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Is Sansa Stark the real hero of 'Game of Thrones'?

This might be a tad controversial.

Favorite character on "Game of Thrones." GO!

This guy?

(Oh, Ned. Sweet, dour, dopey Ned.)

Or maybe this guy?


(Yeah, that's probably more like it.)

Or perhaps this badass stabby teen ninja?

(That's, uh, ketchup.)

No, wait. I know! I know who it is. There's only one right answer.

(Uggggh no! Whhhyyyyyy?)

Wait a minute. Hold up there.

Don't go playing that. Sansa is the best. Seriously.

And kind of the real hero of the show.

"THE REAL HERO OF THE SHOW?! BUT SHE'S SO BLAH."

Nope.

"BUT SHE'S SO IRRITATING."

Stop it.

"BUT SHE'S JUST ... I DON'T KNOW. I JUST ... CAN'T WITH HER."

No. You can. You can with her. I'll show you.

And ... honestly? Not to go overboard here, but if Sansa Stark is not your favorite character on "Game of Thrones," there's something actually, deeply, fundamentally wrong with you.*

* JK. You're allowed to disagree. Seriously. No judgment. Mostly.

***MAJOR SPOILERS FOR SEASONS 1-4 COMING UP. IF YOU'RE STILL CATCHING UP AND DON'T WANT TO HAVE YOUR WHOLE LIFE RUINED, STOP READING NOW.***

OK, I'll give you this: In Season 1, Sansa is kind of a huge pain.

(OK, really annoying.)

She spends most of her time being a gigantic jerkweed to Septa Mordane and writing in her dream journal about lemon cakes and the glamor of King's Landing and how smitten she is with the obviously awful Prince Joffrey.

And you want to be like, "Girl, no. Just no. No."

(Just no.)

But listen. Real talk. How realistic were you about love when you were 13?

(Your boyfriends.)

Right. That's what I thought.

And of course, everything changes when she watches her dad get straight-up axe-murdered by her boyfriend's goons.

That's the kind of thing that makes a kid grow up fast.

Unlike her sister Arya, who gets whisked far, far away from King's Landing almost immediately, Sansa becomes a prisoner of the Lannisters.

She doesn't get to run off into the forest with a sword and a posse and vow revenge against her enemies. Because she has to sleep, like, two doors down from them every night. And yet, not only does she manage to survive, she thrives.

She's unfailingly polite to Cersei, a woman she despises. She's guarded with the Tyrells, and only dispenses information to them that she knows will benefit her. She even convinces Joffrey to be less of a monster ... occasionally. All the while looking for an angle and plotting her escape.

While the more traditional heroes of the show are out tramping merrily through the forest, fighting to avenge this relative or that, and riding their horses for valor and glory and whatnot, Sansa comes to sees the world of Westeros for the nightmarish funhouse horror clown show it really is.



And while we're at it, let's take a look at how those other so-called heroes have fared, shall we?

Big, manly, shouty warlord Khal Drogo?

(Dead from a paper cut.)

Proud emo King of the North Robb Stark?

(Stabbed to death at a wedding.)

Badass lady commando Ygritte?

(Arrowed!!!)

Unremarkable, soft-spoken Sansa Stark?

Still freaking alive and kicking it.


She even manages to get in some of the best passive-aggressive digs at King Joffrey while she's at it, seen here trolling him for being too much of a coward to fight in the Battle of King's Landing.

For three seasons now, Sansa has managed to outwit and outplay her enemies, all while toeing the line, pretending to follow their lead and do what they want her to do.

By playing the game so darn well, she's finally managed to get herself out of King's Landing to freedom.

(Well, freedom-ish.)

But don't take it from me. Take it from HBO. They're all aboard the Sansa train.

So much so that the dudes from "Silicon Valley" made a video to express their fervent hope that this season...

Because she's earned it.

Watch the rest of their commentary here.

Leah Menzies/TikTok

Leah Menzies had no idea her deceased mother was her boyfriend's kindergarten teacher.

When you start dating the love of your life, you want to share it with the people closest to you. Sadly, 18-year-old Leah Menzies couldn't do that. Her mother died when she was 7, so she would never have the chance to meet the young woman's boyfriend, Thomas McLeodd. But by a twist of fate, it turns out Thomas had already met Leah's mom when he was just 3 years old. Leah's mom was Thomas' kindergarten teacher.

