On YouTube, ‘Game of Thrones’ Superfans Prepare for the End

“Game of Thrones” is a fantasy saga, of course, but it is also a mystery, one that has obsessed fans throughout its run. While many big narrative questions have been answered, like the one about Jon Snow’s true parentage, several remain as the show nears its end, including two of the most pressing: Who will survive? And who, if anyone, will take the Iron Throne?

Fans wrestling with these and other questions can find support on YouTube, which harbors a community of “Thrones” sleuths that is seemingly as populous and deep as the world George R.R. Martin created in his “A Song of Ice and Fire” novels, the inspiration for the series.

[Want exclusive “Game of Thrones” interviews and news, as well as the internet’s best articles on that week’s episode? Sign up for our Season 8 newsletter here.]

Alt Shift X, Emergency Awesome, Gray Area, Ideas of Ice and Fire, Lucifer Means Lightbringer, Nerd Soup, New Rockstars, Talking Thrones — these are just a handful of channels whose creators scrutinize book chapters and TV episodes in search of bread crumbs and Easter eggs to help enlighten “Game of Thrones” devotees.

“There are so many good channels out there,” said Reuben Natal of Nerd Soup. “The show is overwhelming with all the information and the characters, the settings, the names, so that’s why it has opened the market for all of these channels to review it, to speculate and theorize.”

For many of these “Thrones” pundits, the urge to dissect the show on YouTube stemmed from not knowing what else to do with what had become a consuming obsession.

“Eventually I was like, ‘I have so many points, and I’m repeating them at work, and I’m repeating them with friends and with my girlfriend,’” said Filup Molina of New Rockstars. “‘I should just make a video and send it around.’”

MJ Johnson started Gray Area in 2017 partly to feel less alone in her “Thrones” fixation — her family and friends didn’t watch the show. “It’s an outlet, and the fandom and community are amazing,” she said.

Over the past few weeks, “Game of Thrones” scholars have endured many sleepless nights, and even more await as their watch is ending. The analysis videos can take days to complete, and both Molina and Natal admitted to pulling all-nighters to post their recaps on time.

“I’m losing my mind with all the work we’ve already done, and I feel like the real work hasn’t even begun,” Natal said.

But their love of the “Game” keeps them going. “These are the best storytellers of our time,” Molina said. “These are the people who are the best in the world at what they do, and they are all coming together on one project.”

Howard was a fan of the books years before the television show debuted in 2011. “The series balances grittiness with elements of fantasy in a way that most other fantasy series just can’t,” he said.

Natal, who didn’t catch “Game of Thrones” fever until the end of Season 5, said: “This world to me is the pinnacle of fantasy writing. It’s just the greatest fictional universe that has ever been created.”

Source link