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I Didn’t Make It Past the First Season of Game of Thrones

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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.

GameOfThrones/TheDanceOfDragons

Game of Thrones/HBO                                              Gotta admit this looks pretty cool, though

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. 

Game of Thrones/BeyondtheWall

Game of Thrones/HBO                                              Where was this guy in season one?

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).

Game of Thrones - Home

Game of Thrones/HBO                                               A beast looking at a dragon

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. 

Game of Thrones/TheWolfandTheLion

Game of Thrones/HBO                                              This is Ned, in case some of you forgot

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.

Game of Thrones/HBO

Game of Thrones/HBO          How it should have ended

I never made it past the first season.


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The Irregulars

13 Biggest Moments from Season 1 of ‘The Irregulars’

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13 Biggest Moments from Season 1 of 'The Irregulars'

A darkness has come to London on Netflix’s new British crime drama and Sherlock Holmes spinoff The Irregulars. 

With a ting of supernatural sprinkled into every case, the series embraces a darker, gorier, and bloodier tone than any previous iteration of the Holmes catalog. Heed my warning when I say the show isn’t for those for the faint of heart… or stomach.

But once you get past that, the series, set in Victorian London, draws you in with a mystery that even Sherlock himself struggles to crack. 

There are plenty of scary action scenes that will scare the bejesus out of you, but they aren’t there for the sake of cheap thrills. Every moment is meticulously included in the story to propel the plot forward, develop the characters, and lead to some pretty unexpected twists. 

The Baker Street Irregulars step into danger to save London from eternal doom, all while trying to figure out whether or not Dr. Watson – who uses their poverty to force them to work for him – is a good or bad guy.

Let’s break down some of the biggest reveals and most jaw-dropping moments of the first season:

 

Jessie’s an Ipsissimus

In The Irregulars Season 1 Episode 3, as the Baker Street Irregulars spend the night at a “murder house” at the behest of Mycroft Holmes to figure out who killed the Inner Circle’s magus (leader), they learn that Jessie, who has been having nightmares that initially made her think she was going crazy like her mother, Alice, is an Ipsissimus. An Ipsissimus is what’s described as a powerful and true psychic, one who can change the destiny of the world. In the episode, Patricia attempts to steal Jessie’s powers with a spell of infatuation but is unsuccessful thanks to Jessie’s committed friends. 

Jessie has the ability to penetrate the minds of the villains and monsters they are investigating. During her dreams, where she’s terrorized by a Bird Man later revealed to be Plague doctors, she gets pulled into a safe space in Louisiana by a God-like man who not only gives her advice about her powers but informs her that a Rip has opened up in London that’s allowing supernatural evils to manifest and take hold.

13 Biggest Moments from Season 1 of 'The Irregulars'

Credit: Netflix

Bea Kills the evil Tooth Fairy

This didn’t seem to have as big of an impact on Bea as you’d think killing (even someone possessed by demons) should have. However, it was a justified kill because if she hadn’t done it, the Tooth Fairy would’ve killed Billy. In order to save him, Bea had no other option. While it didn’t affect her moving forward, it was a clear indication of their grim new reality.

 

The RIP

The Louisana man describes the Rip as the catalyst for the manifestations and deep disturbances. The Rip essentially has opened the door to the other side, and if the spirit world takes hold, London (and the rest of the world) would cease to exist. 

The Baker Street Irregulars make it their mission to find the Rip and close it before it fully engulfs London in chaos and destruction, which gets worse and worse as the Rip grows and expands. By The Irregulars Season 1 Episode 8, monsters have taken over the streets of London and no one is safe, not even the nuns at the church. Why does it always have to be the nuns?!

 

Sherlock Holmes Is an Addict

While the Sherlock Holmes you know may occasionally use addictive drugs to stimulate case-solving, The Irregulars’ Holmes has an addiction that has spiraled out of control and taken hold of his life. 

The horrors of his past, the mistakes he’s made, the darkness he’s seen, and the loss he’s endured have all contributed to his self-destruction. He’s defeated and lost, so he finds purpose in his addiction. 

