I have always been bit of a geek when it comes to Sci-fi and fantasy but recently the world’s most illegally downloaded TV show, Game of Thrones, has managed to convert most of the population into the religion of geeks. But since now the whole world is so quickly being sucked into the world of epic fantasy, I feel it is really shifting our reality massively. Somewhere, the book and television show escaped from the geek space and unleashed itself into our personal lives and some of these things actually scare me at times.
1. I wish my firm had bereavement leaves for fictional deaths.
I know for a fact that I am not the only one who didn’t go to office the days after Khal Drogo and Ned Stark died on the show. These were the first of many heartbreaking and unexpected deaths, and I sometimes do not even feel this moved by real human deaths on the news as I did for the death of fictional characters on GoT. I didn’t know if I could love again after Drogo’s death until I realized that there were so many more people to whom I was going to get attached, just to watch them die in a more and more brutal manner every time. I went to the office after the “Red Wedding” because honestly, I couldn’t deal with it alone. My boss, who is one of those rare people who have no idea what Game of Thrones is had no clue why the productivity and energy of everyone so low that day. We talked about it as if all of us were at a funeral instead of the office.
2. Then we learned to accept death.
I feel that almost every GoT fan has come to terms with death like someone living in a war zone. I was able to love again when Oberyn Martell was introduced into the fold but his head was smashed like a watermelon. This time, however, I was only shocked for the next hour and then I was back to my normal self. You’re not supposed to be able to be so blasé about death like that.
3. And then we started wishing for it?
Slowly we are becoming more and more heartless about death and sometimes a sadistic part of us even wishes for it. I mean, sure, Joffrey was an asshole, but most teenagers are experts at sucking the life out of every room they walk into. Sometimes when I think objectively I feel like a horrible person for praying for so many deaths this season, especially Joffrey’s. I remember swearing that I would stop watching GoT if Joffrey doesn’t die this season and no matter how much guilt I have, I just couldn’t avoid being happy when Joffrey, Tywin and Lysa died, in fact Joffrey’s death felt like Christmas! I was even disappointed with the fact that Sansa is still alive, just because she wastes screen time that could be invested on more interesting characters! I mean, being boring should not be criteria for wishing someone to die?
4. It’s not porn, it’s HBO.
There was a pre-GoT time in my life when I was not so comfortable with on-screen nudity. Now after four seasons, when my mother walks in on me watching GoT and inquires if I’m watching porn, I feel like HBO is blurring the line here. Nudity has become too normal now. I look at them in the exact same manner with or without clothes; even hot guys with no hormone stir up whatsoever. I mean sure it’s making me more comfortable with the human anatomy but putting on pants every Monday for work was already difficult enough.
5. There’s now confusion on the whole “morality” thing.
I didn’t like gory scenes, despised teenage pregnancy and the idea of incest disgusted me beyond words. Sometimes when I talk about some gory scenes with my friends and someone who does not watch GoT happens to be around, the horror on their face does not make sense. I was just talking about a regular death where one person pushes his thumbs through the other’s eye sockets and squishes his head, what is so scary about that? All of us loved it when Daenerys was married to a huge guy in his 30s who knocked her up at 13. The twins, Jamie and Cersei made my uterus dry up every time they made out, I was so revolted that looking at them made my hormones go on a strike for days but now I have become uncomfortably indifferent. The last time someone told me that his parents were related, I had only one question, “Are they at least second cousins?”
6. When people tell you its just fictional!
Wow, so is WWE but you still watch it and do I ever comment when that sorry ass of yours never gets off the couch to work out, spends the entire day watching other men throwing and catching balls on TV? You just do not say something like this to a GoT fan, especially when they are emotional about last night’s episode and all they want is to talk to someone who understands! If you don’t watch it and you are planning on interrupting a nice discussion among fans because you are bored of the conversation, good luck looking like an idiot. Oh and thank you for the insight, I guess I need to cancel the trip to Westeros that I planned for next summer.
7. There is finally a fix for Monday blues.
Since Monday is the day when freshly uploaded links are available all across the world, for those brief 10 weeks, Monday finally gets to be a day that is awaited with more excitement than Friday.
8. It’s not as simple as cats and dogs anymore.
Well, with pets like dragons and direwolves, cats and dogs have really lost their charm, at least for me. There was a time when sex used to sell, now it’s dragons. They have always been the most magnificent fantasy creatures and I can’t think of a single person who didn’t wish for a pet dragon after the season 1 finale. But since dragons don’t exist, GoT has shifted my choice of favorite pet to a husky pup, just because it’s the closest option to a direwolf.
9. Can people actually demand trial by combat in court?
Recently, a court has rejected Leon Humphreys, a 60-year-old man’s attempt to invoke the ancient right to trial by combat, rather than pay a £25 fine for a minor motoring offense. After entering a not guilty plea, he threw down his unconventional challenge. Humphreys, from Bury St Edmunds, said: “I was willing to fight a champion put up by the DVLA, but it would have been a fight to the death.” He was fined £200 in the end and yes — this is for real, not some fictional story that I cooked up. I’m not sure if this man was just trying to pull a stunt here or did Tyrion’s demand for a trial by combat actually influenced people so deeply that they thought of invoking laws of the European Middle Ages. Sometimes these incidents really make me wonder if Atheists are right about mythology being epic fantasies like GoT that people took way to seriously just like this guy.
10. Are heroes actually just idiots who got lucky?
I used to believe in heroes until GoT found me. We’ve all grown up watching brave, honorable and cocky men who would have never survived in the real world, but in stories they are always loved and respected by all and no matter how thin their chances of winning are, we know in our hearts that they will come out victorious. Not in GoT, no matter how hard you pray, the guy who was too honor-bound to make practical choices and challenged people with more resources at their disposal, always ended with their heads chopped off or smashed. Maybe that’s what makes us hate the writer so much at times because, unlike the fantasies that we grew up with where we kept on hoping that the hero would be lucky enough to find his way out of the silly mess he created, that is not how it turns out in reality. That is why we start hating reality so much and fantasy even more when it reflects reality. Maybe all this despair and heartache that GoT causes is not so bad because maybe its flushing out our fantasies and making us less angry at reality for being the way it is, with no weekly life-threatening fights and comfortable chairs after working your ass off to the top.