Warning: Some minor spoilers for Game of Thrones below.
This past Sunday, HBO’s hallmark series Game of Thrones delivered one of its best episodes in its 7-year run. It was a near-perfect hour of television the likes of which are rarely seen on the small screen. It featured beloved characters reuniting in both touching and tense ways. It established impactful implications for the rest of the season. And it featured an expertly-made action sequence that was thrilling and terrifying.
So why aren’t you watching?
I get it, not every show is going to appeal to everyone’s tastes. Game of Thrones is especially off-putting to some as the fantasy genre can be hard to get into and the often talked about level of violence is hard to handle. And there is certainly a possibility that you could give it a try and hate it. However, the show has reached a point where it is no longer just a television show. It’s a cultural phenomenon, one that demands you give it a shot. And there is no better time to get onboard the GOT train.
For several weeks every year when the new season of Game of Thrones airs, it owns the pop culture conversation. Premiering in 2011 to significant fan fervour, the show has only grown in popularity. Now in its seventh season, the show breaks viewing records with each new episode (not to mention being the most illegally downloaded show of all time). People can’t stop talking about it and have adopted many of its properties into the pop culture sphere. “Winter is coming “, “All men must die”, “You know nothing, Jon Snow” — these phrases and more have become apart of history and it’s all due to the engrossing story of this world.
Yes, it can be a bit difficult to get your bearings in this fantasy world. There are dozens of central characters you’re introduced to, most of them have weird names and there’s years of backstory and intrigue to understand who everyone is. But once the story gets going, you get sucked in and fall in love with these characters from Jon Snow to Daenerys, Arya to Bronn, Brienne to Tyrion.
Of course, it’s not just that the show is popular with the public at large. Game of Thrones has reached a point in which each episode has become an event in and of itself. Starting in the first season when the death of the show’s main character proved they were taking risks, the series has time and again delivered moments not ever seen on television. The Red Wedding, the Hardhome massacre, the Battle of the Bastards – these moments are examples of how the show has reached a cinematic level in terms of its scale. Last Sunday’s “Field of Fire” battle was another such example, giving audiences a heart-pounding sequence that had them cheering for both sides of the chaotic fight while fearing for the lives of several of the show’s main characters. It was the greatest action set piece in entertainment this year. Period.
And things are only going to get bigger for the show, which is why this is the perfect time to get into the phenomenon. The seventh season has only three more episodes left. Take this time to get caught up with the previous six seasons (only 60 episodes in total) so you can be a part of a unique and unforgettable time in television history when the show enters its eight and final season. It’s rumoured the final season will consist of six feature-length episodes to wrap up this epic.
If it seems like this show with fire-breathing dragons and ice zombies is not a show for the mature crowd, like me just say that’s something only someone who has never seen the show would say. Yes, when it’s all said and done, it is just a television show and there are more important things in life. But without having to sacrifice much of anything, I implore you to not miss out on something that will likely never be seen on television again.