Little Women Trailer: Greta Gerwig’s Adaptation Will Be Major Factor At The Oscars

Little Women

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the Best Picture race for the 2020 Oscars and how there have been few, if not any, favorites to be in the hunt for the industry’s top prize. After the release of Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, it’s clear that OUATIH is the first clear contender for Best Picture. After watching the first trailer to Little Women, Tarantino will have some company in the form of Greta Gerwig.

In her second solo directorial feature, Gerwig presents her adaptation of Little Women, which is based on the 1869 novel of the same name by Louisa May Alcott. Little Women focuses on the lives of the March sisters in 1860s New England in the aftermath of the Civil War. This marks the eighth film adaptation of the novel.

In order to differentiate itself from the novel, Gerwig is going to focus more on the sisters’ young adult lives, particularly after Meg, Jo, and Amy leave their family home, according to one of the film’s producers. The film will jump back and forth between timelines to focus on themes rather than narratives. The trailer presents a more modern approach to 1860s New England that’s full of strong female protagonists.

Speaking of protagonists, this cast is full of young stars and living legends. The March sisters are Saoirse Ronan as Joe, Emma Watson as Meg, Florence Pugh as Amy, and Eliza Scanlen. As if those four women weren’t popular enough, throw in future “It” star of Hollywood, Timothée Chalamet, and this young core would make the Denver Nuggets jealous. I purchased Saoirse Ronan stock years ago thanks to Atonement and Brooklyn, but Florence Pugh is joining Saoirse in my “Drop Everything And See Their Movie” list. Did I mention that Laura Dern and MERYL FREAKING STREEP rounds out the cast?

I only needed to watch this trailer once to convince myself that Little Women will be nominated for multiple Oscars. The Academy tens to award historical period pieces based on famous works of literature AND films with actors and directors who have received/won previous Oscars. Ronan, Chalamet, Dern, and Gerwig have all received Oscar nominations previously while Streep and Chris Cooper have won for Best Actress and Best Supporting Actor respectively. The ingredients of an Oscar-nominated film are present. The question is not if they will receive nominations, but how many nominations it will receive.

Timothée Chalamet and Florence Pugh in Little Women (2019) / Wilson Webb/© 2019 CTMG, Inc.

The person whose Oscar chances intrigue me the most is Gerwig. In 2017, Greta Gerwig’s solo directorial debut, Lady Bird, was nothing short of a success. Lady Bird was nominated for five Oscars including Best Orginal Screenplay and Best Picture. More importantly, Gerwig became the fifth women in Oscar history to receive a nomination for Best Director. Gerwig set the bar extremely high. I have no doubt that she can match or even surpass those expectations, but will the Academy reward with her more nominations so quickly?

Little Women is going to be nominated for Best Picture. I’d bet that Gerwig receives an Adapted Screenplay nomination as well. Director is where it gets tricky. As previously stated, The Academy has only nominated five women for Best Director so unfortunately, history is not in Gerwig’s favor. However, if Little Women receives a Best Picture nomination as well as a screenplay and multiple acting nominations, don’t be surprised if Gerwig makes history once again.

Full Oscar Predictions for Little Women

  • Best Picture
  • Best Adapted Screenplay – Greta Gerwig
  • Best Actress – Saoirse Ronan
  • Best Supporting Actress – Meryl Streep OR Florence Pugh
  • Best Costume Design

See you this Christmas when Little Women arrives in theaters.

Are you excited to see Little Women? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us @unafraidshow.

Stranger Things Season 3 Finale: Breaking Down Hopper’s Future

Hopper Stranger Things

In Jim Hopper’s letter to Eleven in the Season 3 finale of Netflix’s Stranger Things, Hopper wrote, “I know you’re getting older, growing, changing.” Just like Eleven, all of the kids are all getting older and growing (most noticeably, Mike). Just like the kids, Stranger Things is changing.

*Warning: This article will include major spoilers. You’ve been warned.*

https://youtu.be/uBtGQJ7KKRE

As I’ve said in previous reviews, Stranger Things is an extremely fun and enjoyable show that successfully balancers nostalgia with science-fiction and horror. The Season 3 finale was a great ending to a delightful third season. The final scene depicts the Byers’ family packing up and moving out of Hawkins (FINALLY!) to start a new life. Joining them is Eleven, who lost her father, Hopper, when Joyce shut down the gate room, which disintegrated everyone in the room including Hopper.

Let’s just skip to the elephant in the room for Season 4. (Season 4 has not been officially confirmed, but it’s a stone-cold lock to happen.)

Is Hopper alive?

That’s the million-dollar question. There are a few ways to tackle this. You either believe a) Hopper is alive, b) He’s is dead, but will be brought back to life or c) Hopper is dead.

How is Hopper still alive? There are a few clues that support the idea that our beloved Police Chief of Hawkins is still breathing. Look at his adopted daughter, Eleven, as someone who we thought was dead by was instead trapped in the Upside Down. When Dr. Owens enters the gate room, the gate to the Upside Down is still open. Just like Eleven, there’s a chance Hopper made his way into the Upside Down and is trapped there, which is the most likely option of the “Hopper is alive” theories.

Stranger Things / Netflix

Then, there’s Hopper’s letter. The letter was beautifully written and so heartfelt that it brought a tear to my eye. I urge you to reread it again and when you do, you’ll see that a few sentences are clues to his whereabouts.

  • “I’ve been stuck in one place. In a cave, you might say.” – The Upside Down?
  • “But, please, if you don’t mind, for the sake of your poor old dad, keep the door open three inches.” – See the photo above.

Does this mean Eleven has to rescue Hopper in the Upside Down? Maybe. Plus, we never see Hopper’s body when he “dies.” He doesn’t vaporize onscreen. It goes back to the old saying, “Never found the body” TV trope. If the viewer doesn’t see the death, it tends to mean that the person might still be alive.

Then, there’s the post-credits scene in Russia. Two soldiers are walking through cells when they come across a first door. One says, “No, not the American.” And they go to a second door and take a Russian prisoner down to feed to the Demogorgon. Is this American, Hopper? It might be, but I believe it’s Dr. Brenner, who we learned is still alive in Season 2.

Now, there’s Option B. Hopper is dead, but he’s going to be brought back to life. Huh? Does Eleven now have the ability to raise the dead? Last time I checked, she doesn’t have that power. However, there’s an ’80s pop culture reference that was seen in the third season of Stranger Things that could be the key to Hopper’s resurrection. That reference is Back to the Future.

Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd in Back to the Future / Universal Studios

Great Scott! We can go back in time to save Hopper! I don’t believe the kids of Hawkins have a DeLorean, but that doesn’t mean time travel can’t play a part in the show. Notice how the final two scenes are edited. When Eleven reads the letter during the montage, the kids are seen saying goodbye to each other and drive out of Hawkins. However, when she finishes the letter, Eleven brings out her stuff to the truck and the kids say goodbye to each other. Perhaps this editing is a clue about time travel and Season 4 will explain that time travel is possible and necessary in order to save Hopper.

