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Why is Game of Thrones so Popular?

Violence, brutality, unreal, pervy, these are some words that have become almost synonyms to the show Game of thrones, especially among those who don’t follow the plot. Loosely based on the novel series A Song of Ice and Fire, the show is pretty much a rom-com if you compare to the book series. However, these are some of the reasons why people are drawn to this show despite the excruciating heartbreak caused by watching the brutal killings or torture of our beloved characters… Let’s see if you can find the common link.

1.       Protagonist Missing

While perfection is highly overrated in today’s world, people tend to forget that nobody is perfect. We are used to stories with one protagonist who is a pure angel, a few friends to the protagonist, one lover or two, their family members and one antagonist who is pure evil. This is unreal. This never happens.  The world is not painted black and white. Game of Thrones beautifully portrays that. Even the most seemingly good or child have made mistakes that normal people make all the time. Simply put, imperfect characters add to the relatability, even though the show comes under fantasy genre set in the medieval era. We have also seen psychopaths whom we want to be dead but can somehow sympathise with because of their past.

2.       Women as humans

This is one of my favourite aspects of the show. In most shows, women are portrayed as either a nerd with spectacles, a hot chick, a traditional girl or a pure evil slut and no other type ever seemed to exist. But this show has a king’s bodyguard, a girl who believes in fairy tales, a girl who dresses like a boy to save herself from being identified and killed, a lesbian, a very ambitious girl with just one goal: to be the queen, an evil queen who has children born of incest who would kill anybody to keep her children ad safe, a woman who tries to avenge her husband’s death and to save her kids, a woman who is forcibly married to a monster of a man whom she later kills, a woman assassin who trained her daughters also to be assassins; a warrior woman who tries to kill her lover because he lied to her and phew! But the most prominent one is this lady.

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A girl being sold to an older man by her brother and then falls in love with her husband/rapist but kills him out of mercy to free him from his illness and becomes a queen who saved a few kingdoms from slavery. Can a character get any more twisted? Oh and she can just stroll in a wall of fire like no big deal and come out with no burns whatsoever! The list of names she is known as is longer than my resume. But the best part is that she is the Mother of Dragons! That takes us to the next point.

3. Dragons

Who doesn’t love dragons? Beautiful magical creatures who breathe fire? What’s not to love?

pic aWhoever can control a dragon is  the most powerful of all. 

4.  Power politics and survival of the mentally fittest 

It doesn’t matter how physically strong the character is. The power of your mind can bring down the mightiest.

There is a character who literally went from rags to riches just with his strategies.

Another character would have been a nobody because he was castrated when he was a boy. He would have been ridiculed to death had it not been for his being a mastermind. He is one of the main advisors of the Queen’s council.

A dwarf, hated by his royal family, yet is so efficient solely because of his attitude.

pic cUnlike other fiction, nice guys can’t save themselves by being nice. A nice guy would still have to play his cards right to survive. Virtues like honour won’t save you. That’s the bitter truth.

5. Prophecies, Foreshadowing and Flashbacks 

The show is full of prophecies, foreshadowing and storytelling right from the first episode.

(One word for the fans. Hodor)

The stories of the past told by the elders are clearly distorted, just like our memories. Each has their own story, about the same entity. This forced the fans to start guessing the future of characters right from the beginning, giving rise to many new beautiful theories, and discussion forums.

6. Cinematography

The cinematography is one if the best. Just the recent episode aired last Sunday cost a whopping 10 million. The quality of this show is equivalent to that of Hollywood  movies. Whether it’s the fights, the Night’s Watch, the direwolves, or the enormous insanely awesome dragons!

7. Dialogues/quotes

They are so good that they leave you in awe.

And makes you want to quote them even in daily situations.

When you play The Game of Thrones, you win or you die. There is no middle ground. – Cersei Lannister

Power resides where men believe it resides.

It’s a trick, a shadow on the wall.

And a very small man can cast a very large shadow. – Lord Varys

“Why is it that when one man builds a wall, the next man immediately needs to know what’s on the other side?”- Tyrion Lannister

Need I say more?

8. Genre

Now that’s a difficult question. There are love stories, comedy, action, horror, gross, adult, historic period drama, fantasy and not to forget: dragons.

9. Plot:

Oh, where do I even start about this? So many twists, so many back stories, so much heartache, so many lessons about the survival of the fittest. It has everything you wish for. The storyline is carefully woven together, it leaves no stones unturned to keep you at the edge of your seat every single time!

And did I mention dragons?

So, at the end of the list, let me ask you, did you find the common link?

Well, even though it is set in medieval era, filled with mythical creatures and basically a part of the fantastical genre, the show’s characters and strong plot is based on realistic basis. Even though it is fictional, it is rooted in reality.

Image Sources: [1], [2], [3].

About Preethika Shenoy

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