The best part of Sunday nights is gone.
No, not Game of Thrones, whose last season played out like a mediocre SyFy drama with an astronomical budget. Thrones ended with a whimper. For many fans, it was a major disappointment.
But Game of Thrones Twitter never was.
Every Sunday night, people aired grievances, postulated theories, made jokes and shared memes on Twitter. It didn’t matter whether you loved the episode or hated it. Scores of tweets would reinforce or refute your opinions, suggest new theories or point out glaring craft service-related errors. (RIP, coffee cup. You’ve been replaced by a water bottle.) Twitter became a hotbed of commiseration and celebration over Game of Thrones. And now that’s all over.
Game of Thrones may be the last gasp of monoculture in a media landscape that seems more fractured every second. Everyone in the world was paying attention to GoT. People who’d never watched a single episode tuned in this season out of FOMO. Annual sporting events and award shows liven up Twitter feeds, but only for the few hours they’re on. And beyond that, only negative and/or violent global news stories capture our collective attention online. That’s when we see Twitter’s ultimate failings as a social media platform, rife with disinformation, hoaxes and conspiracy theories.
But in the aftermath of Game of Thrones, we saw Twitter at its best—real time reactions and observations coupled with performative comedy. It’s probably the only platform that could foster discussions of poor plot choices while actively roasting them. As the final season tanked the show’s legacy, dumb memes and #DemThrones made everything easier to stomach.
Sure, it’s sad Game of Thrones is over. But given how bad the final season was, when the final theme began playing I felt more relief than dejection. And then, on cue, I opened Twitter.