how do I get my coworkers to shut up about Game of Thrones?

A reader writes:

All of my coworkers are all obsessed with Game of Thrones, but I don’t watch it, nor am I interested. We sit in an open office and they talk out loud about it all day long — fan theories, character arcs, whatever. I feel like I know the plot of every episode.

They know I don’t watch, and sometimes they try to include me to be nice, but I always demur. I have made several jokes about not caring / not wanting to hear any more about it, and they definitely know that I find it irritating how they go on and on — but I guess they find it irresistible (and to be fair, I’m in the minority at the office so it’s probably on me to suck it up). I just try to keep my music at top volume and tell myself that this show won’t go on forever. Am I missing anything?

Yes! You are missing a magnificent show.

Okay, I’m sorry.

This is really like having coworkers who talk incessantly about any subject that you’re not interested in — kids, knitting, Cross-Fit, etc.

Some annoying subjects actually have built-in outs: For example, if people keep talking about diet and weight loss around you, you can tell them you’re trying to avoid so much focus on diet because it’s unhealthy for you. If people keep talking about politics, you can tell them it’s stressing you out and ask them to have those conversations privately with consenting participants. Which is not to say that it’s always easy to shut either of those topics down — it’s often not — but at least there’s framing you can use that goes beyond “this is boring and I want you to stop!”

But when it really just comes down to “ugh, this is boring and tiresome” … there’s not a ton you can do. People get to talk with their colleagues about things that interest them, after all, even if not everyone in earshot finds it interesting. I’m more inclined to blame open offices for forcing you to hear all of it versus them for having normal conversations with each other.

That said, you can certainly try a one-time, very direct plea, on the theory that they may not have realized how constant this is and would be sympathetic if they better understood what it’s like for you. (Previously you’ve only joked about it, which is not the same as making a clear request.) You could say something like, “I know we’ve joked about this, but it’s actually really overwhelming to hear so much about this show day in and day out. Obviously y’all get to talk about your interests with each other, but I’d be so grateful if you could rein it in so it’s not all day long like it has been.” (And at least it’s way easier to ask this about Game of Thrones than if it were, like, constant talk about babies.)

Or, of course, if it’s actually distracting you from work, you can just say that plainly! But if you’re fine with other topics of conversation, just not this one, that may not sound credible.

Regardless, though, this is a problem that’s going to solve itself in about a month when the show ends.

Read an update to this letter here.

{ 707 comments… read them below }

  1. Faith*

    I have the opposite problem – I am the only one in my office that watches Game of Thrones. So, I have nobody to talk to :-( However, things could always be worse. Some people watch leaked episodes before everyone else does and then SPOIL them! That should be a fireable offense right there.

    1. annalisakarenina*

      IA about firing someone spoiling!

      And, I’m in the same boat! I have no one to talk about GOT with at work and it hurts hahaha

      1. Editor*

        I can’t watch Game of Thrones because it is too violent, and video violence (movies or tv) gives me nasty nightmares that come back repeatedly.

        I do read about it, though, because I am curious about it and so many people discuss it. I am used to not being a part of those kinds of conversations, though, because there is a lot of popular culture I just can’t consume. My late husband was obsessed with “24” and I couldn’t watch that, either. At least I can watch Jeopardy.

          1. RUKiddingMe*

            I’ve never watched even one episode and I’m ok with that. Take away Doctor Who however and there will be problems…

            1. Ellex*

              I’m just thrilled on the rare occasion someone asks me what I watch and they’ve actually heard of Doctor Who.

        1. Marie-France*

          We are a teevee-free household.

          Reading books is much more stimulating than staring at the boob tube, because you have to use your imagination when you read. There is no need for this obsession with Game of Thrones. LW should not take any guff from these people. Her life is much more enriched than theirs.

          1. MayLou*

            Game of Thrones is also a book series. We don’t have a TV either but I don’t think your claim that it makes someone’s life more enriched to not watch TV is accurate or fair. Or even relevant – LW might not watch GoT because she’s glued to Keeping up with the Kardashians, Blue Planet and Sky News.

          2. Temperance*

            Wow. You do know that some people actually watch TV and also read, right? I spend at least 7 hours per week reading, and enjoy shows.

          3. Shhhh*

            No, there is no need for this sort of rude and dismissive commenting. Who hurt you? Most people I know are capable of enjoying multiple forms of media and having an enriched life.

          4. PVR*

            I love getting lost in books… and in movies or TV series. Have you really never seen a movie that took your breath away and made you think about things in a different way or inspired you to act differently in your life? Yes, in a book you are imagining the way the characters look but movies can also spark the imagination. In GOT, there has been tons of foreshadowing and symbolism just like there is in books (probably because it IS a book series) and if you are completely engaged in it, it uses your brain to discuss what these clues are and could means and what will happen next… these discussions remind me very much of the ones we had in literature courses. And likewise, I have read books that were an entertaining, easy read but didn’t really challenge me in any way. So I completely disagree with the assertion that only books are somehow more worthwhile.

          5. Brownie*

            Wooo….now can we start a thread about “Lah-dee-dah, We art more enlightened than thou” people?

            So dismissive and such a sad superiority complex. Textbook illusory superiority.

          6. I Don’t Remember What Name I Used Before*

            There’s nothing wrong with being a TV free household- I don’t watch TV either- but it’s not ok to be a snob about it.

            Besides, it’s not like the world isn’t full of poor quality books! Someone could do nothing BUT read and still consume only crap.

    2. Free Meerkats*

      My problem is at home where I’m the only one who watches is. But now that everyone is talking about it, my wife randomly walks into the room and asks things like, “Who’s that?”, “Why is everything on fire?”, and the like. And she’s not satisfied with, “That’s Bran.”, I have to explain Bran’s entire back story and why I was laughing when Jamie arrived at Winterfell.

      My own personal GoT hell.

      1. Drew*

        I watched the Star Trek TNG finale with a work friend who had literally never watched a Star Trek episode or movie in her life. After the first ten minutes, we had to work out an agreement that she could ask me anything she wanted during the commercials as long as she stayed quiet during the show itself.

        I think the final explanation took longer than the episode.

        1. Alexander Graham Yell*

          My BFF and I call that “football rules” – she LOVES college football and I understand exactly nothing about it. So for big games (the ones she watches at home so she can hear the calls), I was allowed to watch with her as long as I only asked questions during commercials.

      2. Utoh!*

        My husband’s eyes would glaze over if I gave him any backstory, so thankfully when I’m watching, he’s “busy doing something (anything!) else”…

      3. AnnaBananna*

        “Why is everything on fire?” This made me laugh. Because the last ep really did look like it was filmed in hell.

      4. Arya Snark*

        My inlaws will be here for the penultimate episode. I think I’m going to have to refrain from watching it with them around lest I stab someone with the pointy end of something. Considering my sword and obsidian arrowhead collection and my MIL’s penchant for babble, it could happen!

      5. Jennifer*

        Why do people do that? There’s so much information online about every character’s backstory. I don’t get it.

        1. Psyche*

          I do that (although not the first time my husband watches the episode). If he makes me watch something that he knows I don’t have the backstory on, it’s on him to fill me in. Or we can watch something else.

