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Tuesday, January 18, 2022
<p>For the past few years, Marvel Studios has been putting out superhero film after superhero film for the sole purpose of creating a unprecedented mashup: "The Avengers."</p>

For the past few years, Marvel Studios has been putting out superhero film after superhero film for the sole purpose of creating a unprecedented mashup: "The Avengers."

April is the beginning of the end for major pop culture phenomenons, namely “The Avengers” franchise (at least for now) and “Game of Thrones.” Both franchises have captured the attention of audiences across the globe and have facilitated conversations involving speculation and commentary. They have spawned parody skits, elevated people to A-list stars and created entire worlds people have spent hours recapping and analyzing. The franchises may have multiple spin-offs planned for both franchises, but we wonder if they will spawn the same fan response as their original predecessors.

Both “GoT” and “The Avengers” have shaped the pop culture of entire generations during a time when our country has only seemed to grow more divided. It’s easy to believe the U.S. has constantly conflicting ways of thinking, but these franchises have given people something to come together for. People have healthy arguments and conversations about these pop culture phenomenons on social media and in person, something that isn’t common when talking about things like politics or social issues. Granted, those topics are much heavier and hold real-life consequences. However, these series have given fans something to unite over for nearly the past decade.

Talking about popular movies and TV series gives people something to bond over, even if they have their political and social differences. Besides the nostalgia of it all, it’s sad to see the franchises go, and with them, something that has united people. The stories have their heroes and their villains that can teach us about people in general, but perhaps the best thing the series have taught us is comradery. There are major viewing parties every year for each episode of “GoT,” and every week there are a plethora of conversations over social media, even major news outlets like The New York Times join in on the conversation.

“The Avengers” franchise has become a pop culture staple, with people donning expensive costumes while attending days-long conventions. It has created characters people have grown to love and hate. And its original creator, Stan Lee, has become a beloved household name. The point is, these franchises aren’t just stories; They have become pure escapism from real-world problems. Both series have been able to take a society that is often politically and socially divided and turn it into a society that can all root for one character or against another. These franchises have created common threads of conversation that haven’t previously been seen on such a large scale in years. And we’ll miss it.

Learning to let go of these beloved characters and their worlds is going to be hard for fans. However, most importantly, we can’t forget what these franchises have given us: the ability to communicate in a respectful way. We understand politics often involve heated discussions because they affect real people. However, that doesn’t mean we have to forget there are respectful ways to facilitate arguments. Just look to YouTube where fans will create hundreds of reaction videos for the premiere of “GoT” or to Twitter, where entire threads will be created to talk about the fate of a single character.

We are saying goodbye to pop culture phenomenons that have shaped how we perceive media. We have to remember to keep in mind the lessons we’ve learned from these franchises. If we can all come together to obsess over a TV show, why can’t we allow ourselves to see people aren’t that different in their likes and dislikes? At the very least, take the lessons of communication you’ve been learning for the past 10 years and bring it into real-world conversations.

The Alligator editorial board includes the opinions editor Michaela Mulligan, editor-in-chief Paige Fry and managing editors Christina Morales and Amanda Rosa.

For the past few years, Marvel Studios has been putting out superhero film after superhero film for the sole purpose of creating a unprecedented mashup: "The Avengers."

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