Why Game of Thrones is so popular

Game of Thrones is an American fantasy drama television series created by show-runners David Benioff and D. B. Weiss. It is an adaption of a series of fantasy novels called “A Song of Ice and Fire” written by George R. R. Martin. The first book in the series is titled “A Game of Thrones”, which is what the show-runners decided to name the television series. The series is set on the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos and interweaves several plot lines with a large ensemble cast. The first narrative arc follows a civil war among several noble houses for the Iron Throne of the Seven Kingdoms; the second covers the attempts to reclaim the throne by the exiled last scion of the realm’s deposed ruling dynasty; the third chronicles the rising threat of the impending winter and the legendary creatures and fierce peoples of the North. (Game of Thrones wiki)

For the full synopsis of the shows first season click here. 


The show premiered on HBO on April 17, 2011 and is currently in its sixth season which premiered on April 24, 2016. The Game of thrones series has been nominated for many awards including 4 Golden Globes, 7 Writers Guild of America awards, 18 Saturn Awards, and a Peabody Award. The show has received 86 Emmy Awards nominations, with 26 wins. In 2015, it set a record for the winning the most number of Emmy Awards for a series in a single year, with 12 wins out of 24 nominations. Full list of awards and nominations received by Game of Thrones. Full list of awards and nominations received by Game of Thrones. Besides winning a lot of awards the series has also received a lot of praise from critics with the show landing in the second position of IMDb’s highest rated TV series chart, click here for the full list. Reports in 2015 for the fifth season of Game of Thrones showed that the show had averaged nearly 20 million total views per episode and also that Game of Thrones is the most pirated show ever.

The opening title sequence won the 2011 Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Main Title Design

Reasons for Popularity

One of the first reasons is the politics involved in the show. Game of Thrones is all about the power struggle between the people who want to rule and it is the first show that really puts in emphasis on the politics of ruling. The show has become very good at showing people rise up to power then lose power, we see characters start with nothing to becoming the most powerful character in the show. With the dynamic shifts in power the show generates a lot of curiosity and favouritism from its audience.


The show is complex and cognitively engaging. The plot is very complex and you can easily get lost in it. The complexity motivates people to watch more to fully understand and “hooks” the audience to stay tuned for what will happen next. This show adds value to those people who like to re-watch seasons of shows they have seen before. Every time I have re-watched the Game of Thrones series I was able to understand or pick up on something that I never noticed the first time. The characters are very complex and diverse and have a lot of layers to them too. Because the show has so many characters it is very easy for the audience to relate to someone on the show.

Another reason is the show has a very good production value, I mean it is an HBO show so this is a given. The landscapes are very beautifully done and if anyone is a fan of Lord of the Rings you’ll love the perfect mix of CGI and natural landmarks used to really make the show come to life. Also the costuming is very highly detailed and makes the world Game of Thrones is set in believable.


A big reason people will say Game of Thrones is popular is because it offers such good escapism. I believe this is shown to us by everything and everyone having an element of logic that they follow. But I think it also helps that the show has some cool mysteries on the supernatural forces at work in Game of Thrones. While most other shows will shove your face with magic and mythical creatures Game of Thrones only shows these sparingly and sprinkles them in just enough to make you want to see more.

The dialogue and writing for the show is very captivating and is a very important part of the show. You can find yourself watching a scene where people are just talking and nothing else is happening, but just that scene alone can be a very powerful scene, which generates a lot of conversations between the viewers of the show. The use of different languages and accents as well convey very well the diversity on show and even the way the characters lines are said make them more believable.

Deanerys Targaryen with a white stalion

Lastly one of the reasons is that the war, sex and gore mixed with interesting plots can add a lot of shock value and not to mention the plot twists and unexpected surprises that can happen to a character you’ve grown fond of. Game of Thrones is very good at showing you the tragedies of war and a lot of the scenes that depicted sexual violence have caused a fair amount of controversy. George R. R. Martin has responded to some of the minor backlash saying, “To omit them from a narrative centered on war and power would have been fundamentally false and dishonest, and would have undermined one of the themes of the books: that the true horrors of human history derive not from orcs and Dark Lords, but from ourselves. We are the monsters. (And the heroes too). Each of us has within himself the capacity for great good, and great evil.”

CS 67 26th October 2010
George R. R. Martin


Game of Thrones is arguably the most popular television series to date and is a very highly acclaimed show. The show is successful because no matter who you are there is going to be something on the show that will intrigue you and keep you watching. Personally I didn’t start watching Game of Thrones straight away because I was put off by the conversations I heard from people talking about how graphic it can get. However, after watching a few episodes then watching the first season I can easily say it’s one of the best TV shows I have ever seen. For me the characters of the show are why I watch the series, I like how there is a lot of consequences for everything and I like how the characters evolve as the show goes on.

Here is the trailer for the first season of Game of Thrones



Game of Thrones. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Game_of_Thrones

Jessica Rawden. (2015). Game of Thrones Ratings Are Getting Even Bigger. Retrieved from http://www.cinemablend.com/television/Game-Thrones-Ratings-Getting-Even-Bigger-72886.html

Ernesto. (2015). Game of Thrones Most Pirated TV-Show of 2015. Retrieved from torrentfreak.com/game-of-thrones-most-pirated-tv-show-of-2015/

Ryan Hill. (2014). Game of Thrones: 10 Reasons It’s Best TV Show Ever. Retrieved from http://whatculture.com/tv/game-of-thrones-10-reasons-its-the-best-tv-show-ever?page=1

Why is Game of Thrones so popular. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.speeli.com/articles/view/Why-is-game-of-thrones-so-popular

Alison Flood. (2014). George RR Martin defends Game of Thrones’ sexual violence. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/books/2014/may/06/george-rr-martin-game-of-thrones-sexual-violence


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