"Stick 'em with the pointy end."
"There is only one God, and His name is Death. And there is only one thing we say to Death—not today."
—Syrio Forel, the First Sword of Braavos
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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 and Robb helping Bran with archery, Robb cracking up at Arya's prank on Sansa, Jon's amusement at Arya running around in a battle helmet, Rickon laughing at Arya and Bran play fighting, Catelyn affectionately scolding Bran for climbing, Ned's absolute acceptance of Catelyn as a Northerner in the godswood... On re-watch, this makes what's coming for the Starks all the more tragic...
- Bran pleading with his father to spare the wolf pups, Jon using the First Men's beliefs to save the pups and using his illegitimacy so each of his five brothers and sisters can have a pup. Though Jon omits himself so his siblings can have a pup each, he still gets a pup of his own when he finds a white one nearby.
- Ned also only gives in after Jon argues in favor of saving the pups. While both Robb and Theon are waiting for Ned's decision, both Bran and Jon are looking at him with pleading looks.
- We can already see Jon's soft spot for his younger siblings. Early in the conversation about the direwolves, Jon picks up one of the pups, asks Bran if he wants to hold it, and just passes it right off to him (basically just like 'Here, have a puppy')
- Robb's angry growl at Theon to put his dagger away when he tries to take one of the pups from Bran, showing a protectiveness of his younger siblings that trumps his friendship with Theon.
- Finally, Robb's look as Jon claims the albino direwolf pup for his own. Whilst Theon makes a joke at Jon's expense, Robb looks on in tacit approval of his bastard half-brother having a direwolf to call his own.
- Benjen riding in to Winterfell to find Jon practicing on a training dummy. In short order, he proves himself very much a loving Cool Uncle, giving Jon a big hug and sympathising with him being left out of the festivities, before trying to actually make him think about his desire to join the Night's Watch. Even though, as First Ranger, he knows the Wall is badly pressed for me, he still wants Jon to be absolutely sure before he joins up.
- Tyrion trying to provide some advice to Jon about his being a bastard son and to wear it as armor so it can't be used to hurt him.
- Benjen playfully needling Ned when he finds him at the feast, before going on to tell Ned that the man he beheaded was a tough man and true ranger despite his desertion. Then, upon being greeted by Robb, he envelops him in a bear hug just like he did Jon.
- During Dany and Drogo's wedding, the latter gives Dany a beautiful silver mare. Dany strokes the horse and says "She's beautiful". The resulting closeup of Drogo (who only knows a few words of the Common Tongue) shows he's thinking "Not as beautiful as you."
2 - The Kingsroad
- Summer saving Bran from the assassin.
- Jon giving Needle to Arya, followed by her glomping him.
- The farewell between Robb and Jon, where they hug each other goodbye.
- Ned to Jon: "...Starks have manned the Wall for centuries and you are a Stark. You may not have my name, but you have my blood". A far cry from how most lords treat their bastard children. And Fridge Brilliance when you remember that Jon, in responding to the "where's your direwolf pup?" question from Bran in the previous episode (before he saw Ghost) responded, "...I'm not a Stark."
- When Tyrion joins his brother and sister for breakfast, Jaime greets him with an affectionate "Little brother" and smiles at his crude jokes — a contrast from Cersei's annoyed reaction. There's also Myrcella and Tommen's happy reaction to Tyrion joining them, in contrast to their odious older brother.
- Robert and Ned having a meal on their way down the Kingsroad, simply hanging out and reminiscing about the old days like the old friends they are. It's one of the few times Ned is actually care-free and joking. And when Robert's joshing about the dalliance resulted in Jon Snow's birth (or so Ned has claimed) makes Ned uncomfortable, he actually looks something approaching contrite and comforts his honourbound friend, telling him that they didn't know if they were ever going home again and that he's too hard on himself.
- 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.
- A little before that, Sansa and Arya are in the midst of their thing when Sansa refuses to testify and Arya pulls her hair, but when Cersei demands Lady's death, Arya is quick to support Sansa in that Lady doesn't deserve it.
- Also fairly heartbreaking given how things turn out, but when Sansa disdainfully refers to Mycah as the butcher's boy Arya snaps back that he's her friend and tells her to go away. Then when Joffrey hurts Mycah, Arya immediately attacks Joffrey so her friend can get away.
- Although it is also a Funny and Awesome moment, Tyrion smacking Joffrey for refusing to go to the Starks after Bran's fall. This is just the first clue that Tyrion is the nicest guy in a family of assholes.
3 - Lord Snow
- Jon using his superior, highborn training to teach the other recruits (who were his initial opponents) how to sword fight. And Jon becoming close friends with these guys.
- Dany and Khal Drogo lying together after she tells him that she is pregnant. Marital bliss, of a sort.
- The look on Ned's face when Cat rides away shows that he not only loves her but greatly admires her.
- Tyrion and Jon's final goodbye atop the Wall: a bastard son of a Stark and a dwarf of a Lannister, departing as somewhat-friends. For bonus points, watch Tyrion's face when Jon says, "I'm going to miss you." You can't imagine Tyrion hears that very often.
- Ned comforting Arya over Mycah's death and reassuring her it wasn't her fault. And when he discovers Needle, instead of taking it away he hires her a swordmaster so she can learn to fight properly. Given how patriarchal Westeros is and how much Arya struggles with being a lady, it's sweet that her Dad just wants to let her be happy even if it's not proper.
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 to subtly display his affection and support for the man he loves. Renly is essentially copying the Westerosi wedding practice of the bride being draped in a cloak featuring the colours of her husband's sigil, so his richly decorative green cape is a symbol of his commitment to Loras. Awww, how romantic!
- Sandor saving Loras from his Ax-Crazy brother Gregor and Loras declaring Sandor the hero of the day for it despite Sandor protesting that he's no knight. Along with Sansa being one of the first to give him a standing ovation. And a Freeze-Frame Bonus, but the smallest of smiles flash across his face for a second, probably because it is one of the few occasions when he was approved for doing what was unambiguously the right thing.
- Robert and Cersei discussing the fractured nature of the Seven Kingdoms, and her observation that their marriage is what holds it together, resulting in an uproar of laughter from both of them. However terrible their marriage is, and however much they hate each other, it's quite touching that they can at least be partners in recognizing the sheer absurdity of it all. What makes it funnier (or sadder) is that they're right; as soon as Robert dies, everything takes a turn for the worse.
- Ned's promise that Robert's bastard daughter will "want for nothing." He didn't have to say anything or do anything, but he did.
- It's small, but note the pissed off look on Jaime Lannister's face when Eddard claims responsibility for Tyrion's capture. Remember, this man hates Ned Stark, and has been waiting for the opportunity to kill him in battle for years. When he thinks Ned ordered his wife to take Tyrion, it becomes less about his pride, and more about killing the man who brought harm to his little brother. Even back then, Jaime showed he was the only one who cared for Tyrion.
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.
- Theon and Ros bidding each other farewell, with Theon even sincerely saying "I'm going to miss you." It may have just been a job for her, but Theon clearly valued her company more than he had ever let on.
- Despite having just had a massive arguement with Robb Theon comes back to save him and Bran. Theon even has a rare moment of showing someone else respect when he tells Bran he's "a brave little lad".
- Right before the 'crowning' moment, Drogo goes to his wife and protectively puts his hand over her pregnant belly, after Viserys had threatened to "cut [the baby] out and leave it for him".
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 Revenge Rant. A man who's ready to conquer the entire world for his wife and child... wow. Of course, he did promise to rape, pillage, and kill a very large group of people, the majority who had done nothing wrong to him or Dany, but chances are she would have stopped him, though. It has gradually become clear that he would do anything for her.
- Before that, he embraces his wife and worriedly asks if she's alright.
- The gratitude Drogo shows to Jorah counts as well, stating that he knows what Jorah did for Dany, and offers him his choice of stallion — a very generous reward, given how revered horses are in Dothraki culture.
- When Robert is on his deathbed one of the last things he does is ask Ned to cancel the bounty he put out on Dany. It seems, in his final hour, he is able to let go of some of the hatred he holds for her family.
- The otherwise sociopathic and cruel prince Joffrey seems to be showing genuine affection for the dying King Robert: he is clutching his hand and looks like he's about to cry.
- Sam telling the Night's Watch that he too will take the Oath with Jon before the Old Gods, despite being raised to believe in the Seven ("They never listened to my prayers, maybe the Old Gods will.") His friendship with Jon is so important to him that he doesn't reconsider when they are informed that they'll have to go beyond the Wall to take the Oath.
- The pride the Night's Watch veterans clearly have when congratulating Jon and Sam upon completing their vows and becoming true men of the Watch. Despite the common reputation for the Watch as a den of thieves and murderers, it seems that SOME of men still view it as a noble brotherhood.
8 - The Pointy End
- Although they couldn't be more different, both mentors of the Stark girls — Syrio, a Braavosi swordsman and Septa Mordane, a refined proper lady — demonstrate genuine love for their charges and sacrifice themselves to protect Arya and Sansa. Syrio holding off half a dozen men to give Arya time to get away and Mordane telling Sansa to hide and going out to face the Lannister soldiers herself. It really indicates what kind of people the Stark family that they inspire such a deep level of loyalty and care among those who serve them.
- The pride in Maester Luwin's face when Robb calls the banners.
- Robb and his mother Catelyn meet back up, and race to hug each other as soon as they're alone.
- The bluff but nevertheless genuine courtesy the Greatjon shows Catelyn, first respectfully greeting her then - at her request - yelling all the other Northern Lords to give them some privacy. Before he walks away with Rodrick, chatting amiably with the fellow old soldier, he happily tells Cat that it'll be a simple matter to get Ned back from the Lannisters.
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.
- Mormont giving Jon his valyrian steel sword Longclaw, this shows how much he trusts Jon, and how he is a Replacement Goldfish to his dishonored son Jorah.
- From Maester Aemon's confession to Jon that he would have done anything for his brother's grandchildren and great-grandchildren if he had his youth and energy — or even his sight — at the time of Robert's Rebellion, it's clear he still considers himself a Targaryen as much as a brother of the Night's Watch. This is made even more heartwarming by the fact that Aemon is actually telling this to one of the 'little children' of the Targaryen.
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.
- A subtle one since it happens in the middle of a massive Tearjerker. Catelyn is in so much grief over Ned's death she has trouble breathing and even standing, but when she sees how much pain Robb is in, she immediately tries to regain composure and console him.
- The way Sandor Clegane attempts to look after Sansa Stark and protect her from Joffrey.
- Gendry defending Arya from Hot Pie and Lommy's bullying because he doesn't like people who pick on smaller boys, cementing him as a rare heroic character. It's also the beginning of his friendship with Arya — one of the most genuine and trusting relationships on the show.
- The scene is even more heartwarming given their father's lifelong friendship and Robert's wish for the two families to be close. Robert and Ned may have come to tragic ends but their children are still out there and another Baratheon-Stark friendship has begun.
- When Jorah is visibly worried that Dany could be contemplating suicide. While his worries were unfounded, his earnest fear for her is touching.
- Tywin tells Tyrion he was right about the value of keeping Ned alive as a bargaining tool to placate his sons so they could focus on potential rebellion from Robert's brothers, and admits he was wrong about presuming Tyrion a "drunken fool". Taken as a whole, Tywin is acknowledging that Tyrion is not as much a disgrace to the family as he's always treated him.
- Before that, as they remain alone, Tyrion reaches for the wine, and Tywin stops him. Then he pours, as if to say "just today, you've been a good boy".
- Sam attempting a You Shall Not Pass! when Jon attempts to leave to fight alongside his brother Robb and avenge his father's death. Then Grenn and Pyp go after him too, whereafter they all bring Jon back.
- Dany's hatching of her three baby dragons, the first in three hundred years, and her followers pledging their loyalties to her, starting with Jorah Mormont. After so long, dragons have finally returned to the living world, and with them the last Targaryen princess takes her first step to reclaim the throne her ancestors held, with a khalasar who will follow her not out of fear or desire for power, but devotion and love.
"Blood of my blood."
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.
- One of the Gold Cloaks refusing to kill the little baby.
2 - The Night Lands
3 - What Is Dead May Never Die
- Renly's acceptance of Brienne into his Kingsguard speaks volumes about his attitude towards gender roles. He himself understands how painful it is to be frequently mocked for not adhering to them (Robert and Stannis have bullied Renly for his lack of combat experience), so his empathy towards Brienne's situation contributes to him being accepting of her masculinity.
- Upon first meeting Brienne and getting a good dose of her unladylike personality, Cateyln watches her fondly, clearly thinking of Arya.
- Margaery trying to get Renly to do his duty and have sex with her. She could have been very brusque about it, but she first tried to seduce him and then comforted him when he was clearly not affected. She even reveals that she knows about him and Loras, and tells him she wouldn't mind if her brother had to "help." Renly can spend as much time with Loras as he wants as long as he consummates their marriage and gives her a child to protect their alliance. For a woman whose husband clearly wanted nothing to do with her romantically, she came across as very kind and considerate.
- Sam giving Gilly his mother's sewing kit.
Gilly: You shouldn't give that away.
Sam: I'm not giving it away. I'm giving it to you.
- In an odd way, Cersei's anguish over Tyrion's deal to wed off her daughter Myrcella. After she's been pleading her love for her children as the motivation for all her nasty deeds, here's the proof of how sincere it is. She didn't want Myrcella forced into an unhappy marriage the way she was with Robert.
- Myrcella and Tommen prove that they're nothing like their older brother Joffrey, during the incredibly awkward dinner with Sansa and Cersei. Myrcella just seems so pleased to have another young lady to talk about dresses, and Tommen, well:
Tommen: Is Joffrey going to kill Sansa's brother?
Cersei: He might. Would you like that?
Tommen: ... No. I don't think so.
- In a strangely bizarre way, Yoren unbending to Arya about his own 'prayer' after a boy called Willem killed his brother. Becomes a Funny Moment when, having told her about burying an axe in Willem's head so deep "they had to bury him with it" he says, with a smirk, "That'll help you sleep, eh?" It does, actually.
- Arya's quick thinking to save Gendry. Even if Lommy won't be saying otherwise, there's still a risk in purposefully deceiving their captors, and she cares enough about Gendry to take the risk anyway.
- While discussing the nature of power with Tyrion, Varys states power resides only where people think it resides, with no more solidity than a shadow on a wall. Then however, he adds that a small man can cast a very large shadow. It's a blink and you miss it combination of encouragement and approval from Varys for Tyrion's tenure as Hand, and after the remark Tyrion gives a genuinely happy smile. It makes sense: for Tyrion, it is probably the first time he's been acknowledged in such a way.
4 - Garden of Bones
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? Tell me.
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 come and go without a person like that coming into the world. There are times — when I look at you — and I still can't believe you're real.
- Bran demonstrating he's a Stark during his audiences with the afflicted peasantry, a neat contrast to Joffrey's rule.
- Rodrik's smile at Bran ordering that Torrhen's Square be saved, seeing that he has what it takes to be the ruler of Winterfell.
- Brienne pledging her loyalty to Catelyn after Renly's death. Also, Catelyn persuading Brienne to flee with her; she could very easily have left the Maid of Tarth there, saving only her own skin.
- Tywin's growing fatherly relationship with Arya, particularly her smile at his saying she should make their next battle plan.
6 - The Old Gods and the New
- Tywin's exchange with Arya about his son Jaime's dyslexia (even though it was never directly named, it's made clear by the description that this is what Jaime has). The Heartwarming-ness is compounded, because on top of the adorable awesomeness that Tywin cured his son's disorder with sheer bullheadedness (four hours every day), Tywin likes Arya enough to share such a personal story with her to begin with.
Tywin: You're too smart for your own good. Has anyone told you that?
- Tywin Lannister reminiscing with fondness about his weak but ultimately good father and smiling, something that happens once in a lifetime for this man.
- This exchange for Arya's own dear departed dad:
Tywin: What killed him?
Arya: ... loyalty.
- Tyrion's first concern upon seeing the signs of an imminent riot? His nephew Tommen's safety.
- During the riot, after witnessing an insane mob (whom he is fully aware despise and blames him above even Joffrey) rip a priest literally to pieces barely a few feet away, Tyrion's first thought is to ask where Sansa is, having noticed her be cut off from the rest of the group. Although there's also his concern that, if she dies, Jaime's as good as dead too. Which is Heartwarming in its own way.
- After brutally killing Sansa's would-be rapists, Sandor Clegane almost gently tells her she's safe before carrying her back to the castle. Then when Tyrion tries to thank him for rescuing Sansa, Sandor snarls "I didn't do it for you." and stalks off. Oh, Sandor, you do care. There's a subtle moment before the rescue that stands out on repeat viewings. When the riot first breaks out, Sandor first drags Joffrey back to the castle. (Understandable, considering he's technically supposed to be his personal bodyguard.) However, once Joffrey is relatively safe, Sandor practically throws the little bastard at another guard before turning around and hauling ass back into the city to find Sansa. Shows what his real priority is.
Sandor: You're alright now, little bird.
- Adding to this, Sandor makes sure to point out that Sansa was cut and insists that it better be taken care of. By comparison, he couldn't care less about whether or not Joffrey was also wounded.
- Osha pretending to turn traitor, even going so far as to sleep with Theon, just so she can help Bran and Rickon escape from Winterfell. And when Osha kills the guardsman and brings Bran, Rickon and Hodor out, she covers Rickon's eyes so he doesn't see the corpse. A very motherly moment.
- After being rescued by Sandor, Sansa wonders why a complete stranger in the street hated her and wanted to hurt her even though they'd never met and Shae tells her, "Your horse eats better than his children." Sansa replies, "I would have given them bread if I had it." Silly, childish, simplistic... but good-hearted. Worthy of a princess.
- When Sansa says she hates Joffrey as much as the people do, Shae warns her not to talk like that in case the wrong person heard. Sansa's reply? "But you're not the wrong person."
- Catelyn's look at Robb when she sees he is obviously smitten with Talisa. She seems to hate that he's stuck in an arranged marriage as much as Robb does.
- Catelyn is also very polite and courteous to Talisa when they're introduced. When Talisa gives her last name, Catelyn says "forgive me, I do not know this name" - doing her best to make pleasantries with this girl she knows her son has a crush on.
- Robb and Talisa's conversation is much sweeter than their rather awkward meeting where the latter is amputating a Lannister soldier's foot.
7 - A Man Without Honor
8 - The Prince of Winterfell
- Yara shows that she does care a bit for her brother Theon when she recalls him smiling at her as a baby, and emotionally asks him to come back home with her, since he'll surely be killed if he stays at Winterfell.
Yara: Don't die so far from the sea.
- It's obvious during the scene with Yara Greyjoy and her men in Winterfell that she wasn't kidding when she said her men would stand out in the rain for hours if she told them too. They don't just follow her; they respect her. One might even go so far as to say they love her.
Theon: I'm warning you...!
Yara: (warning) Go on, then. Warn me.
(Theon looks down the table, packed full of Yara's soldiers, all of whom have gone deadly silent and none of whom look happy about the way he's talking to her, and immediately shuts up)
- Tyrion's reunion with Shae, after he's had a scare thinking she's been captured.
- Despite his immense relief that Cersei got the wrong girl, Tyrion's still outraged over what happened to Ros and promises to help her however he can.
- Stannis's monologue saying, long story short, that Davos is the only man he trusts. It's comforting to know that the man who ended up bitterly resenting both his brothers still has such feelings in him.
- Several characters 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.
- 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.
9 - Blackwater
- Sansa still having the doll Ned gave her, especially considering the way she'd turned up her nose at the gift when he first gave it to her. It's clear now that she's holding onto it now as a memory of her beloved father. That she picks it up while the battle is raging outside hints that she's looking for comfort from the doll because Ned isn't there to protect her anymore.
- Tyrion calling Bronn his friend.
Bronn: Oh, are we friends?
Tyrion: Of course. The fact that I pay you doesn't diminish our friendship.
Bronn: No. Enhances it, really.
- Blink and you'll miss it, but when Bronn passes Sansa and Shae on his way out, he spins around to give them a little bow.
- Bronn saving the Hound's life when he locks up in a middle of a battle due to his fear of fire. This is particularly significant because just before the battle began, both men were ready to kill each other.
- The Hound telling Sansa he's fleeing the city, and offering to take her with him and take her home.
Sansa: You won't hurt me.
The Hound: No, Little Bird, I won't hurt you.
- Cersei's reaction when Lord Tywin enters the throne room to tell her they've won the battle. Considering the fact she had been moments away from Mercy Killing her youngest son, you can only imagine her immense relief when she sees the father she puts so much faith in come to her rescue.
