If you haven’t been following the show since its premier on April 17th, 2011, or haven’t binged watched all 40 episodes in the last week, chances are you have still heard of the hit show “Game of Thrones” GOT short. You can’t escape the wrath of HBO’s number one show of all time. Whether your friend has been talking your ear off about the show, you’ve seen a parody on Youtube, or seen it referenced on another hit TV series like “The Simpsons”, “The Office”, “The Big Bang Theory” or even “The Tonight Show: starring Jimmy Fallon“ this Pop Culture phenomenon can be seen everywhere.
GOT is a Fantasy drama that takes place in a fictional world of Westeros and Essos. “The Sopranos in middle-earth,” is the tagline showrunner David Benioff suggested for Game of Thrones. The Seven kingdoms of Westeros are in a constant struggle to rule the Iron Throne, and whoever sits upon the Iron Throne rules over all the kingdoms. The show has an endless amount of characters, that you love, then hate, then die when you least expect them to.
“Ned Stark”, played by Sean Bean, is considered to be the main character, and is the most honorable man in all of Westeros. But not even that will keep him alive. The show is not afraid to kill off main characters, which is one of the reasons viewers can’t afford to miss a single episode. There is also the White Walkers basically zombies with magical powers that trace back thousands of years in the North, that want to end life as we know it. A giant wall, made of ice and magic that is manned by the “Nights watch” is the only thing standing between Westeros and the White Walkers. This threat is an afterthought of the rulers of Westeros, almost thought of as ghost stories but “Winter Is Coming” the words of House Stark of the North who worship the old gods. Simultaneously, Daenerys Targaryen, a young girl who is the rightful ruler of the Iron Throne, gave birth to three Dragons, and is on a mission to reclaim what is hers.
Besides amazing characters, magic, zombies, dragons, vast lands, and a constant struggle for power, there is also sex and violence, two of the most appealing traits of American television shows.
But why is this show so popular, and being talked about by everyone? One reason this show has become a King in the Pop Culture world is because it is based on the “Best Selling” book series by George R. R. Martin. With five books in the series, and who knows how many more to come, “A song of Ice and Fire” has already generated a huge following since the release of the first book “A Game of Thrones” in 1991. Even if you are more of a movie person and go to the theater you can’t escape the Iron Throne. Yes that’s right, this show is so amazing it’s being featured on the big screen, the real big screen. Season four’s last two episodes have been released for in IMAX Theaters from Jan 30th – March 5th, the first time any show has been featured in IMAX.
GOT has been campaigning this all over social media, and this is the main reason the show has remained so popular over the years. Its rule over social media keeps it fresh for fans and sparks the addiction to those who haven’t watched yet.
“Social networking sites, such as Facebook, and micro blogging services, such as Twitter, are another source of late-breaking information. When Michael Jackson died of cardiac arrest in 2009,”RIP Micheal Jackson” was a top trending topic on Twitter before mainstream media first reported the news” (Lule).
The majority of the population uses social media sites for news and entertainment, especially with the use of smart phones. Just in this past week GOT has occupied a majority of social media sites. They always seem to have an article or parody video popping up every week on social media remaining a pop culture topic.
You may have come across a video of a guy breaking a 1,000-year-old Viking weightlifting record this week on social media. No surprise, he’s an actor from GOT. Strongman turned actor Hafthor Bjornsson, who plays “Gregor Clegane” also known as “The Mountain”, an 8 foot tall Knight with super strength who cuts horses heads off with a single swipe of his sword, just lifted a log weighing 1,433 lbs. and took five steps with it on his back. The Mountain had an epic fight last season against another character “The Red Viper” that left people talking and squirming after the extremely gory climax to the fight, even for GOT standards. Every month, or even this week there seems to be a new reason for Game of Thrones to remerge in the pop culture world. Whether it’s some new theories revealed about the show, the revealing of a new Character, or just the fact that the show is that GOOD!
This show has something for anyone (of age), and is a personal favorite of mine. I have read all the books and followed the show since the premiere. I have even spent hours just learning the ancient histories of the epic story that goes back thousands of years on Youtube known as “History and Lore”.
It is currently filming its fifth season, and shows no signs of slowing down. Just in this past week, GOT has occupied a majority of social media sites. Considering there is still three seasons to come, and more books on the way, I see Game of Thrones being a ruler of pop culture for a long time to come. Even when the show ends, the hype will live on, with talks already in the works for spin-offs and possible feature length films. This show has generated a following that may even put Star Wars and Star Trek to shame one day!