Final Thoughts on Game of Thrones

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So, Game of Thrones. Ever heard of it? Just ended, I’m sure you have thoughts. I have some, as well. I went back an forth on whether or not to even post this, because, as I said, everyone in the world has their opinions and everyone in the world has already written their think pieces and everyone in the world has already told everyone else in the world how much they hated this season. There’s really nothing original or thought-provoking or worthwhile I can add to the discussion surrounding season 8 and the end to the saga, but I feel like I have to try, anyway. It’s Website Law, after all. I found the final two seasons relatively disappointing and didn’t love the ending, but it was far from the worst thing I’ve ever seen. Anyone saying as such is likely just a prisoner of the moment and got caught up in the hype and theorizing, has never watched a TV show from start to finish before, or is just looking for affirmation online.

In the grand scheme of the fandom, I’m an early GOT adapter: the first season is the only one I didn’t watch live. I’ve read the books and the companion books. I know more about Westeros and Essos than any one man should know. If there’s anyone who should be personally offended by the ending to all of this, it’s me. And I just….don’t really care that much. It was a crappy ending. That doesn’t erase the hours upon hours of amazing television or the pages upon pages of amazing storytelling. Just because you found the ending underwhelming doesn’t mean the show itself is now worthless or can’t be appreciated. It’s completely absurd that a TV show had the kind of production value Game of Thrones did. Set mistakes aside, this season was mind-blowing visually. The acting, as usual, was top-notch. Yet another dominant season from Peter Dinklage, whose work as Tyrion, even though the writing let his character down, has to be put into the all-time great TV performance pantheon. TV is only getting bigger and more expensive and drawing bigger directors and actors and producers, so maybe this becomes the norm. But it probably won’t, so even if you didn’t love the pacing or the writing or the characterizations or whatever (I didn’t, either), there’s still so much to appreciate. It wasn’t a perfect ending, it’s not the end of the world.

When they look back on this ten or twenty years from now, I think the showrunners (if they even care) will be kicking themselves over the truncation of seasons 7 and 8 and the two-year gap between them. Granted, I’m sure they didn’t have much control over the delay, but it only increased the fervor and the theorizing and the hand-wringing and allowed more and more people to catch up and get hyped up for the finale. It would have been nearly impossible to come up with an ending the majority of people liked, but shortening the seasons like that tied one hand behind their backs. They kept saying it was only a 73-hour story. What? You knew that specific number when you made the pilot? That seems fake and lazy. But you know what? In a way I don’t really blame them. They signed up to adapt George R.R. Martin’s brilliant world into a television show, and, before they knew it, they ran out of world. Guys who aren’t fantasy authors had to now finish a master’s story. That would be like if Gordon Ramsey did the first 80% of an extravagant meal and then told me to finish the dish I’d never even heard of previously. It was always going to be rocky. It’s so hard to finish any massive story like this. It’s even harder when it’s not yours and you’ve been thrown into a stormy ocean with no life vest. I can see pretty clearly why those two just wanted out. They’ll always have the first six seasons.

So now we just hope and pray that Geroge can finish the books. To be honest, they’re so long and deep and there are so many different threads and plots that I don’t even know if it’s humanly possible to wrap it up in a satisfying way. His meandering style doesn’t exactly lend itself to speedy completion, but I’m sure everyone would rather wait to have as good a version as possible than some rush job. I’m worried for his health, and the amount of pressure he’s now facing is incomprehensible. I’m rooting for him, mostly because this has become one of the most formative stories in my life. As someone currently writing my own books, his world building and narrative style are inspirational. So take your time, George, but uhh, yeah. It’s kind of up to you, now.

Those are pretty much my thoughts on the ending of the show. It sucks there’s no more episodes to look forward to, but there’ll be something new eventually. There always is, and that’ll be what’s kindest to the show moving forward. People will eventually forget how much they hated this, because they’ll hate something else even more. Now, let’s rank some stuff.

Book Power Ranking

  1. Storm of Swords
  2. Game of Thrones
  3. Dance with Dragons
  4. Clash of Kings
  5. Feast for Crows

Best Characters (show only)

  1. Jaime Lannister
  2. Tyrion Lannister
  3. Bronn
  4. Arya Stark
  5. Brienne of Tarth

Best Acting Performances (have to go top 11 because there are just too many)

  1. Dinklage- Tyrion
  2. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau- Jaime
  3. Lena Headey- Cersei Lannister
  4. Charles Dance- Tywin Lannister
  5. Alfie Allen- Theon Greyjoy
  6. Jack Gleason- Joffrey Baratheon
  7. Jerome Flynn- Bronn
  8. Liam Cunningham- Davos Seaworth
  9. Maisie Williams- Arya
  10. Gwendoline Christie- Brienne
  11. Carice van Houten- Melisandre

Best House to be in (before events of show)

  1. Tyrell
  2. Martell
  3. Dayne (need to get my hands on Dawn)
  4. Lannister
  5. Hightower (imagine being king of Chicago)

Best place to live

  1. Sunspear
  2. Anywhere in the Reach
  3. Qarth
  4. Everywhere else

Season Ranking

  1. 4
  2. 2
  3. 1
  4. 6
  5. 3
  6. 5
  7. 7
  8. 8

Biggest unanswered questions

  1. What was the point of the Night King?
  2. What can Bran actually do?
  3. What about the Faceless Men?
  4. What does Varys want/what’s his origin?
  5. What happened to Tyrek Lannister? (shoutout to the book readers)

Best Moments

  1. Hot Pie browning the butter
  2. Cersei destroys sept
  3. Tower of Joy
  4. Wildfire ships in the Blackwater
  5. Jaime-Brienne bath
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Fantasy Football Tips 2017

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You play fantasy football. I play fantasy football. Everyone in America plays fantasy football. And, now that preseason week 3 is officially #done, it’s prime drafting SZN. If you already had your draft, well, you’re stupid and I hope you drafted Julian Edelman and Cameron Meredith. Never draft before preseason week 3. That’s tip #1.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “There’s 5 million other fantasy football draft advice columns out there, and every single one is more reputable than this one. Why should I read it?” Good question. I’m sure you’ve already consumed an infinite amount of fantasy football material in preparation for your draft. You’ve got your strategy all lined up, you’re feeling good, you can practically taste that trophy, it’s so close. But then you choke and take Justin Tucker 3rd round. It happens to everyone. Everyone except me, that is.

