As we patiently await the PS5 showcase that will now arrive later this month and the release ofThe Last of Us: Part II (June 18th), I’ve found myself in a weird gray area and can’t decide what to play next. As I perused my library I couldn’t help but notice so many of the classic games that drew me into PlayStation in the first place. Do I spend my next two weeks sneaking my through Massachusetts with Joel and Ellie? Should I roam the ancient earth with Kratos and Atreus? Maybe I prepare myself for the next zombie apocalypse with Hideo Kojima’s unique post-apocalyptic Death Stranding? No matter what I choose, I think it’s safe to say that the following games will forever go down as some of the greatest PS4 games of all time.
Starting with one of the most visually pleasing games I have ever played, the PlayStation Original God of War is a must-play for anyone who owns a PS4. If you’re familiar with my site or my book you already know how much I love everything that relates to Norse mythology. So when I first got my hands on a PS4 and God of War, I was in Valhalla. Within minutes, I knew this would be one of my favorite games of all time. You’re immediately immersed into one of the most beautiful, open world forests and begin to explore the world around Kratos. As you progress, the graphics only get better. The story is the perfect balance between the real mythology of the Nordic people and the fantasy of what could have been. On top of that, the fighting system is flawless. Kratos and Atreus are the perfect duo and have loads of awesome attacks that are not only effective, but also stunning graphically. I probably logged close to 200 hours into this game before I finally finished every quest, explored every inch of map, and claimed every PS trophy. I’m not saying all of you need to go to the lengths I did, but you should give God of war a try at the very least if you haven’t already!
As one of the most well renowned survival horror games to have ever been created, The Last of Us will take you on a roller coaster ride through your emotions as you traverse the northeastern United States. During this post apocalyptic thriller, you will play as Joel or Ellie as they attempt to make their way somewhere safe during these trying times. This is an older game, so the graphics were not as on par as some newer games (God of War, Spider-Man, Etc.), but they still hold up to this day. However, if you were lucky enough to play the remastered version (as I was) than the prior statement is completely irrelevant. The undead creatures themselves are nothing short of dreadfully terrifying and will easily cause a few jump scares as you play through the campaign. The story itself is also perfection. The highs and lows have you digging deep into your own emotions, often times wondering if the things you are doing within the game are morally acceptable. Naughty Dog did an excellent job with The Last of Us, and I can’t wait to see what is in store for TLOU:II later this month.
Marvel’s Spider-Man is one of the more recent (Sep. 2018) PS4 exclusives to hit the shelves, but its massive open city concept will surely have it go down as an all-time classic. As you swing through New York as the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, you find Peter Parker amidst one of the worst pandemics his universe has ever witnessed. The story and missions jump around quite a bit, but all-in-all, they were put together in a solid fashion that allowed for a quick, fun, and thrilling campaign. Spider-Man is also another game that has incredibly fluid fighting. There are hundreds of moves that Spidey can learn as he progresses through the story and each one is unique in some way. Not to mention, you have the ability to change Spider-Man’s suit throughout the game, and there are so many incredible options! The open-world aspect also allows you to do a ridiculous amount of exploring. Whether fighting crime, searching for backpacks that Spider-Man lost across town, or helping Harry Osborn improve the environment, this game will easily provide 30-45 hours of very enjoyable content.
You may be living under a rock if you haven’t heard of CD Projekt Red’s The Witcher 3 yet. This game is not a PS exclusive as the first three games have been, but as someone who has played on both Xbox and PlayStation, it might as well have been. The Witcher franchise as a whole is probably second only to the Elder Scrolls franchise when it comes to open world console gaming. The third installment of CD Projekt Red’s hit game dropped in mid 2015 and had a massive resurgence early this year after Netflix dropped their original Witcher series. If I put 200 hours into God of War, I can’t even fathom the hours I put into the Witcher. With hundreds (potentially thousands) of quests ranging across the main story and both DLC’s, this game will have you traversing the exquisitely crafted map over and over again. And, I bet you will find new places of interest, Gwent challengers, and unique monsters each time you do. The Witcher 3 is another game that has a perfect combat system, which actually becomes much more rewarding depending on the level of difficulty you decide to play through. CD Projekt Red, of course, created mesmerizing storylines and graphics as well, and you’ll be sure to stop and take a pic of one of the many sunsets that Geralt will see throughout his journeys.
Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding was one of the strangest games I have ever played, yet I loved every second of it. As the most recently released game in my list, the graphics here were obviously on an entirely different level. Every single detail in this game was perfectly crafted by the developers at Kojima Productions and I probably spent more time roaming the map than I did playing the game itself. Vast mountain ranges covered in snow seamlessly transition into rolling hills full of enemies, and the fact that as you progress you get to build roads, zip lines, and other means of transportation had me constantly looking for the most efficient way to travel the map.
The story itself was out of this world (literally) as you take Norman Reedus’s character, Sam, across a post apocalyptic United States. Where one would typically expect to see zombies or undead creatures in an apocalypse based game, Kojima created an entirely unique monster to spice things up. The BT’s, or Beached Things, are terrifying and add a new flare to the thriller/horror genre that I didn’t even know I needed. It was also quite refreshing to take a step away from the typical hack and slash or First-Person Shooter to play as a man who survived best by allowing others to live. You, of course, can kill people in this game still, but there are dire consequences if you do. Death Stranding was a masterfully crafted game that won countless awards at the end of 2019, and it is a 10 out of 10 must play for anyone who enjoys open world gaming.
The funny thing is though, this list doesn’t even begin to scratch the surface of all the incredible games PlayStation has put out over the last few years. Horizon Zero Dawn, GTA, and Bloodborne are also incredible games that nearly made my top list, and there are countless others too. I think its safe to say that PlayStation will be providing us gamers will killer games for many years to come, and I’m happy that I get to tag along for the ride.
I’m only thirteen years late to this show, but wow, what a ride Friday Night Lights turned out to be. From the pilot where the Dillon Panthers lose their star QB all the way to Michael B. Jordan’s character, Vince Howard, winning state, I couldn’t help but sit on the edge of my couch as I rooted for this rag-tag group of kids to be successful. I had no idea when I began this show that I would get so emotionally attached to the characters and their absurd lives, but I did. However, With all the good that came with this show, there was also a good chunk of bad, which leads us to my best (and worst) review for the fictional Friday Night Lights variant of Dillon, Texas.
#1 – Tim Riggins
Even though my boy Timmy Rigs falls into a few of the bad categories below, he hands down led the pack for the good things from Dillon, Texas. Taylor Kitsch was an absolute godsend to this show and that hair of his was just stupid perfect. Tim was a character that had his ups and downs, well actually mostly just alcohol-fueled downs, but the arc he traveled was an amazing one. He started as a star full back who lost his best friend, made a weird journey down a path with that same friend’s girlfriend, ended up in jail for his brother, and finally made his way back into our hearts by the finale of the show. Friday Night Lights wouldn’t have been the same without him and for that, I thank NBC with all of my heart.
#2 – The Transition Between Seasons Two and Three
For me, this was one of the weirdest transitions I had EVER witnessed in a television show. I can’t imagine how furious people were when this happened in real-time and I’m kind of glad that I wasn’t in on the show when it did. For those of you who may not know, or if you didn’t really think that the extremely odd shift was actually odd, it did have a reason behind it. Right around the end of season two was when the Writer’s Strike of 2007 began. The strike lasted from November 2007 to February 2008 and ended Coach Taylor’s chances at a second State Title while also simultaneously injuring Brian “Smash” Williams. I thought the way they picked up in season three was very strange, but I guess it was the only thing they could really do. Luckily for me, this didn’t really ruin anything, but it definitely put a damper on things as I ventured into season three.
#3 – Coach Taylor
I have never seen a man who was more dedicated to the betterment of his players than Coach Eric Taylor. Throughout each and every season he had at least one moment where he could have made a choice to help himself, but instead, he made a choice that bettered the young men he was coaching. Just think of everything he did for Vince in seasons four and five. He took him in and changed his life forever. He kept him off the streets, showed him what it really took to be a man, and ultimately led him to a future that just two short years before seemed extremely unlikely for the young star. Not to mention the way he was with Jason Street after his accident as well, which really showed Coach T’s true colors for his players. He was by no means perfect, but he was damn near close.
