The Starks, gathered.
The Starks, gathered.
Image: HBO

Watercooler TV shows are more than just TV shows. They’re cultural moments. Shared experiences.


One thing I’ve been hearing a lot about the end of Game of Thrones is that it might really spell the end of a certain kind of television. It’s what people typically call “watercooler TV”—the type of show that enough people watch that it becomes a shared currency, a type of cultural event that very nearly everyone has an opinion on. As it is such a show, it’s also a thing that can bring people together, for watch parties, debates, celebration and frustration. Game of Thrones is the kind of cultural event that people build relationships over, that they share with their family.

I’ve never been a huge viewer of the show, I’m a good deal behind, to be honest, but I remember a friend of mine was really into it for a while in college. He watched it with his roommate. And even though I wasn’t sitting down and watching it myself, I was a part of the moment. So often on Sundays, he’d text me to get food at a specific time, before Game of Thrones, and we’d rush to get dinner together before the show started. It’s an experience I’ll always remember, a bonding time created by a fantasy epic.


So I’m wondering: what experiences did Game of Thrones give to you? Who did you watch it with? When you remember the show, what things about your real life will you remember fondly?

The finale of Game of Thrones airs tonight on HBO. 

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io9 Weekend Editor. Videogame writer at other places. Queer nerd girl.

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