How to Survive a Conversation about Game of Thrones
If You Do Not Watch Game of Thrones
1) First, see if you can avoid the conversation: drop eye contact, and begin patting your pockets, frowning. Back away slowly. Do not re-engage with the Fan, under any circumstances.
2) If you cannot avoid the conversation with the Fan, try to head it off at the pass. As soon as the other person mentions Game of Thrones, try one of the following responses, speaking loudly as if trying to break a spell:
a) “Oh, there’s that cheese I like!”
b) “You know who’s underrated? Gordon Lightfoot, that's who!”
c) “That reminds me, I need to fill you in on our search for a preschool for Bea is going.”
Most likely, you will not be successful in derailing the conversation, but it’s important that you try.
3) Despite your best efforts, you are now enmeshed in a conversation about Game of Thrones. Do not panic. Panic is weakness, and the Fan is looking for a weakness to attack. You must stay focused if you wish to survive this conversation. Try the following steps:
a) Establish whether the Fan has read the books by George R R Martin or not, and then position yourself accordingly. If the Fan has read them, you have not. Ask the Fan, “So, how do you think the TV show compares to the books?” NOTE: Do not be fooled by the Fan’s question, “Have you read the books too?” No. You have not read the books. You “prefer the TV show” so far. No other answer is acceptable.
b) If the Fan has not read the books, then yes, you have. No matter what the Fan says or asks, respond with any of the following phrases, in any order:
1) “Oh, my goodness, just you wait!”
2) “It’s going to blow your mind!”
3) “No, I can’t tell you! It would spoil the entire show!”
Repeat as needed, until the Fan runs away, crying.
c) If the Fan has somehow outsmarted your tactics and asks who your favorite character is, use one of the following phrases:
1) “Dragons, duh.”
2) “It’s so hard to choose. Which is YOUR favorite?”
3) “The hot one, AMIRITE?”
d) If the Fan seems skeptical and is not distracted by your attempts to trick the Fan into talking about the Fan’s favorites, try jabbing your palm with a cocktail toothpick. When your eyes tear up, explain, “I’m so sorry, I just miss Sean Bean so much. Don't you miss him, too?”
e) Throughout the conversation it is important to continue to look for a means to escape. You do not know what opportunities may present themselves, so be alert for all possibilities. When it’s time, phrase your escape line carefully. Say “I’ll go see if our host has the DVDs!” instead of “Let’s go see…”etc.
Once you’ve made the break, move swiftly, without looking back, to wherever your host has stashed your coat and then immediately to the exit. Do not stop for any reason.
f) In cases of dire emergency, such as when you really must pee, you may ask the Fan, “How old is George R. R. Martin again?” No matter what age they respond, frown slightly, and ask, “Well, ya gotta worry about that, right?” When the Fan looks stricken, flee.
g) A few warnings: It may be tempting to try to change the conversational topic. This is a fool’s errand. The Fan will always return the conversation to Game of Thrones. To the Fan, everything – the hor d’oeuvres, the weather, the cost of a loft in Clinton Hill – relates back to Game of Thrones. It is better to ride the wave.
Do not try to rope another person into the conversation to help. Statistically, it is highly likely that they are Another Fan, and now look what you’ve done.
It’s common for the non-GoT fan to insert “Jon Snow” into the conversation, in hopes of passing. This is an amateur’s move. Do you know anything else about “Jon Snow” besides the fact that his name is easy to pronounce? No, you do not. Avoid this.
Under no circumstances should a straight male non-Fan express that he finds the female characters attractive. They are not there to be attractive. They are fierce fighters. Now you’re in a conversation about the sexist male gaze.
Under no circumstances should a female non-Fan express appreciation for the costumes and hairstyles of the female characters. Now you’re in a bi-weekly knitting group called Game of Scones.
Do not refer in any way to Peter Dinklage's other work.
Never bring up Outlander.
h) Good luck. And remember, Winter is Coming, or something. Whatever.