A Song of Nice and Fire: Hodor puts his body into it (recap).
"Game of Thrones" can often feel like a neverending parade of injustice, stabbings, sadness, stabbings, the vengeance of cruel and indifferent gods, and more stabbings.
That's why it's important to highlight the rare moments where the characters do nice things for each other. The gold coins in the haystack. The diamonds in the rough. The regular peas in a pile of dark, angry, murder peas.
Here are the top five from this week's episode, including the mother of all of them (you know the one).
*THE MOST OBVIOUS SPOILER ALERT IN THE UNIVERSE*
5. Sansa stands up for herself — and shows Littlefinger mercy.
As satisfying as it would have been to see Brienne slice Littlefinger in half — fourths? eighths? thirty-sevenths? — for casually handing Sansa over to the Boltons last season, it turns out it's more satisfying to watch him try to squirm his way out of having to describe Ramsay's abuse back to the eldest Stark girl in an effort to avoid said slicing.
Whether because of his creepy uncle crush or simply because Sansa is the one with the sword-wielding bodyguard, it doesn't really matter. For perhaps the first time, Sansa Stark not only stands up for herself, but she manages to outplay the player.
After toying with Littlefinger until he's good 'n' sputtery, the rightful-ish heir to Winterfell shows she's still got some Stark left in her and lets him off with a (not at all deserved) warning. Which is fine, as nothing bad ever resulted from someone not killing Littlefinger when they had the chance.
4. Jorah leaves Dany — of his own volition.
For years now, Jorah Mormont's relationship to Daenerys Targaryen has been like that of a car dealership AirDancer in a light summer breeze. She kicks him to the curb, he pops back up — no one really is amused.
This time, however, he decides to leave her on his own, so that he doesn't accidentally infect her with greyscale (in case they, you know, wind up cuddling at some point, not that he's suggesting that, only if she wants to 'cause, you know, she seems tense, but he's totally cool with whatever).
And as an added bonus, on his way out, he finally straight up tells her he loves her! Not in a weaselly, subtle-not-subtle, "I would die for you, my queen" way, but outright! Like, in words!
Considering he's been m'lady-ing her for the past five-and-a-half seasons, this is more gonads than he's ever displayed. Yay honesty! Yay Jorah! Sorry you're doomed, buddy.
3. Theon steps aside for Yara.
Over on the Iron Islands, things at the Kingsmoot get off to a predictably sexist start as a sizable portion of Pykers (Pyke-ites? Pykians? Pykeganders?) refuse to consider Yara for queen when Balon Greyjoy's male heir is alive. (Seriously? There are still people clamoring for King Theon at this point? Who are you and what are your names?)
Thankfully, Theon is available to step up to make the obviously true point that his sister would make a much better ruler — marking the first time a dude on "Game of Thrones" has said, "Hey, I actually don't care to be king."
Yes, for a brief shining moment — before Euron arrives to go full Trump and promise to make the Iron Islands great again — we nearly mooted ourselves a queen.
What could have been.
2. Arya doesn't want to kill a nice lady.
Ever since Queen Cersei posted up Ned Stark's head for Joffrey to dunk it off his body, Arya has dreamed of sticking a Needle in the queen's eye. For now, however, it's looking like she'll have to settle for killing the actor who plays Cersei in a dramatic reenactment of said events (at the behest of another actor in the show, no less — pretty light as far as backstage drama goes). Not ideal, perhaps, but all in a day's work for a Faceless Man of Braavos.
There's only one problem: The lady seems talented and has a nice boyfriend.
While Arya does ultimately agree to poison her, she really doesn't seem to want to, and hey! That's not nothing for "Game of Thrones."
1. Hodor ho'ds the dor.
Sure, he wasn't exactly acting of his own free will when he sacrificed himself to allow Bran and Meera to escape the White Walkers. But considering that his mind was stolen by a time-traveling psychic lordling when he was a teenager, to then turn around and save that same lordling by throwing his massive body at a door to prevent an army of the undead from breaking through is a baller move — even if the whole thing was pre-ordained a few decades ago.
Farewell, Hodor. Your death made us even sadder than the death of a dog like two minutes earlier. And that's saying something.