#4 – The Inconsistent Character Ages
This is an area that I’m not sure if it was ever explained or not, but it was blatantly obvious that they altered some ages throughout the first three or four seasons of this show. Tim Riggins was 1,000% a junior or a senior in season one, yet when season two rolls around he’s only a junior. They do the exact same thing for Lyla Garrity, who was dating Jason and also ended up being a junior once season two rolled around. One of the other characters whose age seemed inconsistent through the first four seasons was Landry (A.K.A Lance for Coach Taylor). He was a senior in season four, which would have made him a freshman in season one. This isn’t as unbelievable as the Tim and Lyla age gaps, but it also didn’t really make sense. I don’t think they ever clearly state Landry’s age but it just didn’t really make sense for him to be a freshman in season one. Even with all of these confusing age changes though, the show does a great job of immersing these characters into their storylines and I wouldn’t have changed a thing.
#5 – The Casting of Michael B. Jordan
When Matt moved away and Coach T was getting moved from West Dillon High, I had no idea what direction this show was heading. I think it’s safe to say though that the addition of Michael B. Jordan was hands down the correct direction. Jordan’s character Vince was everything this show needed that we, as fans, didn’t know we needed. Vince went from a troubled boy in and out of juvie to my second favorite character in the show within a matter of three or four episodes. He had one of the most incredible storylines and character arcs of any show I have ever seen. Not to mention, you could see how much Coach Taylor loved him and looked at Vince of his son almost. Just an incredible feel-good story that capped off the end of a great five seasons of Panther football.
#6 – Jason Street’s Storyline
Now before I dive into this, I want to mention this only refers to Jason’s storyline AFTER season one. I actually thoroughly enjoyed J in season one, but I’m not exactly sure what the producers and writers were thinking after that. This whole story turned into a massive joke it seemed and I really wish they would’ve taken Jason’s character a different direction. The whole trip to Mexico for experimental surgery wasn’t awful, but the fact that they had J attempt to commit suicide, then change his mind, and then somehow magically swim a few hundred yards into shore and be completely fine was a little farfetched for me. Not to mention it was just generally dark for a show that typically was trying to inspire. From here they then send him down a weird path with the whole father storyline, which wasn’t as bad as the Mexico story but it still wasn’t good either. It almost seemed as if they had no idea how to get him out of the show, so they just went with the first thing they could think of, which was to have him get a random girl pregnant and then move off to New York to try to provide for said family. It just got really weird really fast and I think Jason deserved a better story!
#7 – Matt Saracen
Matt is just another one of those Tim Riggins type of characters that could do no wrong in my eyes. He was the man of his house from a very young age, was an all-around incredible human being, and was certainly deserving of that QB1 role he earned in season one. His one flaw may have been his love for Julie Taylor (who is another all-time awful character) because I know my boy Matty could have done so much better. And don’t even get me started on the episode where Matt’s dad passes away either. I bawled my eyes out when that happened. Zach Gilford (the man who played Matt) could not have acted better for this episode. It was absolute perfection and it hit so hard how we responded to everything that transpired his father’s death. If it weren’t for Tim Riggins, Matt would have been the front-runner for the most spectacular character on Friday Night Lights by a long shot.
#8 – Landry and Tyra’s Murder Storyline
This somewhat ties into the Writer Strike from #2 above, but also like, what in the world were the writers for this show thinking here? Another one of those extremely dark storylines that made no sense, plus I felt like Landry and Tyra’s love story could have still happened with something way less dramatic and depressing. Plus, this was clearly self-defense and Landry’s father was a cop so… like, why did they freak out and decide to hide the body? However, I think my main concern with this story was that it ultimately never had any sort of impact in the later seasons and I don’t even think was ever brought back up again. It was such a huge piece of Landry and Tyra and once the show picked back up after the Writers Strike, it was just shrugged off as if it never happened. Even a little clarity here would’ve gone a long way for both of their characters.
After all is said and done, the pads are taken off, and the dust settles on the football field, Friday Night Lights will go down as one of the best television shows of all time. I learned many things from this show and was taught countless life lessons by a lot of the characters, but there’s one thing that stands out the most. As Coach T always said, “Clear eyes, full hearts, can’t lose.”
Thanks for checking out my Best and Worst of Friday Night Lights post! For more of my original content, be sure to check out DustyPosts.
In today’s day and age, binging TV has become a regular occurrence in our everyday lives. According to a Morning Consult survey from late 2018, nearly 60% of viewers watch two or more episodes of their favorite shows at least once a week. Of that 60%, roughly 15% claimed to binge daily, 28% several times per week, and the remaining 17% about once per week. All of that binging leads to many a discussion on which shows make the “Greatest TV Shows” of all time list, and I, of course, have my own take on said list. Since I ventured off to college and got my own Netflix way back in 2011, I’ve probably watched thousands, if not tens of thousands, of hours of television. But, of all of that time spent lounging on my couch, bed, or some random spot I’ve found myself when my body can no longer be comfortable in the aforementioned spots, these are the shows that stand out the most.
#10 – The Witcher
I know, I know, this may be a little premature, but that’s also why I have it at #10. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself if I didn’t have this show somewhere on this list. This franchise has been one of my favorites since I discovered the Witcher 2 back in high school and Netflix dropping the first season in December was the greatest Christmas gift anyone could’ve asked for.
Everything about this franchise is amazing, but the show took it to an entirely different level for me. Starting with the opening scene, we’re submersed into a creepy bog of some sort where Geralt and a Kikamora are fighting for their lives. Throughout the season we get our fair share of vile creatures, villains, and fantasy perfection, all of which led to what I believe was the greatest season of ANY show in 2019. By the end of the season, I was utterly blown away by this show and I think it has a ton of potential to be the next Game of Thrones in regard to size, fan base, and overall success. Season two will be the true test to this franchise and the direction it could head, but I can easily see this show clawing its way to #1 if the future seasons are anywhere near as incredible as the first.
#9 – Dark
Speaking of shows without a massive collection of episodes, the Netflix original Dark has managed to become one of the most well put together series of the last few years with only two short seasons. Even with only eighteen episodes though, it managed to find its way at number nine of my greatest TV shows list.
The science fiction thriller takes your brain on a journey that will confuse, amaze, and shock you all at the same time. The show follows four families after the disappearance of a young boy exposes many secrets in a small, German town. This, in turn, leads to the unraveling of a time travel conspiracy that spans three generations. Dark not only left me wondering what was going to happen with these families, but also left my mind twisted in all sorts of pretzels as the time travel aspect becomes evident. One of the things that sets this show apart from all the other science fiction, time travel thrillers is that Dark does an amazing job of explaining the things that typically don’t make sense. On top of that, it is littered with easter eggs, hints, and puzzles that leave you wanting more.
#8 – Community
Time for a throwback, and one of the greatest TV show comedies of all time. Community first aired in September 2009 and ran for six seasons, when it ended in mid 2015. What originally drew me into this show was the fact that Donald Glover, AKA Childish Gambino, was one of the main characters. But after the first season I was hooked, and I found myself attached to each one of the seven study group members.
For those of you who don’t know, Community follows Jeff Winger (Joel McHale) after he is suspended from being a lawyer. He lied about having a law degree, thus leading him to enroll at the local community college to obtain said degree and continue his life as a lawyer. While attending Greendale he will meet six of his best friends, and this will lead to pure comedic gold for all of us as viewers. Whether it was the paintball scenes, the absurdities enacted by Dean Pelton, or Troy and Abed rapping in Spanish, this show will 100% have you clutching your sides as you gasp for air from laughing throughout each episode.