Tywin: The battle is over. We have won!
- The city's defenders crying out "Half-man!" for Tyrion after they briefly retook the gate. This is the first time Tyrion really gets acknowledged for his deeds, and the look on his face is touchingly confused.
- What makes it even better is that it affirms what Tyrion said to Jon Snow at the start of the series: that a person shouldn't avoid what they are but rather armour themselves in it. In this case, Tyrion's men have turned what would normally be a bigoted taunt into a war cry.
- Tyrion and Shae's scene in bed. He admits with little sarcasm how genuinely afraid he is, and her response is to seriously and earnestly promise she'll protect him. Then, he shows concern for her getting hurt in a war she has no part in, and she simply answers she does have a vested concern in this war, i.e. him. Finally, she reminds him of what he said the first time they met — only, when they met, he used a four-letter word, and here, she says, "That I should make love to you like it was your last day on this earth." The next episode makes it even clearer, but this scene shows Shae is no longer trading sex and her companionship for money. Just as he's fallen in love with her, she's fallen in love with him.
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 / snuggling into their mother.
- The vision of Drogo telling Dany that he did not and would not pass on to the Night Lands without her.
- "I have known you for many years, Theon Greyjoy. You are not the man you are pretending to be. Not yet."
- Varys' reassurance to Tyrion when he wakes up after the Battle of Blackwater.
Varys: There are many who know that without you this city faced certain defeat. The king won't give you any honors, the histories won't mention you, but we will not forget.
- Arya refusing to go with "Jaqen" because she needs to find Robb and Catelyn. "And my sister. I need to find her too." Arya had been bitter toward Sansa for some time now. With this line, it's clear she's finally let it go.
- Robb and Talisa exchanging their marriage vows before a septon and a heart tree.
- Sansa's goofy little smile and breathless giggling when she realizes she no longer has to marry Joffrey.
- As Maester Luwin is dying in Winterfell's godswood, he asks Osha to protect Bran and Rickon, noting that she may be forced to protect them from her fellow wildlings. Osha dismissively says that she has no love for her own kind.
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's death. After previously just screwing with the kid and acting like he might seduce him, he's completely subdued as he tells Davos he's also lost a son, and that Davos was a good father.
- When Stannis finds out that Davos is still alive, you can see his mouth twitch as if trying to suppress a smile.
- After Pod drags Bronn away from his whorehouse and they find two members of the Kingsguard blocking Tyrion's door, Bronn doesn't even hesitate to fight the two knights when he thinks Tyrion is in danger. Bronn also calls them out for beating Sansa last season as he faces them down.
- Granted, the king he claims to have failed was a cruel monster, but Barristan Selmy's plea for forgiveness to Daenerys for his past failure and pledging his loyalty to her is in its own way very heartwarming.
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 tastes 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.
- 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.
- Varys agrees with Olenna that Sansa has had an interesting childhood, "sadly," and how he considered himself an admirer of her father (he did, in fact, desperately try to convince Joffrey to spare Ned's life at his execution). It says a lot that the Master of Whispers, who spreads lies and disinformation for a living, would say such a thing about one of the most famously honest, honorable men in the country.
- A small detail within everything else, but Varys refers to Ros, the one who gave him the information about Littlefinger's departure, as a "confidant", not as a "little bird". He's not calling her one of his spies, he's calling her an ally.
- Also, think back to the previous episode. Joffrey wants to criminalize homosexuality. As was pointed out last season, it's a lot easier to fake straight when you're married. All Loras would have to do would be to get Sansa pregnant and he's mostly above suspicion, saving him from execution.
- In short, Margaery clearly sees the political value in Sansa Stark, but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be friends or she shouldn't treat her kindly.
- Not to mention the other part of the conversation, where Margaery promises to invite Sansa to a famous masquerade held at her home city. Sansa looks thrilled at the idea of attending, but then sadly says "I don't think the queen would want me to leave King's Landing". Margaery's response is "You mean the queen regent? Because when I'm married to Joffrey, I'll be the queen." The way Sansa's face lights up at that is just so sweet! And the way Margaery says the line, like it's the most obvious thing in the world that she'll let her friend Sansa leave King's Landing if she wants to, is very heartwarming, however politically-motivated it might be.
- It must be said that a genuine concern and affection can coexist with a cold eyed knowledge of the political advantages of befriending the heiress of Winterfell. Human motives are rarely simple.
- When Daenerys tells the Unsullied that they are free and can leave if they choose to, they all decide to stay.
- When she gives the order to sack Astapor, she makes sure to order the Unsullied to not harm any children and to free any slaves they find.
- It's blink-and-you'll-miss-it, but when shit starts to go down in the courtyard of Astapor, you can see Jorah shielding Missandei behind him.
- After Jaime loses his hand, he has pretty much become utterly broken and has decided to simply let himself die and refuses to even eat. Brienne decides to repay his saving her from being gang raped by snapping him right the fuck out of his misery, calling him a coward and reminding him that he has just had a taste of what people in Westeros go through every day, and urging him to live and get revenge for what was done to him. This works perfectly, and as Jaime starts to eat Brienne quietly expresses her gratitude for him saving her earlier.
- Bonus points because this is how Brienne felt after Renly's death before she swore herself into Catelyn Stark's service. She knows all too well what it's like to forever lose something dear to her.
- In a somewhat subtle way, Jaime and Brienne trying to fight the Bolton men together despite being respectively one-handed and bound, because it looks entirely like they're only doing it because the other one is putting up a resistance.
- When the Hound, facing Beric Dondarrion, is told he'll be tried by combat, he makes a crack about if he'll be fighting Arya since she seems to be the bravest one there. Though it's clearly meant to be an insult, Beric just turns to look at Arya, smiles and comments, "She might be."
- Arya still remembers her friend Mycah and calls the Hound out for killing him when he tries to give the Brotherhood a Shut Up, Kirk!.
- The crowd cheering for Joffrey and Margaery. It's small, but Joffrey looks genuinely happy when he sees the people cheering and waving for him.
- Theon admitting (and perhaps realizing) that Ned Stark truly was his real father.
- In a dark way, Varys inviting Tyrion into his chambers while he is unboxing the sorcerer. Varys has been waiting for this moment for most of his life, and is more than happy to share the moment with Tyrion.
5 - Kissed By Fire
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 Lord 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. Lord Beric then came back.
- Brienne helping Jaime cut his meat since he can't do it with one hand.
- And then he puts his hand over hers to help her keep her temper. Can you say d'aaaaw?
- Nothing comes of it because Roose Bolton refuses him, but Jaime insisting that Brienne accompany him to King's Landing shows that he has come to care for her.
- Meera holding Jojen as he suffers through a precognitive fit.
- And given how she seemed prepared for it (she already had a cloth ready for him to bite down on, and seemed familiar with the situation), she's clearly done this for him many times before.
- It's easy to miss, but Olenna's complete acceptance and nonchalance over the fact that her grandson Loras is gay.
- Sam singing a hymn about the Seven to get Gilly's baby to sleep. Really the whole scene with the three of them.
- Just before the bad news gets dropped, Tyrion's conversation with Sansa and Shae has a nice moment where the doggedly loyal Shae objects to leaving Sansa alone with Tyrion, which alarms Sansa, who is unaware of their secret relationship and rushes to apologize for her maid, who, from her perspective, has just backtalked one of the most powerful men in the Seven Kingdoms.
- The way Sansa says "But I trust her, even though she tells me not to." It's just so sweet how their relationship developed.
- Osha's concern for Bran's safety and for him getting to Castle Black so he can be with his brother Jon Snow. She doesn't give a shit about all the prophetic visions from the Three-Eyed Raven because to her, family is what matters most.
- When Arya and Gendry realize that Beric has sold him to Melisandre, Arya immediately jumps to his defense, yelling that he wants to join the Brotherhood in the hope it will make them reconsider. The previous episode showed that she was genuinely hurt by Gendry's choice to stay with the brothers instead of her, but she doesn't hesitate to use that decision in an attempt to keep him safe and get the life he wanted.]
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 he's had a rough season so far, and he has not been this happy since before Ned was killed.
- Jaime jumping into the bear pit to save Brienne is both this and a Moment of Awesome.
- His righteous fury on her behalf is adorable. "You gave her a wooden sword?" There's also the unspoken implication there that he knows she would stand a good chance of winning if the sword was real. That's right, he's so impressed with her skill that he believes she could win a fair fight against a bear!
- Even before that, the way he just runs through the place as soon as he's off his horse. And then makes it very clear to everyone that they'll have to kill him to get anywhere near Brienne at this point.
- Before that, Jaime promises to return the Stark girls to Catelyn, and not only does Brienne not dispute the value of his oath for a second, she calls him Ser Jaime without any mockery or irony whatsoever. Jaime's expression speaks volumes.
- Ygritte and Jon's conversation starts off as Funny Moment but soon moves into heartwarming with this quote:
Ygritte: You're mine, as I'm yours. And if we die, we'll die. But first we'll live.
- Every time Ygritte and Jon cutely flirt in "The Bear and the Maiden Fair".
- Margaery consoling Sansa about being engaged to Tyrion, pointing out that he's a good man, and actually rather handsome. Not only is she trying to make her friend feel better, but she's one of the few people who's actually complimented Tyrion honestly.
- Saying very honestly that she wants Sansa to be happy.
- It's notable that this is the first instance where Margaery does not have an ulterior motive for her act of kindness.
- While Melisandre has a dark ulterior motive in finding Gendry, she does appear to genuinely bond with him whilst discussing their respective origins, particularly how a humble beginning does not matter if you aspire to greatness. Particularly when she reveals the truth about who his father really was.
- Daenerys, revealing once again what it means to be a queen:
Jorah: We don't need Yunkai, khaleesi. Taking this city will not bring you any closer to Westeros, or the Iron Throne.
Dany: How many slaves are there in Yunkai?
Jorah: Two hundred thousand.
Dany: Then we have two hundred thousand reasons to take the city.
- The best part is the way she says it. It's not a bold, dramatic statement of heroism. She's quiet, soft, she sounds like her heart is breaking. She cannot allow Yunkai's cruelties to stand; not as a grand statement, but because she is better than that.
- An extra layer of heartwarming is that she says this in front of Grey Worm, who accepts the statement with an equally subdued expression. The Unsullied are her people now. She feels that she owes it to them to free slaves when she can, because her people were once slaves. She won't just become the 'breaker of chains' when it has a direct advantage to her. She got one thing right: Rhaegar was not the last dragon.
- Keep in mind that Dany was herself sold into slavery by Viserys, given to the Dothraki as essentially a glorified concubine for Khal Drogo. She's actually been anti-slavery ever since the first series, as shown when she convinced Drogo to either free the slaves, or at least, the females that were going to be raped by his Khalasar. She's been trying to establish herself as a liberator, long before Astapor!
- The best part is that Dany is no Margaery. She's doing it due to her own experiences as a slave, and out of empathy and a desire to free this people from their horrible lives. Not out of a political agenda or desire to be more popular. The slaves in Yunkai are not warriors, they won't benefit her, she just wants to free them. That is what makes her quest great, she knows she should go back to Westeros and she knows she has no right to start wars in this land but she cannot possibly leave the Gulf of Grief knowing more people are living a misery that is worse that what she herself lived.
- There's a small one right after Daenerys and her dragons send the Yunkish emmissary on their way. Sure, Drogon may be a ferocious, scaly, fire-breathing beast of legends, but the way he practically purrs and snuggles up to his mommy as she strokes his head is downright adorable, and actually quite touching.
- 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, "Okay. You don't totally suck."
Tyrion: (watching Sansa nervously undress) Stop. I can't... I mean, I could, but I won't.
Sansa: But, your father...
Tyrion: If my father wants someone to get fucked, I know where he can start! (shakes his head) I won't share your bed. Not until you want me to.
Sansa: ...What if I never want you to?
Tyrion: (raises his wine glass) "And so my watch begins..."
- One that's easy to overlook, but after Tyrion refuses to bed Sansa against her will, he passes out on the couch. The next morning when he wakes up, it seems someone put the cloak from the wedding over him while he slept. Sansa was the only other person in the room the whole night.
- Arya's reaction to Sandor Clegane revealing he's taking her back to her family.
- Sam and Gilly's continued bonding together as they try to survive and protect the baby was cute enough, but when attacked by a White Walker making a beeline for Gilly and the Baby, self confessed coward Samwell Tarly goes completely Papa Wolf on the terrifying and unkillable undead abomination, pulling a You Shall Not Pass! on it despite being visibly terrified out of his mind, and then when his sword is shattered and he is thrown aside, he charges it again with the ancient obsidian knife he found the previous season and thus being the first man to kill a White Walker in the series.
- It's even more heartwarming when you consider Sam was at the Fist of the First Men, where he saw firsthand the Walkers slaughter hundreds of his Night's Watch comrades, so it's even more impressive he still found the courage to stand in the Walker's way despite knowing what such a monster is capable of.
- 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.
- 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!
- Varys, too, gives his customary deep bow as Sansa and Joffrey pass. His previous comments on Sansa and Ned would indicate that it means more than simply going through the motions for the crowd.
- Davos' excitement at successfully reading a full sentence, for what's probably the first time on his own.
- A very small but wholly unexpected one for Cersei at Sansa's wedding. As Joffrey heads off to continue his relentless dickery towards Sansa, Cersei tries to redirect him towards Margaery instead. Given that she is terrified that Margaery knows how to manipulate Joffrey, this basically goes against everything she cares about. Joffrey ignores her, of course, but at least she tried.
- When Tyrion tells his father not to worry about his "performance" since he himself has on many occasions called him "a drunken little lust-filled beast", Tywin seems almost like he's having a bit of friendly banter with his son before reminding himself that he hates Tyrion.
- Tyrion's hilariously awesome, even rather unnerving (due to how utterly enraged Tyrion had become at that point) threat to castrate Joffrey in front of everyone at his wedding party was made simply because the little shit would not stop tormenting Sansa by attempting to force Tyrion to go through with the "bedding ceremony", which would have involved her beings stripped naked by Joffrey and his mooks (and most likely sexually assaulted given Joff's threats to her) and carried to Tyrion's bed naked. The fact he would make such a threat to an Ax-Crazy scumbag and thus utterly humiliating him in public, a scumbag whom he knows has already tried to have him assassinated and whom has already had an ex-hand who offended him executed, because he was trying to make Sansa suffer makes an awesome scene all the more heartwarming.
- 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.
- A subtle example, with Gendry. Even when he's reduced to begging Stannis for his life, he never tries to bargain for it with the one piece of extremely valuable information he has - the survival and whereabouts of Arya Stark.
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", being able to get so much knowledge simply from reading. Sam gets this adorable little smile at that. Considering how poor Sam has been ridiculed for his love of books and lack of inclination to be a warrior, it must have meant so much to finally have someone admire him for his knowledge.
- "My father used to tell us that no wildling ever looked upon The Wall and lived.... and here we are, alive!"
- Not only that, but remember that Sam confided to Jon in Season 1 that he dreamed of being a wizard as a kid. Gilly calling Sam a "wizard" validates Sam's dream, at least to the woman he loves.
- The parallels of both Jon and Arya refusing to kill defenseless old men despite threats from their "allies" (the wildlings and the Hound). After everything they've suffered and how brutal Westeros has become the Starks are still damn good people and won't stand by while innocents are killed. The pair were raised by Ned Stark and it shows.
- Osha agreeing to protect Rickon, and her goodbye to Bran as well, telling Meera and Jojen that Bran means the world to her.
- In the same scene, Rickon says that he wants to go with Bran and protect him, because Bran's his brother. When Bran says no, Rickon's goodbye hug to Bran is both heartwarming and tearjerking, in an episode already full of tearjerkers.
- Sam and Gilly actually making it to the Wall alive against all odds, in an episode where we really needed to see that sometimes good things happen to good people.
- The happiness and relief in Lord Edmure's face when he sees that he scored a pretty Frey daughter. It all goes downhill from there.
Roslin: Lord Edmure, I hope I'm not a disappointment to you.
Edmure: You're a delight to me, my lady.
- Catelyn talking about her wedding night and how Ned stopped her from having to go through the humiliating bedding ceremony.
Roose: Every girl suffers the same, I'm sure you endured yours with grace.
Cat: Oh Ned forbade it. He said it wouldn't be right if he broke a man's jaw on our wedding night.
- Talisa suggesting to Robb that they name their potential son "Eddard". The look on Robb's face when she says "Don't you want to teach little Ned Stark how to ride a horse" seals the deal (followed by Catelyn's approving smile). Then that song plays and this moment is turned into an utterly horrifying and depressing Tear Jerker within ten painful minutes.
- Ser Barristan offering Jorah Mormont his help with the attack on Yunkai. Especially in contrast to their previous reluctant alliance and the hint of mistrust Barristan, Jorah and Grey Worm seem to have towards Daario.
- While coming in at a VERY dark and heartbreaking scene, Sandor Clegane rescuing Arya from the Twins during the Red Wedding while she was wandering in terrified shock through the carnage (picking her up the same way he did when saving her sister last season) despite all the grief and snark she had given him and the fact he could no longer ransom her is pretty much the sole moment in that nightmarish ten minutes which can be considered heartwarming.
- Not to mention how suicidally dangerous this rescue was given how he clearly realized what was about to happen/already happening and how he was surrounded by hundreds if not thousands of soldiers who might recognize him or simply mistake him for a Stark soldier and kill him.
- While it may have been brought about for political reasons, Robb Stark personally apologizing to the Frey girls is quite heartwarming because of how sincere it sounds; it makes you realize that, in spite of his recklessness when he married Talisa, he really does know that he slighted them and prevented one of them from getting away from the miserable Twins and the insufferable Walder, and he does genuinely feel bad about it. It's nice to be reminded that, in contrast to every other major player in the Game (with the exception of Tyrion,) Robb really is a Nice Guy. Though it only makes what happens next even more painful.
- Tormund taking hold of Ygritte during Jon's betrayal. His priority is clearly more about keeping Ygritte safe and not letting her do anything stupid, rather than getting revenge on Jon for what he's done.
- Jon Snow knocks Ygritte down to keep her from helping him fight the other Wildlings, guaranteeing she won't also be branded as an enemy and saving her.
- Fridge Brilliance invites a moment of hope in the aftermath of the Red Wedding. The Rains of Castamere that plays during the wedding is about a vassal house that Tywin exterminated for betraying him. The song is meant to be symbolic that he thinks, with the death of Robb, he's now done the same to the Starks, with Sansa wed to Tyrion. However, Tywin is unaware that Bran, Rickon, and Arya are still out there. The Starks of Winterfell have endured, unbeknownst to Tywin.
10 - Mhysa
- As the Hound is escaping the Red Wedding with Arya, there is a point where he is about to change his path so that he doesn't have to pass by fire. However, Robb's headless corpse is being paraded down the new path he is about to take. The Hound turns his horse around and goes down his original fire filled route so that Arya doesn't have to be taken near her brother's corpse.
- Sansa mentions that Arya used to prank her by hiding sheep dung in her bed...and looks back on those memories now with fondness. She really misses her sister.
- Similarly, the fact that he saved Sansa from a gang rape and murder actually makes Arya conflicted in her loathing of the Hound.
- Sansa mentions the "sheepshifting" as a way to get back at some men who laughed at Tyrion, showing that even if she doesn't want to be his wife she's starting to feel comfortable with him as a friend. She's also starting to act like a young girl again, in a good way, because she doesn't have to be so scared now that Tyrion's taking care of her.
- Sam meeting Bran and enthusiastically talking about Jon and Ghost. Given how horribly the Starks have been torn apart and scattered to every corner of the kingdom even just getting news of one their siblings is a gift.
- Also worth mentioning is Sam going out of his way to tell how he's "heard all about Hodor", and the smile that brings to Hodor's face. The man is so well loved by the Starks that even surly Jon can't help but tell fond memories of him to his brothers in the Night's Watch.
- When Joffrey demands the head of Robb Stark to be sent to him, so he can serve it to Sansa as dinner, Tyrion point-blank refuses to allow it. He did his best to protect her while he was the King's Hand, and he's doing his best while he's her husband.
Tyrion: She is no longer yours to torment!
- Heck, the first one to speak against it is Varys, reminding him that Sansa is his aunt by marriage. His tone suggests that he can't believe Joffrey's so twisted.
