Game of Thrones is not just a TV show. From today’s perspective, it’s a cultural phenomenon, it defines our pop culture and it’s almost unimaginable to find a single person in today’s world who hasn’t heard anything about the show. In 2011 no one could have imagined that Game of Thrones would start a new era in television history and would make such a huge impact on society. Now Game of Thrones is just everywhere. What is the first thing that comes to your mind when somebody just mentions “throne”, “dragon”, “Khaleesi”, “raven”, “red wedding”, “incest”, or “wilding”? And many more.
It was and still is a source of inspiration for several writers, artists, directors, even social researchers, and for everyone who has ever watched it. I believe that it changed the way we think and made us think about things that we would never spend time on. Whether we like it or not, whether we enjoyed watching it or hated it, the show has an enormous impact on our mind and unconsciously defines how we think and how we act (even research confirms this impact).
Thanks to George R.R. Martin and HBO, for us, GOT admirers, now it’s hard to believe that there was a life before the show. And if you are among the few who hasn’t seen any single episode of Game of Thrones, probably your friends, family, or just some random people around you are pushing you with all their effort to take this life-changing step which will definitely introduce you to completely new world and maybe even slightly change the way you think.
Impact on TV
First of all, television will never be the same. Game of Thrones raised demands for the writers and played a major role in starting a new age in TV history. Before that, the quality of the tv series wasn’t as high as nowadays. Today if somebody wants to make a great tv show, they should take so many things into account. Game of Thrones showed us intriguing plotlines, perfect characters, well-written scripts, amazing visual effects, wonderful soundtracks by Ramin Djawadi, and an intro that quickly became part of the pop culture. Now everything is compared to GOT. So many great tv shows have been made during GOT’s reign, but when we start watching a new series we draw parallels and automatically connect it to Game of Thrones.
Take the example of Westworld. It’s a completely different show of a different genre. GOT is a fantasy while Westworld is sci-fi but this doesn’t prevent people from constantly comparing these two masterpieces of HBO. “Is Westworld the new Game of Thrones?” “Should we expect crossovers?” “Which of them is better?” Therefore, the creators of Westworld are trying to overcome this influence and make something more valuable. And it’s not a surprise as everyone tries that. Now it’s unimaginable to create something free of its influence which means GOT made new stereotypes on the TV industry.
It is hard to find a show which has been discussed so much among the people. Thousands of fan theories had been made about the finale. People were discussing how would Night King be killed, who would sit on the Iron Throne, how would Daenerys end up, about the future of Jon Snow, about family reunions and so much more. It’s crazy to realize that people have wasted this amount of time of their lives on a fiction show which already ended and their theories don’t even make any sense anymore. But we all have. And it still feels right. Game of Thrones made us start critical thinking and may even develop our cognitive skills as we had to recall all the details, the whole story. For doing this, we had to activate our memory, attention, perception, and almost all our cognitive abilities. So, the time spent on making up these theories isn’t wasted after all.
How crazy it may sound, Game of Thrones affected the way people think about Climate change. You have probably heard the phrase “Winter is coming” as it’s one of the most common phrases on the show and it expresses a major threat to the people of Westeros – the danger of long-term changes in temperature, in lifestyle, agriculture, and food supplies. The same applies to climate change which makes us think that Winter in Game of Thrones is a metaphor for climate change. Therefore, Night’s watch surely represents the scientists who are concerned about the climate, and King’s Landing could be the inactive public or the government who doesn’t care about possible dangers. Obviously, it’s just a metaphor and shortly we are not gonna face permanent winter and its accompanied threats, but global warming is a real challenge for today’s world and some people (like me) made connections between these two phenomena.
One of the most important messages from Game of Thrones is that power and love are fleeting but family is constant. The whole plot is built around the idea of families who sometimes drift apart, move across the countries, and may not see each other for years but the emotions and connectedness they had once always remained. Members of Lannisters, Targaryens, Baratheons, and other families fought against each other. But Starks found a way to reunite and in the end, they were the ones who won the Iron Throne.
How to rule a country
We all know that Game of Thrones is focused on the rulers of various countries of Westeros, their strategies of governing their kingdoms, and the competition between them for the legendary Iron Throne. Real-life governors have been impacted by their strategies and experience and now people are going to take all these things into account when it comes to state governance issues.
In conclusion, what I can say is that there are far more things other than the above-mentioned ones that have been affected by Game of Thrones. It changed the way we talk, we think, we describe things, or perceive the world. Seems like its influence is ever-lasting and the society will never be the same. For these reasons, we can state that Game of Thrones is one of the most influential contemporary television shows which has become a part of the collective consciousness in our society.