You see, I’m something of a fantasy football savant. I think I’ve been playing legitimately since my freshman year of high school, so about ten years (yikes). In that decade, there are more years where I’ve won more than one league than years where I’ve won zero. There’s no evidence of this, so you’ll have to take my word for it. Tip #2 is that my word is law when it comes to fantasy football. But again, despite establishing my bona fides, why should you care about my advice? After all, why not go to ESPN or NFL.com or Yahoo and have eight different guys tell you that Isaiah Crowell and Ryan Tanehill Jameis Winston are the hot fantasy names this year that you just have to have on your team? And listen, I get it. Those other places are safe. You know what you’ll get from them, and if you follow their instructions to a T, you won’t come in last. Cool. I’d rather swing for the fences. Despite what annoying people who talk trash about week to week fantasy results will tell you, the only skill involved in succeeding in fantasy football is research and making educated guesses. The rest is all luck. So if you go into your draft with the same research and gameplan as everyone else, where’s your edge? You don’t have one anymore. That’s where I come in. Want to win in fantasy? Zig when everyone zags. Think outside the box. Most importantly, follow my leadership. I’ll steer you in the right direction. Tip #3 is that this is the only draft kit you’ll ever need.

Basic Draft Advice

  • Wait as long as possible to take a quarterback. Or don’t. It’s your team.
  • Spot positional deficiencies. Are there only five good running backs in the league? If you draft all of them, everyone’s going to have to come to you to get one.
  • Switch things up and take a kicker in the third to last round. It’ll get everyone else scrambling and now you can pick up that late round sleeper you thought would be gone.
  • Don’t use a player’s name as a pun for your team name. No one thinks it’s funny and everyone hates you.
  • Line it up so every player on your team has their bye week at the same time. If you come out with an empty roster that week, your opponent won’t know what to do and might panic. It’s a mental game, folks.
  • Every defense is the same and the level of week to week variance is astronomical. It literally doesn’t matter who you have.
  • If your league is drafting in-person, stay silent the entire time. Everyone will think you’re sick and underestimate you, or they’ll think you’re up to something and get all their precious sleepers way too early, leaving all the players who will actually be good to you.
  • Even if you know who you’re going to pick, switch up the amount of time it takes to submit your pick. It’ll keep everyone else on their toes and might frustrate some.

Sleepers

  • Tom Brady- Thanks to his patented sleep ware line, no one gets a better, more fulfilling night’s sleep than Tom Brady.
  • Randy Moss- People forget that Randy Moss set the single season record for most touchdown receptions. And now he’s going undrafted in most leagues? Scoop him up late and reap the rewards.
  • Chad Henne- Blake Bortles is going to get benched this season. You’ll thank me when that happens and you have the Henn-meister on your squad.
  • Joe Mixon, Ezekiel Elliot, Josh Gordon, Martavis Bryant, Michael Floyd, Doug Martin- Want to win in fantasy football? Leave your morals at the door. Become the guy with enough courage to take the suspended guys and scumbags.
  • Tyrod Taylor- He gets like, three points per game less than Aaron Rodgers.

Busts

  • Brock Osweiler- He is bad at football. Don’t draft him.
  • Odell Beckham- Sure, he’s had the most prolific start to a career in NFL history, but can he handle the bright lights of New York? I don’t think so. Stay away.
  • Ryan Tannehill- Hard to finally take that next step when he can’t walk anymore. Because he blew out his knee. And won’t play this season. Get it?
  • Russell Wilson- screen-shot-2017-08-28-at-5-29-39-pm-2-640x6011screen-shot-2017-08-28-at-5-29-39-pm-2-640x601screen-shot-2017-08-28-at-5-29-39-pm-2-640x6012
  • Any Jet- If you wind up with someone from the Jets on your roster, you probably did something wrong.

Hot Rookies

  • Leonard Fournette- Word on the street is this guy might have some potential.
  • Austin Carr- One white Patriots receiver out, one white Patriots receiver in.
  • O.J. Howard- Hey, this guy was on Hard Knocks! He must be good!
  • Stacy Coley- He’s a receiver for the Vikings. Just kind of picked a random guy.
  • Kevin White- With Kevin White coming back from injury (again) it’s like the Bears had another first round pick this year!

Punter Ranking Because the True Players Add in Punting Points

  1. Marquette King
  2. Johnny Hekker
  3. Bryan Anger
  4. Bradley Pinnion
  5. Sam Martin

Top Guys to Take Early If You Want an Excuse Ready for Why Your Team Stinks

  • Ben Roethlisberger
  • Darren McFadden
  • Keenan Allen
  • Rob Gronkowski
  • Sammy Watkins

I think that’s all you need. Follow your gut for the rest. Let me know if you followed my instructions and how badly you dominated your league. Actually, whether or not you used this, don’t tell me. Because even though I’m a fantasy savant, I still don’t care about your fantasy team.