The Greatest TV Show of All Time – Part II

My Top 10 Greatest TV Shows of All Time (#5 – 1)

Welcome back to Part II of My Top 10 Greatest TV Shows of All Time list. Last week, we explored a wide variety of genres that spanned across many networks. This week you will find more of the same with ranging genres, but four of my top five all fall under the HBO tree. They clearly make exceptional television, and I wouldn’t be surprised if three or four of my top five are also in your top five greatest TV show rankings. Without further ado…

#5 – WestWorld

Greatest TV Show

As another show with only a handful of seasons, Westworld may be a strange pick for some to include in their greatest TV show lists. But even with only three seasons, I think Westworld has done more with its characters and stories than some shows have done with six plus seasons. The show itself is almost indescribable, as not only does it twist your brain into a doughy, uncooked pretzel, but the setting and plot have also changed each season. Its labeled as a “Science-Fiction Western”, but by episode two of the second season you can already tell its much more than that.

Season one was one of the most confusing things I have ever watched, yet I could not peel my eyes off the screen. Season two found us in the same park as season one, yet we now learn there are other parks AND that the hosts (A.K.A. robots) are essentially becoming human. The third season is nearly halfway over, yet now we’ve found ourselves in the real world and our good friend, Dolores, is attempting to wreak havoc on those using technology for unspeakable things. You see, not just a Science-Fiction Western! This show will 1,000,000% lose you (probably multiple times per episode) and will probably make you second guess future technological advancements, but either way you have to give Westworld a shot.

#4 – The Sopranos

The Sopranos is the oldest show on my top ten list, but that in no way hampers its ability to rank highly on my list. The pilot aired wayyyy back in 1999, but even with very (and I mean very) dated language and graphics, I was captivated within minutes. The show follows Tony Soprano, a capo in the DeMeo crime family in New Jersey, throughout his life and daily routine as a mob man. We also learn almost immediately that he is dealing with some psychological issues, yet he doesn’t want anyone to know about them because he thinks it will hurt his image. This eventually falls to the back burner for Tony as his life as a mob boss gets increasingly difficult, but it was a great story piece early on.

The Sopranos ran for six seasons, but the final season was actually two very large “half” seasons due to David Chase asking for an episode extension to tell more story. In my opinion the second half of season six is what pushed this out of my top three, and possibly even my top two. I believe the latter half of season six B was entirely fumbled, and I was one of the people who loathed how HBO ended the show. Even so, The Sopranos had quite the incredible journey from 1999-2007. So, I suggest you go grab your gabagool and pour some extra gravy on your pasta before diving into this roller coaster of death, deceit, and the misery of mob life in New Jersey.

#3 – Succession

Greatest TV Show

Another HBO show that will go down amongst the greats is Succession. This show is extremely different from all the others on my list, but as someone who has work experience in the corporate finance world, the plot and characters of this show just hold an extra special spot in my soul. Succession follows the Roy family through their endeavors within the corporate media conglomerate world whilst the family itself is fighting for control of the company. Between the constant family bickering and the perfectly crafted retorts from the youngest Roy, this show will have you feeling like a disgusting filthy slimeball trapped in the trenches of corporate (and family) warfare, all while clutching your sides in pain from laughing. It is truly one of a handful of shows that I’ve ever watched that has made me feel like an awful person for enjoying while also making me feel like I couldn’t live without another episode (#2 on that list is Amazon’s The Boys). A lot of people are turned off to Succession due to the complexities of the business world, but to those people I say “hold up”. A simple google search can clear up anything that may go over your head, and once you start piecing together a few business terms, this show goes from gold to titanium in more ways than one.

#2 – Game of Thrones

If you’re a recurring guest to DustyPosts I’m sure you already know how large a Game of Thrones fan I am, so this ranking shouldn’t really surprise you. If you don’t know, Game of Thrones is an American Fantasy drama based in the world of Westeros as multiple people are vying to become the ruler of The Seven Kingdoms. Even if you aren’t much of a fantasy fan, I think this show would still have an exceptionally high chance of drawing you in. Most of the characters are extremely captivating and the acting throughout the entire show is world-class. Even though the final season was a massive disappointment in the eyes of most fans (mine included), the show as a whole is magnificent. George R. R. Martin created one of the most fantastic fantasy worlds of all time and it led to seven of the greatest seasons of television ever. This show is a must-watch in my opinion, and I believe everyone should at the very minimum give the first season a watch. Most people who say they didn’t like the show claim that it was because there were too many people, places, and names to remember. I have an easy fix for that though: go listen to a podcast or use the Google machine to help answer questions! Watching this show will 100% change your perspective on any fantasy television, and i’d even go so far to say that it could make a fan of the genre out of you by the time you’re finished watching.

