving Sansa his cloak after Joffery 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 traumatised 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.
Tyrion sending Ned Stark's remains back with Littlefinger to Catelyn, with the message that he should be buried with the rest of his family in the crypts at Winterfell.
5 - 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?
Jorah: To see you on the Iron Throne.
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 pass 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.
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.
6 - The Old Gods and the New
Tywin's exchange with Arya about his son's dyslexia (even though it was never directly named, it's made clear that that's 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: What did your father die of?
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.
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 Talissa. She seems to hate that he's stuck in an arranged marriage as much as Robb does.
7 - 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. Also, he can at least reassure her that the other two turned out all right.
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.
8 - The Prince of Winterfell
Yara shows that she does care a bit for 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: So go ahead. Warn me.
[Theon looks down the table 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.
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.
Tyrion: Of course. The fact that I pay you doesn't diminish our friendship.
Bronn: Rather enhances it, I think.
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.
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.
10 - Valar Morghulis
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 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. "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 the septon.
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.
1 - Valar Dohaeris
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' 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 Kingsguards standing guard by Tyrion's door, Bronn doesn't even hesitate to fight two kingsguards when he thinks Tyrion is in danger. Bronn also calls out the kingsguard 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.
2 - 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.
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.
3 - 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.
4 - 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.
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.
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.
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!.
5 - 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 apologise to his wife Selyse for committing adultery, obviously disgusted with himself for dishonouring 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.
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 a good man, 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.
Even though it's followed by a fairly harsh, Tearjerker reality-check, Arya insisting that she'll be Gendry's family when he says he's never had one.
6 - The Climb
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.
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 Jon Snow. She doesn't give a shit about all the prophetic visions from the Three-Eyed Crow because to her, family is what matters most.
7 - 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 hes had a rough season so far, and he has not been this happy since before Ned was killed.
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: You're mine, as I'm yours. And if we die, we'll die. But first we'll live.
Everytime 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.
And as Dany herself notes, her Dragons are just as fiercely devoted her as she is to them. If you have any sanity, you would remember not to attempt to threaten her whilst in their presence, because they will not hesitate to end you!
8 - Second Sons
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.
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!
Tyrion: But I promise you one thing, my lady. I won't ever hurt you. Do you drink wine?
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."
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.
Just before that Stannis shows his opinion of Davos hasn't dropped in the slightest.
Stannis: You don't belong in a place like this.
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!
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.
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:
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.
9 - 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"note Which Sam said he always wanted to be in "You Win or You Die", 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.
Osha agreeing to protect Rickon, and her goodbye to Bran as well, telling Meera and Jojen that Bran means the world to her.
There's also her comforting Rickon about leaving.
Osha: "Come along, little one. We're going to have some adventures, you and I."
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's face when Gilly calls him a wizard - something that he admitted to Jon, back in "You Win or You Die", he'd always wanted to be.
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.
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 realised 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 apologising to the Frey girls is quite heartwarming because of how sincere it sounds; it makes you realise 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.
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.
10 - Mhysa
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.
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 home.
Jaime finally makes it home. After getting into King's Landing and not being recognised 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"), 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?
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.
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.
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.
In one of the trailers we hear Arya's updated list which includes the obvious addition of Tywin Lannister, but also Melisandre, showing she is as determined to avenge Gendry as she is her family. She also seems to have removed Sandor from the list, indicating she is warming up to him.
Also in the previews we see Jaime revealing a truly badass set of black armour for Brienne to replace what the Boltons took, demonstrating that even when back in the lap of luxury he still keeps her in his life.
Throughout all the trailers there are brief shots of Sansa standing in a snowy courtyard somewhere which mean she has at long last escaped Kings Landing.
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.