Like a few other pop-culture behemoths, Game of Thrones cast a huge shadow and spawned many would-be imitators. The Marvel Cinematic Universe led to a dozen copycat “cinematic universes”; Lost spawned a ton of TV shows that went down endless cryptic rabbit holes; The Dark Knight cursed us with a decade of “chaotic-evil dude who has magic blow-everything-up powers and gets caught on purpose” movies. The thing is, people always take the wrong lesson from these successes—they focus on the froth rather than the churn, the tip rather than the iceberg, and what a popular thing turned into over time, rather than what made it popular in the first place.
Here are seven of the wrong lessons that everyone learned from the phenomenal success of Game of Thrones—one for each of the Seven Kingdoms. (I miss writing listicles, can you tell?)
Editor’s Note: Image at top is from my collection, George R.R. Martin, author, at Comic-Con, San Diego, CA.