Editorial: Oh my GoT!

17 July 2017 Amy Hetherington

Editorial: Oh my GoT!

“Winter is Here” promises the poster at my local tram-stop as I shiver past in the morning. Tell me something I don’t know! I vowed when I moved south from Sydney last July I wouldn’t do the predictable and whinge about the weather. But, Melbourne, you make it hard. Melbourne winter is Westerosi cold. Yes, for millions of fans globally, #WinterIsHere promises more than bad weather; it heralds the new season of Game of Thrones, the TV show that’s become a global phenomenon.

It’s been said there are two types of people in this world: those who watch Game of Thrones and the rest. I’m in the former camp, a latecomer to the show (based on author George RR Martin’s book series) that screens across 170 countries. I was originally put off by the fantasy genre, but I was curious about the hype, especially when GoT fever exploded over social media in the wake of season three’s Red Wedding episode. Water cooler conversation was spiked with talk of Machiavellian deception. Why were my once-sensible friends pledging themselves House Stark or House Lannister? And why did everyone despise an anaemic-looking teenager called Joffrey?

Now into its seventh and second-last season, Game of Thrones has rampaged its way into pop culture. In Australia we’re naming our children after its characters, with baby girls more likely to be named Khaleesi or Arya than Kylie or Jane. It’s won numerous awards, yet also been widely criticised for excessive use of violence and nudity.

In this edition, fan Clem Bastow explains the colossus that is GoT, while Andrew Burns goes behind the battle lines on the Northern Ireland set. Non-fans, don’t despair: Chris Kennett gets you up to speed with a cheat’s guide. Plus, we’ve got loads more to offer, speaking with Tina Arena, Gillian Triggs and Billy Bragg.

Amy Hetherington, Editor

This article first appeared in Ed#541 of The Big Issue.