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part of a small rebellion | by maryann johanson

geek fandom continues to mystify mainstream media

Game of Thrones

Oh, BBC News Magazine, you’re adorable:

Game of Thrones: Why does it inspire such devotion among fans?

The third series of American TV show Game of Thrones is hotly anticipated. But the behaviour of fans is almost as intriguing as the action on screen.

A lot of British people may still not have heard of it, but Game of Thrones has quite a cult following.

The lumbering giant of a show – which sees seven families competing for an iron throne in a world of wolves and dragons, sword fights and Shakespearian feuds – is in some ways an unconventional hit.

The passion and the extreme devotion of fans has created a phenomenon unlike anything attached to rivals such as 1960s advertising drama Mad Men, or even the hugely popular Sopranos and Lost, which both attracted more than 10 million viewers.

The activism of fans is apparent on craft sites like Etsy and Folksy. Someone has collated the 10 weirdest “Game Of Thrones” objects, including a direwolf handpuppet and a Dothraki onesie, and elsewhere replica dragon eggs are on sale.

I mean, it’s so completely mysterious that people could get so caught up in something that doesn’t matter. So I look forward to the BBC’s upcoming features “Arsenal Supporters: Why Are They So Devoted?” and “Yankees vs Mets: Seriously, People, What In the Actual Fuck?”

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  • Chris Mankey


  • Dr. Rocketscience

    To put this in more congenial terms, when Prankster36 posted this (almost exactly 2 years before this comment) GoT’s average weekly viewership of 14 million trailed The Sopranos’s 18.2 million, a difference of almost 25%. So, Prankster36 had good reason to think that GoT might never be as popular, and had no way to know that a mere 14 months later HBO would crown GoT their new “most viewed program”.

  • Chris Mankey

    I wasn’t saying that he didn’t have good reason to think what he was saying was true. It just as surprising to me as it would have been to him then.

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