The disgruntled fans of Game of Thrones and why I get it.
It happens in just about every major television fandom. Sometimes it’s called “jumping the shark” , you know, that moment in a TV show where the creative direction throws something at its audience that has the effect of driving its hardcore fanbase away. There are websites devoted to it, hell there is even a YouTube show that is based of it. Sometimes those moments are a gradual thing, sometimes those moments are something that even show producers were unprepared for, and sometimes it’s a moment that everyone sees the instant that happens.
Of course I’m talking about that moment in Game of Thrones.
For those of you that aren’t aware. The mega popular medieval show aired a recent episode where one of the female characters is raped. When this scene aired it caused a huge uproar within it’s devoted fanbase. Largely women fans of the show. Several people have vowed to never watch the show again, Geek website The Mary Sue announced they would no longer be covering the show due to the scene, and even a senator from Missouri publically said she would no longer watch the show.
Now, I am not a fan of the show, I do not watch Game of Thrones at all. ‘Why the hell should I care’ some of you are saying. What the hell are you doing writing about a show you don’t watch?
Because I get it.
I’m not writing about the episode itself, nor the show. I’m talking about the fan reaction to it. The complaints about the scene are sound ones for a fan of the show to have. Rape had already been used as a focus point in the show already. The character and the scene were drastically different than the source books, and as of yet, the scene really didn’t add anything to an already downtrodden character. Sure, some complaints are just “OMG RAPE!” complaints, but with all respect, even I could tell you that if rape is that much of an issue to you, then why are you watching this show to begin with? Anyway, the complaints of what did this scene add to the show and what was the point of all this was I found myself sympathizing with the disheartened fans.
I’m a wrestling fan after all.
Hell, when all this chatter got started I didn’t give two craps about it either. But as the case was laid out with these concerns and complaints. I found myself thinking back to all the times I’ve asked those same questions in the last 25 years of being a fan. Heel turns that made no sense? Been there. Dumb moments meant to “shock the audience”? Been there. Jeez, I started asking myself those questions every time I watched Impact for more than 5 minutes.
And of course the snarky reaction someone always has is the “you’ll be back” reply. The ones that come from people who think that being a big fan of a show means you have no self control and that you can’t make decisions for yourself, thinking you are on the level of a crack addict or something. Honestly, screw that. Those people don’t tell you what to do and it doesn’t matter what they think if you return to watching or not. you aren’t any better or worse either way.
Of course the other side of the story is the fans of the show treating the other fans of the show. If you quit watching because of this, great. You will find something else to enjoy soon enough. There is a lot out there. If you decide to keep watching the show, great! Keep watching something you enjoy. But no one should be telling anyone else to make that decision. No matter what reasons to have that lead you to your choice, they are your reasons, not someone else’s. Hammering your beliefs of how it’s everyone or no one on something like this doesn’t tend to do anyone any good. Do your thing, you don’t need to justify it to anyone, and remember it is your decision and not that you made it for someone else.
So yeah, if you have friends on Facebook or twitter that have written out they are not fans anymore, then let them be. They aren’t you and vice versa. Enjoy your fandoms, no matter what you decide.
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