Finally, the last possibility is that Hopper is dead and not returning. Fans would most certainly be upset if Hopper was dead, but his death would be of the utmost significance and shape the remaining 1-2 seasons of the show. Once again, look at Hopper’s letter to Eleven when he says, “I don’t want things to change. So I think maybe that’s why I came in here, to try and make stop that change. To turn back the clock. To make things go back to how they were. But I know that’s naive. It’s just not how life works.” The themes of change and growing up were hammered down in Season 3. Things changes whether we like it or not. Hopper could be dead and whether we like it or not, there may be nothing we can do about it. That’s life.

Even if Hopper is dead, I don’t see David Harbour leaving the show entirely. Harbour is too important and valuable to remove from the show completely. Maybe Hopper will be used in flashbacks all next season or perhaps he’s some ghost dad from heaven. Dead or alive, Hopper’s future remains unknown but his impact on the show will never be forgotten.

Stranger Things Season 3: Winners And Losers

Joyce and hopper stranger things

Stranger Things makes me happy. That’s the best way to describe this series. Season 3 of Stranger Things was a fun, enjoyable show that successfully combines childhood nostalgia with science-fiction and horror. I was not a child of the 1980s, but I can relate to that feeling of playing with your friends and going on adventures in the summer. (Of course, I never had the threat of being attacked by Demogorgons present.) Nothing excites me more than sitting down on my couch, firing up Netflix, and seeing what the gang is up to in Hawkins, Indiana.

*There will be spoilers in this article. You’ve been warned.*

Stranger Things
Stranger Things / Netflix

Season 1 was magnificent. Season 2 was good, but a step back from Season 1’s brilliance. This time, Season 3 was stellar.

Season 3 is set in the summer of 1985. We return to Hawkins to see that the kids have grown, their hormones are rising, and the Mind Flayer is back. Love is in the air at the start of the season as Mike and Eleven are inseparable and can’t keep their faces off each other. Lucas and Max are still an item, though, at times, their constant bickering might make it seem like they’re enemies. Nancy and Jonathan aka the Woodward and Bernstein of Hawkins are still going strong.

Joyce and Hopper (Jopper?) also share a few intimate moments as well as continue down their detective path as they try to solve another supernatural mystery. Magnets, anyone? Will aka Peter Pan is back and all he wants to do is never grow up. The bromance between Dustin and Steve shines once again and they even add new girl Robin into the mix along with Lucas’s sister, Erica. Last, but certainly not least, Billy continues to wreak havoc on the kids except this time, he’s possessed by a former foe. Oh yeah, there’s also the presence of our Cold War enemy, Russia. The 80s, baby!

As a whole, the season had a lot of highs, but there were some small complaints I had. Here are my winners and losers from Season 3 of Stranger Things.

Winner: Robin

Maya Hawke in Stranger Things / Netflix

In my notes for this review, I had “Robin” in all caps. That’s how good of an addition Robin was to the cast. She is the greatest addition to the show since its inception. Her wittiness and quirky attitude matched perfectly with Steve’s charming and dimwitted personality. I could have watched a spinoff of Robin and Steve in the ice cream shop for eight episodes. Which leads me into my next winner…

Winners: Dustin And Steve Adding Robin Into Their Bromance

Maya Hawke, Joe Keery, and Gaten Matarazzo in Stranger Things / Netflix

One of the highlights of Season 2 was the bromance that developed between Steve and Dustin. Steve gave Dustin tips with the ladies and Dustin shared his knowledge about science-fiction and Demogorgons with Steve. Adding Robin to the mix was a seamless transition. The three of them teaming up to crack the Russian code and save Hawkins from a potential nuclear and alien invasion was my favorite storyline of the season. I’m not forgetting about Erica, who’s genius and sassiness turned the successful trio into a quartet.

Loser: A Separated Gang

My major issue with Stranger Things over the last two seasons has been the lack of interaction between the original group of Mike, Lucas, Dustin, and Eleven. The chemistry between this group is one of the main reasons why Season 1 was so successful. Though Dustin and Steve’s friendship has blossomed, part of me wishes that Dustin had a chance to recapture his magic with Mike, Lucas, and Eleven. Stranger Things can be formulaic in a good way, but separating the kids and teenagers from each other until the very end leaves me wanting more huge team-ups instead of separated groups.

Winners: Dustin And Suzie’s Song

https://youtu.be/f-6f9G3cg5M

I was initially torn on this scene. Like Hopper, I was entirely confused when I first watched Dustin and his girlfriend, Suzie, belt out the song to The Neverending Story. However, after I rewatched the scene for a second time, I couldn’t stop humming along and eventually, singing the lyrics. The finale was so intense and emotional that a silly and playful musical number to remind us that this show is about children was a good break in the action.

Losers: The Beginning Of The Season

I’m fully aware that this could be a “me problem,” but the first couple of episodes in Season 3 of Stranger Things dragged out a little too much. I was excited to see our favorite characters back, but it felt plotless. The Mind Flayer abducted Billy and Joyce had a magnet problem, but the mission of each group was still up in the air. It wasn’t until the fourth episode, “The Sauna Test,” where the action picked up and the “what do we have to do to save Hawkins” question started to have an answer.

Winner: Hopper

That fit >>>>. Eleven may be the MVP of the show, but Hopper is the most interesting character. Hopper is a broken and flawed man with a big heart but struggles to express his emotions. Sharing his true thoughts with those he loves (Joyce and Eleven) is a struggle, but that’s because he cares about them so much. Did the arguing with Joyce drag out? Yes. Did he spend way too much time fighting Russian terminators? Probably. However, did Hopper continue to captivate my attention in a way that no other character can do? Absolutely. It’s why his death is so special and heartbreaking. I’m going to have more on the finale in the coming days, but for now, let’s assume Hopper is dead for now. That’s a huge loss for the show. Hopper is the only father figure in the entire series and removing him means there’s a serious void in men who like to pound cigarettes and alcohol. All joking aside, Hopper will be severely missed if this was his final farewell. Nominate David Harbour for every award.

Winner: Hopper’s Letter To Eleven And Final Montage

I will be the first to admit that I was a mess after watching Eleven read her letter from Hopper. Joyce put Hopper on the right track, but he absolutely crushed my soul with the second half. Here’s the letter in its entirety.

There’s something I’ve been wanting to talk to you both about. I know this is a difficult conversation, but I care about you both very much. And I know that you care about each other very much, and that’s why it’s important that we set these boundaries moving forward so we can build an environment where we all feel comfortable, trusted, and open to sharing our feelings.