#1 – Breaking Bad

Greatest TV Show

I don’t even know where to begin with Breaking Bad. Whether you’re considering the casting, the writing, the acting, the filming, or the plotting, every detail of this show was pure perfection. And the reason Breaking Bad stands atop the rest and will more than likely forever be my #1 is due to one small thing that 99% of other shows nowadays don’t have: a great ending. When you look at all the shows that have ended on my list, most of them didn’t have a great ending. With Community, Troy (Donald Glover) leaves and the show falls apart. Sopranos ended in an extremely vague fashion and is now either your most loved or most hated endings of all time (I clearly fall towards the latter end of that spectrum). Game of Thrones was rushed by D&B and left fans wishing for more. But Breaking BadBreaking Bad ended in a way that tied up every loose end and perfectly satiated our fix for Walter and Jesse. Granted, it eventually led to an incredibly mediocre movie spin off (El Camino), but that’s beside the point. This show was the epitome of perfect television for five entire seasons, and it even survived (if not thrived) the writers strike of ’07-’08. I can honestly say that I think Breaking Bad will reign over all others for a very, very long time, thus making it my greatest TV show of all time.


And that’s a wrap. Thank you for checking out my countdown of TV shows as I explored my greatest TV show of all time. As always, be sure to leave comments below and let me know what your top 10 looks like. Also, for more original DustyPosts TV and Movie content, be sure to follow this link!

The Outsider Review: HBO’s Next Big Hit

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

Ralph and Holly
  • 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.

My Weekly Review (#18) – Succession

My Weekly Review (#18) – Succession

Welcome back! This week I’ll be recommending that all of you go binge the first 17 episodes of HBO’s Succession in order to be caught up for what should be an insane penultimate episode this weekend.

General Info

Succession has rather quickly become one of my favorite shows since it aired last summer, and for a plethora of reasons. The cast is absolutely phenomenal, the writing is hilariously spectacular, and the plot is perfection. The entire show is based around a family struggling to win the CEO rights to the family business from their father. Many of you may think, oh its business related I wont like it, but I beg to differ. I know countless people who aren’t in a corporate/business, field such as myself, and thoroughly enjoy Succession. Granted, even with a solid corporate background, some of these concepts fly right over my head too. But HBO does a swell job at keeping it very understandable and broken down for all of the non-business experts out there.

The Cast

This cast is to die for as well and I applaud HBO for putting such a stacked team together for the first two seasons. The entire Roy family could not have been cast any more perfectly. Kendall, played by Jeremy Strong, has such an incredible arc and its going to be extremely interesting to see where he ends up at the end of season two. Roman, played by Kieran Culkan, is hands down the most clever on the show and he constantly has me laughing. Sarah Snook portrays Siobhan “Shiv” Roy, and I do not think I have ever seen an actress with greater facial acting skills in my life. There are too many great actors and actresses (looking at you Tom, Greg, and Rhea) in this show for you not to at least give it a chance!

Thanks again for reading my weekly recommendation. As always, please leave some feedback and give DustyPosts 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/comment often!

An Ode to Fantasy Television

An Ode to Fantasy Television

Ever since I was a young lad, I have always been a sucker for the fantasy genre. I’d like to think it all started when I began reading Harry Potter in third grade. I was so addicted to those books. I actually read Chamber of Secrets in its entirety the very first weekend I owned it. From those early years, my tastes have spread their roots across countless books, shows, video games, and movies. The first show I remember truly falling in love with was the CW’s Supernatural, which by the way is STILL one of my favorites and STILL running. But when I think about the fantasy genre, there are three shows I think crush the rest of the competition. Coming in at numbers one and two are Supernatural and Game of Thrones, but they are fairly interchangeable at this point. GoT had easily been my number one for the last five or six years, but the ending of the final season may have opened the door for Supernatural to solidify its place in first. Following them both at number three is HBO’s True Blood, which I also watched just as religiously as numbers one and two. Naturally, there are plenty of other top-notch fantasy shows that could have been mentioned, but to me these three hold the crown with ease.  

Spirits, Wendigos, and Lucifer Himself

Let’s begin with Supernatural and its fourteen seasons. It initially aired on September 13th, 2005 and is one of the CW’s most successful shows, not to mention its longest running program by quite a few seasons. Coming later this year will be season fifteen, which I’m sad to say will be its last. I am super excited to see what’s in store though because the finale of season fourteen was quite a doozy. Anyways, one of the main reasons I enjoy Supernatural to the extent I do is the vast array of monsters and villains that are used. Even way back in 2005, before all the technological advances of the television industry, they did a great job of pulling you into the scene with Sam and Dean whenever they were going up against one of the bad guys. You would think that after fourteen seasons they would have had some difficulty writing or that the storyline would have gotten somewhat redundant, but that is not the case at all. Also, the storytelling in this show is phenomenal. Every little detail about the creatures is so in depth and I just love it so much. There may be a few too many sappy brother scenes or an absolutely dreadful musical episode sprinkled into a season every now and again, but even then I am always shocked by how well each episode is put together.  