13 Biggest Moments from Season 1 of 'The Irregulars'

Credit: Netflix

Love Triangle Between Billy, Leo, and Bea

No show is complete without a love triangle. Very early on in the series, it’s clear that Billy is into Bea. They’ve been friends since they were young and in the workhouse together, but he’s never made his feelings known. He becomes jealous when Bea develops an interest in newcomer Leo, which leads to plenty of tension between the two men both vying for Bea’s heart. Eventually, Leo wins the battle, and while it pains Billy to see Bea with another man, he doesn’t seem to bring up his suppressed feelings again… for now. 

 

Leo’s Secret Identity and Disease

Leo is Prince of England (think old-school Prince William), but he doesn’t reveal that to the Baker Street Crew upon meeting them. Leo feigns poverty because, for most of his life, he has been trapped in the palace due to his life-threatening disease. Leo suffers from hemophilia, a medical condition that allows for easy blood clotting causing the sufferer to bleed severely from the slightest injury. He may have the life, but he has no life. 

When he meets Bea and her friends, he finally feels as though he fits in somewhere. He enjoys the adventures and quickly puts his book smarts to use by becoming the “brains” of the operation. But he continues to keep his identity a secret because he fears that if they knew the truth, they’d resent him and think differently of him.

13 Biggest Moments from Season 1 of 'The Irregulars'

Credit: Netflix

Bea Finds Out Who Leo Really Is

Of course, Bea eventually finds out about Leo’s identity. It was inevitable. Leo is betrayed by his closest confidant, his palace aide, Daimier, who becomes desperate when his attempts to lure Leo back to the palace before his mother realizes that he’s missing are unsuccessful.

When Leo stands his ground and refuses to return, Daimier confronts Bea and tells her the truth knowing that she’ll turn her back on the prince. Bea already has a hard time trusting people because of her past experiences, so she doesn’t take well to Leo’s lying.

However, after Billy gets arrested for murder, Spike reaches out to Leo for help. In the final episode, Leo informs Bea that he must leave on a trip to Europe with a potential bride Helena as it’s his duty as Prince of England to marry. When Bea tells him he doesn’t have to do anything he doesn’t want to do, he admits that he promised his mother in exchange for the palace’s help in freeing Billy. He sacrificed his ultimate love to help their mutual friend, and that not only redeems Leo in Bea’s eyes, but it also tells you everything you need to know about the kind of person Leo is. 

With Leo out of the picture, will Billy and Bea pursue their feelings for each other if season 2 becomes a reality?

 

Billy Finds Out the Truth About His Parents

Billy, like most everyone on Baker Street, is haunted by his past, particularly his time spent in the workhouses. He confronts his past when he spots Vic, the master at the workhouse. Vic was responsible for beating up a young Bea, and Billy wants revenge as he feels guilty that he wasn’t able to do anything to help her when they were younger.

He breaks into Vic’s house, who remembers Billy and is more than happy to continue kicking him while he’s down by informing him that everything he’s ever believed about his parents was a lie. His father didn’t die in the war — they never knew who his father was because his mother was a prostitute. 

When Billy runs into Vic a second time on the street, the altercation turns violent when Billy is provoked into throwing a punch that accidentally kills him. Poor Billy doesn’t know his own strength. In those days, the law doesn’t err on Billy’s side, so instead of the punch being considered self-defense, Billy is thrown into jail for murder. 

As previously mentioned, Leo helps so that Billy is able to freely walk to gloomy streets of London again.

13 Biggest Moments from Season 1 of 'The Irregulars'

Credit: Netflix

Holmes’ Connection to Alice

Initially, the Baker Street crew doesn’t trust Dr. Watson one bit. And for good reason – he leverages their poverty against them to make them work his cases. He’s not upfront about anything, including the fact that he knew Bea and Jessie’s mother, Alice. 

Bea pursues the truth about her mother, who she knows was gifted like Jessie, and eventually pieces it all together: Alice and Sherlock were in love. She successfully finds him passed out on her mother’s grave and forces him to sober up as she presses for answers. Eventually, it’s revealed that he’s Jessie’s biological father, but once Alice died, he couldn’t find it in himself to take care of the girls, which is why they ended up in workhouses. 

 

Watson opened the first RIP

In a twisted case, the Baker Street gang pursues a woman named Edith who is stealing body parts from the infirmary to revive her late husband, Sammy. In her desperate attempt to bring him back to life, she’s basically creating a monster. While paying her a visit, they find Dr. Watson tied up in a room and learn that she came to him for help 15 years ago and showed him a relic that she thought could save her husband.

