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Tear Jerker: A Song Of Ice And Fire
"He doesn't mean Lady, does he? No. No, not Lady, Lady didn't bite anyone, she's good...Stop them, don't let them do it, please, please, it wasn't Lady, it was Nymeria, Arya did it, you can't, it wasn't Lady, don't let them hurt Lady, I'll make her be good, I promise, I promise..."
Eddard Stark's death and, of course, the Red Wedding. George RR Martin just loves to kill off the nice characters, doesn't he?
What really got this troper was Catelyn's reaction: "Oh, Ned..." Two words say more than a long speech could.
Sansa and her snow castle in the last chapter of A Storm of Swords. It really drives home that Sansa is just a thirteen year old girl, who has only ever tried to be what is expected of her and been all but tortured for it. Add to that the fact that she thinks that everyone from her fond childhood memories is dead (and is right in most cases) and you have an extremely touching scene.
Directly after this scene, although possibly funny in a dark way (Littlefinger thought so, anyways), it's also a bit sad to see Sansa stick the head of Sweetrobin's doll on a stick (like a head on a pike) down in front of her snow castle. Considering she undoubtedly had her father and brother Robb's endings in mind. A pretty dark action to do considering she's only thirteen years old, and goes to show that she's seen some pretty messed up crap in her life.
Given that she believed that her younger brother's heads were on spikes above the gates of Winterfell, it makes her version of Winterfell particularly accurate. And horrifying.
This scene really does drive home that Sansa is a Woobie. She pretty much goes on a happy nostalgia trip and creates a bunch of perfect snowballs, remembering her childhood where she would get into snowball fights with her siblings. After making them, she realizes that she has no one to throw them at and play with. Soon after, Littlefinger comes along, and in a moment where she lowers her guard and tries to play with him by throwing a snowball at him, he instead takes the opportunity to molest and forcefully kiss her, resulting in her almost getting killed by her aunt and being traumatized once again. The poor girl can't get a break and live out her childhood at all.
Also from Storm, when Jon and Ygritte go down into the cave to make love. "Let's never go back up." Especially when you're rereading, and know what's in store for them.
Speaking of which, Ygritte's death in Jon's arms, his only consolation that he wasn't the one who shot the arrow that killed her.
"You know nothing, Jon Snow," she said, dying.
The death of Renly Baratheon made an impact. Not at first— it is handled very quickly and matter of factly— but then you realize that his knights and other followers loved him so very much.
Special mention goes to Loras, who can't even be entirely open, as their relationship was secret.
Sansa: That was when Lord Renly died, wasn't it? How terrible for your poor sister.
Loras: For Margery? [His voice was tight] To be sure.
Brienne's response to the Elder Brother's "I am sure he'd rather have a living daughter than a shattered shield" comment:
"I am the only child the gods let him keep. The freakish one, the one not fit to be son or daughter".
After Arya's friend Mycah is butchered by the Hound,Arya just can't forgive herself,and keeps on reminding herself that it's all her fault that the poor butcher's boy is dead.
Ned's conversation with Arya on her behaviour in A Game of Thrones is already rather sad, with all the foreshadowing of doom. But the little coda, where you learn he has hired someone to teach Arya to actually use her little sword, made me cry. Because it showed not only how much he loved her, but also that - in the whole damned book - he is the only person willing to do something for somebody else, just to make them happy. Without any regards of possible gain.
Well, him and his bastard son Jon, who gave her the sword in the first place.
One particularly sad scene which exemplifies this is during one of her conversations with the kindly man, wherein he tells her that she's still too much of an individual to be a Faceless Man and he offers her other paths in life. Arya thinks to herself that she has a hole where her heart used to be, and she turns down his other offers because she feels like she's totally lost everything and it's too late.
Sansa and Catelyn's reactions to Robb, Bran and Rickon dying...
When Daenerys smothers Khal Drogo near the end of A Game of Thrones.
From a preview chapter of A Dance With Dragons. Even Daenerys has trouble keeping her eyes dry:
"What could a eunuch hope to find in a brothel?" she asked. "Even those who lack a man's parts may still have a man's heart, Your Grace," said Grey Worm. "This one has been told that your servant Stalwart Shield sometimes gave coin to the women of the brothels, to lay with him and hold him."
From A Feast For Crows:
Aemon's blind white eyes came open. "Egg?" he said, as the rain streamed down his cheeks. "Egg, I dreamed that I was old."
