Is Continuity Bad for Comic Books?

Two weeks ago Bryam Dayley published an article on GeekTyrant that focused on Spider-Man’s return to the “status quo” after the events of Marvel’s Secret Empire, the latest big event spanning story. I realize now that as I type these words that Marvel is already in the middle of another series spanning event full of unique comic book covers and one-shot tie-ins. However, this article is not about the rising and ever continuing trend of big event series crossovers, I will save that for another post.

Now, what struck me about Bryam’s article and the subsequent community comments was the discord over the changing, or rather reversion, of Spider-Man’s character. Spider-Man has undergone many changes over the years, and as an everyman character represents something different to everyone. For myself, Spider-Man was not only the ideal self-sacrificing hero, but a symbol for what the awkward nerd could become. Despite Peter Parker’s nerdy exterior and financial woes he managed to become one of the greatest heroes, while also finding love in a beautiful super-model partner. Given what Spider-Man means to me I was horrified and angered by how Marvel changed the character in One More Day. For those individuals not familiar with One More Day, Spider-Man makes a literal deal with the devil after the events of Civil War, choosing to sacrifice his marriage in order to save his dying Aunt May. After the dust settles, Peter Parker has recently been fired from his job as a professor and is now living with his Aunt May. Essentially, Peter Parker went from working as a professor and married, to single and couch surfing. Needless to say, I was furious and promptly canceled my Spider-Man subscription. 

While the changes to Spider-Man’s life in One More Day unnerved me, some of the change was refreshing. Based on the discussion in Bryam’s article the change to Spider-Man’s life, from successful CEO and to unemployed guy, is refreshing and welcomed. This back and forth in Spider-Man’s life serves as an example of the type of problems that exist when writing for a character that is over fifty-five years old. At the same time, this situation is not unique to Spider-Man, or Marvel in general. DC recently finished publishing Scott Snyder’s run on Batman only to delve into Rebirth. Snyder’s run on Batman was part of the New 52, which marked a company-wide change to all of the DC regular characters. I am not arguing against change or big event storytelling, though I definitely have alternative cover fatigue. With all of these changes I just have to ask, is continuity bad for comic books?

Some of my favorite comic book stories occurred outside the normal comic book continuity, or rather, in spite of it. For example, Superman Red Son does something different with the character of Superman and crafts a unique story that can stand on its own. The same can be said for Old Man Logan, a story that takes various liberties with established characters, but manages to create a new story with a lot of depth. Great stories can still come out of continuity, such as the Superior Spider-man, which offered a new take on both Spider-man and Doctor Octopus while still managing to stay within the established continuity of Marvel’s 616 Universe. To look back even further, Alan Moore was able to take Swamp Thing and completely revamp the character without affecting the established continuity. Given all the hoops that comic book writers have to jump through in order to stay within continuity, should comics continue to stick to the established continuity? Marvel’s 1602 and Ultimates opened the door for rich storytelling and world-building, but without having to compromise story structure or established character history. The only time that these stories seem to suffer is when Marvel and DC try to blend these separate story world’s into one. This is not to say that I am not grateful for Miles Morales inclusion into the normal continuity of the Marvel 616 Universe, but that the path to get from A to B is hit or miss. For every Flashpoint (DC) and Secret Wars (Marvel) there is a Convergence (DC) and Axis (Marvel). Even as I list these large comic book events some of you will argue which are better, while others will ask what the heck am I talking about. 

Overall, I have to wonder if the time for continuity should be coming to an end. I try and stay abreast of all the latest events and changes to my favorite characters. However, given the constant changes to established characters, staying ahead of the comic book machine is a full-time job. I have to wonder too if continuity is good for new readers. New number one comics do not necessarily equate to new readership, but good storytelling does. To create a new number one comic for new readers may not only be ineffective, but can hurt the established fan base.

Sound off in the comments with your own thoughts on the matter.