Feelings. Feelings. Jesus. The truth is, for so long I’d forgotten what those even were. I’ve been stuck in one place. In a cave, you might say. A deep, dark cave. And then I left some Eggos out in the woods and you came into my life. For the first time in a long time, I started to feel things again. I started to feel happy. But lately, I guess I’ve been feeling distant from you. Like you’re pulling away from me or something. I miss playing board games every night, making triple-decker Eggo extravaganzas at sunrise, watching Westerns together before we doze off.

Netflix

But I know you’re getting older, growing, changing. I guess, if I’m being really honest, that’s what scares me. I don’t want things to change. So I think maybe that’s why I came in here, to try and make stop that change. To turn back the clock. To make things go back to how they were. But I know that’s naive. It’s just not how life works. It’s moving, always moving, whether you like it or not. And yeah, sometimes it’s painful. Sometimes it’s sad. And sometimes, it’s surprising. Happy.

So you know what? Keep on growing up kid. Don’t let me stop you. Make mistakes, learn from ’em. When life hurts you, because it will, remember the hurt. The hurt is good. It means you’re out of that cave. But, please, if you don’t mind, for the sake of your poor old dad, keep the door open three inches.

Rereading that last paragraph has me in a puddle of tears. “When life hurts you, because it will, remember the hurt. The hurt is good. it means you’re out of that cave.” That’s a beautiful line that perfectly represents the father/daughter relationship between Hopper and El. Both have been hurt numerous times and yet both continue to find love with each other. It’s a beautiful message.

Throw in the cover of “Heroes” by Peter Gabriel and the finale leaves on an emotional note. It’s not a coincidence that my two favorite endings to the show include that song. The ending of Season 1, Episode 3, where Mike and the crew find “a dead Will” and the Season 3 finale are both elevated thanks to the moving voice of Peter Gabriel.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed Season 3 of Stranger Things. It was terrifying, devastating, emotional, and funny. I can’t ask for much more from a television show. Here’s to hoping that Season 4 follows the same release date pattern of the previous seasons and drops sometime in October 2020.

Check back later this week for more Season 3 of Stranger Things content. Click here for previous articles on Stranger Things.

Stranger Things: Five Questions Ahead Of Season 3

Stranger Things Netflix

One summer can change everything. From the tagline of the third season of Stranger Things, the kids of Hawkins are in for a life-changing summer. Season three of Netflix‘s hit show, Stranger Things, is set to premiere on July 4.

It’s been almost two years since we left our heroes of Hawkins, Indiana. In the Season two finale, Eleven closed the gate, destroying the portal from the Upside Down to the human world. However, the trailers revealed that the Mind Flayer is still in Hawkins. Before Season 3, here are five questions I have ahead of the premiere.

https://youtu.be/XcnHOQ-cHa0

What is the significance of the Starcourt Mall and Fun Fair?

Let’s go to the fair and the mall! In Season one, it was the school. In Season two, it was the lab. For Season three, the two major locations appear to be the Fun Fair and the Starcourt Mall. The fair is run by Mayor Kline, played by Cary Elwes. Not much is known about Mayor Kline, but if I were to guess, he’s informed about the supernatural activity happening in Hawkins and chose to sweep it under the rug.

The Starcourt Mall appears to be the site of the major battle that will occur between the kids and the Mind Flayer. In the trailer, the creature is terrorizing Lucas and Max in the middle of the mall. Plus, the mall is home to Scoops Ahoy, where Steve and new girl Robin work. Expect the mall to be a major set piece this season.

What will be the new romance of the show?

The kids are getting older, which means the hormones will be running wild. Romance will play a huge factor this season. Going into the season, the couples are Mike and Eleven, Lucas and Max, and Nancy and Jonathan. I can’t forget about the best relationship in the show, Steve and Dustin. They take bromance to the next level. What will be the new romance of the show? Joyce and Hopper have teased their feelings before, but have yet to act on it. With Bob out of the picture, look for Hopper to finally make a move. Also, watch out for Steve and Robin. The ice cream shop is the perfect backdrop for a summer romance.

Netflix

How did the Mind Flayer return to Hawkins?

As previously stated, in Season two of Stranger Things, Eleven closed the gate to the Upside Down. However, in the final scene of Season two, the Mind Flayer remained over the school. In the final trailer, Will suggested that when Eleven closed the gate, the Mind Flayer could have been locked out of the Upside Down and remained in the human world. If that’s the case, the Mind Flayer will be looking for a new host. From the clips, I may have an idea as to who it may be…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEG3bmU_WaI

Reviews have been pouring in and so far, they’ve been very positive.

Check back in next week for a recap of the season. See you in Hawkins.

To Durant Or Not To Durant: What’s Next For The New York Knicks?

Kevin Durant Knicks

The New York Knicks looked poised for a big offseason. One Kevin Durant injury and Anthony Davis trade to the Lakers leaves the Knicks with more questions than answers. How will the Knicks handle free agency?

There’s a common phrase to describe the current status of the New York Knicks. “Things get worse before they get better.” All signs were pointing up for the Knicks as recent as two months ago. New York positioned themselves for a draft position no less than five in the lottery. Kevin Durant was the best player in the world and rumored to be leaving Golden State for New York in the offseason. Plus, the Knicks would have enough money to sign two players like Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving to max contracts this summer.

However, plans change in the blink of an eye. First, the Knicks lost the chance of drafting Zion when they were awarded the third pick. Then, Kevin Durant ruptured his Achilles and is expected to miss the entire 2019-2020 season. Plus, their crosstown rival, the Brooklyn Nets, are the favorite to land Kyrie Irving. Once again, things get worse before they get better.

Despite a horrific 17-65 campaign, which is tied for the worst franchise record in team history, fans remained optimistic because of the high draft pick and cap space. Now, optimism is dwindling because of the injury to Durant. Steve Mills and Scott Perry now have a tough decision to make. What is the plan going forward? Does the Durant injury change how the Knicks approach free agency?

To put it frankly, no. Durant’s injury should not change anything.

The Knicks have a rare opportunity to get better via free agency instead of through a trade. Carmelo Anthony was a top seven basketball player in the NBA when the Knicks made the trade for the star in 2011. However, the Knicks were forced to give up four players and a first-round pick. As good as Melo was, and he was a good player, he is not Durant. Before the injury, KD was arguably the best player in the NBA. Durant averaged 32 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists this postseason.

The Achilles injury is tough to recover from for a player on the wrong side of 30. (Durant will be 31 in September.) However, it’s not impossible to return to all-star form. Dominique Wilkins ruptured his Achilles at age 32 in the 1991-1992 NBA season. Defying the odds, Wilkins averaged 29.9 points, 6.8 rebounds, and 3.2 assists. He went on to make two more All-Star teams and two more All-NBA Teams. It’s possible that Durant may never be the best player in the game again, but it’s not out of the question that he will return to all-star form and be one of the 10 best players in the game.

