I came across an online questionnaire about Game of Thrones recently. Being the ardent fan that I am, I wasted no time in filling out my responses. Here are some of my answers to the subjective questions:
How important is Game of Thrones to you, both as something to follow and enjoy, and as a commentary on our world?
Can you tell us why you have made these choices?
I like the complex characters, how they battle with their conscious and how they are neither good nor bad. The massive shades of grey in each character mirrors the human tendencies perfectly! Also, it is fascinating how a single event goes ahead to create a huge, irreversible ripple effect in the broader scheme of things.
I enjoy the show tremendously because of the compelling story-telling, fabulously inter-weaved with the shocking moments and big reveals. I am deeply invested in each character, to the level of being addicted to their journeys!
Is there one debate or controversy that has particularly stood out for you? What were your views on it?
Oh the horrors! All the debates regarding the portrayal of rape on screen, particularly that of Cersei Lannister, that too right next to Joffrey’s corpse. It was handled a lot differently in the books, as in it was consensual, and so, the idea of the show Jaime violating Cersei in a moment of mourning was appalling.
How do you feel about spoilers? Can you tell us about an actual case where you particularly felt this?
I am neutral about spoilers now because I have obsessed enough about the show to know all the theories and prophecies, so I sometimes have a fair amount of idea about what is going to unfold on screen.
However, I do believe that spoilers should not be propagated on social media. The cast and crew of the show put a lot of efforts to give us the best surprises; that commands our respect!
What’s your preferred way to watch Game of Thrones? With others, or alone? One episode at a time, or several? The moment it’s available, or delayed until you are ready? Live broadcast, streamed, or DVD? And do you like to rewatch episodes?
I prefer to watch it alone. Since I watch the episode as soon as it airs, so I have no choice but to watch one at a time. I stream it online.
Yes, I rewatch the episodes, but I do that when the entire season is already out and then I binge watch the whole thing.
Who has been your favourite character (whether or not they have managed to survive this far!)? Can you tell us why?
It is almost impossible for me to name a favorite character on the show. I know that the vast majority would probably pick Tyrion Lannister as their favorite, but I tend to lean towards the other Lannister brother.
Jaime has had one of the most impressive character arcs in the show. From being someone we hated off the bat, to coming to understand the complicated man he is underneath. It is widely accepted that once removed far away from Cersei, Jaime’s personality began to shine through his tainted armor. Be it his chivalry and vulnerability towards Brienne of Tarth or his short-lived moment of fatherhood with Myrcella, Ser Jaime of the House Lannister is quickly becoming someone I root for!
Is there another character you have most admired for the ‘game’ they have played (whether or not it paid off in the end!)? Again, can you tell us why?
Littlefinger is pretty good at playing the game, but I don’t really admire him as a character. The one character whose game planning and strategies I do admire would be Varys. The spider has been weaving his web since long ago and he seems about ready to catch the final reward.
Game of Thrones is obviously based on an (unfinished) book series. Is that important to you in any way?
The good thing about Game of Thrones being based on the ASOIAF series is that once the show ends, I have the perfect way to continue my obsession by starting with the books. Also, had the books not provided for a solid material, the show probably never would have been born!
Are there other films, books, TV series or games that you would compare with Game of Thrones? Can you tell us how?
The only one that comes to my mind is the Indian mythological epic “Mahabharat”, as it unfolds the story of warring families, and amidst the great battles and divine intervention, there lie life lessons on morality, business, psychology, among a plethora of others.
Game of Thrones presents us with many different lands and kinds of people. Has there been one which has particularly intrigued you?
I used to find Dorne fascinating. It was truly a land ahead of its time, with a non-patriarchal kingdom, open culture and peaceful surroundings. This, of course, ended preemptively with the demise of Oberyn Martell, but I would still want to learn more about the Dornish way of living.
Do you have a most memorable moment from the series, one that you like retelling to other people? Could you retell it to us?
To pick a single moment from a grand series like Game of Thrones is a daunting task. The first one that comes to my mind right now is from the latest season in which we tragically learn how Hodor becomes “Hodor”. The moment young Wylis collapses to the ground, repeatedly screaming “Hold the door” as he experiences his future self protect Bran from the wights, simultaneously being born the man he was destined to be and succumbing to his fate, is one of the most emotional deaths I have ever experienced on a TV show. It is one moment that is forever etched in my heart.
Has there been a scene which has made you particularly uncomfortable or angry? Can you tell us about it?
Cersei’s Walk of Shame made me uncomfortable. To see a strong and arrogant woman like her be reduced to almost nothing; to see her pride shred into a million pieces in front of the entire town. It was understandable why she needed to go through this, but nonetheless, it was very uncomfortable to watch.
And finally: “Winter is coming” – surely the series’ most famous saying. Ah, but what exactly is “Winter”? What does it make you think of?
It makes me think of troubled times that need to be endured to become stronger, that need to be overcome to become wiser, that need to be defeated to become better.
I loved how the questionnaire made me delve deeper into why I like the show, the characters and the story.
For fans who would like to contribute to the research project, go to Questeros !