Guest Article By Joseph Fridley (@brother_fridley)

Alan Moore’s MIRACLEMAN Offers Comic Fans Something Unique to Enjoy

Alan Moore is a name synonymous with comic books. Whether you have comic book ink running in your veins, or have never picked up a comic book aside from catching the latest Marvel or DC film, you have probably heard of Alan Moore. League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Watchmen, From Hell, V for Vendetta, and Batman: The Killing Joke all have film adaptations based on his prolific works. However, let me caution you not to judge Moore by the films based on his works. Moore has a long-standing... hatred for the film industry because of these adaptations. However, this article is not about Moore, but about one of his lesser-known works, Miracleman

Thanks to a large sale on Marvel digital comics and books from awhile back I was able to pick up Miracleman Vol. 1-3, and Miracleman: The Golden Age. Created by Mick Anglo in the 1950s, Miracleman, or Marvelman as he was originally known, was the UK’s answer to Captain Marvel. Mike Moran would say a magic word, “Kimota,” and be transformed into the superpowered Miracleman. Then in 1982 Alan Moore took over writing duties and transformed the character into something...different.

Miracleman Vol. 1 begins with Mike Moran, a freelance journalist, waking up from a dream in which Miracleman, Young Miracleman, and Kid Miracleman are flying toward the airship fortress of their arch-nemesis, Dr. Gargunza. Something goes wrong and an explosion rips through the intrepid heroes. In the explosion, Young Miracleman seems to become two people, while Kid Miracleman is nowhere to be seen. The explosion causes Miracleman to fly backward and then- Mike wakes up from the same recurring dream that he has had for years. Plagued by a headache Mike says goodbye to his wife and heads off to his assignment with the beginning of a word hanging from his lips. At the assignment, something goes wrong and in the chaos, Mike remembers the word, Kimota! (atomic backwards). Mike is transformed once again into Miracleman, an act that sends shockwaves throughout his life and the world around him.

Miracleman Vol. 1 plays out like a renewed origin story. Moore crafts a story with the beautiful art of Garry Leach and later Alan Davis that easily carries the reader along. Moore’s writing is almost poetic, a trend that will continue and grow through all three volumes. Without giving too much away, Vol. 2 focuses on the resurfacing of Dr. Gargunza and further delves into the origins of Miracleman, while Vol. 3 sees the resurrection of a villain introduced in Vol. 1 and the forming of Miracleman’s great utopia. For those who appreciate history, or just want to see how the character has evolved from the 1950s until the 1980s, the volumes are populated with the original Marvelman comic strips, interviews with the original creator, interviews, and comments from the artist, and illustrations from pencil sketch to page. 

New readers of Miracleman will notice that Alan Moore’s name is missing from the cover. Instead of Alan Moore, the book is authored by The Original Author or something to that effect. This detail is just one more piece to the complicated history of the character. Starting out as Marvelman, the character later had to be changed to Miracleman to avoid conflict with DC’s Captain Marvel, who is now known as Shazam. Of course, we could also discuss Marvel’s own Captain Marvel, not to mention Mar-vell, but honestly who cares. At one point the copyrights to Miracleman were owned or rather perceived to be owned by Todd McFarland. If you search online you will even find a figure, statue, and reference to a Man of Miracles, who was a character featured in Hellspawn. However, Neil Gaiman, who authored Miracleman: The Golden Age, fought to reclaim copyright of the character. After a lengthy battle that almost sent Miracleman into obscurity the original creator, Mike Anglo, sold the copyright of the character to Marvel. 

Once again, Miracleman represents the writing of Alan Moore and later Neil Gaiman, while also offering something unique for new and seasoned readers of comics. Word of warning though, Miracleman is not for children! The story features many adult concepts ranging from brutal murder, rape, and outright genocide. The violence and horror in the series only works to highlight the beauty of the story later on. My only complaint with the series is that, at times, I found the direction of the word boxes hard to follow. This could have been due to my being tired since I tend to read late at night, so other readers may not have a similar issue. 

Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Guest Article By Joseph Fridley (@brother_fridley)

What It Means to bBe a LORD OF THE RINGS Nerd

LOTR-Trilogy-nerd

Even if you haven’t read the Lord of the Rings, you’ve likely seen the movie trilogy. And if you haven’t seen the movies, you’re still familiar with the basic premise of the whole thing because, let’s be honest, you most likely have a friend that loves The Lord of the Rings. If you know slightly more than the title of the books, you know Tolkien and C.S. Lewis (who were great friends) realized England didn’t have its own mythology. So they took it upon themselves to write one, which is how the epic Lord of the Rings and Chronicles of Narnia series were created.

While both series are brilliant, Tolkien went much further in creating an enchanting, mythological world that is immensely more detailed and rich than Lewis’s more didactic approach to the task in The Chronicles of Narnia. However, Tolkien did incorporate his views on the Industrial Revolution, the changing world of England, and the First World War. Through his love of languages, interest in Celtic and Norse histories, awareness of his changing world, and an exceptional imagination, Tolkien created a trilogy that changed the world of fantasy forever. If you are a Lord of the Rings fan, you already know all this (if you know a Lord of the Rings fan, you probably also know all this), but if you are a through and through, genuine, authentic LOTR nerd, you:

1.) Have the books memorized

You grew up with LOTR being read to you as your bedtime story. You still read them as your bedtime story. You plan on reading them to your children as a bedtime story. In fact, you’ve read the books so many times that whole phrases have become part of your everyday vernacular, and some even find their way into homework assignments and job applications. You may secretly feel that you could have written a better screenplay for the movies, but your loyalty to anything LOTR trumps the thought that it could be even better.

2.) Also have the movies memorized

LOTR-Nrd-1987

You have an annual marathon of the LOTR extended edition movies (why do they even sell any other edition?), which you can quote all the way through. You love it anyway. You usually watch them dressed up as your favorite character. You may also reminisce about the night you went to each movie premiere, also dressed up.

3.) Don’t need the subtitled translations

Aside from the fact that you have almost every line memorized, you still wouldn’t need the subtitled translations because you are fluent in the elvish language. You may even have a preference language — Quenya or Sindarian. If you are made fun of for speaking Elvish, you are quick to defend yourself by reminding your critics that those are both academically studied languages. You may have even gotten caught in school for passing notes, but never went to the principal’s office because the teacher either couldn’t read it, or could read it and you both became instant friends.

4.) Profile LOTR Style

Depending on whom you identify with in the book, you may profile all the people around you in relation to your character. You may have accidentally called your best friend “Sam,” your nemesis “Legolas,” or your next door neighbor “Gollum” (it’s not your fault he treats his ’71 Mustang like his prrreeecccioussss…). You also tend to treat whomever you are in a relationship with as only a true LOTR nerd would. Sure, you can give away jewelry to signify a love that would surpass even the desire for immortality, but you would never consider a proposal with a ring.

5.) Have “the voice”

LOTR-Gollum-nerd

You know what it is and you can imitate it. Perfffeeecctttllyyyy.

6.) Live happily ever after

However, your happily ever after isn’t tinted by rose-colored glasses. You get that there are hard things in life, that there are some things you have to fight for, and there are some things you lose, but that, in the end, everything will work out. You don’t see life as a journey to an end; you see it as an ongoing journey that you have the choice to embrace. And perhaps most important of all, you realize “Even the smallest person can change the course of the future.”

By Katie Bullock

What Does It Mean to Be a Studio Ghibli Nerd?

I have been a Studio Ghibli nut all my life, but did not know exactly where the phenomenal films came from until I was in college. Most people who love the films have similar experiences and have seen the films, but don’t necessarily connect them to the studio that produces them, nor to the fact that Ghibli has produced numerous films! I would say this is our first type of Ghibli nerd: the unknowing “Ghiblet” who needs a little guidance to get access to the knowledge that, yes, there are other films like Howl’s Moving Castle and Kiki’s Delivery Service.  I cannot count on my fingers the amount of times I have asked people, “Do you like Studio Ghibli?” and they respond, “What is that?” Then, I proceed to ask them if they have seen a Ghibli film, Spirited Away, for example and they answer something along the lines of, “Oh my gosh! I love that movie!” Oh, those lovely unknowing Ghiblets…