#7 – Supernatural
Supernatural is one of my all-time favorite sci-fi/fantasy TV shows, and it’s also one of the longest running TV shows ever. Coming in at fifteen seasons, all of which are 20+ episodes long, its no minor undertaking to watch. But, I would recommend this show ten times out of ten to anyone who loves any type of supernatural related fields. It can range from angels and demons to horsemen of the apocalypse, and every now and then, a Wendigo or a Poltergeist will get mixed in as well. This brother-duo has grown so much over the years and it is truly incredible to see what Jensen Ackles (Dean) and Jared Padalecki (Sam) have turned this show into. As each season progresses it gets better and better, and this is one of very few shows that I’ve watched that has reintroduced villains multiple times. Yet, of all the times they have brought back a big bad, it’s never been in a way that makes you cringe at how they are brought back into the fold. It’s definitely quite the show to tackle if you’re starting from the beginning, but it’s a show you must watch at some point nonetheless.
#6 – Friday Night Lights
Rounding out the first half of my greatest TV shows of all time list is Friday Night Lights. FNL debuted in October 2006, but I didn’t watch the show until just recently. I’d started it a few other times, but I would always get distracted by a new season of Game of Thrones, Supernatural, or some other show I was watching. As I’ve said in my Best and Worst of Friday Night Lights post though, I deeply regret waiting so long to sit down and fully watch through this classic. This show had just about everything you could ask for too. Inspirational father figure who is always making you emotional, check. Annoying daughter who you hate but can’t get enough of, check. Badass with luscious flow and a hankering to slug beers at any and all times… check. Even though the first two seasons were very, and I mean very, different from the rest due to the writers strike of 2007, this show never ceased to disappoint.
Thanks for stopping by DustyPosts to check out my greatest TV shows of all time list! Be on the lookout for Part II of the list soon and find out what all falls into the top five.
Game of Thrones Season 8: A One-Year Anniversary Tribute
As we near the one-year anniversary of Game of Thrones Season 8 and my mind longs for Winds of Winter, I found myself contemplating how I truly felt about the final season of what could potentially end up as the greatest show of all time. So, I turned my TV on, sat down, and binged the entire season in one sitting. Granted, this was actually a long time coming, as I did re-watch the entire series up until that point in my COVID-19 quarantined state, but that’s besides the point. I noticed there were a lot of things I liked early on… then a lot of things I didn’t like as the season progressed, and I also noticed how some lesser characters ended up with much better endings than some of our main heroes after having almost no screen time whatsoever. So, the second I finished I sat down at my computer and began putting this small novel of a review together. Sorry (but really I’m not) in advance.
Re-Watch of the Final Season
After watching the final season for the third time (Second re-watch was about 48 hours after the final episode aired), it’s safe to say that I am very salty about how a show of this caliber could end in the manner it did. My first two watches left a bitter taste in my mouth, but at least I could kind of wrap my head around the way things were done. This time, I was befuddled, and I think it finally set in that this was the ending we were stuck with for the rest of eternity. There was just so much left unanswered and so much that, in my personal opinion, could’ve been done better. Which leads us to my first breakdown analysis categories that I have so cleverly named “Things I Liked” and “Things I Disliked”.
Things I Liked
The New Intro sequence absolutely slaps: I loved seeing the kingdoms of Westeros in more depth
Bran’s transition from creepy and weird to awkward and hilarious
Theon’s redemption arc
The Battle of Winterfell
Tormund and his drinking shenanigans (But for real, which coward s*** Tormund’s pants!?)
Lady Mormont’s general presence
Lady Mormont’s sacrificial death
Pod’s singing (oh… my… god…)
When Melisandre ignited the Dothraki arakhs (the trench lighting was pretty dope as well)
The shot with Dany and Jon eclipsing the clouds on Drogon and Rhaegal
When Arya and Melisandre tie together her “brown eyes, blue eyes, green eyes” quote from back in season three
Each and every short joke directed at Jon Snow
Post Missandei Grey Worm
The Dany and Drogon Wing scene from the finale
Things I Disliked
The almost immediate hatred between Dany and Sansa
The Jaime/Brienne storyline: This seemed so forced… I believe it wasted time and resources that could’ve been spent on more important things
Speaking of wasting resources… Everything involving the Golden Company seems pretty pointless right about now
The lack of detail surrounding Cersei’s pregnancy
Our favorite dire wolf, Ghost, having about 180 seconds of screen time
How quick Dany’s personality changes… I know it’s been hinted out for eight seasons, but even five more minutes of crazy before episode five would’ve helped (*cough, cough* Jaime and Brienne storyline)
Lack of Arya using her face swapping talent (ESPECIALLY since this could’ve completely avoided the slaughter of innocents and armies)
The Vale warriors disappearance in the Battle of Winterfell
The Stark Crypts coming to life… most of those bodies would have been 1,000% deteriorated. And the ones that weren’t should have had no chance in hell of clawing through STONE to escape
Dany/Jon’s plan to send the Dothraki out to their obvious deaths. They both knew how many wights the Night King had under his control (à la episode six of season seven), yet they still sent what appeared to be 99% of them towards the monstrous wave of undead
The Night Kings loss of accuracy with his ice spear. Like, this guy hit Viserion from a country mile, yet misses Dany and Drogon from thirty yards?
The fact that there were still so many Dothraki alive in episodes five and six was also pretty confusing
Bran’s constant denial of “wanting” the throne, yet acknowledging that he “played” everyone to get the throne (“why do you think I traveled all this way” -.-)
John leaving Ghost. I get that the massive dire wolf doesn’t really have any place in the siege of a city, but John didn’t need to act as if he hated Ghost and never wanted to see him again (especially without a real goodbye)
Cersei not killing Drogon… or Dany… or any of the Khaleesi’s army when they were, oh I don’t know, 100 yards away from the walls of Kings Landing. It makes ZERO sense for Cersei to not take full advantage of this apparent weakness and grab an instant win. Dany is going to attack the city either way, why not shoot a few scorpion bolts and attempt to make the ransacking of the city a little harder?
The entire scene with Jaime and Euron… once again, could’ve spent that 10 minutes of episode on something more important
Jaime and Cersei’s death was underwhelming to say the least
The fact that Tyrion finds Jaime and Cersei so easily. Plus the fact that he only moves three bricks before finding them… pretty sure the Lannister lovers could’ve survived that “cave in” within Maegor’s Holdfast
The pure DISRESPECT thrown at the Reed family… how can you not even mention them in the final season (LOL)
The lack of Ellaria and Tyene. Could’ve had a great scene with Cersei and Ellaria that would’ve taken 45 seconds just to verify the gruesome death they set up for the two of them in season seven
If I’m being honest, there was a lot more on that dislike list, but I decided enough was enough. Let’s jump into the season eight power rankings.
Game of Thrones Season 8 Power Rankings
#6 – Bronn
Even with almost no screen time in season 8, this man ended up as one of the most powerful people in all of Westeros. As the new Master of Coin, Bronn is now the Lord of Highgarden and has the power of handling all the seven kingdoms coin, which is a pretty big deal for someone who started the show as a cutthroat sell sword. Especially when you think that he probably had nothing to his name besides a small bag of coin, the clothes on his back, and his trusty sword when Tyrion first met him. Not too shabby for a character who had maybe 7 minutes of screen time in the most important season of Game of Thrones.
#5 – Brienne of Tarth
Brienne had much more time in comparison to Bronn, yet she also ended up quite a winner when all was said and done. She survived the Battle of Winterfell, fulfilled all of her promises, hooked up with the love of her life (which unfortunately was NOT Tormund Giantsbane), and landed herself as Lord Commander of the Kingsgaurd. The latter portion of her new accolades is very impressive, and it also makes Brienne one of the most influential people in all of Westeros. She will, hands down, push the seven kingdoms in the direction they need to be pushed, and I truly wish we could watch the rest of her story unfold.
#4 – Sansa Stark
Sansa was such an integral piece to the final season and got every single thing that she deserved… besides the crown! I full-heartedly believe Sansa should have been named queen, but I also don’t hate that she rules the North as its own independent kingdom. Let’s be real, ruling over one kingdom by itself is probably much more lax than ruling over seven anyways, right? She also “got rid of” Dany, which was probably an exceptionally incredible feeling for the newly crowned Queen of the North. All in all, a pretty solid ending for Sansa.
