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How Stranger Things Books Made Season 3 Way Better | ScreenRant

Spoilers ahead for Stranger Things season 3.

The finale of Stranger Things season 3 was already emotional, but if one went into the latest batch of episodes having read all of the tie-in books, it’s made all the sadder – and more satisfactory.

The so-called Stranger Things Expanded Universe – which includes comic books and video games as well as the novels – has been quickly growing and includes a lot of background material on characters like Police Chief Jim Hopper and plot elements like Project MKUltra, the initiative that ultimately produced the superpowered Eleven. While some of these stories may seem like nothing more than filler on first blush, the Netflix show’s third installment really pays off on their developments in some perhaps-surprising ways, making them must-reads.

RELATED: Stranger Things Season 3’s Ending Irreversibly Changes The Show

There are two ways in particular this dramatic heightening occurs, and they both revolve around figures who perish by the season’s end (or, at least, who appear to be killed off): Billy Hargrove and Hopper. The most recent of the Stranger Things releases, Runaway Max, retells the events of season 2 from the perspective of Max Mayfield, dropping in a slew of flashbacks to how she first met her step-dad and -brother – providing a better understanding of how the deranged Billy came to be so psychologically damaged. Along the way, audiences learn about Billy’s special relationship with his car – the only one he truly cares about – and realize that he may very well physically brutalize Lucas Sinclair, Max’s newfound Midwest love interest, since the last time one of his step-sister’s friends defied him, he ended up breaking the adolescent’s arm.

The revelation at the end of season 3 that Billy was a good-hearted boy with a loving mom who was chased away by a sadistic dad doesn’t come as a shocker in the slightest. What does prove to be shocking, however, is the way in which the teenager both verbally and physically accosts his car, easily his most valuable possession and the thing that might best be described as his closest companion – meaning that the beginning of his character arc this season is weighted with a lot more emotion, thereby helping it better parallel his heartbreaking climax. (Speaking of which, readers might be forgiven for weeping alongside Max once he is slaughtered by the Mind Flayer.)

RELATED: Stranger Things Learned The Wrong Lessons From Season 2’s Backlash

Then there is Darkness on the Edge of Town, a novel that ostensibly is about Jim Hopper tracking down a (slightly-telepathic) serial killer in New York City six years before Stranger Things begins but which is really a meditation on his recovery from the Vietnam War and his relationship with his family, both in the past (with Sara, his late daughter, and his ex-wife) and the present (his newly-adopted daughter of Eleven). The book opens on Christmas 1984, just a few weeks after season 2 has ended, with the police chief actually enjoying his formerly-favorite holiday for the first time since his first little girl died, and it closes with Christmas 1977, the last one he would ever spend with Sara – a beautiful and yet haunting bookend that perfectly manages to get into the psyche of, arguably, the TV show’s main lead.

It’s easy to see how this makes Hopper’s apparent sacrifice in the third season finale all the more tragic, and how it would render it all the more devastating still for book readers. The scant pages both Jim and Eleven manage to share together in their little cabin, in the midst of a snowstorm with nothing else to do but keep each other company, suddenly becomes, in retrospect, one of the highlights of Stranger Things’ entire run to date.

It’s harder to think of a better compliment – or a better way to appreciate season 3.

NEXT: Predicting How Stranger Things Season 4 Can End the Show


2019-07-14 05:07:31

Marc N. Kleinhenz

How Stranger Things Books Made Season 3 Way Better | ScreenRant

Spoilers ahead for Stranger Things season 3.

The finale of Stranger Things season 3 was already emotional, but if one went into the latest batch of episodes having read all of the tie-in books, it’s made all the sadder – and more satisfactory.

The so-called Stranger Things Expanded Universe – which includes comic books and video games as well as the novels – has been quickly growing and includes a lot of background material on characters like Police Chief Jim Hopper and plot elements like Project MKUltra, the initiative that ultimately produced the superpowered Eleven. While some of these stories may seem like nothing more than filler on first blush, the Netflix show’s third installment really pays off on their developments in some perhaps-surprising ways, making them must-reads.

RELATED: Stranger Things Season 3’s Ending Irreversibly Changes The Show

There are two ways in particular this dramatic heightening occurs, and they both revolve around figures who perish by the season’s end (or, at least, who appear to be killed off): Billy Hargrove and Hopper. The most recent of the Stranger Things releases, Runaway Max, retells the events of season 2 from the perspective of Max Mayfield, dropping in a slew of flashbacks to how she first met her step-dad and -brother – providing a better understanding of how the deranged Billy came to be so psychologically damaged. Along the way, audiences learn about Billy’s special relationship with his car – the only one he truly cares about – and realize that he may very well physically brutalize Lucas Sinclair, Max’s newfound Midwest love interest, since the last time one of his step-sister’s friends defied him, he ended up breaking the adolescent’s arm.

The revelation at the end of season 3 that Billy was a good-hearted boy with a loving mom who was chased away by a sadistic dad doesn’t come as a shocker in the slightest. What does prove to be shocking, however, is the way in which the teenager both verbally and physically accosts his car, easily his most valuable possession and the thing that might best be described as his closest companion – meaning that the beginning of his character arc this season is weighted with a lot more emotion, thereby helping it better parallel his heartbreaking climax. (Speaking of which, readers might be forgiven for weeping alongside Max once he is slaughtered by the Mind Flayer.)

RELATED: Stranger Things Learned The Wrong Lessons From Season 2’s Backlash

Then there is Darkness on the Edge of Town, a novel that ostensibly is about Jim Hopper tracking down a (slightly-telepathic) serial killer in New York City six years before Stranger Things begins but which is really a meditation on his recovery from the Vietnam War and his relationship with his family, both in the past (with Sara, his late daughter, and his ex-wife) and the present (his newly-adopted daughter of Eleven). The book opens on Christmas 1984, just a few weeks after season 2 has ended, with the police chief actually enjoying his formerly-favorite holiday for the first time since his first little girl died, and it closes with Christmas 1977, the last one he would ever spend with Sara – a beautiful and yet haunting bookend that perfectly manages to get into the psyche of, arguably, the TV show’s main lead.

It’s easy to see how this makes Hopper’s apparent sacrifice in the third season finale all the more tragic, and how it would render it all the more devastating still for book readers. The scant pages both Jim and Eleven manage to share together in their little cabin, in the midst of a snowstorm with nothing else to do but keep each other company, suddenly becomes, in retrospect, one of the highlights of Stranger Things’ entire run to date.

It’s harder to think of a better compliment – or a better way to appreciate season 3.

NEXT: Predicting How Stranger Things Season 4 Can End the Show


2019-07-14 05:07:31

Marc N. Kleinhenz

Twilight: 10 Things In The Movies That Only Make Sense If You Read The Books

There are several movies based on a book series, but there is always the question of whether or not it is better to read the books before watching the movie. The Twilight Saga is one book series that should definitely be read first because it fills in a lot of the plot holes you might have been confused about while watching the movies. It even adds depth to the characters and explains their actions in ways you might not have realized otherwise.

