Game Of NBA Thrones: Playoff Teams As Game Of Thrones Quotes

Game of thrones NBA

Winter is here. The series that has dominated pop culture in the last few weeks is Game of Thrones. After the Season 8 premiere, it’s clear that this show will go out with a bang for its final season. What makes Game of Thrones so unique is its ability to cross over into other genres. In particular, thanks to shows like Game of Zones, the fantasy series has found a home in the NBA. I wanted to take it one step further. The show is known for its memorable dialogue. Because of this, I wanted to use famous quotes to describe teams in the NBA Playoffs. Here’s what I came up with.

Note: Press play for optimal viewing experience.

Golden State Warriors: “Winter is coming.” – Ned Stark, S1E1

Winter is here, and the Warriors are leading the charge. Once again, the NBA Playoffs will be the Golden State Warriors vs. The Field. That’s the only war that matters. Every other matchup is secondary because the only question of importance concerns the Warriors. Who can beat Golden State? Until proven otherwise, the Army of the Dead from Golden State will win yet another championship. Humanity and the rest of the teams in the playoffs don’t stand a chance.


Milwaukee Bucks: “The Long Night is coming. Only the prince who was promised can bring the dawn.” – Melisandre, S7E2

The Warriors are the Army of the Dead. They continue to wreak havoc on the NBA and in all likelihood will win their fourth title in five seasons. However, if some team, or someone, is going to take down Golden State, it’s going to be the Bucks and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Sure, Milwaukee has never won a playoff series with Giannis and the living world has never defeated the Night King, but Giannis and Jon Snow have a chance to do both. If both stars bring their A-game on the court and the battlefield, anything is possible.

Denver Nuggets: “This isn’t a war we can win.” – Jamie Lannister, S7E5

Congratulations to the Denver Nuggets. You had a wonderful season. The Nuggets went from missing the playoffs to battling for the one seed in the span of two seasons. Nikola Jokić became an all-star and Jamal Murray became a shooting assassin. That being said, the Nuggets cannot win the NBA Championship. The Nuggets may not even be able to beat the Spurs. Great season, but try again next year.

Toronto Raptors: When you play the game of thronesyou win or you die. There is no middle ground.” – Cersei Lannister, S1E7

Fight or die, win or lose, this is the last stand for the Raptors. After trading for Kawhi Leonard, who is on the final deal of his contract, the Raptors pushed all of their chips to the center of the table. It’s now or never. This is their sixth straight trip to the playoffs. The previous five ended in disappointment with the last three series’ defeats coming at the hands of LeBron James. LeBron James is gone. Kawhi Leonard is in Toronto. If the Raptors don’t make the NBA Finals this year, I expect this team to blow up like the Sept of Baelor.


Philadelphia 76ers:“If you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.” – Ramsay Bolton, S3E6

Last year, The Process took a huge step in the right direction as the 76ers made the playoffs for the first time since 2012. The years of tanking and 10 win seasons was over as Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid started to live up to their potential. This season, the Sixers strengthened The Process by adding Jimmy Butler and Tobias Harris. All of this looks good on paper, but as Game 1 versus the Nets taught us anything, it’s that you can’t trust Philadelphia to win it all especially in the final moments of a game. The Process is far from complete.

Portland Trail Blazers: “I don’t plan on knitting by the fire while men fight for me. I might be small, Lord Glover. And I might be a girl. But I am every bit as much a Northerner as you. And I don’t need your permission to defend the North.” – Lyanna Mormont, S7E1

Lyanna Mormont is tiny in stature, but she makes up for it with a giant heart and no-fear attitude. The Northerners doubt her, but when push comes to shove, she will be on the front line with a sword in her hand. The Trail Blazers have a team full of Lyanna Mormonts. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum are a top backcourt in the NBA, but the rest of the league continues to doubt them because of their lack of success in the playoffs. Portland might as well be the Bear Island of the NBA because of how North it is. However, no one can question Portland’s heart and when critics continue to doubt them, the Blazers find a way to not only compete, but win.