#3 – Drogon
Out of every single power ranking I’ve read for season eight, not one has mentioned Drogon anywhere. Think of all the things he did within Game of Thrones Season 8: He was the only dragon to survive, evaded an insane amount of scorpion bolts (and one poorly thrown ice spear by the Night King), finally was used to his full potential, completely merked Kings Landing, and is now living on his own in complete freedom somewhere unknown to everyone. How can all that not classify him as a top-tier power player in season 8?
#2 – Bran Stark
As much as it pains me to place Bran in my power rankings, he absolutely has to be placed here. He one million percent played every single person in this entire show for the last two plus seasons. I cannot stand the fact that he was crowned ruler of the Seven Kingdoms. It’s probably the biggest flaw to the end of this series in my opinion, but he did outmaneuver everyone (including the Night King) which makes this whole season a pretty powerful case for him to be ranked so high. Everything he did, every statement he made, every piece of advice he gave, was all to make sure he ended up as the ruler of the seven kingdoms. On top of all this, his character did a complete 180 from the other seasons. He moved from the weird, creepy brother to the funny, witty brother, and that was a massive leap for the character.
#1 – Arya Stark
To me, it’s a no-brainer that Arya is the ultimate power player from season eight. Without her sneaky, faceless-man, dagger drop and stab, Winterfell falls. If Winterfell falls, The Night King and his undead army move south and, most likely, take Kings Landing pretty easily. This holds especially true if both Drogon and Rhaegal fall during the battle of Winterfell, since Dany ends up taking the capital with only Drogon. That alone pushed her to the top for me, but we also see that she still very much cares about the safety of others in the latter half of the season, and that her story is just beginning, which is just extra icing on the GOT cake.
Three Key Players I left Off my Power Rankings
Tyrion Lannister: The reason I left Tyrion off is that I didn’t really see him as a winner at any point in this season (besides for the fact that he wasn’t killed). A lot of people see him as the “ruler” since Bran “never wanted to be king”, but that then takes away from the entire sneaky storyline of Bran “coming all that way.” Tyrion is still one of the best characters of ANY show of all time, but I just don’t see him as a winner in season eight.
Jon Snow: Similar to Tyrion, Jon didn’t win anything. Yeah, he’s technically free to do whatever he wants in the north with Tormund now, but other than that his season mostly sucked. He found out he was the rightful heir to the throne, even though he wanted nothing to do with ruling. He was then convinced to kill the second love of his life (R.I.P. Ygritte, still too soon) before becoming a prisoner. I wanted so much more for Jon, but I guess now he will just be known as the wildling traitor who abandoned the Nights Watch… twice.
Samwell Tarly: Sam ended up as Grand Maester (still not really sure how LOL) and gets to write A Song of Ice and Fire (which, by the way, is probably the dopest tie in to a show of all time). I’m assuming he was also pardoned from his abandoning of nights watch, even though there’s probably just no nights watch left at this point. I love Samwell to death, but his season just didn’t amount to as much as the others even with this massive accomplishments. Another character that had so much potential that was left in the background for most of the season.
Favorite Characters Throughout ALL Seasons
With all of that being said about season eight, Game of Thrones will still always hold an extremely special place in my heart. I had so many incredible years with this show, and even though the ending wasn’t what I’d hoped for, the show itself is still a GOAT contender. It defined the new era for fantasy television and led us to the discovery of so many amazing actors, battle scenes, and inside jokes. So without further ado, let my All-time character list commence.
#8: Ramsay Snow/Bolton
This may be controversial, since he was one of the most evil, villainous characters in the show, but Ramsay Bolton was one of my all-time favorites. He brought so much excitement, horror, and nervousness to the show: all of which makes for excellent television. We witnessed him completely eradicate Theon’s cocky persona over the middle seasons, then he kills his father and makes himself Lord of Winterfell, and then we get the epic conclusion to his story when he fights Jon Snow in the Battle of the Bastards. Ramsay is easily one of the most hateable characters from the show, yet I can’t stop myself from loving every single second his face was on my screen.
#7: Tormund Giantsbane
What’s not to love about this Wildling mountain man who was touched by fire? Constant witty banter with legitimately every single character in the show? Check. Facial expressions that can make you laugh without any volume to his words? Check. A character arc that goes from funny bad guy to hero that you love? Triple Check! Kristofer Hivju absolutely slayed his role as Tormund. He was #2 on my season eight list of “No way, they can’t do this to us… they can’t kill (favorite character’s name here).” Not to mention, of all the stories to end the series, he probably lucked out with the best one. He gets to live out the rest of his days with his best bud, Jon Snow, as they do whatever they want out beyond the wall. Talk about a solid end, am I right?
#6: Ser Davos Seaworth
I’ll be honest, Ser Davos was a teen tiny bit annoying and dull towards the beginning of the series, but right about when he learns to read was when the switch flipped on him for me. After that moment, it seemed like he always had such great comments to everything everyone asked of him. Not to mention, once Stannis dies and Davos makes the transition over to Jon, he becomes the coolest grandparent-figure, trusty advisor, and friend to the newly crowned King in the North. Davos is hands down one of the wiser men in the show as well, and maybe even the second oldest person we ever see on screen. I mean, even he knows that after all he’s done, he’s only “live to a ripe old age.”
#5: Jon Snow
I’ve always thought of Jon as one of my favorite characters, but as the series progressed, his brooding intensified, and his story played out, I found him right here, stuck at #5 on my list. Don’t get me wrong, Jon is an absolute badass, I just think his character spiraled downwards for me in the last two seasons. Obviously, I realize that this is in no way the character’s fault (or Kit Harrington’s for that matter), but it doesn’t mean that how D&B portrayed him towards the end didn’t drop him in my rankings. He was hyped up so much and basically ended up being a dud. A criminal banished to the Nights Watch, which more than likely doesn’t (and will never) exist anymore, who then abandons that post to live north of the wall with the wildlings. Hopefully GRRM’s version of Jon in the final two books has a better story. Maybe then he will make his way back towards his rightful spot within the Mount Rushmore of GOT characters.
#4: Ser Bronn of the Blackwater
Do you remember my list of “No way, they can’t do this to us… they can’t kill (favorite character’s name here)” from above? Well Bronn was #1 on that same list in season seven. The reason Bronn falls so high n the rankings for me is because he’s an OG that goes all the way back to season one. Plus, he’s given us many more laughs than most, including the Wildling be’ar-do-well, Tormund Giantsbane. He ended up with one of the most impressive character arc’s – Sell sword to knight, knight to Lord, Lord to Master of Coin – even with the complete dud of a season eight that he was given. And how could I forget all the buddy cop scenes between him and Tyrion throughout the first four seasons of the show. I would pay so much money a month to get a spin off of Game of Thrones that just followed those two around Westeros (get on it HBO).
#3: Arya Stark
Arya has always been towards the top of my favorite characters list for the sole purpose that she was a little badass lady, but she somehow managed to only become more badass as the show progressed. She’s another character that I think will have even more backstory in GRRM’s upcoming books as well, hopefully with a solid chunk of that giving us much more depth within The House of Black and White. She is one of few characters that I think needed little to no tweaks (and that D&B didn’t screw up). Her story was borderline perfect, and the only thing that maybe could’ve topped it off would’ve been crossing that final name off her list before sailing west of Westeros. FYI, I would watch an Arya spin off in a heartbeat if HBO were to make one… but I don’t think we will ever get that lucky.