RELATED: Twilight: 10 Facts About Edward They Leave Out In The Movies

We have compiled a list of instances in the movies that would not have made sense to anyone who didn’t read the books. These could be plot holes or explanations of a character’s actions that would help a viewer grasp the deeper meaning behind certain circumstances. Keep reading to learn about ten things in the Twilight movies that only make sense if you read the books.

10 Bella Did Other Things Besides Just Being With Edward

The movies make it seem like Bella’s life revolves around Edward and her romantic life with him, but it is just not true. Bella ends up finding a job at the Newton’s outdoor shop called Newton’s Olympic Outfitters.

Her life also consists of studying and also taking care of things at home. These things were left out of the movie, making it appear that her life consisted of only Edward, but her character was actually more complicated than she appeared.

9 Bella’s Clumsiness in the Books Help Make Her Lies More Believable

The first movie in the series shows Bella’s clumsiness as she slips on ice or pricks her finger, but they definitely downplayed this facet of her character. People who didn’t read the books might find it hard to believe that Bella fell down a flight of stairs, which was used as her excuse to explain what happened to her at the ballet studio.

RELATED: 10 Best “Making Of” Movies Podcasts Of All Time

The books portray her as barely able to walk on her own two feet without encountering a disaster, but the movies veer aware from this as time goes on, and this fact might leave some movies watchers confused.

8 Bella Faints at the Sight and Smell of Blood

Something else that is in the Twilight book and not the movie adaptation is when Bella’s biology class is required to give blood. The book describes how Bella faints at the sight or smell of blood, which ends up sending her to the nurse. It also shows another reason why Edward and Bella are so incompatible, as blood is the one thing Edward needs to survive.

The film also downplays the scene where Bella pricks her finger, then slices her arm on broken glass, as in the books it causes her to almost faint amidst the chaos.

7 Esme’s Past About Losing a Child Explains Some Things

There is a scene in the New Moon movie where the entire Cullen family votes on changing Bella. The only two who vote “no” are Edward and Rosalie, which is strange when you consider Esme’s past life. The movies do not share why Esme was changed, but it happened when Carlisle found Esme after she had attempted to commit suicide after the death of her baby.

RELATED: Twilight: 10 Facts About Bella They Leave Out In The Movies

Esme had already watched Edward try to commit suicide once when he thought Bella was dead, and that would have destroyed Esme as she viewed all of the Cullen children as her own. Esme could not bear to lose another child and the only way to remedy this seemed to be to change Bella. This shaped her vote and this was something else that made a lot more sense in the books. Readers knew the reasoning behind her decision.

6 Alice and Edward Gave Bella a CD for Her Birthday

This important factor was left out of the movie, despite it being such a major emotional breaking point for Bella after Edward left. Edward and Alice gifted it to her on her birthday, and the CD contained the lullaby Edward had written just for her.

She loved the CD and when he hid it from her after he left, she was heartbroken that she couldn’t even have that piece of him to hold onto. This detail helps viewers understand just how thorough Edward was in making sure she had nothing left to remind herself of him, and how it furthered her mental breakdown.

5 Edward Owned a Motorcycle

Edward found out that Bella had been riding motorcycles with Jacob while he had been away, but the movie doesn’t show that he attempted to do this with her. Edward bought himself a motorcycle but gave it to Jasper after he realized it was singular to Bella and Jacob’s friendship.

RELATED: 10 Actors Who Could Play Mister Fantastic In The MCU

Edward knows it is something that he and Bella will never share, and it furthers his character arc as he learns to tolerate and trust Jacob Black.

4 Edward Pushed for Bella to Go to College

The movies showcase this a little bit, but the books really divulge Edward’s desire for Bella not to miss out on anything that humans get to experience. Edward wants Bella to go to college and even fills out applications for her. She ends up being accepted into the University of Alaska, but Edward wants her to choose something more prestigious like Dartmouth.

RELATED: 10 Twilight Fan Tattoos That Sparkle

Edward cares about her education and experiences, but the movie seems to neglect this side of him at times when the books shine a brighter light on this facet of his image.

3 Bella Cooks All of Charlie’s Meals

The movies show Bella and Charlie eating at the diner, but the truth is that Bella cooked all of the meals. She was actually more like Charlie’s caretaker as she cleaned up the house and made him eat healthier. This showed how much Bella cared for her father and her ability to fend for herself as an independent woman.

The movies seemed to only show Bella as a hopeless girl who needed a man to save her from herself, but they failed to shine a light on what she was actually capable of doing.

2 Alice and Bella are Close Friends

The movie touches on this at parts as Alice buys Bella gifts or helps Bella plan her wedding and graduation party, but their relationship ran so much deeper than that. The movies made us believe that they were friendly toward each other, but at times it seemed like Bella somewhat tolerated Alice’s antics.

The books, on the other hand, show the side where Bella and Alice would hang out together, and she even stayed over for a sleepover. It added a new dimension to her character and people might not understand this if they didn’t read the books.

1 Charlie Wanted Bella to Choose Jacob

When Edward leaves Bella and sends her into a depression, Charlie wants nothing but Edward’s head. Charlie is even less pleased when Edward comes back and Bella returns to his arms, but the movies downplay Charlie’s emotions. Charlie, along with Billy, was rooting for Jacob and Bella to be together.

When Jacob kisses Bella in the books, Charlie doesn’t reprimand him and instead congratulates him for doing it. It shows the rift that has formed between Bella and her father as she is forced to choose between her family and Edward, but this is something movie watchers may not fully understand unless they read the books.

NEXT: Stranger Things: 10 Most Romantic Moments, Ranked


2019-07-13 03:07:29

Rebecca Knauss

Outlander: 10 Facts About Claire & Frank From The Books The Show Leaves Out

Outlander has managed to amass such a faithful fan following mostly due to the beautiful love story of Jamie and Claire. It’s truly an epic romance that literally travels through space and time, breaking all sorts of barriers time and again. And as much as we absolutely love the dynamic between the two main characters, there’s something to be said about Claire’s first love and husband.

RELATED: Outlander: 10 Hidden Facts About Jamie Only True Fans Noticed

Those who’ve read the books have more than a few reasons to dislike Frank. However, the show made a series of departures from the books, and as such, the man we see on the show is very different from the one we read about. In order to understand why there’s such a divide between those who read the books and those who’ve only watched the show, let’s take a look at 10 things about Frank and Claire the show left out.

10 Frank Is Quite Older Than Claire

Age and time are very much a pivotal part of both the show and the books. After all, the whole series of events we saw developing throughout the years never would have happened if time-traveling wasn’t a thing. Something that’s related to this topic is the age of the characters.

From the series, we do know that Claire is four years older than the love of her life, Jamie Fraser. However, it is only through the books that we find out there’s a considerable age gap between Claire and her first husband. A decade, to be more precise. It doesn’t come as a surprise the show leaves this fact out since it doesn’t add much to the main plot.

