Game of Thrones

Career Advice as Told by Game of Thrones

Author: Danny Abriano, Career Advice

Game of Thrones is not only a once-in-a-lifetime show, but one we can learn a lot from. From the struggle of power to the characters to The Game of Thrones, we all learn a thing or two that we can carry over into the workplace. Keep the dragons at home, though.

Never be afraid to speak your mind
The Game of Thrones isn’t one for the timid, and neither is the workplace. That isn’t to say that you should speak out of turn (it won’t get you beheaded out the workplace, only fired). But, you shouldn’t ever hesitate to calmly and coherently let your opinion be known, much like Tyrion advises Dany and Varys advises all. Your thoughts matter, and they can sway decisions.

Embrace new ideas
In the fantasy world of Thrones, seemingly nothing is impossible. Dragons soar and breathe fire, slaughtered heroes are brought back to life, people change faces, and so on. In the workplace, a common refrain is “adapt or die.” And as we get further and further into the digital revolution, it’s important to embrace new ideas not only in that realm, but in others. Make yourself indispensable.

Be relentless
In Thrones, it’s important to be relentless when it comes to your beliefs, when you’re in battle, and when you’re going after someone you love. In the workplace, that relentless nature needs to be used to not only establish yourself, but to impress those above and below you. That doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be a work/life balance. But when you’re at work, be sure to lead by example.

Try not to mix business and pleasure
Yes, workplace romances “can” work out. But, they ordinarily don’t, and the result is not only an awkward situation between colleagues, but some messy visits with human resources. Take a lesson from Daario, who fell in love with Dany, and was left behind. Keep it professional.

Take what’s yours
As the players on Game of Thrones vie to be ruler of the realm, with many claiming that rightful title is theirs, they battle for that claim. You have to do the same thing at work. Is someone trying to take credit for something you did? Speak up. Are you the one who deserves that promotion? Prove it. Is there a project you know you can slaughter? Take charge and say so.


The battle at the workplace, much like the battle for the Iron Throne, is not for the timid. Act accordingly. But watch out for land mines along the way.


5 Timeless Life Lessons From Game of Thrones

Author: Danny Abriano, Entertainment

HBO’s massive hit, Game of Thrones, is a cultural phenomenon. There are many reasons for that, including the incredibly complex but addicting story, the performances of the actors and actresses involved, and the moments that make viewers gasp. But one huge thing with Thrones is that it resonates. While it takes place in an alternate world that would’ve been thousands of years ago had it actually existed, there are lots of themes that are timeless.


Love is love
In Thrones, love is love. Even if it’s between a high-born imp (his word, not mine) and a prostitute, an afflicted Knight and a Dragon Queen, someone who is already sworn to another and a woman he falls in love with via happenstance, or brother and sister. Okay, we’re drawing the line at brother and sister, though Thrones doesn’t. The point? In love, you need to go for it. Regardless of what anyone else thinks and regardless of the kind of person you have fallen for.

When it comes to power, size and gender don’t matter
There are more female characters on Game of Thrones who are powerful in mind, body, and actions than male characters who have the same traits. As is still the case today, which is absurd by the way, the female characters have to stand up for themselves and bust stereotypes along the way. Aside from the powerful female characters is the imp (again, his word, not mine), who may just be the smartest and most impactful character on the show.

Always think ten steps ahead
This can apply in any aspect of life, big or small. On Thrones, it could mean the difference between being stabbed in the back (literally) or surviving to live another day. In life, it could mean the difference between getting a promotion you’re going against a colleague for or being left in the dust. Thrones not only teaches us that things aren’t always what they seem, but that things can change in an instant. Don’t get left behind.

Humor is needed
Bracing for an invasion that might lead to your demise? Have a drink and laugh. Locked in a cell with a minuscule chance of ever seeing the light of day as a free person again? Crack a joke and smile. If Thrones characters can find humor during those times, we can do the same during much less stressful ones. Unless you’re actually facing an invasion or in jail (if you’re reading this from jail, at least you have internet access), try to inject a bit more humor into life.

Expect the unexpected
Life can change in an instant. And on Thrones, more important than what happens (assuming you survive what happens) is how you react and adjust after. On Thrones, it’s not about what happens to you that defines you, but how you respond. The same applies in the very real universe we live in.

Is Confederate on HBO Too Controversial… Or, is it Just the Show We Need?

Author: Danny Abriano, Current Events/Politics

HBO has announced a new series, called Confederate, that will take place in an alternate reality where African Americans are still slaves.

The release from HBO was met with lots of ire from those unhappy with the plot. Before digging into that, let’s allow HBO to explain what the series is about. From HBO’s release:

CONFEDERATE chronicles the events leading to the Third American Civil War. The series takes place in an alternate timeline, where the southern states have successfully seceded from the Union, giving rise to a nation in which slavery remains legal and has evolved into a modern institution. The story follows a broad swath of characters on both sides of the Mason-Dixon Demilitarized Zone — freedom fighters, slave hunters, politicians, abolitionists, journalists, the executives of a slave-holding conglomerate and the families of people in their thrall.

The series, which is the brainchild of Game of Thrones creators/showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss, has been in the works for years, according to the release from HBO.

Benioff and Weiss, whose time on Game of Thrones will come to an end along with the series itself next year, will also be showrunners for Confederate.

Some of the reactions to Confederate:





Quite intense, right? It can be a bit hard to take a step back and think about this from a point of view that isn’t already corrupted. But, let’s try.

One good thing that can come from this is a continued conversation about race relations. Yes, the premise of the show has the potential to materialize into an absolute mess when it hits the screen. We hope it doesn’t.

