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The television show, Game of Thrones, based on George R. R. Martin's book series, A Song of Ice and Fire, captured and keeps my attention primarily for one reason: Nothing about it is gratuitous. Mind you, the show contains many things that many people dislike. The show contains some things that I dislike. It doesn't overdo anything, though, and that's why I keep watching.
Graphic violence? Check.
Death? Check, check, and check again.
Female frontal nudity? Check.
Male frontal nudity? Check.
Profanity? Hell fucking check.
So much of any one thing that it would make anyone who dislikes one or more of the above turn off the show? Notably absent.
As with everything, there are exceptions. We tend to call these exceptions, "extremes". For example, many people will not turn on any show where any character utters a naughty four-letter word, even if it's only a single occurrence. That's their choice, and in no way do I condemn that choice. I simply point out that people making such choices represent the minority of television viewers.
The show itself also contains exceptions. A particular episode may contain a higher-than-usual degree of violence or profanity or something else. Even so, the series as a whole balances these things to prevent them from becoming gratuitous.
Obviously, children should not watch Game of Thrones. The story, books, and show were designed by adults, for adults. The reasons for setting parental controls are so obvious that I will not bother to mention them, nor to dwell on the subject further.
I have a second big reason for enjoying the show: Martin is an amazing storyteller. Twists and turns are the order of the day. I never know what to expect next. He's not shy about killing any of his characters, prominent or otherwise. He kills main characters and favourite characters with the same ease as he kills minor or irrelevant characters. He waits for a long time—a season or two, in show terms—to bring back a character about whom I had long since forgotten.
These two are not the only reasons I enjoy Game of Thrones; they simply are the biggest. Another thing that keeps me watching is the presence of strong female characters, who, sadly, are absent even from most stories written in the 21st century. Female characters who display the strength of Catelyn Stark, Cersei Lannister, and Daenarys Targaryen would fit well into many modern stories, including books, movies, and television shows. I hope we will see more such characters soon.
For these and other reasons, I can't get enough of Game of Thrones. I look forward to each episode, and I get antsy at the end of each season while waiting for the next to begin. I edit articles on the Game of Thrones Wiki. I anticipate reading A Song of Ice and Fire after the series ends. If you're already a fan, then you understand my enthusiasm. If you're not, then perhaps I've inspired you to watch the past episodes and join us.
Note: I originally posted this article on Facebook, where the final paragraph makes more sense. When reposting the article here, I decided that deleting or altering the paragraph would be awkward, so I kept it in its original form.