9 There’s Not Much Of A Storyline For Frank

During the first couple of seasons of the show, the showrunners and writers made a point to continue to give us Frank’s point of view in the story. This was one of the first steps the show took in order to make the character more likable. If you get someone’s perspective on a story, you automatically understand them better.

In the books, however, Frank pretty much disappears once Claire goes through the stones. We don’t hear anything from him, what he felt, or how he acted once his wife disappeared. Not knowing what Frank was going through was a big step in making sure people didn’t care much about Frank, putting emphasis on Claire and Jamie’s story alone.

8 The Boston Family Had Dogs

Once Claire went through the stones, leaving behind her marriage and the actual love of her life, she found herself in Boston again. She was pregnant with Jamie’s child but married to Frank, and she was forced to learn how to adapt herself to a reality that was no longer her own.

RELATED: Outlander: 10 Jamie And Claire Memes That Are Too Hilarious For Words

There’s no denying that, in spite of all his faults, Frank had redeeming qualities. His choice to stay married to Claire, try to make a broken relationship work, and raise a child that wasn’t his is definitely not for everyone. Frank truly loved Brianna like she was his own flesh and blood, and he provided her with a happy childhood. In the books, the family actually had two pets, a couple of dogs called Bozo and Smoky.

7 Frank Never Searched For Claire

Once again, we find ourselves speaking of how much the series changed Frank’s character in order to make him more likable and truly express his feelings towards Claire. While in the show we get to see an extremely worried Frank searching for his wife when she disappears, the books take a different direction.

There’s no mention of him trying to find Claire once she disappears. In fact, we know very little about what his feelings surrounding the whole thing are. By not giving the character an opportunity to show what he’s feeling and what steps he’s taking to deal with it, audiences find it very hard to sympathize with Frank.

6 Frank Had Several Mistresses

Those who’ve watched the show may be lead to believe that Frank, while far from being a saint, made a very brave decision when he stepped forward to remain married to Claire and raise a child that was not his own. Throughout two decades of living with a woman who didn’t love him anymore, he persevered.

RELATED: Outlander: 10 Things In Season 1 That Make Sense Only If You Read The Books

However, he did fall in love and begin an affair with this woman, which is morally questionable but understandable. In the books, it all goes down differently. Frank is depicted as a total womanizer, who takes several mistresses while he is still married to Claire. This is much worse than taking a mistress who he loves and plans to marry, and it angered fans who first met Frank by reading the books.

5 Frank Is A Side Story

In spite of everyone being in love with the idea of Claire and Jamie being in love, the show does a great job of not completely ignoring the fact that Claire was once married to Frank. Not only was she married to him, but she also loved him, and we get to see this love story play out to a considerable extent on the show.

But the books don’t go out of their way to display this relationship. They seriously downplay Frank’s role in Claire’s life, as well as in her heart. Sure, Claire’s true and eternal love is Jamie, and there’s no denying that. But she did have a life before him, and Frank was a big part of it.

4 Claire Talks About Her Life With Frank

It’s understandable that anyone would be jealous if they were to marry someone who was previously married to another person. Jamie loves Claire to death, but he’s still reticent when it comes to hearing about Frank, and he resents Frank for being the man who got to raise his daughter, Brianna.

RELATED: Outlander: 10 Facts About Craigh Na Dun & The Stones You Missed

In the books, however, Claire has no problem talking to Jamie about her first husband. There’s a scene where she goes into detail about the life she had with him and the things they built together. This is actually the only instance in the book where we get to warm up a little bit to Frank and recognize that he was an important piece of the puzzle.

3 Frank Is Very Racist

It’s already been established that Frank isn’t exactly the most likable person in the books. It’s enough that he doesn’t seem to be bothered to search for Claire once she disappears, and takes a lot of mistresses while the two of them are still married. But the books don’t stop here in their campaign to make Frank a horrible character.

After Claire returns from her life in 18th century Scottland, she enrolls in medical school and becomes fast friends with a black colleague, Joe Abernathy. Frank frowns a lot upon this relationship due to Joe’s race and accuses Claire of cheating with him. Just awful.

2 Frank Made A Fake Gravestone

Frank is an intelligent and cunning person, and throughout the course of the series and the books, he’s had more than a few tricks up his sleeve. Frank never could quite recover from the fact that Claire fell head over heels for another man, and he never got over his hatred and resentment for Jamie.

The shadow of Jamie and Claire’s deep love for each other was always looming over their marriage, which prompted Frank to, in the books, make a fake gravestone for Jamie. He did it probably in the hopes that his wife and daughter would see it and forget about Jamie, which was extremely shady.

1 Once Frank Is Gone, He’s Gone

The show made a very bold move once it decided to bring back Frank after he died. This happened on a Brianna-centered episode that gave audiences a deeper look into the relationship between the two. The episode dives deep into a true father-daughter bond in order to show that Brianna truly has affection and love for the man who raised her.

In the books, Frank isn’t offered this kind of redemption arc. Once he fights with Claire about taking their daughter away and meets his demise on a car crash, he never comes back in any way.

NEXT: Outlander: 10 Facts About Brianna And Roger From The Books The Show Leaves Out


2019-07-11 03:07:29

Mariana Fernandes

10 Art Books Every Real Movie Fan Should Own

What many people don’t recognize is how much production, time, and money goes into making a popular film. Movies like Avengers: Infinity WarHarry Potter, or Toy Story didn’t and couldn’t happen overnight. They took planning, direction, editing, and more. One of the most important aspects of those movies is the artwork.

Some of the greatest movies of all time have stellar artwork behind them. There’s so much to learn from them, which is what makes the “Art of” books such a great investment. Learning more about how these movies got made is a fun experience. Here are 10 art books every movie fan should own.

10 THE ART OF HORROR MOVIES: AN ILLUSTRATED HISTORY

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Horror movies used to dominate Hollywood back in the day. They’re still made today, but not quite on the same level. Nonetheless, they were an important part of movie history. That’s why The Art of Horror Movies: An Illustrated History makes for a great read.

This book is packed with information about some of the oldest and best horror movies ever made. All sorts of unique and exclusive images are contained within this book. There is also commentary from renowned figures in the horror movie genre in this book, making it the ultimate collection for fans of horror films. Movie lovers will appreciate it too.

9 THE HIDDEN ART OF DISNEY’S MID-CENTURY ERA

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While Disney might be a cinematic juggernaut that makes some people uneasy, it’s worth noting that there’s a reason the company got there in the first place. They learned how to create art decades ago. Some of their work is captured in The Hidden Art of Disney’s Mid-Century Era.

This book details the artwork and exclusive details on Disney’s movies from the ’50s to the ’60s. That was a time when important classics, such as Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty, were released. This book holds new images from many of those works as well as the process that made them.

8 THE ART OF PIXAR 25TH ANNIVERSARY

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Pixar is one of the most renowned animation studios. When creating classics like Toy Story and Monsters Inc, the company made a name for itself as an artful studio that put a lot of passion into its works. Many of its films have been captured in The Art of Pixar 25th Anniversary.

