main index




Topical Tropes

Other Categories

TV Tropes Org
Tear Jerker: A Song of Ice and Fire

Book 1

  • 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.
    • Sadder still, since she's the only character to mourn for him. While everyone else focuses on how Ned had to kill his daughter's pet wolf, no one, not even Ned Stark pays a thought that a innocent boy was killed which shows how common people rank in Westerosi society.
  • "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..."
  • Ned's conversation with Arya on her behaviour 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.
      • That's an unfair characterization in general. There are basically no straight-up heroic characters in the series, but there are a number of decent human beings. Tyrion springs to mind — cunning and self-serving he may be, but he 'did' do an earnest effort to protect the smallfolk from Cersei and Joffrey, and he did shield Sansa from the latter.
  • Ned's scenes near the end of the first book. This troper was blubbering like a child when he was thinking about Jon Snow: "The thought of Jon filled Ned with a sense of shame, and a sorrow too deep for words. If only he could see the boy again, sit and talk with him". Sigh. At the end, Ned can never tell Jon about his mother, whoever she was. Terrible, right?
    • Each of Ned's nightmares about Lyanna's death. This troper is always in the verge of tears at "Promise me!", everytime he thinks of keeping his promise is very sad, and knowing what Ned may have promised... pretty much he promised to raise his nephew Jon Snow as his own son. Wild Mass Guessing for you. Even worse if you think that Ned was the only one who could reveal to Jon his royal lineage ... and he has not been able to do it. A war was started for rescue this girl..and she dies in a bed of blood!
    • Ned and Robert's last speech: "The girl. Daenerys. Only a child, you were right". This man has spent his life hating the Targaryens because of his fight with Rhaegar and only at the time of death can get rid of his hatred and perhaps forgive.
      • "I will give Lyanna your love, Ned. Take care of my children for me." He's thinking of his lost love even in death. That's a very sad thing.
      • Hilarious in Hindsight when you think he has previously said "Rhaegar . . . Rhaegar won, damn him. I killed him, Ned, I drove the spike right through that black armor into his black heart, and he died at my feet. They made up songs about it. Yet somehow he still won. He has Lyanna now, and I have her." One wonders what kind of thread could have those three in the afterlife. Even worse if you think Ned joined them soon after. Wow.
      • Whatever Ned promised Lyanna didn't die with Ned. Howland Reed was there, and still lives to tell about it.
  • There's a moment where Robb takes crippled Bran to his room, tucks him in and lets out a small cry as they hold hands in the dark.
    • Robb telling Bran that when he's up and about again, the two of them will take a trip up to the wall to visit Jon. Harsher in Hindsight.
  • Eddard Stark's death.
  • When Daenerys smothers Khal Drogo.
  • Pretty much any mention of the house with the red door. As a young girl, Daenerys and Viserys were both taken care of by a Targaryen loyalist, Willem Darry, who was possibly the closest thing Dany had to a father and one of the only places she could truly call home. Eventually Darry died of old age and his servants kicked the two out, leaving the house with the red door behind forever.
  • When Varys recalls Princess Rhaenys's death, he mentions that she'd been hiding under her father's bed during the Sack of King's Landing, as if she believed her father's spirit would protect her. He didn't.

Book 2

  • When Catelyn receives her husband's corpse.
    Bones, Catelyn thought. This is not Ned, this is not the man I loved, the father of my children. His hands were clasped together over his chest, skeletal fingers curled about the hilt of some longsword, but they were not Ned's hands, so strong and full of life. They had dressed the bones in Ned's surcoat, the fine with velvet with the direwolf badge over the heart, but nothing remained of the warm flesh that had pillowed her head so many nights, the arms that had held her. The head had been rejoined to the body with fine silver wire, but one skull looks much like another, and in those empty hollows she found no trace of her lord's dark grey eyes, eyes that could be soft as fog or hard as stone. They gave his eyes to the crows, she remembered.
  • The way Theon is goaded into betraying the Starks. He is received at Pyke by his uncle Aeron in the most unceremonious way possible; he is humiliated by both Balon and Asha, all while Theon has to debate within himself on whether he loves the Starks (which as a matter of fact he does) or whether he will stand for his name and title as a Greyjoy. Then, he starts a series of increasingly stupid decisions after Aeron leaves him on his own... and boy, does he pay!
  • 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 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.
  • One of Davos's last thoughts before most of Stannis's men burn to death on the Blackwater My sons... And he loses all of them that were in the fighting!

Book 3

  • The Red Wedding. George RR Martin just loves to kill off the nice characters, doesn't he?
    • 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..."
  • 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 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 (she believes), 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 bursts into tears; she does not know if she's crying out of relief from the death of Joffrey, out of utter terror from the brutal manner of his demise, 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.
  • Sansa and her snow castle in the last chapter. 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.
  • Oberyn's death. Arrogant and cocky as he was, he really was only out to avenge the sister that he loved, and he almost won. Made worse by the fact that his paramour who was basically his wife had to watch the whole grisly ordeal.

Book 4

  • Podrick Payne, at the end of the chapter when he meets Brienne. "I was his squire...". The Woobie, more than any other character.
  • 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
  • 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 Elder Brother's description of Sandor Clegane.
    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.