      6. Grack*

        It’s your fault for answering those questions! Just say “I don’t want to spoil it in case you decide to watch it some day.” Or answer with nonsense like “Oh, that’s Harry Potter’s cousin. They’re in Isengard.” if she insists she’ll never watch it.

      7. sofar*

        My dad has the same issue. My mom has never watched a single complete episode, but walks through the room and asks questions when he watches. When he and I jump on the phone to discuss the episode, she’s in the background like, “I HAVE A QUESTION! WHO WAS THAT ONE LADY WHO JUST SHOWED UP WITH THE FIRE??”

        I host viewing parties, and my #1 rule on the Facebook page I made for these parties is, “If you’re not a fan, or missed a bunch of episodes, you are welcome to join us! But you cannot ask questions during the show.”

        1. Cafe au Lait*

          This reminds me when “Sherlock” (Bennedict Cumberback) came out. I wanted to watch it but my family was staying over. I made up the rule that no one could talk or whisper during the actual show, and I strongly enforced it.

          1. sofar*

            Yes, and Sherlock was a show you had to pay attention to! I had to use subtitles for that one!

      8. Jules the 3rd*

        I don’t watch (OCD triggers galore!) but I find reading the wiki works well for getting the back story and being able to talk about it with my geekly friends.

      9. AnnaBananna*

        I forgot to mention that my boss asked me ysterday who Bran Stark was. I was like…..UGH. You know what I said? ‘He’s the only native born magical dude at the moment’. I mean, how else do you explain his arc?!

          1. TardyTardis*

            “There will always be a Stark in Winterfell. Jarvis, breach the wall.”

            (sorry, had to do it).

      10. RUKiddingMe*

        Husband was like that with Supernatural. I had zero interest, but it was on so I asked the occasional question. Just to show some interest in the things he likes because I like him (don’t even get me started on soccer!!!).

        Then I stayed in the room kind of idly watching once because inertia…then it sucked me in!

      11. Humanist Hedge Witch*

        I was re-watching Episode 8 last night, and my husband, who has watched LOTR multiple times but could not be less interested in GoT, wandered in and remarked “this is just like Helm’s Deep.” Well, yes. He returned when Jon was trying to get past Viserion and observed, “He’s not going to be able to kill a DRAGON with a SWORD,” which then required an explanation of zombie ice dragons, a special kind of sword that kills all kinds of ice zombies, and Jon’s backstory, secret identity, and hero complex.

        And no one (see what I did there) at my work watches GoT either.

    3. queen b*

      may I suggest listening to storm of spoilers and joining their patreon? slack channel just for us nerds :) it’s how I deal with the fact that NONE of my friends watch this show. (not sponsored or anything just love the podcast)

    4. PennyLane*

      @Faith- I am so sorry! that would be a serious bummer! We have Monday lunch recaps with GOT fans so we have time to really get into it LOL! I don’t know what I’d do without it.

      @OP, Allison’s last sentence is really the key here, just wait it out. The show is over in a few weeks and then people won’t be as hyped up about it- so just put in some ear phones and suck it up. If one of my coworkers said even Allison’s suggestions, I’d roll my eyes and be inwardly annoyed by them.

      People are excited about it the way some people get excited about the superbowl or playoffs. I suspect they aren’t truly talking about it 8 hours a day every day (which yes, is too much; 7 hours max LOL) , but occasionally thinking of something and picking up the conversation or having a few drawn out conversations a day? That’s pretty normal.

      I’m guessing there’s something you like to talk about that everyone else doesn’t- I have zero interest in sports, but I deal with other people constantly talking about it (and at least GOT ends, unlike sports!). So if you want the chance to discuss things you’re excited about, then everyone else gets a chance too.

      And seriously, watch the show, it’s so freaking good! I couldn’t get into it at first, but went back a few years later to try again and was HOOKED. You’ll be sad if you get hooked on GOT when everyone’s done talking about it. Oh wouldn’t that be horribly ironic. Na, but I get it, everyone can’t like it, but the topic will change soon.

    1. Respectfully, Pumat Sol*

      It will eventually die down. I’m a browncoat as well (and Critter!), and while I love the series, the amount of time I spend talking about the show(s) in a given month at work is near zero, despite working with other browncoats (and Critters). Occasionally there will be the odd “shiny!” but in general, the hype does die down.

      1. TooTiredToThink*

        Exactly. In 3 weeks this won’t be as big of a deal. Its just surviving the next 3 weeks – and then after that it’ll likely be weekly; then maybe monthly; unless they decide to do a group re-watch or something.

    2. Anon for today (and probably tomorrow)*

      Your average garden variety fan will be moving on to the next new thing in a month, which of course may prove equally annoying, but Game of Thrones will be yesterday’s news to most people in a month to two months.

      Now if you’re in an office full of die-hard geeks, that’s another story.

      1. AnnaBananna*

        Die hard right here. *waves* I also have a die hard Walking Deader so we basically flip back and forth between each other. But now that there will be a spinoff or two, plus another book? Psh, my obsession won’t be ending soon.

        I did make my boss take one of those ‘which GOT character are you’ quizzes yesterday, since he’d only watched the first couple of episodes and wanted to feel included in our fangirling. He’s definitely an Aemon Targaryen. Like, to a T. Me? I’m either Robert B or Cat S, depending on the day/quiz. :)

        1. Becky*

          We have a GoT office Death Pool competition going on (prize is a 3D printed iron throne. I and at least 2 others who have never seen a single episode filled out predictions just for fun.

    3. Grace*

      Does anyone ever stop being a browncoat? Still, there’s only so many theories and easter eggs and fun details you can talk incessantly about when it’s something as shortlived (*internal sobbing*) as Firefly. GoT still has the books, which have been going for… a couple of decades now, with two left? I think it has a longer lifespan when it comes to incessant conversation.

      (I’d probably be a bit sick of hearing about it too, tbh. It’s sort of my style, but I’m really not big on things involving rape, and my medievalist soul is too pissed off with people who insist that it’s historical accuracy!!1! when it’s… really, really not. But it’s a big deal for a lot of people, and I know they’re probably super-excited, and I can sympathise with that.)

      1. Amy Farrah Fowler*

        Pretty sure you can’t stop being a browncoat once you start… it becomes fused to your DNA or something.

      2. Lauren*

        The show isn’t historically accurate because dragons and other things. So that argument is bogus.

        1. whingedrinking*

          I call it the potato test. If someone’s not bothered by potatoes in a work of medieval-style fantasy, they’re not bothered by historical inaccuracy, and they’re going to need to come up with a better explanation for why they don’t like protagonists who are women, LGBTQ, or people of colour in their fantasy settings.

            1. TardyTardis*

              Although potatoes were in Europe in the 1500’s–Francis I of France tried to get people to eat them, they were all ‘um nope’ and then he got an idea–he declared potatoes a Speshul Royal Food that only he and his family could eat–and the guards on the plot were drunks. Guess how fast they spread after *that*.

              Why, yes I am a history geek…

          1. Ophelia*

            LOL, yes, or any time someone throws tomatoes at someone in the stocks in a medieval street scene.

      3. Busy*

        Yeah I am not big on the use of rape in medieval fantasy – or in any fantasy at all. I like my fantasies to be rape free. I read to escape, and it doesn’t make you suddenly an “adult” writer because you include such topics. The excuses to include it are hallow at best.