Not only will readers get to see gorgeous artwork from all of the studio’s movies released up until that point, but they will also see the complete color scripts for those movies as well. The book also contains some words from John Lasseter (a name movie and Pixar fans should recognize), this is the book to get.

7 THE ART OF SPIRITED AWAY

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Despite Studio Ghibli releasing all sorts of phenomenal movies, the one that many people still regards as the best is Spirited Away. This whimsical tale of a young girl trying to get her parents back is captivating, relatable, and a treat for the eyes. Hayao Miyazaki himself wrote this book, meaning that there’s a sense of authenticity with its illustrations and depictions.

Readers will get to see beautiful paintings and works of art featuring the film’s world and its characters. The Art of Spirited Away also includes the full English script for the film, which makes it worth the purchase alone.

6 THE ART OF DREAMWORKS ANIMATION

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Dreamworks Animation doesn’t quite have the same credentials as Disney or Pixar, but the company was an important piece of animation history nonetheless. With a breakout classic like Shrek to pieces of art like Kung Fu Panda and How to Train Your Dragon, the studio has left its mark on the industry.

The Art of Dreamworks Animation documents the history of the studio and how it grew from film to film. It includes concept art and sketches from every one of its films as well as commentary from the individuals who worked on them. Much of the information in this book had never been revealed before.

5 THE ART OF THE LORD OF THE RINGS

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The Lord of the Rings became one of the biggest and most critically acclaimed movie trilogies in history. However, Peter Jackson, in many ways, had it easier than most directors. The ground was laid for him with the phenomenal artwork done by J.R.R. Tolkien.

In The Art of The Lord of the Rings, drawings, collections, and basic sketches from the esteemed author himself are all packed together. While that does mean the book is based on the novels, the novels were heavy backgrounds for the movie. Readers will get to see where certain locations and characters began and how they evolved over time.

4 THE ART OF KUBO AND THE TWO STRINGS

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If you haven’t seen Kubo and the Two Strings, now may be the chance to do so. This movie was a gorgeous work of art, using its simpler animation style to convey a heart-wrenching story of loss, betrayal, and legacy.

The animation is what made it so gorgeous, and that’s why The Art of Kubo and the Two Strings is a must-read. LAIKA, the studio behind the film, knew what it wanted to achieve with this movie and succeeded. This book details the visual designs and concept art for the movie while showing how that was accomplished through stop-motion animation.

3 THE ROAD TO MARVEL’S AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR

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It’s been seven years since we first saw Earth’s Mightiest Heroes assemble in The Avengers. Since that time, the Mad Titan has been biding his time, waiting for the Infinity Stones to reveal themselves. In The Road to Marvel’s Avengers: Infinity War, characters, concept art, and locations from one of Hollywood’s biggest franchises are all captured here.

Readers will see the growth of the franchise and its characters as the book moves toward Avengers: Infinity War, one of the biggest movies ever made. Movie fans will get a lot out of this, as there hasn’t been anything quite like the MCU before.

2 STAR WARS ART: CONCEPT

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There is a lot to Star Wars. With so many films, video games, TV shows, and more, there’s almost no way that it can all be documented in a single book. Then there came Star Wars Art: Concept.

This book collects all sorts of visual history of George Lucas’ original trilogy, the prequel films, the games, and even the TV shows. There’s a lot to study when it comes to the success of Star Wars, which is why this book would be great for movie fans. However, the book also contains “preview” concept art for Star Wars 1313, which is now a canceled game.

1 THE ART OF HARRY POTTER

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Before the MCU was the biggest Hollywood franchise, there was Harry Potter. The fact that this series of movies was as successful and beloved as it was is an astounding feat. The movies forged an identity for themselves separate from the books but were loved just the same.

In The Art of Harry Potter, readers will get to see the visual tricks and inspiration that helped all sorts of brilliant minds translate Rowling’s popular series to the big screen. All sorts of concept art, visual sketches, and more will give fans more reason to dive back into the Wizarding World, and movie fans a reason to study it a bit more.

NEXT: The Ultimate Horror Movie Fan’s Gift Guide

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2019-04-22 08:04:51

Joshua Olivieri

American Gods Killed [SPOILER] (But It Was More Epic Than The Books)

Warning: This article contains SPOILERS from American Gods episode “Treasure of the Sun”.

American Gods, season 2, episode 7, “Treasure of the Sun,” has given the character of Mad Sweeney a far more epic death than he received in the original book. This is somewhat strange given the care the series took in developing the leprechaun who preferred Southern Comfort to Guinness as a character. Indeed, many felt that Mad Sweeney was the break-out character of season 2.

In the original novel by Neil Gaiman, Mad Sweeney only appeared in two scenes. In the first, he got into a bar fight with protagonist Shadow Moon and taught him the trick of pulling true gold coins out of thin air, leaving him with one gold coin to keep. Later in the book, a bedraggled Mad Sweeney encounters Shadow and begs him for the return of his coin, which was a magic coin not meant to be given away. Unfortunately, for Mad Sweeny, Shadow had thrown the coin into the grave of his recently deceased wife, Laura, and when he passed by the bridge where he saw Mad Sweeney later, he saw that Mad Sweeney had apparently died of a combination of exposure and withdrawal.

Related: American Gods Has Made The Story More Interesting Than The Book

The American Gods TV series dramatically changed this story, turning Mad Sweeney (played by Pablo Schreiber) into a key member of the ensemble. The show paired Mad Sweeney with Laura Moon, who found herself unexpectedly resurrected by the magical golden coin Shadow tossed onto her grave. This led to an odd and oddly hilarious partnership, as Mad Sweeney reluctantly agreed to help Laura find her husband and a way to be resurrected in exchange for the eventual return of his coin.

“Treasure of the Sun” shifted Mad Sweeney’s story even further away from his character in the original novel, as it revealed something of his life and how he came to be a god, a legendary king, and then a leprechaun. The episode tells three conflicting stories, all tied to how the legends of the god Mad Sweeney had been, showing how he had changed over the years, becoming weaker and more confused as the core of who he was became forgotten. This seems to mirror what is happening to the Old Gods in modern day America, with the invaders of ancient Ireland taking the legends of the Celts and changing their gods into “faeries and saints and dead kings.”

The three tales also give three differing prophecies, two of which tell how Mad Sweeney would meet his end. In one, he is told he would be undone and abandoned west of the sunrise and that a dead woman’s bauble would seal his fate. In another, a Christian priest curses him to die on the end of a spear. The third prophecy has Mad Sweeney using a spear to save his people, the Tuatha Dé Danann, from the one-eyed mad god Balor.

By the end of the episode, all three prophecies come true. Mad Sweeney dies in America – west of where the sun sets relative to Ireland. His fate is sealed by the loss of his coin to Laura Moon, making it a dead woman’s bauble. Mad Sweeney dies on the end of a spear, after he tries to throw Odin’s spear Gungnir at Mr. Wednesday, only to have Shadow Moon catch it and turn the point upon him as he advances.

