- The epic speech of Hugo Wull AKA Big Bucket.Hugo Wull: Lord Pea Pod. If you were a man, I would kill you for that, but my sword is made of too fine a steel to besmirch with cravens blood. Aye, men are dying. More will die before we see Winterfell. What of it? This is war. Men die in war. That is as it should be. As it has always been.
Corliss Penny: Do you want to die, Wull?
Hugo Wull: I want to live forever in a land where summer lasts a thousand years. I want a castle in the clouds where I can look down over the world. I want to be six-and-twenty again. When I was six-and-twenty I could fight all day and fuck all night. What men want does not matter. Winter is almost upon us, boy. And winter is death. I would sooner my men die fighting for Ned's little girl than alone and hungry in the snow, weeping tears that freeze upon their cheeks. No one sings songs of men who die like that. As for me, I am old. This will be my last winter. Let me bathe in Bolton blood before I die. I want to feel it spatter across my face when my axe bites deep into a Bolton skull. I want to lick it off my lips and die with the taste of it on my tongue.
- Victarion Greyjoy fucking up every single slaver he comes across in A Dance with Dragons and not even breaking a sweat.
- "Two gods are with me now," he told the dusky woman. "No foe can stand before two gods."
- "No man calls Victarion Greyjoy a fool and lives to boast of it." *Vader Choke*
- The prologue character, Thistle, deserves one for stopping an evil skinchanger from using her body by biting off her tongue and clawing her eyes out when she feels him taking over. And, then she comes right after him as a wight with narry a pause to adjust — others require a good five or so minutes, but not Thistle. Girl left her unlife a to-do list sticky note.
- Varamyr manages to live on in his wolf, One-Eye...until Bran, inside Summer, takes over his pack.
- Arya Stark takes a new face and performs her first sanctioned assassination in a way that echoes the prologue of A Feast For Crows (likely perpetrated by Jaqen H'Ghar).
- Davos Seaworth gives a crazy awesome speech to the White Harbor court and their Frey visitors. Not good with words, indeed.Death, he heard himself say, there will be death, aye. Your lordship lost a son at the Red Wedding. I lost four upon the Blackwater. And why? Because the Lannisters stole the throne. Go to Kings Landing and look on Tommen with your own eyes, if you doubt me. A blind man could see it. What does Stannis offer you? Vengeance. Vengeance for my sons and yours, for your husbands and your fathers and your brothers. Vengeance for your murdered lord, your murdered king, your butchered princes. Vengeance!
- The assist he gets from Wylla Manderly is pretty great too, boldly reminding her family of the debt they owe the Starks. Made even more impressive since, unlike her older sister, she doesn't know about her grandfather's plans.
- Tyrion Lannister saving the life of Aegon Targaryen VI by bodily ramming a Stone Man off their boat.
- In the next chapter he convinces Aegon to abandon the plan he's been coached in for his entire life, pointing out that it clearly hasn't been working. And that is after he discovers Aegon's true identity in the first place, wagering the reveal of the secret over a cyvasse game, with the implication that he'd deliberately lost several earlier games to get his opponent confident enough to accept that bet.
- And even better, when he hears that Aegon has actually taken his advice his inner reaction is along the lines of "Ha, the idiot actually fell for it." He not only convinced him to abandon his lifelong plan, he convinced him to abandon his lifelong plan for a worse plan — and he did it while playing a cyvasse game with him that ended with Aegon losing because he took Tyrion's advice about how to play.
- YMMV on that one. First Tyrion's surprised (he nearly chokes on the food he's eating when he hears the news). Second, Accidental Truth/Backup plan is in full effect here: Jon Connigton and the Golden company arrive just to find out that the Lannister/Tyrell powerblock eroding/on the verge of collapse.
- Escaping slavery to buy the help of an entire sellsword company. No, not the other way around, he signed with a sellsword company and bought their wares after escaping his master.
- Even better he ends up with the exiled Jorah Mormont who tried to capture and present him to Daenerys once. Now the two of them have to team up to aid Dany when Meereen is besieged.
- When naive, green boy Tris Botley, looked down upon by other Ironborn for his southron sensibilities (especially by Asha, who disapproves of his fawning over her), kicks crazy ass at the fall of Deepwood Motte, very clearly willing to give his life for the sake of Asha and his comrades and to die like a true ironborn.
- The taking of Deepwood Motte is one for Stannis as well.
- Strong Belwas saves Daenerys from an assassination attempt by eating all the poisoned locusts intended for her. It nearly kills him, but nearly only counts with horseshoes and dragonfire.
- Jon's public execution of Janos Slynt for disobedience, even giving him a Hope Spot which is actually just Jon deciding to do the honors himself, like his father would. The nod of approval he receives from Stannis after is just the perfect finishing touch.Jon: Ed, fetch me a block.
Marsh: "The lord commander must pardon my bluntness, but I have no softer way to say this. What you propose is nothing less than treason. For eight thousand years the men of the Nights Watch have stood upon the Wall and fought these wildlings. Now you mean to let them pass, to shelter them in our castles, to feed them and clothe them and teach them how to fight. Lord Snow, must I remind you? You swore an oath."Jon: "I know what I swore. 'I am the sword in the darkness. I am the watcher on the walls. I am the fire that burns against the cold, the light that brings the dawn, the horn that wakes the sleepers, the shield that guards the realms of men'. Were those the same words you said when you took your vows?"Marsh: "They were. As the lord commander knows."Jon: "Are you certain that I have not forgotten some? The ones about the king and his laws, and how we must defend every foot of his land and cling to each ruined castle? How does that part go?" Jon waited for an answer. None came. "'I am the shield that guards the realms of men'. Those are the words. So tell me, my lord what are these wildlings, if not men?"
