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Tear Jerker / A Dovahkiin Spreads His Wings

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  • The reason Jon ran away from Winterfell to land in Skyrim? He heard Ned and Benjen discussing his true parentage, leaving him so heartbroken and traumatized the fourteen-year-old couldn't see any other way to deal with it.
    • The Stark family's reaction (minus Catelyn) to this: Ned briefly goes mad from grief and spends six months seeking for Jon in the countryside, while the children are busy having nightmares about their half-brother dying alone and far from home.
  • When High Queen Elisif confesses her surprise about the Dragonborn not being an orphan, Jon quietly admits he didn't bother to reveal the truth because he was trying to forget his family. Just... ouch.
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  • Ned seeing firsthand just how much Jon has changed since he ran away from Winterfell. He's not dressing the same, he's speaking with an accent, he adresses Ned as "Lord Stark" and generally acts as if he was a mere guest rather than family. Any loving parent would be distressed.
  • Rickon needing for Jon to be introduced to him before remembering the older boy as his big brother is guaranteed to slightly twinge on your heartstrings.
  • Jon bitterly muses his former bedroom in Winterfell doesn't fit him anymore, as he have grown up since he left. Then Arya comes and confesses his siblings went into the room because they wanted mementos of their lost brother.
    • Him having to sleep in his old bedroom could actually be considered Foreshadowing by the Starks (mainly Ned) trying to tie him down in Westeros and refusing to accept that Jon outgrew them — yes, he loves the family that raised him and will always do, and the fourteen-year-old boy he was would have been happy with the prospect to stay with them forever, but he's not this boy anymore. Just like the sailor from the song, Jon's life, loved ones and lady are "out at sea", and the Starks will have no choice but do their best to understand and respect his choice.
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  • The butcher incident set the stage for Jon completely losing trust in Ned, as this was the day the boy realized someone loving you doesn't mean someone acting in your best interests. Sometimes, they will hamper you precisely because they love you and want you safe.
  • Ned loses even more ground with Jon when he's given the opportunity to come clean regarding the youth's parentage and tries to lie by pretending he slept with Ashara Dayne. Jon starts screaming at him, reveals he already knows for Lyanna and Rhaegar and storms out.
    • It's strongly implied Ned did this out of resentment towards Rhaegar, blaming the Silver Prince for seducing and eloping with his sister. And because of that, he wanted to completely erase him from Jon's life.
    • The reason why Benjen went to the Wall finally revealed: Ned was livid because his baby brother had helped Lyanna to elope with the Prince and sought to punish him, outright rejecting Benjen's plan to pass Jon as the third Stark son's bastard to do so.
  • Elia's letter to Lyanna, telling her how their names will enter into history books. If Only You Knew...
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  • Lyanna's ultimate letter. Her husband is dead. Her sister-wife is dead. Her stepchildren are dead. Her father and oldest brother are dead. A war has ravaged the country. All because of her decision to follow her heart. She only has her unborn baby now, and she knows she's not gonna live beyond the childbirth. She can only beg her son to forgive her and tell him he was loved and wanted by his three parents: Rhaegar, Lyanna and Elia.
  • Catelyn's insecurities regarding her marriage to Ned slowly led to her relationships with her husband and children imploding as she lashes out against Jon, refusing to understand the Stark family doesn't want to be forced to pick between her and the boy. And to make it even more tragic, Ned never cheated on her to begin with, so she destroyed her happiness for a lie.
  • Myrcella's confession that her mother treats her as an extension of herself, surrounding the princess with Lannister cronies and empty-headed ladies who can't give her anything in the way of meaningful interactions. Myrcella is so starved for genuine bonds that she's ready to latch on someone she barely knows and lives on another continent merely to receive a letter or two every year. That's just depressing.
  • Robb's pleading for Jon to stay at least a bit longer, only for his brother to refuse.
    Robb: If you truly loved me then you'd stay.
    Jon: And if you truly loved me then you'd understand why I can't.
  • Ned's quiet heartbreak when Serana is introduced to King's Landing as Jon's betrothed. It's a sham but Ned has no way to know that so he's left to believe Jon willingly withdrew the information from him. Left to believe Jon is still so upset and angry at him, he wouldn't tell him about the most important event in his life.
