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Claimed unknowns. Dames and stones. Change my tone. GAME OF THRONES.

A few weeks ago, around the premiere of the newest season of Game of Thrones, a friend posted on Facebook. Like me, she had never seen the show, and was curious what all the commotion was about: Why were people so in love with this story? Was it worth her while to make time to watch it? Would it really live up to all the hype? I posted a reply based on what I'd been told and snippets I'd heard: basically, it's violent and rape-y. I shared that I'd rather spend my time doing other things, or watching a comedy instead. And then I watched an episode. Season 7, Episode 3, to be exact. And only really the last half. Now, before everyone gets all in a tizzy, let me clarify. I wasn't planning on actually watching the episode. (I have been told many times over that one cannot jump into this show from the middle.) I had work to do, and was sitting nearby on my laptop while the show was playing. I'd done the exact same thing the week before, and never even really lifted my eyes to the TV screen. But this time was just a little different. One of the characters corrected another's grammar, so my boyfriend, knowing I'd appreciate it, rewound the scene so that I could watch the exchange. I continued to watch, and observed strong female characters in leadership roles, discussions about ethics and culture and social norms, and clever dialogue. I was reminded of one of my favorite shows, Star Trek: The Next Generation (or TNG, as its fans lovingly refer to it). TNG also addresses tricky societal and cultural questions through the lens of fiction, and does it brilliantly. So when the episode ended, I asked, hesitantly, "...Can we watch Episode 1?" And we watched. And there was violence. And there was rape. But I see how they're used strategically, not gratuitously. And there were awful people doing terrible things. But there was the beginning of a story. There were younger versions of the strong female leads I saw in Season 7, Episode 3. And there was a detailed world into which I could escape and hide from reality for just a little while.
Thus, I take back what I said in my Facebook reply. I think this might be worth my time, worth my brain power -- or, rather, worth the ability to un-power my brain for a bit. And last night I watched Episode 2.


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