Baby Yoda Funko Pop
A Baby Yoda collectible Funko Pop? All Star Wars and Baby Yoda fans need this. Add it to your collection. Pre-order now. It will be available May 15.
It was the biggest small screen phenomenon of the 2010s. Each season, nay, episode, was an event. Discussion of the show would flood social media every night the show aired and the morning after. Premiere parties were thrown. Cosplays were made. Memes were created. Game of Thrones was a cultural icon.
I didn’t make it past the first season.
Game of Thrones was a young show when I stumbled upon it. Season one had recently ended, and I heard rave things about the editing, the production value, the music, the acting, and more. I was told by friends that the show was shocking and would blow my mind; that I’d never be able to see what’s coming next. I jumped in.
As I watched the opening scene, I noted how elaborate the setting was and how detailed the costumes were. Dead bodies started to appear, and soon I was watching a man get decapitated. As his head was tossed into frame, I remember thinking: “this feels like it’s trying to shock me.” Maybe I was biased by having been told I won’t know what to expect, but the trend of feeling like the show was constantly trying to blow my mind persisted, both in the show’s imagery and jarring character actions.
Westeros isn’t our world, and the premiere needs to establish the environment the story is taking place in. The more shocking the violence, the better we’ll understand what kind of awful place Westeros is. It establishes a world where no good man stands a chance and you never know what’s going to happen next, and it really establishes this. By the time the premiere “Winter is Coming” ends, viewers have witnessed multiple beheadings, rape, incest, and (attempted) child murder. Yes, Jaime Lannister pushes 10-year-old Bran out the window in the final shot of the episode.
This cliffhanger didn’t grip me. It left me disliking Jamie a hell of a lot, that’s for sure, but I wasn’t dashing to hit play on the next episode. I didn’t care all that much about Bran, so the fact that he may now be dead didn’t affect me. It was a bit of a bummer that he’s a child, for sure, but asides from just not being invested in the characters yet, it felt again as if the show was trying to shock me with its brutality. As I understand it, this moment had massive implications on the story to come, so to say it was there for shock value only would be completely false. In the framework of the episode, though, there had already been so much emphasis on stunning me that it was impossible to distinguish between a plot development and a moment meant for shock value, even if in theory they were intertwined.
This only got worse as the season went on, as the White Walkers and the beheading in the premiere weren’t followed up on. Bran’s storyline also seemed stagnant as he developed amnesia after the fall. The lack of follow up made me question the point of these moments. The blood, violence, and nudity continued as well, and the intense imagery began to make me numb to shocking plot points and character twists. They melted into each other, each trying to outdo the other in blowing my mind. Between watching an innocent canine get slaughtered, watching Danearys eat a heart, and witnessing Little Finger’s betrayal, Ned Stark’s death became just another moment. I wasn’t surprised by this development because the show had trained me to expect these twists.
Part of what makes a twist effective is the pulling of the rug from under your feet. You realize that things aren’t what you thought they were, and now the status quo has changed. Due to Game of Thrones’ method of storytelling, there didn’t seem to be a status quo. Season one established a world with no rug, so I was unable to get comfortable with any situation or any scenario.
This style made the show prime “edge of your seat” viewing, and for some viewers, that lack of security made the ride thrilling, but for me, it felt like there was nothing to hold on to. With Game of Thrones’ “no one is safe” philosophy, I found it hard to become invested in anyone’s story. You win or die when you play the Game of Thrones, so at any moment their story could come to an end to serve the larger purpose of the show. This isn’t to say that the show never put character at the forefront. It may have; again, I didn’t watch so I don’t know. The emphasis on head trauma and blowing minds in season one, however, implied to me that the show’s priorities were different than my own.
That’s not to say that I hated it. There are several aspects of the first season I enjoyed. I loved that Ned’s role in the story advanced the theme that those who are noble and play by the rules are doomed to fail. Arya seemed pretty cool, and I liked her dog that was still alive. She was so loyal! I considered watching the second season for Tyrion alone (I had my poor sister update me on Tyrion’s journey every week).
I almost jumped back onto the show several times over the last eight years; four times to be precise. Once when I saw the trailer for season two and heard Varys say to Tyrion, “A small man can cast a large shadow.” Once when I heard that Joffrey got poisoned in season four, cause he was annoying AF. Once when a girl I was into was more into Game of Thrones than she was me. And lastly when season eight was starting, because I bought into a Game of Thrones pool at my sister’s office and wanted to see how I did (I did pretty well). Unfortunately, the characters I was invested in weren’t enough to balance out my fear that the characters would end up serving the show, nor enough for me to put up with the gratuitous violence and the diminishing returns of the shocking moments.
I kept tabs, though. I was curious about how the show would manage to keep surprising its audience in any meaningful way since I had already been conditioned to expect the unexpected in season one. From what I could gather, it’s almost as if the show became a game itself. Viewers guessed about who would die and when, and speculated over who would obtain the throne, hence my sister’s office pool. Between The Red Wedding, Battle of the Bastards, and “hold the door;” Game of Thrones consistently swerved, shocked, and impressed the audience, or at least that’s what my news feed implied. However, that sort of thrill ride can compromise a story.
