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 "The First Sword of Braavos does not run."

Syrio Forel, A Game Of Thrones

 "One." "Two." "Three."

Tyrion Lannister, A Clash Of Kings

  • The definitive Crowning Moment of Awesome for Magnificent Bastard Petyr "Littlefinger" Baelish from A Song of Ice and Fire is when Lysa Arryn blabs out how the entire civil war was set in motion by a few well-chosen words from Littlefinger, and then he throws Lysa off a mountain.
    • Not to mention how utterly cold he gets when trying to stop Lysa from killing Sansa. "I have only loved one woman." "Truly?" "Only Cat." *shove*
    • The second best one for Littlefinger is when he betrays Eddard Stark to his death, saying "I did warn you not to trust me, you know."
      • Well, no one betrayed him to his death. The plan was that he would be exiled for the Wall. He would have lived if Joffrey didn't get carried away like that.
      • So you don't think Littlefinger talked Joffrey into getting "carried away"? If there was one guy in Westeros Littlefinger would want dead, it was whoever was married to Catelyn.
      • Weren't you paying attention during his villainous monologue? Littlefinger didn't want revenge, he wanted Cat. The plan was for a living but dishonored Ned to be sent to the Wall, thus voiding his titles and holdings and, most importantly, his marriage to Cat. With Ned out of the picture, Littlefinger was then going to pick Cat up on the rebound. Now, if you're wondering what the difference is, it's this: one outcome leaves Cat a single mother in need of a new head of household, the other leaves her a grieving widow hell-bent on vengeance above all else.
        • Adds another layer of awesome when you look back at Cat's character and relationship with Littlefinger before her husband's death and realize that it would've worked if not for a Spanner in the Works.
    • The third best was his (indirect) killing of Joffery. That was the moment where a significant portion of the fandom forgave his betrayal of Ned Stark.
      • That kinda went out the window when it was revealed he also plotted the death of Jon Arryn, kickstarting the entire shitstorm that was the war. Which is also kind of awesome, when you think about it.
  • The entire chapter about the Harrenhal uprising is both Fridge Brilliance and a Crowning Moment of Awesome for Roose Bolton.
    • Two Brave Companions climbed up the ramparts and ripped down the banners of the Lannister lion and Ser Amory Lorch's manticore, replacing them with the direwolf of Stark. And that evening, a page named Nan poured wine for Lord Roose Bolton and Vargo Hoat as they sat on the gallery, watching the Brave Companions parade Ser Amory Lorch naked through the middle ward. Ser Amory was sobbing and pleading and clinging to the legs of his jeering captors, until Shagwell pulled him loose and kicked him down into the bear pit. The bear is all black, Arya thought. Like Yoren. She filled Roose Bolton’s cup, and did not spill a drop.
  • When foreign weapon-master Syrio Forel is confronted by five Lannister fully armoured men-at-arms and one of the knights of the Kingsguard, while he himself is armed with a wooden practice sword. The quote above was swiftly followed by the death of the men-at-arms. He only lost the fight because the knight had no gaps in his armor which Forel could use to kill him.
    • Assuming he lost. The knight in question doesn't show up again for about a week, and we never see the end of the fight.
      • Yeah, I'm definitely expecting to see Forel again. Remember the fourth level of the Red Keep's dungeons oh-so-casually mentioned in the beginning of AFFC?
        • Don't bet on it. Word of God confirmed Syrio dead during a Q&A at a book-signing the very day of ADWD's release.
  • Jaime Lannister gets a Crowning Chapter of Awesome in book three: His Character Development & his actions which lead to his rescue of Brienne, make for one of the highlights of the book.
    • Jaime to Ryman Frey who has been threatening to hang Edmure Tully over and over again (Ryman was the then heir to the Twins, and the Freys, while disliked even by their allies - for good reason - are very important for the Lannisters): "Only a fool makes threats he's not prepared to carry out. If I were to threaten to hit you unless you shut your mouth, and you presumed to speak, what do you think I'd do?"

 "Ser, you do not unders-"

Jaime backhands him. With his golden hand.

