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Saddest moment in series?

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Too much sadness to pick just one.

But the saddest moment disguised as a happy one is when Harwin recognizes Arya at the inn in the Riverlands. I was thinking "thank God, someone who finally knows Arya and can help her." But in the end it was just more of the same because the brotherhood just dragged her around the riverlands for a few months before Sandor took her.

In fact, we had a double emotional switcheroo because right after I thought "damn, the Hound has her now," it turns out he was trying to do what she wanted all along: return her to her family.

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"Needle was Robb and Bran and Rickon, her mother and her father, even Sansa. Needle was Winterfell's grey walls, and the laughter of its people. Needle was the summer snows, Old Nan's stories, the heart tree with its red leaves and scary face, the warm earthy smell of the glass gardens, the sound of the north wind rattling the shutters of her room. Needle was Jon Snow's smile. He used to muss my hair and call me 'little sister', she remembered, and suddenly there were tears in her eyes."

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25 minutes ago, CaptainJugular said:

"Needle was Robb and Bran and Rickon, her mother and her father, even Sansa. Needle was Winterfell's grey walls, and the laughter of its people. Needle was the summer snows, Old Nan's stories, the heart tree with its red leaves and scary face, the warm earthy smell of the glass gardens, the sound of the north wind rattling the shutters of her room. Needle was Jon Snow's smile. He used to muss my hair and call me 'little sister', she remembered, and suddenly there were tears in her eyes."

YES!!

Nostalgia always gets me.

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Jon II in Thrones:

Jon lowered his eyes. She was cradling one of Bran's hands. He took the other, squeezed it. Fingers like the bones of birds. "Good-bye," he said.

He was at the door when she called out to him. "Jon," she said. He should have kept going, but she had never called him by his name before. He turned to find her looking at his face, as if she were seeing it for the first time.

"Yes?" he said.

"It should have been you," she told him. Then she turned back to Bran and began to weep, her whole body shaking with the sobs. Jon had never seen her cry before.

It was a long walk down to the yard.

Wanting what happened to Bran to happen to someone else instead of him is something I can understand; the natural reaction to a child's accident is why my child? Why my son or daughter? But, as far as Jon is concerned, they have lived under the same roof for almost a decade and a half; we know from Benjen's convo with Jon in Jon I that he mostly sits with his half-siblings at dinner; we know from Jon XII in Storm that he was educated alongside Robb (when considering Stannis's offer of Winterfell and legitimacy, Jon thinks of Catelyn's look when he beat Robb at sums); Catelyn in essentially his step-mother. I find it sad that in almost a decade and a half, she has never called him by his first name. It isn't just her fault - Ned should have told her about Jon's mother years ago - but what you are left left is a motherless boy who feels an outsider in his own home. 

Bran III in Dance:

"Hodor," said Hodor.

Meera began to cry.

Bran hated being crippled then. "Don't cry," he said. He wanted to put his arms around her, hold her tight the way his mother used to hold him back at Winterfell when he'd hurt himself. She was right there, only a few feet from him, but so far out of reach it might have been a hundred leagues. To touch her he would need to pull himself along the ground with his hands, dragging his legs behind him. The floor was rough and uneven, and it would be slow going, full of scrapes and bumps. I could put on Hodor's skin, he thought. Hodor could hold her and pat her on the back. The thought made Bran feel strange, but he was still thinking it when Meera bolted from the fire, back out into the darkness of the tunnels. He heard her steps recede until there was nothing but the voices of the singers.

I have quoted the above, but really what I find sad is the fact that what we are seeing is Bran's first crush in the knowledge that it can't go anywhere. Aside from Bran's destiny within the cave, his injuries are so severe that they really preclude anything other than loving friendship. In Thrones, Eddard V, he speaks and thinks of the consequences of Bran's fall - 

"Yet someday he may be the lord of a great holdfast and sit on the king's council. He might raise castles like Brandon the Builder, or sail a ship across the Sunset Sea, or enter your mother's Faith and become the High Septon." But he will never run beside his wolf again, he thought with a sadness too deep for words, or lie with a woman, or hold his own son in his arms.

Add to that the feelings Meera has of doom, there is a sense that this will not have a happy ending. 

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This broke my heart:

When I was a lad I found an injured goshawk and nursed her back to health. Proudwing, I named her. She would perch on my shoulder and flutter from room to room after me and take food from my hand, but she would not soar. Time and again I would take her hawking, but she never flew higher than the treetops. Robert called her Weakwing. He owned a gyrfalcon named Thunderclap who never missed her strike. One day our great-uncle Ser Harbert told me to try a different bird. I was making a fool of myself with Proudwing, he said, and he was right.

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46 minutes ago, dornishdame said:

Jon II in Thrones:

Jon lowered his eyes. She was cradling one of Bran's hands. He took the other, squeezed it. Fingers like the bones of birds. "Good-bye," he said.

He was at the door when she called out to him. "Jon," she said. He should have kept going, but she had never called him by his name before. He turned to find her looking at his face, as if she were seeing it for the first time.

"Yes?" he said.

"It should have been you," she told him. Then she turned back to Bran and began to weep, her whole body shaking with the sobs. Jon had never seen her cry before.