The promise of the unexpected cannot hold universally true if you want to tell a coherent story. Even with dozens of smaller characters, a story will always center around the few meaningful pieces: Danaerys, Jon Snow, Arya, Cersei, my boy Tyrion, etc. The Game of Thrones writers knew this, which is why every name above made it through 8 seasons, and innately most viewers know this, which is why everyone knew Jon Snow wouldn’t stay dead. These are the characters audiences are intended to hold on to, but if your storytelling philosophy relies so heavily on shock and a constantly shifting status quo, what happens to these characters when your plot lines start to wrap up? What happens when the answers are provided, the pieces are in place, and all that’s left to watch is the main players finish their arcs? Characters may end up getting sacrificed to maintain the ride. This is where the crux of my fears and the decision to stop watching lied. After wrapping up the first season, I felt that eventually the characters I was interested in would become subject to the machine, sacrificed to keep the engine that powered Game of Thrones running.
I didn’t want to get invested in a character’s story only to have them literally axed in the middle of their arc. I didn’t want to watch Tyrion lose his swagger because the plot needed him in a different place than he would want to be. And I didn’t want to watch more beheadings, rape, and thirteen-year-olds drink out of their mom’s.
I don’t know if characters were sacrificed for plot or philosophy at any point after season one. Considering all the praise Game of Thrones got, I imagine they weren’t, at least not until the last two seasons. The conversation around season seven got heated (I remember a lot of talk about characters warping across the continent), and the internet erupted in season eight. What I saw was mostly negative, such as characters acting out of character, plot lines being rushed, and arguments over the difference between foreshadowing and character development. I don’t know if these complaints were the realization of my initial fears or completely unrelated. I will never know for sure.
I never made it past the first season.
This is a story about a girl named Caroline Forbes.
Caroline is not the same woman she was when The Vampire Diaries first premiered in 2009.
In terms of character growth, the vapid perfectionist — brought to life by the impeccable Candice King — underwent the biggest evolution in the show’s eight-season run.
Though she was introduced as a shallow, oftentimes insufferable teen, with time, she blossomed into a strong-willed and impressive young woman who knew what she stood for and always stuck up for her friends.
Most of all, she grew into a fiercely independent.
She was no longer the girl that needed a man to feel a sense of worth — a stark contrast from the Caroline we met on The Vampire Diaries Season 1, who looked for love in all the wrong places.
In those early episodes, Caroline was a control freak who took on as many extracurriculars she could squeeze into her schedule (head cheerleader, in charge of dance committees, town activities, and more) to be the best.
Deep down, however, she was insecure and sought validation from the opposite sex, and then blamed herself when she didn’t get it. Not being “the best” made her feel worthless.
We saw that on full display on The Vampire Diaries Season 1 Episode 1, we saw that a smitten Caroline tried to date brooding newbie Stefan Salvatore. When he told her it would never happen and chose Elena instead, Caroline was heartbroken and drowned her sorrows.
“How come the guys I want never want me?” she asked Bonnie before wallowing in self-pity and emphasizing that she was never good enough.
Teenage Caroline was a bit neurotic and even downright mean, as she lashed out at everyone around her, including her closest friends. Her toxic behavior was mostly fueled by insecurity and jealousy.
While these characteristics undoubtedly gave the character substance, they also gave her something much more important — room to grow. And that growth was wonderful to watch over the years.
Elena was always put on a pedestal, but Caroline was a constant work in progress, which leaned in her favor as it allowed her to flourish and surpass her story arc.
On the road to becoming your best-self, hardships are unavoidable, and Caroline went through her fair share.
Her eventual complexity, good nature, and thoughtfulness made her a far better lead than Elena. Upon Nina Dobrev’s departure, she (along with Bonnie, who also deserved better) carried the series.
Since Caroline’s self-esteem was effectively shot, she became the perfect target for any man who would give her even a smidge of attention.
Damon Salvatore was the first to prey on and manipulate Caroline for selfish reasons.
And it didn’t stop at Damon. In those early seasons, Caroline dated nearly every single man in Mystic Falls — Tyler, Matt, Klaus, Stefan, and Alaric, along with supporting characters like Liam and Jesse.
While the relationships usually progressed naturally, it was obvious that Caroline was trying to find herself and fill a void.
That strength was always within her; she needed help finding it.
Caroline was “revamped” — pun intended — when she turned into a vampire. Again, she was the victim of someone else’s selfish games, but it was a turning point for her and, quite honestly, the best thing that could have happened to her character.
Her transition wasn’t wasted or used simply for plot development as she found both physical and mental strength while gaining a new outlook on life.
Since The Mandalorian picked up steam in 2019, Baby Yoda has been all the rage. Some might even say that the force is strong with this little green one.
Fans have been waiting for Baby Yoda merch since the premiere, but since the alien, known as The Child, who bears a striking resemblance to a young Yoda thus earning him the name, was such a huge secret, merch hasn’t been available until now!
We may be in quarantine, but at least you can re-watch the series in your Mandalorian swag!