Watson took the relic to “exam it” and promised to return it, but he never did. Instead, he tried to use it to connect to the other side to impress Holmes, which is when he accidentally opened the first Rip. He never told Holmes the truth, but when they finally went to close the Rip, Alice was sucked in. Instead of saving her, Watson saved Holmes because he’s always loved him.

13 Biggest Moments from Season 1 of 'The Irregulars'

Credit: Netflix

The Linen Man Is Bad News

Whenever Jessie has the nightmares that take her to catacombs where she sees dead people and Plague doctors, she gets pulled out to a nice and serene place in Louisana by a man who is referred to as The Linen Man. Throughout her journey, he provides her with advice on how to control being an Ipssissimus and explains how the Rip works. At one point, he reveals that he’s on a ship making his way to London to help her. 

Of course, if you’re an avid TV watcher, you’re likely skeptical of any stranger who offers to help without getting anything in return. 

Upon his arrival in London, the Linen Man reveals that Jessie isn’t strong enough to do what needs to be done and admits that he’s not trying to close the rip, he wants to harness his powers and become godlike. 

Moral of the story: never trust anyone who can get into your mind and use your fears against you.

 

Who Is Behind the Second Rip?

After confronting the Linen Man and killing him, Jessie realizes that deep down she’s always known who opened the second Rip: her mother, Alice. This explains why Sherlock left with the Linen Man and helped him find the location of the Rip. 

It’s a heartfelt reunion once Alice emerges from the Rip, but it’s short-lived as Jessie realizes that Alice can’t stay in their world. When Bea and Sherlock object, Jessie helps Bea remember that they had some pretty good times together. If they let their mother stay, London will be overrun by monsters and cease to exist as it’ll simply turn into a kind of purgatory. 

Bea eventually sees the light and agrees with Jessie that Alice has to go back. 

13 Biggest Moments from Season 1 of 'The Irregulars'

Credit: Netflix

Sherlock’s Ultimate Sacrifice 

As Jessie began to close the rip, Alice was sucked back into the other side. Sherlock, who was less of a man without Alice, decided to jump in after her. Watson grabbed him to keep him from getting sucked in, but as the Rip began pulling in Jessie, Bea begged Watson to do the right thing. Despite his love for Sherlock, he let him go and helped save Jessie.

 

 A Breakdown of The Mysteries

An Unkindness” – Ravens are kidnapping babies because a man used a spirit board to try to bring back his late child, who passed away with his wife after giving birth. 

The Ghosts of 221B”– In this retelling of the tooth fairy, you don’t want to lose your baby teeth. Children’s teeth are getting pulled out by an evil Tooth Fairy who wants revenge on the Duke of Winchester as she blames him for her father’s suicide. 

“Ipsissimus” – We meet Mycroft Holmes, Sherlock’s brother, a member of the Golden Dawn. When the magus of the cult-like underground society is murdered, he asks the Beaker Street kids to investigate. When they arrive at the “murder house,” they learn that Patricia is using dark magic to keep them all trapped in order to get her hands on Jessie and steal her psychic abilities and eventually, channel the power of the Rip. This is the last we see of Mycroft, which is a bummer because he could’ve contributed a lot more to the storyline. 

Both the Needle and the Knife” – This episode may be one of the more disturbing ones as the opening scene finds a man removing a face. Jessie is asked to assist Scotland Yard Inspector Lestrade in the case, and though he benefits from her abilities, he’s not a fan of the supernatural and deems her an abomination. Jessie’s powers lead them to a woman named Clara, who was taken advantage of by the men that she’s now killing. After one of the men gives her syphilis, thus taking away her ability to have kids, she gets revenge by eventually stealing the pub owner’s face and making his family her own. Jessie confronts her and when Clara promises to never kill again, she lets her go. 

“Students of the Unhallowed Arts” – We finally meet Sherlock, or, well, a shell of what used to be Sherlock. The episode serves as an informational one that allows the rest of the season to unfold. Sherlock tells Bea how the original Irregulars — Alice, Sherlock, and Watson — came to be, how their story unfolded, and how it ended tragically. Sherlock also admits that he couldn’t crack the Case of the Collector, a person who was stealing body parts. 