Boston Celtics: “Chaos isn’t a pit. Chaos is a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail, and never get to try again. The fall breaks them. And some are given a chance to climb, but they refuse. They cling to the realm, or the gods, or love – illusions. Only the ladder is real…the climb is all there is.” – Lord Baelish, S3E6

Playing the role of Littlefinger will be the Celtics General Manager and President of Basketball Operations, Danny Ainge. The quest for a championship started in 2013. While teams were going crazy while trying to figure out ways to assemble a Big Three in order to beat the Heat, Ainge used this to his advantage by trading fan favorites and aging legends such as Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett for five players and four draft picks. Later, Ainge didn’t give into the mob who wanted to pay Isaiah Thomas and instead, included Thomas in a trade for Kyrie Irving. While teams try to sign big name free agents, Ainge and the Celtics decided to groom young talent as Jayson Tatum and Jalen Brown. Now, the Celtics are rumored to be in the running in the Anthony Davis sweepstakes. Will the Celtics sit on the Iron Throne one day? I’m not sure, but they will continue to climb the ladder or they will die trying.


Houston Rockets: “I learned that I’ll never win. Not that way. That’s their game, their rules. I’m not going to fight them, I’m going to fuck them. That’s what I know, that’s what I am. And only by admitting what we are can we get what we want” Lord Baelish, S1E7

The Rockets bring a unique approach to the game of basketball, especially on the offensive side. The NBA is becoming a shooters’ league, but the Rockets take that sentiment and multiply it by 10. The Rockets typically have four guys on the floor who can shoot the three and one guy who can finish alley-oops like Clint Capela. The Rockets space the floor, leave the middle open for isolation, and shoot A LOT of 3-pointers. For the second consecutive season, the Rockets set the single-season record for most 3 pointers made with 1,323. The Rockets want to play fast and get up and down the court. This is not the way most teams play, but for the Rockets, it works. Had it not been for a Chris Paul injury last season, the Rockets might have represented the West in the NBA finals. James Harden and the boys know who they are, and that’s their biggest strength.

Indiana Pacers: “There is only one god, and his name is Death. And there is only one thing we say to Death: not today.” – Syrio Forel, S1E6

When the Pacers lost Victor Oladipo, most critics and fans including me believed their season was a lost cause. Could you blame them? The Pacers not only lost their best player but their team leader. However, the Pacers did not submit or die for the rest of the season. Indiana fought valiantly to make the playoffs. Had it not been for a 31-12 fourth quarter from the Celtics, this series would have been tied 1-1 going back to Indiana.

Utah Jazz: “As long as I’m standing the war is not over.” – Brynden Tully, S6E7

The Rockets have come out with guns blazing these first two games. As bad as the Jazz have looked, they are not dead. This is a team that has won their first-round series the past two seasons. Donovan Mitchell is capable of rallying Gobert, Ingles, and the rest of the troops to make this a competitive series. As long as Mitchell is standing, don’t count him out just yet.

Brooklyn Nets: “He’s the toughest man with no balls I ever met.” – Daario Naharis, S5E10

About two months ago, I made a bet with my friend that the Nets would not make the playoffs. I believed that the Nets would falter and their lack of superstar talent would cost them a playoff berth. Clearly, I was wrong. Credit to Kenny Atkinson, D’Angelo Russell, Spencer Dinwiddie, and the rest of the team for coming together and exceeding expectations. The Nets are a fun team with a bright future thanks to their young talent and cap space this summer, which includes the ability to sign two players to max contracts. However, this team may be fun, but it’s not a championship team. The Nets still need a superstar or two to put them into the conversation for the best team in the East.

Oklahoma City Thunder: “No, of that I’m innocent. I’m guilty of a far more monstrous crime. I’m guilty of being a dwarf. Oh, yes I am. I’ve been on trial for that my entire life.” – Tyrion Lannister, S4E6

Tyrion Lannister is one of the smartest minds in all of Westeros. Tyrion is a master in strategy and tends to have a pulse on the city and their needs. Tyrion is a valuable asset to anyone’s court. Tyrion could be on the Iron Thrones, but no matter what he does for the rest of his life, some people will always see him as a dwarf and that’s something they can’t look past. Russell Westbrook is the most athletic point guard to ever play in the NBA. Russ has averaged a triple-double for the past three seasons and even won the MVP in 2016-2017. However, until he wins a championship, certain members of the media and NBA fanbase will always see him as the guy who pushed Kevin Durant out of town. Whether that’s fair or unfair is up to you to decide.

