The drama in Westeros tends to be bloody for the Starks and Lannisters, and emotional for the viewers at home. It's not all Red Weddings and Ned Stark beheadings, though. Sometimes, Game of Thrones has happy moments. No, really. If the show only served up misery, it would be hard to keep viewers coming back each week. And even though it's the dark moments that sometimes make the most lasting impression, over the course of seven seasons, Game of Thrones has delivered its share of beautifully joyous moments.
Much like the show itself, those moments of happiness are varied. There have been long-awaited reunions, even longer-awaited hookups, and moments of friendship that were designed to make you smile. Jon, Arya, Tyrion, and the rest of the characters are deeply human. That's why they're so lovable and frustrating. Even in a time of war, they've carved out memories of love, hope, and even silliness.
As Season 8 draws ever closer, now is the perfect time to look back on the Game of Thrones scenes that made fans smile, laugh, or simply feel a surge of joy. Those moments are rarer than the ones that make viewers cry, but that only makes them all the more precious.
1. The Starks At Winterfell
For one brief moment, all is well in Winterfell. Robb and Jon tease Bran as he learns archery, and Arya pops into the courtyard to show her little brother up. There's laughter, sweet family dynamics, and peace for the Starks. Yes, it's fleeting, but it's also so rewarding.
2. The Stark Boys Find The Direwolves
Not having their mom survive is sad (and full of foreshadowing in retrospect), but seeing Jon talk Ned into letting the kids keep the direwolf pups remains the pinnacle of cuteness.
3. Brienne Bests Loras
Loras is one of Westeros' best knights, but even he's no match for the amazing Brienne. Seeing her earn a spot in Renly's Kingsguard is the perfect introduction to Brienne of Tarth.
4. Sansa Doesn't Have To Marry Joffrey
Sansa's smile as she realizes she won't have to marry Joffrey is one of the show's happiest moments.
5. Jon & Ygritte Kiss At The Top Of The Wall
Jon and Ygritte's most romantic moment might very well be their epic kiss on top of the Wall. In that moment, their entire future is stretched out in front of them, and at the time, the possibilities felt endless.
6. Shireen Teaches Ser Davos How To Read
Little Shireen was always too precious for Westeros. Her peak moment of awesome has to be when she visits Ser Davos in the dungeon and teaches him how to read.
7. Jaime Gives Brienne Oathkeeper
The trust between Jaime and Brienne is hard won, and Oathkeeper is symbolic of everything they mean to each other. There's so much emotion in the moment he gives Brienne the sword, and much of it is happiness — at least on the part of the viewer.
8. Daenerys Rides Drogon
No one hurts the Mother of Dragons when Drogon is around. When it seems like all hope is lost, the fierce dragon saves Daenerys, and she fulfills her Targaryen destiny by finally taking flight.
9. Sansa & Jon Are Reunited
Sansa and Jon are not the first Starks fans imagined would reunite, but that doesn't make the moment they see each other again any less joyous.
10. Sam Sees The Citadel's Library
Has anyone in the history of Game of Thrones ever been happier than Sam when he entered The Citadel's library? Probably not.
11. Daenerys Returns To Westeros
Daenerys' homecoming is not only moving, it's a moment of joy that was such a long time coming for the Targaryen Queen.
12. Missandei & Grey Worm Kiss
Legend says that if you listened closely that night, you could hear the entire audience scream, "About time!"
13. Arya & Brienne Spar
Seeing warriors as skilled as Brienne and Arya spar is downright exhilarating, not only for the viewer, but for them.
14. Jon Bends The Knee
Only time will tell if Jon pledging his allegiance to Daenerys is the right move. But there's no denying how amazing these two are together, or how wonderful it is to see them come together after seven long seasons.
Game of Thrones isn't exactly the happiest show on television, but in between all of the heartbreak and battle scenes, the series has served up its share of joy.