To say nothing of Sam's eulogy for the wise old man when he passes away of old age:
"He was a good man... No. He was a great man. A maester of the Citadel, chained and sworn, and Sworn Brother of the Night's Watch, ever faithful. When he was born they named him for a hero who had died too young, but though he lived a long long time, his own life was no less heroic. No man was wiser, or gentler, or kinder. At the Wall, a dozen lords commander came and went during his years of service, but he was always there to counsel them. He counseled kings as well. He could have been a king himself, but when they offered him the crown he told them they should give it to his younger brother. How many men would do that? He was the blood of the dragon, but now his fire has gone out. He was Aemon Targaryen. And now his watch is ended."
Aemon cursing and lamenting the fact that he will never meet his grandniece and counsel her. He learned about her existence only shortly before dying.
Earlier in A Game Of Thrones, when we learn of the old Maester's Targaryen lineage by trying to counsel Jon Snow about going through the exact same situation. Eventually all if no most of Jon's family is dead or thought to be dead, just as Aemon's was, and Jon can do exactly zilch about it all. This troper quotes: "Seven Hells"
In Dance of Dragons when he learns that his little sister has seemingly been forcibly married to Ramsay Bolton, the most sadistic and despicable monster in the setting its impossible not to feel for the guy
Jon Connington's chapters have him narrate about how he hopes he can see his home castle before he dies. When he does, he goes to the tower with the best view and takes it all in. Even worse when you remember he's dying of grayscale from saving Tyrion, so he could have easily died without ever getting this moment.
All of Reek's chapters in A Dance with Dragons. What he's been through makes him a mine of Tear Jerkers, but particularly heart-wrenching is when he breaks down in the godswood, wishing only that he could die as Theon.
The worst thing about it all: the man who tortured and maimed him is no other than the one that suggested that he should fake Bran and Rickon's execution... and he still tortured him just for the fun of it... Ramsay Bolton, you piece of sh*t!
The scene where he finally admits what he wanted more than anything was to be a Stark is a particularly wrenching one as well.
"Sister. See. This time I knew you." Had this troper sweating through his eyes for about five minutes straight. Also doubles as a Crowning Moment of Heartwarming.
"Theon. Yes. I'm Theon. You have to know your *name*!"
The fact that we learn that there's still love in the world for him in the form of Jeyne Poole after all that... and that there's the possibility that he has lost his manhood. Seven Hells indeed.
Any time you see Sandor Clegane cry. Especially the first time. And especially the last time. No, wait, especially every time.
Ned's scenes near the end of the first book.
Oberyn's recollections of his sister Elia hit hard, especially one where he recalls her mothering/Cuteness Proximity toward baby Tyrion, given her horrific death and the equally horrible death of her children.
More quiet than other cases, but Septon Meribald's description of 'broken men' and all the horrors of warfare for the common folk - even those serving in the armies - hits hard, reminding the reader yet again that this is now the reality for so many peasants in Westeros because of the arrogance, pride and ruthlessness of the Five Kings and the lords they commanded. And what makes it worse is that Meribald is still affected by his own experiences and loss of friends and kin, after nearly forty years.
Podrick Payne, at the end of the chapter when he meets Brienne, and at the end of A Feast for Crows. "I was his squire...". The Woobie, more than any other character.
Kevan Lannister's loving recollections of his wife, right before Varys offs him.
When Mandon Moore tries to kill Tyrion and he is saved by Pod. Tyrion immediately thinks that it must have been Jaime, because, in his whole life, only Jaime has ever spared him from anything. Really hits hard how downtrodden the poor man is when the only person in his immediate family he associates with unconditional kindness is an amoral Blood Knight.
Tyrion's final chapter in A Storm of Swords, when the two brothers, who had been closer than almost any other characters in the books, have their falling out when Jaime tells him the truth about Tysha. It's hard to know who to feel more sorry for, but the line "Jaime turned without a word, and walked away," is heart-wrenching.
Made worse by the fact that he is putting Jamie in the same level as his hated sister Cersei (as of ADWD).
Kind of a tearjerker in retrospect, but Jon's continual rejection of Stannis Baratheon's offer to make him the Lord of Winterfell because of his vows and because he doesn't want to disinherit Sansa is tough to take in light of Robb's plan to legitimize him as a Stark and make him the heir to the North - which Jon knows nothing about. First you have Jon, still thinking that he's not really a Stark and never knowing that his brother and closest childhood friend was going to recognize him as such. Then you have the fact that Robb was completely right - Jon would, in fact, not doing anything to hurt the 'legitimate' Stark heir.
