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Things are changing for the women of 'Game of Thrones' this season. Finally.

Who runs the Westeros world? GIRLS!WARNING: 'Game of Thrones' spoilers below.

Things are changing for the women of 'Game of Thrones' this season. Finally.

If you thought the big reveal of "Game of Thrones" season six was John Snow not being dead, you haven't been paying attention.

The real news this season is that the ladies of Westeros are taking their rightful places as the badass conquerors, and no man — living or white walker — can stop them.


GIF from "Game of Thrones"/HBO.

There've been moments of badass women wielding power peppered throughout the series, but now the women of "Game of Thrones" are taking center stage like never before.

After many, many, many seasons of seeing female characters degraded and used as props and naked background decoration, we're finally seeing these amazing women get what's coming to them — namely, positions of high power, revenge, and most importantly, female solidarity.

It's like "Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" but instead of chant circles and mint juleps, we have bloody body piles and dragon-scorched boats.

Ya-Ya! GIF from "Game of Thrones"/HBO.

Sansa Stark has transformed from a terrified prisoner into a military strategist.

This is perhaps the most exciting character journey of the season — Sansa has come a long way in just nine episodes and won't let anyone stand in the way of reclaiming her own autonomy and her home.

GIF from "Game of Thrones"/HBO.

Not only did Sansa manage to escape the clutches of the unnervingly evil Ramsay Bolton, but with the help of Brienne of Tarth, she made it all the way to her brother John Snow at Castle Black where she promptly schooled him on how to build an army. Of course, he didn't listen to her — because even the John Snows of Westeros can be pig-headed.

In the most recent episode, "Battle of the Bastards," rather than let her brother die (again), Sansa went behind his back to save his (and everyone else's) skin using her Aery army connections.

Of course, she does wait until the very last minute to teach her big brother the most important lesson: When dealing with a sadistic psychopath, you should always listen to his former wife.

Well-seasoned conqueror, Daenerys Targaryen, aka Khaleesi, aka the Mother of Dragons, may have begun this season working alone, but now she's aligned herself with another powerful woman: Yara of Ironborn.

GIF from "Game of Thrones"/HBO.

True, Daenerys has been burning her name into all the eastern kingdoms for several seasons now, but in season 6, she's really coming into her own. At the beginning of this season, she sought fiery revenge on the Dothraki leaders, took the remaining people under her command, and subdued the slave leaders with her dragon children.

In "Battle of the Bastards," Daenerys raised her dominating lady power to the nth degree when she combined forces with everyone's favorite sea-based ruler — Yara of Ironborn.

Boom! Solidarity sister mic drop! GIF from "Game of Thrones"/HBO.

This union is the feminist equivalent of the Ghostbusters crossing proton streams: Despite the fear of world implosion, we'll end up better and safer on the other side.

As if in response to all the public outcry against how the show handles rape, Daenerys explicitly called for an end to it, along with "reaving, roving, and raiding" in her pact with Yara.


Lyanna Mormont of Bear Island, who made her first appearance this season, is proof that even 10-year-old girls can lead armies.

Image from "Game of Thrones"/HBO.

We all instantly fell in love with her because she's sassy (“Lady Sansa is a Bolton ... or is she a Lannister?”), but when it came down to it, she was willing to stand strong with her brethren and fight the ultimate battle.

And while Sansa, Daenarys, Yara, and Lyanna are all out there leading their people, they aren't the only female characters owning their power this season.

Margaery of Tyrell has spent this season proving that sometimes you can fight without physical weapons and still win major battles.

GIF from "Game of Thrones"/HBO.

After all, she's been dealing with a powerful religious fanatic (*cough* cult leader *cough*) who's taken control of King's Landing. Under such circumstances, she's had to play her hand close to the chest, but so far, it appears to be working.

And, lastly, having spent two seasons trying to become a girl with no name — Arya Stark is now ready to embrace the power that comes with owning her identity.

GIF from "Game of Thrones"/HBO.

Arya's training with, and subsequent epic fight against, the Waif in a series of terminator-style face offs demonstrate how size, gender, and age truly do not matter when it comes to being able to deliver heart-pounding action sequences.

Slick fighting skills are far from the only thing that's turned Arya into a pillar of strength, however. Her encounter with the playhouse actress, Lady Crane, taught her to trust her own judgement rather than leave her fate in the hands of the many-faced god.

According to HBO, this six-season journey toward Westeros' feminist future has been part of the plan all along.

"It’s the women that are the hope that we’re watching as the chess pieces move this season, and it’s very exciting,” HBO programming president Michael Lombardo told Entertainment Weekly.

Given that for six seasons audiences have tuned in to see women being raped, tortured, blinded, and married off to horrible men over and over again — simply put, this shift is both incredibly welcome and long overdue.

Courtesy of Verizon
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If someone were to say "video games" to you, what are the first words that come to mind? Whatever words you thought of (fun, exciting, etc.), we're willing to guess "healthy" or "mental health tool" didn't pop into your mind.

And yet… it turns out they are. Especially for Veterans.

How? Well, for one thing, video games — and virtual reality more generally — are also more accessible and less stigmatized to veterans than mental health treatment. In fact, some psychiatrists are using virtual reality systems for this reason to treat PTSD.

Secondly, video games allow people to socialize in new ways with people who share common interests and goals. And for Veterans, many of whom leave the military feeling isolated or lonely after they lose the daily camaraderie of their regiment, that socialization is critical to their mental health. It gives them a virtual group of friends to talk with, connect to, and relate to through shared goals and interests.

In addition, according to a 2018 study, since many video games simulate real-life situations they encountered during their service, it makes socialization easier since they can relate to and find common ground with other gamers while playing.

This can help ease symptoms of depression, anxiety, and even PTSD in Veterans, which affects 20% of the Veterans who have served since 9/11.

Watch here as Verizon dives into the stories of three Veteran gamers to learn how video games helped them build community, deal with trauma and have some fun.

Band of Gamers www.youtube.com

Video games have been especially beneficial to Veterans since the beginning of the pandemic when all of us — Veterans included — have been even more isolated than ever before.

And that's why Verizon launched a challenge last year, which saw $30,000 donated to four military charities.

And this year, they're going even bigger by launching a new World of Warships charity tournament in partnership with Wargaming and Wounded Warrior Project called "Verizon Warrior Series." During the tournament, gamers will be able to interact with the game's iconic ships in new and exciting ways, all while giving back.

Together with these nonprofits, the tournament will welcome teams all across the nation in order to raise money for military charities helping Veterans in need. There will be a $100,000 prize pool donated to these charities, as well as donation drives for injured Veterans at every match during the tournament to raise extra funds.

Verizon is also providing special discounts to Those Who Serve communities, including military and first responders, and they're offering a $75 in-game content military promo for World of Warships.

Tournament finals are scheduled for August 8, so be sure to tune in to the tournament and donate if you can in order to give back to Veterans in need.

Courtesy of Verizon

Ready for the weekend? Of course, you are. Here's our weekly dose of good vibes to help you shed the stresses of the workweek and put yourself in a great frame of mind.

These 10 stories made us happy this week because they feature amazing creativity, generosity, and one super-cute fish.

1. Diver befriends a fish with the cutest smile

Hawaiian underwater photographer Yuki Nakano befriended a friendly porcupine fish and now they hang out regularly.

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