- Varys offers Shae a bag of diamonds to sail across the sea and buy a mansion, because Varys believes Tyrion is the one man with the greatest chance of making Westeros a better place and she complicates that. He is giving her enough money to live like a queen for the rest of her days, enough to escape from the hellhole that is Westeros forever, and what does she do? She throws it back to him, because she loves Tyrion too much to abandon him. Also a heartwarming moment for Varys, because it shows he really does care about the realm in the end. While Varys is basically telling Shae to shove off and leave King's Landing, his method is unusually kind for the folks who play the Game of Thrones. Most probably would have simply had Shae killed or forcibly taken away. Varys offers her a better life, describing how she can easily go someplace where she can be rich and cared for and have countless suitors.
- Shae fiercely telling Varys that she loves Sansa, and that she would kill for her.
- Gilly finally names her son "Sam".
- Jon Snow finally makes it back to the Night's Watch.
- Jaime finally makes it home. After getting into King's Landing and not being recognized by a peasant, since his circumstances are so changed, Jaime looks around at Brienne uncertainly. She gives him a tiny smile, and that possibly gives him the confidence to keep going.
- Davos taking a moment to bond with Gendry ("Two boys from Flea Bottom") and even sharing memories of the street the shit used to float down, showing how they are not so different. Besides Arya, Davos seems to be the only person in all of Westeros who gives a damn about Gendry's life.
Stannis: What is the life of one bastard boy against a Kingdom?
- Davos helping Gendry escape: Gendry — after spending the last few episodes being betrayed by anyone he tried to trust — is hesitant and asks why he's doing it. Davos's answer? Because it's right.
- Yara outright defies her father's order to leave Theon as captive of Ramsay Snow. She proceeds to gather her men and make a heroic vow to free her brother. She also calls Balon out on his disowning of Theon and her speech has more impact on him than Theon's in "What is Dead May Never Die". Even if Yara thinks he's sometimes "the dumbest cunt alive", he's still her brother and she still loves him.
Yara: I'm going to pick the fastest ship in our fleet. I'm going to choose the best fifty killers on the Iron Islands. I'm going to sail up the Narrow Sea, all the way to the Weeping Water. I'm going to march on the Dreadfort, I'm going to find my little brother, and I'm going to bring him home.
- Tyrion and Cersei once more confiding in each other about the war, their marriages, and Joffrey, again showing that despite their mutual enmity, they still have some affection for each other. Cersei tells Tyrion to get on with it and get Sansa pregnant — not for the family's benefit but for Sansa's; having a child will make her happy. Cersei does have some small regard for the girl, even if it doesn't show that often.
- Oddly enough, there's some tenderness in Tywin revealing that he didn't drown Tyrion the day he was born and instead raised the son as a Lannister. He Wants a Prize for Basic Decency, yes, but his voice and composure almost break down, which is so un-Tywinesque that it shows that once upon a time this man had a heart, hinting what the books state; the best parts of Tywin died with Joanna.
- Despite being bored with such things, Shireen sitting with Davos as he reads news and helping him where she can.
- After Arya kills one soldier upon hearing that he was responsible for desecrating her beloved brother's body, the Hound steps in to kill the rest of the soldiers. He then turns to scold Arya. Why? It wasn't because she stole his dagger. It wasn't because she killed someone. It was because she did it without telling him. Two interpretations can be derived: a. The Hound was concerned with Arya's safety and wants some warning the next time she does something like that again or b. Sandor wants to help her get vengeance. Or both.
- 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.
- On a similar note, after all that horrible things that happened the episode prior, this scene shows that even as the world becomes ever more bleak and dark, hope hasn't been lost yet.
1 - Two Swords
2 - The Lion and The Rose
- Varys taking the time to warn Tyrion that Shae has been discovered and Tywin plans to murder her, even while visibly alarmed at the prospect of being found out for the warning.
- Stannis is shown to be burning Ser Axell Florent, a loyal servant who provided many ships to him as a sacrifice. Davos asks what the victim did to deserve this as a reward for his loyalty. Stannis points out that Davos has not been loyal or done as much — yet in spite of this, Stannis keeps him alive because he values their friendship.
- Stannis will not let his (slightly crazy) wife Selyse take the rod to his daughter, Shireen, and also seems reluctant to let Melisandre go and see her.
- Stannis' meat dinner is going bad but Selyse refuses to serve fish because she knows he hates that. She also reminiscences about his efforts to keep her fed during the siege of Storm's End. She never wavers in her devotion to a husband who despises her.
- It's debatable if you want to call this heartwarming or Nightmare Fuel, but Melisandre coming into Shireen's quarters to talk to her. She's doing it to convert her to worship the Lord of Light, but she calls her 'Princess' without scorn or irony, and even touches the greyscale scars on Shireen's face, gently. Given the life the poor girl's had, this might be the first expression of maternal affection she's had in a long while.
- Margaery continues to treat Brienne with the utmost dignity and respect, which is contrasted sharply by Joffrey's sneers and Cersei's mocking. Also, despite being the first person to suspect Brienne of Renly's murder, Margaery is now quick to jump to her defense from that very accusation.
- While it was unnecessarily cruel — throwing the only person who ever treated her like she was important in Brienne's face and mocking her for it — Cersei's dislike for the lady knight seems to stem entirely from the fact that Jaime cares about Brienne, enough that it makes Cersei jealous. "Do you love him?" indeed — whether it's romantic or not, Cersei, you can't stop either of them from caring.
- Although it was said to make a jab at Cersei, Oberyn's comment that in Dorne they're disgusted by raping and murdering girls and women rather than being disgusted by people of low birth. From everything we see and hear of Dorne his comment does seem to be a genuine reflection of their freer and more open-minded society.
- Ever since he's returned to King's Landing, Jaime notes that "Every Lannister has been a pain in my arse". Here we find the single exception: Tyrion who doesn't insult him, mock him for his failures but simply thinks of a way to bring Jaime back in shape, telling him that he can become a Situational lefty by practicing and correcting his muscle memory, and fixing him up with an instructor who'll keep quiet to ensure Jaime remains The Dreaded.
- Jaime also drops his guard completely in the scene, admitting his vulnerability to Tyrion in a way that he doesn't with other people, showing how close the two brothers are.
- Also, Tyrion has a soft spot for "bastards, cripples, and broken things", somewhere Tyrion must appreciate the irony that having given Bran a saddle design for a paraplegic, he's now trying to help the man who crippled him, his own brother.
- When Mace Tyrell presents Joffrey with his wedding gift Joffrey refers to him as "father," deeply honoring Mace. No subtle cruelty, no complaining afterwards, nothing. Whether Joffrey's feelings were genuine or not, it's one of the very few Pet the Dog moments Joffrey has in the whole series.
- Tyrion gives a history lore as his wedding gift for Joffrey, citing that it's a book every king must read. This shows that the dwarf still cares for Joffrey and hopes that this annoying nephew of his would someday become a good king.
- Sansa picking up the goblet that Joffrey kicked so Tyrion wouldn't have to crawl around looking for it anymore.
- It's subtle, but right before "Robb Stark" is "killed" during the wedding performance, Tyrion places his hand on Sansa's.
- Tyrion also quietly orders the dwarf performers to be given twenty gold pieces each for having to participate in the humiliating performance. As in the books, this would make said performers wealthy enough to never have to degrade themselves like that again.
- Might be more of a Tearjerker, but Loras leaves the wedding in a huff when "Renly" is being abused during the dwarf joust. After a whole season of not being able to openly express his grief over Renly's death (which led many viewers to assume that Loras was no longer affected by this loss), it's reassuring for book readers to see that Loras is still in mourning and just not able to openly show it.
- Margaery, for all the joyful facade that she puts on for the entire wedding, is visibly furious at the display. Is she angry because of the offensive depiction of Renly "riding" Loras (the latter is portrayed as girly-looking and curly-haired — an obvious reference to her brother), for Sansa's sake (Margaery does glance in Sansa's direction to see how the girl is coping shortly before "Joffrey" starts humping the fake direwolf head), and/or just because the whole thing is vulgar and cruel? The audience doesn't know, but she's very upset.
- For all their ambition, the Tyrells' displeasure at the utterly tasteless parody demonstrates their closeness as a family. This scene implies that Mace is accepting of his son's orientation and of Loras' love for Renly, which is a rare trait in a Westerosi father. Olenna believed that Renly was foolish for claiming the Iron Throne and frequently teases her grandson, but she clearly does NOT approve of their relationship being openly mocked. Margaery is certainly pissed off over the Loras-like doll being used as Renly's "horse," and she knows this awful caricature deeply hurts her brother.
- Likewise Tywin's look of utter disgust during the humiliation towards Tyrion. Say what you will about the man, but even he lacks pleasure in the way Joffrey mistreats his youngest son. Nobody treats Tyrion like crap and makes his life a living hell but me.
- In a way the whole wedding feast and the fact that virtually everyone present is disgusted at Joffrey's skit and abuse of Tyrion. Throughout his posturing you see every major character — from Margaery, Loras and Olenna, Tywin, Jaime, Tommen and Tyrion himself, Sansa and Brienne, Varys and Pycelle, Oberyn of Dorne and Ellaria — all looking uncomfortable and disapproving. Cersei is the sole person who finds his behavior amusing. Yes, most of the guests are ruthless plotters and have committed horrible acts of their own for various reasons but it says something that none of them relish in war and torturing others for the sake of it the way Joffrey does. Their universal disgust at his actions may well be the biggest moment of unity in the whole series.
- Subtle example. When Bronn is brought to escort Shae out, Bronn gently puts a hand on her. Sadly, it doesn't help.
- Later, Bronn comforts Tyrion, telling him he did the right thing.
- At the wedding when Joffrey [goes from simply choking to collapsing and vomiting, Tywin rushes to Tommen's side and covers his eyes so he doesn't have to watch his brother's fairly gruesome death. It's likely there's a pragmatic aspect to it, considering Tommen is next in line to the throne and the King has quite blatantly been assassinated before their eyes, but Tywin's concern for his grandson's well-being is clear either way.
- Also some Fridge Brilliance when one considers Tywin's... troubled relationship with his children and oldest grandchild, it makes quite a bit of sense why he would be rather protective of his only descendant (bar the absent Myrcella) who is neither an embarrassment, a psychopath, nor a failure in his eyes.
- It's strangely heartwarming and deeply saddening to see Cersei and Jaime holding their son together as he died, for once acting as concerned parents — when it was already far too late and their child had gone off the deep end and ended up assassinated for it.
- When Joffrey collapses, Jaime immediately runs to his side out of concern. Sadly (or perhaps not), it turns out to be of little use.
- Just the fact that Jaime calls him Joffrey. Not my King, not your grace, just Joffrey.
- Despite Joffrey being a complete shit to Tyrion the entire wedding and publicly humiliating him right before he chokes and dies Tyrion shows genuine concern when the first signs of something wrong with him appears. It speaks to Tyrion's innate humanity that he was able to forget his anger at that moment.
- During the Dwarf War of the Five Kings, Tommen is shown laughing right along with Joffrey at first, only to catch a sight of Tyrion's Death Glare and quickly realize that it's not funny in the slightest. He immediately stops smiling and proceeds to remain silent for the entire rest of the meal, looking utterly guilty. This shows that unlike Joffrey (or even Cersei), Tommen actually cares about Tyrion, is a decent enough person to understand that his uncle was deeply hurt by this mockery, and realizes he made a mistake by laughing at his expense.
3 - Breaker of Chains
4 - Oathkeeper
- While being taught by Missandei how to speak Westerosi, Grey Worm and Missandei talk about their pasts and their slave lives. Their talk is both this and a serious tearjerker. Heartwarming because it shows how these two former slaves are bonding and how much they have grown since being freed. Tearjerking due to how their former lives were taken from them.
- Mhysa! Mhysa! Mhysa!
- Daenerys's BRUTAL revenge towards the Masters of Meereen (she has 163 of them crucified on every mile-post from the city) is dark as all hell but shows just how far she is willing to go to avenge the slave children.
- As a counterpoint, Ser Barristan pleading with Dany to be merciful towards them, or at least not to stoop to their level in her quest for justice. It may be somewhat naive, and doing to the Masters what they did to the children may be considered "just" retribution for their awful crime, but the fact that in a world as screwed up and harsh as that of Game of Thrones, even in the face of the monstrous evil he's witnessed, Barristan can still maintain his compassion and believe that injustice should sometimes be met with mercy is a very heartwarming and precious thing.
- Margaery's scene with Tommen. Although some parts of it border on the squicky (and some go right over that border!) when she kisses him on the forehead his eyes go wide, and you realize that's probably the first bit of tenderness he's received in quite a long time.
- Olenna revealing how much of an awesome Grandmama Bear she is when she casually reveals to a shocked Margaery that she was the one who murdered Joffrey in order to protect her granddaughter from his sadism and cruelty. Cool Old Lady doesn't even begin to cover it.
- Doubly so as another (unstated) reason is that she also wanted to protect Loras, since she knew that Joffrey was planning to make homosexuality punishable by death. And because Joffrey's "tribute" to Renly at the wedding feast, riding an effigy resembling Loras, utterly pissed her off.
- Despite all the evidences pointing to her, and despite her hatred for his family, neither Tyrion nor Sansa believe that the other is guilty and therefore responsible of their current predicament. Pretty sweet from the outcast couple, especially compared to their relationship in the books...
- Bronn telling Jaime that Tyrion named Jaime for his champion, because he knew Jaime would ride day and night to come fight for him. This moves Jaime to finally visit Tyrion in jail, where "The Kingslayer brothers" have a bittersweet fraternal chat.
- Cersei's conversation with Jaime reveals that he was always the one to come and defend Tyrion from his father and sister and anyone else who mocked him for his dwarfism. That's sad and heartwarming at the same time.
- Jaime gives Brienne three gifts to help her find and protect Sansa.
- Firstly, his priceless Valaryian Steel Sword, which she names Oathkeeper.
- He specifically gives her this sword as it was forged from Ned Stark's blade and thus he thinks it should be used to protect Ned Stark's daughter.
- Secondly, a badass set of dark blue armor tailor-made for her.
- Thirdly, a widely grinning Podrick to act as her squire, whom Bronn gives Tyrion's axe as a parting gift.
- Jaime does this partially for Brienne but also as a favor for Tyrion in order to get one of his only true friends to relative safety.
- Moreover, the fact Jaime is so adamant on helping Sansa, the daughter of the man who despised and spat on him for so long (and Catelyn who did pretty much the same), shows just how much he has changed.
- Brienne and Jaime's bittersweet goodbye, and the subsequent look on Jaime's face as he watches her ride away with Brienne turning back for one last look as well.
- Just the fact Brienne and Pod — two of the nicest, most loyal characters of the show and aspiring knights that actually live up to what a knight should be — are able to get out of Kings Landing peacefully and aren't trapped in it's web of constant betrayal and lies. And that they're rare companions who will actually be able to trust each other. Such happy turns of events are rare to find.
- At the Wall, Janos Slynt and Alliser Thorne have conspired to get rid of Jon Snow by allowing him to go to Craster's Keep and kill the mutineers, but only with those who volunteer. He gets half the great hall to join him out of pure loyalty... although the moment is slightly ruined by Locke volunteering himself with evidently sinister intentions.
- And the first two to volunteer are Grenn and Edd, despite that their wanting to sit this one out would have been perfectly understandable after they just barely made it back from Craster's.
- Also when Jon attempts to address the hall, it goes ignored, which would have given Thorne another reason to ridicule him. Grenn decides to help a brother out by slamming his gourd on the table to get everyone's attention for his brother in black. Remember back when Grenn wanted to beat Jon up?
- Also remember that terrified little boy whose family was massacred by wildlings last episode? Turns out Jon Snow and his friends have basically adopted him into their little clique and are training him to become a brother in the Watch.
- The White Walkers "adopting" the babies they take is not nearly as horrifying as other theories, and actually a little adorable. Many watchers had always assumed they would wind up as dinner or some creepy forest decoration, so this is quite the relief, in a weird, twisted way.
- Compared to how eager Karl, "the legend of Gin Alley" was to kill them, the White Walkers come out like the good guys; I'd root for them over the Mutineers any day of the week.
- Following the "twisted relief" approach, it is implied Craster gave his male children as part of a pact for the White Walkers not to take his house. So, you could say they are merely following on their side of the pact, and they haven't attacked Craster's Keep. So, yes, the White Walkers are looking far more civilized than Karl's mutineers.]
- Even better, when the Night's King picks up the baby, the child stops crying and reaches out affectionately towards him! Terrifying necromancer ice demons, but great with kids!
- Now imagine a White Walker baby. Absolutely adorable and basically Disney's Frozen waiting to happen.
5 - First of His Name
- Cersei's and Margaery's conversation after Tommen is crowned. While it's still clear that Cersei can't stand the new queen, a small part of her is forced to acknowledge that Tommen needs someone like her. The two also come to some understanding of just how awful Joffrey really was.
- Despite the general creepiness and craziness inherent in EVERYTHING about Lysa, Robin, and the Eyrie, seeing Sansa find some last remnant of her family is heartening.
- Petyr continuing to teach Sansa his tricks might slightly count.
- Sansa stands up for Tyrion a bit while Lysa is calling him disparaging names by pointing out that he did not want the marriage either and that he did not force himself on her.
- Despite how the scene ends, Sansa and her aunt talking about Catelyn's childhood and generally talking like a loving aunt and niece is also heartwarming... until, of course, Lysa goes crazy again.
- Brienne finally warming up to Pod after all his fuckups when she finds out he killed a Kingsguard to protect Tyrion.
- Jon and Ghost finally reuniting.
- Oberyn assuring Cersei that Myrcella is happy and perfectly safe in Sunspear. Despite his burning hatred of her family, he's still willing to give that much comfort to a mother in pain.
- That whole scene was heartwarming. The last time these two characters talked, it was strictly Passive-Aggressive Kombat and implied threats. This time we get a genuinely sympathetic perspective on two dangerous people who truly love their children.
- It's honestly remarkable to see just how much Cersei — one of the most ruthless members of the house that butchered Oberyn's sister and her children — seems to sympathize with his situation.
Cersei: The gods love their stupid jokes, don't they? [...] You're a prince of Dorne, a legendary fighter, and a brilliant man feared throughout Westeros, and yet you could not save your sister. I am a Lannister, Queen for 19 years, and daughter of the most powerful man alive... and yet I could not save my son. What use is power if you cannot protect the ones you love?
- After hearing about Astapor and Yunkai being retaken by slavers, Daenerys vowing to put her campaign to invade Westeros on hold to ensure that the freed slaves in Meereen stay free.
- The Hound waking up and frantically looking for Arya. This is right after she put him on her death list.
- Despite the very evident loathing Arya has for the Hound in their scene, the fact Sandor is actually somewhat empathetic towards her and the hate she feels despite both her naming him on her kill-list, and her attempt to stab him in the gut (although he did invite the latter by mocking her fighting style). He even gives her back Needle despite how much he knows she wants him dead.
- Also, the fact Arya has added not just Melisandre, but also Thoros and Beric to the list shows just how much she wants to avenge Gendry.
- Especially heartwarming given the context: Despite how close the pair became, previous episodes showed Gendry felt insecure due to Arya's noble status and thought their friendship wouldn't survive her returning to her proper position. (Which was why he stayed with the Brotherhood rather than going on with her in the first place.) Now he's gone and Arya's still on the way to her noble family but she hasn't just forgotten him, is mourning deeply and committed to avenging him. Never underestimate how much Arya Stark cares for people no matter their status.
- On that note, outside of Arya's close family, who does she want to avenge? A fighting instructor, a butcher's boy and a bastard from Flea's Bottom. Because they were all her friends and that's enough for her.
6 - The Laws of Gods and Men
7 - Mockingbird
8 - The Mountain and the Viper
- Ellaria and Oberyn's final interaction. With all the dysfunctional, unhappy couples in Westoros, these two — who can't even be married due to her birth status — truly love each other.
- Also while it ended.... poorly, Oberyn finally avenging the horrifying death of his sister and mortally wounding the monster who raped and murdered her and her children. And yes, while his absolutely horrifying death at the hands of said monster when he lets his guard down takes the edge off this, at least he was able to ensure Clegane would die soon after he did — and more horrifyingly to boot.
- Ygritte sparing Gilly and her baby.
- Followed by Jon, Grenn, Pyp, and even Dolorous Edd assuring Sam that after everything else Gilly's survived, she may have survived the attack on Molestown too.
- Edd's line of how "she survived a White Walker" also shows that the guys actually believe Sam's story about the White Walker while Slynt and Thorne both mock him for it. It is to be noted that Edd is known for his Brutal Honesty, so reassuring words from him mean quite a bit.