Next, we have the Ghibli for life people who are balls deep into the whole Ghibli thing. There is a wide range of these guys (i.e. from the fanatics to the film appreciators), and they express a few character traits that we’ll talk about below. The unknowing Ghiblets (UGs) have the potential to become one of these, and I don’t see why the UGs would not want to go all in on this stuff because it is amazing. Disclaimer: I am clearly not biased, so trust me on this one. ;)

So, here is what that true Ghibli nerd is like:

1.) They have all the merch:

what-does-it-mean-to-be-a-studio-ghibli-nerd1

Well, maybe not all of it, but they certainly want to!  I mean, who wouldn’t want a Totoro bed, some awesome Ghibli paintings to put up on your wall, Ghibli coin purses, costumes — you name it! Basically, you can get anything Ghibli if you set your mind to it. Admittedly, I myself rock the My Neighbor Totoro wallet and several pieces of Ghibli wall art. And let me tell you, folks, it just makes my day a little better every time I look at sweet, sweet Tororo’s face. If you want to see more of this awesome Ghibli stuff of which I speak, go ahead and check out my Ghibli board on Pinterest here!

2.) They have seen most, if not all, of the movies:

what-does-it-mean-to-be-a-studio-ghibli-nerd11

You’ve likely heard someone refer to a Studio Ghibli film at one time or another, as the films from this studio are pretty popular, to say the least. Perhaps you know of the studio after having seen some of the films, perhaps not; either way, you have likely experienced a Ghibli film at one time or another in your childhood. And, hey, what childhood is truly complete without the magic of Ghibli? Disney geeks might try to contest this, but there is really no case against it because Ghibli films in America are distributed through Disney! Distributed, yes, but created by Disney? Definitely not. The films under the Studio Ghibli umbrella are typically headed up by Hayao Miyazaki, his mentors, and mentees. If you’re already a Ghibli nut, you’re probably aware of this by now, but if you are just getting into Ghibli films, I strongly recommend finding out more about the creators of these films because they are some of the most talented artists you will ever hear of!

what-does-it-mean-to-be-a-studio-ghibli-nerd3

So, to be honest, experiencing these movies is the best facet of being a Ghibli nerd because you have practically flawless movies to watch again and again and again. There are many films that have been released in the US that almost everyone knows about, such as My Neighbor Totoro, Kiki’s Delivery Service, Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, and a couple others. If you have ever seen a single one of these movies, you might know that they are far above the quality necessitated to call something a “classic.” Growing up on Ghibli productions has helped so many children enhance their youthful imagination and make the best of childhood. What I know of Miyazaki confirms this, as this was largely Ghibli’s mission in creating most of the their films out there — they are simply works of art and stimulate the imagination of adults and children alike. Now, if so many people in the States have seen these, what differentiates the people who admire the films from a distance from the true Ghiblet?

what-does-it-mean-to-be-a-studio-ghibli-nerd6

Well, although these movies are well-known in the states, there are also some lesser-known Ghibli films that have been translated into English as well. Most diehard Ghiblets know about these and agree that they are essentials to the Ghibli repertoire. Some of these include: Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, From up on Poppy Hill, When Marnie was There, The Wind Rises, Princess Mononoke, and many others. It is unfortunate that these films are lesser-known in the States, as they are masterpieces in the world of cartoon-making. Ghiblets, however, know this and want more people to experience these films. In fact, before I became a true Ghiblet, a friend of mine who already was one convinced me to watch a bunch of the Ghibli films I had never even heard of. They even bought me a few of the films, just to ensure that I was able to experience them! Now, friends, that is a real Ghibli fan. And thank goodness for those because, without them, UGs like I was would not have the opportunity to see some of the world’s finest artwork.

3.) They Tend to Admire Hayao Miyazaki

what-does-it-mean-to-be-a-studio-ghibli-nerd8

But really, who wouldn’t?! This guy has created countless classics that define people’s childhoods. On top of that, he is generally a cool guy who knows how to be an adult, but live and enjoy life like a child. His art definitely reflects that too.

