Okay, I lied. I haven’t watched any episodes of Game of Thrones, although thanks to its perpetual presence in all forms of media–especially now in its last season–it feels like I have.
I have also not read any of the books.
I have seen HBO timidly suggest that Trump (still not kidnapped by Bigfoot) not use Game of Thrones typography and imagery for political purposes. Trump seems more interested in continuing to debase the presidency of the United States, though. Winter is coming indeed.
Instead, let me use this to briefly highlight one of the weird aspects of online media. Most of the sites I read are primarily focused on tech, but they all include reviews of books, TV shows and movies now, because they have broadened their scope (probably to stay competitive with everyone else broadening their scope). The effect of this is I see a lot of GoT coverage without even looking for it.
And it is weird. It is weird–and I point out that this weird thing is not limited to GoT, it’s just the most prominent example out there–because in addition to providing the usual reviews or previews of the show, they are also providing analysis. Here are some headlines from the articles:
“There’s a major flaw in Winterfell’s battle strategy on Game of Thrones”
“Here’s why Sansa and Theon’s reunion was so emotional”
“Tormund Giantsbane’s ridiculous origin story is different in the Game of Thrones books”
“Who had the most merciful death on Game of Thrones? Science has an answer”
It seems like an attempt at water cooler-style conversation, just aimed at many thousands of readers instead of a couple of co-workers. Some of the topics are nerdy. Some delve into the minutia of obsessive fans that carefully examine every element of something they like. And it all seems weird to me, because this is the kind of conversation that nerdy friends would have, not something you’d read about in an online tech news publication. Maybe it’s just me drifting ever-closer to the “old man yells at cloud” phase. Maybe this is perfectly fine because you can now share your nerdy conversations with thousands of others in the comments of these stories.
Maybe nerdism (?) is something unlike riding a bike, where you can actually lose your nerdiness over time if you don’t keep nerding it up.
Maybe I’ve used the word “nerd” too many times already.
I still think this is weird.
Now I’m off to read a cheap one-off horror novel I found on Bookbub. I’ll write a review and no one will even know (It’s okay, my social media presence is something I cultivate as well as an actual garden, which is to say not at all), and my nerdity will decline just that much more. And I’ll start hiking my pants up to my nipples for no discernible reason.