Dear Game of Thrones fans, do us all a favour and shut up
They make Harry Potter fans look casual
You’re in the pub when it happens. As you return with a fresh drink from the bar, two or more of your mates will discover they’re Game of Thrones obsessives. By then it’s too late – you’re already strapped into a long, tedious discussion about the Mother of Dragons and there’s no way out.
While they're endlessly discussing Reddit theories, it dawns on you that this relatively bog-standard fantasy has turned a whole generation of adults into deeply weird people. It’s not a far cry from the cult of adult Harry Potter maniacs, but this time it’s doubly intense, and more terrifyingly mainstream.
Before we board the cancel train and start chugging along, let’s be clear: Game of Thrones is decent telly and has become a cultural touchstone for a reason. It’s beautifully shot and frequently well acted (if bearded white men and pretty white ladies communicating exclusively in witty one-liners is your thing.)
So I’ll hold my hands up and admit I haven’t watched loads of it. But that’s because seeing what’s become of its fans is honestly horrifying. And here's why:
They're genuinely impossible to engage, because getting into GoT at this point is just not happening
As you check for all possible exits, you ask yourself how far you'd be willing to go to get over your FOMO. The gluttonous mountain of content that is Game of Thrones thus far towers at 67 hours, which by any stretch is a bit much.
Sure, you could spend 50 minutes watching a summary of GoT’s convoluted mess of story-telling, or even cherry-pick the best episodes to ground your knowledge, but you’ll never truly be caught up. If you want to know what mansplaining looks like in its ultimate evolutionary stage, ask a GoT fan to explain the plot to you.
Fans of the series have had the benefit of being drip fed their dosage of Tolkien knockoffs for several years now, which is probably why their love of it has festered as much as it has. But it’s too late for the rest of us, for better or worse.
Game of Thrones fans have convinced themselves they're the most intelligent people in the room
At its core, Game of Thrones is a show about one-upmanship, and its fans truly believe you need to be a genius to understand all of it. It’s no surprise you’ll often find these sudden experts in medieval warfare earnestly debating minor plot details, lore elements, and the intricacies of the Stark family tree with total seriousness, like the Sartre and Beauvoir of normie TV.
Yes, Game of Thrones has a lot more to take in plot-wise than, say, Glee, but being able to remember the series’ entire story is less a badge of honour and more a badge that you’ve spent too much time looking at a fan-made Wiki.
It doesn’t help that their language is totally incomprehensible. Listening to fans talk about the show together is like a Newton’s Cradle of dead chat, and three balls in the middle are your head being repeatedly hit by words like “Khaleesi” and “Valyrian”.
The performance they put on when it comes to spoilers is the most extra thing you'll ever see
GoT die-hards go full Birdbox on social media for days at a time to avoid leaks and information, and hold their hand over YouTube’s recommended bar when watching preview trailers to avoid spoiling themselves.
If you spent days on end going that deep on fan sites of literally anything else, it would not be unreasonable to expect your friends to stage an intervention, because that level of obsession is not healthy. I’ve met fans more knowledgeable about the political state of Westeros than that of their own country.
They’ll unashamedly bring up details hidden in the books, one of which is called “A Song of Ice and Fire”, which sounds like the a title reserved for fantasy novels you read when you were 12.
Anyone over the age of 18 still unironically discussing theories named things like ‘R + L = J’ needs to get a hobby ASAP
Yes that video is real and yes it has over five million views. Your friends are currently watching it on their phone in public. At this point you need to put your coat on and dip before the mind maps come out.
They will make you question whether you're weird for not being as obsessed with it as they are
As you leave, you wonder whether you’re the defective one – the last living human in a zombie apocalypse, and whether one day you’ll be pouring pints into a "Weirwood Tree Goblet" (£32.99 from Zavvi, FYI).
Because at their most extreme, Game of Thrones fans spend actual real life money on some ludicrous shit. This includes parties where guests presumably drink £65 “House Lannister Whiskey” out of £30 “dragonclaw goblets”, a £30 video game (described by IGN as full of “poorly voiced characters and constant bugs”) that even one of the stars of the show couldn’t be forced to play, and a Game of Thrones themed wedding that cost ten thousand english pounds. Jesus, take the wheel.
GoT fans could be entirely tolerable if their entire personality did not have to revolve around a TV show where people shag their relatives
There is absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying a show like Game of Thrones, weird though it might be, because big budget series with fit people and dragons only come along only every so often.
But it would do everyone a favour, surely, if fans dialled it down a tad. Hinge profiles reading “just want someone to watch Game of Thrones with” need to become a thing of the past, because we need to be led out of this cave at some point.
We can only hope and pray that the big full stop of a season finale kills Game of Thrones as a topic of conversation for the rest of time – for the sake of the fans and for the people who have to listen to them.