Unless you live under a rock there’s absolutely no way you have never heard of Game of Thrones. You might already be a fan or you might be curious about watching it. Here’s what you need to know.
The show is now into it’s seventh and penultimate season and has a truly worldwide audience and thanks to the internet age it is screened more or less simultaneously to avoid viewers in some countries being victims of spoilers.
It is so popular that there has been some quite serious money thrown around by networks desperate to have the show as their flagship programme.
Few programmes outside of The Simpsons, Baywatch and Dallas have ever had such a vast international reach.
It is produced by HBO who are no strangers to crafting TV hits, having already got The Sopranos and The Wire in their arsenal.
Taking a gamble
It’s hard to imagine a time when everyone wasn’t talking about Game of Thrones, but it wasn’t always the case. Back in 2011 when HBO first started to make the programme there wasn’t the huge interest there is now. They were spending heavily – more than most other networks could ever afford – and it was a slow burner. Luckily they persisted and buy 2014 it was their biggest hit. It is now sold to almost every country in the world and the DVD and associated merchandise sales are incredibly successful. So successful that some of the show’s major ‘names’ such as Peter Dinklage are reported to earn $500,000 per episode.
The creator’s dream
George RR Martin wrote the first book in the Song of Ice and Fire series in 1994 and there was interest in a film adaptation which happily never happened. Why happily? Because a 90s film would have lacked the excitement and great production of a 21st century TV version. Thanks to fans of the fantasy novels there was already a decent fanbase waiting for the show when it first aired.
The TV series has now passed the timeline of the written series and viewers will be able to see the conclusion next year, long before the final book hits the shelves. The worry is that George RR Martin will live long enough to conclude the writing of the books, although he reportedly met several years ago with TV executives to reveal the plot to them so they could at least finish the TV version should he die.