Stephen Dillane’s warmongering would-be king (complete with dodgy red-haired witch sidekick who enjoys burning people) showed what a new man he could be in tonight’s episode with a beautiful and tender address to his young daughter Shireen.
He told the little girl, whose face was disfigured from birth with the ghastly Greyscale, how much he loved her and how he had refused to listen to advisers who said he should have left her to die when she came into the world.
“You are Princess Shireen of House Baratheon, and you are my daughter,” he informed her in an unexpected moment of sweetness which brought tears to my eyes.
But it also made me think.
In a series noted for its bloodshed and savagery what are the most touching moments so far in Game of Thrones?
Well, you may have your own ideas but here are a personal selection of other times when Thrones has tugged at the heart strings – rather than gouging at them with a piece of Valyrian steel…
Khal Drogo becomes a feminist (Season 1)
When we first met the Dothraki warrior with the weird beard, I think we could safely say that he hadn’t really discovered female emancipation, had he? That he wasn’t someone who had read Toril Moi’s Sexual Textual Politics or really digested the thinking behind Germaine Greer’s The Female Eunuch.
No, he was a more of kill and rape ’em kind of guy. When he was first handed Daenerys (Emilia Clarke) as his wife he tended to regard her as an object to, well…. we all saw what he did with her on her wedding night (Spoiler alert: she didn’t enjoy it). But then Daenerys seemed to have read the Kama Sutra and she persuaded him that their moments together could be enjoyed with tenderness. And so they embarked on a lovely and beautiful life together calling each other things like “My Moon and my stars” and being really sweet. As we can see here. All together now….
Syrio Forel and Arya’s sword fighting lessons (Season 1)
The banter between Arya Stark (Maisie Williams) and sword fighting teacher Syrio Forel was one of the sweetest things about Thrones (until Syrio was hacked down by the Gold Cloaks armed with only a wooden sword). Stick them with the pointy end, he taught her. And she hasn’t forgotten her teacher’s advice. She won’t let him down.
Brienne and Jaime share a bath (Season 3)
The Lannister prince (Nikolaj Coster) and his travelling companion/captor had a pretty horrible relationship for a lot of Thrones. Until, that was, they took a bath together and he talked about the real reason he killed the Mad King and the awfulness of being branded a “King Slayer”. Then she got to know the real Jaime. And they have never looked back. How sweet. Here’s a picture of Brienne realising that he’s not all bad. Come on girl, crack a smile…
Jon Snow and Ygritte also take the plunge (Season 4)
What is it about Game of Thrones and water? The love story between the Stark lad and the Wildling girl is one of the most lovely things about Thrones, and there was no more beautiful moment than their first swim together. Well, that and a bit more. As Ygritte discovered, Jon Snow doesn’t “know nothing” about everything…
Tommen’s bed scene with Margaery (Season 5)
Natalie Dormer’s Margaery may be a scheming King-collector who was even prepared to marry the nasty sadist Joffrey to get power. But her love story with the late King J’s brother Tommen is really developing rather beautifully in series five. She didn’t even mind that their first moment of passion was a little, ahem, short-lived first time round.
Game of Thrones series 5 continues on Sky Atlantic on Monday nights at 9pm