- Pyp telling his friends how he thought all of them were dead, since they went on Mormont's ranging and didn't come back, "not for ages." And then they all did...
- Roose Bolton officially accepting his son Ramsay as his own blood and allowing him to carry the Bolton name (and legacy) would be heartwarming if the two of them weren't, you know, the worst people ever.
- Grey Worm admitting that he's happy that he became an Unsullied, since it allowed him to meet Missendei.
- Daenerys braiding Missendei's hair and gossiping with her about Grey Worm. This is the closest we've seen her get to act like an ordinary girl.
- Jaime and Tyrion's talk before the trial by combat, where both reminisce on old times.
- Arya and Sandor appear to have mended their Odd Friendship some by the time they reach the Vale...even if their way of doing so is predictably morbid.
Sandor: (regarding Joffrey) Little shit deserved to die, but poison? Poison's a woman's weapon. Men kill with steel.
Arya: That's your stupid pride talking. It's why you'll never be a great killer. I'd've killed Joffrey with a chicken bone if I had to.
Sandor: (laughs) I'd pay good money to see that.
- When they reach the gate and Sandor announces them, he pauses for a while before referring to Arya as his "traveling companion." He also gives a little smile, like "well, girl, can't very well say you're my captive anymore, eh?"
- When Sansa reveals her identity to the lords of the Vale and covers for Littlefinger, the lords are all genuinely sympathetic to her story and immediately promise to keep her identity a secret. Lady Waynwood even gives her a comforting hug and tells her that what happened wasn't her fault. For all the sadism and manipulations we've come to see from the nobility of Westeros, it is very refreshing to see some authority figures act like human beings.
- Even though he doesn't give two shits about him, Littlefinger's pep talk to Robin Arryn that he's in as much danger inside the Eyrie as he is outside, so he may as well go out and see the world, is heartwarming in its own way. It's better advice than his mother ever gave him, and it gives some small hope that Robin may be happier and more confident in the future, and may even prove not a complete pawn in Littlefinger's games.
- Somewhat negated in that it's pretty clear that Littlefinger could more easily arrange for an "accident" while Robin's out in the wide world.
9 - The Watchers on the Wall
- Everything between Gilly and Sam in this episode. To sum up:
- Gilly returns to Castle Black and Sam orders Pyp to let her in the gates, despite the brothers being told not to open them under any circumstances.
- Sam apologizes for sending Gilly away, comforts her after the horror she experienced in Mole's Town, and promises to never leave her again.
- Sam refusing to stay with her and abandon his brothers, as he swore an oath to help them. Before he goes to fight, they kiss.
- Gilly makes Sam promise not to die. And he keeps that promise.
- To a first-time viewer unaware of Sam's fate in the battle, hearing the initial promise almost verges on Tearjerker when you remember what happened to the last guy who promised not to die.
- He keeps his promise and returns to find her at the end of the episode.
- Maester Aemon can still remember everything about the girl he loved before he joined the Night's Watch, even though he hasn't seen her for a lifetime.
- Despite all the talk about her wanting to kill Jon, Ygritte ultimately hesitates when she has the chance. When she's shot by an arrow and lies dying in Jon's arms, she admits that she still loves him.
- Jon holding back a smile when seeing Ygritte again. Sadly, it doesn't last long.
- Even Ygritte's death is poignant and touching, even if it's in the most heartrending way possible. Even while she lies dying in Jon's arms, a ghost of one of her old mocking smiles is visible on her face as she utters her Catchphrase for the last time, and she succumbs to her wounds quietly and seemingly at peace with how it all turned out. It's a welcome change after what happens to Oberyn in the previous episode.
- Jon asked Grenn to hold the gate. And he did. He faced down a giant with five brothers, and he never wavered. And now His Watch is Ended.
- The final scene where Jon opts to go beyond the Wall to kill Mance. Sam implores him to stay and Jon wishes he could but no one has a better idea. So he bids his last friend a fond farewell and gives him Longclaw, because he promises Commander Mormont he would not lose it again.
10 - The Children
- Arya and Brienne's cute bonding moment over swords, their love of fighting, and their love for their fathers before Sandor showed up and started a fight... at which point the scene shifts to an awesome moment as these two powerhouses duke it out.
- In that same scene, the Hound's admission to Brienne that, yes, he is looking after Arya now, and there is no way in hell he will let someone he believes to be working for the Lannisters near her.
- The commentary states that this dialogue confirms that the Hound loves Arya and is no longer keeping her for a ransom.
- Also despite her biting off his ear, beating the shit out of him, hurling him down a cliff, and pretty much ensuring he will die very, very soon, the Hound bears no grudge and even tells Arya that she should go with her since she genuinely wants to keep her safe.
- Moreover, he knows he is dying and in his final moments his only thoughts are to make sure Arya is safe once he dies.
- Jaime freeing Tyrion and aiding Varys in arranging his escape by boat.
- The final scene: the ship captain accepts and welcomes Arya onto his ship after seeing the coin and hearing her speak the words that one of her only friends in the last few seasons gave to her. She then sails the hell out of Westoros.
- On a more symbolic level, while on the ship she looks somewhat sadly as she watches Westeros being left behind. However, she then runs to the front of the ship to look ahead, and for the first time she looks happy. There's actually hope for her in the future now.
- Jon personally taking Ygritte's body north of the Wall and taking the time to burn her, honouring the dying wish she gave Jon before he failed to execute her.
- The Three-Eyed Raven (A.K.A. Brynden Rivers) promising that although Bran can never walk again, he will achieve the dream that he had wanted to come true: to fly.
- Jon successfully appealing to Stannis's respect for Ned and his sense of honor to persuade him to spare Mance and his wildlings, and to hear their requests for sanctuary behind the Wall out.
- Stannis telling Jon that his father was an honourable man compared to everyone else telling Jon that Ned was a traitor.
- The fact that Stannis arrived to help the beleaguered Night's Watch in their hour of need more than counts. After witnessing so many examples of scheming and betrayal in the pursuit of power from the noble houses of Westeros throughout the show, especially from the likes of the Lannisters, Freys and Boltons, it is truly refreshing to see at least one non-Stark noble who puts his duty to the realm and its people ahead of his own ambitions. No wonder Davos is so loyal to the man he considers the rightful king.
- Going deeper you remember that Ned Stark saved Stannis when he lifted the siege of Storm's End. Now he saves Ned's blood from another siege.
- Mance's response to hearing that a mere farmer managed to kill the last King of the Giants? Drink a toast to the both of them.
- Tywin's speech to Tyrion before Tyrion kills him, insisting that he'd never let Tyrion be executed, that Tyrion's his son and a Lannister no matter what, and that as much as Tywin's always wanted him dead, he admires and respects Tyrion's tenacity, determination, and ability to thrive despite being despised by everyone.
1 - The Wars to Come
- Mossador, the slave who was one of the first to take up arms against the Great Masters in Season 4, is now a freedman on Dany's Small Council, advising her on public mood and the negative dissonance her actions will cause with the Sons of the Harpy.
- Also, Dany ordering a ceremonial burial for White Rat, a lowly slave soldier that was seen as less than human, but now a queen's man.
- When Dany goes to see Viserion and Rhaegal, though they are clearly not pleased at being shut away for so long and eventually force her to flee the crypt, they're in a position to do her serious damage but ultimately scare her away, indicating that they still retain some affection for their 'Mother'.
- Jon helping train Olly — although Olly was the one who ultimately killed Ygritte, Jon doesn't seem to begrudge him at all for it and still treats him like a surrogate younger brother.
- In a bizarre way, Jon's killing of Mance Rayder while he's being burned alive, to prevent him from suffering any further. The two have come to respect and like each other, and there's a last moment of acknowledgment between them as Jon frees Mance from his torment.
- Also, Princess Shireen refusing to watch Mance's suffering by simply closing her eyes while sitting next to her fanatic of a mother, who is too caught up in the spectacle to notice.
- Tormund later points to the act as a demonstration of mercy and courage, and likely is part of what causes them to develop into friends.
- There is a special kind of loving between people displayed when White Rat went to the brothel. Even a eunuch wants love, even if all it means is being held and sung to, and pretending like you're loved. Even if it ends in death, there's the fundamental message the we all want love.
- Varys's reason for saving Tyrion is he believes he is one of the few people who can help rebuild Westeros. He knows that Tyrion is smart, cunning, but also compassionate, which makes him the perfect adviser for Daenerys.
2 - The House of Black and White
- Shireen teaching Gilly to read, and defending her to Selyse. Also how adorably happy Gilly is when she correctly identifies the letter 'S'.
- Sam's impassioned speech putting forward Jon's name as candidate for Lord Commander.
- Maester Aemon breaking his neutrality and casting the deciding vote for Jon.
- Jon's little grin after his brothers start chanting, "Snow! Snow! Snow!" is absolutely adorable, especially since this is the first time we've seen Jon smile like that since Ygritte's death.
- Lyanna Mormont reaffirming her house's loyalty to the Starks. At this point Ned, Catelyn and Robb have all been massacred; Arya, Bran and Rickon are assumed dead; Sansa in the hands of the Stark's enemies and Jon — a bastard in the Night's Watch — is the only one left in the North at all. Are the Northern houses bending their knee to the Boltons, Lannisters, or even Stannis? Nope, in the words of a ten year old girl: "Bear Island knows no king but the King in the North, whose name is Stark." It really tells you how beloved the Starks were that there are still people supporting them.
- Bronn, of all people, has an oddly sweet moment with his bride-to-be, Lollys Stokeworth, telling her not to worry about her "mean" older sister. After all, in Bronn's experience, "meanness comes around" (though the subtlety is lost on Lollys).
- Stannis shows flexibility and chooses not to punish Jon for aiding Mance, reflecting that the North is a difficult place to rule, even for Robert with the aid of Ned. Instead, he offers to raise Snow as Jon Stark, Lord of Winterfell, the first thing Jon ever wanted. In a bittersweet touch, Jon refuses because he made a vow and his place is with his brothers of the Night's Watch.
- Doran Martell's levelheadedness amid grief; he loved his brother and is grateful to Ellaria for making him happy. He instructs his bodyguard to let Ellaria go unharmed despite her implied challenges and threats, and of course hurting Myrcella is out of the question. He's quietly appalled by Ellaria's suggestion.
- Jaime, upon realising that Dorne is angry about Oberyn's death, immediately decides he's going straight there to bring his daughter home to safety.
- Though Cersei spends much of the scene being a huge bitch, the fact that she and Myrcella have special matching necklaces is quite a sweet detail.
- A small one, but Arya smiling and looking at Braavos with interest as she arrives. It's heartening that despite how hardened she's become, she's still excited to be visiting a new place and a reminder that the little girl who just wanted to go on adventures and loved meeting new people is still in there.
- Drogon's reappearance atop the Great Pyramid, even though he could have flown across the known world and never returned, as Daenerys had feared last episode; it seems he will always come back to her.
3 - High Sparrow
4 - The Sons of the Harpy
- Tommen gets one when he attempts to confront The High Sparrow to negotiate Ser Loras Tyrell's release, only to be blocked off by a large gathering of Sparrows who refuse to let him enter the Great Sept of Baelor.
One of his Kingsguard knights tells Tommen that if he gives the word they will "clear out this rabble." Tommen actually has to ask him if he means "kill them."
When it looks like it's going to explode into a huge fight (which Tommen's side will likely lose, since they are surrounded and outnumbered), Tommen wisely backs down and returns to Margaery, telling her there was no way to get Loras back without resorting to violence. It seems Tywin was correct when he said that Tommen has the right temperament for a king, even if he does not truly have the power, authority, or birthright.
- For bonus points, Tommen did the complete opposite of what his brother Joffrey would have done if he were in that situation.
- While mileage will definitely vary on this, it's also darkly sweet on the guard's part. Seeing his king needs help, he points out what he considers to be the best option, promises he'll ensure it's taken if Tommen agrees, and without showing any disdain towards Tommen, even tries to accommodate Tommen's moral unease by pointing out they'd be sending the sparrows to meet the gods the sparrows so fanatically worship. Obviously, this doesn't make his suggestion any less horrifying, but it did seem come to from a genuine desire to serve his king.
- Stannis's tale of how, when Shireen was infected with greyscale as an infant, he refused to let her die or send her away to live with the Stone Men (essentially lepers).
When you were an infant, a Dornish trader landed on Dragonstone. His goods were junk except for one wooden doll. He'd even sewn a dress on it in the colors of our House. No doubt he'd heard of your birth and assumed new fathers were easy targets. I still remember how you smiled when I put that doll in your cradle, how you pressed it to your cheek. (beat)
By the time we burnt the doll, it was too late. I was told you would die, or worse, the grayscale would go slow. Let you grow just enough to know the world before taking it away from you. Everyone advised me to send you to the ruins of Valyria to live out your short life with the Stone Men, before the sickness spread throughout the castle. I told them all to go to hell
. I called in every maester on this side of the world. Every healer, every apothecary. They stopped the disease and saved your life. Because you did not belong across the world with the bloody Stone Men. You are the Princess Shireen of House Baratheon. And you are my daughter.
- And then, when she hugs him, he hugs her back.
- It's also sweet and funny in equal measure that the trader was absolutely right about new fathers. Stannis bought the doll, didn't he?
- Makes it all the worse several episodes later.
- Ser Barristan telling Daenerys about her brother Rhaegar. Specifically, about guarding him in the streets of King's Landing, where Rhaegar would play the harp and sing for the people's pleasure. When Barristan collected the coins he earned for his singing, Rhaegar would sometimes give it to another minstrel or to an orphanage in Flea Bottom.
- The scene is mostly a Tear Jerker, but Gray Worm kills the man who is about to slit Ser Barristan's throat, allowing the man to have the Death With Dignity that he deserves.
- The fact that Barristan gives his life to defend a man who has been bred to believe he is by nature expendable and worth nothing, killing no less than fourteen men singlehandedly to do so. It proves that the members of Dany's group have very much become True Companions.
- Also, as he had already made clear way back in Season 1, when he was involuntarily retired from the Kingsguard, this is exactly how Barristan had always wanted to die: Standing up, fighting in service of a monarch that he truly believed in. Mission accomplished, old man.
- When Jaime's ship passed by an Island near the Stepstones (on the way to the Sea of Dorne), he asks a sailor if that is Estermont only to be told that it's Tarth, "the Sapphire Isle". The big smile Jaime gives on seeing Brienne's homeland and how fondly he remembers her is a great touch.
- While's Jaime's reaction to the request is more of a Tear Jerker, there's Bronn asking for him to pass on his regards if he ever sees Tyrion again.
- Despite referring to her as his "niece" and that he's (partly) doing it to win Cersei's affection again, the fact that when Jaime said he was going to get Myrcella back, one-handed, with no army and only Bronn for back-up, meant it. He may not have been able to be a father to Myrcella in the past, but his complete determination to get his daughter back is truly heartwarming.
5 - Kill the Boy
- Maester Aemon delivering the episode's title and probably the best advice any character can hope to receive in this series.
Aemon: You will find little joy in your command. But, with luck, you will find the strength to do what needs to be done. Kill the boy, Jon Snow. Winter is almost upon us. Kill the boy, and let the man be born.
- Every part of the conversation between Grey Worm and Missandei.
Not death. I fear I never again see Missandei from the Island of Naath. (She leans over him: Big Damn Kiss)
- Sam has been keeping Aemon updated on what Daenerys has been up to, letting him see his family isn't necessarily over yet.
- A bit of a villainous one between Roose and Ramsay, where Roose assures Ramsay that he considers him his son, similar to the scene between Stannis and Shireen in the previous episode.
- The episode demonstrating that even though Winterfell is under control of the Boltons, the commoners are still loyal to the Starks due to their willingness to help Sansa and Brienne.
- Jon trusts and unchains Tormund, after goading him by wondering if Tormund is a coward no less, and then successfully appealing to Tormund's protectiveness towards the free folk.
- Missandei advises Daenerys that advisors have their place, but sometimes she has to know when to forgo their counsel and make her own decision. This leads her to stop trying to rule Meereen through brute force, and reach a compromise that shows she has respect for those traditions which deserve it.
- After starting to lament the fact that his father forced him to join the Night's Watch rather than let him be himself and become a maester, Sam quickly looks on the bright side, telling Gilly that if he hadn't joined the Night's Watch he would have never met her.
- "Keep reading, Samwell Tarly."
- To elaborate, Stannis and Samwell have a conversation that is ultimately about how to fight the White Walkers. Stannis is asking Sam since he's the only one who's killed a White Walker. He acknowledges that studying the history and lore at their disposal to better understand their enemy is useful, and thus so is Sam's love of reading.
- This is particularly heartwarming as we are again reminded of Sam's father, Randyll Tarly, the great soldier who looks down upon readers, servants and other non-warriors, especially his son. The fact that Sam's true worth is recognized by not only another of Westeros' great military commanders, but from a king and a man who respects his father.
- Possibly a bit of Character Development for Stannis as well, since he didn't automatically shun Sam for not looking like a warrior or for his love of reading. Perhaps he regrets the way he always treated his brother, Renly, for similar reasons.
- When Stannis tells Ser Davos that they will ride for Winterfell, Ser Davos appears to have been making a toy for Shireen when he came in. D'aww!
- Knowing that half the Night's Watch is composed of killers and rapists, Stannis refuses to leave his wife and daughter alone at Castle Black with limited protection.
- The normally talkative, cynical Tyrion stunned speechless, in awe at the sight of Drogon flying overhead.
- This is made all the more special if one has read the books. Tyrion says in A Game of Thrones that when he was younger he wanted to see a dragon and was interested in them. As he grew older and more jaded he realized they were gone and would never come back. Seeing Drogon for Tyrion is a moment to be a child again and realize that there is magic and wonder in the world still and the old stories aren't just legend.
- An extremely twisted one since Roose just finished the story of: "how I raped your mother," but his next words to Ramsay are pretty much: "I looked into your eyes and I saw then what I see know. That you're my son." Ramsay's visible pride at hearing this is almost actually heartwarming.
6 - Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken
7 - The Gift
8 - Hardhome
- Tyrion saving Jorah's life by explaining to Daenerys the extent of his obsessive devotion to her and her cause. It's just great that there is finally an objective voice of reason in Daenerys's court, and that his first task is moderating the estranged but pivotal relationship between Dany and Jorah.
Tyrion: He worships you. He is in love with you, I think. But he did not trust you with the truth. An unpleasant truth, to be sure, but one of great significance to you. He did not trust that you would be wise enough to forgive him.
- In his following conversation with Daenerys, Tyrion also comes to admit that besides Jaime, Varys is indeed the only person in the world he trusts. Odd Friendship, indeed.
Tyrion: I had given up on life until Varys convinced me you might be worth living for.
- Theon confessing to Sansa that the two boys who were burned weren't Bran and Rickon, leaving Sansa with hope that she might still have family left.
- Of all the people in the world, Qyburn comes to visit Cersei in her cell. It's kind of morbid, considering the kind of people they are, but nevertheless, it's interesting to see just how reliable Qyburn is to his benefactor even after she's fallen so low.
- After attempting to draw a comparison between Dany and Cersei by remarking on the result of Cersei's loveless Arranged Marriage to Robert Baratheon, wondering if she will do to Hizdahr what Cersei did to Robert or vice versa, Tyrion is visibly relieved when Daenerys says, "Perhaps it won't come to that."
- As they prepare to treat with the wildlings...
- Karsi saying goodbye to her daughters while she puts them on a boat from Hardhome.
- When the White Walkers reveal themselves at Hardhome, Loboda, the new Magnar of Thenn, teams up with Jon to retrieve the dragonglass. He even calmly engages the Other they encounter to buy Jon time, dying in the process. This is the same man who, hours earlier, refused to trust or join with Jon, condemning him as his enemy. A lot changed in just a few minutes.
- The fact that Arya's first target for assassination is a loan shark who callously ruins people's lives while at the same time purchasing some oysters. Since she's never been one to shy away from Paying Evil unto Evil, Arya's certainly pleased.
- The very idea that this guild of assassins, that even entire nations find difficult to scrape enough together to hire one of their best, train their acolytes on deserving targets that upset society for their own gain.
9 - The Dance of Dragons
- Ser Alliser Thorne of all people gets his own moment in this episode when Jon, a bunch of brothers and several thousand wildlings return to the wall on the verge of starvation and freezing. Thorne deeply dislikes Jon and the wildlings, and is in a perfect position to abandon them to die, and because most of the other watchmen share his views, he could easily get away with it. Yet despite their run-ins, he opens the gate, saving all their lives. In a show rife with backstabbing and tragedy, it's a true rarity for a usually nasty character to do the right thing.
