“I Don’t Watch Game Of Thrones”: How to Survive Missing A Cultural Phenomenon

If I have to watch that Foxtel ad about the guy who binge watches every episode of Game of Thrones to impress his date again, I am going to scream.

With the start of a new season of Game of Thrones comes the constant buzz of spoiler-filled excitement that seems to occupy the entirety of the internet for all of the 10 weeks it’s aired. There is no way to escape the ever-present humming of the GoT theme, or the references to different characters in everyday conversation, or the constant stream of Buzzfeed quizzes asking you what GoT family you belong to.

And yet, somehow I managed to miss the whole thing. That’s right folks, I don’t watch Game of Thrones.

Sure, I get the general premise of the show (something about winter, an uncomfortable looking chair, lots of naked people, dragons, and Peter Dinklage memes), but I have never really been that interested in watching it, and people seem to really have a problem with that.

I mean, why is everyone fussing over such an uncomfortable looking chair?

Missing out on a cultural phenomenon like Game of Thrones is treated like a blasphemous act. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against people who love Game of Thrones, but I have been left out of more conversations that I can count (both online and IRL) because I don’t watch the show, including a first year romantic misadventure when I tried to flirt with a guy who only seemed interested in talking about the series. For a long time I worried how people would react when my gap in pop cultural knowledge would eventually come up - a reaction usually something along the lines of “YOU KNOW NOTHING, JON SNOW”, as though that was going to be a relevant cultural reference for me - but I soon learned that the only way to get through missing the cultural phenomenon was to stop caring what other people thought.

How do you even lose dragons? They are massive, fire-breathing lizards for godsake!

Worrying about what people think when you tell them you do or don’t watch/read/listen to is pointless. Binge watching a show like Game of Thrones purely for the sake of keeping up with pop culture references, or to make other people happy, is equally as pointless. Ultimately, worrying about keeping up with a show you aren’t even interested in is only going to keep you from engaging with the things you are interested in. There are too many things that people label as “cultural phenomena” to keep up with all the time, especially with the rise of obsessive fangirling on Tumblr making everything out to be the be all and end all of cultural icons. Sometimes, missing out might be the healthiest option, especially if the alternative is never sleeping or joining in on the shaming of other people for not sharing the same interests as you.

Okay, so maybe Jon Snow is a little dreamy. But that’s not going to make me watch Game of Thrones.

So while I agree that Kit Harington is 100% worth staring at for the hours of Game of Thrones footage that exists, I am not going to sit through a show I don’t actually enjoy watching so that I can understand your pop culture references, and neither should anyone else if they, like me, don’t want to. So stop telling them that they should.

Pulp Editors