You don’t have to be a television buff to have heard of the Game of Thrones. But, have your ever stopped to wonder why it is so popular? Interestingly enough, several studies have been conducted to investigate the reasons behind this HBO production’s meteoric rise to stardom.
Its first season had premiered in 2011, and soon afterwards, it vowed the critics and managed to gather quite a decent fan base. The fan frenzy centering on the show was so high that fans went into shock when the decision to discontinue the epic series was announced after Season 8. Incidentally, fans were rather disappointed with the final season, slamming it for hurried storytelling and for leaving many gaps in the script. In spite of all its controversies, fans had continued to stick to this series and felt that the ending should have been better than what had been doled out to them.
- One of these studies into GoT’s obsessive popularity says that this is because of its multitude of characters. According to a study conducted by researches across five UK universities, the interactions between the characters here is realistic and very similar to real life. There are as many as 2000 characters in the GoT and interactions amongst them are just like interactions amongst humans in their lifetime.
- This unusually huge number of characters may make it slightly difficult and unnerving for viewers to remember them all. But, the relationships had been so addictive, that despite being only a fantasy tale, it managed to connect to the fans. The script is so smart that the brain is literally forced to stay engaged. Amongst other personality-less characters that we encounter in the television world, mainly through sitcoms, these characters were novel and unique. Both in terms of language and plot, this series has been one of the finest. It is so intellectually stimulating that it often becomes hard to keep pace with it.
- Like plays by Shakespeare, GoT does not only explore the political, ethical, or existential dilemmas; it includes something for everyone to stay hooked to it. The unpredictability is what makes it more and more appealing to viewers. Every time you think that you know what is going to happen, you are proved wrong. For instance, main characters are killed and weddings turn into bloodbaths. But all these strange and unexpected twists and turns keep us locked in.
- Characters are unreasonably complex and this is where the show seems to score ahead of its competitors. It makes each character more likeable and viewers tend to become emotionally invested in them. Just like humans, they are flawed and imperfect. Even the ostensibly “good” people make horrible mistakes while the worst characters have something positive. Everything is so uncertain that you stop guessing which the “good” and “bad” guys are. Interestingly, it is these unknown grey characters that actually stand for today’s world.
- All archetypes are destroyed and rebuilt, whether it is the valiant knight, the ice zombies, or the conniving queen. The show reveals many classic archetypes and creates a storyline around them in clever ways. In doing so, the script alters and subverts these archetypal characters. All of this goes to make Game of Thrones a superior piece of entertainment, one that will go down in history as a landmark show.
- Finally, the female characters in this series are more diverse than ever. In most other shows, women have been shown to have less power. Ike in any period literature, female characters must navigate the challenges thrown at them by the male world. In this story the women learn how best to use their wits to manipulate and maneuver the men.