Why do we never hear about the good things that go on in Westeros?
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!
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!
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.
Brothers and sisters FTW!
3. Tyrion is an excellent host!
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!
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.
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!
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.
Join me next week for more nice moments from “Game of Thrones.”
Thumbnail image by Helen Sloan/HBO.