Why I don’t watch Game of Thrones and I never will
You’d better believe it (Picture: Rex/Metro.co.uk)

Game Of Thrones is one of the most popular television series around – a genuine, proper, global phenomenon – and it’s back at 2am and 9pm on Monday, July 17, on Sky Atlantic and Now TV.

When people describe the golden age of television, Game Of Thrones is one of the hallowed offerings placed alongside the likes of Breaking Bad, Mad Men or The Wire.

People build their lives around this programme in a way they do with few others – it doesn’t just command a loyal cult following, but a real populist significance too.

I don’t watch Game Of Thrones, though. I never will.

It’s strange to say that, admittedly – particularly as someone who writes about television for a living, and one day hopes to write for television for a living.

In many respects, with its blend of genre storytelling and high drama, it should be right up my street.

Indeed, it’s often recommended to me by my friends – many of whom, like seemingly everyone else on the planet, love the show.

Not me, though.

At first it was just a lack of interest, really.

Why I don’t watch Game of Thrones and I never will
Keep your dragons (Picture: Getty/Giphy/Myles Goode)

Despite a love of science fiction, I’ve never really been interested in one of its most natural bedfellows – fantasy.

Tolkien has always bored me to tears, Harry Potter was perfectly entertaining but far from life-changing, and while I’ve always had a soft spot for Narnia, I’m not really hugely interested in that genre.

Hobbits and orcs or dragons and white walkers aren’t really my thing.

Increasingly it begins to seem like a huge, even daunting investment – at this point there’s nearly 60 hours’ worth of content to catch up on, and with most of the ‘shock twists’ spoiled at this stage (apparently a Red Wedding is important, Sean Bean stays true to type, but Jon Snow doesn’t quite follow suit) it’s difficult to motivate oneself to get involved.

Why I don’t watch Game of Thrones and I never will
I know nothing – and that’s fine by me (Picture: HBO/Metro.co.uk)

That it comes with the added baggage of a seemingly obnoxious fanbase, always lauding the books over the television series, was hardly a ringing endorsement for the show either – though, mind you, that might have wound down now they’ve all realised there’s never going to be another book anyway. (Or given them something else to complain about.)

Still, though – the buzz around the series remains, and it’s difficult not to pick up on details by osmosis.

Gradually they started to suggest to me that I was probably right in my choice to avoid the show: I’ve never been particularly interested in the schlocky, faux-drama of surprise deaths, and Game Of Thrones has a reputation for revelling in the gratuity of it all.

Even more troubling, though, is the repeated reliance on rape as a plot device.

Why I don’t watch Game of Thrones and I never will
Cersei was raped by her brother (Picture: Helen Sloan/HBO)

It’d be a lie if I said I knew the specifics of every instance it occurs in the show, but the broad picture that’s painted is one of a programme drenched in casual brutality, with little interest in actually developing beyond that.

What’s the point of starting a conversation about it, when there’s apparently no interest within the show of then having that conversation after the initial, cheap shock value?

Yes – this is all based on second hand impressions.

I’m sure the dedicated fans are getting ready to lambaste me in the comments section; some to politely suggest I give it another try, others being decidedly less polite.

I can’t see them swaying me.

At the end of the day – yes, it’s highly acclaimed.

But I’ve heard little that sells it to me, or suggests particularly that it’s worth my time.

Why bother investing 60 hours in it when – in this golden age of television – I have so many other choices open to me?

Alex Moreland is a freelance writer and student based in London. You can read more of his work here.