Calling all Game of Thrones fans: do you remember what it was like to watch the series for the first time? The tears. The laughter. The complete disillusionment of what was to come. With the final season premiering soon, we thought we’d list out the stages of being a first-time viewer.
The first episode kind of feels like showing up for a final exam for a class you weren’t even taking. Who’s the king? Who’s this character? Why are there so many families? Why are there so many naked women? There are over two dozen names, several families and So. Many. Storylines. introduced in the first few episodes that things can get muddled. I promise you, it gets less confusing.
You’ll start to grow fond of certain characters pretty on. The underdog. The hero. The broken. The innocent. You’ll get attached and pray to the gods — both old and new — for their safety and success. However, many seasoned Game of Thrones fans will tell you attachment will be your demise. You would be wise to heed their advice.
From the first major plot twist to every familial betrayal and secret alliance revealed, your mind will be blown and your jaw will be dropped. Some moments will even require you to pause and contemplate everything. If you’re anything like me, you pace around the room quietly muttering how this cannot be happening. Oh, but it is, little dove.
4. Heart Break
If you thought losing your first love was painful, Game of Thrones fans have some news for you. Your heart will break more times than you can count — sometimes in a single episode. From the death of a series favorite to the betrayal of a character we thought we could trust, the scenes are gut-wrenching and ruthless to your heart.
As the battle for for the Iron Throne ensues, war and death is inevitable. And not everyone survives. Not only will your favorite character die on the battle field, some will die in the places they felt safest. The attachment stage was inevitable; it’s just unfortunate that their death is, too.
The sense of betrayal you’ll feel isn’t just toward the characters. You’ll start cursing George R.R. Martin, the author of the series, for the emotional trauma he’s put you through. Just when you think things are going well, or couldn’t get worst, there is a twist that will have you feeling scorned. But alas, chaos is a ladder.
As all Game of Thrones fans have learned, some characters are literal human garbage. Cruelty is not a trait, but a necessary aspect of life for some. And does it feel oh-so good when that a-hole gets what they deserved. Relish in those moments when a favorite character gets avenged or when the psychopath gets a bit of comeuppance.
You’ve already lost so much and you’re starting to realize the death and destruction aren’t even close to being over. You want to gather all your (remaining) favorite characters, give them some wine and protect them from the evil forces that lie in the Seven Kingdoms. You’re starting to doubt every person and question every motive.
This stage will occur at different points for different Game of Thrones fans. At one point, you accept that war and death is inevitable in this world. You will start to understand that when you play the game of thrones, you win or you die.
With all the destruction and loss, you might start to actually feel hopeless. However, if there is one thing I have learned from this show is that you must continue to fight even when your back’s against the wall. You will lose others, and even yourself, but there will always be a silent hero to rescue you. Who knows? The hero might even be you.