#2: Oberyn Martell
I know, I know, Oberyn was only in seven episodes within one season, but could you imagine what could have been if he didn’t get his skull exploded!? Within those seven episodes, Oberyn low-key made King’s Landing his b****. Plus, he almost defended the innocent Tyrion Lannister while avenging his sister’s death. If only he didn’t get so cocky with the literal mountain of a man that is Gregor Clegane. Oberyn left a massive mark on the show in just seven short episodes, I could not imagine how differently the story turns out if he survives and saves Tyrion. Well… actually I can. Myrcella lives, Tyrion (probably) never helps Dany, Oberyn exacts justice on Tywin, John is named rightful ruler well before Dany makes her way to Westeros, Cersei never rises to the same level of power (and maybe doesn’t rise to power at all), etcetera, etcetera. Even without all of those possibilities, Oberyn finds himself at #2 in my greatest characters list.
#1: Tyrion Lannister
I think this goes without saying, but how can Tyrion Lannister NOT be your favorite character? Not only did he have the most screen time throughout all 73 episodes of the show, but he also started season eight off with the most incredible ball joke to Varys. Tyrion, without a doubt, has the greatest everything throughout all eight seasons of Game of Thrones. Final few seasons equals the greatest hair and beard. In all seasons he has the greatest comments, retorts, and jokes (if only we got to hear that one about the jackass and the honeycomb). Tyrion also has some of the greatest strategies (give or take a few from season seven) and ideas that the realm has ever seen. He’s a godsend to the realm, and even after everything he does, bran still wants him as his hand of the king. Hopefully he lives a long, full life in the new Westeros, and one day gets to die how he’s always wanted.
My Least Favorite Characters
I know I’ve already written about 47,638 words on this article, so I’ll go ahead and keep my least favorite character list as short as humanly possible.
Cersei Lannister: I dislike Cersei so much I am not even going to go into detail on why I dislike her. I think it’s pretty obvious that she is the worst human of all time and I wish she would’ve had a better on-screen death.
Littlefinger: He was a solid character… until he helped capture (and essentially kill) Ned Stark. Plus, his voice got deeper and raspier as the show progressed, and that honestly made listening to him the most annoying thing EVER.
Joffery: Nuff’ said.
Melisandre: Melisandre had an incredible character arc, but she did so many awful things that pushed her right off the cliff into the pit of dislike. Like, she sacrificed a little girl… that’s just plain wrong on so many levels.
The Mountain: Gregor Clegane was the perfect POS human being for Game of Thrones. I hate that Sandor had to die in order to kill his big brother, but it was a death that was much deserved for everything The Mountain has done throughout his eight season tenure.
The Sand Snakes: This applies to both Ellaria Sand and her three daughters. They were all just annoying, and the storyline with Ellaria and Tyene gets wiped under the rug in season eight. I feel like D&B should’ve at least given us a glimpse of these two in the final season.
Now, we will discuss my favorite secondary characters in alphabetical order… Just kidding, you’re finally at the end! And so am I, at least for quite some time. Game of Thrones was a massive piece of my life over the last few years, and even though I’ll always love this show, this re-watch showed me that it’s time for a break. At this point, even though my watch has not ended, I’m for sure pulling a Jon and heading north of the wall with Tormund for a few years. Poor decisions made by D&B led to an extremely underperforming final season, and even though it sucks, I’m finally coming to terms with the fact that’s the ending that I’m stuck with. Point-blank, period. One day, GRRM will release his ending, and hopefully that ties up more of the questions that are still etched in my brain after season 8, but if not… oh well. It was a wild ride, Game of Thrones. Until next time.
CD Projekt Red Announces Witcher 4 May Be Their Next Release
It’s officially official, CDPR has all but confirmed that a Witcher 4 is most likely the next game the company will develop after Cyberpunk 2077 is released in late 2020. The Polish Video Game developer has made it very clear that Witcher 4 will actually not be a fourth installment to the already immensely successful Witcher trilogy, but that it will remain within the Witcher Universe that Andrzej Sapkowski created. That could mean a number of things though, and its safe to assume that we are at least a few years out from seeing any specifics released on this matter. Whatever direction they do choose though will surely end with millions of Witcher fans having their hands on yet another spectacular fantasy RPG.
Anticipated Release Date
With four years between each Witcher Release so far, I think it’s very safe to assume that we are at a minimum of four years out from the next installment of the Witcher franchise. I do think there are some other things that will more than likely push the game even further out for all of us, the first of which is the success of Cyberpunk 2077. CDPR has stated multiple times that The Witcher and Cyberpunk franchises are the two universes they think they can continue to build on in the future. With that being said, if Cyberpunk exceeds expectations with its holiday release in 2020, CDPR could very well decide to pump out a second game there rather than a fourth for The Witcher.
If Cyberpunk is successful, but not so successful that they immediately want to begin a second game, CDPR could potentially push both games into the early stages of development. With teams split working on two games, we would obviously expect a longer wait for a possible Witcher title, so let’s add another six to twelve months there. On top of all that, we have to assume there isn’t much, if any, completed on an actual plot for the next Witcher. This would probably tack another six to twelve months on to things, which pushes that original four year estimate to five, or maybe even six, years before release. If I had to guess, I would say we can expect the fourth installment to the Witcher series in Mid 2025 at the earliest.
Witcher 4 Expected Plot
As I mentioned above, almost nothing has been announced (or probably thought too deeply of) on what The Witcher 4 plot could look like. In fact, the only thing CDPR has said so far is that Geralt will NOT be the main character. Of course, decisions like these change all the time, but I have three possibilities that I believe we could see in the fourth Witcher game.
#1 – A Young Geralt or Pre Geralt Universe
A young Geralt option would require CDPR to redact their statement of Geralt not being the main character, but I could easily see this being the direction of game number four. However, back in a time when Witchers were a plenty, they could also take the pre Geralt approach. We could potentially experience Vesimir’s story, or the story of any other Witcher from the period before Geralt. This would be very interesting, and would travel outside the realm of Andrzej’s books. I’m sure he would still be a part of developing the storyline, but if he wasn’t, I’d feel safe with CDPR and whatever direction they decided to take the game. Who knows, he may even have some unpublished Witcher stories he could use for the new game!
#2 – A Post Geralt Universe
Option #2 is probably the option that makes the most sense for a fourth game. This could mean Ciri becomes the potential new lead, or maybe even a new, younger Witcher comes into the fold and is trained by an older Cirilla. They could be attempting to restore the Witchers back to their former glory or maybe even just rounding up whatever remaining Witchers are out there to defeat whatever villain CDPR decides to add into the game. This, of course, would also require material that was not a part of the books, but at least here they have a base with Ciri and whatever other Witchers are still alive. Both of these options still leave plenty of room for some of our favorite characters to find their way back into the story. So, don’t be surprised when Yen, Dandelion, or Zoltan appear telling tall tales of Geralt!
#3 – An Entirely New Witcher 4 Universe
This option would require the most work, but it also has loads of room for something the Witcher Universe hasn’t really had before… complete character customization. With an entirely new Witcher universe, one could expect to create their own witcher who is responsible for saving the world, restoring the Witchers to glory, or even potentially being the cause of the Witchers dying off. This is definitely my favorite option of the three, but it would require a lot since they would potentially be scrapping almost everything from the original three games. Too bad we will need to wait four to six years to figure out what the story will truly entail!
I’ve been a fan of this series since I first stumbled upon The Witcher 2, and I don’t think I will ever lose my love for the realm of Temaria. So no matter what CD Projekt Red decides to do with the next installment of one of my favorite video game series, I know they will succeed. I trust them to make all the right decisions and lead us into a new age of Witcher games!
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The Last of Us: Part II – Everything You Need to Know
I may be a bit behind on this, but as I was verifying how many days were left until The Last of Us: Part II is released, I found out that the release got pushed back to May 29th! While that is extremely disappointing, I also don’t hate it. It shows that Naughty Dog wants this game to be absolute perfection before releasing it. With that being said, I fell into a very deep rabbit hole researching the game and decided to share everything I found with all of my readers.
Premise of The Last of Us II
For those of you who may be newer to The Last of Us franchise, the game has quite the story. In the first PS4 exclusive release, we travel with Joel and Ellie as they traverse a dangerous world full of zombies as they try to find a way to cure Joel’s younger companion. The second game looks to have a much darker and complicated storyline however. The synopsis is very intriguing as well (see below) and truly leaves everything up to your imagination. No matter what path this story takes us down, I’m more than positive that it will be well worth the wait.
