Okay, so on Sunday night, I finally watched my first episode of Game of Thrones in roughly 3-4 years…
For those without Internet access, the episode concerned the Battle of Winterfell, which I guess has been in the works since the first season. I don’t know, but what I do know is that everyone on the planet watches this shit religiously and I can’t hold out any longer—I’m officially giving Game of Thrones another chance.
For the record, I tried getting into it a few years back and even bullied my way through the first season. Pretty sure the last episode was the one where the lead character at the time got his head guillotined into the next millennium.
Whenever people learn that, they gasp and proceed to enlighten me that the first season sucks. “Season 2 is where it gets going” is what they normally say, which is a little insane if you ask me. I shouldn’t have to dedicate 12 hours of anything before I can begin enjoying it (except sex, ladies…). Not to mention, if I told people I stopped after 2 seasons, they would just gasp, move back the goalposts, and inform me that I stopped watching “when it starts to get really good,” but I digress.
Anyway, I’m going to give it another go, starting with the first episode tomorrow night; however, before I do, I want to offer some thoughts so I’m ahead of my presumed take.
Given the volume of people who follow, it’s pretty clear Game of Thrones is an incredibly show. I don’t think anyone can debate that at this point, but I do question the primary reason why it’s so popular.
Is it a truly great show or is it just incredibly fun to watch/follow? What I mean by that is: some shows like True Detective or The Crown or blah blah blah are phenomenal, but they don’t stir the communal pot in the way Thrones does. It’s a textbook watercooler product.
Whenever people ask if I watch The Walking Dead, I always joke that I only watch Talking Dead—a live, roundtable aftershow where panelists discuss what just happened on The Walking Dead. It’s not that funny of a joke, but there’s some truth in there.
In other words, I genuinely think I’d rather listen to my friends/coworkers/random people talk about Game of Thrones than actually watch it.
For some reason, it’s just entertaining to observe people who you would never consider “fantasy driven” lose their shit at 6 am in the morning over a lack of dragons.
Maybe, given the remarkably devisive sociopolitical climate we’ve generated, it’s just refreshing to see so many people on the same page for once. During discussions, there are a lot of “we”s being thrown around and, call me old fashion, but that’s enjoyable.
Not to mention, it seems like there aren’t any rooting interests. From what I’ve inferred, the design of the show—main characters are seemingly killed off every other episode—has desensitized people to the point where, if someone from the first season isn’t slaughtered in a big moment, it’s a let down. Fans seemingly just root for chaos, and I can get down with that…
So yeah, there’s no chance I’ll bulldoze through enough episodes to get caught up by the finale but you win Internet, I’ll fucking watch.
— Joey Boats (@joey_boats)