  • Cersei experiences this in light of her father's threats to have Joffrey removed from inheritance.
  • Jaime resigning himself with having to kill Joffrey after he realizes he's another Aerys in the making.
  • Jon Arryn would have wanted to quietly retire in the Vale, surrounded by loving and happy grandchildren. Instead, he's stuck in King's Landing, his wife is insane and his heir too young and sickly to be a proper successor, and there's the growing, awful suspicion someone poisoned Stannis Baratheon merely because Jon asked for his help regarding the royal succession. Oh, and he knows he's not going to live much longer, either.
  • Arya expressing her frustration regarding her parents' expectation of her growing up into a Proper Lady and marrying. She knows it's not the path she wants to take but they don't want to listen.
  • Robert Baratheon on his deathbed is very much a pitiful wreck, confessing he's not really convinced he would have been really happy with Lyanna but wanted to believe it, to the point she gradually became an idealized fantasy instead of the real girl she actually was, and telling Jon the youth should have been his son by her.
    • Word of God is that Robert subconsciously realises there is something familiar about Jon but he basically spent the last 20 years living in denial about everything concerning the Rebellion. To admit the truth would be to admit Lyanna never loved him.
  • Serana's trauma from being raped by Molag Bal is so great that she couldn't look at herself in a mirror for three years, and she's triggered into a panic attack when Jon — the man she loves and trusts — starts to kiss her a bit too deeply.
  • Jon Arryn's death at the hands of the Mountain. A wise man who tried his best to help the Seven Kingdoms from Joffrey's tyranny, but was slaughtered right before he could escape.
  • A small moment but Sandor attacking Jon for taking his revenge on the Mountain from him by killing him first. After spending his whole life wanting to kill his horrid brother for disfiguring and tormenting him, it is somewhat pitiful that his revenge that he waited his whole life was taken from him.
  • A dying Selyse telling her daughter Shireen to leave her behind so she can escape King's Landing, and then her bitterly mourning the fact that she was never a good mother to Shireen. Then Valerica grants her a Mercy Kill to prevent the Lannisters from using her as a hostage.
  • Tommen's death - made worse because it happens right after he stood up to Joffrey for the first time ever. And since Myrcella needs to flee for murdering Joffrey in retaliation, she's unable to grieve over his body.
  • Enzo's horror and grief when he comes too late for saving two of Robert's bastards and their mothers. Thank the Old and New Gods he manages to rescue the third...
  • Myrcella screaming she hates Cersei and refuses to be her daughter anymore. Arya is utterly shocked — no matter how fraught her relationship with Catelyn Stark is, she cannot imagine how bad it would have to be for someone to outright disown their own mother.
    • Right before that, Myrcella sobs she's damned and will go to the Seven Hells for killing Joffrey, as the gods hate kinslaying.
  • The Tyrells' misery over what happens to Margaery is heartbreaking. Even Olenna can barely hold herself together when she sees the extent of what's been done to her grandaughter.
    • On that same line, Valerica notes to herself that while she doesn't see Margaery as broken in any way, a society that ties a girl's worth to her beauty might make Margaery see herself as ruined.
  • Theon's decision to run away after his uncle Euron starts raiding again, telling the upset Robb that the Lannisters won't care about his innocence but just about making an example. And he knows his sister and mother are probably dead, he knows he will probably die trying to help them, but he still needs to do something for them.
  • Jaime being left to mourn his father and unacknowledged youngest son, while Cersei only cares about her precious Joffrey. Then she mercilessly manipulates him because she wants for him to stay, and he does in spite of all his instincts screaming it's a bad idea.
  • In the full throes of a Heroic BSoD, fully aware that people are going to think she's a soft target now that she's been orphaned, Shireen is left sobbing over a family portrait of herself and her parents.
  • Even if she's being a real brat, Sansa crying over the fact that no matter how much she does her best to be perfect, everyone still prefers Arya to her. And she's later completely horrified to learn her father wrongfully made her mother believe he had been unfaithful, calling him out for not even trusting Catelyn with the truth of Jon's birth.


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