Fire and Blood

Next up is Game of Thrones, one of the most watched and talked about shows of my generation. I think this fell into many people’s top few shows before the final season aired last month, but now I am not so sure. If you have a phone or computer with access to the internet, I am certain you’ve seen all the negativity that the show was (and still is…) getting. I’ll admit, I was not a fan of how the series ended, but I also thought every minute up until the halfway point of episode six was absolute perfection (outside of the two water bottles and the starbucks cup lol). All of that nonsense is beside the point though, because GoT will go down in history as one of the most iconic television shows no matter how many people sign petitions about the final season. Nobody can argue that the quality of show HBO put out was anything but exceptional, especially in its final season. The battles in episodes three and five were masterfully shot, and honestly all the battle scenes throughout the entire show constantly had me at the edge of my seat. And then HBO drops that documentary on us… I won’t lie, I cried when Kit started crying towards the end. Game of Thrones coming to a close was actually the original spark behind my novel and that led me to the realization of what my true passion was. So if you were not yet sold on me being utterly engulfed within the fantasy genre, think again.  

Everyone’s Favorite Vampire Show

Rounding out my top three fantasy shows is another HBO classic, True Blood. This was one of their earlier masterpieces, beginning in late 2008 and ending after seven spectacular seasons in 2014. True Blood was the first fantasy show I remember that stood out on a production scale. The carnage they were able to create when the vampires and other monsters were ripping each other apart was insane. And, once again, HBO absolutely nailed the scripts that went into this show. Plus the cast was beyond stacked with incredible actors which made the dialogues seem even more natural. HBO actually made me feel like I would cross paths with a Maenad or a Skin-walker if I traveled down to Bon Temps. Unfortunately that is not the case, and if I travel down to Louisiana all I’ll discover is the greatest food of all time and even better people.  

I wanted to briefly touch on some honorable mentions of mine as well because these three shows were not the sole reasons I became such a fantasy fan over the years. MTV’s Teen Wolf is probably the closest thing to a runner up for this category, mainly because it was out when I was in high school and was so easy to relate too. Then there is The Magicians, which is one of my current favorites on the Syfy channel. They just wrapped up the fourth season not too long ago, and I hope there are many more to come. One final piece was Showtime’s Penny Dreadful, which had a very dark and twisted story line. It ended abruptly in season three which struck many people by surprise. It was one of those shows that constantly left my mind spinning in confusion and had me doing research to try and guess what would happen on the next episode. But whether a show fell into my list or just my honorable mentions, they are all enormously significant to the fantasy genre. Without these shows, I would have never been inspired to start a book or pursue my dreams. And for that, fantasy, I thank you.  

Thanks again for reading my ode to fantasy. 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/comment often!

An Ode to Fantasy Television (6/7/19)

[Originally published on 6/7/19 on my previous site, Bright-blood.com]

An Ode to Fantasy Television

Ever since I was a young lad, I have always been a sucker for the fantasy genre. I’d like to think it all started when I began reading Harry Potter in third grade. I was so addicted to those books. I actually read Chamber of Secrets in its entirety the very first weekend I owned it. From those early years, my tastes have spread their roots across countless books, shows, video games, and movies. The first show I remember truly falling in love with was the CW’s Supernatural, which by the way is STILL one of my favorites and STILL running. But when I think about the fantasy genre, there are three shows I think crush the rest of the competition. Coming in at numbers one and two are Supernatural and Game of Thrones, but they are fairly interchangeable at this point. GoT had easily been my number one for the last five or six years, but the ending of the final season may have opened the door for Supernatural to solidify its place in first. Following them both at number three is HBO’s True Blood, which I also watched just as religiously as numbers one and two. Naturally, there are plenty of other top-notch fantasy shows that could have been mentioned, but to me these three hold the crown with ease.  

Let’s begin with Supernatural and its fourteen seasons. It initially aired on September 13th, 2005 and is one of the CW’s most successful shows, not to mention its longest running program by quite a few seasons. Coming later this year will be season fifteen, which I’m sad to say will be its last. I am super excited to see what’s in store though because the finale of season fourteen was quite a doozy. Anyways, one of the main reasons I enjoy Supernatural to the extent I do is the vast array of monsters and villains that are used. Even way back in 2005, before all the technological advances of the television industry, they did a great job of pulling you into the scene with Sam and Dean whenever they were going up against one of the bad guys. You would think that after fourteen seasons they would have had some difficulty writing or that the storyline would have gotten somewhat redundant, but that is not the case at all. Also, the storytelling in this show is phenomenal. Every little detail about the creatures is so in depth and I just love it so much. There may be a few too many sappy brother scenes or an absolutely dreadful musical episode sprinkled into a season every now and again, but even then I am always shocked by how well each episode is put together.  