    • For this troper, the moment Jaime became more than just The Dragon to Tywin and moved into the "favourite characters fast lane" was this exchange early on in A Storm of Swords:

 Jaime: Come on, let's see who's home (*opens door and finds a crossbow in his face)

Crossbowman: Lion, Wolf or Fish?

Jaime: We'd hoped for capon.

    • Later, he makes a threat to Edmure. Following a very To the Pain-esque speech about the extent to which Edmure's home and retainers will suffer if he does not relent (including diverting a river over the ruins of his castle so that no one will ever know anything had once stood there), he ends with "You wife may whelp before then. You'll want your child, I expect. I'll send him to you when he's born. With a trebuchet." Practically a Moment of Awesome for the author, seeing as Jaime opened the series with a very similar act, and yet we root for him.
      • We do? That would be funny, especially since Jaime himself considered that a very low blow and beat himself up over it.
    • His final line in "A Feast for Crows."
    • Speaking of Jamie and backhands, how about earlier when he backhands Ser Ronnet the same way for calling Brienne a freak? Especially since Jamie used to call her "wench" all the time, it makes his reaction even more freakin' golden (no pun intended):
    • "You are speaking of a highborn lady, ser. Call her by her name. Call her Brienne."
    • No, his most awesome moment was stabbing King Aerys to death.
    • Jaime gets another CMOA when calls Jeyne Westerling's mother, who actively prevented her daughter from siring a heir to the throne and plotted the death of her son-in-law, out for her general sliminess.
    • He has a decidedly villainous one in A Clash Of Kings when Catelyn interrogates him and he proceeds to merciless taunt and mock her.
    • One that happened offscreen - when he was a squire with Merrett Frey, Merrett used to bully the other squires. Then he tried to bully Jaime. Guess what happened next...
  • Oberyn Martell's duel with Gregor Clegane is another notable highlight for both combatants.
  • Arya stabbing the Tickler to death, complete with Ironic Echo:

 Is there gold hidden in the village? Is there silver? Gems? Is there food? Where is Lord Beric? Where did he go? How many men were with him? How many knights? How many bowmen? How many, how many, how many, how many, how many, HOW MANY?! IS THERE GOLD HIDDEN IN THE VILLAGE?!

    • No, no, the true awesome is how she ropes in Jaqen H'Qar. She has an assassin on a leash who will give her three deaths, and she's already got two. When he won't go along with her plan, she asks him to kill himself.
    • Not to mention the scene where the demented serving woman starts screaming at Arya and threatens to rape her with a broom handle, and Arya responds by bashing the woman's head with a water bucket.
  • Margaery finally telling Cersei what everyone thinks of her: "You vile, scheming, evil bitch."
  • Euron Greyjoy's ascent to Magnificent Bastardom: "EURON KING!"
  • Victarion Greyjoy fucking up every single slaver he comes across in A Dance with Dragons and not even breaking a sweat.
  • So-Called Coward Samwell Tarly killing an Other. In this case, the awesome comes not so much because he was successful (that was mostly a fluke), but from the fact that he proved brave enough to try at all.
    • Also, when Sam manages to get Jon Snow voted as Lord Commander of the Night's Watch.
    • Bigger and awesomer than both of those, Sam walks into a brothel and punches Dareon in the face for being a deserter. When a second person interferes, Sam fights him too, and only stops when he is thrown out. The other-killing was a fluke and the election more a result of cunning rather than courage (Sam himself points out that he is smart, even if he is craven, a fact also admitted by Mormont) but this is one occasion in which he throws his cowardice to the winds and starts a fight.
  • The deformed dwarf Tyrion Lannister rallying troops for the defense of King's Landing:

 "They say I'm half a man. What does that make the lot of you?"