        Basically, I’m stuck with children and YA books to get my fantasy fill. :(

        And this is all why Crime Cozies are coming back in vogue – do we really need things to be so … real?

        1. Gumby*

          Yeah. I read almost anything but not fantasy. I had a high school friend who found that alarming so I told him he could choose one fantasy book and I would read it. He chose Lord Foul’s Bane. There was a rape in like the second chapter (or so, not far in). I… did not finish the book.

          I have since read *some* fantasy books, but they are very very few and far between.

          1. Nessun*

            WHAT?!! …no. I like Donaldson, but that series is – not for the casual reader. Or to introduce someone to fantasy. Very poor choice, and I’m sorry.

            1. Gumby*

              Yeah, I’m pretty sure he came at it from a “I love these books, this was a great one” instead of “what is great for a beginner?”

              I get it – if someone came to me asking “what is the best resource for understanding gymnastics scoring?” I’d be all “The entire Code of Points is online! It’s so cool!” but that is 200 pages that would bowl over a novice.

              1. animaniactoo*

                For a beginner, I would suggest David & Leigh* Edding’s Belgariad series. Followed up by the Mallorean one.

                *His wife, Leigh, was only later acknowledged as the co-author of a lot of his work. The later books were published under both their names, but she’s acknowledged as having significant input to all of them from the beginning.

                1. LadySmalls*

                  I 100% agree. That is one of my favourites! I also really like Redemption of Althalus by them as well. I find I can be easier to convince people to test the waters with 1 book.

                2. TeapotDetective*

                  Seconded so very, very much. The Belgariad/Mallorean and Elenium/Tamuli were my first “real grown-up” fantasy series and I still, almost twenty years later, go back and re-read them every now and then. Fantastic world-building, really good story hook, and the banter is top-notch. (Also I so very very badly wanted to be Polgara when I grew up. Alas for childhood dreams :P )
                  I still use Silk’s little quip about the reason for mornings on a regular basis.

                3. animaniactoo*

                  While I love Redemption of Althalus – in general it’s a fun read from start to finish – it’s not where I would start with them, only because I think there are some things that are included in the writing that are not the best first step into them.

                4. selena81*

                  Read them as a child, they definitely seemed easy and child-friendly at the time. And i’m a fantasy-fan now so i suppose it was a good starting point.

                  Not sure how they hold up to adult reading because i never re-read books and almost never re-watch movies (that’s because i tend to use these stories mostly as a starting-point for my own fanfic world-building: re-reading the original story feels like asking an adult for their old baby-pictures, i moved on to something much bigger)

          2. Grace*

            I don’t think it’s fair to say that all of fantasy is off-limits because of rape. Sure, plenty of people think they’re being dark end edgy and adult by including that stuff, but plenty don’t. (Honestly? Lots of YA stuff is only labelled as such because it’s got all the good stuff but isn’t ‘dark’, so try that.)

            I’m basically just entirely dedicated to Discworld and Terry Pratchett – who, while not entirely unproblematic (most of his stuff was written in the 80s/90s/early 2000s, after all) doesn’t do rape in his books. His earliest couple are satires of 70s and 80s fantasy, so there is some tongue-in-cheek mentions of the ‘ravishing’ that is so common in those books, but as far as I can recall, there is nothing actually ever depicted. Social satire comedy fantasy is more or less a safe zone.

            1. Gumby*

              I agree. I am not saying it all includes that. I was just already predisposed to not be interested in fantasy. His book suggestion did not change my mind. But that was about 20 years ago. I’ve read and enjoyed some fantasy since then. I’ve tried to read and given up on some. I’ve decided I didn’t want to invest the time in yet other fantasy books (LotR, there, I admitted it, I have neither read the books nor watched the movies and I’m sure the crowds are gathering to draw and quarter me as I type).

              1. RUKiddingMe*

                I watched the first LoTR under protest because dude would just not leave me the hell alone. Hour two I wanted to put an icepick through my own skull. Or his…¯\_(ツ)_/¯

              2. Nessun*

                I adore LotR (both books and movies), but I’m never gonna give anyone a hard time for not reading them. Sure, if you’re looking at history, there’s the influence on the genre, but otherwise – yeah, they can be a slog (except for The Hobbit – it’s quick, it’s good, and you can read it stand-alone if you like).

            2. selena81*

              i find it hypocrite when it’s okay to write about cutting someone to pieces but not okay to talk about touching privates without permission: either avoid all violence (sexual and non-sexual) or put it all in. Dr Who does the former, GoT does the latter.

          3. SusanIvanova*

            It’s about a quarter of the way in – I know, because I made it less than a quarter of the way in before being fed up with Mr Whinypants.

            1. whingedrinking*

              I was informed that Thomas Covenant was a brilliant deconstruction of fantasy. I read them, then crankily informed the person who’d given me the books that “fantasy, but everyone’s miserable, life sucks, and the protagonist is a colossal jackass” isn’t a deconstruction of the genre.

          4. TardyTardis*

            Lord of the Rings should be all right–it’s only in the extensive background stuff where Celebrian (Arwen’s mother) was kidnapped by orcs.

        2. Scion*

          You should check out some of Brandon Sanderson’s books! In addition to being some of the best books I’ve ever read, they are mostly free of the kind of stuff you want to avoid.

          1. Catleesi*

            x100000% The Stormlight Archive is my absolute favorite, and Sanderson is a pretty prolific writer without losing quality so you can actually count on him finishing series.

            1. maddierose2999*

              THE most important thing. Yes, i do want to know what happens to the characters i have invested so hard in.

              1. selena81*

                i’ll almost never start a series that hasn’t been finished yet: i HATE investing time only to find out the writer herself couldn’t be bothered to guide the story to a meaningful conclusion.

        3. Nita*

          I was coming here to say something similar. I’ve had enough drama in my life to not want it all over my screen. Ironically, the people that caused the drama luuuuuve Game of Thrones – clearly they still need that drama fix. Thankfully I’m no longer really part of their life, so whatever.

        4. mouse*

          Dunsany is my ‘go-to’ recommendation for fantasy. His ‘Gods of Pangea’ stories might be a bit odd for some people (because of the style in which they are written), so maybe start with ‘Idle Days on the Yann’.

      4. Falling Diphthong*

        I wouldn’t worry that the last two GoT books are ever going to actually be written.

        1. selena81*

          not by GRRM at least
          afaic he should just retire already (he never made a secret of disliking all the work that goes in writing), handle the reigns to someone with more finishing-what-i-started muscle.

      5. PersephoneUnderground*

        I agree on the rape inclusion – that, among other things, is why I found GoT just depressing rather than fun to read. There’s also a certain point in some books or TV series where it’s clear nothing good is allowed to happen, so all the surprise and tension is gone. It’s kind of the reverse of plot armor, where you know they won’t die. It’s like a plot-broken-mirror or something, where the characters are clearly cursed? It’s boring *and* depressing to me. You need anything to be possible to make things interesting, including good outcomes too, otherwise it becomes predictable/repetitive. You can write great stuff torturing your characters, but it gets transparent after a while if that’s all you’ve got.

        I read the first GoT book and promptly decided it was not my idea of fun. I love fantasy and sci-fi and find plenty that doesn’t get as disturbing as GoT does.

