The cultural impact of HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’

Actresses Maisie Williams, Rose Leslie, Natalie Dormer and Sophie Turner attend HBO's "Game Of Thrones" season 3 premiere at Cinerama Theater on March 21, 2013 in Seattle. Credit: Getty Images
Actresses Maisie Williams, Rose Leslie, Natalie Dormer and Sophie Turner attend HBO’s “Game Of Thrones” season 3 premiere at Cinerama Theater on March 21, 2013 in Seattle.
Credit: Getty Images

“Game of Thrones” may not be HBO’s most popular show, but some might argue that it’s the cable network’s top show at the moment. The fantasy adventure about the men and women of the Seven Kingdoms and their quest for power has united both nerdy reader and pop culture enthusiast alike.

“It has proven to every media outlet that ‘geeks’ are people too, with populations, committed interests, deep passions, and pocket books to match the rest of the world’s television consumers,” Vince Gerardis, co-executive producer for “Game of Thrones,” told Metro.

Director David Petrarca argued at a Writers Festival in Perth, Australia that while the show was the most pirated show of 2012, the fact that most of the viewers were watching the show illegally didn’t matter even if it took away from traditional revenue streams. What really counted was the “cultural buzz” and the social conversation that the show was able to inspire.

“Without the show, I think the pop culture impact of GoT (“Game of Thrones”) is marginal at best,” Eric Regan, creator of the GameofThrones.tv fan site, told Metro.

Regan is amazed how the HBO show is able to make its way in the fabric of everyday life, with fansites like Regan’s and Pinterest boards dedicated to making costumes and cooking meals. The series has even inspired its own blonde ale. Regan was pleasantly surprised with Valyrian steel was referenced during an ESPN broadcast of an NCAA football game.

“Unfortunately, there is this stigma that’s associated with reading a fantasy or sci-fi novel, something only geeks should be reading while playing dungeons and dragons – that is, until it’s deemed cool enough to make its way into theaters or a killer TV production like GoT has become,” he explained.

Gerardis believes that the reason why the show appeals to so many people is because human dramas like “Game of Thrones” appeal on a primal level to all people. But the show itself is a once in a lifetime event. The production value put into telling such a grand story, the cooperation between author George RR Martin (who is still writing the series) and the show’s showrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss to optimize the story, and the meticulous care put into making sure the details are right won’t be seen in another series any time soon.

“I think there will be very few attempts to match what HBO has done,” Gerardis admitted. “I think that the mold has been broken, and it can never hold the same boring water again.”

Check out our recipe suggestions from the “Game of Thrones” cookbook so you can host a medieval dinner party.


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