A Stark Reality: Why GAME OF THRONES Matters

HBO shop front window (cropped view)

After a decade of hard work, sweat, tears, blood, and friendship – we soon bid adieu to the award-winning drama series, GAME OF THRONES. A show so beloved by fans and critics alike earns its spot among television greatness with sweeping saga storylines, fantasical elements, memorable characters and dialogue, costume masterpieces, and special effects that look more real than not.

I entered the GoT fandom in 2016, after my older sister’s passing. Perhaps watching this particular series with my mother seems an odd choice, but it bonded us – allowed us to escape from our grief for a while and rebuild a foundation on which House Deeny can stand. We binge-watched the first six seasons before the seventh’s premiere, and wait with anticipation together for the final journey into “Westeros”.

My mother and I are not alone in our excitement; a claim validated when I went to the HBO shop on Sixth Avenue ten days before the S8 premiere. The store was busy (as it will likely be for the near future) with fans pondering the agonizing decision of which item NOT to get. (To my delight, there were lots of House Stark merchandise leaving the shelves.)

Praying to the TV Gods (Old and New) that my favorite character survives!

GAME OF THRONES matters to people; I implore you not to discount it as a mere pop-culture phenomenon or decade-long fad as that would be doing a disservice to the cast, crew, and fans. If you doubt GoT’s significance, look at social media stats, fan fiction writings, cosplay photos, or the multitude of well-researched theory videos on YouTube. This fandom cares about not only the actors who’ve shot to stardom (deservedly so), but the finished artwork that is GAME OF THRONES. They know the names of those behind the scenes, respectful and appreciative of the writers’, directors’, and musicians’ dedication and craft.

We’re surrounded by chaos, anger, vitriol, and violence in our day-to-day life; so much so that it can seem daunting to trust that hope, joy, and love will reign supreme. People are fighting every day for what they believe in – to find justice for those persecuted or to put aside long-standing disagreements to battle an even greater threat. GAME OF THRONES entertains, shocks, moves, and awes us, but more importantly, it offers viewers a chance to examine the world around them and their part in it. We can overcome even the most challenging of obstacles, building relationships instead of walls.

The fans will certainly mourn the loss of the show (and most likely many of their beloved characters) come May 20th, but appreciation does not have a finale date. To all the artists (in front of and behind the camera) who were a part of GAME OF THRONES all these years: Your work matters! May this be but one reminder of just how much you all matter. Your watch has ended.  On April 14th, it’s the fans turn!

*No endorsement by any of the aforementioned entities, organizations, or their subsidiaries is implied.*

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