+
Most Shared

The 5 nicest things that happened on 'Game of Thrones' this week.

Why do we never hear about the good things that go on in Westeros?

Photo by Macall B. Polay/HBO.


The lame-stream media may not want to cover it, but the world of "Game of Thrones" is home to some of the gentlest, kindest, most generous people, half-men, and ice zombies anywhere.

While most recaps play up the show's plentiful murders, stabbings, and murderstabbings, there are plenty of outright heartwarming things going on in Westeros, if you squint at just the right angle.

The May 15, 2016, episode (season 6's "Book of the Stranger") was no exception.

*OBVIOUS SPOILER ALERT*

1. Uncle Petyr buys his stepson/nephew the perfect birthday gift!

Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO.

Robin Arryn (Lino Facioli) is just kicking it at archery practice like the badass warrior he totally is and always has been when his doting Uncle Petyr (Aiden Gillen) returns, and oh boy, does he have a whale of a tale to tell! Turns out, he was merrily escorting cousin Sansa (Sophie Turner) to safety in the Fingers when their caravan was set upon by Bolton men, who dragged the poor, helpless girl away to be married to Ramsay against Littlefinger's heroic protestations, which is something we all saw happen exactly that way. What's more, because he is being completely honest and forthright, Uncle Petyr tells Robin that he suspects they were betrayed by none other than the boy's own archery instructor, Lord Yohn Royce (Rupert Vansittart).

While Littlefinger thinks Royce should prove his loyalty by marching his armies against the Boltons, Robin isn't convinced Royce can be forgiven for the terrible thing he definitely did do in real life obviously. Since Uncle Petyr totally didn't see this coming at all, it's a good thing he had time to stop off and buy Robin an awesome falcon!

As a "thank you," Robin decides not to murder Lord Royce by kicking him down a hole. What a cool uncle!

2. Theon, Margaery, and Jon support their siblings!

Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO.

This week's "Thrones" was full of bros and sisters hanging out, havin' each other's backs.

Loras (Finn Jones) might be cowering in his cell, harangued and tortured into a shell of his former self, but leave it to big sister Margaery (Natalie Dormer) to hug him and ask him so super nicely to keep on getting tortured so that their family doesn't get embarrassed. That's what I call tough love!

Meanwhile, Theon (Alfie Allen) sails on back to Pyke to endorse his sister Yara (Gemma Whelan) for queen of the Iron Islands, even though she saw his severed penis in a box and isn't exactly being empathetic about it.

And despite his initial reluctance, Jon (Kit Harrington) agrees to march south and kill the dude who wants to murder his little bro Rickon (Art Parkinson) and rape Sansa even more times than he already has, apparently.

Photo by Helen Sloan/HBO.

Brothers and sisters FTW!

3. Tyrion is an excellent host!

Photo by HBO.

How many times have you thrown a party and forgotten to put out wine and prostitutes for the guests? It's a pretty common oversight — but Tyrion (Peter Dinklage) knows that the only way to convince a group of city-state princes to stop funding an army of assassins and gradually phase out slavery over a period of seven years is to show them some basic hospitality.

And why not? The Wise Masters seem like nice guys. You don't get a name like the Wise Masters if people don't love and respect you totally of their own accord without any coercion at all.

Sure, Grey Worm (Jacob Anderson) and Missandei (Nathalie Emmanuel) do point out that seven years of slavery is still kind of a long time, and also that being a slave kind of sucks, and that just because Tyrion was a slave for, like, a day, doesn't mean he really gets it, and also they're royally pissed now, but they're super polite about it and don't smack him upside the head like he probably deserves and everyone stays friends! Yay, teamwork!

4. Daenerys convinces thousands to stretch their quads!

Photo by HBO

It's obvious the Dothraki get plenty of exercise — horseback riding, stabbing people with those curvy machetes, and walking thousands of miles through barren continent-spanning grasslands — but do they stretch enough before and after? No, and that's a recipe for cramps!

Leave it to Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke) to convince them to fall to their knees, extend that back leg out, and flush that lactic acid.

Photo by Macall B. Polay/HBO.

All it took was being imprisoned in the Hall of the Dosh Khaleen, then getting Jorah (Iain Glen) and Daario (Michiel Huisman) to lock the doors from the outside while she burned every single khal in the whole city alive, then, somehow, be impervious to fire herself so she could stride naked out of the flames like a demigod born of flesh, making her undisputed leader of all the Dothraki, very possibly forever.

A fit khalasar is a happy khalasar!

5. Ramsay eats an apple!


That apple going to get eaten. Photo by HBO.

Yes, Ramsay Bolton (Iwan Rheon) makes Osha (Natalia Tena) explain, as he plays ominously with his paring knife, why he should let her continue to live. Yes, he threatens to skin Rickon Stark, the boy she vowed to protect, alive in his dungeon. Yes, it's all a ruse because he stabs her in the neck anyway and watches with something approximating bemused indifference as she bleeds out on the floor.