Pretty much everything Jaime goes through after losing his hand is pretty gutting, but something that really stands out are all of those moments when he's tied to a saddle with Brienne afterwards, feverish, in pain and half-conscious, and finds himself just leaning on her shoulder and taking a little bit of comfort in the fact that she's so warm.
Jaime's nightmare after leaving Harrenhal where he hallucinates the dead Rhaegar calling him out on the horrific fates of his wife and children:
Rhaegar: I left my wife and children in your hands.
Jaime: I never thought he'd [Tywin] hurt them.
Jaime thinking about himself and what he's become, when you realize that Jaime really did want to be one of the great knights that stories were told about, but couldn't because of the choices he made and the way the world made choices for him.
That boy had wanted to be Ser Arthur Dayne, but someplace along the way he had become the Smiling Knight instead.
Aerys, it always comes down to Aerys
Tyrion doing an excellent job of Hand of the King: making allies out of two powerful enemy Houses, saving the capital from Stannis and showing uncommon valor in combat, dreaming that his family will finally recognise his talents — only to find that his father has always viewed Tyrion as a deformed, lecherous, ungrateful, scheming monster responsible for the death of his own mother in childbirth.
Tywin's sister telling Jaime about their relationship. It's sad, and it's twisted, and we see a human side to Tywin that's almost always buried.
Jaime's (implied true) dream of his mother, where she tells him that Tywin hated to be laughed at, and wished for his son to be "a great knight", and his daughter to be a queen, and for them to be "so strong and brave and beautiful that no one would ever laugh at them.” Jaime responds:
''“I am a knight,” he told her, “and Cersei is a queen.”
A tear rolled down her cheek. The woman raised her hood again and turned her back on him. Jaime called after her, but already she was moving away, her skirt whispering lullabies as it brushed across the floor. Don’t leave me, he wanted to call, but of course she’d left them long ago.
The North remembers. Thousands of northmen heading for war change direction and march through blizzards worse than most people could conceive of not for glory, not to destroy an enemy, but to save the daughter of a friend who died several years ago. Why? Because said friend was Ned freaking Stark, that's why, and they loved him as much as we, the readers, did.
It's not his daughter, but an impostor, but still they march on unbeknownst. And we will never blame them.
This exchange when one of Stannis' knights starts to complain:
Lord Peasebury: More dying everyday, and for what? Some girl?
Morgan Liddle: Ned's girl.
Also the fact that some factions of Roose Bolton's allies (such as Lady Dustin) still think that what was done to the Starks was really fucked up and are trying to plot against the Boltons and the Freys (this considering that Lady Dustin hated both Ned Stark's guts for leaving her husband's mortal remains at the Tower of Joy and Lord Rickard Stark for taking Brandon away from her by promising him to Catelyn Tully).
Between the factions there's also the Manderlys; just see young Wylla Manderly's protest to her grandfather regarding the Freys' presence in White Harbor, and you see just how moving her plea is to all the nonsense that is apparently happening.
The North has every right to be angry, considering how blatantly stupid is the Freys' reason for slaughtering the Starks and their bannermen. Not only that, but the Freys seem to be proud of the whole ordeal.
The wedding of Tyrion and Sansa. Setting the very painful ceremony and worse wedding night aside for a second, let's just look at the marriage:
The bride is someone who has dreamed of nothing but her wedding for her whole life and sees it as the only thing she was really born for. Now, it's happening, and she's marrying a man she doesn't love and who clearly doesn't love her. Her father isn't there to give her away, so the man who killed him does so instead. Her big brother isn't there to tell the groom that he'll kick his ass if he hurts her. Her mother isn't there. Her siblings aren't there — because they've all been murdered, mostly by the people she's marrying. All she wants is to go home, but once she marries her husband, she'll never be allowed to get away from his family. That's not even getting into the sexual issues.
The groom is someone whose biggest fear — the fear that's driven him his whole life — is that nobody will ever love him for anything but his money and family power (which, among other things, is the only reason his first wife agreed to marry him or so he thinks.). Now, he's marrying this beautiful, brave girl that he thinks the world of, and despite having done everything he can to help her in the past, she is clearly repulsed by him and will never, ever love him — but who is being forced by his money and family power to pretend that she does. It would be impossible to tailor a marriage better designed to be his worst nightmare.
What makes this better? Tyrion still thinks of her from the other side of the world, as she is arguably one of the few people in the whole planet that he still cares about. To him she is still his wife, for better or for worse. What makes this worse? As they are married and he is still royalty, he can spoil Littlefinger's plans to arrange a marriage between Sansa and Harrold Hardyng (the heir to the Eyre).