The couple, who have been dating for seven months, made this realization during a visit to McCleodd's house. When Menzies went to meet his family for the first time, his mom (in true mom fashion) insisted on showing her a picture of him making a goofy face. When they brought out the picture, McLeodd recognized the face of his teacher as that of his girlfriend's mother.

Menzies posted about the realization moment on TikTok. "Me thinking my mum (who died when I was 7) will never meet my future boyfriend," she wrote on the video. The video shows her and McLeodd together, then flashes to the kindergarten class picture.

“He opens this album and then suddenly, he’s like, ‘Oh my God. Oh my God — over and over again,” Menzies told TODAY. “I couldn’t figure out why he was being so dramatic.”

Obviously, Menzies is taking great comfort in knowing that even though her mother is no longer here, they can still maintain a connection. I know how important it was for me to have my mom accept my partner, and there would definitely be something missing if she wasn't here to share in my joy. It's also really incredible to know that Menzies' mother had a hand in making McLeodd the person he is today, even if it was only a small part.

@speccylee

Found out through this photo in his photo album. A moment straight out of a movie 🥲

♬ iris - 🫶

“It’s incredible that that she knew him," Menzies said. "What gets me is that she was standing with my future boyfriend and she had no idea.”

Since he was only 3, McLeodd has no actual memory of Menzies' mother. But his own mother remembers her as “kind and really gentle.”

The TikTok has understandably gone viral and the comments are so sweet and positive.

"No the chills I got omggg."

"This is the cutest thing I have watched."

"It’s as if she remembered some significance about him and sent him to you. Love fate 😍✨"

In the caption of the video, she said that discovering the connection between her boyfriend and her mom was "straight out of a movie." And if you're into romantic comedies, you're definitely nodding along right now.

Menzies and McLeodd made a follow-up TikTok to address everyone's positive response to their initial video and it's just as sweet. The young couple sits together and addresses some of the questions they noticed pop up. People were confused that they kept saying McLeodd was in kindergarten but only 3 years old when he was in Menzies' mother's class. The couple is Australian and Menzies explained that it's the equivalent of American preschool.

They also clarified that although they went to high school together and kind of knew of the other's existence, they didn't really get to know each other until they started dating seven months ago. So no, they truly had no idea that her mother was his teacher. Menzies revealed that she "didn't actually know that my mum taught at kindergarten."

"I just knew she was a teacher," she explained.

She made him act out his reaction to seeing the photo, saying he was "speechless," and when she looked at the photo she started crying. McLeodd recognized her mother because of the pictures Menzies keeps in her room. Cue the "awws," because this is so cute, I'm kvelling.

A simple solution for all ages, really.

School should feel like a safe space. But after the tragic news of yet another mass shooting, many children are scared to death. As a parent or a teacher, it can be an arduous task helping young minds to unpack such unthinkable monstrosities. Especially when, in all honesty, the adults are also terrified.

Katelyn Campbell, a clinical psychologist in South Carolina, worked with elementary school children in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting. She recently shared a simple idea that helped then, in hopes that it might help now.

The psychologist tweeted, “We had our kids draw pictures of scenery that made them feel calm—we then hung them up around the school—to make the ‘other kids who were scared’ have something calm to look at.”



“Kids, like adults, want to feel helpful when they feel helpless,” she continued, saying that drawing gave them something useful to do.

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Alberto Cartuccia Cingolani wows audiences with his amazing musical talents.

Mozart was known for his musical talent at a young age, playing the harpsichord at age 4 and writing original compositions at age 5. So perhaps it's fitting that a video of 5-year-old piano prodigy Alberto Cartuccia Cingolani playing Mozart has gone viral as people marvel at his musical abilities.

Alberto's legs can't even reach the pedals, but that doesn't stop his little hands from flying expertly over the keys as incredible music pours out of the piano at the 10th International Musical Competition "Città di Penne" in Italy. Even if you've seen young musicians play impressively, it's hard not to have your jaw drop at this one. Sometimes a kid comes along who just clearly has a gift.

Of course, that gift has been helped along by two professional musician parents. But no amount of teaching can create an ability like this.

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