Honestly, I’ve never been much of a fangirl. Sure, I dress up in costumes, pretend I’m someone else with pretend feelings for other pretend people. But that’s my job. Offstage or off(computer)screen, I don’t tend to obsess over fictional stories or characters. Of course there have been a few notable exceptions over the years -- most recently, the HBO show Game of Thrones. I admit, for reasons I cannot entirely explain, I am obsessed. How obsessed? Well, this past weekend, instead of watching the Tony’s like every other good little theater girl, I stood elbow to elbow in a crowded bar full of fanboys and girls and watched the Season Three Finale of Game of Thrones (then I came home and watched the Tony highlights on YouTube and pretended I’d seen the whole thing-- how great was NPH, btw?). I also catch myself saying things like, “You know, Jamie has really transformed. He used to be such a jerk but he’s been through so much and now I’m really starting to like him...” Never mind the fact that Jamie DOESN'T ACTUALLY EXIST.
But the real problem isn’t that I’m embarrassingly obsessed with the show-- we are, after all, allowed to like at least one thing shamelessly (see: Episode 4: The Facebookist). The real problem is that the show has made me realize (despite my previously high-minded thoughts to the contrary), that I am in fact a terrible, twisted person. And here are the three reasons why:
1. Apparently, I’m a pervert.
You know those ratings right before an HBO show that let you know if there is violence, foul language or adult situations in the episode you are about to watch -- AC, AL, V etc...? Every time my husband and I sit down to watch an episode of Game of Thrones, we wait in breathless anticipation for the “N” for Nudity rating. When we get it, we do a few fist pumps in the air and let out an extended “yessssss!”. When it isn’t there we are, admittedly, disappointed. After all, what's the point of watching an hour long HBO show if you can't also get your soft core porn fix at the same time?
2. Turn the other cheek? F*ck that. More like stab them in the face with a knife.
I spent twelve years at Catholic School, countless Sundays in church, and while I am no longer what I would call “practicing”, I do still believe in the whole “compassion/kindness/treat people as you want to be treated” idea. Or at least I thought I did. That was until poor little Arya, after witnessing family member after family member die in brutal and horrific ways, finally stabs a guy in the face -- and I yelped with glee.
What is wrong with me?? We know an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind, right? Fighting violence with violence is no way to right the world, but in that moment I realized I’d been waiting for some Stark revenge violence for months. And it made me think -- what if, deep down, that's the way I (or worse, everyone) actually feel and we're all just covering up these dark desires with a thin veneer of polite social etiquette? Then we are seriously fucked.
3. Incest is hot.
(But only between the Lannisters). Seriously though, am I the only one rooting for Cersie and Jamie to get back together? I mean, it's clear he really loves her and when you think about it, it's really sweet that he's only been with one woman. Never mind the fact that it's his twin sister...
What kind of twisted thinking is that? Sure, most of us want what we can't have, and a little forbidden fruit is always alluring, but siblings?? George R.R. Martin -- what are you doing to me?? Before I met you I was perfectly happy thinking that I was a good person. But since you've come into my life I've started thinking maybe I'm just a sadistic, sex-crazed asshole. In other words, human. Maybe that’s why I like the show so much. Because Game of Thrones -- and other twisted books, films and stories like it-- remind me that we are all flawed, imperfect beings who, despite our best attempts, sometimes fuck up and fail miserably in our pursuit of what we think will make us happy, and maybe that reminder can instill in us a little extra compassion for our fellow fucked-up humans.
Or maybe I just like the sex scenes.