A Beginner’s Guide to Playing A Game of Thrones

Disclaimer: This article is completely spoiler-free; Any spoilers, especially from Season 7, will be met with extreme prejudice.

When George R.R. Martin first started A Song of Ice and Fire in 1996, no one expected it to become one of the most universally acclaimed series in television history. With the years of extreme hype and massive fanbase rallying behind it, as well as the ongoing Season 7 killing not just its fans with suspense, it’s no surprise that more and more people are interested in having a go at the series itself. But for newcomers to the show, Game of Thrones has built a tremendous image for itself that might leave some new viewers with some doubts in continuing the series, so here’s a few tips that’ll help newcomers get better acquainted with how the show works;

  1. Don’t get attached to anyone. 

    Game of Thrones has an extremely rich and diverse array of characters, each unique individuals with their own sets of motivations and beliefs that you learn over time, making them more than just fictional characters. So naturally, the show goes out of its way to drop the bridge on characters every other episode (sometimes several in one episode!) to feed on the fanbase’s tears. As you progress through the seasons and get introduced to more characters, always remember the golden rule: Anyone can die. It’ll help stop you from losing your head over any character deaths.

  2. Nowhere is safe from spoilers

This one applies to everyone, regardless of whether they’re watching Season 1 or 7. Spoilers will always be present no matter what medium you’re talking about; For some odd reason, Game of Thrones seems to attract spoilers the worst. If you somehow haven’t been spoiled about any scene in the show, you’re either extremely lucky or a hermit. If you really want to avoid every single spoiler floating, it might be time to stay away from social media for a while, at least until Season 7 ends and everyone’s done crying.

3.  Get desensitised to graphic content if you aren’t already

If you’ve heard about Game of Thrones from somewhere, chances are you’ve most probably heard about its infamy for gratuitous scenes involving gore, nudity and gorey nudity. Game of Thrones laughs at the concept of censorship by showing everything it possibly can, and by everything we really do mean everything.  If you don’t find yourself comfortable the sight of a man having a sword shoved through his family jewels and you’re determined to keep watching, then good news! You will most definitely not bat an eyelash the next three times it happens.

  1. Book or Series? Your pick!

Adaptations of popular fiction have a slight tendency to miss out some important character development or plot details every now and then, whether it be due to time constraints or lazy writing. Fortunately, much like its fantasy novel adaptation before it, The Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones remains extremely faithful to the books, with George R.R. Martin’s wide plethora of characters seamlessly brought to life onscreen. If you find difficulty in maintaining focus long enough to read a book, then you wont go wrong with the series, and vice versa if you’re more of a reader than a watcher.

  1. Make some friends to geek out with

You can’t throw a Direwolf pup in the air without hitting someone who watches Game of Thrones too. It’s universally agreed that almost any form of entertainment or fiction is much more enjoyable in the presence of friends who are willing to react (loudly) alongside you. Game of Thrones seems even more fitting to be watched in a group, as there’s really nothing quite like a whole group freaking out over a character death or screaming death at one of the more divisive characters (too many to list, really).

That’s about all that you’d need to tackle this series! Make sure your first time watching is a memorable one, so get some friends and start binge watching today!

Article by Jun Yau

musaeditor

Editorial board of Monash University Student Association

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