Book 5

  • 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."
  • When Jon Snow 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
  • 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.
  • 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".
  • 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.
  • Quentyn thoughts before his ill-fated attempt to steal a dragon. "I should have kissed both sisters" is a rather innocent (for a Dornishman) take on You Don't Want to Die a Virgin, Do You?
  • Young Griff is treated as none other than Aegon V Targaryen, the last son of Prince Rhaeghar and Elia Martell; all is going according to plan until Jon Connington and Tyrion Lannister notice streaks of the Targaryen madness in him. This coupled by the fact that he is referred to by Quaithe as "The Mummer's Dragon" implies that he might be, at the worst possible result, a Blackfyre pretender, which does not bode well for ANYONE.
    • Although he could be exactly as promised, a proper prince with the finest claim and nothing but pure blood and the finest teaching a prince could have. "The Mummer's Dragon" may simply refer to Varys' past as a mummer... And yet, for all the effort that was put in to raising him, there is still the old saying about the Targaryens: Every time one is born, the gods flip a coin to decide if he will be great or mad. Even more heartbreaking if it's all absolutely true, and yet could be ruined by the same thing that destroyed Aerys II.
  • Kevan Lannister's loving recollections of his wife, right before Varys offs him. What makes this worse? Just before he died, he seemed to be stabilising the realm, helping raise Tommen the way he should have been from day one, and was starting to doubt whether he'd done the right thing under Tywin. Say what you will about his actions under the Lannisters, but he did not deserve to go out like that.
  • Wyman Manderly's "The North Remembers" speech is both a tearjerker and a CMOA
    "Foes and false friends are all around me, Lord Davos. They infest my city like roaches, and at night I feel them crawling over me." The fat man's fingers coiled into a fist, and all his chins trembled. "My son Wendel came to the Twins a guest. He ate Lord Walder’s bread and salt, and hung his sword upon the wall to feast with his friends. And they murdered him. Murdered, I say, and may the Freys choke upon their fables. I drink with Jared, jape with Symond, promise Rhaegar the hand of my own beloved granddaughter...but never think that means I have forgotten. The north remembers, Lord Davos. The north remembers, and the mummer’s farce is almost done. My son is home."
  • Roose Bolton's proud and almost sad recollection of his true son Domeric is one of VERY few times in the series Roose has shown any semblance of affection, and his bitterness that he cannot kill Domeric's killer because Ramsay is both his son and heir is made evident.
    • Also the fact that Domeric was pretty much the only good member of House Bolton who sought out Ramsey entirely because he was desperate for a brother is rather sad, especially how desperate Roose was to keep him away from what he already knew to be a monster.

The Winds Of Winter (at time of writing, preview chapters)

  • The opening chapter starts with Theon in chains yet again, possibly about to be executed by Stannis in spite of the fact that he saved Fake!Arya, as it's necessary for Stannis to pacify the North. Asha desperately seems to try and ransom him, but Stannis seemingly remains unmoved. The most she can hope for him now is supposedly a quick death, which is why she pleads that he be executed near a heart tree. She's already deeply saddened after having seen what Ramsay has done to him, and shortly after they are reunited she may be separated from him again, this time permanently.
  • 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.
    • Arianne is also wracked with guilt over the death of Ser Arys Oakheart, who she seduced, in her ill-fated plot to crown Myrcella, finding herself missing him more than she could have imagined. She believes her actions drove him to make his suicidal charge against Areo Hotah out of shame.
    I made use of him in my bed and in my plot, took his love and took his honor, gave him nothing but my body. In the end he could not live with what we’d done

