what i learned about game of thrones by not watching it

Marianne, when we were dating, sat beside me in bed while, at her behest, I opened the Amazon app on my clunky old Playstation and bought episodes of Game of Thrones, one at a time. Two seasons’ worth. We plowed through it together over the course of three or four nights. This was her fourth time watching that season from start to finish. It was my first. Then she moved away and I stopped watching.

Tonight is the premiere of the second half of the last season of Game of Thrones and in going through Instagram it looks like everybody I know is at a watch party or throwing one of their own. One friend is spray painting plastic Easter eggs to look like dragon eggs.

I remember this kinda collective cultural rhapsody happening with the last season of Breaking Bad, which I did watch as it unfolded week-to-week, and I remember being struck, at the time, by Bret Easton Ellis—who wasn’t watching the show—remarking that he’d never felt like more of a cultural outsider, more excluded from the public conversation, than in the weeks leading up to that show’s conclusion.

Being outside of the Game of Thronescircle doesn’t feel so alienation, but I do think that the cultural unity and immersion is kinda beautiful, and I suspect it’s a beauty that can only be appreciated from the outside.

So at least in that sense I’m kinda glad to be out of the loop.

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