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

Welcome to “A Song of Nice and Fire” Upworthy’s weekly series recapping one of the most brutal shows on TV. Since brutality is not really in our wheelhouse, Eric March has taken it upon himself to dig deep, twist and turn, and squint really hard to see if he can find the light of kindness in all the darkness. He may not always succeed, but by gosh if he won’t try his best.

Here’s what he found on this week’s "Game of Thrones."


If seven years of bumping around Westeros has taught me anything, it's that the game giveth, and the game taketh away. No more so than for those of us who recappeth the game on the internet.

Poor snowy horsemen. Image by Helen Sloan/HBO.

Last week was full of human kindness. This week, not so much. So ... I'm going to do things a little differently.

I'm going to summarize the down and dirty of what happened in each location. Then, I'm going to give the nicest person in that location special props. An award, of sorts. Named after the kindest, gentlest soul ever to visit there.

Let's give this a shot, shall we?

Dragonstone

The episode opens just a few days (weeks? months? What timescale are we operating at here again, anyway?) into Daenerys' triumphant homecoming to Dragonstone, where she and Varys are just not getting along.

The spymaster tries to whisper sweet, manipulative nothings to the breaker of freaking chains to no avail because, of course, there's the tiny matter of Varys trying to have Dany killed way back in season one. Varys does manage to slip back into the dragon queen's good (or, let's be honest, medium) graces by playing the complete and total honesty card and declaring his loyalty to the continent's smallfolk, a concern Daenerys purports to share, even though she will shortly be raining dragonfire down on a fair percentage of them.

"So. Who saw Spider-Man?" Image by Helen Sloan/HBO.

Later, Melisandre shows up for some light exposition about gender neutral pronouns in high Valyrian, and Dany's 4/5 badass female war council hash out their battle plans for taking back the Seven Kingdoms. Could Tyrion's encyclopedic knowledge of the Casterly Rock sewer system finally be about to pay off?

Perhaps not if Daenerys heeds Olenna's advice to "ignore all men."

On the eve of battle, Missandei and Grey Worm decide they can't hide their terribly hidden feelings from each other anymore. What follows is about as tender a love scene as we're likely to ever get on "Game of Thrones," which means...

The Shireen Baratheon Award of Generosity goes to: Missandei and Grey Worm: She for teaching a eunuch how to love and he for apparently being the only man on either continent who's heard of cunnilingus. I mean, do the women have to put it in a raven, guys? This isn't rocket science.

Winterfell

In response to an invitation from Tyrion, Jon and Davos discuss plans to meet up with Daenerys and her dragons — and Sansa is like, "You guys."

Then, Jon tells all the northern and Eyrie lords about his plan to get down with a Targaryen restoration — something none of them are particularly stoked about, given Dany's focus on killing lords and masters and the human burning that happened during the last go-around — to save the world from the White Walkers and Sansa is like, "YOU GUYS."

Unlike previous iterations of the Stark-men-go-nobly-unto-their-certain-doom show, both Jon and Sansa sort of have a point here. Sansa is darn sure correct that Jon is way too trusting of some self-appointed queen whose dad killed their grandpa and uncle only, like, 15 years ago. But Jon really has seen the White Walkers, and they really are scary, and they really do need the dragons to re-dead them. Anyway, the whole thing ends with Jon naming Sansa temporary Warden of the North in his absence, which is something his dad/secret uncle never would have done.

Somewhere in there, Jon grabs Littlefinger by the neck in the crypt, because Stark men grabbing Littlefinger by the neck always seems to end well, and tells him to lay off Sansa, which will definitely happen because Littlefinger respects the wishes of others, especially Stark men who grab him by the neck.

Your hilariously empty threats give me life. Image by Helen Sloan/HBO.

Finally, Jon trots off toward his destiny and Sansa manages to give 'em a lil' wave goodbye.

But her eyes are still clearly screaming, "YOU GUYS!!!!"

And the Maester Luwin Medallion of Ultimate Kindness goes to: If you think about it, it was really nice of the tombs of previous generations of Starks to provide a hard surface for Jon to strangle Littlefinger on. Even if it was short-lived and Jon will likely live to regret it before too long, boy did Littlefinger have it coming.

