The Anatomy of a Game of Thrones Fan

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The Anatomy of a Game of Thrones Fan

Illustration: Akshita Monga

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till humming the thumping opening theme of his favourite show, which has been stuck in his head for five years now, a young man of 24 wakes up and starts his laptop. The browser tabs full of Game of Thrones forums and subreddits that he was browsing only last night (if you count 5 am as night) are open. He’s done it enough to know that in the age of the internet, you don’t stumble upon spoilers, spoilers stumble upon you. So he sticks to the threads tagged with “No Spoilers”. He stares at his incomplete reply on one of the forums he had been browsing before sleep finally caught up with him. “Arya Stark is actually a Targaryen.” He’s only one of the many obsessive Game of Thrones fans creeping out of their proverbial hibernation across the world as we speak. Think of the internet as Westeros, and these aficionados as the White Walkers.

As the seventh season of the world’s most popular show went on air this morning, the otherwise non-nerdy people across the world turn into geeks, navigating its labyrinth of fan theories and speculation. But the most obsessive fan stands out for the sheer gravity of his conviction toward the world of Game of Thrones. He knows more about the Red Keep than Maester Pycelle, can recite the Night’s Watch oath from memory, and can tell you what to feed a growing dragon. All of his waking hours are spent deeply thinking about the increasingly ominous fates of various characters, often costing him his sanity, or, in extreme cases, his job. He regularly picks fights with his colleagues/classmates about the most seemingly mundane details of the show (though he would prefer Trial By Combat), and it won’t be until the last episode of the season that he actually realises the error of his ways, only to fall back into the same loop next year. He’s like Batman, in the way that he’s awake every night and doesn’t have much of a life to speak of, but unlike Batman, he’s neither the hero we need nor deserve.

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