Here’s the question that Mills and Perry need to ask themselves. If they pass on Durant or he returns to Golden State, then what? Is there a better option than signing Durant despite the fact that he will miss next season? There are definitely options, but the likelihood of them happening are slim. The Knicks are going to progressively pursue Kawhi Leonard, but most reports have him either resigning with the Raptors or signing with the Clippers. Klay Thompson has given no indication that he’s leaving Golden State. Kemba Walker is a free agent and said he would consider taking less money, but that would be to return to Charlotte. Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris will have plenty of suitors, but all signs point to them resigning with Philly or ending up elsewhere. Could the Knicks snag D’Angelo Russell from the Nets if Brooklyn signs Kyrie Irving?

If all else fails, the Knicks could simply draft RJ Barrett and continue to acquire more talent and hope David Fizdale can help their young core take the next step. However, the Knicks young core hasn’t looked promising as a unit. The best player out of this group is Mitchell Robinson, who was NBA All-Rookie Second Team. Allozo Trier made nice strides this past season along with Kevin Knox (at times). However, Frank Ntilikina is a lost cause Emmanuel Mudiay is most likely leaving. This core, although young, doesn’t inspire a promising future.

Hypothetically speaking, let’s say the Knicks sign two players to max contracts. Pair any of the free agents not named Durant, Leonard, or Irving together. Does a Klay Thompson/Tobias Harris combination take the Knicks to the next level? Can a D’Angelo Russell/Jimmy Butler push the Knicks to the top of the Eastern Conference? The more you pair players up, the worse it sounds. The risk of signing Kevin Durant becomes not only more promising but flat-out better for the future of the franchise.

The Knicks can still have a successful offseason that brings the team in the right direction. Mills and Perry have their work cut out for them. The Knicks are a puzzle, but the puzzle can be solved.

The Kawhi Leonard Effect: Will More Teams Go All In For One Year?

Whether he stays or leaves Toronto, the Kawhi Leonard trade has been a massive success. Will more teams take an aggressive approach for player rentals this offseason?

Following a third straight playoff exit to LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers, Masai Ujiri knew something had to change for the Toronto Raptors. Ujiri realized that the Raptors had maxed out their potential with their current core. Even with LeBron taking his talents to the Lakers, Ujiri still believed that DeMar DeRozan, Kyle Lowry, and coach Dwane Casey could never get over the hump as a unit. Something drastic had to change.

Enter Kawhi Leonard. Yes, the same Kawhi Leonard who won the NBA Finals MVP in 2014. It’s also the same Kawhi Leonard who played nine games in 2017-2018 after a long battle with the San Antonio Spurs and their medical staff over a lingering quadriceps injury.

Masai Ujiri threw all of his chips into the middle like Teddy KGB and bet it all on Kawhi Leonard. To reiterate, Leonard’s mysterious injury was still up-in-the-air. Plus, Leonard never said he would resign with Toronto. However, Ujiri took the risk because it bought him one year to put a potential rebuild on pause and go for it all.

The Raptors traded franchise legend DeRozan, center Jakob Poeltl and a protected first-round pick in 2019 for Kawhi Leonard and an aging Danny Green. A few weeks prior, Ujiri fired reigning Coach of the Year, Dwane Casey, and promoted his assistant, Nick Nurse. It was safe to say Ujiri was not a fan favorite for not only trading away DeRozan, but for making a bold move for a superstar that by every indication would sign with a team in Los Angeles in the summer of 2019. Ujiri not only traded a fan favorite in DeRozan, but he traded Kyle Lowry’s best friend. In fact, Lowry felt betrayed and didn’t speak to Ujiri until midseason. Speaking of midseason, Ujiri gambled again by trading Jonas Valanciunas, Delon Wright, CJ Miles and a 2024 second-round draft pick to the Grizzlies for Marc Gasol this past February.

Fast forward to now and the Raptors are one game away from winning an NBA Championship against one of the best teams ever assembled, the Warriors. Just a season ago, Leonard’s medical battle with San Antonio overshadowed just how good Leonard is and could be. Leonard has carried the Raptors and the entire city of Toronto on his back this postseason. During this historic postseason run, Leonard is averaging 31.1 ppg and 9.1 rpg. Leonard has scored a remarkable 30 points or more in 14 of 22 playoff games this postseason.

What’s even more remarkable is that win or lose, Leonard could be a one-and-done in Toronto. Ujiri knew the risks of trading for a rental in Leonard who has given zero indication on where he will end up in the offseason. However, in this instance, a high risk led to a high reward as the Raptors made the NBA Finals and could win their first championship in franchise history.

Players change their minds all the time. The Thunder traded for Paul George knowing that in a year, he may leave for the Lakers. However, the gamble paid off as George resigned with the Thunder. The same may happen with Leonard and the Raptors. Leonard and his success could be an exception, but there’s no doubt that the Raptors have inspired front offices especially in smaller markets to consider gambling on rental or one-and-done players. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Kawhi Leonard’s success in Toronto seemed to embolden factions of Anthony Davis’ nonpreferred and smaller-market destinations to probe New Orleans on trades.

Take Daryl Morey’s “5 Percent Theory,” which states if you have at least a 5 percent chance to win the title, you should be focused on doing whatever it takes to win a title. If Kevin Durant leaves Golden State for New York and Kawhi Leonard for Los Angeles, the balance of power will once again shift. If you’re the Knicks and Durant signs with you, why wouldn’t you mortgage your future to acquire Davis, who will be a free agent next offseason? A duo of Durant and Davis (even if it’s for one year) skyrockets the Knicks into the upper echelon of the Eastern Conference.

Take another team like the Portland Trail Blazers. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum proved why they’re one of the best backcourts in the league as they brought the Blazers to the Western Conference Finals. Even with a healthy Jusuf Nurkic, can the Blazers reach the NBA Finals with their current roster? What’s to say the Blazers package McCollum, Nurkic, and draft picks for Anthony Davis. Would you make that move if you’re Portland and get no promise from Davis that he’ll sign long term? That deal may not be on the table, but being aggressive to capitalize on Lillard’s prime is the right idea.

The worst place to be in the NBA is mediocrity. Either compete for a title or rebuild. Fighting for the last playoff spot every year and then losing in the first round will get you nowhere. The Kawhi gamble may end up sticking this offseason if more teams take a similar, aggressive approach to upgrading a roster. That may not happen, but for the Raptors, the gamble worked.

Fleabag Season 2: Why Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Dark Comedy Soars

Is it ok to have sex with a priest? In real life, the answer is not up for debate. It’s a no that is usually followed with a stint in prison. In other shows or movies, having sex with a priest is offensive, blasphemous, and highly inappropriate. However, in the masterful second season of Fleabag, Phoebe Waller-Bridge character’s desire to have sex with a hot priest (Andrew Scott) is morally wrong, and yet I found myself rooting for it to happen the entire time.

