Episode 1: "Iron From Ice"
- Gared Tuttle, squire to Lord Gregor Forrester, is about to finally be promoted after his years of hard work and loyal service. That's great... and then the Red Wedding happens. Gared's friend Bowen is killed if Gared chooses to warn the Forresters instead of saving him, followed by Lord Forrester's son Rodrik and finally the Lord himself. It just gets worse after that, as he discovers his father and sister (who was only eight years old) were murdered in cold blood by the Whitehill family. After fighting back and killing one (or two) of the soldiers, Gared's vengeance for his family is taken as an excuse to bring down the wrath of the Whitehills on the Forresters, and Gared has to be sent to the Wall to smooth things over. Gared certainly has it rough.
- Ethan Forrester spends most of Episode 1 growing into his own as a Lord of House Forrester, only to be murdered in cold blood by Ramsay Bolton and receiving the name of Ethan the Brave/Bold/Wise only after he's already dead.
- Arguably even worse is Talia's reaction as her brother dies. She's screaming so hard and calling for someone to fetch the maester, despite the fact that he can do nothing.
- Ryon being kidnapped following the above. His mother and sister are calling out for him, and his dying brother seems to try to protest but of course can't.Ryon: Mother! Don't let them take me!
Episode 2: "The Lost Lords"
- After his troubles in Episode 1, it gets even worse for Gared. He gets in trouble twice on his first day at the Wall, and on both occasions it was for problems Finn and Cotter started. First, he's given a lecture because Finn and Cotter were talking during Frostfinger's lecture (though Gared can optionally join in the discussion and thus deserve the lecture in this case), and secondly he gets in trouble for a fight Cotter started by stealing Finn's knife.
- After surviving the Red Wedding and returning home, a heavily wounded Rodrik wakes up to hear about Ethan's death from Talia. Rodrik, who already is in immense pain and has just lost his father, now learns that his younger brother is dead and has to hug and comfort his sister as she cries into his chest.
- The funeral for Ethan and Gregor. The whole thing is just gut-wrenching. Rodrik speaks a few good words to his father and brother who are laid upon wooden beds lit in blue flames. Talia speaks a moving song about how she would do anything to bring her father and brother back, and Lady Forrester breaks down in tears.
- And before this, when Lady Forrester steps forward.Elissa: We honor Lord Gregor Forrester. My husband. My love. And our lord Ethan. (voice breaks) My sweet little boy...
- And before that, she reminisces about the fate of her original house and expresses her fears of it happening a second time.
- And before this, when Lady Forrester steps forward.
Episode 3: "The Sword in the Darkness"
- While going to meet Gwyn Whitehill, Rodrik rides through what used to be a patch of forest, now clear-cut by the Whitehills. It drives home that if the Forresters don't take back the Ironwood soon, there may be nothing left to reclaim.
Episode 4: "Sons of Winter"
- Beshka revealing that the reason she wanted nothing to do with Meereen was that she was a child slave, forced to fight other children to death (including many she considered friends) for the amusement of her master.
Episode 5: "A Nest of Vipers"
- If Rodrik left the Glenmore guards behind to watch Ironrath in Episode 4, Ramsay shoos them out during the deal with the Whitehills except for Arthur, who he keeps behind and tortures to death. And he leads Rodrik and Talia into the godswood to make them watch.
- Even if Rodrik took the Glenmore guards with him to the meeting with the Whitehills, Ramsay still tortures Arthur to death, though without having to shoo the Glenmore guards out first since they weren't left at Ironrath.
- Talia tries to make Rodrik promise to kill the traitor, as she has discovered who it is. If Rodrik instead decides to spare the traitor's life, Talia will either storm out or accuse Rodrik of being an even bigger coward than the traitor (if he promised to kill the traitor and then broke it). The latter in particular will probably feel like a punch to the gut coming from someone as sweet as Talia.
- To make matters worse, if Rodrik then sacrifices himself to save Asher, Talia will be haunted with the knowledge that the last thing she every said to her oldest brother was to call him a coward, perhaps blaming herself and wondering if it influenced him to make the decision to sacrifice himself...
- Duncan being the traitor. Unlike with Royland, where Rodrik shows tranquil fury, Rodrik is noticeably more angry and hurt as he demands Duncan to explain his treachery.
- Rodrik: Start explaining yourself, Duncan.Duncan: What do you want me to say? What I did, I did for your own good.Rodrik: We trusted you, Duncan! My father took you off a pig farm to make you his castellan.Duncan: I cared more about his family than my own.Rodrik: (His voice breaks slightly) Then why!?Duncan: Because you are reckless, Rodrik!
