Why ‘Game of Thrones’ has Such A cultic following

If you are privy to the going-ons in the seven kingdoms of Westeros and love the drama unfolding in  King’s Landing, Winterfell, and the Red Keep; if you can’t get enough of the goddess-like beauty of Daenerys Targaryen and think Jon Snow is a hero; if you are fascinated by Arya Stark and the God of many faces and detest the treachery of Cersei Lannister; Then, there is a very good chance that you are a die-hard fan of Game of Thrones. The HBO hit series premiered in Kenya on the 15th April much to the delight of enthusiasts.

Several viewing parties have been organized especially across Nairobi with the hype reaching unprecedented levels unseen of any television program in the recent past. ‘Winter is Here!’ declared an invite by Multichoice Kenya to an event they put together at Parklands Sports Club Nairobi in partnership with Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL).

Game of Thrones
Fans pose for a photo during the Multichoice Kenya screening of Game of Thrones at Parklands sports club.

KBL recently launched White Walker by Johnnie Walker, a limited-edition Scotch whiskey inspired by much-acclaimed HBO series. Created by whiskey specialist George Harper, White Walker features single salts from Cardhu and Clynelish – Scotland’s most Northern distilleries. The scotch whisky demonstrates attempts by brands to leverage on fan appetite for the  TV hit series in a bid to capture their imagination.

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But what is it about this much-acclaimed TV program that is so fascinating? If you have watched all the episodes of the seven seasons of Game of Thrones, you will agree that there is not one thing that can possibly give the series it’s distinctively alluring appeal. Rather, it’s an amalgamation of several interesting bits and pieces.

The most obvious one is the hallowed winter. The natural cold phenomenon has got everyone in the seven kingdoms on edge. It had informed the various geopolitical maneuvering by those who claim a stake to the iron throne. As a consequence, Kings and queens have been overthrown and thousands have been slaughtered as allegiances shift from one strong man to another. And in the wake of the senseless bloodbath, a new army has been rising – the army of the dead – which is feared to have the potential to annihilate the entire population in the seven kingdoms.

What I find bizarre about this army is that none of the slain kings have so far become part of it just like one of Daenerys Targaryen’s dragons. That would really make for a riveting war of vendettas. But I digress.

Speaking of bizarre, I have watched with a disapproving eye the relationship between Cersei Lannister and her brother Jaime that was born out of incest. That was certainly not going to end well and given how the story has unfolded thus far that has actually been proven.

Then there is sex with actors baring it all on camera. I mean, there is enough sex scenes across the seven episodes to create a porno compilation. I need not say more.

Despite this not being animation, the dragons have put up quite a good show, so hats off to the producer for creating such a believable camaraderie between humans and the fire-spitting reptiles.

Now, this list of factors is not entirely exhaustive but it gives you an idea about why the movie is such a hit. However, you will agree with me that apart from the usual love-hate relationships and deceit ever so present in every plot, Game of Thrones is actually a very political TV series.

The iron throne is at the epicenter of every battle waged by one of the seven kingdoms against the other. This, more than anything else is emblematic of how the society we live in is influenced by power and greed much to the detriment of all of us.


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