Now that Game of Thrones final season is underway, what better time to tell this story. It’s as epic as A Song of Ice and Fire (the book series that inspired the show) with a highly emotional twist, so be prepared.

A long long time ago…*cough* Sorry, I couldn’t resist. Anyway, on Twitter, Dan Fogelman, creator of the NBC drama This Is Us, told the story of his closest friend, Alan Hanan and the time he encountered George R.R. Martin.

The story begins with a phone call from Alex while Dan is on route to meet his best friend. They are about to meet up and watch Springsteen on Broadway. Apparently a big deal for them. I mean, hello, Springsteen! Alex is talking rapidly as he tells Dan he spotted his hero, George R. R. Martin.

This is where things get interesting…

Needless to say, being these two have a long relationship, Dan knows his friend won’t listen to his advice.

When Dan shows up this had happened:

Not only did Alex talk with the author, but he also got his number and maybe a late night pizza date! As Dan and Alex attempt to settle into the show, Alex is beside himself with worry. Should he text Martin or should he not? Maybe the author was just making conversation.

What would you do in this situation!? Um, text, right?

Alex couldn’t keep his fingers from dancing along his phone keyboard as Born to Run plays in his head (maybe) – and sends off the text. Low and behold, Martin texts back!

And dinner went longer than a few beers and a pie.

The end, right? Nope! Just like the GoT book series, the story goes on. Brace yourselves.

Pass the tissues, please. Alex has since passed away before getting to see the final season of his beloved series. And Dan makes sure Alex’s fandom legacy lives on, letting us know his friend is watching GoT from above.

Kindness does go a long way. You never know what that person across the table from you may be dealing with. In this case, Alex’s health. What a memory to be cherished for Alex, his family, and his friends. His last year alive was a dream come true.

Martin’s got it right. He may write about war and destruction, but there is a bigger message in the Games of Thrones. It’s about coming together as one and fighting for the common good.