If you’ve noticed that all of your friends, coworkers, and even longtime acquaintances are suddenly wearing Lannister scarves and quoting Tyrion Lannister, you can be forgiven for not realizing that Game of Thrones is back on the air. And no matter what your feelings about HBO’s fantasy TV show happen to be, it would seem that there’s some part of you—whether it be mild interest or ravenous fandom—that wants to know why so many people love this show just as much as they love hot chicken soup on a cold day. Having nothing else to do, I decided to do a bit of research.
As an avid viewer of the show, I like to think that I understand why other people love it as much as they do. Of course there are certain things that I’m not going to understand, things like religious beliefs or those who despise the show for cultural reasons. But overall, I believe that there are some reasons that everyone can agree on when it comes to why this TV show is so popular.
1. The Characters
Despite what you may think of various characters in Game of Thrones, one thing is for sure: none of them are boring. For example, there’s Cersei Lannister, the queen and mother to Joffrey and Myrcella Baratheon. She’s widely considered as one of the most hated characters on the show. Her actions have led to several innocent deaths including her own son’s, yet everyone remains thoroughly entertained by her antics. That being said, she is part of what makes Game of Thrones so interesting. Cersei is complex and unpredictable, just like almost every other character in this show. And that’s what draws people in: you never know who will betray whom next or if someone will die unexpectedly (even those you think are safe). This is simply a world where nothing can be taken for granted.
2. The Genre
Although some people complain about the violence, it’s hard to deny the fact that Game of Thrones has an excellent storyline and compelling story arcs. It’s like your favorite version of history class, but with dragons. Set in a fantasy world filled with medieval castles, warring kingdoms, and creepy creatures like dragons and White Walkers, Game of Thrones does not shy away from violence. You can often expect a battle scene or two in each episode that will keep you on the edge of your seat as you watch swords clashing or arrows flying at targets. The show portrays its own style of medieval warfare, complete with a variety of weapons and tactics that will keep you yearning for more.
3. The Drama
Game of Thrones is many things, but one thing that the show definitely is not is boring. And if you’re curious about how it manages to stay so fresh and exciting, allow me to offer you this nugget of truth: every episode has drama. Whether it’s political intrigue or a little romance here and there, Game of Thrones knows how to deliver a diverse range of emotional responses from its audience. People who write off the show as being “just another fantasy series” simply don’t understand what they are missing out on.
4. The Viewership
It would be safe to assume that the moment they were commissioned to make the show, people on HBO’s programming staff thought that they could make a sizable amount of money with Game of Thrones. Its popularity has grown every season and it was recently renewed for a third season. With the number of episodes increasing from seven to ten, it seems as though things will only continue to explode in popularity!
5. The Writing
The writers behind Game of Thrones take great care in making sure that each episode has enough dramatic tension to drive you crazy while also creating more and more intrigue for the next week’s episode. They have certainly succeeded in doing so. Perhaps the most memorable thing about the writing in Game of Thrones is its complexity. It’s not as simple as good vs. evil; there are different tiers and levels of morality throughout the show that you won’t be able to get enough of. And it isn’t just about good people fighting against bad ones; there are shades of grey everywhere.
6. The Romance
Although it may not appeal to everyone, there’s no denying the fact that Game of Thrones is one of the most romantic shows on television. Much of the show is filled with romance, whether it be doomed love or forbidden romance. One thing that makes this show stand out among its peers is its characters’ ability to fall in love despite their differences in social status or family affiliations. Sure, it might sound a bit like Romeo and Juliet , but when you look past all the blood and violence involved in Game of Thrones, it’s easy to see that there’s something truly romantic about this series.
7. The Length
If you’re tired of TV shows that drag on forever and ever without providing any real entertainment, then Game of Thrones is the show for you. With only ten episodes in each season, the show gives viewers what they want–a few hours of engaging entertainment–and sends them on their merry way. It doesn’t try to extend its life beyond what is needed; instead it provides an excellent amount of drama and intrigue for those ten episodes, followed by a storyline with enough answers to satisfy its audience. And if that’s not enough for you then there are books!
8. The Loyal Fans
Whether you’re a fan of the books or the show, there is no denying that the Game of Thrones fan base is one of the most loyal out there. People who appreciate the series are always eager to discuss it with others and contribute their points of view. Whatever direction it may go in, they’ll follow. The one thing that makes Game of Thrones so unique in comparison to other popular TV shows at the moment is its fantastic ability to create a wide range of fans from all over the world. It’s not just a “geek show” or a “nerd thing.” It’s something for everyone regardless of your gender, age, or race.
9. The Violence
Despite what some people might think, Game of Thrones is not a cartoon for kids. There’s plenty of violence on the show, particularly towards major characters. While this can be a bit too much for some viewers, others may find it to be an excellent part of the series. We’re not just talking about a few gory scenes here and there; many major characters meet their demise in violent ways that are likely to stick with you long after you’ve watched the scene. It might not appeal to everyone, but it certainly appeals to millions!
10 . The Dragons
I’m sure you’ve noticed the fact that in every episode, there is a dragon flying overhead. While this does make it impossible to ignore the CGI for long, there is no denying that the dragons are an integral part of the series. They play a major role in many of the conflicts on the show and often provide a nice bit of action for viewers. Whether you love them or hate them, dragons are great for Game of Thrones.
So there you have it–10 reasons why you should watch Game of Thrones (and why it's not as bad as so many people say).