- Maia's grief over his mother's death is heartbreaking. He speaks of searching for her everywhere and praying to the gods to let him die too. All of this when he was only nine years old.
- Made worse by the fact she is the only loving parent figure he ever had growing up meaning that after her death he was left with a physically, emotionally, and verbally abusive guardian in his distant cousin Setheris and a completely neglectful father.
- Chenelo's own circumstances are very tearjerking. She is married off at a young age by her father, who cares only for securing his northern borders against his larger and more powerful neighboring country and nothing for her, to the Emperor of a different country forcing her to leave her home and live in a court full of racist courtiers. Her husband is still mourning his last wife who suffered Death by Childbirth delivering a stillborn and finds her ugly, boring, and unappealing. The wedding night she falls pregnant and gives birth to a half-elf son who her husband hates as much as he hates her. She and her newborn are sent away to a backwater estate where she raises her child alone and writes letters to her father who never answers. She falls ill and passes away before she is even thirty leaving behind her nine-year-old child.
- Its equally tearjerking and heartwarming, but Maias 19th birthday has him inundated with gifts, both obliged from courtiers and heartfelt from people hes aided - and he simply doesnt understand that there is no ulterior motive to any of them beyond wishing him a happy birthday.
- Chelehar's backstory, of being forced to condemn the man he loved.
- While Chavar's comeuppance is richly satisfying, his Spoiled Sweet son Nurevis getting caught in the crossfire isn't, with Maia sadly observing that he's being left impoverished and that all of his friends have turned their back on him due to the scandal attached to his father.
- The general situation of Stano, the fiancee of one of Maia's brothers, who is caught in a state of political limbo due to her legal status following her betrothal to the dead archduke and gets dragged into a failed conspiracy.
- Several of the scenes where Maia wrestles with his (justified) resentment of Setheris.
Tear Jerker / The Goblin Emperor