        1. aubrey*

          Same! I love fantasy and read a ton of it, but I think I tapped out in the middle of the second GoT book. It’s so rare for me to not finish a series, never mind stop mid-book. I couldn’t get invested in anything or anyone because I was just waiting for the bad outcome to happen, and I really didn’t like the desensitization – like “oh, when’s this one going to get raped/tortured/murdered horribly?” instead of actually caring about the characters and hoping for good things for them.

    4. TootsNYC*

      yes, but you don’t still talk about it ad nauseum at the office, I bet. There just isn’t that much new, even if you do still really like it.

    5. Antilles*

      It’ll absolutely die down. People would still love the show, sure, but there won’t be the chatter on it.
      Ask yourself this: How many times in the last month have you heard casual discussions about Star Wars?
      That’s a mass market, beloved series that’s even more widespread than Game of Thrones…but I’d guess your answer is something like “once or twice, I think” if not a flat zero. There’s no news actively happening so people aren’t having long continuous discussions about it.

      1. Respectfully, Pumat Sol*

        That’s not true – the Rise of Skywalker trailer dropped about two weeks ago, so that’s reignited a lot of Star Wars buzz :P

        1. Jennifer*

          People were really excited the day the trailer dropped but nothing compared to Avengers and GoT

          1. AnnaBananna*

            See, now the Avengers movie I am tired of hearing about (you’re doing to CRRRYYY your eyes out, blah blah). But it’s a franchise that I only watch when I’m vegging on the couch and nothing else is on.

            1. Jennifer*

              I am tired of hearing about it too. My husband just told me his coworker saw it SIX times already and cried every time. My word…

              1. TardyTardis*

                Still ticked that Person got a fancy funeral, full boat everything, and Other Person was oh they’re dead now, so sad. Grummpf.

        2. Lissa*

          I only actually hear it though, in designated “geeky” circles or on the Internet. Not at all at work have I heard anything at all about Star Wars, or Firefly or anything non-current – it’s all GoT and Endgame. Saying it’ll die down doesn’t mean there’s *no* buzz, it just means it’s much easier to avoid.

      2. Juli G.*

        We’ve talked about Star Wars three times this week at work. But maybe it proves your point that it was in comparison to GoT twice and once to Avengers.

        I’m mostly concerned we’re OPs coworkers.

      3. Ellex*

        Survivor is still on (still!) but no one talks about it anymore, at least not where I work. Thank heavens!

        The chatter will definitely die down…although they’ll probably latch onto something else before long.

    6. Ms. Meow*

      My wider social circle was/is very into Harry Potter. Like non-stop discussions while the books and movies were still coming out. When the main series of books/movies were completed, the conversation was much less frequent. Now the conversations are limited to complaining about the Fantastic Beasts movies, sharing pictures from visiting Wizarding World of Harry Potter, or sharing when they get a new piece of fan merch. It much less just because it isn’t EVERYWHERE.

      So yes, there still will be GoT fans everywhere forever, but they won’t be discussing it seemingly non-stop in great detail.

      1. mouse*

        The number of times I’ve bitten back on, “READ ANOTHER BOOK, FFS” is pretty impressive.

        1. MM*

          God, I feel like I’ve spent my whole adult life politely not saying that, or the frequently-tempting addendum, “YOU KNOW J.K. ROWLING DIDN’T INVENT THE FANTASY GENRE, RIGHT*”

          (*This is reserved for people who specifically and clearly act as though she did, and anyway I still don’t say it out loud.)

          1. Grace*

            Someone once accused Terry Pratchett of plagiarising Rowling because he had a wizarding university. Y’know, the one that first appeared in books in the 1980s? He’s also been accused of plagiarising the character design of Ponder Stibbons from Harry Potter. Young wizard with round glasses and shaggy black hair. Except that Ponder first showed up in 1990 and was first drawn for the illustrated portfolio in 1996…

            1. mouse*

              And the idea of going off to learn magic from one or more experts is reasonably old. Le Guin had a school of magic in the Earthsea books and those were written decades ago.

              1. Linnia*

                For that matter, boarding schools for magical children are hardly a new concept. The Worst Witch books were wildly popular on the U.K. after being published on the seventies—the series has spawned four television shows and a couple of movies, iirc.

                1. mouse*

                  Yes, I’m I have a bunch of fantasy books written between the 1890s and 1980 (excluding Pratchett, as he’s been mentioned) that have such a feature. Part of why ‘READ ANOTHER BOOK’ keeps trying to escape!

            2. Clisby*

              Nothing to do with plagiarism, but I feel like Charles Dance’s turn as Lord Vetinari in “Going Postal” was his audition to be Tywin Lannister.

          2. mouse*

            From the webcomic Tales of the Unusual, one of the stories is ‘To Kill A Magician’.
            It has this comment from one of the readers: “so basically jayce is just a demon escaped from hell who loves harry potter so much that he decide to become a magician himself.”
            Turns out you still can’t use the internet to throttle someone.

            I’ve been fortunate in that I work in an office where there isn’t really that much casual chatter outside of breaks and lunches and even then I don’t recall anyone ever mentioning any tv show or movie.

    7. RainbowBrite*

      I’ve somehow managed to encounter 2 people at my current job who say “shiny” so you have some brethren over here

    8. AES*

      Then you’ll appreciate my friend’s comment that “Arya went full River Tam at the end there, huh!”

      1. YoSafBridge*

        This post and all the replies may be my favorite Ask a Manager post of all time. Firefly – gone too soon.

    9. LawBee*

      But do you talk about it every single day? All day? With the rest of the office?

      Fan love may never die, but the hype certainly will.

    10. BelleMorte*

      For those browncoats out there.. check out Farscape. Amazing show, similar vibe, currently on Amazon Prime.

    11. AKchic*

      Browncoat, Whovian, Hunter, Scooby Gang, Potterhead… yeah, I’m a nerd. Gimme my books, movies and shows and I’m a happy fandom camper.

    12. Move Over Thrawn - Florian Munteanu is BIGGER than you!*

      May have lost the war but some of us will never surrender.

    13. Frea*

      Oh, Firefly. Thank god the hype DID die down on that. Years of not being able to mention any other sci-fi show cancellation online without hearing about the unfairness of Firefly, plus just finding it okay instead of THE MOST AMAZING, made that show unbearable to me. I like brown coats individually, but as a whole I’m glad they’ve calmed down. I get where OP is coming from. Just hold out, OP. Game of Thrones, like Firefly, will become an occasional thing eventually, and in the meantime you get to practice all of the patient, long-suffering looks you can master.

      1. LawBee*

        … are you me? I watched it, it was FINE, Mal was a total ass, and it was covered with Whedon’s typical not-as-feminist-as-he-claims stink. I was so glad when fandom latched onto something else. I would rather hear Supernatural fans talk SamandDean for hours than another five minutes of how AMAZING Firefly was.

        1. Frea*

          Oh god. Mal. I hate him to the point where it’s retroactively colored my opinion of Nathan Fillion because he wouldn’t let this Firefly thing GO in the early days when Castle was still good. Not a huge fan of Supernatural, but I’m with you all the way. Gonna be laughing at “not-as-feminist-as-he-thinks stink” for hours.

