The experience of following from the beginning the transformation of a minority series into a great mass phenomenon.
Nobody saw it coming. They were different times. In the United States, half the series were produced now. In Spain had not heard of Netflix and the invasion of online platforms was far. We did not know it but, for 2011, the golden age of the series was ending to give way to another era in which the amount and variety of television production would be totally incomprehensible. Of course, then HBO already had that quality mark that had been earned with The Sopranos, The Wire, Two meters underground, Deadwood … Now it brought us something else, one with houses in permanent confrontation for a throne, a world medieval divided into kingdoms and certain doses of fantasy (at first, little, then much more).
Those of us who had not read the books (we still have not given enough thanks to the readers of Song of Ice and Fire for keeping so many secrets so well) we face Game of Thrones as a series more: in this case with expectations high for everything that was said, but also with enough distrust. We did not know but we were embarking on one of the greatest collective experiences that television has given.
Growing up the dragon
The series did not always have the dimensions it has now. At first, it was only relevant among a small group of spectators whom the rest looked over their shoulders. “They are geeks things.” But little by little, it became a regular reference. The politicians mentioned it. Everything could be analyzed in the light of Game of Thrones. As it gained in strength, it accentuated its relevance.
Read more: Nineteen ‘Game of Thrones’ mistakes
Now, after its end, it is time for confessions. Who writes these lines approached the series with many reservations. The temptation to abandon rondo throughout the second season and even part of the third. The long reflections, the palace intrigues, the number of characters, names, houses … It was not (nor is) my favorite series. For years I was not even a fan of Game of Thrones. You could say that he pretended to be so that I would not be left out. But it was worth insisting. When the deaths and surprises began to arrive, there was no turning back.
The tracking increased with each turn. With the fifth season, we thought that it could be a good idea to make summaries of all the episodes, a detailed follow-up that has been gaining readers with each season, very loyal. Yes it was a good idea, apparently. It was also the first time that Game of Thrones traveled to Spain to record some scenes. Living from within one of those filming, even if it was only for a few brief minutes, was quite an experience.
Interview the actors. Read theories without stopping. Swallow many, too many, spoilers. What for others is fun and entertainment, for television journalists it is work, and a very serious job because it moves many people. We write about things that everyone has an opinion about. And they tend to be very strong opinions. The desire to know, to read, to contrast, to theorize, that has awakened Game of thrones has made us partakers of the phenomenon, in pokers of a fire that feeds back. The inevitable over-analysis (“can not go so fast”, “military strategy is wrong”, “mimimimimi”, “you before molaba”) has reduced the fun in some occasions. It is not the first series that occurs or will be the last.
The Sunday of the end of the series has been a rare day for those of us who have worked directly or indirectly with Game of Thrones. An emotional roller coaster has shaken me in a way that I do not remember having felt before with another series. Of course, it is not the first, nor will it be the last. And each one is different and special. But they have been many years together with a very intense bond. Years of work that only made sense thanks to those who were on the other side devouring everything we wrote. Thank you, infinite thanks for joining us on this trip.
It has been a joy to live Game of thrones so intensely. In the same way that Lost changed us the way to follow and watch a series, it is possible that the story of the Stark, Lannister and Targaryen was the last great collective experience serialized on television. Or at least take a long time to live something like that again. Times have changed and now we see the series when and how we want. Stranger Things was a phenomenon with very different characteristics. We do not comment on each episode all at once. We do not read theories and we look for information every week. I hope that in a few years we will read this and think: “what delusions, we did not know that what was coming was even better”.
Game of thrones has connected people who did not know they had things in common. People are heard talking about the series on the street, at work and at the next table in a restaurant. And between us we look at each other with a smile of recognition. Westeros has united us. After eight years playing the game of thrones, life afterwards is presumed sad and lonely.
Valar Morghulis. All men must die, and Game of thrones too.
Now, as Jon Snow once said, “my guard is over.” Thanks for the company in this long guard. It has been a pleasure.