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Game of Thrones is an HBO medieval fantasy television series adapted from George R. R. Martin’s series of novels A Song of Ice and Fire. The series takes place in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, revolving around a violent struggle for control of the Iron Throne between several noble families. The series is known for its extreme violence, disturbing subject matter and explicit sex scenes.
A Song of Ice and Fire
The first book in the A Song of Ice and Fire series titled A Game of Thrones was published Bantam Spectra on August 6th, 1996. In the following years, the sequels A Clash of Kings (February, 1999), A Storm of Swords(November 2000) A Feast for Crows (November 2005) and A Dance with Dragons (July 2011) were released.
Game of Thrones
The pilot season of the HBO television series created by David Benioff and D. B. Weiss debuted on April 17th, 2011. The series was filmed primarily at the Paint Hall Studios in Belfast, Northern Ireland, with other portions filmed in Iceland, Croatia, Morocco and Malta.
The show’s first season received positive reviews from critics for its production value, character development and acting performances, receiving a Metacritic score of 79. On December 23rd, 2011, the Game of Thrones fan blog Winter is Coming reported that the show had been selected in both the Washington Post and Time’s “best of 2011” television show lists.
The show has been criticized for its numerous scenes involving nudity and sexuality. On April 14th, the comedy television show Saturday Night Live ran a Game of Thrones parody sketch (shown below), which mocked the show’s gratuitous use of nude scenes. On April 26th, Washington Post columnist Anna Holmes criticized the show for being aimed primarily at male heterosexual audiences and pointed out the absurdity of women in a medieval setting having Brazilian waxes. On May 2nd, Gawker’s pop culture blog io9 published an article titled “Is Game of Thrones’ gratuitous sex worse than the gratuitous violence?”, which argued that the show’s second season used disturbing and distasteful sexual imagery.
The Rains of Castamere Reactions
On June 2nd, 2013, following the broadcast of “The Rains of Castamere” (Season 3, Episode 9), many reactions were posted online addressing various plot points in the show. A scene involving the mentally disabled character Hodor was mocked by Redditor jeffraider in a post on the /r/hodor subreddit, which received over 100 up votes in the first 20 hours. FunnyJunk user Sootypoorrat posted a screen captured image from the scene, in which the character Bran orders Hodor to stop “Hodoring” (shown below).
The scene depicting the event known as the “Red Wedding” was met with anticipation by many who had read the novels, some of whom encouraged the recording of television viewers watching the scene in a post on the /r/gameofthrones subreddit. YouTuber Horrorcirdan uploaded a compilation of the reaction videos on June 3rd (shown below), featuring many watchers reacting with shock and disgust.
The viral content site BuzzFeed published a compilation of animated GIFs and image macros from the show titled “25 Steps To Get Over Your Intense ‘Game of Thrones’ Depression.” Other image macros and animated GIFs reacting to the scene were posted on the /r/gameofthrones subreddit (shown below).
On the next day, Game of Thrones actress Maisie Williams posted a Vine video reaction to the scene, which received over 1,830 tweets within 24 hours.
A Purple Wedding Reactions
On April 13th, 2014, yet another major turning point in the plot was introduced in “The Lion and The Rose” (Season 4, Episode 2), in which King Joffrey abruptly dies of poisoning during the feast for his own wedding. Having long been one of the most despised characters since the beginning of the series, King Joffrey’s sudden death was immediately met with cheers and celebrations from the fans online, whose reactions were subsequently compiled into a video montage and uploaded to YouTube on the following day (shown below).
Breaks of Chains Rape Scene Reactions
On April 20th, following the airing of “Breaker of Chains” (Season 4, Episode 3), the fans took their reactions to Twitter to express their disgust and shock at a disturbing scene in which Jaime Lannister, the Kingslayer and the father of the late King Joffrey, rapes Cersei Lannister, his own sister and the grieving mother of Joffrey, over the altar of their dead son.
Omission of Lady Stoneheart
Following the airing of the fourth season finale on June 15th, 2014, many fans of the show expressed surprise and frustration over the notable absence of Lady Stoneheart, the resurrected form of Catelyn Stark after she is brought back to life by Lord Beric Dondarrion, in the episode. The omission of this character in the fourth season was met with heavy backlash largely due to the build-up of anticipation from the fans who have read the book, as Lady Stoneheart is re-introduced only three days after the Red Wedding in A Song of Ice and Fire. In less than 24 hours after the finale aired, the hashtag #ladystoneheart was tweeted out over 1,000 times.