Things take an interesting turn as the third prophecy is fulfilled, with Mad Sweeney using his ability to access his extra-dimensional “horde” to store Gungnir where Mr. Wednesday can’t get it. In doing so, he believes he is saving his people from Balor, who he has come to associate with the one-eyed Wednesday. He may be mad to believe so, but Mad Sweeney certainly threw a monkey wrench into Mr. Wednesday’s plans for the coming conflict heading into American Gods‘ season 2 finale. It remains to be seen how Mr. Wednesday might recover his spear but the most likely bet seems to involve Shadow Moon having been taught the trick of accessing the horde for himself – a trick he seemingly forgot after his first encounter with Mad Sweeney.

More: American Gods: How Gods Are Born (And How They Die)


2019-04-22 05:04:59

Matt Morrison

Game of Thrones Confirms Euron’s “Silence” Crew From The Books

The Game of Thrones season premiere featured a brief line from Euron Greyjoy that alludes to one of his more heinous habits from the books: cutting out the tongues of his Silence crew members. The show’s version of the Ironborn reaver has differed significantly from his counterpart in George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire saga, but “Winterfell” confirmed the two characters share one significant and cruel similarity.

At the end of season 7, Euron took his ships and sailed for Essos to acquire a significant prize for his queen: a deadly group of mercenaries known as the Golden Company to aid her when the surviving army of the war reaches Kings Landing. Regardless of whether or not Euron believes the Night King to be an actual threat, it remains a low priority compared to his desire to court Cersei’s favor and increase his standing on the global stage. It’s an entirely self-serving move, characteristic of the brutal pirate introduced in season 6 who murdered his brother in his very first scene, and has since become a dynamic member of the show’s deep bench of depraved villains.

RELATED: Game Of Thrones Season 8 Reveals New Meaning Of “A Song Of Ice & Fire”

While visiting his niece in captivity on Silence, Euron reveals to Yara that the reason he keeps coming to talk to her is that he’s on a ship “full of mutes,” and it gets lonely at sea. He’s referring to his practice of cutting out the tongues of any sailor that serves on Silence. Euron’s Greyjoy has a reputation in the books as a ruthless, amoral sailor, supported by a number of myths surrounding his brutality. Most of those myths turn out to be true, and forcibly muting his crew (and his pregnant mistress) is one of them.

Reasons for this practice range from paranoia to megalomania to sadism, and none are mutually exclusive. In the books, Euron – like Walder Frey, Ramsay Bolton and Joffrey Baratheon before him – establishes his villainy by gleefully engaging in behavior that flies in the face of what little shared cultural morality Westeros maintains. He kinslays without compunction, is loyal only unto his own ambition, and is the only major villain that openly lives outside the law. The series used those deeds to outline the character played by Pilou Asbæk, but also infuses the character with a more lighthearted air of wickedness.

In the show, Euron Greyjoy feels like a psychotic Jack Sparrow, who is willing to light the world on fire because it makes for such a good show. He’s power-hungry to be sure, but his ruthlessness comes tempered with more humor and mischief than could ever be attributed to his book counterpart. Still, the fact that he mutilates his own crew fits with both versions of the character, and that’s a credit to the show knowing its limits when it comes to adapting Martin’s work.

Distilling Martin’s dense storytelling down to about 80 hours of television ensured some of the author’s work wouldn’t be adapted perfectly or included at all. Certain character interpretations have been criticized by book fans, and the version of Euron Greyjoy that makes bad dwarf jokes (and spawned countless Euron Greyjoy as your mother’s new boyfriend memes) certainly seemed poised to rile. But it’s precisely because Euron Greyjoy has such a depth of character in the books that it was a smart move for Benioff and Weiss to embrace what’s almost a comedic interpretation of the character in the novels.

When Euron Greyjoy was introduced, the show had just shy of 20 episodes to go, and there simply wasn’t time to build Euron up as someone who could rival Ramsay Bolton in depravity and audience engagement. Keeping the spotlight on Cersei and the Night King as the series drew itself to a close made sure the integrity of the show’s narrative remained intact and undiluted by an ambitious introduction of a new character that was never going to be able to evoke the original successfully in the time remaining. That said, dropping in the fact that he mutilates his own crew says a lot about Euron in a very short amount of time.

NEXT: Game of Thrones Theory: The Final Battle Is Against Cersei, Not The Night King


2019-04-20 07:04:54

Alexandra August

Netflix Adapting Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting Books Into Feature Film

Netflix is turning Joe Ballarini’s children’s book series A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting into a feature film to be directed by Rachel Talalay. The film is going to primarily be an adaptation of the first book in Ballarini’s series. The project has been in the works since 2015, spearheaded by Walden Media and Montecito Pictures Company.

The three-book series is a throwback to kid horror mainstays like R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps and Nickelodeon’s Are You Afraid of the Dark?, featuring middle school student Kelly and a secret society of babysitters protecting their young charges from nightmarish creatures such as the Boogeyman in order to save the world. In addition to writing the original books, Ballarini will pen the script for the upcoming adaptation. He recently provided the story and worked on the script for 2017’s My Little Pony: The Movie with Meghan McCarthy. Talalay’s recent credits include directing episodes of American Gods, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, The Flash, Supergirl, Sherlock, and several episodes of Doctor Who, including its 2017 Christmas special.

Related: Doctor Who Director Rachel Talalay Wants to Helm A Star Wars Film

Deadline reports that the Netflix adaptation will aim for the same family-friendly tone of the books. Walden Media, best known for its films based on popular children’s books such as HolesBridge to Terabithia, The BFG, and The Chronicles of Narnia series, first purchased the book’s film rights in 2015 with Montecito Pictures. The two companies will handle the film’s production. The project seems to just be coming together. There’s no word of casting or possible release dates yet, but having Talalay attached to direct does indicate the film is still moving forward after several years of no new developments.

Ballarini’s books have received positive reviews since the first book, simply titled A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting, was released in 2017. The book was lauded for its dialogue, humor, and the way Ballarini weaved horror and drama into children’s fiction, capturing the tone of beloved campy horror. The second book, 2018’s A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting #2: Beasts & Geeks, received similar praise as a noteworthy entry in the niche genre of campy kid horror-adventure stories. The third book in the series, A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting #3: Mission to Monster Island, is set to be released on July 2, 2019.

With the announced revival of Are You Afraid of the Dark? and the surprise success of the 2015 Goosbumps film, Netflix’s adaptation is a smart idea that can satisfy an under-served niche market. Talalay’s credits, particularly her experience in the mystery, horror, supernatural, and superhero genres, make her a strong choice to helm the project. Given the timeline of events, Ballarini likely moved directly from writing the books to penning the script for the adaptation. All parties involved in the project seem passionate about getting it made exactly as it should be. Hopefully, all the pieces involved will come together to make A Babysitter’s Guide to Monster Hunting a lighthearted horror romp that can stand with the classics of R.L. Stine.