Game of Thrones / Via HBO

Orlando Magic: “I’ve known a great many clever men. I’ve outlived them all. You know why? I ignored them. The lords of Westeros are sheep. Are you a sheep? No. You’re a dragon. Be a dragon.” – Lady Olenna, S7E2

Hand up, I did not see the Orlando Magic winning a game in this series versus the Toronto Raptors. Hand up again, I can’t name the starting five of the Magic. Maybe the Magic are for real. I believe the Raptors will eventually prevail, but crazier things have happened. The Magic should continue to not listen to fans like myself and play their game because if they steal Game 3 at home, look out.

San Antonio Spurs: “Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armor, and it can never be used to hurt you” – Tyrion, S1E1

The Spurs are the Spurs. Their lineup is not going to jump off the paper and strike fear into opponents’ hearts every night. They’re not going to get in a track meet and run up and down all night. However, they’re consistent, efficient, and well-coached by Gregg Popovich. The Spurs don’t have Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Kawhi Leonard, and Danny Green anymore and yet continue to put a successful product on the floor as they haven’t missed the playoffs since 1996-1997. The Spurs know who they are and never change their identity.

Detroit Pistons: “You’re going to die tomorrow, Lord Bolton. Sleep well.” – Sansa Stark, S6E9

You’re going to die in four games, Detroit Pistons. Sleep well. There’s really nothing more to say. Without a healthy Blake Griffin, the Pistons don’t stand a chance.

Los Angeles Clippers:“The long night is coming, and the dead come with it. No clan can stop them, the free-folk can’t stop them, the Night’s Watch can’t stop them, and all the southern kings can’t stop them! Only together, all of us – and even then it may not be enough but at least we’ll give the fuckers a fight.” – Jon Snow, S5E8

If there is one thing the Clippers have shown so far this series, it’s that they are not going to back down to the Army of the Dead aka the Golden State Warriors. Throw Game 3 aside because the Clippers stood no chance. However, this series could easily be 3-0 had it not been for a 31 point comeback in Game 2. The Clippers are a young, exciting team that has a bright future thanks to their cap space this summer. Do not be surprised if they steal at least one more game against the Warriors.


What quotes from Game of Thrones would you use to describe the teams in the NBA Playoffs? Share your thoughts below or tweet us @unafraidshow.

Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 1 Premiere Review: Winterfell

Game of Thrones season 8 Episode 1 premiere review

Before I dive into the review for the Season 8 premiere of Game of Thrones, let’s all take a minute to appreciate that this wonderful show is back in our lives. Game of Thrones won’t be on for much longer so let’s enjoy it while it lasts. Now, we can talk about the episode 1.

Note: I’m a fan so my review of each episode comes from a fan’s perspective. I want to inform you as to what happened, but I also want to provide some entertainment in the process.

Game of Thrones Season 8, Episode 1: “Winterfell”

Lena Headey in Game of Thrones / Via HBO

-As expected, tonight’s episode set the table for the Battle at Winterfell, which is rumored to take place in episode 3. Everything done in the first two episodes of this season is all in preparation for the battle.

-Jon is home and he brought his girlfriend, who happens to have a huge army and two dragons! Ask yourself this. If you were living in the North, would you be happy that your “King” bent the knee to a foreigner AND invited her into your kingdom? Jon is naive thinking that Sansa and the rest of Winterfell would support his decision to bend the knee to Queen Daenerys Targaryen. As Lyanna Mormont mentioned, the people of the North elected Jon to be King, not Daenerys. Daenerys will have to prove her worth in order for the northerners to accept her.

-Reunions, reunions, and more reunions! With the Army of the Dead on the horizon, it was nice to see some heartfelt reunions before things take a turn for the worse. Jon and Bran’s hug was a bit awkward considering Bran knows that Jon is Aegon Targaryen, the true heir to the Iron Throne. Tyrion and Sansa, who were once married, had a less than pleasant conversation about their common hatred towards Cersei. However, the reunion that put a smile on my face was when Arya and Jon embraced at the heart tree.

