Wild About Westeros: The Enduring Popularity Of 'Game Of Thrones'

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Another "Game of Thrones" season down. What drives us to Westeros?

Kit Harington, left, and Emilia Clarke on the season finale of "Game of Thrones." (Macall B. Polay/HBO)
Kit Harington, left, and Emilia Clarke on the season finale of "Game of Thrones." (Macall B. Polay/HBO)

Season seven of "Game of Thrones" wrapped up this week. More kings and queens and dragons and war. Intrigue and power plays. Swords and sex and – this season – a zombie polar bear no less! What is it that keeps audiences coming back for more of "Game of Thrones’" medieval fantasyland? Its spectacle of loyalties and betrayals, cruelty and passion? We’re strapping on our furs and scabbards this hour to explore. This hour, On Point:  Where legend meets CGI. The long run of "Game of Thrones." -- Tom Ashbrook


Alison Herman, staff writer who covers TV for The Ringer. (@aherman2006)

Ayelet Lushkov, professor of classics at the University of Texas at Austin. Author of "You Win or You Die: The Ancient World of Game of Thrones." (@Dr_AHL)

Susan Miller, editor-in-dhief of, an online community for "Game of Thrones" fans. (@SueTheFury)

From Tom's Reading List

The Ringer: Is an Excellent ‘Game of Thrones’ Ending Even Possible? —  "In any story, there’s an inevitable tradeoff between potential and specificity; by choosing a particular direction to go in, one automatically cuts off all the alternatives that might have been. The anxiety that comes with a definitive ending is especially acute in TV, which gives viewers hundreds of hours to dream up their own preferred outcome or gather evidence for why the one they got isn’t the one the show deserved. And with Thrones, whose conclusion will have to serve as both its own finale and a placeholder for an obsessively beloved book series’, the ante is upped even further."

Vox: When Will Game of Thrones Season 8 Air? Probably Not Until 2019. — "The primary cause for the long production timeline is apparently the need to work out both a shooting schedule and a separate special effects schedule. The complicated on-location filming that Game of Thrones is known for has grown even more complicated since winter finally arrived in Westeros, requiring chillier climes (and more filming in Iceland) and ultimately causing the seventh season to be delayed several months, debuting in July instead of the show’s typical April."

Money: Game of Thrones Made This City So Popular That It's Going to Turn Tourists Away — "While the growth in tourism may be good for the country's economy, Dubrovnik has been dealing with heavy crowds in recent years. UNESCO cites the impacts of tourism — especially cruise ship tourism — as factors putting the city at risk of losing its World Heritage status. The city's new mayor, Mato Franković, told the Telegraph he plans to cap the number of visitors to its ancient city to 4,000 per day — half of its current limit of 8,000 allowed by UNESCO — in the next two years."

This program aired on September 1, 2017.


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