I love Game of Thrones.
Actually, I was a bit of a latecomer to the saga – both in book and TV form. This is not unusual for me. I have quite the track record of becoming massively into things ages after huge swathes of the population have not only taken it to their hearts but, in many cases, have moved on to other obsessions.
For instance, I’ve recently found that I rather like Nirvana – the band as opposed to the state.
I really wasn’t all that fussed back in the early 90s, when pretty much everyone else loved them. As far as I could tell.
So back to Game of Thrones.
It’s a brilliant show, it really is. Complex storylines, compelling characters, a believable world into which you can immerse. And astonishing moments of brutality.
It’s got the lot.
And boy does it get talked about across the internet.
Facebook feeds are full of theorising over different story arcs, characters and interweaving plots. Over on twitter you can’t move for GoT hashtags shortly before and certainly after the latest episode airs.
This is a big deal in Game of Thrones lore. And a subject over which ludicrous amounts of time and energy are spent by fans who are almost overcome by the desire to let the world know their theorised interpretation.
The equation R+L=J concerns itself with the parentage of Jon Snow, one of the leading players in Thrones.
For the uninitiated, Jon Snow is a bastard.
Not in a Rick from the Young Ones kind of way, but in the actual sense of the word.
He is the bastard Jon Snow – illegitimate son of Lord Eddard Stark.
Or is he?
Social Media is awash with conjecture over the back-story and ‘real’ parentage of this fictional character. Is he really Stark’s son. Or, is he really the son of Prince Rhaegar Targaryen and Lyanna Stark (Eddard’s sister)?
I don’t know.
I’m not sure anybody outside of the writers actually know at this moment in time.
But it hasn’t stopped a fierce debate raging across the social channels.
Don’t believe me?
Just have a look at the comments section on this YouTube video (SPOILER ALERT – if you’re not up to date with Game of Thrones and don’t want to know stuff, give this a miss):
People go doo-lally when discussing things on the internet.
Game of Thrones, football transfers, immigration and the referendum.
Oh, the fu@!ing referendum.
The last couple of months on Facebook have been interminably awful for the proliferation of facts, points and counter-points that serve only to prove that the last people who should be deciding on this really rather important decision, is just about everyone who has a say in it.
And I readily include myself in that.
I know what I feel to be right and I know why I think such things.
But the minutiae and finer points? The stats on immigration, the economy, the number of laws passed in Brussels, the truth behind how straight our cucumbers ought to be?
All of a sudden my Facebook feed is awash with people who have unexpectedly turned out to be sage voices on socio-economics with a firm grasp of the key ‘facts’ around which the debate will unfold.
Ah yes, facts.
This is a word which crops up a lot during a mass debating session on social media. And it will invariably look something like this:
Britain will be millions of pounds better off if we leave the EU. FACT!
Messi is a far-superior footballer to Ronaldo. FACT
Well, no, actually. That is an OPINION. Not a FACT.
You can’t win an argument on social media.
As far as I can tell, people rarely post things up to engage in debate. They post up to posit a view they have absolutely no desire to have challenged.
If it is challenged, whatever reasoned counter-argument is fired back, tends largely to be ignored. To the point where you might just as well be typing:
We all do it. I certainly do – although I try to limit myself these days.
But maybe this mass debating online is a making a wanker of us all.