Survival guide: Talking about Game of Thrones

Talk the talk — don’t waste time on the watch

Photo curtesy of Flickr

Written by: Nathaniel Tok, Peak Associate

“What did you think about Game of Thrones last night?”

Take a deep breath and look contemplative before you spiral into panic because you’ve never watched this show. After eight straight years of being tormented by this question, you can’t admit to your nerdy friends that you just don’t care about that lady with the 10,000 different egotistical titles.

Game of Thrones (GOT) is mercifully ending, and everyone who has still not seen it must’ve been really busy this whole time with, say, pirating any other of HBO’s shows. Fans always expect that a show with this much incest and dragons would surely have already been seen by everyone (Ironically, the first Targaryen dragons probably had incest, since Aegon the conqueror only brought three to Westeros and one died during the conquest . . . yet somehow there were 50,000,000 in the Dance of the Dragons).

Now, if a friend ever actually tries to talk about dragoncest with you, you’ll know you’re backed into a conversational corner about Game of Thrones. Here’s how you talk to your nerdy friends whose YouTube algorithm only recommends GOT reviews, like me.

Distracted by the dumbassery

It’s no secret that characters in GOT constantly make terrible decisions, getting themselves beaten, captured, or killed. (Cough, cough, the Starks.) If there’s one thing Game of Thrones fan love, it’s giving out a dissertation’s worth of opinions on these characters.

If trapped in a trial-by-combat GOT conversation with a diehard fan friend, let your adult friend with an entire full-sized map of Westeros in their bedroom do all the conversational work.  You don’t even need to know anything! Just say something like, “I can’t believe how dumb [random character] is this season . . . ” Watch your friend either go crazy to defend said character or give reasons why they agree with you.

Simply talk about coffee

Why? Because of the Starbucks cup in season eight, episode four. It’s that easy.

Beat them at their own game

Just as most of your friends don’t actually speak classic high Valyrian, many of them also never actually read the books. If they only watched the show, they’ll only speak common Westerosi like peasants and they’ll know nothing of the books’ character cast. This is a sneaky opportunity to impress them by stringing together fantasy-sounding names to make it sound like you know more than they do. Talk confidently about how supposed Valyrians like Daemion Celtigar and Victor Velaryon should have made it from the books to the TV series. They’ll never know which character you might be truly making up.

Use catchphrases to show that you’re definitely a fan

Self-explanatory. I imagine that being a scriptwriter for GOT is easy at this point because half of the lines are phrases used repeatedly like, “The North remembers,” “A Lannister always pays his debts,” or “You know nothing, Jon Snow.” The other half of the script is set-up for characters to use said catchphrases.

The escape hatch

If you really, really don’t want anything to do with the TV show, make up an excuse about how slowly the books are coming out. Say you’re waiting for all of the books to be released before reading them all and then watching the show. You get to demonstrate to your friends your “superior scholarly prowess,” and there is no way to refute this logic, since none of them will read the books.

Of course, neither will you. I mean, each book is basically a textbook and there are, like, five of them.  The best part is that George RR Martin procrastinates writing these books better than a student can procrastinate writing a term paper, so this excuse will last for at least another year.