On June 16th, the online reaction to the omission of Lady Stoneheart in the finale episode was picked up by several entertainment news sites, including Hollywood Lifeand FanSided, while Entertainment Weekly published an interview with Alex Graves, the director of the episode, who offered an explanation regarding the decision to leave out Lady Stoneheart from Game of Thrones:
“But to bring back Michelle Fairley, one of the greatest actresses around, to be a zombie for a little while -- and just kill people? It is really sort of, what are we doing with that? How does it play into the whole story in a way that we’re really going to like? It just didn’t end up being a part of what was going to happen this season. And finally one [more] reason: In case you didn’t notice, a lot happens this season … To add that in is something they opted out of. But what’s funny is that it was never going to be in the season, yet it took off on the Internet like it was going to happen.”
On March 2nd, 2010, the /r/GameofThrones subreddit was created by Redditor DadfyddLlyr, which accumulated over 76,000 subscribers in two years. On August 29th, 2011, the Internet humor site Dorkly published a post tiled “Stupid Game of Thrones Characters”, which featured several image macros mocking the storylines of various characters in the series (shown below).
On February 20, 2012, the webcomic site TheOatmeal published a comic titled “I Tried to Watch Game of Thrones and This is What Happened”, which lamented HBO’s lack of on demand Internet streaming for the show leading to piracy.
On May 4th, an anonymous 4chan user started a thread on the /tv/ (television) board featuring poorly drawn MS Paint illustrations of the characters from the series, accompanied by child-like descriptions with misspelled names. The thread received over 320 responses prior to being archived. As of June 14th, 2012, the Game of Thrones Wiki has over 1,300 pages, the official @GameOfThrones Twitter account has over 385,000 followers and the “Game of Thrones” Facebook page has over 3.1 million likes.
The fantasy series has inspired fans to create illustrations of the show’s characters, many of which can be found on the art sharing community DeviantArt.
Brace Yourselves, X is Coming is a snowclone phrase inspired by the motto of House Stark of Winterfell from A Song of Ice and Fire and the title of the HBO pilot episode. Its advice animal character Imminent Ned is typically used to forewarn or proclaim the impending arrival of a highly anticipated event, a product or an internet meme.
You Know Nothing, John Snow
“You Know Nothing, Jon Snow” is a memorable quote attributed to the Wildling character Ygritte from George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. Due to its repeated appearance throughout A Storm of Swords and the HBO TV series adaptation, the quote has been regarded by some fans as obnoxious and celebrated by others in the form of fan art illustrations and image macros.
On April 17th, 2013, a single topic blog titled “Joffrey Bieber” was launched on Tumblr with the tagline “where fiction’s biggest brat and real life’s biggest brat become one,” which showcased a series of photoshopped images in which the face of Canadian pop singer Justin Bieber is superimposed over the body of Joffrey Baratheon, one of the main youth characters portrayed as a willful, but reckless and sinister “Lord of the Seven Kingdoms” in the saga. On April 19th, two “Joffrey Bieber” images began picking up steam on Tumblr, garnering more than 2,600 notes and 1,640 notes respectively in the first two weeks (shown below).
In the following week, the ultimate anti-fan blog was covered by several entertainment news sites and celebrity blogs, beginning with Uproxx on April 23rd, BuzzFeed and Mashable on April 24th and Complex Magazine and A.V. Club on April 25th.
Meanwhile, the earliest known comparison between Joffrey Baratheon and Justin Bieber were drawn by Uproxx’ staff writer The Cajun Boy in a tweet he had posted on April 3rd, two weeks prior to the launch of the Tumblr blog.
Justin Bieber is Canadian for Joffrey Baratheon.— Brett (@thecajunboy) April 3, 2013
College Humor – Game of THrones House Sigils for Other TV Families
Thought Catalod – What Game of Thrones Characters Would Tweet If They Had Twitter
Winter is Coming – Game of Thrones lands on tons of top TV shows of 2011 lists