    • Tyrion is a walking Moment of Awesome. A particular favorite is when, after escaping from a cell, he sneaks into the Tower of the Hand, ambushes his own father, who has mistreated Tyrion his entire life for being a dwarf, and who most recently led to Tyrion getting imprisoned, and shoots him to death with a crossbow. While his father is taking a shit.
      • In the balls, no less.
      • And finally proving that Lord Tywin does NOT shit gold.
    • This troper agrees, and adds that his favorite is when Tyrion is planning the defense of King's Landing, and orders the troops to practice with the flamethrowers, starting with green paint and working their way up to lamp oil, by taking the advice of the expert. Don't see that nearly often enough in high adventure.
    • Tyrion coming to the defense of Sansa who was getting utterly humiliated by her husband-to-be definitely counts as well.
    • When Tyrion turns table on a knight who just unhorsed him by head-stabbing his horse is also a Moment of Awesome.
    • Tyrion becoming a Magnificent Bastard (arguably) in his own right: He manages to escape certain execution by demanding a trial by combat and turns Bronn, a dangerous and highly skilled mercenary, to his cause. And when Lysa Arryn makes him go down a mountain pass inhabited by Proud Warrior Race Guys who have been the scourge of the Vale of Arryn for centuries, he manages to convince them to let him safely go through the pass and serve him as bodyguards and enforcers. And he actually upholds the promises he made to them instead of saying "Suckers!" once he's safely in his own army.
      • It gets better. The Promise he made was to ARM the Mountain Clans with steel armor and swords who then go back and use them to raid the Vale of Arryn. So he gets through the pass, gets body guards and enforcers, and his payment gets revenge on the woman who imprisoned him, all at the same time!
    • The circumstances behind the second quote would take too long to describe. It is best to read for yourself to see Tyrion nearly surpass Littlefinger himself in a single damn chapter.
      • A short explanation (though you really should read the book anyway): Tyrion suspects that one of three councilors (Pycelle, Littlefinger, and Varys) is a spy for Cersei. To flush out the rat, he gives each of them a different story about the plans he has for two of Cersei's children. So when a furious Cersei comes to him ranting and raving about the plans he had "entrusted" to Pycelle, he instantly knows it was the Grand Maester spying for her. Game, set, match.
    • Saving the life of Aegon Targaryen VI by bodily ramming a Stone Man off their boat.
      • Which comes right after he convinces Aegon to abandon the plan he's been coached in for his entire life, pointing out that it clearly hasn't been working. And that is after he discovers Aegon's true identity in the first place, wagering the reveal of the secret over a cyvasse game, with the implication that he'd deliberately lost several earlier games to get his opponent confident enough to accept that bet.
    • Escaping slavery to buy the help of an entire sellsword company. No, not the other way around, he signed with a sellsword company and bought their wares after escaping his master.
  • The Red Wedding is a villainous one for Tywin Lannister. All that time, he'd just been sitting there, waiting and watching, because he had already won, just no one else knew it at the time.
  • Daenerys Frakkin' Targaryen. Dany is like a Crowning Person of Awesome all on her own after about the midpoint of A Game of Thrones, but here are a few highlights:
    • First, when she kills Mirri Maz Duur and hatches her dragon eggs, and WALKS INTO THE FIRE TO PULL THEM OUT and comes out unscathed (except for her hair)at the end of A Game of Thrones
    • Then, when she burns down the House of the Undying AND outwits the Qaartheen to escape after leading her people through a desert death march mostly intact during A Clash Of Kings
    • Finally, she turns her small group of Dothraki into a large group of warriors by freeing the Unsullied she just bought by ordering them to kill the men who owned them five minutes ago, then leading them on a rampage through the East, freeing slaves and leaving burning ruins of what had once been decadent, immoral, evil cities in her wake during A Storm of Swords. Put simply, she is the most badass fourteen-year-old in, well, EVER.
      • Azula disagrees, but admits it's close.
      • Of course, this being a World Half Empty, after Daenerys accomplishes the events described above, It Got Worse. But instead of pulling a Karma Houdini—or letting the author throw one on her behalf—she decides to stay and learn from her mistakes. For a girl of sixteen, that's another Moment of Awesome right there.
    • Drogon in A Dance with Dragons. If you've gotten to the scene, no further explanation will be necessary.
  • Brienne of Tarth has several moments of awesome.
    • The melee at Bitterbridge is pretty much tailor-made to be her moment: she completely ploughs through the other contenders (including, much to her gratitude, men who have spurned her in the past), and brings down Loras Tyrell by basically tackling him off his horse herself.
      • Her defeat of Ronnet Connington in particular is remembered fondly by her, because he treated her really cruelly when they were betrothed - 'every blow she dealt was sweeter than a kiss'.
    • This troper found it pretty awesome when Brienne hopped off the boat while transporting Jaime Lannister out of Riverrun, scaled up a cliff, then dropped a boulder off of it on top of the boat pursuing them. Then she jumped off the cliff, almost landing in the boat.
      • And her killing Shagwell the fool - "Laugh!" but Shagwell could only moan and cry.
        • "Sapphires."
      • For this troper, her moment of awesome was when Jaime stole a sword and tried to kill her, and is shocked to all hell when beats him. Were it not for her sworn oaths and Brienne's honourable nature, Brienne could have killed the freaking Kingslayer!
        • Even better, Jaime warns Ser Loras Tyrell that if he picks a proper fight with her, they'd be scraping little pieces of Loras off the cobblestones pretty soon.
      • For this troper her moment of awesome was discouraging Vargo Hoat from raping her. By biting off his ear.
        • Even better, Jaime later learns that the wound festered and drove him so mad that he didn't even noticed his fortress getting stormed.
          • Jaime acknowledges that he is the only one who will find that funny, cos Brienne would be appalled to all hell.
  • Yoren's confrontation with a gold cloak asking for one of the boys in his charge made him pretty awesome:

 Gold Cloak: I'll have the boy.

Yoren: You'll have no one. There's laws on such things.

Gold Cloak: *draws a shortsword* Here's your law.

Yoren: That's no law, only a sword. Happens I got one too.

    • And then the others all get their weapons - hammers, knives, walking sticks - and prepare to fight the Gold Cloaks. Even Hot Pie grabs a rock.
  • Davos Seaworth spiriting away Edric Storm and then heading straight to King Stannis to confess and convince him to give his strength to the Night Watch.
  • Strong Belwas, one of Daenerys' best Elite Mooks, gets one in the second half of A Storm of Swords, when he fights the champion or Meereen in single combat and knocks him from his horse, allows the champion to cut him once before he kills him and then drops his trousers, shits in the direction of the city and wipes himself with the Meereen champion's cape and then goes back to camp demanding to be fed.
    • In A Dance with Dragons, Strong Belwas saves Daenerys from death by poisoning because he eats all the poisoned food that she was intended to eat. He only gets mildly sick.
      • No, he almost dies. The key word is almost, seeing how he ate all the poisoned locusts.
  • Ser Cortnay Penrose, castellan of the castle Storm's End, facing Stannis, who's trying to convince to surrender by telling him there will be no mercy if he has to take the castle by force -

  Penrose: "Very well, Ser. Bring on your storm. And remember, if you will, the NAME of this castle."

  • This troper's personal Ensemble Darkhorse is Podrick Payne, so seeing him reveal that he is in fact a Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass by killing a member of the Kingsguard and then getting Tyrion to safety made the troper quite pleased.
    • Podrick gets better, he's still loyal after all this time to Tyrion, long after Tyrion left him behind.
    • Later, he distracts Shagwell by throwing rocks at him, so that Brienne only has to face one of the Bloody Mummers at a time.

  "I told you I could fight!"

  • Hodor breaking out of the crypt at the end of A Clash of Kings. Really makes you glad he's a Gentle Giant.
  • Sandor Clegane's trial by combat with Beric Dondarrion is a big one for both, though Sandor comes out a bit ahead with his preceding What the Hell, Hero? speech about how they're laying all the crimes of the Lannisters on his head when he didn't take part in any of them.
    • Especially powerful because as he points out they're shirking responsibility for their own crimes.
  • Jon Snow takes an arrow in the leg while escaping the Wildlings and Thenns, and painfully takes it out himself. He then manages to ride the miles back to the Wall with this increasingly painful injury to deliver his warning about the attack. His leg isn't much better by the time the attack comes, but he still manages a few nice kills.
    • Of course, that's just the beginning of the awesome, culminating in Jon gaining leadership of the Night's Watch during the attack on the Wall.
    • Jon's public execution of Janos Slynt for disobedience, even giving him a Hope Spot which is actually just Jon deciding to do the honors himself, like his father would. Need I mention that it earned him the approval of Stannis Baratheon!

