Game of Thrones Season 1, Episodes 1-2: A Reaction Piece

I’ve finally done it. I’ve gotten my hands on a copy of season one of Game of Thrones and today I am watching the first episode.

To anyone reading this: if you don’t want spoilers, stop reading here. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. Though, if you’re 6 or 7 years behind like I am, it’s probably your own fault anyway. Also, I’m not sure how spoil-y this will be. If you haven’t seen it, it might not make much sense. It will, however, make you want to run out a buy a copy. Be forewarned.

Now, for the important parts. Here is my internal monologue while watching season one, episode one of Game of Thrones…

Oh boy! I’m finally gonna see what all the hype is about! This is gonna be good!

Horse walking through snow.

Horse walking through frozen trees.

Horse walking past big snowy wall.

Well, they did title the episode Winter is Coming. I wonder why? It looks like winter is already here.

Should have called it Cold Horse Gets His Steps for the Day.

No. Never mind.  No one would watch that.

Focus up. This is probably important exposition. Something dramatic must happen soon.

Ew! Body parts!

Oh yeah, that’s right, everyone warned me this show was really gory and violent. That’s why I didn’t start watching it half a decade ago with the rest of the world. Well, at least the body parts are arranged almost in a peace sign. That makes it nicer.

Hmm. I guess heads don’t bounce in snow. Good to know.

Archery, children. This looks like Galavant. Are they gonna sing? I hope they sing.

More characters. I don’t know what’s happening.

Even more characters. I still don’t know what’s happening.

These characters are gonna meet those characters. Are they related? Is the wife of this one someone important? She seems to love/hate her life.

Look! Puppies!!!

Hey, it’s the dragon lady! (I had a boyfriend whose ex used to call me the dragon lady. This is entirely unrelated to the show.)

Her brother just took off her clothes? Why did he…? Well, now I’m confused for a multitude of reasons! Isn’t he gay? He seemed really excited about that wedding dress…

Enter the long haired barbarians. They are like the Na’vi and they have sex with their braids. No? Oh. They just cut them off when they’re sad. All girls do that after a break up. I don’t understand why this is significant.

Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Sex. Or rather, sexual allusion and brief albeit frequent and somewhat artistic nudity. Remember, this is plot development and not just because we’re HBO and we can. Ahem.

Oh, and there’s a little person who’s obsessed with his little person. I’m digging the writing there. He’s a fun character. Full of self loathing. I think we’re gonna see good things from him. No! Not like that. Stop it.

The king is here! Stuff is happening! The other kingly-type guy is being asked to be a second-ish king! We can’t tell if he wants to go do this or not. (Or what exactly “this” is, for that matter.) His wife who might be related to someone and kind of love hates/her life certainly doesn’t want him to go.

They receive a letter from her sister. She says some dead guy was murdered. Plot twist! Now the second-ish king HAS to go do the thing he might or might not have wanted to do in the first place. Having a sense of honor is rough.

Disobedient 10 year old climbs a building. One can assume he’s been reading too many Spider-Man comics. He sees people having sex. I think they might be brother and sister. And maybe twins? And maybe she’s the queen of some other place and maybe also the murderers of the conflicted lady’s sisters’ husband but honestly, who knows at this point. Basically there’s two sneaky blondes getting it on in a dirty tower. Spidey-kid sees them getting it on and so the one who is basically Gilderoy Lockhart pushes him to his presumable death. As you do. His only hope of survival is that his puppy is actually a transformer that swoops in and saves the day. Not sure how likely that is but I’m rooting for it.

So, that’s what happens in episode one of Game of Thrones. I can see why people are so into it. Such intrigue! Such murder! Such long names! And I haven’t even met a dragon yet. I had better buckle up!

Episode  Two

I’m about to watch episode 2. Everyone has already told me the puppy isn’t a Transformer. I’m not going to lie, I’m more than a little disappointed to hear this. You might have figured that out already so I’m gonna just own it. I’ll push forward and watch the next episode anyway but the lack of dog-formers has been an added factor in my procrastination.