Oldtown

Deep in the stacks, Archmaester Ebrose and Sam argue over the title of Ebrose's Westerosi history thriller about all the wars we just saw happen over the previous six seasons — Ebrose thinks it really needs to pop, while Sam thinks it should be more "poetic." (If you were ever wondering if HBO and George R. R. Martin haggled over "Game of Thrones" versus "A Song of Ice and Fire," for the series title well ... now we probably know.)

Image by Helen Sloan/HBO.

Meanwhile Jorah is no longer zombie-handling Sam from the confines of his cell — instead, he's sitting in a dank room receiving a depressing prognosis and contemplating suicide-by-sword.

It's a relief, then, when Sam approaches him with a tray full of sharp metal implements, a jug of rum, and a plan to cure him by straight-up carving the disease off Jorah's body. It's a gross process, made all the grosser by an end-of-scene match cut between Jorah's gooey back knifings and a bowl of creamy soup hundreds of miles away. I mean ... GOSH.

And the Little Sam Prize for Pure Goodness goes to: Sam. Obviously. For literally scraping the leprosy off Jorah's back. Come. On.

The Riverlands

Fresh off a righteous around-the-fire chill session with Ed Sheeran, Arya catches up with Hot Pie (Hot Pie!) who gives her a killer pie crust tip and fills her in on the goings-on with her surprisingly alive siblings, which gets the tiny assassin sidetracked on her mission to kill Cersei and points her north.

Image by Helen Sloan/HBO.

Later on, trying to warm herself with the world's most pitiful fire, Arya finds Nymeria! Her direwolf! And asks her to come back to Winterfell with her! And because this is "Game of Thrones," she does and they live happily ever after!

Just kidding. The direwolf unceremoniously trots in the opposite direction. Because, as Arya realizes, "that's not her." (Not, as in literally not her, but as in that's not her style to come along. Apparently, this was a reference to a line from season one? Gotta stay past the credits, I guess.)

And the Brienne of Tarth Honor of Heartwarmingness goes to: Hot Pie, for giving Arya his secret pie recipe. First brown the butter, before slaughtering your enemies' family members and baking their digits into the filling. Gonna stow that one away for Thanksgiving.

The high seas.

Below deck, all is smooth sailing in the Iron Fleet on its way to collect the Dornish army. The Sand Snakes lay in their hammocks fantasizing about the various Lannisters they're going to whip/throwing star to death while Yara and Ellaria get to know one another a little-to-a-lot better.

Of course, then Uncle Euron ruins the moment when he comes flying in like the lead singer of Rhode Island's third best Iron Maiden tribute band and spoils everything, slaughtering various extras and the two Sand Snakes you probably didn't care about, while taking the one Sand Snake you also didn't care about but at least definitely recognized, Ellaria, and Yara hostage. Confronted by his father's brother holding his sister at ax-point, Theon takes a deep breath, screws his courage to the sticking place, and ... bravely jumps into the sea.

Oh well. You'll get him next time, Theon.

And the Ser Davos Seaworth Herald of Compassion goes to: Random piece of shipwreck, for holding Theon afloat after he abandons ship. Perhaps he doesn't deserve it — he sexually harassed his sister, killed two innocent farm boys, and sold out the entire North to a crazed serial killer — but hey, everyone deserves a 27th chance. Right? Way to come through in the clutch, hunk of driftwood!

Random Acts of Niceness

  • It was cool of those wolves not to eat Arya's horse, who was definitely like "screw this" throughout that entire scene.
  • Varys is a "small-d" democrat? Could we be headed toward a revolution of the Westerosi political system? Five years from now, will we be arguing about Pentosi interference in the Targaryen-Lannister election?
  • Ser Davos knows how to read! All those lessons with Shireen finally paid off. Thanks, Shireen! Wonder whatever happened to that scamp.

That's all for now, folks! Join me next week when hopefully Daenerys and Jon bro out over their vinyl collections, the Night King helps paint the Wall a lovely burnt umber, and Randall and Dickon Tarly's father-son road trip back to Horn Hill ends in a tearful game of catch.

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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.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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