Welcome, friends and allies, to the “Game of Thrones” safe space.
Here in our cozy sanctuary, you don’t have to feel like an outcast merely because you’ve never seen the record-setting, groundbreaking, mind-blowing, must-see masterpiece of a TV show that’s a sensation all around the globe.
Sorry, sorry. Didn’t mean to make you hyperventilate. We’re here to ease your anxiety, not to make it worse.
All I’m trying to say is that here in this protected place, it’s OK to be your culturally clueless or contrarian self, no defense or apology required.
Within these walls, there’s absolutely no need to pretend to understand the headline that says “The 20 most gruesome ‘Game of Thrones’ deaths, ranked” or “‘Game of Thrones’ will kill off Tyrion Lannister in Season 8.”
Yes, dear clueless people, in here you are blissfully free to disregard the so-called news story that announces “17 ‘Game of Thrones’ items you need for the premiere.”
Sorry? Did someone say, “What premiere?”
Please. Even if you’ve never watched the world’s greatest TV show — as the Los Angeles Times just called it in preparation for aforementioned premiere — you must know the final season starts soon and it is going to be epic!
You don’t know even that much? I don’t believe it.
If you’re reading this, you’re a news consumer, and if you’re a news consumer, you consume GoT news if only through cultural osmosis, the process by which pointless information seeps into your brain with no effort, which explains why you can spell Kardashian.
It also explains why you know a bizarre amount about “Game of Thrones,” even though you’ve never watched it.
You know that it stars a rakish dwarf who wears a suit of armor and needs a barber. You know it has some dragons. And you’ve heard of the whole “Winter is coming” thing, whatever that means, right?
No? Well, I guarantee you know this: Hardcore “Game of Thrones” fans think you’re downright perverted for not watching and loving their favorite show and the worst among them — not all! — will shame you for it.
But you have your reasons. I know you do. So let’s share.
What’s your reason? No explanation is too embarrassing.
You don’t have cable? Me neither, and that’s been my excuse for years. Though you know you can get it on streaming now, right?
You hate medieval fantasies, dystopian fantasies, anything labeled “fantasy”? I hear you, and in the interest of keeping this space safe I’ll refrain from noting that all entertainment TV is fantasy.
You’re just not into shows that thrive on sexual assault and other forms of violence? Totally with you on that one, though you probably allow some of that ugly behavior into your TV-watching repertoire.
You’re too busy rewatching every season of “Jane the Virgin?” Like I said, no explanation is too embarrassing. I love that show.
Which brings me to an important point. Those of us who haven’t watched “Game of Thrones” are not, with some exceptions, anti-TV. I love TV. It’s better than ever these days, better than most best-sellers. But life is finite and not everybody can watch everything.
Remember that truth, friends, as you leave our safe space and return to the treacherous real world to confront the dismay of GoT fans who can’t believe you are so out of it.
All you need to say is this: Life is finite. We all must choose. We don’t all choose the same thing. Amen.
A few more words of caution.
If you have to mention publicly that you’ve never watched “Game of Thrones,” do it gently. Do not mock the GoT lovers because if you do you’ll be mocked in return as a snob or a hater when, in fact, you may simply be the weirdo who prefers old episodes of “Law & Order.”
Also: Be vigilant. Or you’ll be swayed by the rhapsody of last-minute converts, the people who once sought our safe space but who are now binging on seven seasons in preparation for Sunday’s premiere. They are everywhere. Stay strong.
In the words of some “Game of Thrones” character I just Googled: “Never forget what you are. The rest of the world will not. Wear it like armour, and it can never be used to hurt you.”