- Even though he's able to make it into a criticism, Ser Alliser also tells Jon that he has a good heart.
- Sam encouraging Jon for managing to save some of the wildings
- Also a Tearjerker but that Stannis realizes he has to send Davos away before burning Shireen because Davos would never let him do it. Stannis recognizes how much Davos loves Shireen and protecting her is the one thing he'd turn against Stannis for.
- Ser Davos's last interactions with Shireen. Plus, the fact that he was in fact carving a toy for her as some viewers suspected a few episodes back.
- Once again, Prince Doran shows his levelheadedness and decency.
Doran: Many in Dorne want war. But I've seen war. I've seen the bodies piled on the battlefields. I've seen the orphans starving in the cities. I don't want to lead my people into that hell.
- The brothel's madam may have seemed abrasive when she tried to drive Arya away twice from the brothel, but by then she knew Ser Meryn Trant was a pedophile and was clearly eyeing Arya.
- Ellaria coming to see Jaime after being spared, during which she explains that those in King's Landing don't approve of the love they have/had for their respective others. She makes it clear that you can't control who you love, ending with telling him that both Jaime and his daughter are innocent of Oberyn's death.
- To make it clear she refers to Myrcella as Jaime's daughter rather than niece, and he doesn't correct her.
- The scene is still largely a Tearjerker due to the context, but Shireen's last scene with Stannis showcases what a bright and wholesome girl she is. When discussing the original Dance of Dragons, she states that she would not have sided with either Aegon II or Rhaenyra, because it was due to the situation of people taking sides that the realm suffered in warfare. And then she expresses her desire to aid her father however she can, giving him a warm hug. Then Stannis says, "Forgive me."
- For what it's worth, Selyse does finally come to her senses for the first time ever and tries to stop Shireen's burning at the last minute, even if it was far too late.
- Daario shielding Dany with his own body when he thinks Jorah is about to throw his spear at her. Seems the rogue swore his heart and life to her after all.
- For that matter, Jorah saving the queen of his heart after just surviving several instances of near-death, then he covers Daario's back from a Harpy and has a fantastic silent reconciliation with Daenerys.
- Tyrion rescuing Missandei from a Son of the Harpy.
- Hizdahr tries to lead Daenerys to safety when the Sons of the Harpy attack. Although he ends up being killed, he proves to be loyal to his queen, despite all that he has had to endure under her rule.
- Dany and Missandei almost pulling off an instance of Together in Death, when it seems all hope is lost.
- Even though Drogon proved to be uncontrollable and flew off, he still shows up to rescue his mother when she is in danger!
- Just the whole profound, almost ethereal, connection Dany seems to have to her dragon children. They represent everything she yearns for: kin, home, freedom and as Pyat Pree said, they are strongest in her presence and Drogon proves this quite soundly.
- Jaime negotiating Bronn's release, who could easily suffer a painful death or maiming for striking Prince Trystane. He's come a very long way, from a guy who would arrogantly challenge or insult anyone he came across to a man who genuinely strives to be a noble and selfless human being.
Jaime: The fault is mine. Bronn is merely a soldier, following my orders. If anyone should be punished, it's me.
- Likewise, his son Trystane showing mercy to Bronn and freeing him rather than having him killed, which he'd be well within his rights to do, and certainly what most of the Lannisters would have done.
10 - Mother's Mercy
- Qyburn, of all people comforts Cersei after her walk of shame. As amoral as he is, he seems to truly value Cersei's support.
- Upon hearing that Ramsay intends to torture and mutilate Sansa the way he did to him, Theon finally snaps out of the Reek persona, kills Myranda, and escapes Winterfell with Sansa. As with Dany and Jorah in the previous episode, the two characters hold hands in a way that implies forgiveness and understanding.
- Also, when Sansa and Theon hold hands as they jump from the wall. Especially compared to earlier, when she refused to let Reek touch her, it's nice to see that Sansa and Theon at least have each other, and are working together.
- In a way, the Faceless Man who kills himself in place of Arya, as part of her lesson on the consequences of stealing life from the Many-Faced God.
- Part Tearjerker but when the Waif asks Arya why she's crying over Jaquen dying, a distraught Arya replies it's because he was her friend. Despite everything, Arya is still a little girl looking for a pack and is happy to befriend anyone — even a Faceless assassin.
- All of Jon and Sam's conversation. Jon asks Sam what it's like to be friends with the most hated man at Castle Black, and Sam points out that Jon befriended and protected him when he was a bullied outcast in Season 1. Jon doesn't want Sam to go to Oldtown because he's the only true confidant he's got left, but let's him go to protect Gilly. And then proves himself to be true bro looking totally stoked that Sam finally got the girl.
- Jaime and Myrcella have their first father-daughter conversation. Too bad it's also their last.
Myrcella: I'm glad that you are my father. (they embrace happily)
- Even though he's known Dany for about a week if not less, Tyrion is the second, behind Jorah, of all people, to put himself forth to go on an expedition to find her. And Daario has to talk him down from it.
- Even though they're rivals for Daenerys's affection, Daario vouches for Jorah to Grey Worm, "Our queen would be dead if not for him."
- Turns out Daario does have some nice things to say about Grey Worm and Missandei.
He's the toughest man with no balls I've ever met... the people believe in you. They know you speak for the queen... And
Missandei. Our queen trusts no one more than Missandei. Certainly not me
- Tyrion and Varys reunite and find themselves ruling an old, dangerous city again, but this time they are not on guard against each other but chummy from the start.
- Dany mothering over a bloodied and sleepy Drogon.
Daenerys: (tenderly) Oh, my poor sweet thing. (worried) Does it hurt?
- Plus, the huffing little sounds of contentment he makes when Dany finally manages to stroke the scales on his snout which she's been trying to do all season.
1 - The Red Woman
- The fact that not all of the Night's Watch turned out to be traitors like Alliser Thorne and his thugs, and that some of them like Dolorous Edd are willing to strike against their brothers to take revenge for Jon's murder. Even many of the outside of Jon's inner circle are clearly horrified and furious at what Thorne has done. When Thorne's facing down all the men you can see he's thrown by the level of outrage among them.
- Davos pointing out that they won't be alone in trying to avenge Jon. Because there are thousands of people everyone's forgotten about who have good reason to avenge his death — the Wildlings. It's comforting that although Jon was killed for doing the right thing, his honor — much like Ned's — also won him a lot of friends and loyalty.
Davos: You're not the only ones who owe your lives to Jon Snow.
- Oddly, there's the fact that Ser Alliser doesn't besmirch Jon's memory. When explaining why he did what he did to his fellow brothers, he gives Jon the credit of his convictions and says his actions were the result of an impossible choice: betray his Lord Commander, or betray his Order. When it would've been so easy for Ser Alliser to use the moment to sully Jon's efforts, he doesn't. That - along with the fact he gives Jon the dignity of his title - counts for something.
Ser Alliser: Lord Commander Snow did what he thought was right, I have no doubt about that.
- After they cross the frigid river, Theon leads to Sansa to an uprooted tree and attempts to warm her with his own body heat. This quickly appears to become a real embrace and both visibly take solace and comfort from it. Both have spent years being victimized, tortured, and abused, and it's uplifting to see them trusting and relying on one another.
- Brienne and Pod rescue Sansa and Theon from the Bolton men, and Sansa finally accepts Brienne's service, in a scene that mirrors the one between Brienne and Cat in Season 2.
- Before Brienne arrives, Theon suicidally tries to lure the Bolton men away, knowing full well it would result in his death or a return to Ramsay's dungeon, as a last-ditch attempt to protect Sansa.
- Sansa stumbles a bit in the vows, since she can't really promise Brienne a place at her hearth or meat at her table, but speaks clearly and confidently when she promises that she will not ask Brienne to compromise her honor. After a very long Trauma Conga Line for both of them, it seems Sansa finally has friends she can count on, while Brienne has an honorable cause to serve.
- Tyrion giving a coin to a destitute, terrified mother he comes across on the streets of Meereen, so that she can buy food for her child.
- Another subtle bit in the scene is that the woman's recoiling from Tyrion seems at first like more of the usual anti-dwarf prejudice, but then it turns out to just be a misunderstanding due to the language barrier that Varys quickly clears up.
- Daario tells Jorah that he thinks he'll be like him when he gets older. It's backhanded to call him old, but Daario telling Jorah he's like an older version of himself is quite the compliment from someone as self-assured and arrogant as him.
- Daenerys tries to use her titles to intimidate Khal Moro, who is unimpressed since none of it means anything to him, and brags about how he will put a child in her. Dany doesn't seem to think much of that as she proudly claims that he will never beget a son on her; not only due to her infertility but because he can't even hold a candle to Drogo. Even in death, just invoking his name serves to protect the Moon of his Life.
- Jaime's letter to Prince Doran revealed that he's sending Trystane back to Dorne because he's aware that Cersei would hurt him for Myrcella's death which is the reason why he left Trystane on the ship. Likewise, hes aware that Ellaria and the Sand Snakes are the culprits which prove that he's not blaming Trystane or Doran for it.
2 - Home
- As Bran wargs into the past with the Three-Eyed Raven, he learns the truth: Hodor was once a shy, friendly stable boy named Wylis. He sees the young Stark children try to spar with him before Old Nan drags him away. The kids protest, saying he has "giant's blood" in him and if he learned to fight, he'd be unstoppable thanks to his size. Nan replies "Well he's never going to learn to fight because he's a stable boy, so leave him be." Bran is not only delighted to see his family during happier times, but to see Hodor able to speak and that he was always the Gentle Giant the fans have loved. He even begs to stay just a bit longer to take in the scene.
- In the same scene, Ned spars with Benjen and tells him "Shield up, or I'll ring your head like a bell." Jon had previously said the same thing to Olly while sparring, meaning that either Ned or Benjen passed that exact same advice on to him while training him.
- We also get to see Old Nan again, after Margaret John's death before the show even started airing forced them into The Character Died with Him.
- The smile Hodor gives Bran when the latter calls him by his real name. It's pretty clear he hasn't been addressed as himself in some time. And following that, Bran happily "introducing" Wylis to the others.
- If you didn't notice it the first time, Ned and Benjen are being trained by a young Ser Rodrik.
- The Wildlings have not forgotten what Jon did for them and help his loyalists reclaim Castle Black.
- The scene with Tyrion and the dragons, while very tense, nevertheless has a moment of heartwarming when Tyrion notes that he wanted to have a dragon when he was a child, and that it's amazing (if scary) to finally meet them long after he's lost all hope. The dragons snarl a bit but don't harm him, and once they're out of their chains their first act is to huddle with each other.
Tyrion: When I was a child, an uncle asked what gift I wanted for my name day. I begged him for one of you. "It wouldn't even have to be a big dragon," I told him. "It could be little like me." Everyone laughed like it was the funniest thing they had ever heard. Then my father told me the last dragon had died a century ago. I cried myself to sleep that night. But here you are.
- In addition, after Tyrion frees one of the dragons, the other leans in to him and offers its neck too with its shackle, even giving its neck a little shake to indicate what it means, and that Tyrion should not feel afraid to approach. Tyrion was right upstairs, the dragons are very intelligent and learn quickly who their friend is. Granted this is Viserion and Rhaegal, the two much more well-behaved ones...
- Missandei saying that the dragons have never harmed her is really sweet — they know Daenerys trusts Missandei above everyone else and, as such, the dragons will likewise trust and like Missandei.
- When Brienne talks to Sansa about Arya, she notes that Arya looked good but did not dress like a lady. Sansa in response smiles in a "Yep, most definitely Arya!" big-sister way.
- Sansa urging Theon to come with her to Castle Black and promising him a chance at redemption is also very sweet, even if he doesn't take her up on her offer.
- Davos' It Was with You All Along You Are Better Than You Think You Are speech to Melisandre. He has no faith or interest in Red Gods or Seven Gods or Drowned Gods. He has faith in her, because he's seen what she can do and knows its real, however she does it.
- And the fact that even though Melisandre doesn't believe she can, she still wants to try and help Jon in some way.
- Along with that, everyone's reactions to the ritual. Edd and Tormund have no reason to go with it, since to them reanimation means wights. But they do nothing to interfere and when it appears it won't work, they leave, sad that their friend can't come back.
- A bit of Fridge Heartwarming. Mel and Davos were Stannis's two most trusted associates, the closest thing he had to friends. He'd probably be happy that, with him gone, the two are working together to help the Night's Watch and thereby protect the Seven Kingdoms.
- The fact that Davos is even working with Melisandre at all is a sign of what a great guy Davos is. This is the woman who got Shireen killed and indirectly caused the deaths of Stannis and Selyse. And yet he still trusts her because he knows resurrecting Jon Snow is more important than anything else. Davos' level of forgiveness now borders on messianic. What a guy.
- Ghost happily waking up from his sleep when he sensed Jon coming back to life.
3 - Oathbreaker
4 - Book of the Stranger
- After five years, we finally have an actual reunion between the Stark children. Specifically, Sansa and Jon. The pair stands in stunned silence before rushing to each other and embracing.
- They haven't seen each other in five years, but both Jon and Sansa know who the other is without saying a word. They both recognize their sibling.
- Making their long hug even more moving is that, in both the books and on screen, these two characters who grew up together have not exchanged dialogue that we've seen (in the books, we only see their interactions in shared past family memories) as their family is separated very early on in the series. But at this point, all of that distance between them falls away. They are family.
- Look at the expressions on their faces: Sansa looks about to break into tears and Jon looks at peace. After all the pain they've been through they now know at least ONE member of their family is still alive and they both finally have someone they love that they can trust and rely on. They're safe, at least for now.
- Just as heartwarming as their reunion are their interactions afterwards, where they reminisce over Old Nan's pies, Sansa apologizes for being an ass to him as a child before trying a swig of the Watch's ale (and retching at how revolting it tastes), and the two agree they were stupid for ever leaving Winterfell. Given this is the first time the two of them ever interacted with real family since halfway through Season 1, this is especially heartwarming.
- Just the fact that Sansa, after so long, is finally safe — having been reunited with her brother Jon, who she loves and who loves her, and who is determined to protect her. She is more or less happy and is in a castle stronghold, surrounded with friends, family, and people who are more or less decent and don't bear her ill intent. Even Edd offers an apology about the poor quality of the food.
- Jon saying that Ned would come from the afterlife and murder him if he didn't look after his little sister was really sweet, because we know that that's pretty much what he'd do, and both Jon and Sansa, six seasons after his death, still hold Ned's memory and legacy in their hearts.
- The entire episode focuses on the love and loyalty that exists between brothers and sisters. Jon and Sansa are overjoyed when they're finally reunited and Jon doesn't hesitate to swear protection to his sister. Theon and Yara are also reunited, with the former saying that he did not return to become king, but instead to give the crown to his far more capable sister. And as usual, Loras and Margaery comfort and refuse to abandon each other, no matter the terrible circumstances.
- Littlefinger usurping control in the Vale. After showing Lord Royce how powerless he currently is, his first action is to have the army of the Vale join Jon and Sansa in marching against Ramsay.
- He may be a figurehead, incompetent and a little bit nuts, but there's something heartwarming about the fact that Robin Arryn's childlike rationale for giving Lord Baelish the okay to mobilize the entire Vale for war against Ramsay Bolton and the North essentially boils down to: "Sansa's my cousin. We can't just leave her out there."
- Lady Olenna's usual sharp, sardonic tone drops instantly when she hears about Margaery's impending "atonement". She's dead serious when she declares that it "will not happen" and not just because it would be harmful to the prestige of her house. She is not going to let her granddaughter be humiliated.
- Initially, Jon doesn't want to join Sansa in taking back Winterfell from Ramsay. Then they find out that Ramsay is holding Rickon hostage and he immediately changes his mind.
- Along those same lines, Jon's so protective of Sansa that he refuses to even read Ramsay's threat to rape her aloud.
- Tormund's first instinct is to immediately offer to help Jon fight, both out of concern for his people (as Ramsay stated ill intent for the wildlings lodged on Night Watch land) and to help his friend retake his home.
- Tormund's two brief interactions with Brienne are as heartening as they are hilarious. Like so many before him, Tormund is awestruck after one look at her...and for the first time in Brienne's life, it's because he has a mad crush.
- Though his watch has ended, and Jon understandably wants nothing to do with the Night's Watch, he is still referred to as the Lord Commander. And not just referred to. Despite his reluctance to accept the letter brought to the LC, the brother who delivered it makes no attempt to pass it to Edd, and Edd makes no attempt to take it either. Once again, John's sworn brothers are there for him in his darkest hour to reinforce his faltering sense of duty and set his priorities straight.
- Jon has also ditched his Night's Watch clothes for something familiar to viewers. He is wearing the exact same armor as Ned did in the flashback in "Oathbreaker", with Robb wearing the same thing throughout Season 3. Jon isn't just a Snow, he's a true Stark.
- Dany striking up a friendship with one of the girls in Dosh Khaleen, obviously seeing something of herself in her and she immediately orders Daario not to harm her when Jorah and Daario show up to save her.
- When Dany emerges from the burning temple unharmed and impervious to the heat and combustion, Daario is speechless. He's always been more flippant around his queen so she appreciates his sincerity but when he realises he was actually sleeping with a woman who is a dragon incarnate he kneels, bows his head and if you look closely at him while Jorah only has eyes for his khaleesi; Daario is actually mouthing a prayer in reverence, truly realising for the first time the place of honour he inhabits in her heart.
5 - The Door
- Sansa makes herself a dress with the direwolf emblem on the front and asks Jon if he likes it, to which he says he does, especially the direwolf. She then shows him a cloak she made for him that she modeled specifically on Ned's cloak, complete with the direwolf emblem.
- She refers to Jon as Ned's son several times.
- Though it's a darker example, since he was still playing the game, but Littlefinger advising Sansa to seek out her uncle Brynden Tully and find an army that is loyal to her, and not to her half-brother.
- Sansa questions Davos Seaworth for being an outsider in the North during the war council at Castle Black when he suggests the Karstarks are no longer loyal to the Starks. Davos calmly reminds her that none of the Stark bannerman, who are known to be fiercely loyal to the Starks, rose up against House Bolton. Being a humble guy, Davos lets it go without saying that the only ones who did were himself, Melisandre, and Stannis Baratheon.
- Also, despite essentially losing his main purpose for being there, Davos is still one of the most consistently proactive and noble figures at the Wall. Next to the likes of Jon Snow, Sansa Stark and Brienne of Tarth, this is pretty damn impressive for a man who was once just a smuggler from Flea Bottom.
- True to his word, Theon steps up during the Kingsmoot, declares his identity, and throws his support behind his sister's claim to the throne, sweetening the deal with an honest, passionate Rousing Speech. To this, and for the first time in the series, Yara regards her "dumb cunt" of a brother with an unironic smile — small, but warm and visibly proud.
- And after more than two seasons of being the broken and traumatized Reek, it's touching to see Theon regaining his identity and becoming himself again.
- Even though Euron still came out of the Kingsmoot on top, it's clear that Theon's speech had some impact, since Yara and he managed to abscond with the entire Ironborn fleet and what seemed like at the very least hundreds of men to man the ships.
- Dany thanks Jorah for saving her life, and finally forgives him. Jorah reveals his greyscale to Dany, and confesses his love for her. She tearfully commands him to go out and find a cure, because she needs him by her side.
- The actors portraying Cersei and Tyrion in the play are a loving couple and expecting a child.
- Arya saying that the actress who featured in a play that mocked Arya's own father among other things is actually a decent woman and she's obviously not quite all right with having to kill her. Too bad at this point it's either the actress or Arya...
- The fact that Arya is quite offended by the play and still retains some sort of moral code means that she hasn't lost her identity to the Faceless Men just yet.
- This might be just for propaganda but the play has a huge and welcome moment of accuracy where Cersei is warning her son to spare Ned three times.
- As the two of them prepare to leave the company of the Three-Eyed Raven, a grinning Meera regales Hodor with fond imagery of the real food they'll be able to eat once they return to the North, and Hodor laughs and merrily hodors along in kind. It turns out to be the last real interaction Hodor ever has with anyone. No matter how it ended, Meera was at least able to give the poor bloke one last shred of happiness before time ran out.
- Mixed with a massive amount of Tear Jerker, but Hodor held the door. Well done, sweet giant.
- To emphasize this further, it is heavily suggested that Hodor knew, for all his life since his brain was altered by Bran accidentally, that to "hold the door" is a purpose he has to serve and of the utmost importance, so much that a shortened "Hodor" is all he can say. The moment finally came, and he succeeded even knowing that it would cost him his life.