It was a long walk down to the yard.

Oh come on! This is seriously one of the saddest scenes? This is nowhere near as horrid or sad as:

red wedding,

cat having to watch Robb die

, arya watching the massacre outside the Twins and Ned being beheaded,

Sansa being physically and mentally abused

Bran being thrown out of a window and crippled

rickon becoming hysterical and deranged as a result of no parents.

Meanwhile, Jon gets told he shouldn't have been born! Oh no.

i find it hard to believe that you actually believe what you said... 

This seems more like an attempt to turn this into another catelyn stark hate thread. Cat did nothing wrong in this situation she was a grieving mother who didn't want the presence of her husband's bastard son around her and her frail, fragile and broken Bran...:angry:

Edited by bloodofthedragon1995

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When Weasel runs away from and it's not caught by Gregor's men. And Arya thinks "Run as far you can and hide and never come back." Sad for two reasons. The literal reason of Weasal is what 3 or 4? And she has to hide and fend for herself. Who knows what happened to her. The figurative reason of Arya completely losing the child in her life that can never come back.

As a side note: I know a lot of people believe that Weasel's purpose was just for a figurative reason for Arya & she won't be seen again. However, I hope she makes another appearance. Not to be serve a meaningful purpose but just to say where she is and what happened to her. Maybe she winds up at the inn where Brienne found Gendry.

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1 minute ago, bloodofthedragon1995 said:

Oh come on! This is seriously one of the saddest scenes? This is nowhere near as horrid or sad as:

red wedding,

cat having to watch Robb die

, arya watching the massacre outside the Twins and Ned being beheaded,

Sansa being physically and mentally abused

Bran being thrown out of a window and crippled

rickon becoming hysterical and deranged as a result of no parents.

Meanwhile, Jon gets told he shouldn't have been born! Oh no.

i find it hard to believe that you actually believe what you said... 

This seems more like an attempt to turn this into another catelyn stark hate thread. Cat did nothing wrong in this situation she was a grieving mother who didn't want the presence of her husband's bastard son around her and her frail, fragile and broken Bran...:angry:

I'm not trying to turn this into an anti-Catelyn thread; as I stated in my post, I understand Cat saying that she wishes it was Jon. It is natural in her situation for her to wish that Bran's accident had happened to someone else's child. I also stated that I think her opinion of Jon is not completely her fault - Ned should have told her the truth about Jon a long, long time ago. My main point in my post was that in almost a decade and a half of living under the same roof, this is the first time his step-mother has called him by his first name in spite of the closeness in which he has been brought up with his half-siblings. My main focus was not Catelyn's words but Jon's recognition that this is the first time she had called him by his name

I'm not dismissing any of the things you have mentioned - all of which I agree are sad moments in the series, as are those mentioned upthread - the two moments I mentioned were just the first two I considered when the question was posed. And Jon is seriously affected by the manner in which he is made to feel an outsider within his own family. It influences the decisions he makes and the opinions he holds. There is a large hole in his life where a maternal figure should be. And I do think it is sad that in a decade and a half, his step-mother has never called him by his first name. As I set out in my post, this is not a remote bastard son that stayed in another part of the region or even another part of the castle, but one that lived his daily life with her own children. That is without me going into the references Bran and Arya make to Jon early on in Thrones, showing how much they consider him their big brother. At the same time, however, I do understand where Catelyn is coming from and why she thinks the way she does. She is a woman in a very awkward position. Yes, some of it is her fault in that she has never made the best of things and tried to accept Jon. But it is not just her fault. She has a husband who tells her that he is Jon's father, but refuses to tell her anything about Jon's mother - and that is something that has a significant emotional impact on Catelyn. And on her self-esteem. 

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Jon II in Thrones:

Jon lowered his eyes. She was cradling one of Bran's hands. He took the other, squeezed it. Fingers like the bones of birds. "Good-bye," he said.

He was at the door when she called out to him. "Jon," she said. He should have kept going, but she had never called him by his name before. He turned to find her looking at his face, as if she were seeing it for the first time.

"Yes?" he said.

"It should have been you," she told him. Then she turned back to Bran and began to weep, her whole body shaking with the sobs. Jon had never seen her cry before.

It was a long walk down to the yard.

Oh come on! This is seriously one of the saddest scenes? This is nowhere near as horrid or sad as:

red wedding,

cat having to watch Robb die

, arya watching the massacre outside the Twins and Ned being beheaded,

Sansa being physically and mentally abused

Bran being thrown out of a window and crippled

rickon becoming hysterical and deranged as a result of no parents.

Meanwhile, Jon gets told he shouldn't have been born! Oh no.

i find it hard to believe that you actually believe what you said... 

This seems more like an attempt to turn this into another catelyn stark hate thread. Cat did nothing wrong in this situation she was a grieving mother who didn't want the presence of her husband's bastard son around her and her frail, fragile and broken Bran...:angry:

Just because she may be justified in saying something doesn't make it any less sad for Jon. So because she's justified in feeling the way she does Jon's feelings can't be hurt & we can't feel bad for him? Plus she's not justified in saying what she said. She may be justified in her feelings about Ned having a bastard. But to tell a child regardless of who he is you wished he were dead when all he wanted to do was make sure his brother was ok is wrong & it would hurt a child's feelings and can be seen as a sad moment.