  Jon: Take Lord Janos out in the yard...and hang him.

  • Kevan Lannister's Refuge in Audacity telling off of Cersei after she asks him to become the new King's Hand. Then he leaves her with a hint that he believes the accusation of incest between her and Jaime.
    • Ser Kevan also flat out calls her a poor ruler and when she argues that Joffrey was alive she ruled through him and intends to do the same through Tommen he simply points out that she is also a bad mother.
  • Arya beating down Joffrey with a wooden stick when the latter was armed with a sword. She's eight, he's twelve. She beats him down, scars him, disarms him, and makes him run to his mommy. Great Foreshadowing on her future badassness, and it was against one of the most sleazy characters of all time.
    • Nymeria should share this moment, since she nearly chews the psychopath's arm off while defending Arya. It is pretty conceivable that Nymeria would have killed him if Arya hadn't called her off!
  • Jaime killing Aerys. At 17 doing the most unbelievable crime of all time. Killing a king, a king he was sworn to defend. And his reasons make him a total woobie (at least initially).
  • Waymar Royce proving himself to be one of the series' definitive examples of Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass in the very first chapter of A Song of Ice and Fire by facing down an Other (whilst surrounded by dozens of others (pun not intended)) in single combat until his sword literally shatters, whilst the more experienced rangers fled.

"Yet in that moment, Will thought, he was a boy no longer, but a man of the Night’s Watch."

  • Robb's continuing victories over the Lannisters, culminating to the King of the North!! moment at the end of the first book
  • Donal Noye: A one-armed smith defeating Mag the Mighty, King of the Giants in a tunnel beneath the Wall. There'll be songs about that one.
  • Doran Martell reveals his master plan to destroy the Lannisters and put the Targaryens on the throne, complete with those chilling words: Vengeance. Justice. Fire and Blood.
    • In the next book, he gets wind of Cersei's plan to kill his son, with himself as a witness that she wasn't involved, and quickly alters his years-long plan by sending three of the Sand Snakes out to further keep an eye on everything in King's Landing. The man is officially a Magnificent Bastard to rival Littlefinger; not bad for someone who's long been crippled by gout.
  • How have we gotten this far without mentioning everything Eddard Stark did in a single book that could make him awesome! I mean, the first thing he is seen doing is proving that hands on justice is the greatest. He has the honor to accept his bastard child in Jon Snow, and my personal favorite parts, his What the Hell King speech to King Robert when he orders that Dany and her brother are killed to protect the Seven Kingdoms from the dragons and voluntarily giving up what could be considered the strongest political position in the entire world just to prove a point that he wouldn't go along with it!
  • What about Asha, sister to Theon Greyjoy who, after his return, completely and utterly humiliates him? She pretends to be a shipwright's wife and mock seduces him to learn his nature. When he finds out, he's gobsmacked, remembering her as a plain child, not a beautiful, intelligent, tough woman. Then, when he confronts her about her deception, she claims she does have a husband and child... and reveals an axe and a small dagger.
  • The latest High Septon, as of A Feast For Crows, gets one when talking to Cersei:

  High Septon: No.

