Why "Game Of Thrones" Is King
Start writing a post

Why "Game Of Thrones" Is King

The reasons why everyone is so into the show.

Why "Game Of Thrones" Is King

If anyone hasn’t guessed yet, I’m a huge nerd. I love it all, from video games to Dungeons and Dragons. I adore the long, drawn out fantasy and sci-fi novels that could double as a doorstop due to their sheer size. Robert Jordan’s "Wheel of Time" series and Tolkien's "The Lord of the Rings" are some of my favorite books. Which makes me a surefire sucker for "Game of Thrones".

To me, what’s not to love? A bunch of medieval guys running around trying to kill each other, a prophecy that needs to be fulfilled, magic, adventure, corruption -- It’s a nerd’s dream. I’ve caught up on the show entirely, and can’t wait for next year’s season. I’m in the middle of reading the books to hold me over until then, and it’s awesome. Surprisingly, I hadn’t really heard of "Game of Thrones" before a few years ago. I was faintly aware of the show, mainly because of its reputation to show a lot of nudity. But I was never really interested in it. That is, until my dad came up to me one day after school, telling me that I really should be watching "Game of Thrones".

I realize that at this point you’re not as shocked as I was when I heard that--so let me clarify. My dad spent most of his youth hanging out at the beach and windsurfing with his friends, listening to rock n’ roll. He’s been playing guitar for twice as long as I’ve been alive (and he’s great, by the way) and nowadays plays jazz in his spare time. To me, the last person who I ever expected to recommend anything fantasy-related was my father, the man who fell asleep twenty minutes into "The Hobbit".

At that point, I was sold. Anything semi-fantasy that could interest my dad, I’d have to love. And of course I did. But what was it about the show that caught the attention of people like my dad, my teachers, my friends, and the other 8.9 million people that watched the most recent season finale?

The advent of the internet has forced a huge change in the television industry. A decade ago there were no major video streaming sites. In the year 2006 Netflix had been established as a DVD by mail business and YouTube had just started the year prior. By 2009, Netflix established their streaming service to immediate success. Of course, other companies such as Hulu and Amazon hopped on the bandwagon, providing a wider variety of content on demand to the masses. YouTube in and of itself sparked a whole new medium of video -- internet content. Anyone could upload anything, and anyone with an internet connection could watch. All of a sudden, people were able to choose what content they wanted at any time they wanted to watch. Network television suddenly became less attractive. In the year 2016, more than one in every five households in the United States cut the cord. Convenience is king in the 21st century, and network television just can’t keep up.

Because of this shift to online content, the very fabric of television changed. People began to binge-watch all of their shows, so newer programs started to have more and more of an overlying story. It’s hard to get into a show like "Game of Thrones" from any point besides the beginning because of its complicated plot and hundreds of characters rather than a show like "Friends", where one could generally understand the characters and gimmicks of the show from watching a random episode.

People’s expectations of shows changed as well. We began to want shows that that tackle topics that aren’t usually seen on network television (drug dealing, political scandal, etc.), shows that don’t always have happy endings, shows that don’t have characters that are constantly altruistic role models. Shows like "The Wire", "Breaking Bad", "Mad Men", and "The Sopranos" paved the way for this shift towards more mature shows. Before the rise of streaming content, there were only a few places on television where shows like that could exist (namely AMC and HBO). By the time "Game of Thrones" premiered in 2011, the world was already accustomed to enjoying content like it.

The media landscape was only a portion of the success of "Game of Thrones". The show itself has managed to capture the attention of audiences everywhere. For those who haven’t watched, I’d describe it as a political drama with a fantasy overlay. Sure, there’s magic, dragons, giants, and magical creatures, but they take a backseat to the heart of the show -- corruption, backstabbing, suspense, manipulation, and politics. In a sense, it is less "Lord of the Rings" and more "House of Cards". In some cases, the fantasy adds to the drama by adding lots of twists and upping the danger of every situation. My dad has never really been a fan of fantasy, but he loves shows that keep him on his seat -- and "Game of Thrones" does.

Another thing that the show does really well is building characters and its world. As I mentioned earlier, there are hundreds of characters in the show. While some are definitely more important than others, each person usually has something to add. The main players are all well written and easy to get attached to (making it all the more surprising and difficult when a beloved character dies). Something that’s interesting to note is that nobody is entirely good. Everyone’s made poor choices and have done things that aren’t really ‘role model material’ -- so the role of ‘villain’ alternates between plot lines. The world itself is well-developed too. Each and every location compliments the plot, ranging from freezing arctic forests to open prairies to sprawling cities.

You wouldn’t see it from a first glance, but "Game of Thrones" can get surprisingly realistic. Maybe not in the sense of dragons existing and magic running rampant, but more in the humanistic part. People react in the show how they would in real life. I’m constantly reminded of real life history when I watch the show. Whenever I hear ‘War of the Five Kings’, events from the Seven Years War pop into my mind (British, French, Austrian, and Prussian powers all vying for control against each other). Everyone’s got their own personal motives and are actively trying to work for them, willing to go to near extreme means to get it. As a viewer, it feels like I’m observing history in progress.

It is a combination of all of these components that make a show appealing to a wide audience. There are few shows that have managed to capture my attention as much as "Game of Thrones" has. If you haven’t at least given it a shot, try it out. There’s a reason why it has 38 Emmys.
Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

college students waiting in a long line in the hallway

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments