Why I hate Game of Thrones

It’s the biggest TV show in the world, but our movie reviewer is not a fan

Warning: spoilers are coming.

I’m a Game of Thrones outsider. I am not part of the current, almost Burning Man-like communal vibe partying down with Peter Dinklage and all those crazy pet dragons on HBO. I feel so alone.

If you are indifferent to Game of Thrones but think you might watch the damn thing someday, don’t read this because there will be spoilers.

I’ve tried to watch this show. I confess to going about this in a sloppy, haphazard way, with no regard for proper episode order, a mistake that has possibly tainted the whole Game of Thrones enterprise for me.

My stodgy Game of Thrones attitude leaves me isolated in a snowy field, not unlike a soldier preparing for the Battle of the Bastards. (See what I did there?) Stranded without a sword, without a shield and without a funky pet dragon to defend me.

My GoT attitude is, perhaps, improper, incomplete and unfair, for I have not fully ingested the series. Until I watch the entire series, with all of its gratuitous boobs and butts and groovy pet dragons, I really have no right to cast words of disdain. I mean, I will anyway. It’s kind of what I do around here in these alternative weekly parts.

A couple of years ago, I made a promise to my little brother Michael: If he watched all of Breaking Bad, which I consider to be the best TV since the original Twin Peaks, I would watch all of Game of Thrones, a show he adores.

As of this writing, my brother has fulfilled his commitment to me, and completed Breaking Bad, providing both positive feedback and genuine appreciation for the show. He’s a good little brother.

Me? I made it through a little more than one season of Game of Thrones, snickered a lot at the mischievous pet dragons and abandoned the pledge. I’m a bad, bad big brother.

When asked about this entertainment-based betrayal, Mike had this to say: “I feel like Lysa Arryn getting pushed through the Moon Door by Petyr Baelish!” I have no fucking idea what he’s talking about.

Did I feel guilty that Mike, a husband and father of two with a full-time job, put in the pledged viewing hours while I chose to watch baseball, Barry and the new season of Twin Peaks instead? A little. But in my defense, Game of Thrones is a long-assed trek, and it’s not hooking me.

From what I’ve seen so far, it’s basically a bunch of pet dragons, bad wigs, Dinklage quips, sex scenes that rival Fifty Shades of Grey in lameness, and Aquaman with a muzzle. The only thing I really care about is Peter Dinklage, and I can get my Dinklage fix by watching The Station Agent and “Space Pants.”

Out of order

My GoT hatred has put a strain on my relationship with RN&R Editor-in-Chief—and unrepentant GoT fan—Brad Bynum. In the week my horrific Blue Genie likeness adorned the front page of this very paper, he fully ignored my summer movie preview within and spoke about his sad adoration for all that is Game of Thrones in his editor’s note. No “Say, look, Bob Grimm has written a bunch of stupid nonsense about movies he hasn’t seen yet!” Nope, his editor’s note was full of GoT fangasms about Joffrey and Episode 802.

In trying to coach me on Thrones indoctrination, Brad implored me to not watch the show out of order. I had already screwed up royally on that one.

In what could be classified as a grievous mistake, I watched “The Red Wedding” first. Because I watched “The Red Wedding” before diving into Season One, I saw SPOILER Catelyn Stark SPOILER get her throat slit before I saw SPOILER Sean Bean’s SPOILER head on a stake. Hey, you can’t send hate mail for this paragraph if you are uninitiated. I said SPOILER four times!

Brad the Editor—I say it that way because it sounds like a GoT name—bristled at the news of my viewing infraction in a recent discussion on GoT fandom. I said I might try to watch the show again, from the beginning. A fresh start, if you will.

He ordered me to write this article—politely requested, actually—with the short notice resulting in a sort of punishment. Ironically, it is because I had to write this article about GoT disenchantment that I had no time to recommence watching Game of Thrones.

Here in the final season of GoT, social media is lighting up about stuff like “The Battle of Winterbottom’s Ass” and “Drake’s Devil Dogs,” or whatever the hell George R. R. Martin dreamt up after mixing 50 pounds of s’mores with too much vodka.

I recently tried to pop back in on GoT while in a hotel room in Louisiana. (No need to explain why I was in said hotel room, other than it involves pixels, site retargeting and DSPs.) While watching the final season premiere, I saw Peter Dinklage, wily pet dragons and softcore porn scenes—pretty much what I experienced watching the first season prior to bailing out. I must make this clear: to an outsider, this show looks really, really bad. Consistently bad.

But, I confess, I get a little jealous of those in the know, those who can feel the GoT power. I, too, want to know the wonders of the beautiful dragon babysitter, the Salieri a.k.a. Denise Target Generation. I want to feel the joy you fans do when witnessing the valiant battle readiness of Little Foot and Lord Byron the Raccoonheart. I want to know just how Tony Stark fits into all of these medieval shenanigans.

Fandom can be a strange thing. I’ve spent nearly 24 years at this paper proclaiming my various favorite obsessions (Jaws, There Will Be Blood, Star Wars, Freddie Got Fingered) and dissing some much beloved enterprises, rife with rabid fans (Avatar, Spring Breakers, Bohemian Rhapsody).

If there’s anything I’ve tried to put out there over the years, it’s that we all have the right to our opinions, and to love and hate anything we want when it comes to entertainment. I currently hate Game of Thrones, but I’m going to give it another shot. I doubt my opinion will change, but I’m going to give it a shot.

Our opinions, our values, our entertainment-based loves in this world are precious to us. Embrace that which you love, even if it’s a stupid show about pet dragons, and fight for your opinion because, hey, it’s kind of fun. It’s OK to blissfully piss on certain TV shows, movies and music. Hating entertainment things is natural and cathartic. It brings balance to your time in the entertainment realms. Embrace the love and hate.

Unless we’re talking about The Beatles. If you hate The Beatles, you are a fucking asshole.


So that snarky Beatles comment was supposed to be the end of the article, but something Game of Thrones related happened before turning this piece in. (In addition to the Starbucks cup being left in the Episode 804 party scene…BRUUUUHAHAHAHA!)

The day after I wrote most of this, I watched the movie Long Shot with Charlize Theron. Late in the movie, her character is seen watching an episode of GoT. It’s a moment when a big, bloody pet dragon seems to fall off a glacier, while onlookers are very bummed. I must confess … THAT SHIT LOOKED AMAZING!

And with that, I have had at least one GoT moment where I wasn’t rolling my eyes. It’s a start.