Through the series

  • All the hell Arya has to go through after her father is executed. That it ultimately takes a toll on her mind makes it even worse.
    • 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.
    • Especially sad since Arya so obviously enjoys being a Street Urchin in Bravoos, and would apparently be quite happy leaving her past behind if only she'd allow herself to. Then she goes and murders a Nights Watch deserter, and is punished for it by blindness, which is only cured once she destroys her individuality even further.
  • 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.
  • Sansa's low opinion of Jon in AGOT; she refers to him as "our bastard brother" when talking with Arya, which incenses the latter. Later, when Sansa is a glorified hostage of the Lannisters, she realizes that Jon is all the family she has left in the world, and in AFFC she outright thinks that she would very much like to see him again when hearing that he leads the Nights Watch now.
    • There is little to take from Jon on the subject of Sansa; consider that in the whole five books, Sansa and Jon do not speak to one another even once and in spite of all that, Jon's regard for his sister is shown to be greater than hers for him, as he would not become the Lord of Winterfell for the sake of Sansa's claim on it.
  • Littlefinger's backstory, revealing that everyone's favorite Magnificent Bastard was once a cute and innocent little boy who got pulled through the meat grinder for daring to fall in love with a girl above his social station.
  • Sansa and Catelyn's reactions to Robb, Bran and Rickon dying...
  • 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"
  • All of Reek's chapters. 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 scene where he says that he wanted 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.
  • 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.
  • Tyrion's final chapter in book 3, 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 Jaime in the same level as his hated sister Cersei (as of ADWD).
    • Not to mention Tyrion's nightmare in "A Dance With Dragons" where he hallucinates a two-faced version of himself killing Jaime with an axe. While the first face is laughing madly, the second face is crying. It becomes Harsher in Hindsight when you have the fact that a part of him still loves his brother after all.
    • Likewise, Jaime has taken to calling Tyrion by his derisive title of The Imp.
    • Made even worse by the brothers' feelings of each other in their respective POV chapters: Tyrion recounts how Jaime was the only one who treated him kindly, thinks that he's the one who's saved him from Mandon Moore, and, hell, even Oberyn recounts how Jaime had to protect Tyrion from Cersei. And when Jaime feels helpless about trying to convince Steelshanks about going back to save Brienne, he tries to think of what his little brother would do: "Tyrion would find a way." Tragic brothers indeed.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • The overall picture of Jaime that develops as the books progress. The little boy who wanted to become the best knight, who later wonders how he became the Smiling Knight instead of his childhood hero; who tells Brienne and Tommen to "go away inside" when faced with horrors; who loses the sword hand he felt defined him, and discovers that Cersei, the woman he loves more than anyone, does not love him as much as he loves her: loving him only as an extension of herself. His dream also hints that he knows that his mother would not like what has become of her children.
  • 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.
  • 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 teenagers, she slept with/raped Littlefinger and conceived his child. Lord Tully, outraged, sent Petyr away and tricked (or possibly forced) Lysa into drinking a concoction to abort the baby, then arranged a marriage for her with Jon Arryn since she was proved to be fertile, though also considered 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.
  • 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 gets worse for Roslin. The wedding night left Roslin pregnant with Edmure's child, meaning that if she gives birth to a son, the Freys will no longer need to keep Edmure alive to maintain their hold on the Riverlands. It's mentioned that Roslin is frantically praying for a daughter so that her family won't have a excuse to murder her husband.
    • It's pointed out to Edmure that while he was consummating his marriage, his older sister was having her throat slit.
  • A minor one: but in AFOC, when Jaime offers to let the Blackfish take the black in exchange for surrendering, the Blackfish refuses, not only because it's The Kingslayer offering it, but because he doesnt trust the new Lord Commander of the Night's Watch, Jon Snow since his sister Cat didnt and Theon's betrayal and seizure of Winterfell made her more distrustful of Jon. It's sad when you consider that Jon is one of the most heroic characters in the series and not at all deserving to be labeled as a Bastard Bastard as he did love his family, especially made apparent when he refuses a lordship of Winterfell given to him by Stannis even though being a lord was something thought to be beyond his reach, because doing so would rob his sister of her claim and the only thing she had left.
  • Viserys Targaryen lost everything and everyone he loved, when he was only eight. He and his sister were on the run for years, fearing for their lives, and were forced to sell everything they had to survive. He's crushed that everyone that he thought were their allies either betrayed them or were willing to take advantage of them. He took to drinking and grew to resent his sister because he couldn't have her either. When he rants about his crown, think for a moment that he's not talking about the crown of Westeros, but his mother's crown which was all he had left to sell.
    • Even worse are the facts that considering the Targaryen custom, Daenerys was meant to be his bride, and that he (and not Daenerys) was the subject of endless japes, mockery and being treated as a mere curiosity for most of his life.
    • Daenerys later reminisces that there was once kindness to her brother; she also finds out in the worst possible fashion that Viserys was very right to be paranoid concerning Robert Baratheon's assassins, that he must have indeed defended her from such aggressors and thanks to him she is still in one piece and in mint condition for Khal Drogo.
    • He held out against the... uh... family quirks he inherited under some truly stupendous stresses starting from that age of eight: yes, he turned into a Smug Snake of epic proportions. But, he wasn't in his father's league by a long chalk, with arguably far more stress than The Mad King ever got in his whole life (including Duskendale). And, Viserys didn't even hit 30. He must have had something worthwhile to him, before it got horribly twisted with bitterness. Of course, had he ever managed to get any power, he might well have managed to beat his dad, but, well... Heck, Joffrey turned into a far worse version of Royal Brat with a lot fewer in the way of excuses.
  • Davos right before he thinks he's about to be executed. One of the most honorable yet humble characters in the book this side of Ned Stark, he has striven to do right for the good of Stannis and the realm, something which has earned him nothing but the death of four of his sons and the continued scorn of other nobles who disparage his humble origins. In his final moments he uses his new literacy skills to write letters to his two youngest sons and wife, telling them to go across the Narrow Sea, while writing Devan (who is back at the Wall with Stannis as his squire) to tell him how proud he is of him. This last thought pretty much sums him up:
    I did not do so ill...I rose up from Flea Bottom to become a King's Hand, and I learned to read and write.
  • Late in AGOT, Catelyn falls into a depression, because of her husband and youngest sons' death, her eldest son going to war, and her daughters being hostages, that lasts all the way until her death.
    I am a creature of grief and dust and bitter longings. There is an empty place within me where my heart was once.

Song of AchillesTearJerker/LiteratureThe Stand

TV Tropes by TV Tropes Foundation, LLC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available from
Privacy Policy