More: 15 Creepiest Kids’ Shows Of All Time

Source: Deadline


2019-04-15 06:04:42

Ricky Miller

Game Of Thrones: 15 Ways The Show Is Worse Than The Books (And 10 Ways It’s Better)

We’re only weeks away from the premiere of the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones. The fantasy epic debuted on HBO back in 2011, where it has continued to amass critical acclaim and an impressive following ever since. The story is adapted from the Song of Ice and Fire novel series by George R. R. Martin, which follows a fight for power in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. Meanwhile, a mysterious force of White Walkers, leading an army of zombies, threaten to sweep down from the north and wipe out all of humanity.

Even with six more episodes to go and a ton of loose threads to tie up, many are already calling Game of Thrones one of the greatest fantasies ever put to the screen. And the same goes for Martin’s masterwork, which consists of five novels out of a planned seven-novel series. Of course, that means the show has already surpassed the events of the books, and there’s no telling how similar the two endings will be. It’s been nearly eight years since Martin released an installment, so the wait for the final two books will at least take years – if not over a decade. But that still leaves plenty to compare between these two mediums.

As epic and in-depth as the show may be, there’s a lot from the novels that never made it to the screen. Some of these changes were for the better, while others were definitely for the worst. Here are 15 Ways That Game Of Thrones Is Worse Than The Books (And 10 Ways It’s Better.)

25 Better In The Books: All The Stark Children Are Wargs

By and large, the show did a good job of reducing the amount of magic there is throughout the world. It makes those instances when something supernatural does happen seem all the more plausible. However, if there was one piece of magic they could have kept it, it would have been the Starks’ connections with their direwolves.

In the books, not just Bran has the ability to warg into his direwolf, all the Stark children seem to have a touch of this ability. This is what gives Jon an advantage a number of times while he’s further north, as he slips inside Ghost and sees the locations of his enemies.

24 Better On The Show: No Young Griff/Aegon Targaryen

Despite being five books deep into the planned seven-novel series, George R. R. Martin continues to introduce new characters who are making a play for the throne. In the most recent installment, he reveals that Aegon Targaryen – the son of Rhaegar Targaryen and Elia Martell – is somehow still alive. Thankfully, the show completely bypassed this storyline.

We don’t need another major player at this point in the series. And with Jon looking to be the primary hero in both mediums, it’s probably for the best that the show decided to focus more on his story rather than bringing another secret Targaryen into the fold.

23 Better In The Books: The White Walkers Are A Lot More Interesting

The White Walkers are a frightening and seemingly unstoppable presence on the series. But since the show has eclipsed the source material, the White Walkers are still far more mysterious and interesting in the novels. We have yet to find out their true origins in the books, or discover what they really even want.

In the show, they seem like pure evil bent on destruction. But there are many hints in the books that White Walkers have an extensive culture and history – one that might have even found them making a treaty with humans and helping to build the Wall. 

22 Better On The Show: Leaving Out Lady Stoneheart

Martin has said that keeping Lady Stoneheart is the one change he wished he could make to the show. Apparently, the resurrected Catelyn Stark will continue to play a vital role in the novel series. But without knowing exactly what that role will be yet, we’re still glad she didn’t make the jump from the page to the screen.

Not only would her resurrection have lessened the blow of the Red Wedding, but it would have also made Jon’s return seem far less significant. In other words, too many characters coming back from the grave would really lessen the stakes of the whole story.

21 Better In The Books: Dany And Drogo’s Wedding Night

There’s already enough brutality in the books that the series certainly doesn’t need to pile any more on. So it was a bit disconcerting when they would decide to completely alter the scene of Dany and Drogo’s wedding night. While Dany still has no say in the marriage, Drogo doesn’t just take advantage of her after they’re married. Instead, he seemingly respects her space.

Of course, Dany is also much younger in the books, which still makes this far from okay. But on the show, the fact that Dany goes on to fall in love with Drogo after he abuses her a lot more troubling.

20 Better In The Books: Stannis Doesn’t Turn Into A Total Idiot

In the show, Stannis Baratheon’s character arc has a rather unfulfilling end, which finds him being executed by Brienne of Tarth. The moment doesn’t even take place on screen, almost as if the show weren’t entirely sure what to do with Stannis.

In the books, however, he is still a key player for the Iron Throne. He’s united some of the North against the Boltons and is currently preparing to attack them at Winterfell. But more importantly, Stannis doesn’t turn into a religious zealot whose being manipulated by Melisandre. The Stannis from the books would simply never sacrifice his own daughter to please the Lord of Light.

19 Better On The Show: No Fake Arya

In the books, Sansa never ends up marrying Ramsay Bolton, Arya does. Except it’s not Arya at all, but a childhood friend of the Starks named Jenye Poole who has been disguised to look like Arya.

This is a tricky plot point, considering that Littlefinger never should have given Sansa over to Ramsay in the show; he’s simply too smart to make such a risky gamble. But it also makes sense to give Sansa a more significant role in the central plot. Either way, we’re just glad that they didn’t end up going the route of having a second Arya.

18 Better In The Books: Jaime And Cersei’s Relationship

Jaime and Cersei’s relationship is unsettling no matter how you look at it. But in the books, their love for each other is fairly genuine. They both have a tendency to think that they are the same person. They are so alike, that they even had the ability to fool others simply by switching clothes when they were children.

This is an intriguing and somewhat even creeper element that is missing from the show. Not to mention that Jaime never hurt Cersei during the funeral of their own child – which was totally uncalled for and extremely out of place in the series.

17 Better In The Books: How Creepy Roose Bolton Is

While he may be nowhere near as sinister as Ramsay, Roose Bolton is still a pretty unforgivable character on the show. He betrays the Starks, resulting in the Red Wedding, while also turning a blind eye to all the despicable things his son does. In the books, however, Roose is a full-blown creep.

Roose is said to be extremely soft-spoken in the books, barely raising his voice above a whisper. Yet, when he talks, everyone listens. He also has a fondness for using leeches to “improve” his health. If only some of this creepiness could have made it on the series, we could have hated the Boltons even more.

16 Better On The Show: Dany Doesn’t Have A Chance To Marry Hizdahr

With only two books left in the series, Dany still seems no closer to making her way over to Westeros than when we first met her. While her power has increased dramatically, she continues to get further entrenched in the happenings around the Bay of Dragons.

In the books, she’s actual marries Hizdahr zo Loraq, which is an event that thankfully never gets a chance to happen in the show. While it’s understandable for Dany to want to bring peace to Meereen, she should also know that a marriage pact would be the fastest way to gain an alliance when she sets sail for Westeros.

15 Better In The Books: Doran Martell’s Pact With The Targaryens

In the show, the storyline of Dorne is one of the most unfulfilling and least faithful to the novels. Characters like the Sand Snakes have their motives completely altered, while their ruler, Doran Martell, mostly just sits around and does nothing.

However, in the novels, it’s ultimately revealed that Doran has a secret pact with the Targaryens. He’s been waiting for Viserys (and later, Daenerys) to come of age so he can marry one of his children to them and make a play for the throne. Unfortunately, this storyline barely comes into play on the show.

