Major love for Game of Thrones at NU

It’s Sunday evening at Norwich University. While many students are prepping for the week and what’s to come from it, in a lot of rooms folks are prepping for a certain show to come on.

Brittany Fields, a senior psychology major said, “I’ve heard people actually call Sunday Game of Thrones Day in correlation to the show coming on at this time.”

Game of Thrones has developed a huge fandom – 17.4 million viewers across cable, HBO Go, and HBO Now tuned into the Season 8 premiere – and Norwich is no different, with a huge cult following of Game of Thrones.

One of its fans is Jordan Wall. “Although the show has been on for nearly a decade, I barely started watching it last year,” said Wall, a 20-year-old sophomore accounting major from Jacksonville, N.C. “I caught up this past spring break, and here I am now watching the series finale.”
Wall said that all it takes is a mention from his friend that there’s a new episode out, and he will just stop whatever he’s doing and go watch it.

“I’ve only watched it since about the beginning of this year, but I’ve been able to binge since then to catch up to this season,” said Jane Carr, a 22-year-old senior accounting major from Kennebunk, Maine.

People from her company would set up times to see it, so she decided to take the time to watch Game of Thrones, she said. It was a great way to bond.

While some people are late-comers to watching after hearing people talk about the show, others have been fans from the beginning. The HBO series is derived from a book series, and some people have been able to read the books by author George R.R. Martin and see the show as well.
“I’ve read the first two books, and it’s so interesting,” Fields said, “I wish I had the other ones. It makes me want to read the others.”

Adrienne Vitelli is a 21-year-old junior mechanical engineering major from Long Island, N.Y. She is impressed with how the book was adapted. “I’ve read every book and kept up with the series. Both are good; however, they take some creative direction when making the show as opposed to the books.”

She said while season one of the shows was pretty aligned with the books, the other seasons went in their own creative routes, while following the underlying plot from the series. It doesn’t take away from either, since they both provide a great way to see the series.

“The one main difference between the two is that the books don’t have an ending, while the show is on its final season,” Vitelli said.
Fans of the “Game of Thrones” at Norwich come from all majors and vary in how they became wrapped up in following the series.

“Honestly, I feel I started watching it about two weeks ago,” Julliet Muriel, a 20-year-old sophomore criminal justice major from Spring Hill, Fla. said. “I used to make fun of the people who were crazed about it. I watched season one, and I still wasn’t fully hooked, but now I’m midway through season two and it’s starting to grow on me.”

Brian Walley, a 20-year-old sophomore criminal major from Ellsworth, Maine, became intrigued by the violence and action that the show displayed. Although it started slow and seemed “boring,” he said once the seasons started to pick up, he became a fan of the show.

While there is a huge following around the world, not everyone has hopped on the train at Norwich.

“I honestly haven’t had the time to see the show,” said Ra’Shun Gerald, a 20-year-old junior communications major from Capital Heights, Md., adding that he’s “only heard good things” about it.

Gerald said that if had more time he would watch the show.“I feel how people watch Game of Thrones is as equivalent as I watch Rick & Morty,” Gerald said, “I use to always see it every Sunday before PT (physical training) for Army on Mondays.”

Many students enjoy watching with friends and talking about Game of Thrones afterwards.

“It’s definitely a good thing Norwich provides an area to watch Game of Thrones,” Fields said, “since it’s not only a Corps of Cadets thing, it’s able to bring the civilians closer to the corps.”

It’s one of those things that brings people together, she explained, comparing it to those who watch The Avengers series from Marvel.
However all the hoopla and fandom can have its downsides.

“While it does bring people together, the timing of the show is conflicting,” Gerald said, noting “people could use that time to study or even work on themselves. Again, it’s not a total bad thing, people need to manage their time better, and shouldn’t work their days around one show.”
He said that if the episodes weren’t so long (average time per episode is an hour and some change) he would see it. But he’s busy quite often, so taking that time to see the show isn’t ideal.

Students find a good part about Game of Thrones is being able to have favorite characters and relating to them.

When asking people who their favorite character was, the name that popped up the most was Arya Stark, the youngest daughter of the Stark Family.
“She’s just such a strong and powerful character,” Wall said, “she’s bad, and seeing her do so much in the show is a great thing.”
Carr also said Arya Stark is her favorite character, and while she pursues her own adventures throughout the show, the house she feels she fits in is the House of Stark, since it’s “cold”.

It’s fitting that Norwich can provide those Game of Thrones fans with a way to watch the series finale. And while it’s true summer is just starting, every Norwich student who watches can agree with the statement that, “Winter is coming.”

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