When You Watch The Game of Thrones You Win or You Die
I would like to start this article by saying if you have not watched past episode six, season seven of Game of Thrones spoilers are coming. I just wanted to be fair and warn you about what’s to come.
For three weeks straight, my whole life was dedicated to Game of Thrones, sleeping, going to work, and more Game of Thrones. If I had any free time at all I was watching Game of Thrones and Game of Thrones only.
My main goal was to watch as many episodes as I could as quick as I could. I was determined to finish all of the available episodes before my one-month free trial of HBO NOW expired. Which sadly it ends on Aug. 23 and I will once again have to find a way to watch this glorious show.
Before I started watching the show I in a way took my own Night’s Watch Oath, but mine sounded a little different. Mine went more like “Night gathers, and now my watch begins. It shall not end until my death. I shall take no breaks, hold no parties, deal with no children. I shall wear no shoes and get no sleep. I shall live and die at my TV. I am the sword on the couch. I am the watcher on HBO NOW. I am the shield that guards the realms of binge. I pledge my life and honor to Game of Thrones, for this night and all the nights to come.”
Luckily, the week I started watching Game of Thrones it was still summer vacation and I had to only work three times. I knocked out close to three seasons in that one week. I was averaging three to four hour long episodes each time I sat down to watch the show. I never watched only one episode in a sitting because the show was too good. The show is like chips, you can’t just have one chip and be satisfied.
Speaking of chips, I went through bags and bags of chips while watching this show. Chips became my main source of food because of how well they taste and you don’t have to cook anything. Why spend time making a meal when I could spend that time finding out that I hate Tywin Lannister, Walder Frey, and Roose Bolton for the Red Wedding.
The Red Wedding was an important turning point for me in the show. knew from friends that the characters I grew to love wouldn’t be around the whole time, but I didn’t expect them to go out in a fury of arrow fire at a wedding of all places. At this very point in the show, I knew how complex this show was and that I knew I made the right decision to watch.
The show is very chaotic, in the sense that anything can happen at any time. I think this is what got me hooked because it kept me guessing what will happen next and to which character will it happen to. I know that if you read the books you know what will happen next, but I have never read the books. This makes me think of quote a friend of mine once said “Why read books? There are no explosions in books.” Now I’m sure the books are very good, they wouldn’t have made show if they weren’t, but I enjoy watching over reading personally.
Over the course of the show, I’ve come to realize that Tyrion Lannister is my favorite character. From the beginning, I have always seen Tyrion as being a character that is a good guy, but he’s not necessarily one of the heroes of the show. I enjoy a character like Tyrion because he’s not held back by having to identify with being good or evil. In the words of Jim Gordon from Batman “He’s the hero Westeros deserves, but not the one it needs right now. So we’ll hunt him. Because he can take it. Because he’s not our hero. He’s a silent guardian, a watchful protector. A dark knight.” That quote to me describes Tyrion Lannister perfectly because Tyrion doesn’t do what’s best for the “North” or the “South.” Tyrion does what’s best for Westeros and the people of Westeros.
At some time during my binge, I noticed that I started to use lines from the show in everyday conversation. I found myself greeting people by saying “Valar Morghulis” and expecting “Valar Dohaeris” in return. I also started saying “a fortnight” instead of saying two weeks. I even started to say “A Lannister always pays his debts” when people would do things for me. Most of the time people wouldn’t understand what I was saying, but occasionally I would get a Game of Thrones fan and they would understand.
By the time I was close to catching up to the current episodes, I was completely engulfed in the show. I was picking arguments with my friends who had been watching the show since it started and I was winning those arguments. This one time a friend and I were arguing about the Targaryen family tree. I was clearly right when discussing who a certain someone’s aunt is, but he insisted that I “Google it.” So I “Googled it” and showed him that he was wrong. Moral of the story is to not argue Game of Thrones with me.
Now we all have that minor character that really isn’t that important, but for some reason, we care for that character. For me that character was Hodor. Hodor was such a mysterious character because we were unsure why he was the way he was. I think the “hold the door” scene was one of the saddest scenes in the whole show. If you didn’t feel bad for Wylis (Hodor) when he
was screaming “Hold the door. Hold the door. Hold the door. Hold door. Hold door. Hodor. Hodor” then you have no soul. This young boy had a vision of his own death because Bran worked through a young Wylis to make present Hodor hold the door so he could get away safely. For the rest of his life, every word that he spoke was a premonition of his own death. In the end, we understand that if Hodor never became Hodor we may have lost Bran forever ago and he would never become the character he is now.
When I finally finished watching all of the available episodes I felt lost. I felt like I had been stabbed in the heart “For the watch,” I felt like Catelyn Stark at the “Red Wedding,” I felt like Ramsay Bolton when his dogs were hungry, I felt like Daenerys Targaryen at the end of episode six season seven. I was so spoiled with being able to watch the next episode whenever I wanted, that I couldn’t wait a week to watch what will happen next. Now it’s time for the season finale and will have to wait a whole year after the finale to get more Game of Thrones. I just hope we get some clarification with R+L=J in the season finale, so I can rest easy until season eight.
There’s a long winter coming, and I pray to the new gods and old that I will be able to make it to season eight.
Alex St. Peters