14 Better In The Books: The Iron Islands And The Drowned God

While the Greyjoys are still at play in Game of Thrones, the Iron Islands as a whole play a much larger role in the books. In the last few novels alone, we’ve had point-of-view chapters from four different Greyjoys, as the Iron Islands are currently at civil war.

But the one aspect that’s really lacking from the show is the Iron Island’s faith in the Drowned God. Growing up on these islands is a brutal existence, which has resulted in the Iron Islands having the strongest naval fleets in the world. However, this mix of extremist beliefs and savage piracy is sadly lacking in Game of Thrones.

13 Better On The Show: Daario’s Facial Hair

There have been a few main characters who have been recast throughout Game of Thrones, and Daario Nahairs is one of them. While fans can continue to debate over which live-action Daario was better than the other, we’d like to believe that they were both better than the one we got in the novels.

Here, Daario comes across as more of a clown than a suitable bodyguard and lover of Daenerys. In the books, he’s described as having a blue beard – which is divided into three prongs – along with a mustache that’s painted gold. But is this really the kind of guy that would sweep Dany off her feet?

12 Better In The Books: Tyrion’s Long Lost Love

Before Tyrion fell in love with Shae or was forced to wed Sansa, he was married to a peasant girl named Tysha when he was still a teen. Tyrion’s father is furious at this, and he hatches a plot to convince Tyrion that Tysha was simply paid to make him a man. In the show, Tyrion continues to believe that this is the truth.

However, in the books, Jaime eventually comes clean about their father’s lie. It turns out that Tysha really was in love with Tyrion, and Tyrion can’t help but wonder if he’ll ever see her again.

11 Better On The Show: Jorah Isn’t A Hairy Brute

Jorah Mormont has had one of the most impressive comebacks on the series. He’s survived the friend zone, beaten Greyscale, and managed to restore honor to his name. He’s also a much more nuanced character than the one from the books.

In the novels, Jorah isn’t particularly handsome. He’s described as being stout and covered in black hair – looking not unlike a bear from which his homeland is named. He’s also far less likable, coming off as much more of a muscular brute with a one-track mind rather than a seasoned knight and former lord.

10 Better In The Books: The History Of House Targaryen

While it’s highly unlikely that the Targaryens literally have dragon blood coursing through their veins, the books do offer more insight into the abilities of this Great House over the years.

In the books, the Targaryens are almost treated as a superior race of humans. They have an otherworldly appearance, represented with their silver hair and purple eyes. They also have their roots in Valyria, which was home to many secrets and forms of magic that have since been lost. Unfortunately, we don’t get nearly as much of this history in the show, which somewhat diminishes the legacy that Daenerys (and Jon) are a part of.

9 Better In The Books: Arya Crossing Paths With Sam In Braavos

There are still a lot of intriguing chance meetings that make their way into the show. But one of the coolest that never made its jump to the screen involved Arya crossing paths with Sam in Braavos.

In the books, Sam actually travels by sea when he departs for the Citadel. This takes him across the Narrow Sea, where he unknowingly bumps shoulders with Jon Snow’s sister. Arya even ends up executing one of Sam’s traveling companions, who decides that he isn’t going to return to the Night’s Watch.

8 Better On The Show: Tyrion’s Trip Through Essos Doesn’t Take Forever

The characters traveling throughout the world really sped up in the seventh season of Game of Thrones. In fact, Varys traveled across the Narrow Sea so many times that some theorized that he’s a merman. That being said, there are many trips in the book that simply take way too long. Such is the case with Tyrion making his way across Essos to aid Daenerys.

Tyrion departed Westeros at the end of the third book, and two books later, he still hasn’t met her. While he’s bumped into a number of other characters along the way, we’re glad the series decided to massively streamline this journey.

7 Better In The Books: Ser Barristan’s Disguise

When Ser Barristan Selmy is dismissed from serving as the Lord Commander of the Kingsguard by the Lannisters, he decides to head east and pledge his allegiance to the Targaryens instead. In the show, he meets Daenerys after saving her life from an assassination attempt, and she is immediately told who he is.

However, in the book, Barristan poses as an old squire under the name of Arstan Whitebeard during his early travels with Daenerys. He does this to discover if the Mother of Dragons is really worthy of his sword, which makes for a great reveal when Barristan finally lets his true identity be known.

6 Better On The Show: Mance Rayder Doesn’t Escape His Execution

Mance Rayder met his demise in the show so long ago that it’s easy to completely forget about the character. But the former King-beyond-the-Wall is actually still alive in the books. Instead of being executed at the Wall, Melisandre uses a bit of magic to keep Mance alive. The wildling is then sent to Winterfell at the request of Jon Snow to infiltrate the Boltons.

While this is an intriguing subplot for the books, it’s also one that makes sense to do without on the show – especially considering how epic the showdown between Jon and Ramsay turned out to be.

5 Better In The Books: How Tyrion Wins The Battle of Blackwater

It’s easy to assume that an action sequence will almost always be better in the show. But in the case of the Battle of Blackwater, we actually get a much more in-depth look at how the battle carries out in the books – especially Tyrion’s role in the defense of King’s Landing.

While Tyrion is the unsung hero in both mediums, the show emits his idea of the chain boom. This is what prevents the enemy from retreating following the wildfire explosion – delivering a fatal blow to Stannis’ fleet. This takes a lot of preparation on Tyrion’s part, and it demonstrates just how effective of a strategist he actually is.

4 Better On The Show: Cutting Out Insignificant Characters

Without knowing where the last two books of A Song of Ice and Fire are heading, it’s hard to say which characters are the “insignificant” ones. But with so many characters floating around Martin’s fantasy epic, there’s simply no way that all of these individuals will be given an impactful arc.

While there are undoubtedly some characters we would have liked to see make their jump to the screen, as a whole, the series does a good job at cutting out a lot of side characters and plots. As a result, we get to form a stronger connection to the main players throughout the show.

3 Better In The Books: Littlefinger’s Plans For Sansa

Littlefinger may have been a master manipulator on the show, but in the books, he’s one of the smartest individuals in the Seven Kingdoms. While it’s understandable for the show to gloss over some of Littlefinger’s more complicated schemes, one thing he never would have done in the books is give Sansa to Ramsay.

Instead, Littlefinger has an impersonator marry Ramsay; the Stark name is simply far too valuable in the Seven Kingdoms. Petyr decides to keep Sansa under his protection at all time in the Vale. He knows that he needs her trust to win the North, as we’ve already seen what happens when he doesn’t have it on the show. 

2 Better On The Show: Arya Working For Tywin

Watching characters with distinctly different worldviews interact with one another is one of the most fascinating parts about Game of Thrones. In that regard, season two gave us one of the most interesting dynamics when Arya is chosen to be the cup-bearer of Twyin Lannister.

This series of events never came to pass in the books. But by pairing Arya up with Tywin, we get to see a side of each character that we might now have otherwise. Even though they should both hate each other – especially if Tywin knew who Arya really was – they also can’t help but develop a mutual respect for one another during their time together.

