Game of Thrones defines a decade


While few shows are given the green-light for a second season, even less are able to maintain relevance after a few years. But one show lasted and thrived throughout the entire 2010’s: HBO’s Game of Thrones.

Title of Martin’s original book (Amazon)

With its beginnings in 2011 as a longshot to adapt the “unadaptable” fantasy series by George R.R. Martin, the show grew into one of the most record-breaking television shows, ending in 2019. Covering over 100 characters and a myriad of complex plotlines, the show focuses around the brutal fight for the right to rule the Kingdom of Westeros, a vast medieval island and the main setting of the show.

Easily the most impressive part of the series is the sheer scope of its production. It was filmed in several different places such as England, Croatia, and Morocco and involved a huge ensemble cast of 553 members, not including extras. Game of Thrones is also famous for its lack of censorship due to being produced by HBO, showing bloody violence and nudity in just about every episode.

Although there’s a huge amount of characters, the show shines with its core main cast. The protagonist of the series, Jon Snow, portrayed by Kit Harrington, is a young, soft-spoken warrior caught in one of the bloodiest periods in his world’s history. Another compelling character is Daenerys Targaryen, played by Emilia Clarke. Daenerys is the daughter of the former king, who was killed by his own allies. Now she is exiled with little left, but is determined to return to her throne.

Main characters Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen (The Wrap)

A huge cast of other characters are also featured within the show, each with their own backgrounds and goals. Characters like Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage), Arya Stark (Maisie Williams), and Bronn (Jerome Flynn) each feel like real people and give as much to the show as the brilliant writing or immense budget.

King’s Landing, a sprawling city and huge set in the show (HBO)

Though the budget does give a lot to the show. With an estimated cost of over $300 million, Game of Thrones’ special effects and production are unlike any other. Fully rendered CGI dragons appear lifelike, and enormous sets imitate medieval cities and castles.

Even more impressive, though, is the shows two fictional languages, which were created just for the series by linguist David J. Peterson.

A lot has changed since 2011, and a lot’s been forgotten. But Game of Thrones, almost a year after its launch, is still one of America’s most relevant shows. Looking into the future, HBO has even announced a few spin-offs, which would further add to the Game of Thrones franchise. Personally, I am incredibly excited for more Game of Thrones, and I’m sure that in this new decade, the show will still be the powerful tale that has gripped audiences since 2011.