But one thing that can’t be denied is that race relations in this country are still a mess. As recently as last year, there were still states that were fighting for the right to continue to have the Confederate flag raised. That tells you all you need to know about how far we still need to go as a country.

The cringe-worthy part of Confederate is that it is set in present-day. So again, this really could turn into an absolute disaster. But if any network (and showrunners) can pull this off without offending literally everyone on the planet, it’s HBO, Benioff, and Weiss. We’ll just have to wait and see.

Game of Thrones is a Once in a Lifetime Show

Author: Danny Abriano, Current Events/Politics

If you don’t watch Game of Thrones, the thought of taking in six seasons — the season-seven premiere is this Sunday on HBO — in order to catch up could possibly scare you off. But it shouldn’t. And when you do, you’ll realize why Game of Thrones isn’t over-hyped or overrated. It’s all it’s cracked up to be.

It can’t be defined
And this is a good thing. Even if you’re typically not a fan of fantasy — a theme Game of Thrones definitely pulls from in a major way, you’ll enjoy. But the show is so incredibly real and raw that it never seems like you’re in a fantasy. We know dragons existing isn’t possible (right?) but we believe it anyway. No matter how crazy things get, nothing ever seems beyond your belief. And that’s because of how the story unfolds.

It will draw you in and not let go
Since this has to be safe for those who have never watched Thrones, I can’t give anything important away. And I won’t. But the way the characters are fleshed out grabs you, as does the way they can be taken away (it’s no secret that Thrones is filled with death, both for big characters and small). The filming locations and cinematography lead to an incredible viewing experience, and the flow of each episode is close to flawless.

It’s nearly impossible to be indifferent to a main character
One of the main reasons people fall in love with Thrones is because those who watch become enamored with so many of the characters — whether you love them or hate them. Part of the reason for this is the way the characters are written by author George R.R. Martin, and part of it is the acting, which is extraordinary. To put things in perspective, out of all the main characters, I can think of only one who I didn’t have a strong reaction to. And even his demise — and the path that led to it — impacted me.

It will shock you. Often
It’s hard to write this without giving any key plot points away, but… imagine sitting at a picnic in a town where nothing bad has ever occurred. You’re eating, singing, and enjoying the company of your friends and family. Out of nowhere, the music stops and the sky opens up and swallows everyone you’ve ever cared about. That kind of thing happens on Thrones. And when it does, it will leave you speechless.

It defies stereotypes and breaks barriers
Want to see a five-foot tall girl turn the tables on and proceed to dominate a warrior in an era when women were viewed as objects? Watch Thrones. Aside from empowering women, Thrones removes all sexual stereotypes. Straight, gay, or bisexual, Thrones characters have a voice. And they’re all a vision of strength. And then there’s Tyrion Lannister, who is known as the ‘half-man,’ but who may very well be the most powerful character on the show.

It will make you laugh
Really, it will. I can actually name a character now, since telling you about him won’t give anything away. Tyrion, the “imp” played brilliantly by Peter Dinklage, has some of the most amusing lines of any character in television history. And sometimes just his demeanor is enough to add some levity to a show that’s filled with so much bleakness. For the most part, it’s Tyrion who adds the levity. And that’s a good thing, since he’s featured in nearly every episode.

It will leave you wanting more
We’ve all watched shows that we enjoy but are a slog at times. That’s never the case with Thrones. And while each episode is around an hour long (with some of the season finales are a bit longer than that), it never feels like time is going slow. And when the episode ends and the screen fades to black, the 45 or so seconds where you have to wait for next week’s preview seem interminable.

So, are you convinced?

The Leftovers Should Resonate With Millennials

Author: Danny Abriano, Entertainment

The Leftovers, which recently concluded it’s three-season run on HBO, didn’t attract lots of viewers. It was critically acclaimed, but as attention spans shorten, shows that make people think seem to be a dying breed.

If you’re a millennial and have yet to dive headfirst into The Leftovers, here’s why you should remedy that:

You never truly know what’s happening
This is a good thing. It makes you think. It makes you re-watch the episodes. It makes you draw your own conclusions. The gist of The Leftovers is that it follows the lives of everyday people a few years after the mysterious ‘departure’ of three percent of the world’s population. They don’t know why it happened, they don’t know if it will happen again, and they don’t know what to do. The viewer feels that. And it’s awesome.

The acting is superb
While some of the characters will resonate with you more than others, every major character in The Leftovers is portrayed with near-perfection. Justin Theroux, who plays troubled police chief Kevin Garvey, throws himself into the role to the point where you forget you’re actually watching Justin Theroux. Carrie Coon, who plays Nora Durst — who lost her entire family in the departure — can control a scene with just her facial expressions. And Ann Dowd, who plays Patti Levin — the leader of a cult — is dark, cunning, funny, and vulnerable at the same time. The list goes on and on.

It makes you think about life and death
We will all be here one second, and gone the next. That’s exactly what happened during ‘The departure,’ and that’s what left many of those left behind completely at a loss regarding how to proceed. It’s one person’s departure or death more important than another person’s? Why are we here? What happens when we’re no longer here? What are the important things in life? The Leftovers makes you ponder this each episode.

It’s funny. Seriously
After reading the three paragraphs above, The Leftovers being funny might seem absurd to you. Well, it is an absurd show. In the midst of the seriousness and violence and despair, we get pockets of dark humor. You might be scared out of your wits during the next scene, but the small injection of humor in each episode gives the show some needed levity.

The final episode is a classic
I can’t tell you where it takes place, what it’s about, or who’s in it. If I do, it will ruin everything else for you. What I can tell you is that you will be transfixed for the entirety of the 80-minute episode. You’ll laugh. You’ll cry. And you’ll feel 100% fulfilled at the end.