“Five years after their dangerous journey across the post-pandemic United States, Ellie and Joel have settled down in Jackson, Wyoming. Living amongst a thriving community of survivors has allowed them peace and stability, despite the constant threat of the infected and other, more desperate survivors.
When a violent event disrupts that peace, Ellie embarks on a relentless journey to carry out justice and find closure. As she hunts those responsible one by one, she is confronted with the devastating physical and emotional repercussions of her actions.”
So far there have been nine videos released on The Last of Us: Part II website. Of those nine, two are interviews, three are PlayStation experience panel discussions, One is the reveal trailer, one is the teaser trailer, one is the gameplay trailer, and the final is the State of Play release date trailer. I’m not going to run through the interviews or panel discussions, but I will break down the other four trailers below.
Outside the incredible looking graphics there was so much to decipher in this first reveal trailer. We pan through some desolate woods before seeing a stop sign that has been hit with a Firefly tag. After a little more random panning, we find ourselves within a house with who appears to be an older Ellie. She begins strumming quite the melody on a guitar before Joel makes his way into the house filled with dead bodies, all of which look to be human and not undead. As she finishes, Joel asks her if she’s really going to go through with “this.” Ellie responds by saying, “I’m gunna find and I’m gunna kill every last one of them.” For what you might ask, and who exactly is “them”? We can’t be certain yet, but it’s probably safe to assume that the death of someone close to Ellie triggers her hatred towards what appears to be the Firefly organization.
Unlike the first trailer, this one has no familiar characters form the original Last of Us game. We open with a woman being dragged through the woods. She is quickly hung up by a noose and placed on a bucket. The two men who were dragging the strange woman are greeted by an older woman. Before they get too deep into questioning the random woman, they hear something off in the distance and the two men find another young girl in the woods. They ask her where the other apostates (someone who renounces a religion) are, and the younger girl decides to spit in the woman’s face. “Clip her wings.” The older woman pronounces and the two men begin beating the girls elbows with a hammer.
As the second man is about to clip the girl’s left elbow, two arrows come whizzing by out of nowhere and find themselves in the man’s face and chest. The girl then grabs the hammer and hits the other man with it to free herself. In shock, the older woman turns, but the noosed woman throws her legs over the others shoulders and begins to choke her out. The younger girl then caves the hammer into the older woman’s skull, and she falls lifeless to the ground. The noosed woman is in a predicament now though because she no longer has her bucket and is choking to death. A young boy comes from the woods and the younger girl tells him to cut her down. “But she’s one of them?” He asks as he cuts her down. And then we get our first glimpse of our favorite zombie creatures as they bum rush the group. A very dark trailer indeed.
The Last of Us: Part II Gameplay Trailer
I won’t write too much here since this was an 11-minute gameplay video, but oh my god, this looks insane. We’re finally introduced to Ellie’s love interest while also getting a reminder that Joel is (still) super protective of Ellie. We then, rather shockingly, cut (no pun intended) straight to Ellie slitting a man’s throat in the woods. Clearly the aforementioned raid didn’t go as planned and Ellie is now sneaking her way through the woods in an attempt to make it back home. The graphics are ridiculously impressive, and we get a ton of glimpses into the dark and depraved path this game is heading down.
Ellie makes quick work with her bow, which I’m extremely thankful was brought back, as she sneaks around an old parking garage. We also get a great a taste of the survival aspect once Ellie breaks her stealth. Ellie appears a lot more agile than Joel and it looks as if we will get a whole new array of dodges, movements, and escape techniques. One of the other things you may have missed was that when Ellie killed one of the people, the other person yelled their name. Naught Dog added this in to make you really feel the repercussions of each and every decision you make throughout the game. All in all, this gameplay trailer took my anticipation levels from a ten out of ten to at least a twelve out of ten!
State of Play Trailer
So this last trailer reveals that Dina, Ellie’s potential love interest and obvious close friend, is killed fairly early on in the game. It also shows us an up close glamour shot of a Clicker, which is even more terrifying than I remember. Ellie “has to finish it”, so we assume that the death of Dina is the sole driving factor in her revenge mission. On top of the plot info, we also see the immense world that comes along with the game, and we could potentially get to traverse it with some vehicles. We already saw Ellie cruising around in a boat, so maybe there will be more to come in that area! We also get Joel (somewhat) confirmed as a key piece of the story, but he will probably hold a role more similar to Ellie from the original game.
The Last of Us: Part II Predictions
The Fireflies will NOT be the villains and will play a very minor role in the game.
There will be vehicles other than the boat, but they won’t be for open world travel.
Joel will die brutally at some point within the campaign.
There will be at least two new infected types (one of which already confirmed in the shamblers).
The group that Ellie is chasing will have some sort of tie back to the group from the original game
The scenes from the teaser trailer will be flashbacks and the younger woman who has about to be hung is none other than Anna, Ellie’s mom.
Recent News and Rumors
With all of that info broken down, lets hop into some news and rumors. My favorite announcement so far is that Ellie’s actor, Ashley Johnson, learned archery for her role. Bravo to you Ashley! We also now know that the second installment of The Last of Us is rated M for Mature due to gore, intense violence (duh), nudity (excuse me), sexual content (whaaaaat), strong language, and use of drugs. It’s also rumored that there will be a good amount of parallels between the original and second game, which will be very intriguing to experience as we play through. We can also expect the game to spread over two discs apparently, which hopefully is due to how massive and awesome the game is going to be (lol).
Well that’s all I have for you guys for now. I hope you enjoyed my in depth breakdown of Naughty Dogs The Last of Us: Part II as much as I enjoyed writing it. Be sure to check back soon for updates and new The Last of Us: Part II content, and if you’re in the mood to reminisce you can go check out my other TLOU reviews at DustyPosts.
Fargo has been one of those shows that I’ve wanted to watch for such a long time, but every time I go to start it another show comes along that piques my interest a little more. Well, that is no longer true, because I finally started last week and I regret every time I’ve ever pushed this show away for another! I just finished season one and will begin season two immediately, but before I did I wanted to discuss some of my favorite moments from season one (in no particular order).
Fargo’s Snow Storm Shootout
This scene actually spread across two episodes if I’m not mistaken. I thought it was a really cool concept to have this epic battle between Malvo, Molly, Gus, Mr. Numbers, and Mr. Wrench. Not to mention, the fact that Gus ended up shooting Molly was a really nice twist that also makes all the sense (LOL). There was also an extremely grisly death in Malvo slitting Mr. Numbers’ throat, which added the touch of darkness that was needed for this scene.
Lester’s Revenge on Sam Hess
This was a long con, but I absolutely LOVED it. I was somewhat confused at first as to why Lester wanted to be the one to deliver the papers to Mrs. Hess. But then, as he was taking good ol’ Gina Hess on a trip to pound town, we see Lester staring down the photo of the deceased Mr. Hess and his wife. It was so fitting for the picture to fall and break right as Lester was wrapping up the deed as well. Good for Lester, ya know.
Malvo’s Hair Transition
Even with how great of a job Billy Bob Thornton did with Lorne Malvo, his hair in the first seven episodes was absolutely horrendous. It made the character look like such a creep, which was probably the whole point, but it irked me every time it was on screen. When Malvo came back as the fun-loving dentist and had that full head of salt and pepper hair I was filled with an endless joy knowing I wouldn’t have to see that awful bowl cut again. It really makes him look like an entirely different person, which once again, was the entire point.
The Mail Scene With Malvo
This was just an excellent piece of work on the writers part here as Malvo schools the mail man while attempting to get a package from his employer. “No, highly irregular is the time I found a foot in a toaster oven.” What a classic Malvo line! This was very early on in the season too so it was a great catalyst to drive home how witty and out there Malvo truly was.
Malvo’s First Speech to Gus
There was something about Malvo calmly telling Gus that he was making a mistake that really had me nervous for the friendly cop. It was really an incredible little exchange between the two… just read through it and let what Malvo says seek deep into your bones.
