Game of Thrones is good, isn’t it? Like, other than the bits in Dorne, obviously. Over the years the show’s been on, its babyfaced cast have become adultfaced megastars, thousands of extras have been disembowelled, Aidan Gillen has had about a dozen different accents and Wun-Wun the giant’s ended up dead. Power’s changed hands, faces have changed bodies and Daario Naharis changed from one dude into another dude and then just wandered off.
In total, there’s been 71 hours of Thrones, nearly three full days of dragons, swords, broken allegiances, eunuchs and shamings. The Prince Charles Cinema in London just screened the whole lot in one go, starting on Monday and ending on Thursday, with only occasional brief breaks for pizza and stretched legs.
Even for the most hardcore of Thrones fans, that’s a massive undertaking. Would any show still seem good after spending that long without getting any natural light? Would the drama of watching the wall fall at the end of Season 7 be heightened or diminished by not having had a shower or lain down horizontally for the best part of a week? Would the intense nature of the experience make the shit bits seem shitter, or the best bits seem better?
We battled through the impressively strong smell and spoke to some of the hardcore, weary, atrophied few who’d made it all the way through to find out exactly how good an idea this whole thing was.
PAUL, 49, DOCUMENTARY PRODUCER
I’d never seen Game of Thrones before, and this seemed like a great way to binge-watch it! I didn’t watch it when everyone was going crazy about it – when things get that hyped they never live up to expectations anyway, so I thought I might leave it until the very end then watch the whole thing, but this came up. It seemed like such a unique event, and I love the Prince Charles Cinema.
There were lots of bits that the fans got excited about where I didn’t know what was going on, when certain characters got introduced and things like that. The hardcore superfans obviously had the option of coming in and out, because they knew what was going on, which I didn’t have.
The first season really drew me in, and if I’d seen the first episode I’d probably have ended up watching it all on telly, but the second and third didn’t really. It had a really interesting dynamic as the seasons went on, but the seventh was the best for me. It finished off so many of the storylines really neatly, brought everything together and left it in a really interesting place for the last few episodes. I’m really looking forward to them. And a hot shower and big sleep.
OSCAR, 28, SOFTWARE DEVELOPER
I’ve been here from the start. I thought I’d make it two days, but by the time I’d done that I thought I might as well do the whole thing. It’s been years since I’ve seen the very early ones, so it was amazing revisiting that time – they’re all just kids in the beginning!
Knowing everyone’s arc when watching again certainly helps, because some of them, watching them the first time, weren’t so great – Bran wandering off for a year, Gendry disappearing for ages, all the stuff with the Sand Snakes. But when you know where it’s all going, you just like seeing all of it and letting it happen. And the battles obviously looked amazing watching in the cinema.
Watching the wall fall on the big screen, I think Tormund Giantsbane definitely made it. He was running along the wall, so I don’t think he was on the big bit that fell. We’ll see him again.
STEVE, 31, ENTREPRENEUR
I thought it would be more difficult than it was. Sitting down for that long is kind of tough on the body, but once you’re into the story it just flies by. I’ve been a fan for a few years, and going all the way from the beginning in one go has been pretty amazing.
There are things which, watching it all in one go, feel like they make more sense. Seeing a character’s whole story in one go makes it all so much clearer why they are where they are at the end. The story just worked differently seen all in one go. Whenever there was a big, long, tense buildup that ended up in a big important death, there were huge cheers and a real sense of relief. Seeing Littlefinger getting killed in the last episode after he’d spent so long tormenting everyone… What a great moment.
LIZA, “RATHER NOT SAY”, CARER
I’m completely braindead. I’m a big fan of the show, so was looking forward to this. It was really, really tiring, but I got some more insight into the show and picked up on things I’d maybe not fully understood or taken in before. I’m still not quite sure about the Jon Snow parent situation, and need to go and investigate what it all means. I understood things like the Three-Eyed Raven much more this time round. Everything with Benjen made more sense watching it like this. I’m really impatient to see the final season now.
Staying awake was really hard, and trying to get little bits of sleep in my seat. And it’s been freezing! The high point was probably the Battle of the Bastards. That’s such a great episode, with Jon Snow getting trampled and crushed under all the bodies. And Ramsay was such a bastard, such a seriously good baddie. He was so good at being evil.
Game of Thrones Season 7 is available now on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital Download