Just don’t want to be the only website without one, I guess.

Game of Thrones, guys. Currently the most popular franchise in the world. Setting records with 10.1 million viewers, actors charming their way into our newsfeeds with their hilarious shenanigans on late night television, Ed Sheeran literally deleting his Twitter because the whole world has made their views on Ed + GoT abundantly clear in the incredibly not nice way the world usually goes about these things. It is a cultural phenomenon. George R. R. Martin (because apparently having 2 ‘R’s in your name is a medieval-fantasy must, see J. R. R. Tolkien) has struck gold with his work and touched the lives of most everyone the world over. Including me. And I didn’t even ask to be touched.

Why has this story of bloodlust and surprise! deaths and dragons and unnecessary nudity so captured us you people? All sorts of articles have been written examining each season and episode, drawing a broad array of varying conclusions based on everything from characters, to cultural impact, to emotional responses and what it all means on a societal level. A common theme seems to center around the sense that, in some ways, we are caught up in our own version of Westeros (is that the name of the whole world? Or just part? I meant the whole thing).

I can’t comment on that, for obvious reasons. All I know is I want Daenerys to win, and I’ve heard of people already naming their kids after her, “Khaleesi,” which is a title, guys. Not her name. I know that from a conversation I overheard this last weekend. Also, screw you autocorrect for accepting both of those words, correcting my incorrect spelling, but still highlighting my last name as a non-word. Anyway.

img via Bored Panda

Most interesting is that the series has completely shed itself of its written origins

Every other famous franchise born of literary beginnings has always carried with it, “but in the book…” Thrones has not been bogged down by this. In fact, I’ve read several pieces written by Professors in English and Literature that are think pieces examining the TV series. This is the first case, in my experience, of a franchise so thoroughly surpassing its book origins that even the most esteemed bibliophiles don’t even base their scholarly musings on said books.

Understandable, considering the series is expected to conclude either this year or next and, to my knowledge, the books are travelling quite a different timeline. How do I know that? I have no idea. My working knowledge of Thrones is a mishmash of bits picked up from random article clicking and information passed to me quite forcibly by those close to me who do watch the show, probably 97% of the people I know.

Why is the world so enamored?

And ferociously protective, judging by Ed Sheeran’s Twitter deletion in the face of an unprecedented backlash. Did you know several other band members from bands like Coldplay have also cameoed? I guess they were saved the world’s spite by the fact they didn’t sing a song, according to another thing I just read.

From a quick scanning of Google’s top search results, apparently the driving force behind its unstoppable popularity is the diversity of representation and parallels made to America’s political landscape. Page one reads like a Tumblr user’s wet-dream. Empowered women, representation of different disabilities, gender politics, and the roles race play in some parts of the machine, I guess.

It certainly isn’t hard to feel the same inclination to escape the exhausting onslaught of news we’re force fed every day, the stories usually dancing between, ‘How To Embarrass a Nation: What Trump Does Next Will Shock You!’ with a healthy dose of, ‘The Earth Wants You To Move Out: What’s Dying, What’s Dead, and Who’s Next,’ sprinkled liberally with, ‘Watch This gif and Buy This Shit!’ The fact that my generations most frequent widespread form of communication is a loop of self-depreciating memes speaking mainly to our anxiety, depression, empty wallets, drinking problems, and (bright note) universal love of dogs suddenly becomes entirely understandable.

Fantasy allows people to escape, and Westeros’ issues allows for a feeling of familiarity in an otherwise alien landscape. Sadly, sans dragons.

When will I watch the series to relate to my fellow humans?

Never. Or, maybe this winter. Or maybe fall so when they say, “winter is coming,” I can relate on a whole new level. But definitely not until the whole series is complete so I know what exactly is going to happen. because we all know the internet can’t keep its damn mouth shut for even two seconds.

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