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Thursday, 2 November 2017

Why Are We All Hooked on the Game of Thrones Phenomenon?

game-of-thrones
Image: Lorna Holland
Every once in a while, one of those ridiculously popular shows comes along and arrives on our screens. You know the ones – the ones which literally everyone watches. One of the best examples of this in recent years is hit show Game of Thrones; the programme everyone is talking about.

Since its initial outing on our screens in 2011, the show has only gone from strength to strength, more than exceeding its creator’s expectations and arguably surpassing even the books it was based upon.

So, just what is it that makes this show so special? What sets it apart from the crowd and gives it that all-important ‘wow’ factor?

Of course, as with any TV show, the popularity can never be guaranteed. Sometimes, despite a producer’s best efforts, shows that are touted for great success simply flop, whereas the most surprising concepts can end up becoming the biggest hits. No matter how well you think you know your audience, viewers are always unpredictable. After all, who would have predicted that a swords-and-sorcery type show would take the world by storm?

One of the biggest boosts to Game of Thrones’ popularity is undeniably its exceptionally high production values. One episode of the show costs approximately $10 million to make, meaning that the budget is huge – not to mention all the costs that go alongside it. With a big budget reminiscent of a Hollywood movie, it’s no surprise that the show looks slick, polished and appealing.

Aside from this, the entire concept is designed to keep you engaged and interested, with new plot lines weaving throughout the series and unexpected twists and turns hiding around every corner. In most forms of entertainment and popular culture, we know that 99% of our main characters will make it out of a situation in one piece, no matter how hopeless that situation may initially seem. However, in Game of Thrones, author George R.R. Martin takes that idea and completely flips it on its head. If you like a character, the chances are that they are going to die. It keeps you guessing, makes the danger seem that much more real, and ensures a fast-paced, current development that keeps the show from becoming dull or stagnant.

Even though now, seven seasons in, we are no longer astounded by the fact that most characters will die, it’s still interesting to guess who will be the lucky survivors at the end of each series. Indeed, as the final season awaits, this becomes all the more important as we must do what we can to figure out who will survive the final battle and sit on the Iron Throne once and for all. It’s fresh, it’s original, and it’s definitely not boring.

I’m currently in the process of re-watching the first series for what must be about the fourth time, and it’s safe to say that I’m just as involved as I was the first time. Each time I watch it I gain a fresh perspective on the events and characters, noticing subtle details that were previously overlooked and figuring out how future important events are foreshadowed in the earlier seasons.

I don’t know about you, but there’s one thing I know for sure – I can’t wait for season eight!

Are you a fan of Game of Thrones? Let me know in the comments below!

2 comments:

  1. Great post Lorna! I don't watch Game of Thrones nor have I read any of the books. They both seem totally intimidating to me! But of course I haven't missed the hype and have always wondered whether I should bite the bullet and give it a go. I love that characters actually die in this series - as horrible as that sounds!

    Jenny
    http://www.jennyinneverland.com

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    1. Thanks, Jenny! I totally get what you mean - it took a while for me to give into the hype but I'm so glad I gave it a go!

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