“Hieracium Snowdoniense” – Nope, not a spell but a plant that the plant lady was using to steal limbs to resuscitate her barely-alive husband. The monstrosity she created 15-years later blames her for preventing him from finding peace, so he immediately kills her and then himself. The Baker Street kids also learn all about Watson’s involvement in the first Rip as Jessie learns the truth about the Linen Man.

“The Ecstacy of Death” – Chaos has taken over London as the Rip continues to widen. The Linen Man reveals more of his plans to Jessie including marrying her off to his son to create more Ipssissimus’. The Baker Street crew, along with Sherlock and Watson plan to trap the Linen Man to get the location of the Rip, but he manages to convince Sherlock to free him and join him.

“The Ecstacy of Life” – The conclusion of season 1 brings back and kills Alice in one fell swoop. It also marks the end of Sherlock, which is kind of a bummer. Both Watson and Bea suffer the loss of a loved one, which finally gives them common ground. While the darkness that took hold of London is gone, moving on is going to be the hardest part. 

 

While it’s unclear if The Irregulars will see a second season, or what that second season would entail, there’s definitely a marketplace for mystery gore set in the 19th century. 

What did you think of the series?


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This Is Us Review – One Small Step… (5×11)

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This Is Us Review One Small Step Season 5 Episode 11

Nicky Pearson, Jack’s brother, was the star of the hour on This Is Us Season 5 Episode 11. 

It was a much more mellow installment and yet, it still managed to pull at your heartstrings in the only way This Is Us can. 

As audiences were taken on Nicky’s journey from the past — both pre-Vietnam and post-Vietnam — and into the present, it became very clear that for him, getting on a plane was the equivalent of landing on the moon.

Nicky spent a life never taking chances; he played it safe and stuck to a routine. 

And there wasn’t much that was able to pull him out of that rut until Kevin came along and eventually, the twins, including his namesake. 

Breaking the vicious cycle of being stuck in your thoughts and thinking you don’t deserve more is difficult. 

Nicky was a much more optimistic person before he went to Vietnam, but even then, he didn’t break out of his shell or make any big leaps; he stuck to what he knew and what was in his comfort zone. 

And they always say that when you’re comfortable, you’re not growing. 

In the pre-Vietnam flashbacks of 1969, we meet Sally, a free-spirited hippie who lives in a Volkswagon van.

She’s the love of Nicky’s life and the one who made him feel alive. 

They bond over their connection to the moon and their love for dogs at the vet clinic, and it’s adorable to see Nicky in this giddy state. 

Eventually, Sally proposes that they attend Woodstock together before traveling to California to work on her cousin’s farm. 

Jack is so supportive of the idea of Nicky moving out of his parent’s house and getting his own life that he even buys him a suitcase — the same luggage we see Nicky using in the present-day as he travels to, you guessed it, California, to visit the twins. Things always come full-circle on this show in such a beautifully poetic way. 

While we don’t actually get a concrete answer, it seems as though Nicky leaves Sally hanging when he realizes that he may be the only thing protecting his mother from their abusive father. It’s heartbreaking to see Nicky give up his own happiness, but I’m also not sure this is the last we’ve seen of Sally. 

What happened to her? Did he stand her up? Did they ever see each other again?

I’m always looking for any connection to the present-day, so I’m wondering if maybe Sally is the mother of Madison or even Cassidy. I still feel like Cassidy is a highly underused character, though, she’s a great person for Nicky to have in his corner when his insecurities and doubts creep in. 

In the post-Vietnam flashbacks, we see Nicky let another chance of reconnecting with Jack pass by. He’s so burdened by the trauma of the war and his behavior that he can’t even bring himself to face his brother. 

He tries his best, but when he sees Jack in the parking lot with an engagement ring, he decides against it. 

And we know that he goes on to live alone for 50 years. 

This Is Us Review One Small Step Season 5 Episode 11

THIS IS US — “One Small Step” Episode 511 — Pictured in this screen grab: Michael Angarano as Nicky — (Photo by: NBC)

So when he tells Kevin that it was “nothing” after showing up unannounced, it’s the understatement of the century. 

The moon landing may have been one small step for mankind, but traveling to Kevin and Madison’s was one giant leap for Nicky. 

Making the trek all the way to California and leaving behind all that he was familiar with was a big deal, especially during COVID. 

