Shame of Thrones 31/07/2014

I am a wuss. There has never been any dispute about this. I am lucky if I can make my way through a 15 cert without the after effects of whatever I’ve seen haunting me for days to come. This lack of balls causes me much angst, as I am an avid film watcher and know I have missed out on what are no doubt  phenomenal films because I just can’t cope with gratuitous violence.


I think I have an over active imagination, handy when you’re a writer, but not much use if you find it excludes you from whatever the most popular trend of the moment is. In this case it is Game of Thrones.

Do you have any idea how much of a social outcast you can feel when even the quizzes on Facebook are geared to which sodding character you would be in Game of Thrones? Talk about feeling dejected.

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For anyone out there that has not yet come across this HBO TV series, it is essentially a fantasy fiction saga that relies heavily on sex and violence to bring its story to life. I will not bore anyone with the plot outlines or synopsis. If you want to know more then Wikipedia is your friend, or else picture it as my other half does – Dallas with swords.


The perturbing thing for me, is how many people I know that are hooked on this show. Even my partner has become addicted and furtively disappears to the darker recesses of our house to have lengthy catch up sessions of his now favourite programme. Even more worryingly, I swear I caught him looking at websites for do it yourself torture chambers.


The thing that pisses me off the most, is that if GOT didn’t include all this violence, it would actually be the kind of thing I would watch. I love fantasy fiction and feel cheated that I am excluded from watching it just because I can’t stomach people being chopped up. To further compound my feelings of exclusion, I have just found out that the series now includes the loves of my life – Dragons. This show is so much my thing – but I can’t watch it.


It also contains lots of sex, but before you stop reading because you have pigeon holed me into the Mary Whitehouse category of prudes (showing my age now, google her) I can actually cope with gratuitous sex. But no one can tell me that watching pregnant women get slaughtered, castration, nail pulling, flaying, crushed skulls or eyes being pushed through their sockets can be deemed  a healthy, hearty form of entertainment. And before anyone accuses me of being a hypocrite, no I haven’t watched it, I got that information from an article in The Daily Telegraph.


So why are 14 million people addicted to this particular programme? Is it the violence? Is the story line so abysmal that the writers think the only way they can keep it interesting and the viewer’s coming back is by providing them with the modern day equivalent of gladiatorial games?

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Well, according to my partner - the recent convert - the answer is no. The story lines can apparently hold their own. The casting is brilliant, the costumes and cinematography award winning. So why the need for this extra dimension of gratuitous violence? Realism maybe?


I don’t think so. If the story is that good you’re not telling me that all these people out there would stop watching if they didn’t get their weekly dose of vomit inducing violence. The sex, I am sure would be enough to keep people hooked!


So is it the GOT production team, then, that are just twisted and get off on coming up with bigger and better ways to shock the poor unsuspecting viewer?

Is it just me, or is it slightly disturbing that millions of people tune into this thing to enjoy watching people get raped, tortured and killed on a weekly basis? If I want to be shocked and stunned I just watch the bloody news. There’s plenty of this stuff going on for real all over the world, although admittedly the costumes and the scenery aren’t as pretty in real life.


I just think it’s a shame when people, who create something so obviously brilliant, chose to exclude a massive section of their potential audience. Or am I deluding myself into thinking I am the only person out there that actually can’t hack this stuff?


Being the naturally depressive little bunny that I am, knowing that this many people enjoy this level of violence worried me, until I did a bit of comforting research. This is what I came up with in my quest for reassurance that civilisation was not falling apart.


There are around 7 billion people in the world, about 33% of them own a TV. Out of that 33% a mere 0.2% watch Game of Thrones.


See, I’m feeling fluffier already.


Add to this that the lovely under the watershed Dr Who can clock in a 77 million worldwide audience and I begin to feel my concerns are quashed. I can be safe in the knowledge that you sickos out there - many of you my friends - are most definitely in the minority despite the hype that surrounds this show.


I should have been content to leave things there. I had appeased my feelings of being different and concluded that I was actually in the majority for once. But then I decided to delve further into worldwide ratings to see which TV show actually got the greatest audience.


The results I am afraid, gave me far more concerns than anything that GOT could ever throw up.


With a staggering 350 million viewers worldwide, the most watched TV programme on the planet is…


Top Gear.


Now I really do despair of humanity.

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