-Sansa has evolved so much as a character. In the earlier seasons, Sansa desired to be married to a king and live a life of royalty. Now, she’s a powerful, independent leader who is about to go toe-to-toe with the Mother of Dragons.

-Arya and Gendry. Did they flirt or did they flirt? Keep a tab on this relationship. (I’m for this relationship, by the way.)

-My predictions for this season.

-In King’s Landing, Cersei is up to her manipulative ways again. When Qyburn gives news that the Night King demolished the Wall, Cersei couldn’t help but smile. Cersei’s plan is to let the Army of the Dead fight Jon, Daenerys, and the rest of the North to the death and whoever emerges victorious will take on Cersei at King’s Landing. So far, so good for this plan.

-Cersei is still cold-blooded as ever as she hires Bronn to kill her brothers, Jamie and Tyrion. In a sick twist, Cersei wants Bronn to kill her brothers with the same crossbow that Tyrion used to kill their father, Tywin. It’s not a secret that Bronn is a fan favorite. However, will that all change if he kills Jamie and Tyrion? More importantly, will Bronn be able to kill his friends?

-Speaking of villains, Euron Greyjoy’s arrogance was on full display tonight. It’s no secret that Euron wants to marry Cersei in order to become King. After acquiring the Golden Company, Euron believes that he should be rewarded for his hard work. What does he want? In his words, not mine, Euron wants to “fuck the Queen.” Well, that’s exactly what he did. Cersei knows that Euron’s fleet is far too valuable to lose so she sleeps with Euron. Brashly, Euron states his intention to “put a prince” in Cersei’s belly. Little does he know that Cersei is pregnant with Jamie’s child. As bad as Cersei is, is Euron worse?

-While Euron was getting it on with the Queen, Theon infiltrated one of the ships to rescue his sister, Yara. When Yara decides to sail back to the Iron Islands, Theon determines that his next move involves traveling Winterfell to fight alongside the Starks. I’m sure the Starks will welcome Theon with open arms and forget about the time he betrayed their family and seized Winterfell.

-Jamie seeing Bran for the first time since pushing him out of a castle and paralyzing him. Awkward…

-In my predictions, I did say that Jon would ride a dragon at some point. I did not expect his first time on a dragon would be to go on a romantic date with Daenerys. I’m sorry Daenerys, but the only one who gets to go with Jon into a cave is Ygritte.

-In the scariest scene of the episode, Tormund Giantsbane, Beric Dondarrion and Lord Commander “Dolorous” Edd Tollett received a sign from the Night King in the form of a zombie child pinned to the wall with severed limbs surrounding him. This is just a small sample of what the Night King is about to do to the Army of the Living.

-Finally, the most important sequence in tonight’s episode occurred between Jon and Samwell Tarly. Sam met Daenerys after Jorah Mormont wished to thank Sam for saving him at the Citadel. However, Sam unfortunately learned what happened to his father and brother, who were both burned alive by dragons after refusing to bend the knee to Daenerys. It’s ironic that Daenerys emphasizes that she is not like her father even though she burned innocent people to death just like the Mad King did during his reign.

Upset with Daanerys and motivated by Bran, Sam confronts Jon about what Daenerys did to his family. Sam reveals that Jon was never a bastard. Jon is the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen and his real name is Aegon Targaryen. As Sam said, Jon, not Daenerys, is the one true King of the seven kingdoms. Jon FINALLY knows his true lineage.

Oh, this also means Jon is in love with and has sex with his aunt.

Was tonight’s episode a home run? Absolutely not, but the pieces of the chessboard are moving into place. The Battle at Winterfell is coming and death will follow.

See you next week.

‘Killing Eve’ on BBC Will Become Your New Favorite TV Show In 2019

BBC tv show Killing Eve Best shows of 2019

Last Spring, Killing Eve, a drama series about a female British intelligence officer who attempts to track down a female assassin, premiered on BBC America. 2 Emmy nominations and 2 Golden Globe nominations later, television critics included Killing Eve in their Top 10 lists for 2018 more than any other show. That’s pretty good for a program on a channel that may be pretty hard to find in your cable package. It will be your favorite tv show in 2019.

