** THIS ARTICLE INCLUDES SPOILERS **
Let's take a trip back. All the way back to April 2011... I was booked to play a show in Chicago. Having never been there before, we decided to make a monster trip of it, ambitiously thinking that we could handle the some 13 hour car ride, which we realized after the trip was a terrible decision. I can remember my Mom of all people mentioning something like, "Did you guys watch this new show on HBO? Game of something. It was intense." before we left. She has incredible taste when it comes to movies and shows so I had to give it a shot. Luckily HBO GO had just become a thing so we were able to catch up when we got back, just before Season 1 ended.
I was still a little skeptical about the show at first honestly. Having just come down from the high I was on with LOST the year earlier. I had pretty much given up on all other T.V. shows, but when they knocked off Viserys Targaryen with boiling gold and he hit the ground with a *clink*, I was officially hooked! I'm not a violent person by any means, but I appreciate a good kill scene, and that was jaw dropping. How could it get any better!?
There's now been countless moments from this show that have completely broken my brain. I mean, Season 1 ends with the beheading of the main character. The. Main. Character. That's got big mood written all over it! I remember as the credits rolled, looking at everyone in the room and saying "Well, that just happened. Show's over." But wait, there's dragons now?!
Now, I definitely fall into the class of viewer and person in general who is absolutely terrible with names, which is rough, because as far as characters go this show has a metric fuck ton. I'm much better with faces, which made watching not super confusing. What was ultimately frustrating were the barrage of conversations I'd have with friends the day after an episode aired. They would start spitting out names like I knew exactly who "Viserys" was, which I had to Google early for that last bit. "Do you mean that blonde haired asshole with the sister? Yea he's the worst.”
Another piece that GOT brought me, similar to what LOST had dished out, was the wildly speculated fan theories. I knew the books would give away a good bit, which is why I was avoiding them like the plague, and the unanswered questions kept piling up as the series went on. Who's Jon Snow's Mother? What’s the deal with the Faceless Men training Arya? Did they really kill off Jon? But the one I never saw coming that had me in tears, was "Hold The Door". I'm still broken up about it.
As the years went on the anticipation for finale night’s got more and more real, whether it was kicking off or wrapping up. Bigger gatherings, crazier food (We traditionally purchase Ommegang's GOT Beer.), HD projector upgrades, everyone I knew that was hooked on the show was taking it to the next level to celebrate a production that was literally defying television. Think about it, 10 or 20 years ago, a television show of this size could have never existed. Sure, you had Star Trek, X-Files, The Sopranos, Dexter, all of which are extremely high on my list as some of the greatest shows ever written, but Game of Throne's magnitude at a production level blows them all out of the water. I mean, when you have a budget of $15 Million an episode, why not go completely bonkers!
I do realize some of you may not agree with me on this, which is totally fine, but sometimes I feel a bit like Adam Scott's character on Parks & Rec when the discussion gets brought up on whether it really is that great of a show. It really does have it all. The character's alone, all fantasy aside, have to have some of the most complex development in a series. The writing honestly drives you to hate the villain, but in a way you feel sorry for them, it's messed up. Except for Joffrey, we're all happy he's dead. But, on the flip side, you feel bad for Cerci for losing a child, and at the same time you hate her guts. That level of character complexity causing the viewer to have an emotionally confused reaction is incredible.
To make a long story short, we can't wait for April 14th. We'll be filling ourselves with wine and meat, eating like savages, and having our mind’s blown further with every detail these last few episodes have to offer. Living in the golden era of streaming television means we can watch the entire series over and over forever, but you only get to see those last episodes for the first time once. Sure, we'll be sad once it's all over, maybe even a little relieved, but there's always the prequels to look forward to. Just remember: “If you think this has a happy ending, you haven't been paying attention.” - Ramsay Bolton
Images courtesy of Home Box Office & NBC