Immoral decisions, self-deprecation, and loneliness are at the heart of the dark comedy, Fleabag*. Phoebe Waller-Bridge stars as the titular character, Fleabag, a humorous, yet troubled young feminist trying to cope with her complicated life in London. In the first season, Fleabag constantly fights with her emotions and struggles to find peace over the recent deaths of her mother and best friend, Boo (Jenny Rainsford), with the latter serving as a co-owner of their guinea-pig themed cafe. While fighting her own issues and female angst, Fleabag has to juggle relationships with her successful, but miserable sister, Claire (Sian Clifford), her passive and distant father (Bill Paterson), her pretentious and villainous godmother (Olivia Colman), and a revolving door of sexual partners.

I did not discover Fleabag until a few weeks ago. Therefore, my review of the show comes after the second season has aired.

Fleabag’s inability to sustain successful and healthy relationships leads her to communicate her thoughts with the audience. Fleabag constantly breaks the fourth wall to hilariously describe her feelings and emotions. Her breaks range from well-thought-out monologues to simple, effective eyebrow raises. The fourth wall starts off as a way to convey Fleabag’s actions at the moment, we quickly learn that the audience is her closest friend and the fourth wall is a coping mechanism for her unhappiness and isolation.

Fleabag Season 2 Trailer

The second seasons picks off “371 days, 19 hours and 26 minutes late” after the first season ends. Fleabag’s bickering with her chaotic family (in a spectacular jumpsuit if I might add) at the engagement dinner of her father and godmother. This time, Claire’s sleazy husband Martin (Brett Gelman) and the aftermentioned handsome priest join in on the family’s dysfunction to cause an unforgettable and hysterical dinner scene.

Waller-Bridge, who also created the hit drama Killing Eve, states that the second season is a “love story,” but it’s not a typical one. It’s a beautiful, fucked up love story that accurately shows how trauma and grief can sadly lead to loneliness. Losing her mother and friend causes Fleabag to be emotionally distant from the rest of her family. To cope, Fleabag uses humor, sex, cursing, and theft, but it’s still not enough to make her grief and pain go away. This repressed trauma leads to the self-sabotage of Fleabag’s own life.

It’s also why Fleabag’s attraction and desire to have sex with a priest makes a lot of sense. The priest is similar to Fleabag in that he curses a lot, enjoys a good drink, and uses humor any chance he gets. There’s real chemistry between the two. However, Fleabag has lived a life full of heartbreak, meaningless sexual encounters, and trauma. Fleabag views the priest as someone who cannot break her heart since he’s dedicated to God, which is why her sexual desire for him is so strong. As Fleabag later confesses, she’s looking for someone to tell her how to live her life because her choices haven’t led to happiness and fulfillment.

For a show that’s so hysterical and vulgar, Fleabag is also emotionally gripping and extremely powerful in its portrayal of love, grief, and despair. Fleabag successfully balances hope and tragedy to showcase a troublesome, caring, and thoughtful woman in an amusing way. Waller-Bridge recently stated that the second season would be the show’s last. However, it’s time to steal a page out of Fleabag’s playbook and start praying so it can return for a third season.

Fleabag consists of two seasons containing six episodes each. Both seasons can be streamed on Amazon Prime Video.

NBA Finals 2019: Warriors Vs. Raptors Preview And Prediction

After the dust has settled, two teams remain in the Warriors and Raptors. The Warriors were expected to be here while the Raptors were not necessarily the top choice out of the East. The Warriors are going for four titles in five years, but the narrative is not around their play on the court, but rather, the player that they’re missing in Kevin Durant. The Raptors one year gamble on Kawhi Leonard paid off as they reached their first NBA Finals ever. Can the Warriors win a championship without Durant? Can Kawhi slay the defending champs? Here are my preview and prediction for the NBA Finals 2019: Warriors vs. Raptors.

Biggest Storyline

Where Will Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard end up in the offseason?: Not to take anything away from this series, but the biggest storyline is the impending free agency decisions for Kevin Durant and Kawhi Leonard. I compare it to going to the beach and seeing a dark cloud on the horizon. You should enjoy the beach, but all you can think about is the storm that’s on its way. Both Durant and Leonard have been rumored to be leaving Golden State and Toronto respectively for almost a year. If Durant doesn’t play at all, does that signify he’s leaving the Warriors? If Kawhi wins the title, does that make him more inclined to stay? Both questions will be asked after every game this series no matter what happens.

X-Factors

Kevin Durant’s Calf: It’s not every day that the best player in the game is an x-factor, but that’s exactly the case here. Kevin Durant has been sidelined the past five games with a strained right calf and will miss Game 1. Most teams would falter without their best player. The Warriors aren’t like most teams as they have gone 5-0 since Durant exited the lineup. That being said, the Warriors are a better team when Kevin Durant is on the floor. I don’t care how many games or titles the Warriors won without Durant. KD was averaging 34 points per game before his injury. Without KD, more pressure is on Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green to deliver. From a psychological standpoint, Toronto has to feel like they have a better chance of winning the series without Durant in the lineup. Can you blame them? Also, don’t forget about the health of Demarcus Cousins and Andre Iguodala. Both should play in this series at some point, but I doubt they will be 100%.

Drake: When a fan becomes a storyline in championship series>>>

Pascal Siakam: The real X-factor for the Raptors is Pascal Siakam. The future Most Improved Player of the Year took a monumental leap this past season. Siakam improved in almost every statistical category with the most notable advancement coming in the form of his points per game average, which increased from 7.3 to 16.9. With all of the focus going towards Kawhi, Siakam needs to be a viable scoring threat as the Raptors’ second option. More importantly, Siakam will have to contain the pick and roll between Steph Curry and Draymond Green. If Siakam can hold his own on switches against Steph, the Raptors will keep games close.

Matchups To Watch

Pick and Roll Offense versus Switching Defense

The Curry-Draymond pick and roll combo can be a nightmare for opposing defenses. If you hedge out too quickly, Steph can hit Draymond on a roll to the basket. If you sag off, Steph will have a field day from 3. Just ask the Blazers how sagging off worked. On the flip side, Kawhi Leonard has been very good in the playoffs when he runs pick and roll and has a 47.9% scoring frequency in those situations. How will both the Warriors and Raptors defend pick and rolls? I’m expecting both teams to switch on most, if not all, pick and rolls because of their versatility. Leonard, Siakam, Danny Green, and Serge Ibaka for Toronto and Thompson, Green, Durant (if he plays), and Andre Iguodala for Golden State can switch all matchups and guard all of the positions (to an extent). Whichever team is more successful with pick and roll defense will have the edge in the series.

Steph Curry vs. Kyle Lowry: Before the playoffs started, if you saw this matchup on paper, it’s a huge mismatch in favor of Curry. The “Lowry disappears in the playoffs” narrative has somewhat disappeared this postseason thanks to an improvement in Lowry’s defense and clutch shooting. That being said, Curry has been on an unreal tear since Durant’s injury. In the past five games (all Warriors wins), Curry has averaged 35.8 ppg, 7.6 rpg, and 6.6 apg. Lowry cannot stop Steph, but he needs to contain him. In crunch time, do no be surprised if Kawhi is guarding Steph especially if Durant isn’t playing. If Steph dominates this matchup, the Warriors will win in 4 games.

