Game Of Thrones is easily the biggest television phenomenon probably next to "The Walking Dead" that we have going in the last decade. So on Tuesday when it was announced that tonight's actual episode was made available a few days early due to an internal leak at HBO Europe and Spain, it made total sense that die hard Thrones fans across the globe would flock like savages to find it and watch. Forget screen quality. No one gives a fuck about 1080P quality. Fans want what they want. So what if they have to wait in upwards of ten days before the season finale.
Honestly I can't blame them.
I also do have to admit-- this week I was a bit bothered by it more this time around. Now obviously this isn't the first time a Game Of Thrones episode leaked early nor will it probably be the last. Hello, this is 2017. Nothing is sacred.
What made it worse was being linked continuously by friends on Facebook who otherwise succumbed to the temptation of watching the episode. Thankfully I am a man of patience and tonight like the rest of the "normal" folks in America, I will be on my couch ready at 9pm EST to watch what people who've already watched are calling the best episode ever.
For the record I've actually said that about five times in the last two seasons alone.
Anyway I am here to defend why I believe it is totally not worth watching any early Game Of Thrones leaks before the actual episode airs live.
1. Game Of Thrones is truly the last TV event show we have left.
This part is 100% true. The proof is in the way we now intake media. Specifically television. Nearly every person that has some form of technological ability either is subscribed to Netflix, Amazon or Hulu. You already know the practice by now. Those companies original content are delivered not week to week like the standard television we have grown accustomed to since we were kids. Instead the modern day television habits gift wrapped into entire seasons in one lump sum. Here is your entire season of House Of Cards. Enjoy. I'll see you next May with another.
Personally I love it. In fact the advantage for the consumer is that control is in their hands to decide when and where they decide to tackle one specific show either in a single sitting or sparced out in days, weeks, months or even years. The flip side is that Game Of Thrones is such a humongous show filled with many plots and subplots that for years I've compared watching Game Of Thrones to covering the NFL on a weekly basis. You gear up your Sunday nights. Dive into the 60 minute glory and spend the proceeding six days dissecting what happened on the previous episode and predicting what will happen next. It gives you a chance to breathe and appreciate each episode.
Much like in the 1980's when "The Cosby Show" was must see TV at 8pm on Thursday Nights, "Friends" in the 1990's, Game Of Thrones represents that for the masses in the present. Event television is dying. GoT fills that gap. The last of its kind.
2. I am not in a rush to finish the season -- let alone the series.
Why are we in such a rush to watch the next episode? The world isn't ending in the next few weeks (I hope anyway). After tonight's episode we literally have seven total episodes left of the entire series. Next week will be the season finale and if the rumors are true we will not have any new episodes to chew on for another two years. TWO YEARS! As in 2019 folks. I'll be a year from turning 40 at that point. Take it in slowly folks. There is much to chew on per episode that there is much more value in re-watching the episode every week. I guarantee you'll learn something new that you did not otherwise pick up the first time watching it.
3. I do a weekly Game Of Thrones watch party with my wife and friends.
This is mostly on me. In my house my wife and I along with a few friends every week put together a Game Of Thrones watch party. How messed up would it look if I decided last Wednesday to watch the leaked episode and then Sunday already know what happened during the party. The coolest part of the watch party is the shock and awe in the moment we all go through when we watch an episode together. Some people who read this may not agree with my position on this particular reason but it works for me.
4. The viewing quality will ALWAYS suck in comparison to watching it on HBO live.
Game Of Thrones is the type of show that I much rather watch in tip-top quality. Some may not care about those things and to that I say "God Bless You". However that is not me. If it was a sitcom that I was not otherwise as invested in then I can see the argument. Game Of Thrones however does not deserve to be treated in a half ass fashion. It deserves the best of our attention. Not a third party source on Facebook Live. No thanks. I'll wait till Sunday and every Sunday after that.