Killing Eve was not only the best show in 2018, but it was the most addictive show on television. Killing Eve stars Sandra Oh as Eve Polastri, an MI5 officer who is searching for more satisfaction in both her work and home life. Eve begins to study a series of high profile assassinations and makes the connection that the killer is female despite little support from her superior officers. It turns out that Eve is right as the assassin is a female named Villanelle, played by Jodie Comer, a highly-trained psychopathic killer that is both quirky and murderous. As Eve begins to track Villanelle, the brilliant Villanelle becomes aware of Eve’s scent, and both women realize that they share a fatal attraction despite wanting to kill each other. The ensuing cat-and-mouse game led to the best season of television in 2018.

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With Season 2 premiering this Sunday night at 8 pm EST on BBC America and AMC, now is the perfect time to hop on the bandwagon. Here are a few reasons why Killing Eve will become your new favorite show in 2019.

*This article will contain light spoilers. I’ll do my best to keep them at a minimum.*

Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer’s chemistry is off the charts

BBC America

There is no Killing Eve without Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer. Their chemistry is spectacular together. Both women give the best performances of their career in Season 1. Eve and Villanelle are polar opposites in their profession, but they both want and need something more in their life. They both feel empty inside, but soon realize that they are obsessed and attracted to each other, both mentally and physically. Eve and Villanelle feel complete when they are hunting each other. This is a twisted and complicated love story between two obsessive, but strong female personalities. As the song in the trailer for Season 2 states, “Might as well face it you’re addicted to love.”

Villanelle is one of the best TV villains in years

Jodie Comer in Killing Eve / Photo Credit: BBC America

The best villains are the ones that the audience roots for and sympathizes with. Villanelle is a brutal killer and sociopath. She’s dark, manipulative, and evil, but there’s this other side that makes you laugh and smile. That’s due to Villanelle’s dark comedic tone, wittiness, and vivacious sense of fashion. Villanelle could be the best villain on television since Walter White in Breaking Bad.

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Two Badass Women Doing Badass Things

Sandra Oh and Jodie Comer in Killing Eve / Photo Credit: BBC America

Simply put, these are two badass women who do badass things. Villanelle might be a trained killer, but Eve is an intelligent officer who has a lot of guts. It’s a heavyweight fight and both Eve and Villanelle pack a serious punch.

Funny, Witty, But Violent

BBC America

There’s not other way to say it. The jokes only go so far. Eve can provide comedic relief, but there are scenes that are downright violent and sadistic. Sorry to play captain obvious, but the title includes the word “killing.” Death is a common theme throughout the show. There are vicious death scenes, but but the humorous undertones ease the brutality. There is a scene in a club that will send a chill down your spine and make your jaw hit the floor.

I can’t recommend this show enough. It’s a spy thriller, love story, and dramatic series all wrapped up into one. Oh and Comer are worth the price of admission. The unexpected twists and shocking reveals will keep you on the edge of your seat the entire show. Take the journey with Eve and Villanelle. You won’t be disappointed.

Watch Season 1 of Killing Eve on Hulu or BBC America. Season 2 premieres on both BBC America and AMC on Sunday, April 7, at 8 pm EST.

Game Of Thrones Teaser Eerily Reveals Aftermath Of Battle At Winterfell

Game of Thrones season 8 teaser battles

Warning: Please sit down while watching this teaser. It might cause you to faint.

THE NORTH REMEMBERS! To say I am jacked up on adrenaline is an understatement. We are under two weeks away from the premiere of the final season for the iconic Game of Thrones. If that doesn’t move the needle, then you’re probably dead already.

The teaser’s title is “Aftermath,” and as the footage depicts, it’s a glimpse into Winterfell after the highly anticipated showdown between the living and the dead. The teaser showcases Winterfell as a barren wasteland with valuable possessions scattered across the castle. Arya’s sword, a Dragonglass arrow, Daenerys’s dragon chain, and the hand of the kingpin are some of the artifacts found in the teaser.

However, the three items that stood out to me were:

Jamie’s Golden Hand

Jon’s Sword

A “Shadowy Figure” (Maybe the Night King?)

