Why I don’t watch Game of Thrones
I’ve always loved fantasy and especially stories with dragons in them. I think this stems from a set of books that were beautifully illustrated in really rich colours that featured dragons that I had as a child.
I love books set in the past, especially with magic and swords and all the rest of it. So when Game of Thrones first came out I was really excited. There is all of those things, and lots of strong female characters too.
It took me several series to realise that I was finding watching it quite stressful.
After one particularly brutal episode, The Red Wedding, I was, well this sounds utterly ridiculous, but I think the word is traumatised, for quite a while afterwards. I kept thinking about it, and not in a good way. It is in an incredibly violent episode, SPOILER ALERT, with about half the cast being brutally murdered. END SPOILER ALERT
I kept going over all the deaths in my head. I had grown quite attached to some of the characters and it was outright gratuitous violence for the most part.
That was just one episode, but overall the way woman were treated in those early series was awful. Lots of rape scenes, violence against women (to be fair there was a lot of violence generally), and, what I found hardest to bear, the threat of violence, the waiting for the next lot of violence to begin.
That’s too much for me. I am sensitive to these things, there is no doubt about it, I can’t binge watch programmes as they end up in my dreams for the next few days. But GoT was just far too much, so although I felt sorry to stop watching it, it really is some quality filming and storytelling, I have had to do so to protect myself.
I think in the past I would have carried on watching it, not realising the damage it was causing me, at a soul level. I don’t want to carry violent images in my head. I don’t want to choose to do things which raise my stress levels. I am aware that if I get too stressed then my pain and fatigue respond badly, and if I let it go on to long, there is a chance that I will relapse back to where I was a couple of years ago, I don’t want that to happen.
So, yes, I’m not able to join in conversations about GoT, my husband has to sit and watch it on his own, with headphones on. And I am missing out on some great TV. But I am looking after my own sense of peace and that is really important.