        2. selena81*

          ..typical not-as-feminist-as-he-claims stink..

          at least people seem to have come to realize over the years that Whedon’s shows do have some uhm problematic depictions of women

          Firefly was okay, but definitely not The Greatest Show Ever.
          And Nathan Fillion is cute. period.

      2. TardyTardis*

        Goes off grumbling about Farscape. I still think Rygel is going to have problems with Cousin Bishan, but there you are.

    14. wittyrepartee*

      Well, and then there will (maybe, eventually) be the books. Then I can compare the books to the show. It’s gonna be amazing!

  2. ArchivesGremilin*

    I hear you OP! And no you’re not missing anything ;) I am also in the minority of not watching the show (nor will I ever, not my type of entertainment).

    I had the thought in my head of just start gushing (out loud) about your favorite thing for days just to be petty :) but that’s not the best thing to do in an office.

    My only advice is just ignore them. It’ll be over shortly (or at least until the spin-off begins *eye roll*)

    1. animaniactoo*

      Unlikely that there will be a spin-off anytime in the near future. Martin still has to finish the actual books first and it’s unlikely that he’d give the greenlight to spin-off and make this whole saga worse before he regains some control over it and could be more actively involved in any new production.

      1. TootsNYC*

        Oh, I don’t know–I bet he’d be willing to license it for “prequels” or something.

        1. Newelpost*

          I assume that as we speak HBO is filling up a dump truck with money to help with that.

          1. AnnaBananna*

            Yep, all of the five pilots are being written by GRRM right now (per some interview I read yesterday). So yes, the franchise (prequel) will continue. They think 2020 will be when it’s shot.

          1. Ada Lovelace*

            Oh for Christ’s sake, how did he write the prequels when we still haven’t gotten Winds of Winter?!

            1. Musereader*

              he already wrote the Dunk and Egg series of 3 short stories 1998, 2003 and 2010 (Maester Aegon in the nights watch who was friends with jon snow and died of old age in the first series of GoT, had a lot of adventures when he was a teenage squire), and a book about the targaryan conquest came out last year, I heard about the pilot showing Roberts rebellion and one about the downfall of valeryia, idk about the fifth spinoff dothraki? essos city states? Bank of bravos?

              1. LawBee*

                Plus the Big Book of Backstory, which is gorgeous and also I want Winds of Winter, dammit.

              2. casinoLF*

                *puts on pedantic hat*

                Master Aemon’s younger brother Aegon had adventures as a squire.

            2. wittyrepartee*

              I think he enjoys the collaborative writing in the shows (or at least this is what I take from it).

        2. animaniactoo*

          Okay, I hadn’t thought about the prequel stuff and going in the other direction.

          Generally, I think of a spin-off as involving some of the current characters, at their current stage in life (or shortly thereafter).

      2. Mike C.*

        It’s already been green lit by HBO. It takes place just after the Long Night when the Wall, Winterfell, Storm’s End and so on are being built.

        1. AnnaBananna*

          Which irritates the crap outta me because I want to see what led to it, you know? But that’s probably the big reveal in future episodes. One can wish.

      3. BethRA*

        George has already produced two hefty volumes of related history, and multiple prequel-ish short stories. I doubt any of that would generate the interest of GOT, but it’s more than enough to spin on.

        Sorry, OP.

      4. DLW*

        Martin is never finishing those books. I 100% believe this. The people who think he’s finishing the books are like Charlie Brown believing that this time Lucy really is going to let him kick the football. I highly doubt he’ll even finish the Winds of Winter.

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          I have to say, I totally forgive him for this. I used to find it really annoying but I am now Team Do What You Want With Your Leisure Time.

          1. Elizabeth West*

            I can’t imagine dealing with that sort of demand on your work, though I hope to someday. I’d gladly take the bad with the good. :)

          2. animaniactoo*

            If you keep meaning to get to it and you don’t, I can forgive you. If you’re a writer and you write series not standalone books and you decide that you’re never going to finish that series and nope, you won’t allow anyone else to pick it up and finish it either, I don’t forgive you and I’m not picking up anything else you write either.* Because – I want to know how the story ends. And yes, I can imagine plenty of stories and theories myself. But as the audience, I feel that writers owe their audience the “fulfillment of the contract” as it were to finish the story. It’s not as much a question (to me) of “Do what you want with your leisure time” but more “If writing books is your profession which books you write is not a question of leisure time”.

            Martin shared major plot points with the show so that it has gone on and continued in the direction that he envisioned. I expect that the books will probably eventually get written and rounded out, particularly as he’s said that he finds it easier to write short stories than novels, and having the framework for the novels well-established will help with that. I can wait, the same way I waited for the next of Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time, and Lisanne Norman’s Sholan Alliance books when they got very spaced out.

            *If anyone else recognizes this, yes, I am talking about Melanie Rawn and The Captal’s Tower. Which she is actually writing! Right now!

            1. Dragoning*

              Well, that’s really not how the publishing industry in the US typically works. They sell one book at a time, typically. Yes, if he has a 3-book contract he’s expected to write three books to fulfill it…but even then, publishing contracts get broken fairly commonly.

              GRRM doesn’t actually owe us anything other than what he’s already given us.

              If you had a job you didn’t want to do anymore, you could quit. Why is it wrong if he does?

              (even if you get a similar job at a different company—or for him, a contract writing a different book)

              1. Ask a Manager* Post author

                Yeah — his contract is not with his readers. I get that readers can feel like there’s a contract there … but there really isn’t.

                Trying to write when you’re burned out or even just don’t feel like it is awful, and I say that as someone who doesn’t even need creativity for the type of writing I do; I’m sure it’s much worse for people who are writing fiction.

                I appreciate what he’s given us and don’t think we have a claim on more.

                1. Ask a Manager* Post author

                  I also TOTALLY understand not letting another author finish it. It’s his baby! I wouldn’t let anyone else touch my stuff either. Good lord, the horror.

                2. Drew*

                  Don’t sell yourself short, Alison – there’s a TREMENDOUS amount of creativity in your writing!

                3. animaniactoo*

                  See, I think there is a contract with the readers – it’s part of the investment I make when I buy the book knowing that the story isn’t over yet. Knowing that I am only buying one part of the story. If I know there’s a good chance the story will never be finished? I probably won’t buy that book – and I don’t think that I’m particularly alone in that. So, my buying the book is part of a social kind of contract that says “I’m investing in you *getting* to write and publish the next book, this is my ongoing support to keep reading this story”. Because you can’t get to the end of the series unless all the previous books were compelling and successful enough for the publishing house to want to continue. So the audience has to literally buy-in to what’s already been written.

                  If you write never-ending series where each book can truly stand alone – most mystery/crime novels that feature a particular lead, stuff like Terry Pratchett’s Discworld, Piers Anthony’s Xanth, then sure – nothing more is “owed”. But if you’re doing a series where you’re setting up lots of stuff for future storytelling a thread that’s being continually teased as the reason to keep reading (or, okay, several threads), then not ending that is breaking that contract with the reader who invested and bought the story when it was only part way through.

                  I get burn out, I’m not arguing with waiting to finish until you can do it right. But to declare that it will never happen and you won’t make an alternate method of getting it finished possible – that is a measure of disrespect to me for the audience and fans who bought the story only part way through.

                  N.B. I am not talking about stuff like “The alphabet ends at Y”. I thoroughly agree that the alphabet ends at Y.