This was the first time Nicky braved a flight since being medivaced out of Vietnam, and he not only had to deal with increased TSA rules, he also had to undergo COVID tests and vaccinations, and wear a face mask throughout the whole trip. 

And my heart broke when the snowglobes he made with the hand-painted trinkets of the dogs and the astronaut broke after TSA confiscated it. I wish he would’ve kept the figurines, but his frustration was understandable for someone who was already working with plenty of nerves to make the trip in the first place. 

But boy, was it all worth it the moment he looked into the sweet faces of Nick and Franny. 

When he said that they were “his moon,” my heart melted. Nicky finally found something worth living for, and in a way, it’s something Jack gave him. 

There’s was a bit of guilt that he was getting so much love from Jack’s kid and Jack’s grandkids, but as Cassidy pointed out, his brother would have been proud of him. 

Despite everything, Jack always wanted the best for Nicky and pushed him towards a better lifestyle. This is exactly what Jack would’ve wanted. 

While it was a very mellow episode, it was delivered the right amount of feels and gut-punches. 

I hope Nicky stays for a while because he could use a little love in his life, and in the same vein, Kevin could use the company from the man that’s the closest thing he has to Jack. 

And thankfully, Madison was understanding about Nicky’s unannounced visit. With two newborns amid COVID, she could’ve been a little hesitant, but she welcomed him with open arms. 

What did you think about the episode? Did you like taking a little break from the rest of the Pearson clan?


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Most Explosive Moments from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Interview with Oprah Including the Sex of the Baby

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Most Explosive Moments from Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's Interview with Oprah

Oprah sat down with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry for the highly-anticipated tell-all that tackled the demise of the royal fairytale. 

How did Meghan go from being the promising princess to the villain in the story?

Prior to the interview, Oprah emphasized that no subject was off limits, Meghan didn’t know what she was going to ask, and she was not getting paid for the interview.

 

Meghan Said She Went Into the Marriage Naively

Meghan explained that while she was aware of the royals, she went into it blindly and “naively.” She explained that she didn’t know much about the royal family and didn’t follow the family through the years. She also didn’t Google her husband prior to the relationship/marriage because everything she needed to know “he was sharing with her.” 

“I didn’t fully understand what the job was,” she said in terms of what it means to be a working royal, she explained. Quickly, she learned that the perception and reality were two different things. “And that’s what was really tricky over those past few years is, is when the perception and reality are two very different things, and you’re being judged based on the perception, but you’re living the reality. There’s a complete misalignment and there’s no way to explain that to people,” she told Oprah. 

She explained that the idea, especially for Americans, is that it’s this fairy tale world. However, she didn’t think that the outside world is what happened in person, and quickly learned that this institution takes itself seriously. When she met Harry’s grandmother, she wasn’t just meeting the grandmother, she was meeting the Queen. And she needed to learn how to curtsy immediately!

However, she’s grateful for all that limited knowledge. “Thank god I didn’t know a lot about the family, thank god I haven’t researched,” she said, adding she’d be so much more nervous than she was. Instead, she was as nervous as any other woman meeting her significant others family.

 

Meghan and Harry Got Married Three Days Before the Televised Wedding

Meghan revealed that she and Harry tied the knot a few days prior to the wedding at Windsor Castle. She explained she wanted the union to be special for them and not just about the worldly spectacle that was televised in 2018. 

 

Kate Made Meghan Cry

About flower girl dresses! The story about Meghan making Kate cry was actually the opposite – Kate made her cry! Meghan said she didn’t want to get into the details cause it wouldn’t be fair to Kate as she apologized, however, she was upset at the way the media painted her as the villain especially when everyone in the “Institution” knew it wasn’t the truth. 

“So why didn’t somebody just say that?” Oprah asked about clearing up the rumors. “That’s a good question,” Meghan responded. 

Meghan said Kate is a good person and she believes she would’ve wanted to clear it up if the Palace allowed it. 

 

It’s a Girl!

Meghan and Harry told Oprah exclusively that they are welcoming a baby girl in the summer!

 

Meghan Was Silenced

When Oprah asked her if she was “silent or silenced,” Meghan said that it was “the latter.”

In terms of how the family silenced her, Meghan said that they initially told her and her loved ones to always say “no comment” to the media. “And we did,” she explained, adding that she assumed the Palace would protect her.  “I believed that,” she said of their promise, which she later regretted believing.