- As one Youtuber put, in a show where great heroes one after another fall like fools, Hodor was the fool who fell like a hero.
- Furthermore, it's hinted that Hodor regained his sanity and his mind in the middle of his sacrifice, becoming Wylis for the last moments of his life. He could have ran or he could have opened the door to get revenge on Bran for ruining his life if he realized the connection, instead he held the line]].
- When Varys is mocking Kinvara by telling her of Melisandre's own failed predictions about Stannis being the Prince Who Was Promised, he mentions the Battle of the Blackwater, and specifically credits Tyrion with Stannis' defeat there. As he promised his friend way back when, he'll never forget what he did to save the city.
6 - Blood of My Blood
- After being banished from his home and seeing Gilly reduced to becoming a servant for his family due to his father's hatred of wildlings, Sam asks Gilly and her child to elope with him.
- The reaction of Cersei to Joffrey is, though a sweeter take of the real reaction, actually spot-on, to the point where Arya is serious and contemplative (after the narm of the previous scene made her laugh). After the play, she gives the actress a few tips, namely to add some rage at the people who took her beloved son, and the actress compliments Arya's expressive eyes and it's implied she sees herself in Arya.
- A couple of minutes later, Arya comes back, saves the actress, and warns her of the one who wants her dead: the actress of Sansa who was muttering Cersei's lines off-stage while watching the play.
- In a strange way, Jaqen asking the Waif to give Arya a quick, painless death after he finds out she didn't fulfill the contract.
- Arya retrieving Needle from its hiding place, showing once and for all that she is not 'No One'. She knows damn well who she is. She is Arya Stark.
- The actress complimenting Arya's eyebrows also works on a meta level if you've watched Maisie Williams' YouTube video about her New Year's resolutions, where she reveals that for most of her life thus far she's been very insecure about her looks, especially her eyebrows, but is now going to stop wishing she could be more classically beautiful and work with what she has.
- Things become less gloomy with another Stark reunion, this time between Bran and uncle Benjen.
- Margaery's brief look of relief when she sees her father and grandmother leading the Tyrell army to get her and her brother.
7 - The Broken Man
- Olenna flat out refuses to leave the city, even with the looming threat of the High Sparrow and his fanatics, if it means leaving Margaery and Loras behind.
- The one thing that convinces her to leave is Margaery slipping her a note with the Tyrell rose, signifying that she is still playing the game. The look on her face when she realizes what it means is a mixture of relief and pride. She has complete faith in Margaery's ability to handle the situation.
- The fact that immediately after the High Sparrow mentions that he wants to try and "redeem" Olenna, Margaery immediately moves to get her grandmother out of there.
- Septon Ray is a kind man who believes strongly in the power of redemption. He took in Sandor Clegane despite knowing of his crimes and encourages him to turn his life around and find peace. While Ray's ward strongly disagrees with Ray's philosophy, he seems to respect the Septon, which is a huge turn around considering what he used to be like. And when Sandor returns to the village and finds Ray and his flock massacred, his first reaction is to take up his axe and avenge the only man who saw good in him.
- Ray's treatment of Sandor is quite heartwarming as well. For almost his entire on-screen appearances the Hound is either belittled, feared, ordered around, or attacked, by everyone he meets. Seeing Ray treat Sandor as a simple human being and interacting without a hint of fear is quite a thing to watch. The best part is Ray's last conversation with Sandor when Ray suggests that he has some ale waiting for him; this is one of the few times that we see Sandor crack a genuine smile even if it's a small one.
- Yara's faith in Theon is quite lovely to watch, even if she's very bad at showing it. It's the kind of Tough Love that befits the Ironborn, yes, but it's clear that she wants him to regain his Season 1-2 confidence — and when he affirms that yes, Theon Greyjoy is still there and not at all ready to give up, the characteristically biting and aloof Yara actually hugs him and kisses his forehead, the first gesture of love anyone's given him in years.
- She actually apologizes for teasing him, something we've never heard anyone do before. Mixed with Tear Jerker, as she's teasing him for being castrated (after bringing him to a brothel), and then suggests that if it really is hopeless for Theon, he should just kill himself. Granted, it works, but it had a high chance of backfiring terribly.
- When Jaime arrives at Riverrun, the first thing he does (okay, second thing after insulting the Freys) is order Edmure bathed and fed. Considering that Jaime knows exactly what it's like to be a prisoner to an enemy army during a time of conflict (and lost a hand because of it), this comes off as a great bit of character development and empathy for this normally arrogant character.
- Brynden "Blackfish" Tully states he would be ready to die to defend Riverrun because he was born there and it's his home.
- When some of the Free Folk start questioning his leadership, Jon gives a very heartfelt, honest, non-patronizing speech to them, saying that he wouldn't ask them to march on Winterfell against the Boltons with him, if there was any other way. Tormund also speaks up on his behalf, saying that Jon died for aiding and sheltering his people and they are cowards if they don't repay his loyalty in kind. Jon then promptly shakes hands with his former detractor and even Wun-Wun is impressed.
- Arya's genuine happiness after she manages to book a ship cabin to Westeros. Granted she grabbed an Idiot Ball in wandering around Braavos in the open but it's sweet that she's actually hopeful about the future and has truly left No One behind. Then of course the Waif shows up...
8 - No One
- Missandei's adorable attempt at making a joke.
- Grey Worm could not look any more in love as he gazes adoringly at Missandei while she laughs at his joke.
- Hell, just Tyrion trying his damnedest to get Missandei and Grey Worm to loosen up a bit and act like human beings.
- Though he introduces himself by putting Pod in a chokehold, Bronn is very clearly happy to see the young man again and playfully ribs him on still being a squire. When Pod mentions Brienne has been teaching him to fight, Bronn offers to teach him some more pragmatic moves. The whole interaction comes off like an older and younger brother — despite the two technically being on opposite sides of the conflict (Pod squiring for Sansa Stark's sworn sword in Brienne, and Bronn acting as something of a lieutenant/bodyguard for Jaime Lannister). Given that last episode Bronn was bummed about the whole not getting paid and still having to work it's clear that Pod made his week.
- It turns out that the Brotherhood Without Banners haven't lost their cause after all. Beric and Thoros are most definitely not happy with the actions of the three Brotherhood members responsible for the massacre in the previous episode, and waste no time in punishing them for it.
- In a way, Beric letting Sandor personally hang two of the three men since they killed Brother Ray, whom Sandor in his own words describes as his only friend.
- After the hanging, Beric doesn't hold any grudges despite being "killed" by Sandor the last time they met. The two have a friendly conversation and Beric even goes so far as to offer him a place in the Brotherhood, clearly recognizing that Sandor wants to do good with his life.
- Following the Downer Ending of the previous episode, the murders of Ray and his flock seemed to show for certain that the Brotherhood Without Banners had gone to the dark side. Many viewers feared a major offscreen FaceHeel Turn for Thoros and Beric, especially given that in this consistently crappy world, armies that care for the common man last about as long as a glass shotgun. Not so — Beric and Thoros are as heroic as ever, and now they've got Sandor Clegane on their side.
- Lady Crane patching up Arya and bonding with her.
- For Arya, it's the closest she's gotten to simple human kindness in years. And then the Waif shows up to finish a contract no longer worth anything, all because the Faceless Men demand it.
- Brienne confirms to Jaime that Lady Sansa is now safe, fulfilling his vow as much as her own.
- And then Brienne tries offering the sword Oathkeeper back to Jaime. He refuses, telling Brienne that it's hers. "It will always be yours." A massive show of respect that shows Jaime really does care for her.
- As a side note: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau said that line with the interpretation that Jaime is talking about his heart.
- And when he sees Brienne and Podrick escaping Riverrun, rather than attempt to capture them since he knows they will eventually be his enemies, he lets them go.
- Brynden Tully takes one good look at Sansa's letter and he says, choked, that she is just like Cat. It's plain he really loved his niece.
- Arya reaffirming her identity and a wish to go home.
- For his part, Jaqen simply smiles at this and gives her a respectful nod, and has a proud smile as she walks away. It seems that all he wanted was for her to find her proper place in the world, with him or not.
- Tyrion tells Varys he'll miss him, in a Call-Back to "Mother's Mercy", except without any hesitation or embarrassment whatsoever.
9 - Battle of the Bastards
10 - The Winds of Winter
1 - Dragonstone
- Jon sparing the new Lord Umber and Lady Karstark from having their lands stripped from them. After Jon makes his decision final and allows them to reaffirm their loyalty, we see that both of them are children closer to Lyanna Mormont in age and are visibly relieved by his decision.
- Also, while the lords present were initially in favor of taking their lands, once they swear their loyalty to the Starks again, the gathered crowd cheers and seemingly welcomes them back into the fold.
- Jon's reason of sparing the remaining Umbers and Karstarks is that they should not be punished for Sins of Our Fathers and had no involvement for their betrayal on the Starks. He gave these young children a second chance to redeem themselves which shows that regardless of what had happened, the Umbers and Karstarks are still allies of the Starks.
- Sandor Clegane burying the farmer and his child, the ones from whom he had stole from in Season 4, during the middle of a snowstorm in the dead of night. He then gives them a brief, but touching eulogy, admitting that they deserved better. He even tries to recite a funeral prayer, and ruefully admits that he can't remember it past the first few words. For Sandor, that's saying something.
- And Thoros of Myr joins in to help him bury the two.
- Gilly playing with Little Sam.
- Then pausing to work with Samwell when she sees how tired and overwhelmed he is.
- And demonstrating that her previous reading lessons paid off.
- Arya talking with the soldiers on the road. It's clear that she's torn between staying with them and possibly killing them (they are Lannister men). Then they offer her food and she knows she cannot attack them. One tells her about his guilt over his father working alone on his boat and another tells her that his wife just had a baby that he's never met. After all the death and destruction and horror she has seen, it's good that Arya can sit with the "enemy" and recognize that they are ordinary people who just want to go home.
- After six seasons (and her whole life), Dany arrives at Dragonstone.
- Arya spares Walder's wife from her retribution, partially because she wants a witness to her vengeance, but it's implied that she also realizes that Lady Frey is another of Walder's victims.
- The fact that in her speech as she's taking vengeance on House Frey, Arya cites the murder of Talisa and her unborn child first among the Freys' crimes. Talisa's murder has mostly gone uncommented on by most of the cast, who usually bring up the deaths of Robb and Catelyn instead. In spite of the fact that they never actually met, Arya still counts her sister-in-law and her unborn nephew/niece among her family and wants to avenge them.
- Sansa insisting to Jon that he is good at leadership as Jon deflects the praise and when she tells him, "but you have to—why are you laughing?" Jon smiles and reminisces about what their father used to say to them, "Everything before the word 'but' is horseshit." When Sansa tells Jon, "He never said that to me," Jon smiles, remembering their father didn't curse around her and Arya — showing how Sansa and Jon continue to remember Ned and their childhood memories of him.
- Brienne's warm smile of approval when Jon declares that both men and women will be trained to fight in the wars to come and her pride at 10-year old Lyanna Mormont's shutdown of Lord Glover when Lyanna states she will fight just the same alongside men and insists everyone on Bear Island will be trained.
- During the meeting of the Northern Lords, Jon shows Tormund all the respect of an equal. He admits that he is not king of the Free Folk (he calls them "the Free Folk," not "wildlings"), and has no authority to command them to do what he needs them to do. Tormund doesn't even wait to be asked; he declares his people will go where they're needed. Because Jon Snow needs their help.
- Everyone was worried that Littlefinger would sow discord between Jon and Sansa, but they're still supportive and respectful of each other. Probably MORE than they were initially, now that the shock of Jon's coronation has worn off. In fact, a recurring theme in this season appears to be that Littlefinger's plans and manipulations are no longer going the way he wants them to, and that the bond between the Starks are frustrating his efforts.
- Davos now sitting next to Jon at the main table when they have their meetings, compared to when he was sitting with the other lords and ladies. This shows that Davos officially became an advisor for Jon and believes in him and it also shows that Jon truly values Davos for his skills and everything that he has done for him and trusts him to help him out.
2 - Stormborn
- Grey Worm's speech to Missandei telling her that she is his greatest weakness, after which he can't refrain from rushing to her and kissing her.
Grey Worm: It is hard for me to say goodbye to you.
Grey Worm: You know why.
Missandei: I don't.
Grey Worm: You are my weakness.
Missandei: Weakness? That's what I am to you?
Grey Worm: When Unsullied are young, the Masters learn their fears. One boy is scared of dogs. One boy hates high places. One is frightened of the ocean. They make the boy sleep with dogs or climb a cliff. They throw him in the water. If he learns to swim, good. If he drowns, good. Either way, strong Unsullied. But I had no fears. I was never the biggest, never the strongest. But I was bravest. Always.
Missandei: I believe it—
Grey Worm: Until I meet Missandei from the Isle of Naath. Now I have fear.
- Missandei coming to see Grey Worm before the battle because she thought he was going to leave her without saying goodbye.
- When Missandei breaks their kiss to disrobe, Grey Worm looks absolutely heartbroken in a way that he's never been before. Then she steps out of her gown and kisses him again.
- When Missandei tries to take off his pants, Grey Worm stops her, but allows her to when she says she wants to see him. He looks ashamed and can't meet her eyes so she kisses his cheeks and his face to let him know that it's okay.
- Daenerys, who is usually very tough with her allies, and (as seen in this episode) demands great loyalty from her allies, is openly admitting that she knows Olenna is not with her out of loyalty, but out of will to avenge her family, and yet she promises in a private moment that she will make Cersei pay for what she did. Olenna in turn treats her with respect. It's sad, too, but the way Olenna talks to Daenerys is reminiscent of the way she used to counsel Margaery. It's clear Olenna misses her granddaughter a lot.
- Melisandre saving time for Jon and the North by telling Daenerys about him and giving them an opportunity to get crucial allies. Despite what Melisandre has done, it's good to know that she remembers that the true war is between the Living and the Dead and will help whatever way she can. She even has toned down her fanatical ways.
- Arya's reunion with Hot Pie, and learning that her brother Jon is now King in the North. The latter is enough to make her give up on her revenge mission and head home.
- The way Arya's face and demeanor shift when she realizes that, not only does she have family left, they're alive in Winterfell, is an incredible piece of acting by Maisie Williams. You can practically see her melt from being a calloused killer back into a lonely teenager who desperately misses her family and wants nothing more than to be with them again.
- Also as she goes to leave she pulls out a money bag for the food but Hot Pie stops her insisting "Friends don't pay" then casually mentions how in hindsight he can't believe he thought she was a boy and calls Arya pretty.
- The fact that Hot Pie becomes a Supreme Chef baking pies in a quiet wayside inn. Game of Thrones is almost memetic for its tendency to put characters through the wringer, but he is probably the only character (of many) in the whole series so far who has exited the story in a content, non-violent way.
- Arya reuniting with Nymeria is bittersweet. Of course, Arya is heartbroken that her direwolf won't return to Winterfell, but eventually comes to terms with it and even recognizes her own nature in Nymeria.
- Sansa's main argument for Jon not to leave is that it could be a trap, and that even if it isn't, he could die again. Part of it is pragmatism, in that the North needs a king, but Sansa doesn't want to lose the only family member she knows is alive.
- Jon appointing Sansa as his regent while he goes to meet Daenerys, and in a tone that suggests he's surprised she even had to ask. This also unknowingly throws a big wrench into Littlefinger's plan to turn Sansa against him. For good.
- The fact that Jon and Tyrion remember their brief association fondly even after all the years and violence between their families, to the point that Tyrion charmingly quotes one of the many things he tells Jon, is this. It shows that for all the emphasis on Feuding Families and violence between houses, sometimes people have more in common with someone on the outside than they do with their own family. Even Sansa briefly admits that Tyrion wasn't like the other Lannisters.
- Sansa's silent agreement when Jon tells her that Tyrion is a good man. Even with the Purple Wedding and how Petyr forced Sansa to leave or be charged with regicide, Sansa remembers the only Lannister who protected her.
- After being understandably harsh with Theon in the previous season, Yara proudly calls him her protector and defends him from Ellaria's teasing. Becomes a major tearjerker about 5 minutes later, though...
- Even in the thick of battle, with her own ship all but wrecked and her prized fleet burning around her, Yara once again finds a way to set herself apart from her callous father and monstrous uncle, encountering Tyene during the melee and giving the girl a firm order.
Yara: Your mother is below deck! Keep her safe!
- This appreciable show of concern for her comrades — comrades she has only known for a short time at that — strikes a vivid contrast against Euron's Lack of Empathy and flagrant disregard for lives lost, which are both put on obvious display during the battle.
- Tyene's cry of "Mama!" and rushing to embrace her upon seeing her safe, before readying herself to defend her. It's clear that, whatever else their faults, Tyene and Ellaria love each other very much.
- Sam choosing to try and cure Jorah of his greyscale, despite the archmaester telling Sam there is no hope for Jorah's condition, as Sam had served under Jorah's late father in the Night's Watch. It doesn't matter that the procedure is extremely risky to the maester performing it, putting Sam in danger of contracting grayscale himself. It doesn't matter that this is a forbidden procedure and Sam will be cast out of the maesters if he gets found out without having contracted grayscale. It doesn't even matter much that Sam doesn't really know Jorah. It's the right thing to do for Sam, as he admired and respected Jorah's father.
- Minor example: Obara and Nymeria making fun of Tyene for always talking about Ellaria before the Ironborn attack. Sure, they may be deciding who gets to kill whom in King's Landing and threatening to kill each other, but it's the same kind of teasing you'd expect to see between sisters and a chance to see them interact with one another as siblings.
- Judging by Nym's reaction to Obara's death in the hands of Euron Greyjoy, it's obvious to see that she's devastated as she charges at Euron. It shows that, despite having different mothers, they still care each other as sisters.
- During the war council in Dragonstone, Tyrion calls out on Ellaria for poisoning Myrcella. Despite that he's on the opposing side against his family, he still loves his beloved niece and even points out that she is innocent. He really hates working with the people responsible for her death however he had no choice but to work with them since they're already his allies.
- After Jaime destroys the loyalty argument from Randyll by pointing out his oath to the crown the only argument he has left is not a matter of honor or law: he knew Olenna since he was a boy and he doesn't want to go against her.
3 - The Queen's Justice
4 - The Spoils of War
5 - Eastwatch
- Dickon Tarly choosing to face death with his father rather than let him burn alone — and Randyll trying to stop him from doing so.
- Randyll holds Dickon's hand in an effort to comfort him right before they die; all the more poignant as it is so unexpected coming from such a harsh, iron-fisted man.
- Jorah reunites with Daenerys who is overjoyed that he has found a cure and welcomes him back with open arms.
- Bronn going through the trouble of arranging a meeting between Tyrion and Jaime, showing that he's still willing to do favors for Tyrion.
- Davos returning to Flea Bottom to check up on Gendry and warn him about everything going on.
- Jon finally gets confirmation that Arya and Bran are alive. Appropriately, his first instinct is to return home so that he may protect them.
- At hearing this revelation, Daenerys almost immediately tells Jon that she's happy his siblings aren't as dead as he thought they were. A compassionate statement from a queen towards someone who, from her perspective at this point, is still a rebellious lord.
- Jon and Gendry become fast friends just like Ned and Robert and revive their families' ancestral alliance.
- Their playful banter at their first meeting ("You're a lot leaner"/"You're a lot shorter") sounds so very Robert and Ned-like.
- The first thing Robert said to Ned on-screen? "You got fat." The exchange is such an accidental Call-Back (because Gendry wasn't even there), it seems that the Baratheon/Stark friendship is In the Blood.
- Just the fact that Jaime lets Tyrion leave King's Landing alive, despite his promise that he will cut Tyrion in half for murdering their father the next time he sees him.
- Despite having never met the man, Gendry honors Robert by fighting with a hammer, complete with a Baratheon stag.
- Tyrion has kept the coin he got from the slavers after he and Jorah were free. He kept it and gives it to Jorah, stating he'll be back to claim it.
- In the midst of all the bickering and bad feelings, Jorah and Thoros are sincerely happy to see each other again after fighting side by side during the Greyjoy Rebellion.
- Drogon lets himself be petted by Jon. Sure, the awesomeness is more prominent, but keep in mind Drogon is the biggest, meanest of Dany's children and was trying to intimidate Jon. But when Jon goes past his fear and caresses his muzzle, Drogon lets him, leaving Dany impressed. Maybe he can sense Jon is a Targaryen as well?
