I was late to the Game of Thrones party.
I’m just not the type of person to watch serialized dramas and I’m definitely not the type to necessarily gravitate immediately to fantasy stories, as genre has never really been my thing (Harry Potter aside.. but come on.. it’s Harry Potter).
Before Christmas, my boyfriend and I (pre-long distance) were in the car coming back from a Christmas shopping trip to the United States. As we waited in the Canadian border lineup we were talking about television and he had mentioned something about Game of Thrones. I told him I’d never watched it before and he stopped dead in his tracks.
“You’ve never seen it? Do you know anything about the show?”
“Not really.. aside from the Black Friday episode of South Park…”
With that, he had a bit of a conniption at me from the passenger side. “OH MY GOD! OH. MY GOD. At Christmas, we’re going to sit down and we’re going to go through all of Season 1 of Game of Thrones! You’re in for a treat!”
And we did. It was cold out and we watched almost all of Season 1 of the show. And in ensuing visits once we moved into a long-distance relationship, we watched a few episodes at a time (sometimes I watched episodes on my own because our visits tend to be short and also, I couldn’t wait to move forward in the show) until I was all caught up.
Game of Thrones is a lot of things – some say it’s empowering, some say it’s disempowering. It plays with genre conventions, and it plays with gray areas of characterizations. It plays with our hearts, minds, and expectations as North American Hollywood-trained viewers of movies and television. It keeps us on our toes and reminds us of how difficult it would be to live a world where all men must die. It’s a brilliant, heart-stopping, ornate and intricate series that pits your own biases with your own feelings and as a writer (a sort-of writer, anyway) I feel pretty strongly about it overall. I’m sad I missed out on it for so long if only because my taste isn’t automatically fantasy right off the bat.
It also reminds me of really great moments of my relationship; moving into a long-distance relationship is challenging but having something like a television show is bonding and makes you feel closer to someone who’s far away. With the upcoming premiere episode, it is also a reminder of how much I miss my partner and wish he was here to watch the premier of season 5 with me because it has been such a part of us as a couple living in different cities, and our cuddle-and-eat-breakfast-and-watch-Game-of-Thrones visits give me warm fuzzies (and also some post-red wedding trauma, upon recollection).