A Song of Nice and Fire: 7 uplifting moments from this week's 'Game of Thrones.'

On the surface, Westeros can seem like a land of brutality, scheming, and bloodshed.

GIF from "Game of Thrones"/HBO.

But dig a little deeper, and you'll find it's actually a land of kindness, empathy, and respect.


GIF from "Game of Thrones"/HBO.

For some strange reason, most "Game of Thrones" recaps tend to focus on the negative. The killings. The burnings. The killings. The stranglings. The killings. Such a bummer!

But it doesn't have to be! The second episode of season 6 was full of sweet, inspiring, and just plain aww-worthy moments. And if you look, they're obvious!

You just have to squint a little.

*SPOILER ALERT* because duh.

1. Davos and Melisandre score one for religious tolerance!

GIF from "Game of Thrones"/HBO.

Sure, the two have had their differences over the years. Davos politely advised against sending Melisandre into battle, Melisandre asked a god to kill Davos' son. Davos asked King Stannis to leave Shireen at the wall, and Melisandre had the princess burned at the stake. Davos is an avowed atheist. Melisandre is a 400-or-so-year-old fundamentalist priestess of a merciless, vengeful god.

But that didn't prevent them from coming together this week to achieve a common goal: creating a pallid, terrifying, potentially soulless Jon Snow zombie.

2. Jaime kind of did a feminist thing. Kind of?

GIF from "Game of Thrones"/HBO.

Blink and you'll miss it, but the (all things being relative) mellower Lannister twin does call out the High Sparrow over the ridiculous gender double-standard of imprisoning Queen Cersei for fornication and Queen Margaery for perjury while ignoring Jaime's sins — specifically those involving lots and lots and lots of killing (not to mention the unspoken sin of sleeping with his twin sister on the reg).

Not even a few dozen black-clad, mace-wielding zealots can put that one back in the bag.

3. Tyrion tells the dragons a story and takes their chains off!

GIF from "Game of Thrones"/HBO.

Slice it any way you want — that was just plain nice of him.

4. Ramsay maintains a well-run animal shelter!

GIF from "Game of Thrones"/HBO.

Yes, he feeds his dogs human flesh — in this case, his still-living stepmother and newborn stepbrother. But hey, he obviously cares about the lil' pups. Small victories!

5. Yara Greyjoy channels her inner Sheryl Sandberg and leans in!

GIF from "Game of Thrones"/HBO.

When you're a highborn woman of the Iron Islands and your lord father plunges to his death off a rickety rope bridge under mysterious circumstances, it's natural to experience impostor syndrome. You might think to yourself, "There are so many people more qualified to be lord than me" or "Have I raided and sacked enough villages to truly be taken seriously?" or "Is my hair long and stringy enough to retain that regal saltwater and kelp smell that I need to consolidate power?"

But not Yara Greyjoy, who just straight up assumes she's got the gig and vows immediate revenge on her father's killers. While the Drowned God might not be fully on board just yet, with that level of confidence, how could things not work out great for her at that Kingsmoot?

6. The Three-Eyed Raven takes environmental activism to the next level!

This guy, amiright? Photo via Pexels.

What better way to learn empathy for all life in Westeros' fragile ecosystem than to actually become part-tree?

A+ job on that front, Raven.

7. Hodor gets to say more words!

GIF from "Game of Thrones"/HBO.

After all this time and all the "Hodors" — like ten thousand "Hodors" — it turns out that Hodor once had the ability to speak?!

One thing's for sure — we're all going to spend the next week looking forward to the funny story of how he lost it. It's definitely going to be a funny story. A nice, funny story involving nothing bad.

Yep. Definitely.

Join me next week for more nice moments from "Game of Thrones."

Most Shared
Alie Ward

Your dinner plate shouldn't shame you for eating off of it. But that's exactly what a set being sold at Macy's did.

The retailer has since removed the dinnerware from their concept shop, Story, after facing social media backlash for the "toxic message" they were sending.

The plates, made by Pourtions, have circles on them to indicate what a proper portion should look like, along with "helpful — and hilarious — visual cues" to keep people from "overindulging."

There are serval different styles, with one version labeling the largest portion as "mom jeans," the medium portion as "favorite jeans," and the smallest portion as "skinny jeans."

Keep Reading Show less
Well Being

In today's installment of the perils of being a woman, a 21-year-old woman shared her experience being "slut-shamed" by her nurse practitioner during a visit to urgent care for an STD check.

The woman recently had sex with someone she had only just met, and it was her first time hooking up with someone she had not "developed deep connections with."

Keep Reading Show less
Well Being
Youtube

Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Keep Reading Show less
Most Shared