But all of that changed once they were married and it was made abundantly clear that they weren’t protecting her. “They were willing to lie to protect other members of the family, but they weren’t willing to tell the truth to protect me and my husband,” she said. 

 

Meghan Loves the Queen

Meghan emphasized that there’s two separate pieces to the family business — the family and the people running the Institution. She explained that she always loved being with the Queen and “being in her company.” During their first royal engagement, the duo had breakfast and even shared a blanket to stay warm when it was chilly. 

She described Queen Elizabeth as warm, inviting, and welcoming. 

 

Meghan Said It Became Lonely

If you’ve seen The Crown or any documentary about Princess Diana, the idea that the Palace is a lonely place isn’t a novel concept. Meghan explained that since she came from “freedom” and a lived a very full and busy life prior to becoming the Duchess of Sussex, she didn’t take well to being told that she couldn’t go out or do anything. “There was very little that I was allowed to do, so of course that breeds loneliness,” she explained. She related it to what we have all been feeling and experiencing during the coronavirus lockdown.

 

Archie Wasn’t Going to be Given Security, a Title, and They Were Concerned About His Skin Color

Meghan revealed that while she was pregnant, the Palace explained that since her unborn child wasn’t going to hold the title of “prince or princess” upon birth, the child wouldn’t need protection, which didn’t sit well with the mom-t0-be mainly because she blamed the Institution for allowing this monster tabloid machine to put them in danger in the first place, but then failed to provide the necessary protection.

When Oprah pressed for an explanation, Meghan said “there’s no explanation.”

“The idea of our son not being safe, and the idea of the first member of color in this family not being titled in the same way that other grandchildren would be,” didn’t sit well with her, especially due to a convention that explains that if Prince Charles were to become king, it automatically gives Prince Harry’s children the royal title.

She shut down rumors that it was her and Prince Harry’s decision not to give her child the title: “It’s not our decision to make,” adding that it’s her child’s “birth right.”

Additionally, she explained that the reason they didn’t step out for the iconic after-birth photo was because of the lack of security provided.  

Meghan explained that Harry relayed that the family was also having conversations about how dark Archie’s skin would be upon birth in tandem with conversations about his title/security. 

When Oprah asked who was having the conversations, Meghan declined to answer, noting: “I think that would be very damaging to them.”

Prince Harry added that he would never share anything pertaining to the conversation about Archie’s skin tone. 

 

Mental Health Is Not Acknowledged by the Palace

“I just didn’t see a solution,” Meghan said explained of the “unsurvivable” situation she was in.

She explained that with all the negative media attention on her, she “didn’t want to be alive anymore.” She explains she was so scared of her thoughts, she shared them with Harry.

She also revealed she asked the Institution for help and was told it “wouldn’t be good” a good look for them. Meghan clarified that she was trapped and couldn’t get help despite the suicidal thoughts. 

When she went to HR, she explained that they told her: “my heart goes out to you because we see how bad it is, but there’s nothing we can do because you’re not a paid employee of the Institution.”

However, she did find comfort in one of Diana’s best friends who understood what Meghan was going through. 

“You have no idea what’s going on behind closed doors,” she noted when Oprah brought up Meghan looking happy and joyful in photos. 

 

Is Meghan Afraid of Palace Backlash?

“I don’t know how they could expect that after all this time, we would still just be silent if there is an active role that The Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us,” Meghan said. 

She explained her truth is worth it even if it comes with the “risk of losing things” because she “lost a lot already.”

She hopes the takeaway for people watching is that “there’s another side” and “life is worth living.”

 

What Triggered Megxit?

When pressed about why they stepped down as senior members of the family, Prince Harry admitted that he asked for help numerous times and exhausted all of his options, but was given no support. He added that he grew concerned as he saw “history repeating itself.”

The situation with the press and the family was happening in the same kind of way as it did with his late mother, Diana, but he explained it was “far more dangerous” with the addition of social media. 

He explained that the very reason they left was a “lack of support and lack of understanding.”

However, they clarified that the intention was never to leave the family. They simply wanted to step down as senior members and live in the Commonwealth as many other royal family members continue to do, which they quickly learned wasn’t an option for them.

Upon leaving, Meghan said she felt like she “got her voice back.”

