"Game of Thrones" episode seven of season six ("The Broken Man") featured plenty of what the show is known for: kindness and generosity.
And yet, for some strange reason, far too many reviewers choose to highlight the negative. The violence. The cruelty. The mayhem.
Are they even watching the same show?
Here are seven instances from "The Broken Man" of characters doing the sort of good deeds that just scream "Thrones."
There are almost too many examples to choose from!
*BIG OL' SPOILER ALERT*
1. The septon invites some strangers on horseback to stay for dinner.
As if resurrecting the Hound (Rory McCann) after two seasons in which he was presumably dead wasn't kind enough, Ian McShane's anonymous septon graciously offers a free meal to three peckish representatives of the Brotherhood Without Banners.
Sure, the riders prove to be terrible guests (they did kill everyone in the camp and steal all their food, which is one way not to get asked back), but Septon McShane's open-heartedness apparently made such an impression on the Hound that he decides to go after the dine-and-dashers with an axe, presumably to give them a stern talking-to.
2. Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun stands up for giant voting rights.
When we first catch up with Jon, Sansa, and Davos (the original three!) we learn they've taken on a monumental task: convince the wildlings to put aside what they do best (beardy murmuring) and do something they're only sometimes good at (be an army).
Things ... don't appear to be going so well until Westeros' favorite and apparently only giant Wun Weg Wun Dar Wun pops right up, looks Jon straight in the eye, and ... walks off muttering, which I assume is the giant version of heading to your polling place, bubbling-in the name of your preferred candidate (as well as the names of 17 judges you've never heard of), and slapping one of those "I voted" stickers on your size 172 parka.
The sight of a 12-foot-tall craggy-faced CGI man-monster exercising his due democratic rights appropriately inspires the rest of the Free Folk to decide they're all in. And, Jon and Head Wildling in Charge #2 do one of those arm-claspy handshakes, so you know it's serious.
3. Bronn generously gives the Freys a lesson in how to lay a proper siege.
Camped with their giant pigs outside Riverrun, the Freys are about halfway to a good siege. They've got the "standing around aimlessly in the mud" part down but not so much the "digging trenches, building trebuchets, and preparing to kill people" part. Since killing people happens to be a specialty of Bronn's, he graciously offers to lend them a hand!
Meanwhile, Jaime elects to parley with the Blackfish himself rather than simply lobbing a few projectiles at his castle walls and calling it a day. The elder Tully generously agrees, if only to call Jaime an oath-breaker and a coward and storm back inside. Someone's got a case of the grumps! Still, it was nice of Jaime to offer the lonely old guy a chat.
4. Lyanna Mormont donates to a good cause.
What do you do when you're the 10-year-old lady of a great house and your friends hit you up for a donation to their war? After busting their chops for a few, tense minutes, you pony up 62 men — because even though their project is obviously ill-conceived, you'll probably feel bad if they don't meet their Kickstarter goal. Then you write it off on your taxes.
5. Arya indulges an old woman.
"You know, even though I'm on the lam, even though I'm standing here on a bridge, totally identifiable, in broad daylight, even though I finally found a way out of this city full of faceless assassins who want me dead and could literally be anyone, I'm just going to turn around and talk to this random elderly beggar who's approaching me out of nowhere because courtesy counts!" — Arya Stark, making good choices.
6. Cersei doesn't chop off Olenna's head.
After taking a hint from Margaery and deciding to GTFO of King's Landing before she becomes Sparrow feed, the Queen of Thorns can't resist getting a few final licks in on Cersei ("I wonder if you're the worst person I've ever met." Right hook! "You've lost Cersei." Left hook! "That's the only joy I can find in all this misery." Jab!)
And yet, even with a giant, undead, possibly unkillable super-soldier standing right behind her...
...Cersei elects not to separate the Queen of Thorns' head from her body right then and there, which for Cersei, is a world-class victory. A+ generosity, Cersei.
7. Sansa writes a letter.
You know, not enough people take the time to write longhand anymore. And yet, even in a time of impending war, Sansa Stark finds a few minutes to write a little note to a friend. So thoughtful!
(If this friend's name doesn't rhyme with Shmittlefinger, I will eat my hat. Untoasted!)
Join me next week for more of "Game of Thrones'" signature random acts of kindness!