Or, if you have a big fan in your life, you can buy them something from this list to cheer them up!
Check it out below… and if you can’t wait for season 2, here’s everything we already know about the upcoming season!
Disclosure: We may get a commission from retail offers.
A Baby Yoda collectible Funko Pop? All Star Wars and Baby Yoda fans need this. Add it to your collection. Pre-order now. It will be available May 15.
Do you have the urge to just hold Baby Yoda tight and never let him go? Same. And you can with this 11-inch plush! Get him now!
Okay, so Baby Yoda might not be on the bedding per se, but if you’re a fan or have a child that is, how can you resist this spread? Let the force be with you day, night, and when you take a nappie. Get the bedding now!
Take Baby Yoda wherever you go with this slick backpack that’s ready for any adventure! Grab the backpack now!
Are you even a real fan without trading cards? These cards are made just for a Baby Yoda fan and follow the journey of The Child! Buy trading cards now
These Lego Brickheadz give you Baby Yoda and The Mandalorian. You’ll be able to create an authentic display complete with signature weapons! Get your Brickheadz now!
Okay, so this one isn’t for kids, but hear us out — Baby Yoda is technically 50, so a whiskey glass dooooes sort of make sense. Buy it now
Hasbro has several different Baby Yoda figurines with various poses including reaching (for the radio controls), eating a frog, sipping his tea, and more. The release date is May 25! Find out how to purchase
There’s nothing more enjoyable during quarantine than doing a jigsaw puzzle with a Baby Yoda smiling back at you. Grab your puzzle now
This T-shirt isn’t joking, you’ve got precious cargo in your pocket… it’s Baby Yoda! Grab the tee now
Virgin River season 2 ended on a jaw-dropping cliffhanger. For a quiet, scenic town, there’s sure a lot of danger lurking in those woods.
If you’ve watched the season finale, then you know that Jack’s life is hanging in the balance.
In the last few moments of the episode, Mel arrived at Jack’s bar and found him bleeding out from an apparent gunshot wound.
This begs the question: who shot Jack? And why?
There’s a few theories floating around on the internet, and we’ll get to those in a moment, but Martin Henderson, who plays Jack, told TV Line that he thinks the prime suspect isn’t the most obvious one. “I always joke that it’s most likely Charmaine. It does pop into your mind!”
Let’s break down some potential theories:
Charmaine is definitely one of the top suspects considering her big fight with Jack. Charmaine was pretty crazy throughout the season as she went through a series of mood swings. You just never knew what you were going to get with her. The pregnancy hormones likely played a role, but Charmaine’s been a pretty unstable character even before the pregnancy. And maybe after the constant back-and-forth with Jack, her jealousy over Mel, and finally realizing that they’d never be together romantically, she finally snapped. This wouldn’t be the first time Charmaine tried to “get revenge.” Let’s not forget she spread rumors about Mel being a home-wrecker and straight-up told Jack she wouldn’t allow him to be the father of their twins. We don’t know what a woman that’s been hurt is capable of. Hopefully, we’re all just misjudging Charmaine because I think if she can truly accept that Jack doesn’t love her in that way, they could make great co-parents. Otherwise, she’ll be in prison and Jack will be raising those babies with Mel!
Calvin and/or Jimmy.
Calvin (or one of his right-hand men like Jimmy) is the go-to suspect since he has plenty beef with Jack! It’s also the most obvious choice, so we have to consider if Virgin River is the kind of show that wants amp up the shock factor or take a more predictable route. The war with Calvin and Jack has been brewing for most of the second season with Jack meddling in his business and trying to stop him from expanding his fentanyl enterprise. We know Calvin isn’t above killing a man who has gotten in his way, but he’s also had plenty of chances to do it before. Why now? Maybe the LAPD shut down Calvin’s operation after Spencer testified and one of Calvin’s men acted out of loyalty since they knew Jack had a hand in it. Getting involved with Calvin, especially by trying to sabotage his business, is a recipe for danger and disaster.
Brady is also a potential suspect, but I just don’t see him going through it. Despite his fallout with Jack, he respects him. Not to mention, he went out of his way to help Spencer get out of town, which allowed him to testify against Calvin’s “lumber” business. Brady may have been motivated by money at first, but when he realized what was going on, he realized he had to do the right thing even if it meant going to prison. So, while Brady could’ve shot Jack because he botched up his investment, I just don’t see it panning out. And if it turns out to be him, color me shocked!
A Random Druggie Looking to Score?
We’ve seen our fair share of those in Virgin River this season, so maybe it wasn’t a planned shooting? Slim chances here, but you never know who might waltz into a bar in the middle of the night looking for trouble.
Again, super slim chances. Actually, the chances are nearly non-existent because Ricky is a good guy who has simply been struggling to make the right decisions because of his love for bad gal Lizzie. He may have exchanged some words with Jack previously, but there’s no chance he has it in him to shoot the guy who has given him a job and supported him!
Who do you think the culprit is? Hopefully, Netflix will renew the show for a third season soon so we can get #JusticeforJackSheridan!
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