Next up is Game of Thrones, one of the most watched and talked about shows of my generation. I think this fell into many people’s top few shows before the final season aired last month, but now I am not so sure. If you have a phone or computer with access to the internet, I am certain you’ve seen all the negativity that the show was (and still is…) getting. I’ll admit, I was not a fan of how the series ended, but I also thought every minute up until the halfway point of episode six was absolute perfection (outside of the two water bottles and the starbucks cup lol). All of that nonsense is beside the point though, because GoT will go down in history as one of the most iconic television shows no matter how many people sign petitions about the final season. Nobody can argue that the quality of show HBO put out was anything but exceptional, especially in its final season. The battles in episodes three and five were masterfully shot, and honestly all the battle scenes throughout the entire show constantly had me at the edge of my seat. And then HBO drops that documentary on us… I won’t lie, I cried when Kit started crying towards the end. Game of Thrones coming to a close was actually the original spark behind my novel and that led me to the realization of what my true passion was. So if you were not yet sold on me being utterly engulfed within the fantasy genre, think again.  

Rounding out my top three fantasy shows is another HBO classic, True Blood. This was one of their earlier masterpieces, beginning in late 2008 and ending after seven spectacular seasons in 2014. True Blood was the first fantasy show I remember that stood out on a production scale. The carnage they were able to create when the vampires and other monsters were ripping each other apart was insane. And, once again, HBO absolutely nailed the scripts that went into this show, plus the cast was stacked with incredible actors which made the dialogues seem even more natural. HBO actually made me feel like I would cross paths with a Maenad or a Skinwalker if I traveled down to Bon Temps. Unfortunately that is not the case, and if I travel down to Louisiana all I’ll discover is the greatest food of all time and even better people.  

I wanted to briefly touch on some honorable mentions of mine as well because these three shows were not the sole reasons I became such a fantasy fan over the years. MTV’s Teen Wolf is probably the closest thing to a runner up for this category, mainly because it was out when I was in high school and was so easy to relate too. Then there is The Magicians, which is one of my current favorites on the Syfy channel. They just wrapped up the fourth season not too long ago, and I hope there are many more to come. One final piece was Showtime’s Penny Dreadful, which had a very dark and twisted storyline. It ended abruptly in season three which struck many people by surprise. It was one of those shows that constantly left my mind spinning in confusion and had me doing research to try and guess what would happen on the next episode. But whether a show fell into my list or just my honorable mentions, they are all enormously significant to the fantasy genre. Without these shows, I wouldn’t have been inspired to start a book or pursue my dreams. And for that, fantasy, I thank you.  

My Weekly Recommendation (#3) (6/4/19)

[Originally published on 6/4/19 on my previous site, Bright-blood.com]

My Weekly Recommendation (#3) – Subscribing to HBO

Hey everyone! This week I’m recommending that you all go out and subscribe to HBO. It’s $15 a month (which I know is a lot, especially if stacked on top of other streaming services) but in my opinion it’s 100% worth it. HBO continues to push out amazing content regularly, and this summer is going to be packed full of amazing shows. We have Succession and Big Little Lies coming back for their (better word for second?) seasons, which I am beyond stoked about by the way, and countless new shows like Watchmen, Gentleman Jack, and Euphoria. Not to mention, your subscription comes with plenty of already aired shows that are well worth the watch; Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, The Wire, etc. And for those of you who don’t want to add another app or streaming site to your list, Hulu has the cool feature of adding HBO directly to your account! Another must watch show they put out was Chernobyl, a five-part miniseries depicting the events that transpired when the nuclear plant in Pripyat went haywire back in the 80’s. They did a really great job with this in my opinion, and it alone would probably be worth $15 over the next month! But no matter what your summer binging plans consist of, I highly suggest you sprinkle some of the magnificence that HBO has created on top.

My Weekly Review (#3) – HBO

My Weekly Review (#3) – Subscribing to HBO

Hey everyone! This week I’m recommending that you all go out and subscribe to HBO. It’s $15 a month (which I know is a lot, especially if stacked on top of other streaming services) but in my opinion it’s 100% worth it. HBO continues to push out amazing content regularly, and this summer is going to be packed full of amazing shows. We have Succession and Big Little Lies coming back for their (better word for second?) seasons, which I am beyond stoked about by the way, and countless new shows like Watchmen, Gentleman Jack, and Euphoria.

Not to mention, your subscription comes with plenty of already aired shows that are well worth the watch; Game of Thrones, The Sopranos, The Wire, etc. And for those of you who don’t want to add another app or streaming site to your list, Hulu has the cool feature of adding HBO directly to your account! Another must watch show they put out was Chernobyl, a five-part miniseries depicting the events that transpired when the nuclear plant in Pripyat went haywire back in the 80’s. They did a really great job with this in my opinion, and it alone would probably be worth $15 over the next month!

But no matter what your summer binging plans consist of, I highly suggest you sprinkle some of the magnificence that HBO has created on top. Thanks again for reading my weekly recommendation. 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/comment often!