- Look at and listen closely to how Drogon reacts in that scene. When he first lands, he's doing his usual routine of intimidation. However, he then seems to become curious about Jon as he leans in as if investigating something. When he leans in closer he appears to be smelling Jon, and after a moment Drogon slowly starts to relax as he allows Jon to touch him. Even the sounds that Drogon lets out at Jon petting him sound calm and happy, as if Daenerys was doing it. While dragon sense of smell hasn't quite been proven, it is very likely Drogon can tell Jon is a Targaryen by smell given how he's acting.
- Jon and Daenerys' heartwarming goodbye when he leaves for Eastwatch. He quips that if he doesn't make it back from the wight hunt, "at least you won't have to worry about the King in the North anymore." Daenerys' response? "I've grown used to him."
- Despite it highlighting Arya's Black-and-White Insanity, the fact that Arya wants to execute the Northern Lords for undermining Jon's authority, and arguing with Sansa while she subtly reveals she likes the new power as the Lady, counts as this. Having grown up very close with Jon, who she's always seen as a Cool Big Bro, and after seeing society treat him as just a little more than an afterthought, she is quite protective of him and wishes to punish those who disregard Jon's rise from a bastard to a king. Jon sure has a devoted protector in Arya.
- Additionally, while Arya realizes that a part of Sansa may enjoy power, Sansa doesn't give in and supports their brother as his regent. However much Sansa and Jon have bickered and disagreed in the past, it's done with familial affection and in this episode, Sansa publicly supports Jon as doing what he feels is best for their people to the Northern Lords who aren't happy their king isn't at Winterfell.
- Evil as she may be, it was nice to see that Cersei is pregnant with another child. She and Jaime has lost all their children so this in a way means that they still have a lineage to continue and will be parents again.
6 - Beyond the Wall
- Arya remembers one day at Winterfell when Bran left his bow and arrow out. She knew it wasn't allowed but she started shooting anyway. There was only one arrow and no one was around so she had to retrieve it each time to take a new shot. She admits that she wasn't very good and it took her dozens of tries to finally hit the bull's eye...at which point her father, standing above her on the bridge, started clapping. Though Arya hadn't seen him, Ned had been watching over her.
- Brienne praises Pod as a competent soldier and trusts him to protect Sansa and Arya on his own while she is away.
- Jorah makes his peace with Jon, admitting that Ned Stark was right to want to punish him and his assurance that he will not take it out on Jon. When Jon tries to return Longclaw to him, saying that it rightfully belongs to a Mormont, Jorah humbly declines, saying that Jon has more than earned the right to wield it.
- He doesn't just say Jon has earned the right to wield it. He says that Longclaw will serve him and his future children well, the implication being that he's accepting Daenerys and Jon's growing feelings for one another.
- By granting Longclaw to Jon to pass down to his future children there's a very real possibility that he's indirectly bequeathing Longclaw to Dany's future children, meaning that even though he will never get to marry her as he wished he'll still have a place in her dynasty. What's more appropriate than her descendants wielding the sword of her most loyal guardian?
- Jorah is also respecting his father's wishes. Jeor gave Longclaw to Jon, Jeor trusted Jon to honor the blade and use it wisely. Jorah knows he's exhibited bad judgement many times in his past, so honors Jeor Mormont's last wisdom and leaves the blade in the hand his father entrusted it to. Jorah might certainly be hoping it will serve his Khaleesi well in some capacity, but even if that's not the case, it's where his father wanted it, and that's good enough for him.
- Tormund puts up with the Hound's hostile attitude with surprising cheer — because he is thinking of Brienne, and it is making him happy.
- Bonus heartwarming when Tormund waxes about Brienne's beauty, when Brienne considers herself to be hideous and unlovable. He loves her just the way she is.
- Daenerys abandons her war and flies off to save the day when she learns that Jon Snow and Jorah Mormont are in peril.
- The Hound pulling Tormund to safety and pulverizing the horde of wights about to pull the wildling to his death. This annoying ginger may talk too much, but damn it, he's on our team and he's not going down if I can help it. The nod of gratitude Tormund gives Sandor for saving him when they make it back to Eastwatch before he departs with Daenerys's party for King's Landing also counts.
- Despite seeing him get tackled into the lake by wights and being forced to leave him alone in the midst of the undead, Dany waits atop the Wall for Jon to return and is clearly relieved when he does.
- When Beric finds out that Thoros has died of hypothermia overnight, the Hound crouches down next to him and remarks it's believed that it is one of the better ways to die. Sandor has never been very subtle, nor capable of effectively conveying kindness, but succeeds here.
- When Jon opens his eyes after almost freezing to death, Daenerys is sitting on his bed looking over him.
- Jon comforting Daenerys over the loss of Viserion. She tells him they'll fight the Night King together. He tells her he'll bend the knee, confident that the Northerners will see her for the good person she is at heart. They are both deeply moved. And the scene quietly confirms that the two have already fallen in love with each other.
- Even more noteworthy, this time Dany doesn't even ask for Jon to bend the knee in return for her help. Jon voluntarily agrees to bend the knee.
- It's also interesting to note that up to this point, everyone who has bent the knee to Daenerys did so either out of fear or personal gain. This is the first time someone bent the knee out of respect and eventually love.
- Jon reaches out for Daenerys' hand to comfort her over Viserion. And when he says the Northerners will see her for what she is, she reaches for his.
: I hope I deserve this. Jon
: You do
- The genuine smile of affection that crosses Daenerys's face when Jon assures her that the northern lords sworn to him will come to see her as the good person he knows her to be is a thing of beauty.
- Jorah reminiscing with Thoros about the siege of Pyke and how Thoros charged through the breach, and claims he thought he was the bravest man he'd ever seen. He clearly knows Thoros won't make it, so he's comforting him by talking about his past glory.
7 - The Dragon and the Wolf
- Jon refusing to swear an oath to Cersei, as he already swore one to Daenerys.
- Jaime has a visible moment of Big Brother Instinct when Euron says that Tyrion would have been left to drown at birth if he'd been born in the Iron Isles. Jaime visibly seethes as he shouts him down.
- A small one but Theon backs up Tyrion when his uncle Euron starts insulting Tyrion's height, noting that the joke wasn't even clever.
- Tyrion telling Cersei that he genuinely loved Myrcella and Tommen. We (and she) know that he means it.
- Also, when Cersei is unable to bring herself to kill Tyrion herself, he walks over to a table, pours himself a goblet of wine, and then pours another one and gives it to Cersei. In spite of everything, he is still her brother and she is still his sister.
- Sansa and Arya's conversation atop Winterfell's ramparts after they kill Littlefinger. No matter how different the two of them are, they are still family and no scheming little weasel can ever change that.
- Arya and Sansa echo Ned Stark's words of uniting to withstand the winter, and both quietly express to each other how much they miss their father.
In winter, we must protect ourselves. Look after one another. Sansa:
When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies, but the pack survives
- It's ambiguous when exactly Sansa knew Littlefinger was manipulating them. A deleted scene where Sansa goes to Bran for help would have indicated it was just before the trial. Even if those fights were real, once Sansa realized what Littlefinger was up to, she worked quickly to make peace with Arya and work together to set him up. Earlier Arya had scoffed at any ordeal Sansa might have gone through and now she admits she "never could have survived" them. Indicating she learned (probably from Bran) all the horror her sister endured from Joffrey and Ramsay Bolton and any anger and distrust she had towards Sansa completely disappeared.
- When Bronn is escorting Tyrion and the others to the Dragon Pit for their meeting with Cersei, Bronn gives Tyrion an It's All About Me monologue, claiming that everything's done thus far has just been him looking out for himself. Tyrion responds with a quiet "It's good to see you." Bronn is stopped dead in his tracks and after a moment, responds with, "Yeah, you too," in the same tone.
- Tyrion reunites with his most faithful squire, Podrick Payne. Pod tells him he's glad that he's still alive. As Tyrion, Podrick and Bronn walk side by side, Tyrion proclaims, "Here we are, the heroes of the Battle of the Blackwater."
- Bronn still has a soft spot for Podrick and invites him out for a drink while the "fancy people" are busy talking.
- You could also see that as him getting Pod out of the way in case the meeting ends violently, which was a distinct possibility given the grudges and personalities involved.
- The Hound and Brienne of Tarth bonding over their shared concern for Arya Stark. And the fact that neither holds a grudge for nearly killing each other after they first met as enemies — understanding that there are bigger concerns — displays how much Sandor and Brienne have both matured past the stubbornness (in Brienne's case) and belligerence (in Sandor's).
- The Hound also shows a look of pride when Brienne tells him just how capable Arya has become. By that point, they are basically two proud parents discussing their little girl.
- In spite of the hatred he has for his brother, there is some brief level of concern in Sandor's gaze and voice when he sees Gregor's condition and asks, "What have they done to you?"
- Jon and Theon's conversation in the throne room. Despite their issues with one another growing up and Jon's bitterness over Theon's betrayal, they acknowledge that they both were raised by the same father — Ned Stark — and come from the same place as they are both Ned's sons. No matter what other world they are drawn towards, Ned and House Stark will always be their family and a part of Jon and Theon.
Jon: You are a Greyjoy, and you are a Stark.
- Speaking of Theon, the unbending, steely-eyed way by which he sets about rallying his men and launching the aforementioned rescue mission. Even though it earns him a brutal clock-cleaning at the hands of one of the deserting Ironborn, he never once considers relenting and leaving his sister to her fate, powering his way through the beating and turning the tables on his assailant. And when he wins back the respect of his men:
Theon: If not for me — for Yara!
The Ironborn: For Yara!
- A subtle one. Theon's castration was a traumatizing experience intended to humiliate and dehumanize him. Here, he ends up rising above that and actually uses it to his advantage. In doing so, Theon didn't just beat the Ironborn. He beat Ramsay too! It's all topped off by him going to the seaside and splashing salt water in his face as if to say Reek has finally died.
- A small moment, but as Theon stumbles back to his feet after beating his opponent one of the Ironborn actually catches him and steadys him as he's about to fall back down. Before anything is even said you know he's earned their respect and they now have his back.
- What is dead may never die, but rises again, harder and stronger.
- Jon and Dany's love scene. It starts off with Jon hesitating before knocking on her door, then Dany slowly inviting him in her room. The next scene of them cuts to both of them on her bed, and as they break off their kiss they both pause to stare into each other's eyes before kissing again. Where once these two were political enemies, now they are truly something more.
- Brienne's attempt to get Jaime to talk sense into Cersei seems to have failed — but in his very next scene, he's talking about how he's tried to speak to Cersei. Apparently, Brienne's efforts weren't as in vain as she'd believed.
- Later, when Jaime tells Cersei he's going to ride North, he says he swore to help. I wonder who to...
- Despite Jaime's bitterness in their previous meeting, he still has a warm smile for his brother as they meet outside Cersei's chambers, maybe for the last time if Cersei is in a Revenge Before Reason frame of mind.
- Jaime honors his promise to Jon, Daenerys, and Tyrion after all...
- When Sam arrives in Winterfell he goes up to Bran's room to visit him, despite being unsure of whether Bran will remember him. Bran obviously does remember and thanks him for helping his group get beyond the Wall when they last met and tells Sam he's a good man.
- Sam also made sure to head for Winterfell instead of trekking back to The Wall. Why? He wanted to help Jon.
- In spite of all the chaos it led to and how it must have hurt poor Elia, and the fallout it caused to the Present Day, The Reveal that Rhaegar didn't kidnap or rape Lyanna. The two of them were in love and ran away together. Doubly so when you consider that not only is Jon legitimate, meaning all of his angst over being a bastard is misplaced, but rather than being the product of a nobleman's one-night-stand, or the horrific violation of his mother, he was the product of a union between two people who truly loved each other.
1 - Winterfell
- For the first time since the second episode of the show (or first, if you count the fact that Bran was unconscious in the second), ALL the surviving Starks are in Winterfell at the same time.
- The joy and relief when they see one another again. Sansa hugs Jon while Jon kisses Bran on the forehead like he did when he said good-bye to Bran in season 1. If you look at Bran closely, you can see he's smiling when he interacts with Jon, albeit faintly. Compare this to the stern blank expression he wears the rest of the time.
- Arya and Jon's reunion. Just as she does in the second episode of the first season, Arya leaps into Jon's arms and Jon holds her as tight as he can. He looks like he's trying not to break down and cry.
- When Jon complains about Sansa not liking Daenerys and Arya says Sansa is only looking out for the family (as does Arya), Jon says he is family too. Arya gives him a big hug and tells him never to forget that.
- Theon rescues Yara as he promised. After her hands are untied, Yara headbutts her brother in the face, sending him to the ground... and then holds out a hand helping him up, as if saying, Now we're even, or. "This was for abandoning me, and this is for coming back."
- Later, back on their ship, Yara tells Theon she intends to take back the Iron Islands so that Dany has somewhere to go if they need to retreat. Theon doesn't say anything, but she is able to tell he wants to go to Winterfell to fight with Jon and the Starks. Without him even having to ask, she sends him on his way with a hug.
- Sandor meets Arya again for the first time after she abandoned him. After a tense exchange, he has what's basically a So Proud of You moment for being cold enough to survive this long.
- Shortly after, Gendry and Arya reunite with Gendry stammering a little as he compliments how Arya appears now, perhaps taken with how attractive she is having matured and no longer trying to pass for a boy. Likewise, Arya has absolutely no issue with them sassing each other, even insisting he not call her m'Lady. As several commentators noted just how sweet it is to see the two of them basically flirting with each other warmed the hearts of many.
- Tyrion defending Jon when the northern lords give him grief for allying with Daenerys, pointing out Jon's the only reason they have a fighting chance against the army of the dead.
Tyrion: If anyone survives the war to come, we'll have Jon Snow to thank. He risked his life to show us the threat is real.
- It's easy to tell how much Jon and Daenerys have fallen in love from how their dispositions change when they're alone together.
- Especially with the beaming smile Daenerys gives Jon when telling him to not be afraid and how Jon looks at Dany when she sees the waterfall.
- Daenerys has also had to have her queenly mask on a lot. While she has smiled in the past, it can be hard to remember when she has smiled like this for anyone, even her dragons.
- Its revealed in the Inside the Episode segment that when they were flying the dragons, the place Jon took Dany was to one of the places he used to spend time at as a kid.
- It turns bitter quite quickly, but when Jorah and Daenerys encounter Sam in Winterfell's library, it comes across that Jorah had heard Sam was at Winterfell and wished to introduce Daenerys to the man who saved his life at great risk to himself when no one else would. Daenerys wastes no time into trying to offer Sam a reward for the act, which Sam downplays with his usual modesty.
- When Jon walks up to the Dragons, Rhaegal takes an immediate liking to him. He leans in close and sniffs him, and starts staring for a bit, almost like the great green lizard is thinking "Ooh, who's this guy? He looks cool!" His subsequent antics can be seen as him showing off to impress his new little buddy.
- The dragons also curiously watch their mother and Jon in a romantic embrace with a strange expression on them that has rarely if never been seen before, they seem quietly excited.
- Then there's the fact that two Targaryens are riding dragons together again after over 150 years. If King Jaehaerys and Queen Alysanne could see it, imagine how proud they would be.
- The trueborn son of Rhaegar Targaryen riding the dragon named for Rhaegar Targaryen by his baby sister. In his beloved wife's homeland of the North.
- Sam and Jon's reunion. Sam is all concerned about being someplace he shouldn't be... and Jon just marches forward and gives him the biggest hug in the world.
- When Sam reveals that Jon is the son of Rhaegar and Lyanna, Jon gets mad and declares that his father is Ned Stark. Sam agrees, making it clear that while Ned wasn't his birth father he was Jon's dad.
- Sam's reason why Jon should be the King of Westeros and not Dany: He was willing to give up his crown for the good of his people.
- Despite the magnitude of such a revelation, Jon doesn't question Sam even a moment. While his first words sound like he is trying to deny the truth, his next has him asking for clarity. Bran was right, Jon completely trusts Sam.
- Tormund's group bumps into Edd and the Night's Watch while investigating the Night King's attack on House Umber. Once they confirm neither side has been turned, Edd and Tormund embrace. The former adversaries are now true allies.
- Last time they met, Sansa had been forcibly married to Tyrion and he assigned himself as her protector from his family. Here, Tyrion understands that Sansa didn't leave King's Landing willingly after they were framed for Joffrey's murder, and is proud that they are equals. Sansa in the meantime has forgiven Tyrion for his complicity in the war against her family and is allied with him against the Lannisters. She bluntly tells off Tyrion for trusting Cersei's words, saying she thought he was the smartest man in the kingdom. While it's not a nice sentiment, it's an honest one, and it shows how much Sansa has grown.
- A villainous example comes from Qyburn stating his reasons for his Undying Loyalty to Cersei; because she saved him from dying penniless on the streets after the Citadel kicked him out, became his patron, gave him the freedom to continue his studies and rewarded his loyalty by making him Hand of the Queen, an office he could never have dreamt of holding. It comes across as a strong, if dark, example of Because You Were Nice to Me and continues to imply Qyburn genuinely has some degree of affection for Cersei.
Qyburn: When the Citadel expelled me, I thought I would die poor and alone, but in exchange for my service, Queen Cersei made me her Hand.
2 - A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms
- Not a single person dies in the episode. Zero. This only happened in four other episodes. Knowing how Game of Thrones works, however, this might border on terrifying.
- When Tyrion mentions he will be on the battlefield, Daenerys interjects she wants him in the crypts hiding with the others. There are thousands of able-bodied men fighting out there, but only one Tyrion — he can't fight as well as them but he can outthink them all, so she wants him safe. After spending the season thus far doubting Tyrion to the point he feels he'll be giving up his Hand badge shortly, this reaffirms how valuable he is to Dany.
- When Brienne vouches for Jaime's honor, Sansa backs her up despite hating Jaime for his crimes against the Starks. When Dany asks Sansa about this sudden change of heart, Sansa responds by explaining that Brienne has proven herself to be a truly loyal friend.
- This line from Tyrion as he talks with Jaime: "Cersei said the pregnancy had changed her. A chance for you both to start again...and I believed her". Although it is sad and frustrating that Tyrion allowed himself to be manipulated and exploited by Cersei, it says a lot about his character that he is willing to believe even someone as vile as Cersei might still be able to redeem themselves. It's a shame she doesn't but he deserved credit for even extending that olive branch.
- Missandei and Grey Worm discuss leaving Westeros after they won this war. Missandei says she would like to return home to Naath and Grey Worm declares he wishes to go with her, and that he will bring his people (presumably he means the Unsullied) there to protect the peaceful people of Naath from raids.
- Jorah standing up for Tyrion and asking an angry Daenerys to forgive him, despite previously being upset at Tyrion being named the Hand of the Queen and utterly disliking him during their previous travels together.
- Daenerys taking Jorah's advice and talking to Sansa, empathizing with her about all they've gone through and all that they've had to prove to others, even going to the point of holding Sansa's hand. Although the conversation turns uncomfortable towards the end and is interrupted before it comes to a close, it is good to see them treating each other with genuine warmth and respect, even if briefly, after the needless petty bickering in the previous episode.
- Also Sansa's reason for distrusting Daenerys? Because she knows Jon is truly in love with Dany and feared Dany was using that to exploit him. Her half-brother might exasperate her at times, but she does love him and doesn't want to see him get hurt.
- Dany's response is pure from the heart as she, in turn, genuinely loves Jon. She tells Sansa that all her life, she's only known one goal — taking the throne back from a family that destroyed her own. That is, until she met Jon and...
Dany [with an utterly lovestruck smile]: ...now I'm here, half a world away, fighting Jon's war alongside him.
- Seeing Jon reunite with Beric, Edd, Tormund, and the remaining survivors and Night's Watchmen. Jon moves to greet Edd but is practically crash-tackled and given an enormous hug by Tormund before he gets to hug Edd. Once again, the sense of brotherhood and affection between the Night's Watch brothers and their once-sworn enemies is truly heartwarming to behold.
Tormund [to Jon]: My little crow!
- Jon, Sam, Edd, and Ghost are all on the walls together thinking back to where they all started and the brothers of the Watch they had lost along the way as they prepare for one final fight.
- This moment was not lost on Ghost fans, who had been longing to see him again and shows that he hasn't been forgotten, even if he doesn't get a scene of his own.
"And now my Watch begins..."
- When Theon returns to Winterfell to swear his fealty to Sansa, she gives him a heartfelt hug. The two are later eating together in the courtyard.
- When Bran volunteers himself as bait to lure the Night King into the open, Theon volunteers himself and his men to protect him.
Theon: I took this castle from you. Let me defend you now.