Kawhi Leonard vs. *Insert Golden State Player*: As important as Steph Curry’s defender will be, the Warrior to guard Kawhi Leonard is just as crucial. Leonard has been unstoppable these entire playoffs with averages of 31.2 ppg, 8.8 rpg, 3.8 apg, and 1.6 spg. Good luck stopping Leonard. Luckily for Golden State, they have a few capable defenders that can guard multiple positions. Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Kevin Durant, and Andre Igudola will all be on Leonard at some point. The plan is simple: Force Leonard to pass the ball. Expect a lot of traps to force the ball out of Leonard’s hand. As I said earlier, good luck stopping Leonard because so far, no team has slowed Kawhi down.

Gambling

The Plays: Odds via Oddshark

Steph is obviously the play to win Finals MVP since he has not won this award in any of the Warriors’ previous finals appearances during this run. However, if you’re getting Kawhi at +225, I would sprinkle some money there. The Warriors outside of Steph to watch is Klay Thompson. +800 for Klay is a steal.

For a series bet, I’m not sure how you could bet against Golden State. I firmly in the camp that the Warriors win the series, but if I’m looking for a game that the Raptors can win, it’s either Game 1 or Game 2. Since the Warriors are 18-1 SU in Game 1s of playoff series since 2015, the game to bet on the Raptors is Game 2. Plus, the current line for Game 1 is Warriors +1.5. I’m not betting against the Warriors as underdogs.

Warriors vs. Raptors Prediction

Warriors in 5: On paper, the Raptors match up well with the Warriors even with Durant on the floor. Toronto has the better bench and Leonard has been the best player in the playoffs. However, when it’s winning time in the fourth quarter, are you going to trust the team who has won three out of four titles or the team making their first finals appearance in franchise history? Look for Kawhi to go off this series, but in turn, the Warriors to neutralize the Raptors’ supporting cast. The Warriors win in five games and Steph Curry destroys the false narrative that he’s not good in the NBA Finals by winning MVP.

What are your predictions? Comment with your thoughts below or join in the conversation on Twitter@UnAfraidShow.

Game Of Thrones Series Finale: What I Loved And What I Hated

Game of Thrones series finale

After watching the Game of Thrones series finale, I felt it was only fair to let it breathe for a few days before I made my final judgment. It’s been five days and after thinking it through, I’m mostly satisfied with the ending. I have no problem with how the show ended. However, I have a lot of problems with how the show got to its ending. Here is what I loved and what I hated from the series finale of Game of Thrones.

Loved: Tyrion, Jon, and Davos Walking The Desolate Streets Of King’s Landing

This was a very powerful opening scene. Tyrion, Jon, and Davos walking the streets of a desolate King’s Landing emphasized the destruction caused by Daenerys and Drogon. Everything in King’s Landing was destroyed. The streets were lined with dead men, women, and children. The ash, not snow, blowing in the wind was the perfect ode to the Queen of the Ashes. The horrors on the faces of Tyrion, Jon, and Davos said it all. At that moment, they knew that their Queen was not who she said she was. The merciful Queen who wanted to liberate people died and the Queen of fire and ash was born.

Loved: Daenerys Speech To Her Army

First of all, the imagery in this scene was incredible. When Daenerys walked to the top of the steps, Drogon flapped his wings and it gave the illusion that Daenerys spawned dragon wings. Daenerys became a dragon, who rules by fire and terror. It’s like she became a demon.

HBO

Then, Daenerys gave a truly spine-tingling and chilling speech about the future of the world to the Unsullied and Dothraki. Jon, Tyrion, and Arya no longer believed that Daenerys was going to stop the destruction. Daenerys preached about liberating the world and breaking the wheel. Not once did she say that she would give innocent people a chance to live. With an army and Drogon by her side, Daenerys would destroy every city in the world until there were no more cities left to liberate. Also, her speech was similar to one a fascist leader like Hitler used to give to his Nazi army. It reminded me of General Hux’s speech to The First Order in The Force Awakens.

Loved: Jon And Tyrion’s Meeting

“Love is the death of duty. Sometimes, duty is the death of love.” The theme of the series finale revolved around duty. The idea of duty and love dates all the way back to Season 1 when Maester Aemon’s conversation with Jon at Castle Black. When the time comes to make a decision, will you choose duty or love? That is the concept that both Tyrion and Jon debated while Tyrion was in captivity. Tyrion realized that Daenerys was a lost cause. Tyrion believed she would not stop the fire and destruction. The more cities she conquers, the more innocent people die. For the second time of the episode, someone suggests that Jon has to make a decision to kill Daenerys. Arya implied this as well when Jon spoke with her earlier in the day. This scene set the groundwork for what Jon was about to do next.

Loved: Jon Kills Daenerys

With all of the foreshadowing taken into account in Season 8, Jon killing Daenerys was the logical move. From “love is the death of duty” to both Arya and Tyrion’s warning about Daenerys, Jon killing Daenerys makes sense. Jon Snow is Azor Ahai aka the Prince That Was Promised. Time and time again, Jon thought that killing the white walkers would save the world, but it turned out that killing Daenerys and her version of the Iron Throne was how the world needed to be saved. Daenerys showed Jon her true colors in their final moments. As Jon is in tears thinking about the destruction of King’s Landing, Daenerys is smiling and reliving her childhood about how she always dreamed of this moment. Daenerys always stated that she wanted to break the wheel, but in actuality, she wanted to control the wheel by herself and conquer foreign lands. Even if she tried to be a merciful Queen, she has Targaryen blood and couldn’t fit her urge to rule by fire and fear. Jon brought up a good point by saying what if they’re not the only people who know what’s right for the world. What if there are other people who believe they know what’s good just like Daenerys? Daenerys said that she would be the judge of that. Daenerys became an all-powerful and ruthless ruler, which is the opposite of what she promised to be.

GOT Season 8

In the battle of love and duty, Jon was always going to choose duty. No matter how much he loved Daenerys, he would always choose his family and his duty over Daenerys. Jon always tried to do the right thing. Jon is a Targaryen and in the end, he chose to be a Stark. He was similar to his adopted father, Ned Stark, when he chose duty over love. Ned chose to pretend Jon was a bastard and jeopardize his relationship with his wife, Catelyn, in order to honor the wishes of his sister. Jon killed the woman he loves in order to protect the world and in particular, his sisters and brother, from Daenerys’s destruction.

