Do you watch Game of Thrones? I have lost count how many times I’ve heard that question asked or asked the question myself. Every single person that watches the epic fantasy program on HBO possesses a devotion to the show that almost requires them to ask others if they watch the best show on television (now that Breaking Bad ended), and if (heaven forbid) they are not tuning in Sunday nights beginning April 6th, these non-viewers must be given advice on where to watch the previous three seasons for free on the internet because each season is comparable to ten hours of Lord of the Rings.
Even when I receive the response that the person I’m trying to convince to watch Game of Thrones (GOT) never enjoyed Peter Jackson’s massive fantasy project at the turn of the new millennium, I feel obligated to continue with my persuasion. Honestly, I believe I desire all my friends and acquaintances to watch GOT because it’s a guaranteed available topic of discussion when there exists nothing else to discuss, but it might also be the case that when I discover a fellow fantasy nerd, I desire to see if they’ve read any of the books.
If they haven’t read the books but watch the show, I instantly have the power of plot hanging in the balance of my hands. I could completely ruin the story for them by revealing the most tantalizing plot twists that occur within the first five books of the series (book 3 is about to be finished on television during the up-and-coming Season 4 of GOT). Like all of the power hungry players in GOT, I have power over people (potentially violent nerds).
But I wouldn’t do that. I know what it’s like to have a great story ruined by a potential sociopath (the epic deaths of main supporting characters in books 5 and 6 of Harry Potter were destroyed for this former adolescent nerd), and I have never forgiven nor forgotten the serious transgression committed against me. I simply threaten, nothing more. People should watch the show and read the books. That’s it.
Believe it or not, my threats have actually created more watchers and readers (without ruining any of the plot for potential converts). When people crave entertainment, they want something that will distract them from their everyday lives. Most people don’t want to be reminded of the horrid occurrences happening around the world or maybe across the street. They want to have a gap in their memory where they forget who they are, and unless somewhere, someone is currently existing within a feudal society where the probability of dragons coming “back” into existence is extremely high, there will not be a strong resemblance to the world any of us live in. So if you want at least an hour of complete distraction from our world for each episode, I would wholeheartedly recommend subscribing to HBO or finding a friend that subscribes and borrow his HBOgo account, and if you don’t want me to ruin the plot of the show, go out and buy or borrow the books (number 6 should be out sometime next year).
I’m not serious about ruining the show for anyone, but I am serious about either watching the show or reading the books, preferably both. Seriously, you won’t regret it.
By Martin O’Connor