    • Cersei proceeds to get imprisoned and unable to invoke a trial by combat she might actually win, guarded by the militant orders of the church against any rescue attempt. Her own actions are directly responsible for the restriction on her champions and the existence of said militant orders.
  • The one-chapter character Thistle deserves one for stopping an evil skinchanger from using her body, by biting off her tongue and clawing her eyes out when she feels him taking over. And then she gets to kill him for good as a wight.
    • She doesn't actually. Varamyr lives on in One-Eye, as we find out when Summer takes over his pack.
    • Followed by Bran taking over that skinchanger's wolf pack while inside Summer.
  • Wyman Manderly, primarily known for being hugely fat and not particularly warlike, explains his true plans for the Freys and Boltons to Davos Seaworth. The North remembers.
    • He later gets a veeeeeery subtle and gruesome one during Ramsey Bolton's wedding. He's promised to provide food and wine for the guests, but on the way he conveniently "loses" Rhaegar, Jared and Symond Frey, who'd been living in his castle to ensure his loyalty, to outlaws. Later, he serves three giant pork pies to the guests, which includes many Freys,eats two slices from each and then calls for a song about the Rat Cook, a legendary monster who served an unknowing enemy his own cooked children at a dinner. Also qualifies as a CMOF, if you find that sort of thing funny.
    • And his delicious Kick the Son of a Bitch line that Little Walder's death was a mercy, as he would have grown up a Frey.
    • And then the fattie survives getting his throat slashed open by an enraged Hosteen Frey. HOLY CRAP, Wyman. HOLY CRAP.
  • Ser Barristan trying to direct Drogon's attention away from Dany.

   Ser Barristan: Me! Try me. Over here. Me!

    • Ser Barristan and Drogon both have numerous ones throughout, not just in their scene together. Drogon is the first wild Dragon in years, making his lair in the Dothraki sea and leaving wide scars across the landscape. Ser Barristan takes on a pit fighter not half his age as though it were nothing and takes Hizdahr prisoner, then becomes acting Hand until Dany returns. Granted, he doesn't want to rule and his city is under siege, but he tries.
  • Rattleshirt getting his Lightning Bruiser on in a duel with Jon. Gets even better when you learn it was really Mance Rayder.
  • While we are at Wildlings, Osha's actions and loyality to the stark family during a Clash of Kings are quite awesome in their own way. Especialy killing two armed Iron Man guards with a kitchen knife, if Theon's observation are to belief.
  • Arya takes a new face and performs her first sanctioned assassination in a way that echoes the prologue of A Feast For Crows.
  • The Blackfish verbally abuses Jaime Lannister when the latter tries to parley during the siege of Riverrun. And then he escapes the siege by swimming down a river. For several leagues. At night.
  • In A Dance with Dragons, the entire plan to rescue Jeyne from Ramsay, involving numerous murders by the Beneath Notice wildling spearwives disguised as washerwomen, under the command of Mance Rayder disguised as a minstrel, and culminating in Theon jumping off of Winterfell's outer wall with her.
    • Followed by a Tear Jerker moment when Theon proudly states his real name upon being reunited with Asha.
  • Jon Connington and the Golden Company taking back Griffin's Roost.

 Griff expected to lose a hundred men, perhaps more. They lost four.

  • Varys finally being proactive about his plots and killing Kevan Lannister and Grand Maester Pycelle because they were threatening to stabilize the realm too much.
    • And thoroughly regretting its necessity the entire time.
    • Let's not forget that earlier in the same book we learn he was able to save the life of Aegon Targaryen VI, and arranged for him to get a thorough education in everything he would need to be the kind of leader the Seven Kingdoms need when he comes of age and returns to take the Iron Throne. Fans had been waiting five books and fifteen years to learn what Varys has really been up to, and it fully lives up to that buildup.
  • Anytime in Game of Thrones that Dany humiliates Viserys, first by shoving him away and forcing him to walk behind the Dothraki khalasar for an entire day, then hitting him with a gold-plated belt. Considering that when we first see her she's merely a scared fourteen-year-old girl, this is some majorly quick character development.
  • Bronn's ever more jaw-droppingly brazen rise to power.
    • To elaborate, Cersei arranges for Bronn to have an unfortunate accident with his underlings, Ser Balman and Lady Falyse. Instead, Balman challenges to a jousting match on horseback (thinking that Bronn, not having any jousting experience, will get knocked off his horse and can be killed while he's lying stunned on the ground), only for Bronn to kill Balman's horse instead and kill him while he's lying stunned on the ground. Bronn then kicks out Lady Falyse. Note that this is after Bronn has named his adopted son "Tyrion" when it would be suicide to do so, and has gotten away with it.
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