By now, you’ve probably heard of the hit TV series Game of Thrones. Featuring an A-list cast of actors from Sean Bean to Lena Headey and some incredible production talent from the likes of Formosa Group to Pixomondo, the big budget TV adaptation of George RR Martin’s novel series has won many awards and attracted a huge audience. A record-breaking 16.5 million viewers tuned into season 7’s finale this year. Now in its final season of filming, the Game of Thrones hype is inescapable.
If you haven’t watched a single episode, you may have wondered ‘am I missing out?’. Well, yes, you are. There are likely to be many reasons why you haven’t watched it until now. Perhaps you’ve heard rumours of it being too violent or it’s too popular or you don’t feel you have the time to catch up on 7 seasons. Whatever the case, here are a few reasons why you should be getting on the Game of Thrones bandwagon.
It’s not just another fantasy
Fantasy isn’t for everyone. Whilst the show does have dragons and armies of the undead to geek out to, the show is balanced out with a sense of gritty realism. The characters aren’t invincible Lords-of-the-Rings types with very little depth to their personality. No, the characters of Game of Thrones are all complex personalities. And they’re certainly not invincible, with many dying at a minute’s notice. There are elements of drama, politics, horror, suspense, comedy and romance thrown in there with a realistic spin that’s more relate-able than your average fantasy. In fact, some of these characters are more relate-able than those in your average drama set on Earth.
Perhaps you didn’t like Harry Potter or Twilight, but you should try taking an open-minded approach to Game of Thrones as it’s a very different kind of fantasy.
It’s not all sex and violence
There are a lot of raunchy scenes and nudity in Game of Thrones, as there are scenes of graphic violence that make you want to watch the screen whilst peeking through your fingers. We’re not going to lie here. It is a HBO show after all.
However, Game of Thrones is more than just another low brow guilty pleasure. There’s a lot of politics and psychology thrown in too, some of which has been analysed and dissected from critics. This is what most people watch the series for – it’s depth.
It’s definitely not a show to watch with the kids as it has a lot of adult themes and pushes these further than most TV shows are willing to go. However, if you’re into high-brow TV shows like The Wire or House of Cards, this series can be on a par at some points.
That isn’t to say you need to be the smart studious type to enjoy it either. Game of Thrones has some spectacular action scenes and twists that any viewer can enjoy.
HBO isn’t the only place to watch it
Whilst Game of Thrones is a HBO show, this isn’t the only place to watch it. HBO Go can allow anyone to stream the show that may not have the cable channel. Meanwhile, overseas many channels have bought up the rights to view Game of Thrones such as Sky Atlantic in the UK.
Is Game of Thrones on Netflix? Unfortunately not – whilst Game of Thrones seems like the kind of high-quality show that Netflix would happily screen, HBO hasn’t given them the rights to view it. There are however DVDs of Game of Thrones available to rent through Netflix.
In fact, DVD box-sets may well be the way to go. On top of the episodes themselves, you get extras that you wouldn’t otherwise get on TV.
You can still catch up
The idea that Game of Thrones is now about to air its eighth series might make catching up seem like a daunting task. However, there’s good news – season 8, the final season, isn’t thought to air until 2019. That gives you over a year to catch up if you’re not a typical binge watcher. Most of the seasons are only 10 episodes long, whilst season 7 is only 7 episodes long. This makes it far easier to catch up on than some series that seemingly have 18 episodes per season.
Besides, Game of Thrones is so gripping that you’ll want to get through it quickly. Just try to avoid spoilers online (although, to be honest, there’s so much going on in Game of Thrones that even with a few spoilers you’ll still be kept guessing most of the series).
‘I watched the first episode and didn’t like it’
If you’ve already watched the first episode and it didn’t grab you, we understand. There’s a lot of character introductions going on in that first episode and it can be hard to follow or route for anyone. However, pretty soon into Season 1 you get to grips with the character’s complex names like Joffrey Baratheon and Arya Stark and the different kingdoms like Stark and Lannister. It’s not too much of a test of patience – the opening credits quickly familiarises you to the geography of the Game of the Thrones world with a map of where everything is. We recommend giving more of Season 1 a go. If by the end of this season you’re still not convinced, then maybe Game of Thrones isn’t for you.