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1 hour ago, Maxxine said:

Oh come on! This is seriously one of the saddest scenes? This is nowhere near as horrid or sad as:

red wedding,

cat having to watch Robb die

, arya watching the massacre outside the Twins and Ned being beheaded,

Sansa being physically and mentally abused

Bran being thrown out of a window and crippled

rickon becoming hysterical and deranged as a result of no parents.

Meanwhile, Jon gets told he shouldn't have been born! Oh no.

i find it hard to believe that you actually believe what you said... 

This seems more like an attempt to turn this into another catelyn stark hate thread. Cat did nothing wrong in this situation she was a grieving mother who didn't want the presence of her husband's bastard son around her and her frail, fragile and broken Bran...:angry:

 

Just because she may be justified in saying something doesn't make it any less sad for Jon. So because she's justified in feeling the way she does Jon's feelings can't be hurt & we can't feel bad for him? Plus she's not justified in saying what she said. She may be justified in her feelings about Ned having a bastard. But to tell a child regardless of who he is you wished he were dead when all he wanted to do was make sure his brother was ok is wrong & it would hurt a child's feelings and can be seen as a sad moment.

I'm not saying it wasn't a sad moment - I said I don't think it's the saddest or even one of the saddest - considering the thread title is 'the saddest'. I merely pointed out moments much sadder and poignant...

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Saddest?

A three-year old girl rhaenys hid under her father's bed, probably hoping her father can protect her, but was dragged out and stabbed 50 times to death, while her father died happily and gracefully with the name of Lyanna on his lips far away.

 

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8 hours ago, Blind Beth the Cat Lady said:

Lady's death.

This. It broke my heart. I don't even know how Cersei's one of my top five characters after that. Ha impact, I guess. 

 

 

 

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Jon discovers who maester Aemon really is:

Quote

The old man laid a withered, spotted hand on his shoulder. “It hurts, boy,” he said softly. “Oh, yes. Choosing... it has always hurt. And always will. I know.”
“You don’t know,” Jon said bitterly. “No one knows. Even if I am his bastard, he’s still my father...”
Maester Aemon sighed. “Have you heard nothing I’ve told you, Jon? Do you think you are the first?” He shook his ancient head, a gesture weary beyond words. “Three times the gods saw fit to test my vows. Once when I was a boy, once in the fullness of my manhood, and once when I had grown old. By then my strength was fled, my eyes grown dim, yet that last choice was as cruel as the first. My ravens would bring the news from the south, words darker than their wings, the ruin of my House, the death of my kin, disgrace and desolation. What could I have done, old, blind, frail? I was helpless as a suckling babe, yet still it grieved me to sit forgotten as they cut down my brother’s poor grandson, and his son, and even the little children...”
Jon was shocked to see the shine of tears in the old man’s eyes. “Who are you?” he asked quietly, almost in dread.
A toothless smile quivered on the ancient lips. “Only a maester of the Citadel, bound in service to Castle Black and the Night’s Watch. In my order, we put aside our house names when we take our vows and don the collar.” The old man touched the maester’s chain that hung loosely around his thin, fleshless neck. “My father was Maekar, the First of his Name, and my brother Aegon reigned after him in my stead. My grandfather named me for Prince Aemon the Dragonknight, who was his uncle, or his father, depending on which tale you believe. Aemon, he called me...”
“Aemon... Targaryen?” Jon could scarcely believe it.
“Once,” the old man said. “Once. So you see, Jon, I do know... and knowing, I will not tell you stay or go. You must make that choice yourself, and live with it all the rest of your days. As I have.” His voice fell to a whisper. “As I have...”

 

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For me, it's the entire tale of Jeyne Poole.  To go from being a companion of Sansa - even taking her lessons with her - and dreaming dreams of marrying a knight, to being LF's whore in training to Ramsey's (and his dog's) object to repeatedly rape and debase.  Everything about Jeyne's story is heart breaking.  

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"It hurts so much, she thought. Our children, Ned, all our sweet babies. Rickon, Bran, Arya, Sansa, Robb. . . Robb. . .please,Ned, please, make it stop, make it stop hurting"

This one hurt so much ~crying~

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5 minutes ago, LyrnaSnowBunnyAvenger said:

For me, it's the entire tale of Jeyne Poole.  To go from being a companion of Sansa - even taking her lessons with her - and dreaming dreams of marrying a knight, to being LF's whore in training to Ramsey's (and his dog's) object to repeatedly rape and debase.  Everything about Jeyne's story is heart breaking.  

YEAH, definitely. I think the two most gut-wrenching moments are when Sansa unknowingly "gives her up" to Littlefinger (though I'm sure she would have been discovered and had the same fate even had Sansa not said anything), and after the escape when Theon tells her she must keep playing fArya. I think it says something about her crying so hard some part of her face starts bleeding. Like maybe she could start to recover if she could just be Jeyne Pool again, but she can't.

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