On the other hand, unaware that Sansa was used by Littlefinger and Olenna Tyrell, he believes that she was a willing conspirator in the plot to kill Joffrey and frame him for it. He thinks she murdered Joffrey then ran away and abandoned him to his death- the same way every other woman has ever used him and cast him off. And even then, when he's on trial, he stands by his oaths to her to protect her and refuses to attempt to blame her for Joffrey's death, because he's her husband. His internal paradox is heart-wrenching.
While fleeing from the capital, Sansa burst into tears; she does not know if she's crying out of relief from the death of Joffrey or out of guilt for abandoning Tyrion after unwittingly taking part into both the assassination of the former and letting her husband take the blame, when Tyrion did nothing but try to help her to the best of his efforts.
After the two of them make love on the Cinnamon Wind Sam having to tell Gilly that they can't be together even though he loves her because of the vow he swore to the Night's Watch:
Sam: What we did...if I could take a wife, I would sooner have you than any princess or highborn maiden...but I can't. I am still a crow. I said the words, Gilly.
When Hoster Tully is dying he feverishly begs to see his youngest daughter Lysa, clearly wanting her forgiveness for something. Letters are repeatedly sent to the Eyrie, but Lysa never shows up - understandable, considering there's a civil war on, but worse than that, she never even replies.
And then later on we learn why she refused to visit and comfort her father on his death bed; when they were younger, she slept with/raped Littlefinger and conceived his child. Lord Tully, outraged, sent Petyr away and forced Lysa to drink an abortificant to get rid of the baby, then arranged a marriage for her with Jon Arryn as 'soiled goods'. Not only was the marriage loveless, but the abortion quite likely damaged Lysa's reproductive organs - or else Jon Arryn's seed was weak, oh the irony - meaning she constantly miscarried and has only had one sickly son; hardly the 'sweet babes and trueborn' Lord Tully swore she'd have. No wonder Lysa despised him, and no wonder he pleaded for the forgiveness she denied him in his final days.
In the Arianne preview chapter. Arianne wishes for her brother to come home and make peace with him
Not very likely now, considering he's been dragon-burned to crisp.
even sadder, Doran wonders where are the dragons, meaning actually where is my son: and we know that Quentyn has been barbequed by said dragons
Doran Martell grieving and misgiving, seeking comfort in gruff Aero Hotah, at loss for words.
“Until the Mountain crushed my brother’s skull, no Dornishmen had died in this War of the Five Kings,” the prince murmured softly, as Hotah pulled a blanket over him. “Tell me, Captain, is that my shame or my glory?”
“That is not for me to say, my prince.” Serve. Protect. Obey. Simple vows for simple men. That was all he knew.
Edmure Tully and Roslin Frey's relationship... even after House Frey basically slaughters the Northmen's hosts and kills everyone save a handful of survivors, and even when they basically become glorified hostages, the right thing should be for Edmure to hate her; still, they love each other after all that.
Poor Roslin really has a rough time. It's implied that she would have been perfectly happy to be married off to Edmure, yet she still sobbed throughout the wedding feast. She knew what was about to happen to her new husband's family and was forced to go along with it. Then the poor girl had to go have her wedding night while knowing about the massacre that was taking place downstairs. Ouch.
It's pointed out to Edmure that while he was consummating his marriage, his older sister was having her throat slit.
Catelyn's final thoughts and watching Robb die through her eyes had this troper sobbing with a hand clapped over her mouth.
"Please don't cut my hair my husband loves my hair..."
The Elder Brother's description of Sandor Clegane in A Feast for Crows.
He was Prince Joffrey’s sworn shield for many a year, and even here [on the Quiet Isle] we would hear tell of his deeds, both good and ill. If even half of what we heard was true, this was a bitter, tormented soul, a sinner who mocked both gods and men. He served, but found no pride in service. He fought, but took no joy in victory. He drank, to drown his pain in a sea of wine. He did not love, nor was he loved himself. It was hate that drove him. Though he committed many sins, he never sought forgiveness. Where other men dream of love, or wealth or glory, this man Sandor Clegane dreamed of slaying his own brother, a sin so terrible it makes me shudder just to speak of it. Yet it was the bread that nourished him, the fuel that kept his fires burning. Ignoble as it was, the hope of seeing his brother's blood upon his blade was all this sad and angry creature lived for … and even that was taken from him, when Prince Oberyn of Dorne stabbed Ser Gregor with a poisoned spear