4.) They all want to go to the Ghibli Museum in Japan

what-does-it-mean-to-be-a-studio-ghibli-nerd10

Okay, Ghibli nerd or not, who wouldn’t want to do this? This place has the cutest attractions you could dream of, from a giant catbus to the robot soldiers from Laputa Castle in the Sky. They also show a special animated short that you can’t find elsewhere. Pretty cool, if you ask me. 

Well, those are the basics of what it means to be a Ghibli nerd, my friends!  Definitely not an exhaustive list, but an honest effort! If you’re into this stuff already, I advise you to keep going. If not, you are missing out and will find that getting more into Ghibli awesomeness will enrich your life totally!

By Corey Cherrington

What It Means To Be a STAR WARS Nerd

what-it-means-to-be-a-star-wars-nerd7

Star Wars has been a worldwide phenomenon since it debuted in 1977. The franchise is widely credited with launching the age of the modern blockbuster and is directly responsible for the many cinematic universes we see in film today. Disney’s purchase of Lucasfilm in 2012 breathed new life into the franchise after a disappointing prequel trilogy, and fans are excited to see what the future holds. But what does it mean to be a Star Wars fan? We came up with a few things most Star Wars fans do.

The Lightsaber

what-it-means-to-be-a-star-wars-nerd1

Every huge Star Wars fan has one. It may just be the one their mom bought them at Wal-mart when they were a kid or it may be a fancy Force FX replica. Either way, they own one and have at least considered wearing it in public. They battle with their friends, making the iconic humming and clashing noises as they fight. Super hardcore fans may know what their lightsaber color means, and perhaps even the eight different styles of lightsaber combat. Any way you slice it, a Star Wars fan will have a lightsaber.

The Merchandise

what-it-means-to-be-a-star-wars-nerd33

Next to the lightsaber, every good Star Wars fan needs a Star Wars t-shirt. Most likely, they own several, and wear them proudly. And the t-shirt is just the first piece of merchandise a Star Wars fan will own. Action figures, books, posters, prop replicas, costume replicas, Legos, bedsheets, breakfast cereals, and more will fill the home of a Star Wars fan. Every Star Wars fan loves their Star Wars merchandise.

The Prequels

what-it-means-to-be-a-star-wars-nerd2

Most Star Wars fans will agree that the original trilogy (Episodes IV, V, and VI) are the only “good” movies in the franchise. Many Star Wars fans were sorely disappointed with the prequels (Episodes I, II, and III). The prequels had some great action and cool special effects, but they had poorly written dialogue, little to no character development, and not enough practical effects. Just about every Star Wars fan has had multiple heated debates about just how bad the prequels were and where George Lucas went wrong. Despite those heated debates, a true Star Wars fan still knows the prequels inside and out and still loves to watch them.

A Family Affair

what-it-means-to-be-a-star-wars-nerd13

Star Wars is a unique franchise. It has captured three generations of fans: the generation raised on the original trilogy, the generation raised on the prequel trilogy, and the generation that will experience the new trilogy and stand-alone films. Parents love watching their kids fall in love with Star Wars almost as much as they love watching the films themselves. There are countless videos out there of parents and their kids enjoying Star Wars together, and no matter your age, Star Wars is magical. Just ask these kids...

Going Forward

what-it-means-to-be-a-star-wars-nerd55

Thanks to Disney, J.J. Abrams, and a successful Episode VII, Star Wars has a bright future. This December will bring Rogue One: A Star Wars Story to theaters, the first standalone film in the franchise. With a trilogy still awaiting completion, a Han Solo film, a quality TV series in Star Wars Rebels, and new comic books produced by Marvel, there is plenty for the true Star Wars fan to look forward to. What are your favorite things about being a Star Wars fan?

May the Force be with you.

By Jacob Gibb

Four DOCTOR WHO Stories You Should Watch During The Break

By: Aaron Goins

This time of year, we would normally be gearing up for new episodes of Doctor Who. The last two seasons started on August 23rd and September 19th, respectively. But this year is different. Back in January it was announced that Series 10 of Doctor Who will not air until Spring of 2017. That means there will be a long 16 or so months separating the finale of Series 9 from the premiere of Series 10.

