On Sunday night "Game of Thrones" cleaned up rather nicely at the Emmys. The HBO series pulled wins for drama, supporting actor, writing and directing (all for drama series). Truly it is time for all you "Game of Thrones" holdouts to give it up and let in the magical wonder that is George R.R. Martin's murder, death and dragons show. Lest you be shipped off to the island of misfit television watchers with my mom, who insists on ignoring "The Wire."
FULL COVERAGE: Emmys 2015
6. Your parents/grandparents/ex-roommate canceled their HBO Go account.
All these add-on cable packages can get expensive. Tack on Netflix, Hulu, Amazon Prime and the random, drunken Vudu purchases of "Entourage: The Movie" and it adds up. If you're trying to be frugal and HBO didn't make the cut for monthly expenditures, so be it. But Sunday night in a clever joke/smart marketing ploy from the cable network, Emmys host Andy Samberg shared his HBO Now account information with the world. So HBO is now free for as long as HBO wants to play this game.
5. There's about to be an onslaught of "Game of Thrones" ripoffs on television.
Why get sucked into a "Game of Thrones" knockoff when you could watch the real thing? "The Bastard Executioner," "The Last Kingdom," even MTV is even making its own teenage fantasy series based on Terry Brooks' "Shannara" series. Remember what happened on NBC after "Friends"? Don't watch another network's attempt at "Joey"; watch the real thing.
4. You were going to wait until all of the books come out.
Really? You're interested in reading pages of this exceedingly popular pop culture novel series and yet completely aloof to the vast amount of spoilers that exist in the ether of the Internet? There's a chance we may never get a last book. Anything can happen, and series author George R.R. Martin, bless his tiny hat, isn't some immortal highlander. The books have officially caught up to the TV series, everything from here on out will be new and loud and spoiler-filled. If you've avoided the great Jon Snow debate, that's really trying. There's no way that can last; something big and beautiful will eventually be spoiled, and you don't want to find out Khal Drogo's fate off some guy's T-shirt at a bus stop. That is no way to live, my friend.
3. It seems confusing.
A fair point. Let's be real; for a few weeks in we were all calling the Lannisters "the blonds" and the Starks "the brunettes." And then there were the super-blond Targaryens, which made things even more confusing. It gets hard, and it's easy to flop names like Renly Baratheon with Robert Baratheon. But after a episode or two, none of that matters. The action and twists are so good you get caught up, and then the next thing you know, whammo, you're charting the family tree of the Tyrells and hoping for more time in Dorne. Just kidding, Dorne was terrible. Also there is a veritable mountain of fan-made family trees and maps a mere Google-image search away. Just be warned, there be spoilers on the Internet.
2. You'd rather go to the movies.
You like big, beautiful, gut-gripping epics? Check out "Game of Thrones'" "Hardhome," "The Mountain and the Viper," "Baelor," "The Rains of Castamere" or "Blackwater." These episodes are the tip of the spear for the series that shoots on epic (and yes the cliched word choice of epic works here) mountain backdrops and in gorgeous locations such as Croatia, Iceland, Morocco, Spain, Ireland ... the list goes on. The risks and rewards are real. The world-building is immaculate and the characters not only manage to continually surprise but grow with time as well. Some may grow toward the grotesque, but at least each character's motivation comes from within and not some obligatory curled mustache he is inevitably drawn to twist with villainous glee. "Game of Thrones" characters are motivated and rooted in their own past or preoccupations; they're funny, scary, dense and intriguing. Combine the landscapes with the characters and the plotting from Martin (and shorwrunners David Benioff and D.B. Weiss) and you have a series that could take on a very large crop of movies that have been released in the last few years.
1. It's too "fantasy."
Never has there been a series that attempts to tackle the fanciful or unworldly with such aplomb that you almost forget that dragons are not real. Gigantic feats are undertaken, and this series leaves audience members slack-jawed with "How did they do that?" awe. Also, there are no easy magic fixes nor are there wizards with long beards and tall hats who conjure walking broomsticks or unicorns to ride into battle. The magic is used sparingly but pointedly. There are no jars of potions or wands, but religions and spirituality. There was zero magic in the first season until the very last minutes of the series. Even though this is a make-believe world, when you're dead you're dead. Well, actually…