                4. Busy*

                  When Stephen King wouldn’t write anymore of the Dark Tower series, people sent him photos of teddy bears held captive in chains for ransom, that is how personal that contract can feel lol.

                5. Ask a Manager* Post author

                  I really do get that feeling. I’ve had that feeling! It makes sense.

                  But when you’re talking about someone else’s creative work, if they’re not feeling it … they’re not feeling it. Sometimes the right muse is there, and sometimes it flies off and doesn’t return, and completing the project would be a painful slog that isn’t what the earlier parts of the work deserve. And really, do you want a book produced by an author who saw sitting down to write it as a painful obligation and took no joy in it? I don’t think that’s the series ending you want; at least it’s not the one I want!

                  I obviously only have like .0000001 percent of the amount of insight into this that George RR Martin has, but I do know that when you are feeling creatively and professionally spent, it really sucks to hear people giving you shit for not doing more or not doing the specific things they want you to do. (Not that I am shedding any tears for him and his millions, but still.)

                6. AnnaBananna*

                  Eh, I think Brandon Sanderson could finish it up and it would be utterly spectacular, something that GRRM would be proud of, but Sanderson has (hypothetically) refused based on his faith vs the explicit content in GRRM books. *le sigh*

                7. Phil*

                  I’ve vowed not to read ANY series until it’s finished. I was burned badly by David Gerrold’s War Against The Chtorr. 3 or 4 books in he just stopped. It was really interesting, too.

                8. animaniactoo*

                  I go back and forth about this – I do design work for a living. There are absolutely days when I push through because I’m kind of burnt out, and no, it’s not always my best work. Sometimes, that’s what the approval team is there for – to bounce it back to me and say “Really? Please go clean up X, Y, and Z.” But most of the time, it really does at least range from “good enough” work to “pretty damn good” work.

                  There are points* when absolutely, I could be fresher creatively if I could just get a longer break than our work setup allows us to have (in the U.S. generally, not just my job).

                  So, yes. I’d like something that’s not a painful process for the writer, I’d like them to get through the burnout and get back to it. But at the same time – I expect them to be actively looking at figuring out how to get back to it without making themselves nuts, and finding a way to hand it off if they can’t.

                  If I wasn’t clear enough about this – I have never given shit for Martin not having finished the books (yet). I might roll my eyes a bit – but nowhere near angst and aggravation about it that I think you’re referencing others having given. My issue is really with the writer who gets to the point where they know they’re not going to finish – ever – and just says “sorry, too painful for me, too bad for you.” and just shuts it down.

                  *NOW. RIGHT NOW. DEAR LORD NOW. [cough cough] pardon me.

                9. Perse's Mom*

                  I have a lot of sympathy for GRRM simply because after Robert Jordan’s passing (another massive, decades-spanning series author), people started grilling GRRM about his own health.

                  If you haven’t read Neil Gaiman’s opinion on fan behavior toward GRRM, it’s worth finding.

                10. Ask a Manager* Post author

                  Sure! But pushing through when you’d rather not for a few days or a few weeks is a really different thing that slogging through writing an entire book. Also, when it’s a job that someone is actively employing you for right now, you push through — and if you can’t, you have to leave that job. (And I think you might say say, “but then you hand it off to someone who finishes it for you” … but I don’t think writing books falls in that category, or at least there’s no obligation to hand it over to another writer.)

                  I don’t know, I really do get what you’re saying and find the whole thing fascinating.

                11. Ask a Manager* Post author

                  I’m so interested in this that I just went googling to read/think more about it, and I will say that I also found this counter-argument fairly compelling:

                  But ultimately agree with this comment on that post:

                  I know this is very off-topic but this is kind of a fun post to begin with so….

                12. Ducks and covers*

                  I’d rather not have content than have bad content. I haven’t been impressed so far this season. I recognize I’m in the minority on this. I feel like he was writing something to just get it done as opposed to writing something as fantastic as the prior seasons.

                13. Sloan Kittering*

                  This ties into a whole thing where authors specifically are being viewed less as individual people and more as companies – so if you get mad at a company you would tweet your anger directly at them and request a refund, or if a company told you it was going to sell seven things in a series you’d be irked if they stopped at six. But … authors (and other artists) aren’t companies. They’re people.

                14. smoke tree*

                  animaniactoo – There is just no way to appease all of your fans, though. Some people may prefer to read a book that he had to slog through, even if it’s not as good as the others, while others will become even more embittered. Even aside from that, some readers will appreciate certain artistic decisions you make, and others won’t. Martin is a professional writer, but at this point in his career, he’s financially free to make the artistic decisions he wants, and I think that’s pretty great, even if some fans resent him for it. I think that freedom typically leads to better books.

                  I can’t help but feel that some of this anger at the idea of an unfinished series springs from the fact that most people are used to their series being owned by corporations with an interest in extending the series and making more money. But when that power lies with one individual, fans have much less control over the process, which appears to be very frustrating to some.

                15. animaniactoo*

                  I think there’s a piece that’s getting missed here where I’m not saying that it has to be done on schedule and I agree that there’s a tendency towards over the top rage and mockery when artists can’t simply produce content on demand (especially not GOOD content (see my comments on Piers Anthony’s Xanth series somewhere below here)). Schedules get blown. Life happens. Stuff happens. That character isn’t talking to you right now. Whatever.

                  But at the same time, if you just wanted to write books, then you should write books without trying to sell them. Keep them for yourself. Once you decide to sell them and make money from them, you’ve created an audience and you’ve asked other people to find them worthy and want to buy more. If you’re writing books that have an unfinished story at the point the book stops – like significantly unfinished, not just “huh, wonder whether that farm will be successful” as two protagonists go off to start a farm as an ending, then you have engaged people and yes you owe getting them that ending. Not because you’re a corporation. But because you made a commitment when you sold it as a start and not a whole.

                  People get to be disappointed when it doesn’t happen on the schedule that was put out and you thought it would (and to be fair, I think no one is actually more disappointed than Martin himself), they get to be mildly upset when it drags on interminably (although they’d do themselves a lot of favors by not being THAT invested, geez).

                  And by that measure, I do think that people get to feel REALLY angry and be upset when an author decides (as Melanie Rawn did at the time) that the series was tied up in so much painful stuff for her that she wasn’t going to ever finish it. And even though she wasn’t ever going to finish it, she wasn’t going to let anyone else finish it either. Because at that point what you’re saying is not just “Ugh, I want to write this when I can do it justice and this is not that moment” but also “You don’t deserve the end of a story that *I* asked you to start reading when I published it.” It may not be the intent of the action – but it is the underlying message and result of it, whether or not it was the intent.

                  I would have to say that saying “I’ve made all the money I need from it so now I REALLY don’t need to finish it” would be even more offensive to me from that standpoint.

                  In Martin’s case, because the tv series exists, I would be perfectly fine if he said “the story is finished there, that way, and these books are such a slog to write, I’ve struggled with every one of them and so sorry, I just don’t have it in me to do it again.”

                16. smoke tree*

                  Well, I doubt Martin went about writing the series in an attempt to make as much money as he could out of it. In the early 90s, giant high fantasy tomes were hardly a guarantee of riches. The landscape in which he started the series is so different from where he is now, I’m not surprised if that really colours his feelings about it.