A Tribute to Game of thrones (5/13/19)

[Originally published on 5/13/19 on my previous site, Bright-blood.com]

A Tribute to Game of Thrones

Warning: this post will contain spoilers for HBO’s tv series Game of Thrones. Proceed at your own risk!

I’ve been a massive fan of the fiction/fantasy genre for as long as I can remember. Whether it be video games, books, movies, tv shows, I’ve just always been drawn to it. I’m not sure if it’s the countless hours spent with my dad watching these types of movies as a child or if it’s actually just in my genetics, but I can’t say enough how much I love all the different realms, lands, worlds, and universes that we can lose ourselves in every day. Of all these options though, I’d have to say that Game of Thrones is, hands down, the pinnacle of the fantasy genre. Whether it be the detailed descriptions found within GRRM’s novels or the spectacular cinematography found in HBO’s show, this story never ceases to amaze me.

I still remember the day I started Game of Thrones almost 6 years ago. All of my roommates had moved home for the summer, but I decided to stay and take the six-week physics course so I didn’t have to suffer through twelve weeks of it when Fall semester began. I had just finished binging the first few seasons of Breaking Bad and was in dire need of something to watch in between all of my studying. After doing some research, I noticed that there had been a lot of buzz around Game of Thrones. This was June 2013 after all and The Red Wedding had just aired. Thankfully I avoided the spoilers, but after seeing the drama that season caused I knew I had to get into this show. So later that night I put the first episode on, and I kid you not, I was up until almost 4 A.M… I couldn’t stop watching no matter how tired I got! Over the next week or two, I watched the hell out of Game of Thrones and was completely caught up. When my roommates moved back up in early August, I made them watch. They got hooked as well, and it was all history from there. Since then, I’ve probably watched every episode prior to season eight at least five times, have done more research on theories than I could ever keep track of, started listening to a podcast that breaks down every aspect of each episode (big shouts to Ross and Barrett on Oysters, Clams, and Cockles), and read all five of the books cover to cover. I think it’s safe to say that I’m a bit of a super fan of this series haha. It was even a huge part of the inspiration behind starting my own book, Brightblood. If you’ve read my blog post A Blog About Writing, you know that I was joking with my girlfriend about how sad I would be when GoT ends, and I told her I was going to create a fantasy world to make up for the lack I would be facing starting on May 20th. Two months later I’m four chapters deep, have a website and a blog, and loving every second of this new venture I am on. However, that also means that five of the last GoT episodes have already passed, and it is about time I paid tribute to this amazing show.

For the rest of this article, I would like to briefly touch on my top three seasons, episodes, and scenes, and then I’ll end with what I’ve liked/disliked about season 8 so far and my prediction for how the season ends. So jumping right into it, here are my favorite seasons.

  1. My third favorite season of Game of Thrones is season five. There were so many incredible moments in this season, whether we were watching John battle the wights/White Walkers at Hardhome, Cersei’s walk of shame after “atoning” for her sins, or Drogon and Dany’s first flight together after the mayhem breaks out within the Fighting Pits. A few of my favorite episodes of all time fell into this season, so there was no doubt in my mind that I had to rank it number three.
  2. In Second place, we have season eight. This may catch some flack, but I honestly do not care one bit. I went into this season with an open mind, knowing that it was the last season and that I would probably not get to see everything I wanted and that a lot of things may not have the time they truly needed to develop. With that being said, I think this season has been almost perfect and a true work of art. I think HBO has absolutely crushed it out of the park, but I’ll dive a little deeper into this later on in my post.
  3. Finally, coming in at number one, we have season three. I’m not sure if anyone could ever argue that this isn’t the greatest season of television history. Not to mention the buzz around the penultimate episode was what got me into this show in the first place. If season five had a lot of incredible moments, this season, in general, was one amazing, incredible moment. We had all of those fantastic Jon/Ygritte scenes, we had Dany persuading The Second Sons to fight for her and not the Yunkishmen, and we had the beginning of the end for the Night’s watch once Joer Mormont was slain. In all honesty, there hasn’t been a season I’ve disliked in this entire series, but these three definitely stand out in my eyes as the defining areas of Game of Thrones.

Next up are my favorite episodes.

  1. In third place falls the Mountain and the Viper. This episode was unbelieveable and extremely gut-wrenching, cough cough Oberyn’s eyes popping out of his head and the thought of losing Tyrion forever. Not to mention we also see the first attack on Castle Black, the initial spark of love between Grey Worm and Missandei (RIP), and our first glimpse into the new and improved Sansa.
  2. Next up in the number two spot is Hardhome. There were a lot of good things that happened in this episode, but in all honesty I just love it for the fight. Seeing Tormund kill the Lord of Bones and defend Jon’s honor by explaining why he killed Mance, he cemented himself as one of Jon’s trusted allies right before Hardhome was bombarded by wights. Then we get the epic fight between Jon and one of the White Walkers. The face the White Walker makes when Longclaw doesn’t break was priceless, and then Jon just absolutely manhandles him before shattering the White Walker into a million tiny pieces. Not to mention the chills from the Night King bringing everyone back to life after the battle… it was such a heartbreaking yet fantastic scene and I will never forget that moment the tides turned in favor of the dead.
  3. Finally coming in at number one is The Battle of the Bastards. This battle made every other battle we had seen so far look like child’s play. And even though we had Rickon not running zig zags and Jon falling victim to what was clearly a Ramsey trap, we got see Sansa come through with the Knights of the Vale to save the day. Her character arc over the seasons before led to this exact moment and it was so awesome to finally see her settling into her role as a badass. Plus, using Ramsey’s own hounds to kill him after he bragged about not feeding them was just a total savage move by Sansa.