Malvo: “We could do it that way. You ask me for my papers. I tell you it’s not my car, that I borrowed it… See where things go from there. We could do that. Or you could go get in your car and drive away.”
Gus: “And why would I do that?”
Malvo: Because some roads you shouldn’t go down. Because maps used to say, “There be dragons here.” Now they don’t. But that don’t mean the dragons aren’t there.
Gus: Step out of the car please Sir.”
Malvo: How old’s your kid? Let me tell you what’s gonna happen… Officer Grimly. I’m going to roll my window up, then I’m going to drive away, and your’e gonna go home to your daughter, and every few years, you’re gonna look at her face and know that you’re alive because you chose not to go down a certain road on a certain night, that you chose to walk into the light instead of into the darkness.”
How terrifying is that!? It was our first glimpse into the true evil Malvo brought to Fargo season one, and the crazy thing is that it only got more intense from him after this.
The Fargo Building Massacre
What a magnificent piece of art this was. I don’t think I have ever witnessed any television or movie scene shot in this fashion. The fact that we were slowly making our way up with Malvo while simultaneously not seeing anything was soooo nail-biting. Hearing the screams of the terrified office workers mixed with the firing of multiple guns added to the mysteriousness of this scene as well. And to top it all off, we got to see Malvo shoot one of the bad guys out of a fourth floor window before proceeding to escape right out from under the FBI’s nose.
The “Frank Peterson” Interview
How hilarious was this scene!? I was laughing so hard watching Billy Bob, A.K.A Malvo, pretend to be this saintlike little church goer when we damn well knew he was a violent, murderous criminal. He of course was going to have some sort of backup story for whenever he was caught, but this one was just absolute perfection. Plus, we also got some more unusual banter between Gus and Malvo here, which leads to the very solid shades of green riddle that Gus eventually solves (but doesn’t explain what he thinks it means).
The Elevator of Death
This scene was one of the best in my opinion because it showed how talented Malvo was AND that he could flip the switch between funny, loving actor dentist and cold-blooded killer just like that. It was actually very disturbing how easy it was for that switch to flip. This, of course, finally brought the two greatest characters of the show back together and led to quite the interesting storyline within the final two episodes.
The Events that Transpire at Lester’s House
I’m not even sure where to begin here. We know the second that Malvo shows interest in the undercover cop car at the dealership that things are probably heading south for our two FBI agents. The way Malvo lured them out of their car was pure genius, and their deaths were quick and graphic. Our villain then easily breaks into Lester’s house, where it appears Lester is attempting to hide, and rather poorly, from Malvo. But whatya know, it was actually a ruse set by Lester to lure Malvo into the bear trap! This then leads to the escape of Malvo, which leads us to my final favorite moment of the season…
Malvo and Lester’s Deaths
Even though they were two of the best characters in the show, these deaths were well deserved. Both men were monsters and died in rather fitting manners. I really appreciated that Gus was the one to take out Malvo, especially since Gus was the first to truly receive a threat from Malvo back in episode one. It looked like it was hard for Gus to shoot Malvo five or six times, but it was something that needed to be done to bring protection back to his family. Then we have Lester, who either drowned or froze to death while fleeing from the cops. Even though I was kind of rooting for him to escape, it was nice to have such sweet justice brought down on someone who could lie, manipulate, and murder as easy as he did. All in all a fantastic ending to the first season!
Well that’s that. Be sure to leave comments below to all of your favorite moments from Fargo season one! Thanks again for reading, and for more of my original content head on over to DustyPosts (be on the lookout for more Fargo posts soon). Anyways, I’m off to start season two, wish me luck!
Warning: There will be spoilers below, so proceed at your own risk!
The Outsider Review: HBO’s Next Big Hit
HBO has done it again, folks. They continue to pump out shows that shock and awe and their new crime drama, The Outsider, does just that. Jason Bateman, Ben Mendelsohn, and Cynthia Erivo have me absolutely hooked on this show and I cannot wait to see what happens in the second half of its first season.
The Outsider Plot
According to IMDB, the synopsis is as follows: “Investigators are confounded over an unspeakable crime that’s been committed.” Now that may seem extremely vague and nondescript, but it honestly couldn’t say anything else without giving away too much of the show. However, now that I have watched the first half of the season I think I can add a little more detail to spice things up. “A small town is rattled by the ghastly death of a young boy. As the child’s family and the town mourn, things begin to get very strange. Investigators are baffled by the evidence they find, and struggle to find who, or what, is wreaking havoc upon their town.” If that doesn’t make you want to watch then I don’t know what will!
What We’ve Witnessed So Far
If you haven’t watched the show yet and are still reading, now is the time to stop. I will briefly dive into each episode below via bullet points, so proceed with caution.
Episode One: Fish in a Barrel
Terry Maitland (Jason Bateman) is accused of the grisly murder of the young boy in his town.
Ralph (Mendelsohn) and his detectives find clear evidence pointing at Maitland. They all 1,000% believe no one other than Maitland could have committed this heinous crime.
Maitland’s attorney finds clear cut evidence putting him in another town on the day of the crime.
Maitland is tossed in jail until his arraignment, where he is threatened as a “child killer”.
Episode Two: Roanoke
Ralph is no longer certain Maitland is the killer.
On the morning of his trial, Maitland is shot and killed by the brother of the dead boy Terry was accused of murdering. The brother is also shot and killed.
Ralph is put on administrative leave, but that doesn’t stop him from still attempting to solve the case.
Maitland’s daughter, Jessa, claims that she is being visited by an ominous man at night.
Ralph learns that Terry got cut while on vacation, and that the Maitlands were in Dayton the same day the van he was seen in was stolen.
Episode Three: Dark Uncle
Terry’s post murder clothes are found in an old farm out in the middle of nowhere.
We’re introduced to Holly Gibney, a private investigator who will be helping dig deeper into the Maitland case.
We also meet Heath Hofstadter, who appears to be another wrongly accused child murder victim, in prison. He kills himself at the end of the episode.
As more and more is dug up on the case, the less sense it makes. Things are strangely starting to point towards a supernatural entity being behind these crimes.
Detective Jack is introduced, and he has been attacked by whatever is creating this chaos. Leaves a nasty boil mark on the back of his neck.
Episode Four: Que Viene el Coco
Holly learns of another wrongly accused child murderer, Maria Coneles.
We learn that Heath’s doppelgänger was the one who cut Terry Maitland when he was on vacation.
We get some intriguing details on el coco, who is essentially the boogeyman.
The boy who spoke with Ralph about the van in Dayton admits to lying. He then draws a picture of the twisted-faced man that he saw stealing the car.
Claude Bolton, the former convict turned gentleman’s club owner, appears to also have his hand cut by Terry Maitland on the night of the murder.
Detective Jack appears to be feeding and supplying the creature and is under its control via the boils on his neck.
Episode Five: Tear-Drinker
We finally meet twisted-face man as he breaks into Ralph’s house to warn his wife about his interest in the case.
Twisted-face man can’t speak English very well OR he loses most motor functions (and looks) while in his transformation/regeneration state.
Ralph is an excellent mansplainer (à la the nightmare explanation LOLOL).
Jack loses his cool when Tomika asks him to hold her son. He claims he doesn’t want anything to happen to him.
Holly officially buys into the boogeyman storyline and is no longer looking for a who, but for a what.
Ralph is still having hallucinations of his dead son, or the twisted-faced boogeyman monster has his hooks in him already as well.
And that’s a wrap. So far, season one of The Outsider has been excellent. I can’t wait to see what all is in store in the second half of season one! If you haven’t watched episode fives sneak peek for six through ten yet, I highly suggest doing so. Thanks again for reading my review of HBO’s The Outsider. Watch out for more reviews in the near future, and be sure to head on over to DustyPosts for more of my content.