- Asher or Rodrik's sacrifice.
Asher: (closes portcullis) Go!Beshka: (in anguish) You bastard!Asher: (sorrowful) Beshka...Beshka: (breaking down) You're fucking leaving me?! What the fuck am I supposed to do? I came here for you! We're supposed to fight together, always! Die together!Asher: (choked) Sister... You're my family. As much as Rodrik. As much as any of them.Beshka: (pleading) You arsehole... Rip their fucking hearts out!
- If Asher stays behind, Beshka will be on the verge of crying as the Whitehills bear down on her "little brother".
Royland: But my lord! You can't!Rodrik: Asher - is your new lord now.Royland: (on the verge of Manly Tears, a lump in his throat that makes his words come out in a near sob) Yes... My lord.Asher Forrester: Rodrik!Rodrik: GO!Royland: (while leading Asher away, tearfully shouting) TAKE AS MANY OF THEM AS YOU CAN WITH YOU!
- Asher's sacrifice serves as a Call-Back to Malcolm: "Words are wind, Asher. It's choices that define who you are."
- Asher had just set foot in Westeros after many years of exile in Essos, only to die saving his brother. He hadn't even met his sister and mother, hadn't said a word to them, hadn't heard their voices, hadn't seen their faces and barely reunited with his brother. While that short moment of family reunion is heartwarming, it's short-lived.
- The final heart-rending straw is that when Asher is piled on by the Whitehill men-at-arms to be stabbed to death, the brother who was fearless in life and lived for battle starts to crack and nearly sob as he's restrained; knowing that he won't die as a warrior but as a captive and a trapped animal.
- If Rodrik stays behind, he'll declare Asher the new lord and urge him to leave. Rodrik had only just fully recovered and begun walking as a proud leader again, only to be brought back to his knees, bleeding and crippled once more before Gryff and his men. Adding to that, if Rodrik and Elaena got together after Arthur's death, there's the possibility that he got her pregnant out of wedlock in a culture that has a very low opinion of bastard children.
- Ser Royland's reaction if Rodrik stays behind. His voice makes it clear that he didn't want to leave his lord to his demise. He only reluctantly parts once Rodrik gives him his last orders.
Episode 6: "The Ice Dragon"
- Soon after arriving in Ironrath, the surviving brother talks with Lord Whitehill who, as a surprising notion of goodwill, delivers them the dead brother's body. It's heartbreaking to pull back the sheet to reveal Asher or Rodrik's ruined face and hear the sorrow of his family. Especially sad is Elissa's remark: I've already buried too many sons.
- Even worse, if you've been confrontational in your encounters with Ludd, he won't deliver the body intact, and instead force poor Ryon to carry a pike with his dead's brother's head stuck on top.
- If Gared brought Finn along in the search for the North Grove, his body will come back as a wight and Gared has to put him down for good. Gared is clearly upset about having to kill his friend, even if he was no longer human, and can express guilt and regret about having brought him along.
- Gared, Cotter and Sylvi finally reach the North Grove, but not long afterwards realise that Cotter's injuries are beyond healing and he will soon die. Sylvi is thrown out of the tent where she is being kept on account of her being a wildling, so she gives Gared some nightshade and begs him to put an end to Cotter's suffering. It is clear that Cotter is in immense pain and quickly dying. Cotter dies, easing his pain but not letting him spend his last moments with his beloved sister. This also means that Gared is indirectly responsible for both Cotter and (possibly) Finn's deaths, something he clearly feels extremely guilty about.
- Mira's story comes to a head, ending with her being arrested for the death of Damien. Morgryn reveals that he is the one targeting her, but offers to save her life if she agrees to marry him and put the blame on the coal boy's shoulders. Said marriage comes at the cost of Morgryn having control over Ironrath. If she refuses his offer, she is decapitated, while if she accepts it, Tom is. Either way an innocent person loses their life.
- During the final battle with the Whitehills, Harys is seconds away from killing Asher or Rodrik when Elissa stops him with a knife to the back. The soldier responds by plunging his sword through her stomach. She dies holding her son's hand, smiling and uttering My son... one last time before passing away.
- Rodrik witnesses Eleana being dragged away by a Whitehill soldier, but is too badly wounded to do anything about it.
- The fall of Ironrath. Despite all your best efforts, the Forresters lose their ancestral home, and can do nothing but watch as it goes up in flames. The surviving Lord Forrester is too wounded to do anything but lie on their horse as it carries them away. Tears of grief and frustration abound.