Dare I say that the Game of Thrones gave viewers the happiest episode of its six seasons on May 15 with "Book of the Stranger"? With Daenerys showing the Dothraki who's the boss and the reunion of Sansa Stark and Jon Snow, Game of Thrones was packed with feel-good moments that are truly rarities in the realm of Westeros. (If "feel-good" can be defined as burning men alive.) However, as anyone who watches Game of Thrones knows, the HBO series giveth, and the HBO series taketh away. Because of the specific level of joy that I felt upon seeing two Stark siblings (yeah, yeah Jon Snow's a bastard, but he is still a Stark), I know that something truly terrible must be around the corner on the show — and I plead with you, as my fellow viewers, to be prepared.
As Jon Snow was empowered by Sansa to take on Ramsay Bolton (a former fellow Snow) and get back Winterfell for the Stark family, his fate hangs in the balance again. Yet, I don't necessarily fear for the death of Jon Snow for the second time since he literally just came back to life. Plus, as his resurrection proved, Jon Snow is clearly essential to the world of Game of Thrones. However, that doesn't mean I am not fearful for the other Starks, particularly Rickon since he is being held captive by the sadistic Ramsay, who just killed his protector Osha.
Even as I write these words, part of me is very hopeful for a successful Stark takedown of Ramsay Bolton. But, just because the Starks could possibly be safe, that doesn't mean the multitude of other characters on Game of Thrones will make it out of Season 6 unscathed. Considering how Game of Thrones has a long tradition of causing emotional devastation almost instantly after giving fans just a smidgen of joy, there has to be something completely awful around the corner that will leave me a total and utter emotional wreck, right?
In case you're suffering from a case of long-term memory loss and let "Book of the Stranger" lull you into a false sense of security, here are seven times when a joyful moment on Game of Thrones was outrageously short-lived. Just like the phrase, "Winter is coming," please let this list be a warning to you all.
When Ned Was Almost Forgiven By The Crown
I was proud of Ned for compromising his honor for the greater good when he confessed to betraying Joffrey to save his daughters Sansa and Arya. While even Cersei was down to let Ned live despite his treason, Joffrey decided Ned's confession wasn't good enough. He had Ned killed in the second to last episode of Season 1 and with the beheading of Ned Stark, Game of Thrones proved it plays by no rules when it comes to the deaths of major characters.
Walder Frey Seemed To Not Care About Robb's Marriage
Robb Stark didn't heed his mother's repeated warnings that he must marry one of Walder Frey's daughters and decided to foolishly marry for love. Yet, all seemed well when Catelyn found Frey a substitute son-in-law in the form of her brother. As the Starks celebrated the joyous occasion of a Frey marrying a Tully, the tide changed swiftly with Frey turning on the family and having them all murdered (special shoutout to Tywin Lannister for the coordination). And with that, the Red Wedding became one of the most infamous scenes in all of TV history.
Yara Attempted To Save Theon
After being tortured repeatedly, having his penis cut off, and losing his identity, Theon Greyjoy finally had a glimmer of hope when his sister Yara came to save him from the sick (literal) bastard Ramsay. Unfortunately, Theon had been so mentally tortured at that point that he was convinced he was Reek and could not bring himself to trust Yara. Yara's great escape plan that went against her father's will and caused her to lose some of her men was completely in vain and Theon stayed captive until the end of Season 5. At least Theon is making it up to his sister now.
Oberyn Defeated The Mountain
Oberyn Martell fought as Tyrion Lannister's champion in a trial by combat in Season 4 as a way to avenge his sister's rape and death by the Mountain. He nearly defeated the Mountain in a stunning display of fighting and I couldn't believe he had actually won. Too bad Oberyn believed in himself too much and while he was distracted by celebrating his apparent win, the Mountain took him down and killed him. In just a few seconds, Game of Thrones put viewers through a rollercoaster of emotions and the show lost one of its most dynamic characters.
Brienne Found A Stark Daughter
After her epic quest to serve Catelyn Stark, Brienne finally successfully found one of her daughters, Arya. Instead of Arya realizing that Brienne would make for an ideal role model, she allowed Brienne and the Hound to fight. Brienne defeated the Hound (possibly killing him, though I think not), but then Arya hid from Brienne and Podrick, thwarting Brienne's goal of helping Catelyn's children. I was so mad at Arya in the moment, but Brienne is probably better off serving Sansa anyhow.
Myrcella Acknowledged Jaime As Her Father
Myrcella Baratheon left Dorne with Jaime Lannister and as they sailed for King's Landing, she recognized that Jaime not only was her father, but that she was happy he was her biological dad. It was a touching moment for the father and daughter. That is until she died mere moments later as part of Ellaria's revenge for the death of Oberyn. As Justin Timberlake sings, "What goes around, comes back around."
Daenerys Rode Drogon To Safety
Daenerys was attacked by the Sons of the Harpy at the end of Season 5, but was saved by her dragon Drogon just in the nick of time. Not only did he save her, but he allowed her to ride him in a thrilling moment for the series. Yet, just as Daenerys flew to safety, Drogon needed a rest. When he landed and became unresponsive, Daenerys became captured almost instantly by the Dothraki. I can say that Daenerys has fully rectified that situation as of the May 15 episode, but Game of Thrones really has a knack for knocking the wind out of the proverbial dragon wings.
So, see what I'm saying here, guys? Don't let all of the happiness of the Sansa and Jon reunion on Game of Thrones make you forget the impending terrors that are inevitably going to come. After all, the night is dark and full of terrors.