Hated: The Time Jump

In general, I enjoyed the first half of the episode while having little to no problems. It all made sense. However, after Drogon flew away with Daenerys’s body, my major problems began and it all started with the time jump. A time jump occurred when Tyrion was brought in front of the lords and ladies of Westeros in order to determine his fate. Since when did Game of Thrones jump forward in time without any explanation? Instead, Tyrion’s beard length gave it away that a few weeks had passed since Daenerys’s death. Here’s where I also have a problem. What happened when Grey Worm walked into the Throne Room and learned that Jon killed Dany? I’m expected to believe that Grey Worm, a man who slit the throats of soldiers who surrendered and would do anything for Daenerys, took Jon into custody peacefully as his prisoner? That’s not believable.

Hated: The Entire Scene Where Bran Became The New King

Where do I even begin? Let’s start with Tyrion. Tyrion, who was in shackles the entire time, convinced an entire panel of lords and ladies that BRAN STARK should be the new King because people love stories and nobody has a better story than Bran the Broken. First of all, Tyrion, who once again was in shackles because he was a PRISONER WHO BETRAYED THE PREVIOUS QUEEN, ended up being the person to convince the panel to elect Bran as King. How does that make sense? Why should anyone trust Tryion at that point? Tyrion should be dead, not alive with political influence.

GOT Season 8 Episode 6 Review: The Iron Throne

Then, there’s Bran Stark. He would not have been my first choice for King. If Tyrion only mentioned that Bran should be King because he was the Three-Eyed Raven and the only person who contained the past and future memories of Westeros, I’ll buy that explanation. I don’t particularly like it, but I can at least rationalize that thought process. However, to say that Bran should be King because he had the best story is not entirely true. Bran has a better story than Arya, who traveled all throughout Westeros and became an assassin? He has a better story than Sansa, who went from a meek girl to a powerful, impactful female leader in the North? Bran has a better story than Jon Snow, who died and was resurrected (!!!) and went toe-to-toe with the Army of the Dead? You can’t say that Bran had the best story when all of these other stories are just as good, if not better.

https://twitter.com/JyoungPhd/status/1130306562734645248

Finally, Tyrion’s punishment for his crimes was to serve as Bran’s hand. So Jon was shipped to the Night’s Watch for his punishment while Tyrion gets to live in King’s Landing with all of the wine and women in the world? Seems like a fair trade.

Hated: Jon Was Banished To The North Instead Of Choosing To Live There

I am fine with Jon heading North to live out the rest of his life. Ever since Tormund told Jon that he would enjoy the North just like Ghost in “The Last of the Starks,” the show was leaning towards Jon ending up in the North to end the series. Jon said countless times that he never wanted to take the throne so living his remaining years in the North made complete sense. However, Jon needed to make the choice for himself to live in the North. If Jon had the chance to turn down the crown and choose to live in the North, this would have been much more powerful and impactful to his storyline than what transpired onscreen. Jon’s entire life can be summed up in two words: choices and identity. Jon never felt like he belonged because he never knew his true identity. However, Jon consistently made choices to do what he felt was right despite not knowing he truly was. (Letting the Wildlings pass through the wall, showing mercy towards his enemies, etc.) These two themes collided when Jon made the choice to side with the Starks and choose duty over love when he killed Daenerys. This is why Jon needed to decide his own fate. Tyrion was able to bargain his way out of a true punishment in front of the council. Why didn’t Jon get that same opportunity? In a perfect world, Jon should have turned down the throne and to prove how much he didn’t want to be King, Jon would move North and stay there. That is how I wanted Jon to end up North.

Loved: Jon, Arya, and Sansa’s endings
Hated: Bran’s ending

Jon living in the North, Arya exploring the world, and Sansa as Queen in the North all made sense. Bran as the King of Westeros did not.

https://twitter.com/jonryasneedle/status/1130301368915451904

Hated: Sacrificing Storytelling For Time

This is by far my biggest complaint about not only the series finale but the last two seasons of Game of Thrones. Storytelling was sacrificed for time due to the shortened seasons. Here’s a perfect example. Daenerys burned down all of King’s Landing, killing most of its inhabitants. After this destruction, do you want to know how many scenes Daenerys was in after that? Two. Two scenes for her character arc to end after burning down an entire city and becoming a fascist Queen that leads by fear. Two scenes are not enough time to explain why one, Daenerys snapped and went scorched Earth on King’s Landing and two, the consequences of her actions and how it affects those around her. The last two seasons felt sped up because of the lack of episodes. Had Daenerys’s actions to become the Mad Queen been given time to simmer over a few episodes, Jon’s decision to kill Daenerys would have made more sense than how it transpired in the show. I firmly believe that if both seasons 7 and 8 had 10 episodes each, there would have been less complaints from the fans about the ending.

There you have it. That’s what I loved and what I hated from the Game of Thrones Series Finale. Do you agree, disagree, or have anything to add? Leave your thoughts in the comments or tweet us, @unafraidshow.

Game Of Thrones Season 8 Episode 6 Review: The Iron Throne

GOT Season 8 Episode 6 Review: The Iron Throne series finale

Now, my watch has ended. After 73 episodes, Game of Thrones is over. My mind is racing with so many thoughts. Let’s jump into the review for the series finale for Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 6: The Iron Throne.

Game Of Thrones Season 8, Episode 6 Review: The Iron Throne

-The episode opens with Tyrion walking through the streets of King’s Landing, or what’s left of it. Daenerys’ destruction was catastrophic. She didn’t just kill a few thousand people. She slaughtered an entire city. Tyrion, Jon, and Davos all realize that Dany went against everything she said she was going to do.

-The ash falling down in the city as Tyrion, Jon, and Davos walk the streets was astonishing. Storylines aside, the visuals in Season 8 have been spectacular. In the very first episode, we learn that winter is coming and that winter represents the true enemy of the show, which we thought was the white walkers. However, the last episode symbolized that the true enemy was one who caused the ash, Daenerys.

-Grey Worm went awol! Despite pleas from Jon and Davos, Grey Worm continued slaughtering survivors in the street. Grey Worm killing the Lannister soldiers brings up an idea that Jorah Mormont brought up in Season 3. The Unsullied’s strength is their ability to follow orders. Daenerys ordered her army to kill everyone. The Unsullied do not think for themselves. As harsh as it was, Grey Worm was following orders by killing the soldiers who surrendered.

Tyrion Lannister

-As Tyrion explored the Red Keep, we knew where he was going. Tyrion needed to see if Jamie and Cersei made it out of the city. Once Tyrion saw the golden hand, it was a wrap on the idea that they survived. I still have my problems with how Jamie and Cersei died. I did not like how their character arcs ended nor did I like how they died. However, the haunting look that Tyrion had on his face after seeing his dead brother and sister was powerful and devastating. Peter Dinklage will be the favorite to win supporting actor at the Emmys.

-The Mother of Dragons did the damn thing.

-If I was a member of the Unsullied or the Dothraki, I would follow Daenerys into battle any day of the week. Her speech was both motivating and chilling. It’s clear that Daenerys is not going to stop liberating cities. She is going to travel far and wide, destroying everything in her path until every city is deemed liberated in her eyes. King’s Landing was only the beginning. At this moment, a choice had to be made and that choice belonged to only two people, Tyrion and Jon.