I don’t believe this is a real scene in the show. It would be unlike Game of Thrones to reveal a scene frame-for-frame in a trailer. I’m not saying that Jamie and Jon don’t die and the shadowy figure isn’t the Night King. However, the teaser is more of a metaphor for the aftermath of the battle at Winterfell. The White Walkers are coming to Winterfell and they are going to kill A LOT of people. Your favorite characters are in danger of dying at the hands of the Army of the Dead. That’s a fact that may be tough to swallow for some. Will Jamie, Jon, and the other main characters escape to the South? Or, will they be met with the wrath of the Night King? I’m nervous just thinking about it.

In an interview with E! News about the final season, Gwendoline Christie, who plays Brienne of Tarth, said, “You’re going to need therapy… I think just the show ending is going to send all of the world into professional help.” I’m starting to believe that Gwendoline is right.

Bring it on.

If You Could Only Watch One, Would You Rather See Avengers: Endgame or Game Of Thrones Season 8?

Game of Thrones Season 8 and Avengers: Endgame if you can only choose one

April is going to be an unbelievable month for entertainment. Two of the most anticipated events in film and television history will premiere within 12 days of each other. If you haven’t guessed by now, the two events on everyone’s calendar are Game of Thrones Season 8 and Avengers: Endgame.

The culmination of over a decade of movies and television seasons will come to an end over the next month and a half. That’s a lot of time to invest in two entertainment properties, but Marvel and HBO take up an important percentage of my life. These will be the two biggest viewing events of the year. “Must-see” is an understatement. The longer you wait to see them, the higher the chances it will be ruined for you with spoilers on the Internet. You can’t take that risk.

My question is as followed: If you could only watch one, would you pickAvengers: Endgame or Game of Thrones?

It’s a real catch 22. You can only watch one, and you can never watch the other. You won’t face a harder question all year. As I type out my reasons for each entity, I continue to question myself. It’s that difficult. Let’s break down the reasons to see each one.

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Reasons To See Avengers: Endgame

11 Year Culmination of The First Three Phases in MCU: The first movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was Iron Man back in 2008. 11 years and 21 movies is A LOT of time to invest in a cinematic universe. You make it this far and you’re just going to give up?

May Be The Last Movie For A Few Popular Actors: It’s no secret that some of the actors in the MCU may want to move on. Chris Evans has hinted many times that his time as Captain America is coming to a close. Avengers: Endgame might be Robert Downey Jr.’s last time as Iron Man as well. I don’t want to miss their final appearances as superheroes that I have come to love.

I Can’t Let Thanos Win: How is your last memory of the first three phases of the MCU going to be Thanos snapping away your favorite superheroes? The purple chin middle linebacker can’t get away with wiping out half of the universe’s population and get away with it. Not on my watch. I need to see Thanos fall.

Reasons To See Game of Thrones Season 8

Final Season: After taking close to a two year hiatus, one of the most influential shows of the 21st century is returning for 6 final episodes. Need I say more?

The Greatest Battle In Television History: Ever since the Night King and Army of White Walkers debuted on the show, you knew what was coming. A battle between the living and the dead was going to take place. Now, we have finally reached the end. Living vs. Dead. White Walkers vs. Humans. The Night King vs. Jon Snow. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, Peter Dinklage said that the battle between the living and dead “makes the Battle of the Bastards look like a theme park.” I’m not prepared for this moment.

Dragons Doing Dragon Things: I mean… come on. They’re firing breathing dragons. It’s going to bring me so much satisfaction when the dragons torch the White Walkers.

I can’t miss both of these. It’s an impossible decision, but I’ve managed to come up with a reason that makes sense in my head as to why I’m picking one over the other.

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I’m not a big reader, but both of these entertainment properties are based on books. Avengers: Endgame is based on The Infinity Gauntlet comic series while Game of Thrones is based on A Song of Ice and Fire series from George R.R. Martin. Here’s the catch. The Infinity Gauntlet was published in 1991. A Song of Ice and Fire has not been completed and at this rate, no one knows when the final two books will be finished. Although both the movie and TV series step away from their original source material at times, the major story arcs in the books are similar in the movies. So if I had to pick one of these to watch, I’m going with Game of Thrones Season 8 because I could read The Infinity Gauntlet comics and even though it would be a disappointing ending, at least it would be an ending. I can’t get that right now with Game of Thrones unless I watch the show.