                  I guess it’s just a question of how much you think of a story as a consumable product that is lacking value until complete and that can easily be transferred from one creator to another. Is a book in a series just an extended sales pitch for the following book? The publishing industry is increasingly functioning this way, which I find troubling.

                17. animaniactoo*

                  @smoke tree – you raise some really good points and I don’t think that Martin wrote them with the idea that there would be guaranteed riches. Maybe just enough riches to keep the lights on, and because he had a story in his head that he was burning to tell.

                  I do think that a complex in-depth story has only a limited amount of value if it never gets finished and I don’t remotely think it’s easily transferrable to another writer. I’m aware that Jordan left reams of notes on WoT, and that when it was time to find a writer to finish it that was an extended process that was about finding *the right* writer, not any writer.

                  I would sincerely hope that books are not written as tv/movie pitches, because to me there is so much depth to books that can’t be transferred to screen without spending a week glued to a tv set for one book…

                18. Elizabeth West*

                  Okay, I want to address what Phil said about not reading any series until it’s finished.

                  DON’T DO THAT.

                  If the first book in a series doesn’t sell, guess what? There won’t be a second.

                  Publishing is a business. They will drop it in a New York minute if they think it won’t do well, much like television networks pull floundering shows after just a few episodes. So if enough people blow off the first book, they can and will pull the rest of it. Writers are also trying to make money, and increasingly, it’s less and less for a f*ck of a lot of hard work. I wouldn’t want my series contract to go belly-up because you have some vague fear that I’m going to quit.

                19. New Jack Karyn*

                  Elizabeth West: You can’t have it both ways. Either people who invest in a series will get upset when that series is never finished (which you’ve said you disapprove of) or people will choose to not invest in a series until it is complete (which you’ve also said you disapprove of).

                  It’s not reasonable to expect that segment of the buying public who value closure in stories continue to invest in series, but then not express disappointment when some of those series never come to a close.

                20. selena81*

                  i think it’s mostly on readers to be careful when ‘trusting’ someone to finish a series when that person has not finished any big series before

                  a writer does not *owe* his audience a conclusion, because that would also mean suing the writer of a failed and aborted series when you are 1 of the only 100 or so people that bought the first book.

              2. Elizabeth West*

                @New Jack Karyn
                I never said you couldn’t be upset. The writers may be upset about it too. I’m disappointed that no one will pick up my book because I want to finish the rest of the damn trilogy. If it does get published and doesn’t earn out and Books 2 and 3 are canceled, I’ll be pretty disheartened. I imagine any writer who has a multi-book saga planned out would feel the same.

                I’m just pointing out that the publishing industry makes these decisions based on sales—projected and actual—and you’re risking never getting to read it at all by taking this tack. It sucks, but as smoke tree points out below, that’s how it works now.

                1. New Jack Karyn*

                  You’ve said elsewhere that artists don’t ‘owe’ fans. If artists engage fans in a series, and then don’t follow through, fans get upset. Writers are making an implicit promise that their story will come to a close that readers can share.

                  I think this only applies to series such as Game of Thrones or Kingkiller, which are slated to have X number of books. Less so to series such as Dresden Files, which just continue forever.

            2. Mimi Me*

              Apparently Wheel of Time has been optioned and is in pre-production for Amazon. My husband is BEYOND excited. Our son is named Perrin (which he chose), so there you have his level of dedication to that series. I have never read it, though I may have to give it a go soon.

              1. animaniactoo*

                I totally missed this! Must go re-read all gabillion books right now!

                I’d also love to see Michelle West’s SunSword series make it to the screen. Or… I’m a just shut up and stop right now before I really get going.

                1. Knotty Ferret*

                  I’m not a GoT or WoT fan, but Michelle West’s House War books given the GoT treatment? That would be amazing.

                2. animaniactoo*

                  I know, I can’t decide if I’d like the House War or the Sun Sword more. I think House War might translate better if only because the books are slightly less complex in storyline than the Sun Sword ones… but I’d love to see art of that North/South culture and backdrops translated.

                  However, Elantra has dragons in it… so the popular vote will probably go to… [snicker]

                3. KimberlyR*

                  Off-topic: I’ve only read her Chronicles of Elantra books (writing as Michelle Sagara). Which other series should I start with next? Although the Elantra books feel like they are going on for a very long time and I can’t see what kind of resolution or story arc we’re aiming for so I am hesitant to read another series of hers. But I do love her writing!

                4. animaniactoo*

                  KimberlyR, the Sun Sword series is a contained 6 volume series – but it is way richer and more complex than the Elantra books are. The House Wars spun out of it, and they’re on book 8. Not sure what she’s doing with it, but unlike Elantra I do expect that it will eventually end. With another series spun off of the world/terrain somewhere, because it is just so rich and deep. House Wars is still complex but does not have as many strands as SunSword does. It’s probably closer to Elantra, but with a more serious tone to the writing.

                  All that said – I love the Sun Sword series for the very depth of it, and the ways it explores how people react, as humans (mostly), in rigidly structured cultures/societies, and playing them off of each other. How they strive for better for themselves than what someone else intended for them, strive for better for others, and how they work with what is available by their own cultural norms to make it happen. What respect can be found for what is different, either incorporated into oneself or kept at a distance because while respected not wanted for oneself. And, of course, all the amazing characters involved.

              2. Antilles*

                It’s a great read overall, though a few parts can really slow down – most notably around books 7 to 10, before picking back up for the end of the series. I’m honestly excited for the TV version because (1) Lord of the Rings and GOT have really made it feasible to give a fantasy series the long, detailed treatment needed and (2) while I love the books, there’s quite a few points that could use a bit of pruning.

                1. Perse's Mom*

                  It’s fun to debate the merits of which subplots to keep vs combine vs axe all together – but only if you know the room because nothing brings down enthusiastic, considerate discussion faster than fans who cannot abide a different opinion.

                2. curly sue*

                  I tapped out of Wheel of Time after Book 6 (or maybe 7? I think it was 6) — the ever-escalating word count + ever-diminishing number of things that actually happened in each book finally did me in. Is it worth pushing through the rest? I read the first books as they came out in the 1990s, so it would require a full reread to get back in the zone. I did love the universe.

                3. Antilles*

                  @Perse’s Mom: I agree that it’d be an interesting debate to figure out how to handle it. That said, I think you could probably help quite a bit by simply pruning out a lot of the plotlines. Or, given that the series is now finished, you could probably even fix things a bit by actually separating the plotlines by character. Book 10 is widely considered the worst of the series and it’s largely because every single key character is simultaneously in a slow-developing section of their character arc. In a show, you could instead mix and match so that Episode 7:3 contains all of Perrin’s storyline from Books 8 to 11 – so that episode still contains the slow parts but also has the faster action sequences and activity.
                  @Curly Sue: The series as a whole is definitely worth pushing through, but yeah, those middle books are certainly a slog (generally from about books 7 to 10, though 6 gets pretty slow in parts too). Then the series picks back up starting midway through Book 11 and keeps quicker-paced and entertaining through the end.
                  What I’ve heard recommended before is that you read the first 5 or so books in their entirety (which is good, they’re pretty active and entertaining), but then when the series slows down in 6 or 7, you start skipping sections of them – you still try to read them, but any time you feel a plotline dragging and draining your will to continue, you just straight up skip it and skim an online plot summary of that chapter(s) instead. Then starting in Book 11, you return to reading the books in a normal fashion.