Tyrion emphatically resigned as Hand of the Queen and became Daenerys’s prisoner. After Tyrion and Dany left, Jon conversed with Arya, who tells him that Daenerys will always view Jon as a threat because of his lineage. According to Arya, Daenerys is a murderer and she will take Jon out at the right time. Arya is the first one to plant the seed of murdering Daenerys.

Favorite Scene of GOT Season 8 Episode 6

-My favorite scene of the night occurred when Jon visited Tyrion in captivity. Tyrion is direct with his approach. He messed up, regretted believing in Daenerys, and realized she can never truly be the Queen of the Seven Kingdoms. On the other hand, Jon is more subtle with his concerns because of his love for Daenerys. Jon knows deep down that Daenerys shouldn’t be the Queen, but he’s too loyal or proud to go back on his oath. When Tyrion presses Jon as to if he would have done what Daenerys did to King’s Landing, Jon hesitates, but we know he would never burn innocent people to death. Jon recited a quote that Maester Aemon (more on him later) once said. “Love is the death of duty.”

Tyrion responds with “Sometimes, duty is the death of love.” In other words, love and duty don’t mix. You have to make a choice. Tyrion has made his choice. He wants Jon to kill Daenerys. Would he listen?

-He listened!

-Before Jon made this fatal decision, Daenerys had a moment in the throne room by herself. All her life, Daenerys had one goal, which was to take back the seven kingdoms, sit on the throne, and bring back honor to the Targaryen name. Daenerys was finally able to touch the Iron Throne, which she couldn’t do in her vision back in season 2. She finally did it. Despite achieving this through destruction and murder, Daenerys lets off a smile. At this moment, Daenerys forgets about the millions of lives she took. Daenerys got what she wanted, but not once has she ever thought about how she would govern as queen. All Dany cared about was breaking the wheel and liberating those in shackles. Daenerys proved she can be a liberator, but she never proved she could govern a nation.

You Know Nothing Jon Snow

And that’s where Jon comes in. Daenerys is oblivious as to what she did. Jon cries about how Grey Worm is murdering innocent soldiers in the street and Daenerys responds by playfully sharing childhood stories. THIS is supposed to be the Queen? Jon begs her to forgive Daenerys, but she states that she cannot grant small mercies. All Daenerys cares about is breaking the wheel. She has no interest in governing a nation. This is when I believe Jon knew what he had to do.

“You are my queen, now and always.” Jon kisses Daenerys and kills her. Goodbye, Dany!

-Instead of barbecuing Jon to death, Drogon burns the Iron Throne, picks up his mother, and flies away. Did a dragon really just solve humanity’s problems by eliminating a throne?

-Up until now, I had very few problems with the episode. However, after Drogon flies away and the next shot is Tyrion in his cell, this is where my problems begin. Why did Game of Thrones save a time jump for their last episode? I’m supposed to believe that Grey Worm just escorted Jon Snow into prison after he killed his Queen? All of the leaders were able to sail to King’s Landing within a few days/weeks and no major problems occurred? Not enough time has been the biggest flaw of Season 8. All of the major storyline decisions, from Daenerys burning down King’s Landing to Jon killing Daenerys, needed more time to develop over the course of a few episodes. It all felt rushed. A time jump hurt, not helped, the story.

Grey Worm to the Dragonpit

-Back to Tyrion. Grey Worm marches Tyrion into the Dragonpit where every senior lord and lady are sitting together. Sansa, Arya, Bran, Gendry, Davos, Brienne, Yara, Gendry, Sam, one of the Martells, Edmure Tully, and Robin Arryn are all present. Tyrion states that Jon’s fate is to be decided by the new King or Queen. It’s decision time. Who should be the next King or Queen? After Edmure and Sam make different claims, Tyrion suggests that the next person to be King should be…

Bran Stark! If you had Bran in your gambling pools, congratulations! The Three-Eyed Raven himself knew he would be king all along and he said nothing. Bran holds the key to all of the past, present, and future memories of Westeros. That’s why Tyrion wants him to be King. Bran accepts and every lord and lady agrees except for Sansa, who tells Bran that the North will remain an independent kingdom. Sansa completed the mission that her brother, Robb, could not do. As for Tyrion, what is the punishment for a man that commits treason and convinces the top warrior on the planet to murder the Queen? Tyrion gets to become the Hand of the King! Bran makes Tyrion his hand in order to make up for all of his previous mistakes.

-Tonight’s winner: Breast milk.

-Jon’s punishment is to rejoin the Night’s Watch. As Tyrion explains his punishment, Jon is still questioning if killing Daenerys was the right decision. Tyrion says to ask him in 10 years. Maybe Game of Thrones: The Sequel can be Jon and Tyrion in a buddy comedy as they are co-commanders of the Night’s Watch.

Time to Say Goodbye

-It was time to say goodbye. Grey Worm and the Unsullied decided to sail to Naath aka Missandei’s home. Brienne finished writing Jamie’s story. And with that, the Stark children once again had to go their separate ways. Sansa is headed back to Winterfell as the Queen in the North. Arya is sailing to the unchartered territory outside of Westeros. Bran is staying in King’s Landing and Jon is headed to the Night’s Watch. In the end, the backbone of Game of Thrones was the Starks. This family drove the show both figuratively and narratively and each member received a somewhat happy ending.

-I appreciated the ode to George R.R. Martin when Sam presented Tyrion with the history book titled, “A Song of Ice and Fire.” If you were to tell me that the final meeting of the minds in King’s Landing would be between Bran, Tyrion, Davos, Brienne, Bronn, Sam, and Podrick, I would’ve questioned your mental health.

-The series ends with a final montage involving Sansa, Arya, and Jon. Sansa becomes the Queen in the North. Ned Stark. Arya sails outside Westeros. Jon arrives at Castle Black to rejoin the Night’s Watch. In a way, these three characters mirror the lives of their elders. Sansa is Ned Stark, Arya is now Benjen Stark, and Jon is Maester Aemon. Upon his arrival at Castle Black, Jon is greeted by Tormund and Ghost (!!!). Then, Jon, Ghost, and Tormund, followed by a large group of wildlings, leave The Wall. Tormund always said that Jon belonged North of the Wall and when the gate closes as Jon exits the Wall, he smiles, knowing that he will be able to start a new life with the Wildlings.

Game of Thrones is Over

Wow. That’s a lot to process. Game of Thrones is over. I enjoyed the first half of the episode. I had problems with the second half especially when it comes to the time jump. Let’s all take a day or two to think about what we just witnessed and reconvene midweek. Sounds good? See you then.

What were your thoughts on the series finale of Game of Thrones? Leave your thoughts in the comments or tweet us, @unafraidshow.