 

Prince Harry Did Not Blindside the Queen with Megxit

“I’ve never blindsided my grandmother. I have too much respect for her,” Harry said shooting down rumors that the couple’s decision to step down blindsided members of the family. 

Harry guessed that the rumors painting them in a negative light may have come from within the Institution. 

Harry even explained that they were very transparent about their intentions and had three calls with the Queen and two with his father, Prince Charles, “before he stopped taking my calls” about their decision to step down. They even put it in writing including when they would put out the announcement to the public. 

As for his reason — he did it for his family and for their mental health. 

 

Harry Did Not Ask the Family for Help When Meghan Was Suicidal

When Oprah asked why Harry didn’t ask the family for help when Meghan admitted she was having suicidal thoughts, he explained that he was “ashamed of admitting it to them.” 

“It’s a very trapping environment,” he said of being a royal adding that he didn’t have anyone to turn to for help and that the family has adopted a mentality that “this is just how it is.”

 

Harry Was Heartbroken When His Family Didn’t Defend Meghan

Harry noted that over 72 members of Parliament stood up against colonial undertones in media headlines about Meghan, but the royal family never supported her. 

“That hurts,” he said of his family’s silence over the two years. However, he also noted that he’s “acutely aware of where my family stand and how scared they are of the tabloids turning on them.”

 

Harry Says the Palace Needs the Tabloids and Vice-Versa

Harry went on to say that there needs to be a level of compassion for his family because they basically have to wine and dine the media if they want better coverage. He calls it the “invisible contract” and notes that Palace’s relationship with the tabloids is very much front of mind. 

 

Harry Explains The Moment His Family “Turned” on Meghan

While he acknowledges that his family was very welcoming of Meghan at first, he said it all changed after their “south Pacific tour.”

“It was the first time the family got to see how incredible she is at the job, and that brought back memories,” he said referring to how much positive press and love the late Diana once received following the Australian tour.

When Oprah asked if there were hints of jealousy, Harry said “I wish we would all learn for the past” explaining that the “effortless” way she connected with the public triggered some members.

 

Harry Would Never Have Stepped Back If It Wasn’t for Meghan

“No, I wouldn’t have been able to,” Harry explained. “I, myself, was trapped,” he said, adding that he didn’t have a way out. When Oprah pushed back saying this has been his whole life, he acknowledged that he was “trapped but didn’t know he was trapped.” 

Oprah continued pressing asking how a privileged prince born into this world could feel trapped, but he explained that he was “trapped within a system.” He added that Prince Charles and Prince William are both trapped in a sense because of their birthright duties to the crown. 

He added that looks can be deceiving as ultimately, the job is to put on a smile and pretend to be happy no matter what’s going on in your personal life. 

 

What Would Princess Diana Think About Megxit?

“I think she would feel very angry with how this has banned out and very sad, but ultimately, all she’d ever want is for us to be happy,” Harry said.

He said he’s grateful to have Meghan by his side and acknowledged how lonely it must have been for his mother to go through by herself. 

 

What Is Prince Harry’s Relationship With His Family?

Harry said his relationship with Queen Elizabeth is really solid and they’ve talked more this year than they ever have. However, things with his father are not as peachy. He explained that he feels “really let down” and there’s a lot to work through. 

“I will always love him, but there’s a lot of hurt that’s happened,” he said, adding that he would prioritize trying to heal that relationship. “They only know what they know or what they’re told,” he said offering sympathy to those within the Palace walls.

As for his brother, he loves him to bits but he explained they “are on different paths.” At the moment, there’s a space between them, but he believes “time heals all.”

 

What About All Those Lucrative Deals?

Oprah mentioned the Netflix and Spotify deals have made some people think they are money grabbing royals, but Prince Harry explained that was never in the plan and “never the intention.” Prince Harry explained his motivation to make money is to get security and keep his family safe. After leaving the royal family, he noted the only money he had was whatever his mother left him.

 

The bottom line, both Prince Harry and Meghan say that if they had the support, they would still be part of the family, but they also add that they’re proud of how they handled the situation. Harry said they did everything they could to maintain the relationship and protect the royal family in the process. 

“We did what we had to do,” Prince Harry added. 

As Oprah put it – Meghan’s story with the Prince does have a happy ending and it involves freedom and an identity for her family.

It’s a happy ending “greater than I could have imagined,” Meghan added. 


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