1 Better In The Books: All The Prophecies And Lore

It goes without saying that there’s a lot more going on in the novels – some of which we’re glad didn’t make it to the show. However, one thing that they could use more of is all the history, legends, and prophecies that appear on the page.

While the world presented in Game of Thrones feels fully realized without this additional content, much of the point of the novels revolves around prophecies coming true and history repeating itself. There’s a ton of legends about the White Walkers, ancient Starks, and Targaryens in the books – some of which could have really helped set the stage for the final season.

So what do you like more about the show/ novels? Let us know!


2019-04-14 08:04:41

Dylan Dembrow

The 10 Best Kids Books For Marvel Fans

Reading is a great way to get kids to spend less time near the screen and more time thinking and challenging themselves. By transporting all their favorite onscreen characters to the colorful pages of these books, your little ones can still get their fix of Spidey, Groot, Captain Marvel and Ant-Man, without the excessive blue light keeping them up at night and asking you to check under their beds for Mysterio.

For the tiny Marvel fan, or for the older Marvel fan who wants to introduce their family to the wonders that exist in the Marvel universe, these books are a great bedtime or anytime event, with no shortage of action.

10 Night Night, Groot

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In this 32 page story for readers ages 5 and up, we find Baby Groot in his bedroom, snuggled nice and cozy into his pot, complete with a pillow and nightcap. Groot is being read a bedtime story by Gamora, when suddenly, Rocket Raccoon bursts into the room and demands that Groot stay awake and come with him to save the day.

Characters speak with speech bubbles in true comic book fashion, and the drawings are colorful, cute versions of the Guardians of the Galaxy heroes. This is a story centered around a character who wants to go to bed and is getting progressively sleepier, perfect for lulling small ones to sleep. There is also a look-and-find aspect, as each spread has a little Ant-Man hidden within the illustration.

9 Grow Up, Ant-Man!

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This 32-page book is appropriate for ages 2 – 5. The author is Brandon T. Snider, who wrote the award-winning Dark Night Manual. He’s also a comedy writer who has written for and appeared on Inside Amy Schumer, so this book is just as entertaining for the adults as it is for the children. In this story, Ant-Man’s daughter, Cassie, wants him to grow up and quit playing pranks on everyone and acting foolish.

This is a bright, happy book with cheerful drawings and a fun journey of Ant-Man eventually growing too big. The repetition of the phrase, “Grow up, Ant-Man!” gives kids something they can participate along with and adds to the fun for non-readers.

8 Marvel Little Golden Book Library

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These little Golden Books are all about Marvel superheroes and the villains they defend the world from, with statements about each character. The plots aren’t thick; these are more of an introductory set to the world of Marvel and reading material for little fans who are excited to see the pictures of Spider-Man, Hulk and all of their other favorites.

Children aged 2 – 5 will enjoy this boxed set, which includes 5 different Golden Books with stories about different heroes – Spider-Man, Hulk, Iron Man, Captain America, and the Avengers. Little Golden Books are a nostalgic part of a lot of childhoods and this is a great way to make them a part of your child’s life.

7 Marvel’s The Avengers Storybook Collection

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This 192-page collection includes 7 short stories featuring different superheroes – Iron Man, Captain America, Thor, Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Widow, and Nick Fury. These stories are great for ages 4-8 and are accompanied by full color, bright illustrations depicting lots of action and adventure.

The hardcover and thick pages make it easy to keep the book in working shape, even if it becomes a very well-loved favorite. The book makes a great introductory gift for a youngster who might find their favorite hero within the pages or a fun treat for a kid who can’t get enough of Marvel.

6 Avengers Storybook Collection – Second Edition

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The second edition of the Avengers Storybook Collection features 304 pages of storytime, with bright illustrations of tons of Marvel characters. The stories revolve around different heroes each time, including Captain America, Iron Man, Hulk, Thor, Black Widow, Ant-Man, Black Panther, and more.

This is a hardback book and appropriate for ages 6-8. The stories are simplified for new and early readers, so there isn’t too much-complicated language or plot to maneuver around. These make for great quick bedtime stories to leave fans dreaming about saving humanity. If your reader liked the first collection, they’ll love this new edition and will reread it again and again.

5 Captain Marvel: What Makes a Hero

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After Captain Marvel and Black Panther swept audiences off their feet with strong, popular female heroes, fans (especially young, female fans) are looking for more superhero content that revolves around women. This 32-page book for ages 4-8 introduces readers to Marvel females such as Captain Marvel, Shuri, Gamora, Black Widow, Nebula, and more.

The writing discusses different traits that make a hero, and the painted illustrations feature female heroes in full color. This book is an empowering gift for a girl or any child who loves Marvel but would like a little more girl power to be included in their fandom.

4 Spider-Man, Spider-Man!

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The classic 1960s song from the original Spider-Man show is what makes up the text of this book, with the lyrics of the theme song stretching from cover to cover, alongside colorful illustrations that match the words. The book also comes with a bonus – a CD that plays the song, as a version with music only so youngsters can sing along karaoke-style, and as a second version with the lyrics included.

This is a great kids’ song that children will enjoy memorizing the words to, and the CD comes in handy on car rides where entertainment is a national emergency.

3 Captain Marvel Little Golden Book

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Hot on the heels of the 2019 released film, Captain Marvel mania is sweeping the world as children everywhere imagine themselves flying through space, peacemaking and protecting planet Earth. In this Little Golden Book, Captain Marvel fights aliens who are attacking our planet, using her powers of superhuman strength and space flight.

The book explains Captain Marvel’s origins and also introduces children to her surrounding characters, be they allies or enemies. Little Golden Books are essential to any children’s library and spark warm and simple memories for most parents of their own collections. This is 24 pages long and makes a great gift for ages 2 – 5.

2 Rocket to the Rescue! Little Golden Book

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This is another Little Golden Book, such an important part of the reading journey for a youngster and still looks great on a shelf as the classic gold trim appears down the spine. This book features Rocket Raccoon, with his friends Star-Lord, Groot, Gamora and Drax who must mobilize quickly when a mysterious, cloaked figure steals Groot and runs away with him!

This story will capture a child’s imagination as the Guardians zoom through space on their ship and save the day (and their friend) with teamwork and bravery. This is a great book for ages 2 – 5 years, though the content may be a bit scary for some kids who would worry about a little friend being stolen.

1 Thor Vs. Hulk

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This 32-page book is based on the 2017 film, Thor: Ragnarok. Images are strong and colorful, done in a comic book style as opposed to a cutesie version of the characters. Fans of the film will enjoy reading this book and it has a bit more of a mature feel for slightly older readers.

In this story, Thor is trapped across the universe while his brother Loki has taken over Asgard. To get back and save his home, Thor must face the green guy himself, the Hulk. This is great for children aged 4-8 years old.

NEXT: The 10 Best MCU Art Books, Ranked

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2019-04-14 08:04:36

Amanda McQueen