If you are a Game of Thrones fan you would know that anticipation for each episode, and the dread of the online battle that ensues. Each time an episode premiers, whether it is its first showing in America or when it makes it into other time zones, the battle of the spoilers begins. This is a very big sign of how big the show has become.
On top of all of the online chaos of spoilers, and opinion pieces that are written about the show, there is the marketing machine that churns around the show. Merchandising is a well-oiled machine with t-shirts, mugs, and even models coming out weekly. If a big episode debuts, no doubt there will be something that connects with it so fans will lap it up.
With all of these money making schemes in place around the show it is also no surprise that games have been released based on Games of Thrones. The most successful by far have of course been the Telltale Games version, which extended the lore of the show, but managed to remain faithful to George R.R. Martin’s series of fantasy novels. Along with this game, it’s also not hard to find odds based on the show, with reputable casino sites offering fans a chance to win some money off the back of their favourite tv programmes.
What HBO have managed to do is to tap into the popularity of Game of Thrones, and to successfully make it not only a television success, but a global internet success. With a constant flow of behind the scenes sneak peaks, social media games, and savvy knowledge of what the fans want, they keep the buzz around the show alive. This is evident whenever a major episode is coming, just watch the build-up online and you can see the marketing machine in full flow.
Whether it be through games, through merchandising, or just by creating conversations on social media, Game of Thrones is arguably one of the most popular shows on the Internet in modern history. You’ll easily find fans who are “House Lannister” or “House Stark”, you’ll find those who adore the Mother of Dragons, or praise Arya for being a badass. It is the strength of the show itself that makes it a success, but the seeds do have to be sown to truly make it explode.
What usually does this for Game of Thrones is controversy, and there have been plenty of episodes that have pushed fans to the edge. Just mention the Red Wedding and you’ll get a reaction, just as the debate about whether Jon Snow was truly dead raged on until the truth was finally revealed. Controversy breeds a buzz around a show that keeps it in the eyes of the fans, and Game of Thrones is very good at creating that.
Whatever you may think of Game of Thrones, if you are online, it is hard to ignore it. You’ll have seen mention of it all over Social Media, and you’ll see the frenzy over each new episode. That is the power of Game of Thrones on the Internet, and in some ways the hype around it is more bloodthirsty than the show itself.