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.

"Oh really? Do tell." Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO.


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.

Ugh, fine. You may live. Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO.

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.

"K byeeeee!" Photo by Macall B. Polay/HBO.

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.

"Next Tuesday, we're finally getting the pool table installed." Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO.

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.

This isn't going to end well. Photo by HBO.

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.

Most Shared

Disney has come under fire for problematic portrayals of non-white and non-western cultures in many of its older movies. They aren't the only one, of course, but since their movies are an iconic part of most American kids' childhoods, Disney's messaging holds a lot of power.

Fortunately, that power can be used for good, and Disney can serve as an example to other companies if they learn from their mistakes, account for their misdeeds, and do the right thing going forward. Without getting too many hopes up, it appears that the entertainment giant may have actually done just that with the new Frozen II film.

According to NOW Toronto, the producers of Frozen II have entered into a contract with the Sámi people—the Indigenous people of the Scandinavian regions—to ensure that they portray the culture with respect.

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Though there was not a direct portrayal of the Sámi in the first Frozen movie, the choral chant that opens the film was inspired by an ancient Sámi vocal tradition. In addition, the clothing worn by Kristoff closely resembled what a Sámi reindeer herder would wear. The inclusion of these elements of Sámi culture with no context or acknowledgement sparked conversations about cultural appropriation and erasure on social media.

Frozen II features Indigenous culture much more directly, and even addressed the issue of Indigenous erasure. Filmmakers Jennifer Lee and Chris Buck, along with producer Peter Del Vecho, consulted with experts on how to do that respectfully—the experts, of course, being the Sámi people themselves.

Sámi leaders met with Disney producer Peter Del Vecho in September 2019.Sámediggi Sametinget/Flickr

The Sámi parliaments of Norway, Sweden and Finland, and the non-governmental Saami Council reached out to the filmmakers when they found out their culture would be highlighted in the film. They formed a Sámi expert advisory group, called Verddet, to assist filmmakers in with how to accurately and respectfully portray Sámi culture, history, and society.

In a contract signed by Walt Disney Animation Studios and Sámi leaders, the Sámi stated their position that "their collective and individual culture, including aesthetic elements, music, language, stories, histories, and other traditional cultural expressions are property that belong to the Sámi," and "that to adequately respect the rights that the Sámi have to and in their culture, it is necessary to ensure sensitivity, allow for free, prior, and informed consent, and ensure that adequate benefit sharing is employed."

RELATED: This aboriginal Australian used kindness and tea to trump the racism he overheard.

Disney agreed to work with the advisory group, to produce a version of Frozen II in one Sámi language, as well as to "pursue cross-learning opportunities" and "arrange for contributions back to the Sámi society."

Anne Lájla Utsi, managing director at the International Sámi Film Institute, was part of the Verddet advisory group. She told NOW, "This is a good example of how a big, international company like Disney acknowledges the fact that we own our own culture and stories. It hasn't happened before."

"Disney's team really wanted to make it right," said Utsi. "They didn't want to make any mistakes or hurt anybody. We felt that they took it seriously. And the film shows that. We in Verddet are truly proud of this collaboration."

Sounds like you've done well this time, Disney. Let's hope such cultural sensitivity and collaboration continues, and that other filmmakers and production companies will follow suit.

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