I’m choosing Game of Thrones. What’s your decision? Let me know in the comments or on Twitter @unafraidshow.

The 5 Greatest Second Films From Famous Directors

Movie Directors second films are often their best like Barry Jenkins Quentin Tarentino

What is a “sophomore slump?” In film, a sophomore slump is when the second, or sophomore, film or effort from a director falls short or fails to live up to the standards of its first effort. Notable examples of the sophomore slump include Steven Soderbergh’s Kafka and Sam Raimi’s Crimewave.

However, not every director suffers from the sophomore slump. In some cases, a director’s second film exceeds expectations and ends up surpassing the first film in both critical acclaim and box office gross. With the release of Jordan Peele’s Us, the follow up to the iconic Get Out, here are a few of my choices for the greatest second films from directors.

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*Note: These are all the second feature-length films from directors. The list does not count short films or television movies.

Quentin Tarantino: Pulp Fiction

You know you’ve made a memorable second film when it is widely considered a masterpiece. Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction is one of most unique and original films of all-time due to its nonlinear narrative. The film depicts the lives of two mob hitmen, a boxer, a gangster’s wife, and a pair of diner bandits in Los Angeles and how their stories are intertwined. Tarantino won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay and is credited with launching independent film into the mainstream due to Pulp Fiction‘s success.

John Hughes: The Breakfast Club

For my money, this is the greatest coming-of-age film of all-time. Up until this point, John Hughes was known for writing National Lampoon’s Vacation and directing Sixteen Candles. His sophomore directorial effort, The Breakfast Club, tells the story of five high school students from completely different backgrounds who spend an entire Saturday in detention. Despite being from different social cliques, the students end up forming a special bond and friendship by the end of the film. With “Don’t You (Forget About Me)” playing in the background, the film’s final scene ends with one of the most memorable shots in movie history, the Jon Bender fist pump. The Breakfast Club was selected for preservation in the Library of Congress.

David Fincher: Se7en

WHAT’S IN THE BOX? Director David Fincher is known for suspenseful films with huge plot twists. Fincher has directed some of the most thrilling films of the last 20 years including Fight Club, Zodiac, and Gone Girl. However, it’s Fincher’s second film. Se7en, that stands above the rest. In Se7en, a rookie detective (Brad Pitt) and a retiring investigator (Morgan Freeman) team up to track down a serial killer (Kevin Spacey) who is using the seven deadly sins as his motive for the killings. Brilliantly paced and full of suspense, Se7en still keeps viewers on the edge of their seats almost 25 years later.

Sofia Coppola: Lost in Translation

Bill Murray is known for being one of the most influential comedians of the past four decades. However, Murray’s dramatic turn in Lost in Translation will go down as one of his best performances thanks to Sofia Coppola, who wrote and directed the film. Daughter of the legendary Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather series), Sofia’s second feature film stars Murray as Bob Harris, an aging actor who befriends a young married college graduate, played by Scarlett Johansson, in Tokyo. The film perfectly depicts a midlife crisis as well as a quarter life crisis and how both characters deal with their unknown futures. Beautifully written and directed, Lost in Translation was nominated for four Academy Awards and won for Best Original Screenplay.

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Barry Jenkins: Moonlight

It took Barry Jenkins eight years to release his second feature-length film after his first film, Medicine for Melancholy, debuted in 2008. To say his second film, Moonlight, did not disappoint would be an understatement. Moonlight presents the story of Chiron in three stages: childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood. Jenkins’s film chronicles Chiron’s life in Miami, where he battles over issues of abuse and sexual identity. Moonlight received universal acclaim and received three Academy Awards including Best Picture.

Other great second films from directors:

  • Paul Thomas Anderson – Boogie Nights
  • Christopher Nolan – Memento
  • Mike Nichols – The Graduate
  • Steven Spielberg – Jaws (Spielberg directed many amateur and short films in the 1960s, but Jaws was Spielberg’s second feature film in theaters.)
  • Ridley Scott – Alien
  • Richard Linklater – Dazed and Confused

What are your choices for the greatest second film from a director? Let us know in the comments or tweet your answers to @unafraidshow.