From the beginning, so much about this show begged me to look away, and at the same time – to keep looking.

Let’s take the first episode for instance; just minutes in, we are face to face with death. And not just any death. Worse. Complete mutilation. And the last bit of human carnage we see? A young girl, dead, stuck to a tree.

Seems pretty awful, right?

Of course! That’s horrible!

It gets worse.

We soon learn the over-the-top, freakish, gory mutilation was caused not by humans – but by the dead. Like zombie-type dead. And all the people we saw mutilated just minutes ago are no longer there – so they must be up walking around – somewhere. Say what?!

Image courtesy of HBO Game of Thrones

Is this a horror film?

Somebody please turn this off. I’m not a fan of zombies. And by not a fan – I mean I hate them. But I always tell my children we shouldn’t hate things, so for the sake of avoiding hypocrisy, let’s just say I really, really don’t like them. They creep me out. As soon as I hear the sound of feet shuffling and weird guttural noises coming from the television, I’m off the couch and headed for another room.

No thank you.

Yet years ago, against my better judgment, I sat in my living room captivated by a show that pretty much opened up with a singular promise to the viewer – whatever happens in this show, these blue-eyed zombies are a massive threat to the human population. You can’t have zombies and people co-existing. It just doesn’t work. Eventually there will be a war. A freakish, feet shuffling, guttural moaning, eating people kind of war.

The show begged me to look away, and at the same time – to keep looking.

Cut to the end of the first episode. We are in a new location, Winterfell. A place that seems to be safe from the blue-eyed, people-mutilating zombies we now know are called White Walkers. A place where all is right with the world. Whew.

Image courtesy of HBO Game of Thrones

Or so we think.

Then, we see the Queen and her brother, twin brother to be more exact, hanging out in some secret room high up in who knows where exactly – except they aren’t hanging out. They’re making out. But more than that even. They’re doing the thing that happens post make-out sess. It’s a full on incestuous situation here, ladies and gents.

And who’s that? Look – it’s a little boy we’ve already developed an affinity for. What’s he’s doing? Climbing up the wall. Where’s he going? Toward the window that peers in to room where we find the Queen and her twin brother-lover doing what siblings should never, ever, ever do.Look away boy. Look away.

Too late.

The last words we hear before he’s pushed out the window? “The things I do for love.”

Image courtesy of HBO Game of Thrones

What the?! A little boy was just shoved out a window? Who ever in a million years wants to see that happen? What is this nightmare of a show?

It was like when Mary Ingalls went blind on Little House on the Prairie. Not cool. Not cool at all.

The show begged me to look away, and at the same time – to keep looking.

And then the episode was over. Just like that. Right then, when I should have been turning off the tv and saying no more of this White Walker, incestuous, watching-a-kid-get-pushed-out-the-window nonsense – I was hooked.

One thing seemed to be apparent early on, this show that began with the walking blue-eyed dead wasn’t afraid of breaking rules. And that is super Bad-A. Who just kills their main characters all willy-nilly like?

And I couldn’t stop watching.

And I can’t stop watching.

I love it. Like seriously love it. When I typed that, I heard PeeWee Herman’s voice from my childhood mocking, “If you love it so much, why don’t you marry it?” Because PeeWee – you can’t marry a show. Duh.

This show kills people who should never be killed. Main characters who seem like they would be in it for the long haul get plucked off one by one. Nobody is safe here. And that adds an element of suspense that is foreign to most shows.

Another thing I like? Maybe even love. (Be quiet PeeWee.) This show portrays people how people truly are – complex. Multi-faceted.

The good are sometimes bad and the bad are sometimes good.

You think you know someone and then something happens that seems completely out of character and you wonder, “Do I know them?”

It’s brilliant. Seriously brilliant.

Take for instance the guy who shoved the little boy out the window in the first episode – I really like him now. I’m actually rooting for him.

Yep. I’m rooting for a guy who has babies with his sister and shoved a kid out a window.

I know – weird. Right? Why would you ever root for someone so obviously hateful and spiteful and worthy of a good stoning?

Because, he isn’t so obviously horrible. He’s actually a decent guy who made some horrible decisions along the way and has repented and changed and made good choices, too. He’s redeemed himself.

I think the complexity and depth of these characters mimics real life. In real life, good people make some really bad choices. And bad people can change.

People deserve a first chance, and second chance, and sometimes more to prove they can become something they once were not. To prove they are capable of becoming who they long to be.

Photo courtesy of HBO Game of Thrones

And sometimes the good fall – but that doesn’t mean they are incapable of getting back up and proving themselves worthy once again.

And my favorite part of all? In Game of Thrones, the unlikely hero becomes just that – the hero. In a time that seems to have once been dominated by strong male figures of good lineage – we begin to see others rise up.

It isn’t the strong we are cheering for. It is the weak. The broken. The meek. The mild. The damaged. The wounded.

The children. The paralyzed. The women. The small. The bastard. The eunuch. The one-handed. The slave. The beaten. The broken. The battered. The bruised. The unworthy.

The outcasts.

These are the heroes of this story.

Image courtesy of HBO Game of Thrones

This show broke the rules in the first episode and has continued to break the rules time and time and time again.

I love how dangerous it is. As we are nearing the end of the final season, it seems that anything is possible. And that excites me. And scares me. I am fully aware the characters I have grown to love could come face-to-face with death before the final credits roll.

Because that’s how it is with Game of Thrones.

From the beginning, so much about this show begged me to look away, and at the same time – to keep looking.

So that’s exactly what I did. I kept watching.

And I will keep watching until the very end.

Image courtesy of HBO Game of Thrones

We were given a promise at the beginning – winter is coming. And now it’s here. In all of its terrifying, gut-wrenching splendor. This show is not for the weak-stomached or faint-of-heart. There are disturbing scenes you may need to look away from, so go ahead and look away – but ultimately, keep watching.

From the beginning, so much about this show begged me to look away, and at the same time – to keep looking.

And I’m so glad I did. Only three more episodes left.

Bring it you rule-breaking, crazy show with all of your unexpected twists and turns. I’m sure I will have to look away, or hit pause, at least once or twice over the course of the next three weeks, but that’s okay. I am familiar with your unpredictable ways.

Game of Thrones (2013) Episode Title: The Rains of Castamere Season 3

It seems like what goes around comes around. Full circle. And as the show moves closer to the final episode, loose ends are being tied.

But if you kill Arya or Tyrion or John or Daenerys or Samwell or….. I’m going to be really upset.

Oh man. If this show ends at all like it started, I have a feeling I’m about to be really upset……..

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I would love to here what you think. Please feel free to comment below.