I’m one of those people: I’ve never seen a full episode of HBO’s Game of Thrones. I say full episode because I tried to watch the first episode a few years ago and just couldn’t make it through. I don’t know what happened or why on that particular day I couldn’t complete the task. I binged the entirety of the first season of This Is Us over the course of a few days. I remember using the Great Government Shutdown of 2013 to binge watch the first two seasons of Scandal. Greenleaf? Bruh, after the first episode, I waded through those waters like a skraight boss. House of Cards? I did that. Breaking Bad? WHOLE SERIES IN A WEEK. So I’m not against a solid binge-watching marathon.
For whatever reason, I haz trepidation about the Thrones, mostly because I need to dedicate so much time to it at this point. Thing is, literally everybody I know whose opinion about television I respect watches this show. Even folks I hate watch the show, and I only know this because niggas I know share memes from niggas I hate into my timelines. I hate it when that happens.
Now, I’m not one of those assholes who makes it a point to tell people that I don’t watch the show, but it does come up often. Usually, I get asked if I watch in a rhetorical way, with folks expecting me to say “yes” so we can move on to the real reason they asked me if I watch Game of Thrones, typically some plot point they want to discuss. But when I say I don’t, I get hit with the gasps and the “ZOMG! I figured you of all people would watch it!” Even Damon Young, author the newly released book, What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Blacker (available everywhere books are sold), told me he was surprised that I didn’t watch it considering how much television I consume. I’ve been Thrones-shamed by social media from afar and from people I call friends. It hurts.
And here’s the thing, guys: I want to be up on game. If I could walk a thousand miles, I’d walk to the day everybody else started watching and be right up there with everybody else who was having watch parties and waiting (not in vain) for the eighth season premiere last Sunday. That would have been me. I know all of the damn characters’ names because I read the social media. I know about Red Weddings and folks named Cersei (actually, that’s kind of a fly-ass name). I know shit. I know quotes because well, to be on Facebook is to know Game of Thrones quotes. I’ve even unintentionally bought a Game of Thrones ugly Christmas sweater because it was fly without a single idea that it was from the show. I’ve been Thrones incepted.
To date, 68 episodes of the show have aired. That number is so daunting to me. But I know that if I don’t want to miss out on the conversation forever (albeit late; ain’t no way I’ll be caught up in time to discuss in real time), I have to buckle down and accept the challenge and hit that “Old Town Road.” I want to. I have FOMO and I almost never have FOMO about anything. It feels like literally everybody but me is watching the show, and while that’s not true, it might as well be. But people I love to talk pop culture with are all watching and I have to stand outside the fence, dragging my shoes in the dirt waiting for the conversation to change to something I’m up on. The problem is, for the next however long, the wait time to talk about other shit seems to be longer and longer. I’m an outsider who is ready to come inside.
So I’m dedicating myself to the cause! No longer will I stand in darkness. I wanted to make “winter is coming” jokes, too. I saw somebody with a whole-ass bottle of Johnnie Walker turned into some Game of Thrones promo item. I want to feel connected to that item the same way I was to my President Obama, 44th President bottle of Hennessy, which is a thing and that I own. I want to read recaps and argue. Take me there; I want to go there.
I’m ready. I will join the legion for the culture. It’s bad enough that I’ve never seen Jurassic Park (the original) in full—and yes, that’s a true statement; at some point the moment just passed—but this is just too much.
Dear Game of Thrones, I’m coming for you!