Occasionally over the first three seasons, and then every week since since season four, I’ve done a recap of the week’s episode of the Game of Thrones. And I have thoroughly—thoroughly—enjoyed it every single week. Not always the show so much, but having the chance to write the recap, spill my thoughts and sit back and watch the reactions.
In those recaps I’ve let fly with more pop culture references than a whole season of Gilmore Girls. I’ve experimented with different ways of retelling a story that was split across continents and characters. And I’ve indulged myself (twice) by recalling the day that I—yep, I—was on stage in London, alongside George R. R. Martin, competing against A Game of Thrones as a finalist to win the World Fantasy Award. And we both lost. So … a tie. And I guess you can now call it three times.
The comments on the recaps have provided me with fantastic reading material each week. I’ve loved seeing dozens of different points of view on the same events, More than once I’ve been jerked out of complacency on something I’ve just finished watching by a statement in the comments that has made me rethink not just my writing, but the basic nature of the events I’d seen. Sometimes I’ve disagreed. Sometimes I’ve even been angry. I have loved it.
When I was a kid, and we had only three networks, no Internet, and not a single way to record what we saw on our dino-visions, it wasn’t unusual for everyone to show up in homeroom talking about the same thing. Did you see that thing on the Six Million Dollar Man? Boy, what Fonzie did last night. I can’t believe Archie said that thing he said! But that feeling of being in community with everyone over a moment of entertainment has faded, faded, and faded over the years. It’s now such a rare thing, such a rare joy, that letting it go is near enough to anguish.
When I sit down tonight to watch the last episode of Game of Thrones, I’ll be sorry that a show I’ve enjoyed over a decade is coming to a close. Like everyone, I’ll be disappointed in how some story lines wrapped up, and I’ll be thinking about the outcome for characters I’ve become attached to over dozens of episodes. But much more than the show, I’ll miss you. I’ll miss this. I’ll miss that community.