So what do we do during the wait? Well, there was another major announcement in January: Steven Moffat will be leaving Doctor Who and new showrunner Chris Chibnall will be taking over starting with Series 11. With Series 11 not coming until 2018, we have even longer to wait to see what his version of Doctor Who will look like. But it’s never too early to start doing your homework.

Chibnall has written five episodes of Doctor Who making up four stories (one of the stories is a two-parter). What better way to get a feel for the future of Doctor Who than to watch the future showrunner’s previous work? So while you are waiting for this year’s Christmas Special, check out these four Chibnall-written Doctor Who stories.

"42"

Chibnall’s very first Doctor Who writing credit was for a 2007 episode featuring the Tenth Doctor and Martha. This episode was unique in that it was the only Chibnall-written episode to not feature the Eleventh Doctor and the Ponds. The main villain in this one was a sun-entity that possessed people and burned them up from the inside. Or were the villains the humans who were stealing energy from the entity? You decide. Chibnall can write scary and intense. He gave David Tennant’s version of the Doctor some very memorable scenes that rival the most emotional Doctor moments. There was also some nice foreshadowing of the Master’s return at the end.

"The Hungry Earth" and "Cold Blood"

Chibnall returned to Doctor Who in 2010 and penned this two-parter. The Eleventh Doctor, Amy, and Rory traveled to the wrong place and time and encountered some scientists who were unknowingly drilling into an underground civilization. The aliens below the surface did not appreciate this and wanted to start a war. Humans carelessly hurting an alien species and paying the consequences...sound familiar? We can definitely see some themes Chibnall enjoys to write, although this one is somewhat of a Doctor Who staple. These episodes also featured the return of a Doctor Who alien we had not seen in the series since 1984, the Silurians. The Silurians appeared or were mentioned in three of the five Chibnall-written episodes. I wonder if we should expect to see them more when he takes over the show for Series 11.

"Dinosaurs on a Spaceship"

This 2012 episode of Doctor Who took us from one extreme to another. It showed us a very silly side of the Doctor, not uncommon in Matt Smith’s run. It also showed us the dark side of the Doctor, where he essentially killed a man, or let’s say, let him die. This episode gave us one of the more interesting villains in the modern series, a man who was so void of morality that the Doctor wasn’t sure exactly how to deal with him. As Chibnall takes over Doctor Who, I hope to see more villains like Solomon and more dark moments for the Doctor. The triceratops that acted like a dog? Let’s not revisit that.

"The Power of Three"

Chris Chibnall’s last Doctor Who episode was also written for 2012’s Series 7. It was a story featuring little black boxes appearing on Earth and the introduction of a villainous species with a lot of potential, the Shakri. But this was all just the vehicle to carry the real story, which was the Doctor coming to terms with having to say goodbye to the Ponds. Some of the best dialogue of Series 7 can be found in conversations between the Doctor and Brian (Rory’s dad) and the Doctor and Amy. Chibnall showcased his ability to write the tear-jerking emotion we all love to see in our Doctor Who.

Which Doctor Who episodes have you been watching while waiting for the show to return?

Relive The Highlights of GAME OF THRONES Season 6 With These Gifs

By: Aaron Goins

The sixth season of Game of Thrones was full of huge moments: epic battles, character deaths, betrayals, alliances, even a little time travel. There were too many great moments to list them all, so I picked ten, one from each episode. Spoilers ahead!

Brienne To The Rescue

In the season opener “The Red Woman,” we were shown that Jon Snow was very much dead, and they were going to leave him that way for a bit. We saw a lot of death and a change of leadership in Dorne. Melisandre was revealed...in a different way than we had seen her revealed before.

But the moment that makes the list is Brienne fulfilling her desire to protect and serve another Stark. She showed up just in time to save Sansa and Theon from the fate of being brought back to the maniac Ramsay Bolton. With the help of Podrick, and even a little from Theon Greyjoy, Brienne fought off their pursuers. This allowed her to once again offer her sword to Sansa.