- There's also this exchange between him and Bowen Marsh in A Dance With Dragons, that cements his reasons for accepting the wildlings through the Wall:
- Wyman Manderly, primarily known for being hugely fat and not particularly warlike, explains his true plans for the Freys and Boltons to Davos. He's going to send Davos to find Rickon Stark, having discovered the survival of him and Bran from Wex Pyke by patiently questioning the mute. He'll ally with Stannis, providing him with a fleet, then help wipe the Boltons and Freys from the earth and make Robb Stark's heir a lord. The North remembers.
- He later gets a veeeeeery subtle and gruesome one during Ramsey Bolton's wedding. He's promised to provide food and wine for the guests, but on the way he conveniently "loses" Rhaegar, Jared and Symond Frey, who'd been living in his castle to ensure his loyalty, to outlaws. Later, he serves three giant pork pies to the guests, which includes many Freys, eats two slices from each and then calls for a song about the Rat Cook, a legendary monster who served an unknowing enemy his own cooked children at a dinner. Also qualifies as a CMOF, if you find that sort of thing funny.
- And his delicious Pay Evil unto Evil line that Little Walder's death was a mercy, as he would have grown up a Frey.
- And then the fattie survives getting his throat slashed open by an enraged Hosteen Frey. HOLY CRAP, Wyman. HOLY CRAP.
- Ser Barristan recounting how he escaped from King's Landing after Joffrey sent the City Watch police to arrest him.Ser Barristan: When I reached the stables the gold cloaks tried to seize me. Joffrey had offered me a tower to die in, but I had spurned his gift, so now he meant to offer me a dungeon. The commander of the City Watch himself confronted me, emboldened by my empty scabbard, but he had only three men with him and I still had my knife. I slashed one man's face open when he laid his hands upon me, and rode through the others. As I spurred for the gates I heard Janos Slynt shouting for them to go after me. Once outside the Red Keep, the streets were congested, else I might have gotten away clean. Instead they caught me at the River Gate. The gold cloaks who had pursued me from the castle shouted for those at the gate to stop me, so they crossed their spears to bar my way.Daenerys: And you without your sword? How did you get past them?Ser Barristan: A true knight is worth ten guardsmen. The men at the gate were taken by surprise. I rode one down, wrenched away his spear, and drove it through the throat of my closest pursuer. The other broke off once I was through the gate, so I spurred my horse to a gallop and rode hellbent along the river until the city was lost to sight behind me.
Ser Barristan: Me! Try me. Over here. Me!
- Ser Barristan trying to direct Drogon's attention away from Dany.
Khrazz: Old man. I will eat your heart.Ser Barristan: Then come.
- Ser Barristan's moment in the Pit is only highlighted when one realizes what he was truly doing. He voluntarily jumped down a ten foot wall; no easy feat for a man his age, and called out to a dragon for its attention, against Dany's, and he had no way of knowing if Drogon would kill him or not, but did so nonetheless, just to defend the one he swore his sword to. He is a True Knight laying down his life for the one he has sworn to protect without a second of hesitation. Ser Barristan the Bold, indeed. Duskendale is proven no once-off, overblown tale.
- Additionally, he does all this while being one of the few who has seen Drogon and the other dragons at work, and he's grown up with stories of the original Black Dread's power since he was a very small child. This shows you that he's not like the delusional Harghaz "the Hero"; he genuinely knew just what he was going up against, and still did his best to defend Daenerys... not through madness or some misconception of glory or misunderstanding of a dragon's nature, but because he truly is The Bold.
- Ser Barristan and Drogon both have numerous ones throughout, not just in their scene together. Drogon is the first wild Dragon in centuries, making his lair in the Dothraki sea and leaving wide scars across the landscape. And Ser Barristan defeats a pit fighter not half his age as though it were nothing, takes Hizdahr prisoner, then becomes acting Hand until Dany returns. Granted, he doesn't want to rule and his city is under siege, but he tries.
- Rattleshirt getting his Lightning Bruiser on in a duel with Jon. Gets even better when you learn it was really Mance Rayder.
- Arya Stark isn't the only Plucky Girl in the North. We have ten-year-old Lyanna Mormont sending a message to King Stannis that her family will only bend their knee to a Stark and Wylla Manderly being the only member of her house to stand up and say what everyone's thinking about the Freys and Ramsey Bolton. And Alys Karstark escaping from a forced marriage to her Evil Uncle by riding an exhausted horse to the Wall, and then calmly agreeing to marry a wildling lord who's more scared of her than she is of him.
- The entire plan to rescue Jeyne from Ramsay, involving numerous murders by the wildling spearwives disguised as washerwomen, under the command of Mance Rayder disguised as a minstrel, and culminating in Theon jumping off of Winterfell's outer wall with her.
- Followed by a Tear Jerker moment when Theon proudly states his real name upon being reunited with Asha.
- Jon Connington and the Golden Company taking back Griffin's Roost.Griff expected to lose a hundred men, perhaps more. They lost four.
- The Reveal that the Manderlys and their allies have been conspiring against the Boltons, Freys, and Lannisters and plot to restore the Starks to power."My son Wendel came to the the Twins a guest. He ate Lord Walder's bread and salt, and hung his sword upon the wall to feast with 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 mummers farce is almost done. My son is home."Lord Wyman Manderly
- It might also show her bloodthirsty nature but Nymeria Sand's speech to Ellaria Sand about how she wants to utterly destory House Lannister is its own dark Moment of AwesomeNymeria Sand: It ends in blood, as it began. It ends when Casterly Rock is cracked open, so the sun can shine on the maggots and the worms within. It ends with the utter ruin of Tywin Lannister and all of his works.
Awesome / A Dance with Dragons