- Sansa, Arya, Jon, and Theon wanting to protect Bran when the Night King comes and being reluctant to agree to Brans plan of offering himself as a lure. If the avatar of evil and death itself is coming for their little brother, it's clear the four of them will do their best to protect Bran.
- This scene becomes particularly more significant when you realize that this is the first time all the surviving Starks (and Theon) are not only on-screen together since the late King Robert arrived in Winterfell back in the first episode of the series, but also the first time all of them have INTERACTED in the entire course of the show. And they're all trying to protect Bran, including Theon.
- Arya shares a drink with the Hound and Beric, proving that she no longer hates either man. Particularly with Sandor, who responds to her query about why he would be there fighting this war when he never fought for anyone but himself, and Sandor grumpily corrects her:
"I fought for you, didn't I?"
- Arya and Gendry hook up before the final battle. What is sweet is that Gendry is still reeling from the traumatic "sexual" experience with Melisandre after all this time, but Arya gently reassures him that she's not the Red Woman, and they proceed to make love passionately.
- It also stands as one of the most loving sex scenes in the show, and the only female main to lose her virginity onscreen consensually.
- Sam walks in on a heated argument between Jorah and Lady Lyanna over her decision to fight in the battle. Jorah wants her to stay safe inside the castle declaring her the future of their house. It's heartwarming that Jorah has no wish to reclaim rulership of his family and instead wholeheartedly supports his young cousin. Lyanna as well declares she will fight because she will not stand by as she sends her men, women, and children to fight while she is safe. As Lyanna walks away, she wishes her once-exiled cousin good fortune. He replies, "Thank you, My Lady".
- Sam gives Jorah Heartsbane, House Tarly's Valyrian Steel sword, not only because Sam pretty much knows he can't wield the blade properly, but also out of loyalty to Jorah's father Jeor, his old Commander, who was basically more of a father-figure to Samwell than Sam's actual father.
- Jaime knights Brienne, throwing millennia of tradition that only men can be knights out the window ("Fuck tradition!" indeed!). As Ser Brienne rises to her feet, she has tears in her eyes. Everyone is applauding her; Tormund first and loudest.
- Tormund, a wildling not known for decorum or respect who responded to Jon Snow being raised from the dead with a crack about his penis size, stands the fuck up when he realizes Brienne is about to be knighted.
- Jaime being the one who knights Brienne is one of the most heartwarming moments between these two. When they first met, they're at each other's throats and throwing insults at each other. Now, the two see each other as equals fighting together. Brienne's smile after Jaime knights her shows how much she appreciates him for believing her as an honorable and loyal knight. Even Jaime knows that she's worthy for a knighthood because she fulfilled her oath from the late Lady Catelyn Stark.
- The entire fireside chat between Tyrion, Jaime, Brienne, Pod, Davos, and Tormund is one last moment of calm before the terror the morning will bring.
- Podrick's spine-tingling performance of "Jenny of Oldstones" is worth a note all on its own, but there's a special moment right as he starts to sing. When Tyrion asks if anyone knows a song, and Pod's the only one to start singing, Tyrion looks over at him with a look in his eyes that's not quite pride, not quite sadness, and not quite love, but is totally beautiful all the same.
- After feeling on the outer all episode, Daenerys goes to find Jon, and approaches in an unsure, hopeful manner and Jon giving her a soft smile. When she goes to him, she cuddles his arm and he holds her hand. Daenerys asks Jon about the statue Jon is in front of and when he tells her it's Lyanna Stark's, Dany disapproves of Rhaegar raping Lyanna. Unfortunately, that's what segues this scene into a tearjerker, given what Jon now knows, must confess, as he has to tell her the real story.
- Jon acknowledging Lyanna's efforts to keep him safe. While the story came out at the worst possible time, it's nice that he realizes how much the mother he always wanted to know sought to protect him.
3 - The Long Night
- Sansa telling Tyrion that he was the best of her husbands. Even though Tyrion jokes about how that's a terrifying thought, it's implied he's actually quite touched by Sansa's statement.
- Arya, seeing things are not going well, immediately tells Sansa to get down to the crypts to be safe, giving Sansa a dagger and telling her to "Stick 'em with the pointy end."
- Daenerys is absolutely furious after seeing the entire Dothraki army getting annihilated and immediately flies down with Drogon to avenge their deaths.
- Moreso than any other group at Winterfell, the Dothraki are Dany's people and she obviously feels responsible for putting them in such a suicidal situation. They trusted her to the point of sailing across an ocean, abandoning much of their way of life, and even charged head-on at an undead army. That's some extreme loyalty, and Dany knows it.
- Every single Big Damn Heroes moment this episode:
- Daenerys and Drogon saving a grounded Jon from the re-reanimated armies of the dead.
- Sandor and Beric saving Arya from the wights, the former overcoming his fear of fire to do so and the latter finally fulfilling his purpose by dying to save her.
- After Dany falls off Drogon's back when Drogon takes off to shake off the wights, Jorah appearing from behind and saving Daenerys, only finally giving in to his wounds after the battle was won and he could rest knowing he died protecting Dany.
- Beric trying to snap the Hound out of his fear of fire, and when the Hound says that they've already lost since they're fighting death and it's pointless, Beric looks up to see Arya frantically crawling across the roof to escape wights that are chasing her. Beric points out Arya to the Hound and says "Tell her that!" The Hound looks up and when he sees that Arya is in danger, he instantly goes to chase after her. Despite everything, the Hound still cares for Arya and doesn't want to see her die.
- While the two of them are hiding from the undead in the crypts, Sansa silently indicates to Tyrion that she's going to fight. In response, Tyrion kisses her hand and unsheathes his own dagger.
- What makes this doubly heartwarming is that this moment shows just how far these two have come in respect and trust each other... which considering where they started in their relationship, is quite wonderful in its own way.
- In the crypts, Varys can be seen hiding with the orphaned children — his new "little birds," just like in King's Landing.
- Beric sacrificing his flaming sword by throwing it on the wight on top of Arya. He loses his only line of defense from the wights, but does it to protect Arya.
- Even though Beric was on Arya's list of names, he dies protecting her and the Hound. Once the three of them manage to find a room to hide in, Arya gently places Beric down, tearfully looking at his face as he gives his last breath, leaving Arya to witness another comrade she had lost. Melisandre even tells the two that this was the reason the Lord of Light brought him back so many times, so he could protect them at the end.
- Melisandre asking Arya "What do we say to the god of death?"
- After Jorah saves Daenerys from becoming eaten alive by wights, Daenerys stays with him and picks up a dragonglass sword to fight alongside him. After all the times Jorah had her back and saved her life, when push comes to shove, Dany has his, too.
- Bran telling a remorseful Theon, "Everything you've done has brought you back here. Back home." reaffirming that he considers Theon family. After everything Theon has done to the Starks and particularly to Bran, and how he has now come full circle trying to redeem himself when all is done and he sees that this is it for him. When the Night King arrives in person, Bran calls out and tells him, "Theon, You're a good man. Thank you." Theon dies in a last-ditch attempt to protect the very boy whose life he had once threatened, redeeming himself entirely with his death.
- Bran's reassuring words to Theon can also be taken as a sign that, despite Bran's insistence that That Man Is Dead in regards to his original identity, he still feels some level of affection for the people around him and might not be as detached as he seems.
- While Jorahs death is heartbreaking, it is also heartwarming for the fact that he dies in the arms of the woman he loved dearly, Dany. When Dany starts weeping over his body, it clearly shows that despite the troubles they had in Season 4 when Jorah was caught spying on Daenerys on Robert Baratheons behalf and was promptly exiled as a result, Dany still cares deeply for him and that not only did she lose a loyal fighter, but her best friend. After all the trouble to win back her heart, Jorah succeeded in knowing that Daenerys loves him after he lets out his dying breath.
- The dragons have a deep bond with their rider and Drogon seemed to know when his mother had lost one of her most loyal companions. When she weeps over Jorah, Drogon simply cuddles around her to comfort her. DAAAWWWW. Even aggressive, beautiful, majestic creatures like dragons can love their mamas.
- Jorah was there when he was born. Drogon knew who he was.
- Though fighting in very different areas of the battle, Arya, Jon, and Theon all having the Big Brother Instinct to defend Bran to the end.
- Arya lands the killing blow on the Night King, and she did it to save Bran. Given the Night King caught her in a death grip, she was prepared to die killing him. As the adrenaline rush slowly wears off, she gives Bran a relieved look on seeing he's okay. He stares back calmly, but with a hint of joy; he trusted that his family would rise to the task.
- Arya was in the crowd when her father was executed. She had to watch as her brother's corpse was defiled. But this time, she got to save her family.
- We may not have liked her for her methods, but Melisandre was no coward. She helped bring the Dawn. After removing her necklace, she disintegrates but also gets to see the sunrise on a new day, knowing that her task was complete and the living have won.
- The fact that Tyrion turned out to be right: all the characters who were part of the fireside chat in the previous episode (himself, Jaime, Brienne, Podrick, Davos, and Tormund) survived the battle despite the odds and everyone scoffing at his optimism.
- Jaime and Brienne are glued to each other throughout the entire episode, saving each other multiple times and going Back-to-Back Badasses on the walls of Winterfell. When Jaime said he wanted to serve with Brienne and fight under her command, he wasn't kidding.
4 - The Last of the Starks
5 - The Bells
- Tyrion and Jaime's last meeting. Tyrion frees Jaime so he can try to convince Cersei to flee the country with him and avoid a massacre. The brothers hug one last time, and Tyrion thanks Jaime for always standing by him as a child.
- When the Red Keep starts to collapse, Sandor tells Arya to leave the city and not throw away her life for vengeance like he's doing. Arya hesitates, but realizes that Sandor is right, and thanks him, calling him by his actual name for once. Blink-and-you-miss-it, but you can see Sandor smile at Arya's gratitude.
- To drive this moment home, Sandor actually softens his tone and caresses the back of Arya's head like a father would his daughter, outright pleading for Arya to make something worthwhile of her life while she's still young and alive. The look on Arya's face, one of cold purpose and vengeance, finally melts away and reveals the idealistic young girl she once was, that a part of her still is.
- Davos can briefly be seen trying to direct the people of King's Landing to safety while after saving a woman from one of his own men trying to rape her, Jon tells a woman to get to safety.
- A Lannister soldier is seen desperately trying to direct citizens away from the chaos as Daenerys's forces tear the city apart. The Lannister armies may have been Cersei's personal goons, but at least some of them try to defend the people of their city.
- It's brief and subtle, but when Cersei is breaking down because of the attack on the Red Keep, Qyburn speaks more gently and takes her by the hand and leads her out of the room towards Maegor's Holdfast. Considering in the books that Cersei describes Qyburn as looking like some little girl's favourite grandfather, it makes it more so.
- Both Jon and Arya separately try to help innocent people as King's Landing is being destroyed with varying levels of success. They truly take after Eddard Stark and continue to care about the common folk.
- When Daenerys begins the sacking of King's Landing and the Unsullied resumed their slaughter, once Jon regains his bearings his first move was to yell at his men to fall back. It doesn't work and at one point he is forced to cut down one of his own men to protect an innocent.
- Arya runs into a mother and child and tries her hardest to get them out of King's Landing alive. Like Jon, she fails but she was damned if she didn't try and save as many people as she could.
- Jon and Davos deciding they won't be a part of the atrocity Daenerys is committing and withdraw from the city, taking as many civilians as they can save with them.
- One of the reasons for Daeneryss break is because of her love for Missandei. There are many epic stories about heroes and heroines going Crusading Widow and on a Roaring Rampage of Revenge for the unjust deaths of aristocratic male figures but here we see an ordinary lowly slave girl's death being given the same treatment that Patroclus' and Siegfried's death had in famous epics. Regardless of the excesses of her actions, Daenerys and Grey Worm ensured that Missandei will not be a Forgotten Fallen Friend and the consequences of her death will be immortalized in Westerosi and TV history.
6 - The Iron Throne
- Brienne adds in passages to the Book of Brothers detailing Jaime's feats. Even though the last time she saw him, he told her about all the horrible things he did, she saw to it that he was remembered for his acts of bravery, rather than his crimes.
- One of the incidents that Jaime was ashamed of and that he claimed as proof that he was a bad man was the horrific threats he made to get Edmure Tully to surrender Riverrun. Brienne notes it down as him taking Riverrun without loss of life. Both versions are accurate, but Brienne saw the good in Jaime even where he could only see the bad.
- The final line she puts is, "Died protecting his queen."
- "The White Book", the song that plays during this scene is a variation of "I Am Hers, She Is Mine" aka the series' universal love/marriage theme. In a way, Ramin Djawadi 'married' them through mere musical notes alone.
- Podrick has been knighted as Ser Podrick Payne, and he serves in the Kingsguard under Brienne. Even if the standards have fallen through sheer attrition over the course of the series, Pod is a member in good standing of what is considered the most elite fighting force in Westeros.
- Grey Worm rejects Davos's offer of founding a new House in the Reach. Instead, he takes the Unsullied to Naath to fulfill his promise to Missandei of protecting her people from slavers.
- It's a dark moment, but during her New Era Speech, Daenerys naming Grey Worm commander of her armies in recognition of his Undying Loyalty and all he has sacrificed for her, as well as his nod of gratitude counts.
- Minor but related: during Dany's time in Westeros, she publicly referred to Grey Worm as Torgo Nudho, his name in Valyrian. People in Essos might have understood the origin of his name and respected his decision to keep it, but in Westeros, it would have led to confusion at best and ridicule at worst, and Dany had enough foresight to spare him all that.
- She refers to her Dothraki as "blood of my blood". She sees all of them as her bloodriders, and thus her family. She may be making a New Era Speech, but she hasn't forgotten her bond with the first adopted family she ever had.
- It's in an extremely dark moment, but despite everyone warning Jon that Daenerys would ultimately turn on him and kill him as a threat to her power, Daenerys does seem earnest when she offers Jon the opportunity to rule the world beside her. For all her sins, Daenerys truly did love Jon.
- And Jon here as he couldn't even find himself able to agree to kill Dany after she massacred an entire city because he still loved her and wanted to believe she hadn't turned into the person Tyrion said she had become. It takes him realizing that she really will do the same to the whole world, because she honestly believes she can build something better on a foundation of ash, for him to go through with it. He not only still loved her, he wanted to believe she was, at heart, still a good person.
- While Drogon's reaction to Daenerys' death is mostly a tear jerker, the scene is also a final defining moment for Drogon. After outgrowing his rebellious phase, the dragon has always served his human mother loyally, doing her bidding regardless of what that was. With her death, as hard as it hits him, Drogon is no longer acts as an instrument of war and he shows that he's neither an unintelligent beast, nor just a savage killing machine. While clearly angry with Jon, he foregoes cheap revenge and instead melts the Iron Throne, symbolically destroying the representation of all the bloodshed and suffering everyone has gone through for generations, and the cause of his mother's and siblings' deaths. He then gently picks up Daenerys' corpse and flies off to mourn her on his own terms.
- It is later noted that Drogon has been spotted flying east. Both Drogon and Daenerys felt out of place in the unfamiliar land of Westeros. Both are going home to Essos (and possibly Valyria), where they belong.
- When Yara sides with Grey Worm demanding that Jon be punished for killing Daenerys, Arya threatens to cut her throat if she continues to speak ill of her brother. Even after learning that Jon is really her biological cousin, she still considers him her brother.
- Yara and the unnamed prince of Dorne initially side with Daenerys and still seem to hold her in high regard. They seem to be the only ones, but at least two leaders in Westeros will remember Dany positively.
- Tyrion urging everyone to choose Bran as king is not just a smart decision for the realm, but also a sweet callback to Tyrion's relationship with Bran, especially considering Tyrion had a special saddle designed for Bran back in Season 1. Tyrion really has lifted Bran up in more ways than one.
- Though rather bittersweet, Tyrion comforting Jon and squeezing his shoulder after he informs Jon of his exile. Combined with the above moment, it underscores how Tyrion was, in many ways, always fond of and tight with the Starks. It really makes one wonder how Tyrion could have had such a better life with the Starks as his family instead of the Lannisters.
- Arya smiling proudly at her sister as she secures the North its' independence illustrates just how far their relationship has come from the first season.
- Although the scene is a genuine tearjerker, seeing Sansa and Arya warmly embrace Jon Snow as he leaves. Sansa is in tears and deeply regretful about her actions causing Jon to be sent to the Night's Watch, begging Jon to forgive her. It looks like he won't, but he smiles and says that the North is free because of her. No matter what, Jon is her brother and the Stark children will love each other to the end of the world.
- The last scenes of the series: though their endings are bittersweet and they are scarred, Jon, Sansa, Arya, and Bran end the story alive.
- Though exiled and having to live with killing his love to stop her destruction, Jon returns to Castle Black and is reunited with Tormund and Ghost. Tormund and Jon escort the last of the free folk — the very people Jon helped save — to the lands they wish to return, their home, without fearing the undead that have terrorized them for so long.
- Tormund told Jon in a previous episode that he and the Free Folk were planning to go back beyond the Wall. When Jon arrives at Castle Black several months later, Tormund and his people are still there. It's implied that Tormund always knew Jon would return to the "real" North and refused to go home without him.
- Tormund's actor Kristofer Hivju saying the following about Tormund's friendship with Jon and how Tormund can help Jon with his depression:
"Jon is in a huge depression, so he needs Tormund to cheer him up, by the fire, warming each other," Hivju says with a laugh. "Tormund is pretty heartbroken himself, so maybe they can bond over that."
- Watch the way the free folk act towards Jon, they smile and make way for him. They wait for him to lead the way in the journey back to the True North.
- Jon made it clear that he never wanted to be a leader; all he desired was a simple life but everyone in Westeros kept making him their leader. Night's Watch, King in the North, Heir to the Iron Throne. Though a part of Jon will always be broken by killing his love, exile and the Free Folk allow Jon to live a simple life away from the games and politics of Westeros.
- And through John's efforts, the Free Folk and the Night's Watch are allies now. If there are still unknown dangers lurking beyond the Wall to threaten the realms of Men, the Free Folk will be the first to warn the Night's Watch of it. . . and the first to stand by their side to drive it back.
- Arya boards a ship and travels towards the unknown, pursuing the freedom she's always desired. She looks content and hopeful.
- The ship's figurehead is carved to resemble the direwolf sigil, and the sails are emblazoned with it as well. Even if she never returns to Westeros, a girl will always be Arya Stark of Winterfell.
- Sansa is crowned Queen in the North. With the Crown of the Six Kingdoms on their side, threats from beyond the Wall dealt with and all Northern houses once again united in service to the Starks, the North is looking forward to a new prosperous age under Sansa's reign.
- Bran Stark is crowned King of the remaining Six Kingdoms and working towards a new, better age for all of Westeros.
- Ned Stark would be proud of his children. Four of his children, biological and adoptive — Robb, Bran, Sansa, and Jon — have ruled as monarchs in their own right at one point or the other, helped save Westeros, and now two of them rule all of Westeros.
- Brienne and Davos, two of the most consistently good and decent people on the show, both end up alive and with high positions as Lady Commander of the Kingsguard and Master of Ships respectively.
- Despite his violent and threatening behavior towards Jaime and Tyrion earlier in the season, Bronn is clearly satisfied and holds no ill will towards Tyrion, and is fully willing to help rebuild Westeros after all the devastation it has suffered.
Tyrion: Ser Bronn of the Blackwater, Lord of Highgarden, Lord Paramount of the Reach and Master of Coin, would you say the crown's debt to you has been paid?
Bronn: In full, my lord Hand.
- Bran's initial meeting with his court is, in stark contrast to the plotting and scheming of previous seasons, one that emphasizes actually making Westeros a better place.
- While Daenerys lost her way and betrayed her own ideals, Tyrion remains inspired by her original goal and successfully proposes an elective monarchy so that claim over the Throne is no longer determined by bloodline succession. This more stable system gives hope for change in the future.
- After years of rotting away in a dungeon at The Twins, Edmure Tully is finally free and has regained his family's ancestral titles of the Riverlands from the Freys' usurpation.
- Sam's suggestion that everyone should have a say in who rules over them is quite touching, in its way. Sure, everyone else present laughs at him, but baby steps.
- Crosses over a little bit into Tear Jerker, but Daenerys ultimately succeeded in one of her most important goals. By establishing an elective monarchy, the world took the first step in breaking the wheel that had bound it for so long. The cycle that she had sacrificed so much to destroy might finally be ending, even if there's a lot more work to do. It's just a shame that she wasn't around to see what she did to see it and know that, in a way, she did make a better world.