Don't Eat The Help

In “Home,” Jon Snow is still dead. Ramsay Bolton killed his dad and baby brother in ways that only Ramsay could. Balon Greyjoy also met his end at his brother’s hand. By the end of the episode, Jon was resurrected.

You may think Jon Snow taking his first breath would be the hands down top moment of the episode, but something else really stood out to me. Tyrion’s interaction with the dragons was so good. His fear was real, but his awe of the creatures eclipsed his fear. Tyrion’s story of wanting a little dragon of his own was perfect as he set the creatures free.

Sword of The Morning

In the previous episode, we saw Bran’s ability to experience the past with the help of the Three-Eyed Raven. In “Oathbreaker,” we got to see him use that ability again, but in a more exciting way. He brought us to the place where his father faced off against Ser Arthur Dayne in the legendary battle. The fight lived up to expectation but had an ending that surprised Bran. And just when we thought a popular fan theory would be proven, Bran woke up.

Trial By Fire

As the Lannisters and Tyrells continued to spar with the High Sparrow in “Book of the Stranger,” Dany is a prisoner of the Dothraki. Her fate seemed to be that she would have to retire with the other khal widows, but that wasn’t going to work for the Mother of Dragons. Instead, she set the khals’ tent on fire, killing them all, and taking her place as Khaleesi once again.

Hold The Door

“The Door” revealed to us the origin of the White Walkers. I never trusted those creepy Children of the Forest. Bran also made the mistake of being touched by the Night King during a vision. This ended up being a huge mistake which led to the deaths of the remaining Children, the Three-Eyed Raven, and Summer the direwolf.

The big moment of the episode was the reveal that Hodor’s name and catchphrase was just a slurred version of “hold the door.” Holding the door was his last act of bravery and allowed Meera and Bran to escape.

Holy Alliance

In “Blood of My Blood,” Sam took Gilly home to meet his parents. His mom seemed nice enough, but his dad could have worked on his manners. Gilly stood up to Lord Tarly and Sam had enough. Sam, Gilly, and child left in the night, but not before Sam took the sword that was rightfully his.

The return of Benjen Stark and Dany’s inspirational speech were other big moments in this episode, but the game changer was the High Sparrow getting the advantage in his chess match against Cersei. Just when Jaime thought he was going to put the zealot in his place, the High Sparrow revealed his latest convert.

Return of The Hound

This I did not see coming. When Sandor Clegane was beaten by Brienne and left for dead by Arya, I thought we would never see him again. Imagine my surprise when he showed up helping a cute little community of villagers.

Other big moments in “The Broken Man,” were the negotiation with Lyanna Mormont and the surprise stabbing of Arya Stark.

In The Dark

“No One” gave us the reuniting of Brienne and Jaime at Riverrun and the eventual death of The Blackfish. The Brotherhood Without Banners made a return and crossed paths with Sandor Clegane. The Brotherhood and the Hound have no current allegiances, so it will be interesting to see how they play into the upcoming war.

Arya sought the help of Lady Crane, but couldn’t hide from the waif for long. An exciting chase through Braavos led to Arya setting a trap for the waif. All that blind training really came in handy.

Face Your Mistakes

“Battle of The Bastards” was packed full of huge moments. I could almost make a list of ten from this episode alone: Dany making a pact with the Greyjoys, Rickon Stark taking an arrow to the heart, Ramsay Bolton finally getting what was coming to him...to name just a few.

Visually, the moment that really stuck out to me was Jon Snow standing alone on the battlefield facing down the charging horses of the Bolton army. Sure, it was his impulsiveness and bad decision-making that led him to his likely death, but it made for a great hero pose.

Beyond The Sea

The explosive season finale “The Winds of Winter” set the stage for what is to come in Game of Thrones. House Frey joined House Bolton in being nearly eliminated from the game. Cersei blew up the Sept, taking out the young Tyrells, the High Sparrow, and most of his forces. Tommen jumped out of a window, leaving the throne open to his mom. Jon Targary—I mean Snow was proclaimed the King of the North. Everyone else seemed to be Team Daenerys. The season ended with a fantastic view of dragons and ships crossing the Narrow Sea.

What were your favorite moments from this season?