While at work the other day I was asked to answer a boatload of questions that described my hobbies for the monthly “About This Employee” newsletter. One of the first things that came to mind was how much I love to read, even if I don’t always have as much time to as I’d like. This, of course, sent me down memory lane and had me reminiscing on all the incredible books I’ve read over the years. This list is nowhere near comprehensive, and there are so many books that truly pain me to leave off, but the top five books below are the ones that I feel stand out the most in my 20+ years of reading.
#5 – A Land Remembered by Patrick D. Smith
Rounding out the bottom of my list is A Land Remembered. This was a book I would’ve probably never read if it hadn’t been a mandatory read when I was in high school. As I made my deeper and deeper into the book, it slowly snuck its way up into my list of favorite books. It’s also a pretty neat little history lesson of sorts for me as the book takes place within the state of Florida, which is where I was born and still live to this day. One of the other things I absolutely loved about this book was its split into three substantially different perspectives. Each detailed a different generation of the MacIveys, and it was a very fun way to tell the story of a family who was trying to make a name for themselves during the 19th and 20th centuries.
#4 – The Redwall Series by Brian Jacques
For those of you who do know this series, I’m sure you will recall that there are about 30 books within or related to the series. I didn’t read all of them, but my elementary years were littered with most of these stories. Redwall, Salamandastron, Martin the Warrior, and Marlfox were just a few of Brian Jacques mesmerizing novels. Each had their similarities, but were also ridiculously unique in their own way. They all completely submerged me into a realm I had never even dreamt of. The fantasy novels all enlist some form of anthropomorphic animal that is undertaking a massive task to save the people of Redwall and its surrounding areas. It is one of few book series of its kind and it is a must-read for anyone who enjoys fantasy based novels. The books were aimed at children, specifically older children, so be weary of this is you decide to indulge yourself within Brain Jacques realm!
#3 – The Hobbit by J. R. R. Tolkien
It’s very hard for me to rank this book at #3, but unfortunately it has to be done. Lord of the Rings itself was incredible, but The Hobbit is one of those books that is basically absolute perfection. I can still remember when I picked this book up in fifth grade and didn’t set it down until I was finished with it. I was glued to that book for over a week and enjoyed every single second of it. Since then, I’ve probably only re-read this book twice. But knowing that I have a child on the way I am already anticipating reading it to them countless times once they can understand the story behind this incredible book.
#2 – The Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling
Now, I won’t waste too much of your time here since I just recently posted a complete breakdown and ranking of the Harry Potter series, but it goes without saying that these books were essentially my entire childhood. From the second I opened my first HP book until my freshman year when The Deathly Hallows was released I always dreamt of the wizarding world. J.K. Rowling’s series was atop my list of favorites for years, but just recently it was toppled by ASOIAF. These books have the most read throughs for me and I know quite a disgusting amount about these books. I actually corrected the librarians answer key when I was in fourth grade too. Super nerd alert haha. Harry Potter and his crew taught me so many things over the years, and if you haven’t read this series yet you’re doing an immense disservice to yourself!
#1 – The A Song of Ice and Fire Series by George R. R. Martin
Finally, the moment we’ve all been waiting for. And the #1 book/series of all time goes to… A Song of Ice and Fire! I know I know, this series isn’t even done yet (and it honestly might never be), but there is something about the way GRRM writes that I can’t get enough of. I’ve even bought his children’s book, The Ice Dragon, for when my child is born haha. His writing style was something I was very unfamiliar with but grew to love almost immediately. He actually inspired me to begin my own novel in a similar POV fashion as his ASOIAF books. The first five books of this series are all amazing, however, they’re not all the same caliber to me for one specific reason: I watched the show before I read the books. With that being said, the third, fourth, and fifth books are much more intriguing to read, but that in no way takes anything away from the first two!
The Lord of The Rings Series, The Great Gatsby, To Kill A Mockingbird, these are just a few others that had every right to make this list. Reading just has a way of making us lose track of time while we immerse ourselves in the fantasy worlds of these spectacular authors. I hope one day my books can influence someone the way that some of these have influenced my life. When all is said and done, these books just hit on a different level, and they will forever hold a special place in my heart.
Thanks again for reading the list of my top five books. As always, please leave some feedback and give my page a follow so you can experience all of my content. I’d love to hear from all of my wonderful readers, so be sure to rate and comment often!
Norse Mythology has always been something that’s interested me. My dad always had movies or shows on with bits and pieces of Nordic flare throughout my childhood. I think the first true taste of the Nordic culture that had me all-in was back in 2007. Pathfinder had just come out and my father and I went to watch it in theaters. Looking back at it now, it’s not that great of a movie (5.4 on IMDB and a 10% Rotten Tomato), but it truly was the first movie that drew me into that Nordic realm. From there, my passion has been fueled by Vikings, The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim, and even vaguely by the loose Nordic aesthetic within Game of Thrones. But the most influential Norse thing throughout my years was actually the PS4 exclusive God of War. This realm will almost always be a part of my life and it has inspired many ideas for my book. So grab your sword and braid your beard because Norse Mythology is here to seduce you!
The Lore & Stories
The intricate stories within Norse Mythology are one of the main things that draw me in. I love how detailed and farfetched these tales of ancient gods, creatures, and peoples are. Not to mention, most of the stories have tons of holes within them, which leaves plenty of room for my imagination to add its own spin. This actually brings us to how some of this lore inspired ideas within my first book, Brightblood. When I began writing, I started with the usual “Hero takes on evil to save his world” idea, and I was drawing a lot of inspiration from Game of Thrones. But when I really sat down and wondered how the character I had developed would look, I was clueless. After roughly an hour of pondering, I knew I was going to go Norse, and that theme quickly spread throughout my chapters.
Then I really started doing research on Norse Mythology. I stumbled across the tale of Ymir the frost giant and the general basis for my world was born. A dying good whose body turns into a planet, how could I not use that! From there I went down an even deeper rabbit hole into the lore of Ymir. His story has so many areas for me to delve into to make my own. Like how he was created or what actually led to his demise (potential spinoff, watch out!). This led to a shoot-off down the path of Norse Gods, which funneled into a slip and slide of Nordic mythological creatures, which ended in the general study of more lands, peoples, and cultures. Granted, my entire book is not solely based on this culture. Buttttt it is the essential driving force behind its birth.
The Language & Symbols
Some of the cooler, yet more challenging pieces of Norse Mythology are the language and symbols. This is where a lot of my research has been lately as I’ve started developing artwork for the story. Obviously, with such a heavy Nordic flare in the book, I wanted to accurately portray ancient runes and language everywhere. Yet, as a native English speaker, it is very challenging attempting to figure out such an old, intriguing language. Even with the help of the all mighty google machine I still struggle! However, over the last few weeks, I’ve been tackling a good amount of translations and have also come to the conclusion that this is another area that is open to tons of interpretation.
Take Odin’s Illusion Rune for example. If you do a quick google search, you cannot really find any definitive explanation for what this rune means. Many say it’s related to basic trickery and deception among the Nordic people. Many believe it could simply tie into Odin’s powerful godly magic. And some even think it’s a made-up rune that a random person who loved Norse Mythology created. That rune has just slowly been making its way across the internet for years, but I personally couldn’t care less. So even if it is a made-up rune that means absolutely nothing, I’ve taken this idea and branched it out onto its own unique path that I believe fits perfectly with my story.
The Look & Aesthetic of its People
Finally, what may be my favorite thing about the Nordic Culture, their aesthetic. There’s just something about long, unkempt, dreaded hair and bald guys with intense, waste-long beards, am I right? Tattoos covering the body of a warrior who hasn’t lost a battle in years. These are the things that really get me amped up! The fur-lining on everything is just so pleasing too. And don’t even get me started on the animal head cloaks our Nordic heroes wear so often! There is something extremely menacing about a character who puts on one of these cloaks. The ferocity one exudes once put on is just unmatchable. This whole culture’s aesthetic is just spot on at all times and it truly makes me wish I experienced that day and age.
Thanks again for reading Norse Mythology for the Win. As always, please leave some feedback and give my page a follow so you can experience all of my content. I’d love to hear from all of my wonderful readers, so be sure to rate and comment often!