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I spent this past Saturday in the Big Apple. On the one-hour Uber ride from Jersey to Manhattan, my friends decided to get in a vigorous discussion about Game of Thrones. That’s when I came to the depressingly lonely realization that I’m one of the only people on earth who doesn’t watch the show that made nerdiness mainstream. Every part of the conversation they had was foreign to me. White Walkers? Stone guys? Some schmuck named Illyrio? If I took a shot each time I heard them talk about two characters and say, “Oh yeah, they banged,” I would have been fucked up before we got through the Lincoln Tunnel.
I get one of two reactions when I tell people I don’t watch their beloved show.
1) They try with all their might to convince me to watch it like my life depends on it. “Dude, go quit your job right now and binge watch all seven seasons in 48 hours!” How about no? I enjoy seeing sunlight to much to do that. Also, that’s not even possible unless I’m watching more than one episode at once (which I bet some of these psychos do).
2) They look at me with pity and condescension; as if I’m living a depraved existence for not watching GoT. One girl at a bar even responded to the news that I’ve never seen an episode with, “Oh, I feel so bad for you.” Needless to say I didn’t get laid that night and then proceeded to feel bad for myself as well.
At first, I didn’t even know what the show was about; Game of Thrones just sounded like a more badass version of “musical chairs.” One of my friends described it as a mix of Harry Potter and a Renaissance fair, which is pretty accurate from what I hear. I’ve been to Medieval Times before, and it seems like it’s like that but more intense. That all sounds pretty good, to be honest. I’ve seen some clips, one of which being Peter Dinklage saying, “That’s what I do. I drink, and I know things.” After he said that line, I felt an intense emotional connection to a little person the likes of which I haven’t experienced since the Austin Powers movies.
As much fun as excessive sword fighting sounds, I have my reasons for not being a GoT fan boy. First off, there’s too much sex. Maybe — just maybe — I want something with a more substantial plot? Put some clothes on, Daenerys! Your beauty does not define you! Have some respect for yourself! There’s so much sex and nudity in this show that, when you think of it, Game of Thrones is more or less the porno with the world’s best production value. No matter how beautiful their on-location filming is, it doesn’t mean I ever want to watch incest porn. Who am I, Ted Cruz?
More than that, though, my lack of Game of Thrones viewership comes from a deep-seated personal vendetta against HBO. HBO has always been the cockiest of the television stations. They sit up there on their ivory tower looking down on the stations that don’t charge extra, like AMC and TBS. You think you’re all big and tough because I have to pay extra for you, HBO? Nope. In reality, you’re just an uppity dick. I’m a broke college kid with student loan debt piled higher than I hear Harrenhal used to stand; Netflix is a luxury I can barely afford. Unless George R.R. Martin is sending me a check in the mail, I can’t afford HBO (Side note: the United States is the only developed country in the world that does not provide universal access to HBO, from what I’ve gathered. HBO is a human right, not a privilege!).
I hate HBO so much that I haven’t even mooched off someone else’s HBO subscription ever since they cancelled one of the greatest shows of all time, Boardwalk Empire. It was a heart-gripping, emotional story of Steve Buscemi trying to make right the greatest injustice in American history: prohibition. Steve Buscemi’s bootlegging politician was my idol. They cancelled Entourage, too. Douchebags.
Maybe if HBO had decided to give Empire a proper send-off, I’d give Game of Thrones a chance. Hell, maybe if HBO went free I’d give Game of Thrones a chance. Until then, though, I’ll continue living life under a rock and spending a few Sunday nights each year watching something a lot less interesting..
Do you love Game of Thrones unlike ItalianStallion? Then you’ll want to dive dick first into Oysters, Clams & Cockles, our Game of Thrones podcast for people who party like Tyrion and slay like Daenerys. The OCC crew is currently rewatching, recapping, and reviewing every single episode from seasons 1-7 ahead of the final season. And guess what? They just started, so it’s the perfect time to join them on their long watch. Listen to the first episode of what they’re dubbing “The Night’s Rewatch” below, and subscribe on iTunes here.
Image via Shutterstock