However, it is heavily implied he is going to eat an apple at some point later on in the day, which is both healthy and good for the environment.

Check-plus, Ramsay!

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

Science

Sustainably good news: Recycling is getting better and this family is showing us how

What if instead of focusing on what isn’t working, we looked at these stories as an invitation to do better?

Via Ridwell

Ryan Metzger and son Owen

There is no shortage of dire news about the state of modern recycling. Most recently, this NPR article shared the jaw-dropping statistic that about 5% of all plastics produced get recycled, meaning the rest of it ends up in landfills. While the underlying concerns here are sound, I worry that the public narrative around recycling has gotten so pessimistic that it will make people give up on it entirely instead of seeing the opportunities to improve it. What if instead of focusing on what isn’t working, we looked at these news stories as an invitation to do better?

Keep ReadingShow less
via Tod Perry

An artist's recreation of Jackie's napkin note.

A woman named Jackie pulled a move straight out of a romantic comedy recently, and it has the internet rallying around her potential love interest. Jackie met a guy at a bar and liked him so much that she gave him her phone number. Well, 80% of her number, that is.

The world heard about it on January 17 when Twitter user Henpecked Hal and shared a picture of the napkin with her partial phone number written on it. "My 22-year-old cousin met his dream girl at a bar and it's going pretty well,” Hal wrote in the tweet.

Keep ReadingShow less

Women are looking for love at Home Depot.

Even though people have endless options to find love these days, whether in real life or online, finding the perfect person still isn’t easy. In fact, according to Pew Research, 55% of women believe dating is harder today than it was 10 years ago. So it’s understandable that some are considering ditching the apps to meet people in real life.

Studies show that for people looking for a serious relationship, real life may be the better option.

According to Newsweek, a study by Illinois State University sociology professor Susan Sprecher found that young people who first met face to face were 25% more likely to report feelings of closeness than those who initially met online. Aditi Paul, a communications professor at Pace University in New York, found that people who first met in real life lasted four times longer than those who met online.

Keep ReadingShow less
Family

A letter to the woman who told me to stay in my daughter's life after seeing my skin.

'I'm not a shiny unicorn. There are plenty of black men like me who love fatherhood.'

Doyin Richards

Dad and daughters take a walk through Disneyland.

True
Fathers Everywhere

This article originally appeared on 06.15.16


To a stranger I met at a coffee shop a few years ago who introduced me to what my life as a parent would be like:

My "welcome to black fatherhood moment" happened five years ago, and I remember it like it happened yesterday.

I doubt you'll remember it, though — so let me refresh your memory.

Keep ReadingShow less
Science

Man was awake and playing the saxophone throughout his entire 9-hour brain tumor surgery

Several times during the surgery, the patient played the theme song from "Love Story" by Francis Lai.

"Awake surgery" allows brain surgeons to see the functioning parts of the brain to avoid during surgery.

This article originally appeared on 10.17.22


Do you ever step back and marvel at the miraculous things human beings have figured out how to do?

Less than 200 years ago, no human being had ever played a saxophone, there was no such thing as anesthesia and if you had even a simple brain tumor, you were just out of luck.

Now, a team of doctors in Italy has successfully performed a highly complex, nine-hour brain surgery on a man while he was awake and while he played the saxophone. Not only that, but the patient reported feeling "tranquility" during the surgery and only spent a few days in the hospital after the surgery before being discharged.

Keep ReadingShow less
The Prince Charles Cinema/Youtube

Brendan Fraser dressed as Rick O'Connell.

Brendan Fraser might be making the greatest career comeback ever, racking up accolades and award nominations for his dramatic, transformative role in “The Whale." But the OG Fraser fans (the ones who watch “Deadpool” solely to hear his voice and proudly pronounce his last name as Fray-zure, for this is the proper pronunciation) have known of his remarkable talent since the 90s, when he embodied the ultimate charming, dashing—and slightly goofball—Hollywood action lead.

Let us not forget his arguably most well known and beloved 90s character—Rick O’Connell from the “Mummy” franchise. Between his quippy one-liners, Indiana Jones-like adventuring skills and fabulous hair, what’s not to like?

During a double feature of “The Mummy” and “The Mummy Returns” in London, moviegoers got the ultimate surprise when who should walk in but Brendan Fraser himself, completely decked out in Rick O’Connell attire. The brown leather jacket. The scarf. Everything.

Keep ReadingShow less

Parenting children requires some serious balancing skills.

This article originally appeared on 03.08.16


Like most parents, I didn't know what I was doing when I first became a mom — because I'd never done it before.

I was 27 when our first child joined our family through adoption. He was 10 months old.

My son and me shortly after his adoption. That look on my face can probably best be described as "clueless but hopeful." All photos of my kids and me belong to me.

Keep ReadingShow less