There are two kinds of people in the modern world: those who watch Game of Thrones and those who don't. For those of us who don't, it's usually not for lack of trying. The fantastical drama takes work, dedication and focus, at least to get through the first season. You either love GOT or you just don't get it, and at this stage in the game it's probably too late to switch teams. Here, a fan and a non-fan share why they will and won't be watching the long-awaited final season's premiere this Sunday.
I'll confess, I've never been able to get through a whole episode, much less Season 1 of GOT, even knowing that if I stuck with it, I'd be rewarded with scenes full of glorious, gory violence, hot sex with bearded burly-men and dragons. In its heyday, HBO on Sundays offered occasions to gather with friends for home viewing — where drinking, eating and talking about zeitgeisty shows like The Sopranos, Sex and the City, Curb Your Enthusiasm and Six Feet Under made for an enhanced viewing experience. Later, True Blood, Girls and Boardwalk Empire came close, if not for watching together then for sharing online afterward, wherein fans could dissect, vent and discuss. But GOT is too complex for that and online discussion of it the day after always seems like a big bloody mess to me, a red wedding if you will, filled with convoluted plot lines and characters connected to other characters in unclear ways.
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I do respect the show's willingness to kill off major characters at will — in theory — but I think it would piss me off if I was invested. And don't even get me started on the spoiler-phobes — you know those people so paranoid about others talking about an episode before they've had a chance to see it that they start filling up our Facebook feeds with persistent, preemptive warnings that those of us who don't watch just have to chuckle at. So no, I won't be tuning into HBO on Sunday. But I will admit that part of the reason for that is I canceled my cable account last year in favor of Sling streaming TV, and even before I started writing this TV column, my caches on Netflix, Hulu and Amazon were filled with shows I actually understand and want to watch. There's a lot of competition out there and Game isn't a winner for me. —Lina Lecaro
The night is dark and full of terror — at least it was for Game of Throne fans waiting since August 2017 for the show to return. After 67 episodes, the eighth and final season finally premieres on HBO this Sunday. Events were already heading to a climax when we last left our heroes (and villains) at the end of last season, airing 20 long months ago! Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen hooked up; Bran and Samwell Tarly had discovered that, unbeknownst to him, Jon is a Targaryen (making him Dany's nephew) and that he has a legitimate claim to the iron throne; the Stark children reunited and sentenced Littlefinger to death; the White Walkers converted one of Dany's dragons to the undead and attacked the Wall with it; and Queen Cersei had lied to everyone about allying in the fight against the Walkers, causing Jamie to abandon her and head up north to help fight. With only six episodes in the final season, even though some are almost feature-length, there's still a lot of story left to tell. I am on the edge of my seat to find out if and how the White Walkers will be defeated and who will ultimately end up ruling Westeros on the Iron Throne. Since the show has now surpassed the books, no one knows exactly how this saga will end, making it all the more exciting. Producers have promised this as the biggest and most explosive season yet, so buckle in for the next six weeks because winter is finally here. —Michael Cooper
Game of Thrones airs Sunday, April 14, on HBO.