Now I will dive into my favorite scenes.

  1. Rounding out the top three is the battle between The Mountain and Oberyn. This will forever be one of the most insane fights and deaths of this show. Oberyn was absolutely destroying Gregor, and then he started getting reckless. This was when I got that feeling that something terrible was about to happen, which of course it did, and Oberyn got his eyes crushed right out of his skull before exacting the revenge he was so close to getting.
  2. Sliding in right before this battle is Arya killing the Night King. I know that a lot of people did not like The Battle of Winterfell episode from season eight, but to me this scene was amazing. I actually have a lot of takes on this scene and episode three in general, but once again I’ll hold those until my review of the last season.
  3. My favorite scene of all time is The Red Wedding. This may sound crazy since this episode was such a tear-jerker, but that to me is what makes it so great. The fact that a show that killed its main character at the end of the first season could surprise its audience (or at least everyone who hadn’t read the books yet) by unexpectedly killing so many of its main characters was incredible. I can honestly say I had not even the slightest clue that this was going to happen, and once Catelyn noticed Roose clad in his chainmail my heart sunk.

Finally, I want to discuss season eight. As I mentioned earlier, I think HBO has absolutely nailed this season give or take a few things. In every show, there will be people who hate, especially when it comes down to the last few episodes. Yet it is astonishing to me how many people are completely furious with this season and picking apart every single improbable or unlikely scenario. Yes, we had the Starbucks blunder (which for $2.3B in revenue may just have been intentional), and the send off for Ghost may have been just a touch lazy (even though I don’t think we have seen the last of him or Tormund), and I would have really liked to see Cersei die differently (preferably by Arya, wearing Jaime’s face after Euron killed him and she stumbled across his body somewhere in the Red Keep), but all in all this season has been quite spectacular. The cinematography has been to die for and I am loving the extended episodes. For everyone who was upset with the lighting in episode three, adjust your screen or stop watching the greatest show of all time on trash tvs. I don’t own an expensive TV, and I had no problem seeing every single thing in this episode. For those of you complaining about Arya sneaking by all the White Walkers, SHE HAS BEEN TRAINING AS A SUPER STEALTHY, WATER DANCING, FACELESS MAN ASSASSIN FOR THE ENTIRE SHOW! It makes complete sense that she is dead silent and can sneak past some wights. In fact just 10 minutes earlier we had the scene where she did the exact same thing, and she was slightly concussed there it seemed. Arya has always been my favorite character, so I was ecstatic when she pulled that dope knife drop hand switch and ended the Night King. She also clearly was not one of the White Walkers, as they explode when they die and there would be no way for her to get a face to use. And last night’s episode… oh my god. I’ve firmly been on the “Dany will come to her senses and not end up going full Mad queen” train since the beginning of this season, but boy was I wrong. Apparently, everyone should have listened to Varys after all haha. Speaking of Varys, how sick was that scene with Drogon coming out of the shadows!?Then we have Clegane Bowl. I loved how The Hound’s story ended, and Qyburn may have had the craziest death of all time right before this battle even began. I’m also extremely grateful that Sandor convinced Arya to leave because I don’t know how I would’ve handled her death. With all of that being said however, I think GoT has been an extremely cyclical show and that we will somehow see one of the remaining characters become a night king or queen. There is no there was all of that hype over the White Walkers, and not to mention the prequel is going to be based on their origin, just for them to be 100% eliminated in the blink of an eye. Plus, they kept showing that symbol, which is definitely some sort of hint at repeating cycles or repeating history. Before this season, my prediction had always been that the last thing we would see would be bran waking up from his fall and starting everything all over again because he somehow three-eyed raven’d himself backward in time. Even though that now seems extremely improbable, I wouldn’t be surprised to have some sort of insane twist like that rip my heart out next week in the finale.One of the best lines this show has ever used came from one of the most, if not the most, evil characters; Ramsey Bolton. “If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.” I think that I will pay attention to Ramsey heading into this last episode and expect the worst since you know we truly have no idea what the showrunners are planning. No matter what happens on Sunday, I’m happy that I’ve had this show for the past six years. It will forever hold a special place in my heart, and I cannot thank GRRM enough for creating this magnificent world that we can all lose ourselves within.

