On the surface, Westeros can seem like a land of brutality, scheming, and bloodshed.
But dig a little deeper, and you’ll find it’s actually a land of kindness, empathy, and respect.
For some strange reason, most “Game of Thrones” recaps tend to focus on the negative. The killings. The burnings. The killings. The stranglings. The killings. Such a bummer!
But it doesn’t have to be! The second episode of season 6 was full of sweet, inspiring, and just plain aww-worthy moments. And if you look, they’re obvious!
You just have to squint a little.
*SPOILER ALERT* because duh.
1. Davos and Melisandre score one for religious tolerance!
Sure, the two have had their differences over the years. Davos politely advised against sending Melisandre into battle, Melisandre asked a god to kill Davos’ son. Davos asked King Stannis to leave Shireen at the wall, and Melisandre had the princess burned at the stake. Davos is an avowed atheist. Melisandre is a 400-or-so-year-old fundamentalist priestess of a merciless, vengeful god.
But that didn’t prevent them from coming together this week to achieve a common goal: creating a pallid, terrifying, potentially soulless Jon Snow zombie.
2. Jaime kind of did a feminist thing. Kind of?
Blink and you’ll miss it, but the (all things being relative) mellower Lannister twin does call out the High Sparrow over the ridiculous gender double-standard of imprisoning Queen Cersei for fornication and Queen Margaery for perjury while ignoring Jaime’s sins — specifically those involving lots and lots and lots of killing (not to mention the unspoken sin of sleeping with his twin sister on the reg).
Not even a few dozen black-clad, mace-wielding zealots can put that one back in the bag.
3. Tyrion tells the dragons a story and takes their chains off!
Slice it any way you want — that was just plain nice of him.
4. Ramsay maintains a well-run animal shelter!
Yes, he feeds his dogs human flesh — in this case, his still-living stepmother and newborn stepbrother. But hey, he obviously cares about the lil’ pups. Small victories!
5. Yara Greyjoy channels her inner Sheryl Sandberg and leans in!
When you’re a highborn woman of the Iron Islands and your lord father plunges to his death off a rickety rope bridge under mysterious circumstances, it’s natural to experience impostor syndrome. You might think to yourself, “There are so many people more qualified to be lord than me” or “Have I raided and sacked enough villages to truly be taken seriously?” or “Is my hair long and stringy enough to retain that regal saltwater and kelp smell that I need to consolidate power?”
But not Yara Greyjoy, who just straight up assumes she’s got the gig and vows immediate revenge on her father’s killers. While the Drowned God might not be fully on board just yet, with that level of confidence, how could things not work out great for her at that Kingsmoot?
6. The Three-Eyed Raven takes environmental activism to the next level!
What better way to learn empathy for all life in Westeros’ fragile ecosystem than to actually become part-tree?
A+ job on that front, Raven.
7. Hodor gets to say more words!
After all this time and all the “Hodors” — like ten thousand “Hodors” — it turns out that Hodor once had the ability to speak?!
One thing’s for sure — we’re all going to spend the next week looking forward to the funny story of how he lost it. It’s definitely going to be a funny story. A nice, funny story involving nothing bad.
Join me next week for more nice moments from “Game of Thrones.”
Thumbnail photo by Anthony Harvey/Getty Images.