We interrupt your regular programming of K-dramas to make a case for another global phenomenon that is Game of Thrones. If you've never seen an episode and all you know about it are dragon riders, zombies that are not called zombies, and some color-themed wedding that triggers a meltdown in your friends who do watch, we're here to convince you to give it a try.
There have been six seasons already, and the seventh and final one just premiered, hence the collective flailing on your feed that reads like alien language to the uninitiated. Six seasons, 10 episodes each—that's 60+ hours to catch up on. It seems daunting, but believe us when we say that once you start, "just one more episode" will become your mantra.
Game of Thrones is a story about warring families and tribes in a fictional world where seasons can last for decades. It starts at the tail end of a particularly long summer, as the power struggle between different groups become more savage and frightening creatures awaken in uncharted lands.
The Starks, a golden-hearted family that rules the North, are the grounding force amidst all the moving pieces of the story that is filmed around the world. Honestly, there is way too much to unpack, and barreling through who's who ruins the elegance of the storytelling—unless the narrator is the one and only Samuel L. Jackson. His hilarious, unfiltered, spoiler-heavy recap below is the stuff of legends.
Trust us, you'll be hooked in no time, pouring over maps and family trees and devouring the books that the series is based on for more backstories. You'll be pleased to see familiar faces, too, like Emilia Clarke from Me Before You, Sophie Turner from X-Men: Apocalypse, Richard Madden from Cinderella, Iwan Rheon from Misfits, Hannah Murray and Joe Dempsie from Skins, and Jason Momoa from the upcoming Justice League and Aquaman.
What is worth emphasizing is that nothing is ever black and white in this world. You see things not just from the perspective of the heroes but also the so-called villains. No one is purely good or evil, just like real people, and even the most sinful are a delight to watch. No one is entitled to a happily ever after, or even just a simple, decent life, no matter how much they sacrifice or how keenly they follow the rules. This is a world that will chew you up and spit you out. (A lot of scenes can be pretty graphic so watch with caution.) But this is also a world filled with stories of redemption and reunions. A world where women are subject to the most despicable things, but also where women have the opportunity to seize control and take ownership of their bodies and their future.
No one is purely good or evil, just like real people, and even the most sinful are a delight to watch.
The way the story is told, you really have to pay attention to the smallest things. Key points can be hidden in plain sight, masked by some throwaway comment. Major revelations come out of nowhere, or so it seems because when you play back, you notice the little seeds that were sneakily planted. This complex storytelling lends itself to a lot of fan theories and encourages in-depth discussions, which make the overall Game of Thrones experience even more thrilling.
This complex storytelling lends itself to a lot of fan theories and encourages in-depth discussions, which make the overall Game of Thrones experience even more thrilling.
That concludes our argument for catching up on Game of Thrones; we hope to have you freaking out with us by the time the series finale hits screens.
Catch new episodes every Monday at 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. on HBO Asia.