Game of Thrones: A Tribute

A Tribute to Game of Thrones

Warning: this post will contain spoilers for HBO’s TV series Game of Thrones. Proceed at your own risk!

I’ve been a massive fan of the fiction/fantasy genre for as long as I can remember. Whether it be video games, books, movies, TV shows, I’ve just always been drawn to it. I’m not sure if it’s the countless hours spent with my dad watching these types of movies as a child or if it’s actually just in my genetics, but I can’t say enough how much I love all the different realms, lands, worlds, and universes that we can lose ourselves in every day. Of all these options though, I’d have to say that Game of Thrones is, hands down, the pinnacle of the fantasy genre. Whether it be the detailed descriptions found within GRRM’s novels or the spectacular cinematography found in HBO’s show, this story never ceases to amaze me.

I still remember the day I started Game of Thrones almost 6 years ago. All of my roommates had moved home for the summer, but I decided to stay and take the six-week physics course so I didn’t have to suffer through twelve weeks of it when Fall semester began. I had just finished binging the first few seasons of Breaking Bad and was in dire need of something to watch in between all of my studying. After doing some research, I noticed that there had been a lot of buzz around Game of Thrones. This was June 2013 after all and The Red Wedding had just aired. Thankfully I avoided the spoilers, but after seeing the drama that season caused I knew I had to get into this show. So later that night I put the first episode on, and I kid you not, I was up until almost 4 A.M… I couldn’t stop watching no matter how tired I got! Over the next week or two, I watched the hell out of Game of Thrones and was completely caught up. When my roommates moved back up in early August, I made them watch. They got hooked as well, and it was all history from there. Since then, I’ve probably watched every episode prior to season eight at least five times, have done more research on theories than I could ever keep track of, started listening to a podcast that breaks down every aspect of each episode (big shouts to Ross and Barrett on Oysters, Clams, and Cockles), and read all five of the books cover to cover. I think it’s safe to say that I’m a bit of a super fan of this series haha. It was even a huge part of the inspiration behind starting my own book, Brightblood. If you’ve read my blog post A Blog About Writing, you know that I was joking with my girlfriend about how sad I would be when GoT ends, and I told her I was going to create a fantasy world to make up for the lack I would be facing starting on May 20th. Two months later I’m four chapters deep, have a website and a blog, and loving every second of this new venture I am on. However, that also means that five of the last GoT episodes have already passed, and it is about time I paid tribute to this amazing show.

For the rest of this article, I would like to briefly touch on my top three seasons, episodes, and scenes, and then I’ll end with what I’ve liked/disliked about season 8 so far and my prediction for how the season ends.

So jumping right into it, here are my favorite seasons of Game of Thrones.

  1. My third favorite season of Game of Thrones is season five. There were so many incredible moments in this season, whether we were watching John battle the wights/White Walkers at Hardhome, Cersei’s walk of shame after “atoning” for her sins, or Drogon and Dany’s first flight together after the mayhem breaks out within the Fighting Pits. A few of my favorite episodes of all time fell into this season, so there was no doubt in my mind that I had to rank it number three.
  2. In Second place, we have season eight. This may catch some flack, but I honestly do not care one bit. I went into this season with an open mind, knowing that it was the last season and that I would probably not get to see everything I wanted and that a lot of things may not have the time they truly needed to develop. With that being said, I think this season has been almost perfect and a true work of art. I think HBO has absolutely crushed it out of the park, but I’ll dive a little deeper into this later on in my post.
  3. Finally, coming in at number one, we have season three. I’m not sure if anyone could ever argue that this isn’t the greatest season of television history. Not to mention the buzz around the penultimate episode was what got me into this show in the first place. If season five had a lot of incredible moments, this season, in general, was one amazing, incredible moment. We had all of those fantastic Jon/Ygritte scenes, we had Dany persuading The Second Sons to fight for her and not the Yunkishmen, and we had the beginning of the end for the Night’s watch once Joer Mormont was slain. In all honesty, there hasn’t been a season I’ve disliked in this entire series, but these three definitely stand out in my eyes as the defining areas of Game of Thrones.

Next up, my favorite episodes.

  1. In third place falls the Mountain and the Viper. This episode was unbelievable and extremely gut-wrenching, cough cough Oberyn’s eyes popping out of his head and the thought of losing Tyrion forever. Not to mention we also see the first attack on Castle Black, the initial spark of love between Grey Worm and Missandei (RIP), and our first glimpse into the new and improved Sansa.
  2. Next up in the number two spot is Hardhome. There were a lot of good things that happened in this episode, but in all honesty I just love it for the fight. Seeing Tormund kill the Lord of Bones and defend Jon’s honor by explaining why he killed Mance, he cemented himself as one of Jon’s trusted allies right before Hardhome was bombarded by wights. Then we get the epic fight between Jon and one of the White Walkers. The face the White Walker makes when Longclaw doesn’t break was priceless, and then Jon just absolutely manhandles him before shattering the White Walker into a million tiny pieces. Not to mention the chills from the Night King bringing everyone back to life after the battle… it was such a heartbreaking yet fantastic scene and I will never forget that moment the tides turned in favor of the dead.
  3. Finally coming in at number one is The Battle of the Bastards. This battle made every other battle we had seen so far look like child’s play. And even though we had Rickon not running zig zags and Jon falling victim to what was clearly a Ramsey trap, we got see Sansa come through with the Knights of the Vale to save the day. Her character arc over the seasons before led to this exact moment and it was so awesome to finally see her settling into her role as a bad ass. Plus, using Ramsey’s own hounds to kill him after he bragged about not feeding them was just a total savage move by Sansa.