I have had this fun, new experience since watching the last episode. Now, when someone says “Do you watch Game of Thrones?” (which, unbelievably, happens like every ten minutes) I finally get to say “I have seen one whole episode!” It’s very rewarding. I’m pretty proud of myself. That is, until the “Why only one?” and “Why did it take you so long?” line of questioning begins and I wither beneath it, mumbling something about not having HBO. Then they say “What did you think?” and I share with them what I wrote. I’m so glad I wrote that thing. It’s WAY easier than trying to explain the confusion that is that episode over and over again.

I’m not sure that a confused recap of every episode will be in order but you’ll at least get this one. At some point the show has to start making sense, right?

They are all reasonable questions people have asked me. I’d wonder all of those things too, if I was a Game of Thrones fan looking at someone who’d waited 6 years to get started on this cultural phenomenon. However, here is literally EVERYTHING I know about Game of Thrones. Maybe this will help it make sense:

  • There are lots of dragons
  • There is a giant throne made out of swords
  • Daenerys Tannergyn (or something like that) is a dragon queen person
  • There are people at war
  • Winter is coming
  • Wolf face on t-shirt
  • House of Stark
  • Lannister
  • Jon Snow

Things people tell me about Game of Thrones:

  • “Don’t get attached to anyone, everyone you like is gonna die.”
  • “It’s really violent.”
  • “There’s a lot of sex and rape.”
  • “I cry anytime I’m in an elevator and someone says hold the door.”
  • “I can’t. I have to be home to watch Game of Thrones.”
  • “I pay for HBO to watch Game of Thrones.”
  • “You don’t watch Game of Thrones?” *horror outrage vomit pity face*
  • “Did you see the latest episode? Can you believe when–you know–happened with–you know what? I don’t want to spoil it if there’s anyone here who hasn’t seen it yet.”

That’s it. So, other than people being really excited about watching the next episode, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone say anything about *why* they like it. I’m hoping to find out. I’m excited to become a part of the culture and understand the references and maybe even experience a Game of Thrones viewing party one day (provided I catch myself up on the last 7,000 episodes quickly enough). I just have to like the show.

But…what if I don’t? What if I’m the only person who watches this, I mean really gives it a fair shot, and ends up not being a Throne-head or whatever they’re called? Thronie? I have genuine concerns. I know what it’s like to be part of a fandom. You have to have a passing familiarity with Harry Potter for me to even give you the time of day.

But, my wanting to participate in pop culture outweighs my concerns about failing to belong and my disappointment about the distinct and noticeable lack of robo-dogs. Also, there are supposed to be dragons. I’m hitting play.


Ugh. What kind of show is this?!

My train of thought about 20 minutes into this episode: They’re gonna kill all my favorite characters, eh? Well, joke’s on them. I think all these characters are morally ambiguous weirdos. I don’t like much of anyone.

They seem to be setting up for a major a war between the Stark-king-whatevers and the Dothraki-blonde alliance. Let’s just call them shirts and skins because one seems to wear an awful lot of clothing and the others…not so much.

Best part of this show is the puppies and everyone knows that you can’t kill puppies on a TV show so I’m safe. Hah! Outsmarted.

Episode progresses.

Jon Snow goes to the wall and changes his middle name to “doesn’t like the”.

Assassin tries to take out Spidey-kid who can’t fake a coma. In related news, Mom finally brushes her hair.

PG lesbian sex scene. How do I get abs like that? Don’t say exercise. The answer I’m looking for ought to come in a cool ranch flavor.

Girl who hasn’t gotten her period yet but has clearly hit puberty because she’s already started doing dumb stuff to impress a boy wanders off with Prince “Do you know who I am? I’m very famous in Japan”.

King shows entire room full of people just how important “happy wife, happy life” is to his marriage when he gets bullied into making his best friend cry.

Last 5 minutes of the episode. You’ve gotta be kidding me. Seriously. It’s episode 2. We’re gonna do this to my favorite characters already? Seriously?! *kills a puppy*

Never mind. Nothing is safe. It’s times like these that I miss living next to a 24 hour Krispy Kreme.

I’m not sure I’ll ever make it to that viewing party.

This dragon was alive when I started watching Game of Thrones…I’ll never be finished!

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