What to Say About Game of Thrones if You’ve Never Actually Seen Game of Thrones

Game of Thrones

Bartosz Kosowski – Blackbird Illustration

If you’re like me, you have no idea what your coworkers are talking about in the break room, before meetings, over lunch or in the hallways. Well, I’m here to tell you: they’re talking about Game of Thrones. What is Game of Thrones? Who the hell knows.

From one Game of Thrones-nonfan to another: here is my official cheat sheet*, specially designed to guide you through the inevitable office “GoT” discussion and successfully pretend to have something in common with Brandon from accounting. 

*To keep my advice authentically ignorant, I did exactly no research for this article.

“Cersei is so badass.”

I don’t have even the faintest clue who this character is or what she’s all about. Actually, I’m not even 100 percent sure that Cersei is female, it just kind of sounds like a feminine name. I think that she (he?) is an important character this season (season seven?), because I suddenly seem to hear her (his?) name everywhere. Honestly, my basis for this comment stems from being physically present during conversation where GoT fans mentioned the badassery of female Game of Thrones characters, so using it should be a safe bet.

“I was so torn up after the Red Wedding.”

This is a Game of Thrones episode that will inevitably come up in almost every GoT conversation, despite the fact that it aired about four years ago. Apparently, a lot of beloved characters died during the Red Wedding, because someone important threw a wedding and someone evil attacked it (I think?). GoT fans are still really sad about this episode, and any mention of it almost always elicits a visibly emotional response.

“Can you believe they killed off so many characters in the last episode?”

Word on the web is that this show is violent (see above). Odds are that multiple people died during the most recent episode, whatever that episode may be.

“Jon Snow is the shit.”

Again, not sure who this character is or what he does or why his name is Jon, the number one most boring name in the English lexicon. It seems like he’s been around for a while. According to my googling, he may or may not be dead, since the third result on Google Instant is “jon snow dead.” (I accidentally did some research, okay?! I needed to know whether the name is spelled “Jon” or “John.”)

“Incest, am I right?”

GoT is widely described as “soft-core porn.” But not only does the show include a lot of sex and nudity (read: boobs), it features a consistent stream of incest. Apparently, some siblings got it on in the early seasons. Now, another character is well on his way to putting it in his aunt. If you reference incest, chances are those GoT nerds will launch right into their thoughts on the will-they-won’t-they of Jon Snow and bangable first cousin. (Note that this conversation piece may not be appropriate for the workplace, but if you do choose to use it, it’ll definitely liven up your workday.)

“Winter is coming.”

I’ve been hearing this phrase for the past five years, and still have no idea what it means. It sounds like a bad thing though. I mean, no one likes winter, right? Does this mean that Jon Snow is coming? Or are these seasonal themes coincidental?

“How about those dragons?”

There are dragons in this show. That’s about as much as I know about GoT dragons. I think they’re just normal dragons, whatever normal dragons are.

And there you have it, my fellow GoT-ignorant Americans. Hopefully these broad, generalized GoT-geared statements and questions will last you through at least three awkward office lunches.

About the author

Molly Cornfield

I love language, turning trends into stories, and the proper use of an em dash. Check out my personal website at MollyCornfield.com.

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