Now I will dive into my favorite scenes.

  1. Rounding out the top three is the battle between The Mountain and Oberyn. This will forever be one of the most insane fights and deaths of this show. Oberyn was absolutely destroying Gregor, and then he started getting reckless. This was when I got that feeling that something terrible was about to happen, which of course it did, and Oberyn got his eyes crushed right out of his skull before exacting the revenge he was so close to getting.
  2. Sliding in right before this battle is Arya killing the Night King. I know that a lot of people did not like The Battle of Winterfell episode from season eight, but to me this scene was amazing. I actually have a lot of takes on this scene and episode three in general, but once again I’ll hold those until my review of the last season.
  3. My favorite scene of all time is The Red Wedding. This may sound crazy since this episode was such a tear-jerker, but that to me is what makes it so great. The fact that a show that killed its main character at the end of the first season could surprise its audience (or at least everyone who hadn’t read the books yet) by unexpectedly killing so many of its main characters was incredible. I can honestly say I had not even the slightest clue that this was going to happen, and once Catelyn noticed Roose clad in his chainmail my heart sunk.

Finally, I want to discuss season eight of Game of Thrones.

As I mentioned earlier, I think HBO has absolutely nailed this season give or take a few things. In every show, there will be people who hate, especially when it comes down to the last few episodes. Yet it is astonishing to me how many people are completely furious with this season and picking apart every single improbable or unlikely scenario. Yes, we had the Starbucks blunder (which for $2.3B in revenue may just have been intentional), and the send off for Ghost may have been just a touch lazy (even though I don’t think we have seen the last of him or Tormund), and I would have really liked to see Cersei die differently (preferably by Arya, wearing Jaime’s face after Euron killed him and she stumbled across his body somewhere in the Red Keep), but all in all this season has been quite spectacular. The cinematography has been to die for and I am loving the extended episodes. For everyone who was upset with the lighting in episode three, adjust your screen or stop watching the greatest show of all time on such trash TV’s. I don’t own an expensive TV, and I had no problem seeing every single thing in this episode. For those of you complaining about Arya sneaking by all the White Walkers, SHE HAS BEEN TRAINING AS A SUPER STEALTHY, WATER DANCING, FACELESS MAN ASSASSIN FOR THE ENTIRE SHOW! It makes complete sense that she is dead silent and can sneak past some wights. In fact just 10 minutes earlier we had the scene where she did the exact same thing, and she was slightly concussed there it seemed. Arya has always been my favorite character, so I was ecstatic when she pulled that dope knife drop hand switch and ended the Night King. She also clearly was not one of the White Walkers, as they explode when they die and there would be no way for her to get a face to use. And last night’s episode… oh my god. I’ve firmly been on the “Dany will come to her senses and not end up going full Mad queen” train since the beginning of this season, but boy was I wrong. Apparently, everyone should have listened to Varys after all haha. Speaking of Varys, how sick was that scene with Drogon coming out of the shadows!?Then we have Clegane Bowl. I loved how The Hound’s story ended, and Qyburn may have had the craziest death of all time right before this battle even began. I’m also extremely grateful that Sandor convinced Arya to leave because I don’t know how I would’ve handled her death. With all of that being said however, I think Game of Thrones has been an extremely cyclical show and that we will somehow see one of the remaining characters become a night king or queen. There is no way we got all of that hype over the White Walkers, not to mention the prequel could be based on their origin, just for them to be 100% eliminated in the blink of an eye. Plus, they kept showing that symbol, which is definitely some sort of hint at repeating cycles or repeating history. Before this season, my prediction had always been that the last thing we would see would be bran waking up from his fall and starting everything all over again because he somehow three-eyed raven’d himself backward in time. Even though that now seems extremely improbable, I wouldn’t be surprised to have some sort of insane twist like that rip my heart out next week in the finale.

One of the best lines this show has ever used came from one of the most, if not the most, evil characters; Ramsey Bolton. “If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.” I think that I will pay attention to Ramsey heading into this last episode and expect the worst since you know we truly have no idea what the show runners are planning. No matter what happens on Sunday, I’m happy that I’ve had this show for the past six years. It will forever hold a special place in my heart, and I cannot thank GRRM enough for creating this magnificent world that we can all lose ourselves within.

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