                4. Silence Will Fall*

                  @curly sue Now that it’s finished, I think it’s worth reading through the series. If you find yourself bogged down in the middle books, Leigh Butler’s blog on Tor’s website can help you skip ahead.

                  I think Brandon Sanderson did a masterful job of pulling the series back together and finishing it. Honestly, I don’t know that Robert Jordan would have ever finished. There were so many characters in so many different locations and the amount of in world time being covered per book was shrinking. If Sanderson hadn’t taken over, we’d be waiting for book 50 which would only cover 2 minutes of in world time and clock in at 1500 pages.

            3. General Ginger*

              Oh, man, I read the name “Melanie Rawn” and my 37 y.o. self is all angry that my 16 y.o. self ever picked up those books.

              1. animaniactoo*

                Well to be fair, I have no intention of re-reading Ruins and Traitor until Captal’s is published and in my hot little hand.

            4. Treecat*

              Ugh, this attitude is why I quit writing for money.

              No one owes you their creative output, no matter how much you want it. The contract is not with you (and as a writer I would NEVER sign a contract with a reader) and beginning a series does not obligate one to complete it any more than beginning a marriage in this day and age does not obligate one to remain married until death, despite what the traditional vows say.

              You’re allowed to take a job and later quit. You’re allowed to start something and decide you don’t want to finish, and you’re not obligated to hand over your creation to someone else. If it makes all the fans stamp their feet and wail, well, they can write their own books. This is what fanfiction is for.

              1. animaniactoo*

                By the same measure then, you can expect that the end user (the reader) will decide that they don’t want to buy something that is more likely to never be finished. And never pick up another book from that author unless the entire series is finished – if it manages to be finished and published with fewer people willing to buy it as it goes.

                Yeah, you’re allowed to do all those things. It doesn’t mean nobody is ever allowed to get diappointed or upset along the way, particularly when things that are implicit commitments that are understood as part of them don’t happen even if they were never explicitly made.

                If you’re not holding up your end of supporting your partner and being in a partnership, yeah, your spouse is going to be upset at you for not picking up the milk for the 8th time (or whatever other things it is), and that will lead to the partnership ending.

                If you give 2 days notice when you quit and leave the company in a bind, yes, they’re going to be upset with you for not “finishing”.

                1. Elizabeth West*

                  Then don’t. Plenty of people will. All we owe you is the best we can do on the product we have released. And I will reiterate what I said above–if enough people decide to hold off until the end of a series, then it won’t be published because publishers don’t care about your feelings–they care about sales. Bad sales = no more series.

                  You’re not our spouse and you’re not in a position to make those kinds of demands. That is a terrible analogy. Fans do not own artists.

                2. animaniactoo*

                  I think you’re missing the point. It’s not a question of owning. Not even remotely. Please go back and re-read what I’ve written throughout here.

                  If you give the premise that something is a series and YOU have engaged readers on that premise, you can not declare that you are not finishing through your own choice or allowing it to be finished by someone else without having some consequences for that. You can neither blame readers for being unwilling to purchase future series that you work on until you’ve finished it (which, yes, means it will be harder to get an entire series published), nor being upset that you are choosing not to deliver an ending in some form or another.

            5. Musereader*

              Hard disagree with you right here, there are circumstances out of writers control that mean that the rest of the books never get written, Richelle Mead has 2 books out in the Gameboard of the gods series of a projected 5 and cannot write more, they did not earn out their contract so the publisher will not pay her to write more and as writing is her day job she needs to be paid to write, she did post something about selfpubing the books, but that comes after her paying day job to write books that earn, apparently her first glittering court book sold 10 times as many books in the first week as the gameboard of the gods has done it’s entire run. She is unable to fufill that ‘contract’ you are going on about.

              Sarah micklem cannot get a contract for her third book as much as I would like to read it

              Sarah monette cannot sell anything anymore, hence Katherine Addison

              Phyllis Eisenstein has another book reportedly written as a second sequel to sorcerers son that she gave up on selling years ago

              Melanie Rawn reportedly would not write capital tower due to a fear of returning to the depression she was in when she wrote the first one, hopefully she does not get triggered now that she is finally writing it

              Scott lynch seems to be unable to write due to depression as well

              not to mention author existence failure

              1. animaniactoo*

                I don’t think that you’ve actually read most of what I’ve written here. The only person I quibble with is Melanie Rawn – who for very understandable reasons originally said that she was not able to finish and would never be finishing The Exiles trilogy.

                I completely understand and support her original decision never to do that for herself. I’m thrilled that she’s actually gotten to a point where she feels that she can do it – both for the books and for herself. But given that original hard decision, she also made it impossible for those who read those first two books to get an ending to a story that was far from finished and had so many unknowns to work through. We get to be upset about that, even as we sympathize and empathize with how painful the situation was/is for her.

                Everybody else on your list? Not their choice, not possible in any form that would make sense. None of that is what I have spoken to in any of my posts throughout this thread, including this one that you’ve responded to.

            6. Elmer Litzinger, spy*

              Whoa! Melanie’s finally writing The Captal’s Tower? I’d completely given up on it.

              I dislike Game of Thrones because he’s about as cheerful as Thomas Hardy. No, thank you.

            7. I Don’t Remember What Name I Used Before*

              I’m the same – I HAVE to know how the story ends! I won’t even START a series that isn’t finished because even having to wait for the next one to come out gives me anxiety. Series with no end give me EXTREME anxiety.
              I didn’t even go see LOTR until the 3rd movie had come out, and I KNOW how that ends- it’s been my favorite book for 40 years! I just couldn’t STAND the idea of having to wait a year between movies.

              I don’t even have an anxiety disorder! It’s just THIS SPECIFIC THING (waiting for a series to finish) that drives me absolutely around the bend!

            1. EH*

              This! I am always hesitant to pick up books that don’t stand alone. With Tad Williams, I refuse to read anything that’s part of a series until he’s finished it, for example. Authors owe us nothing. It’s crushing when a story doesn’t get finished, but that’s how it goes sometimes. Shows get cancelled, authors get dropped, authors’ interests change, it’s a risk you take when you start consuming something that’s open-ended. It sucks. But creators owe us nothing.

              1. OlympiasEpiriot*

                Also, writers die. Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower & Parable of the Talents was supposed to have a 3rd volume.

                Ursula LeGuin frequently stopped writing about one of her worlds and then would pick them up again years later when inspired. I loved it when another story would get published. She lived a very long life, but, I’ll bet there were other stories she might have told.

                1. New Jack Karyn*

                  Sure, but LeGuin’s stories in the Hainish cycle shared a universe but not a plot. They were stand alones. There weren’t cliffhangers that we were all waiting on.

          3. smoke tree*

            I agree. Those books are incredibly long and complex and I can totally understand how he could be sick of them by this point. I find it pretty entitled when people feel angry or ripped off by this. You bought the books you bought, not a share in the author’s business decisions and personal time. If he’s tired of the series and puts out a sub-standard ending to satisfy fans, I doubt that would make people happy either, but authors aren’t plot-generating robots connected to an infinite power source.

            1. Dragoning*

              Jim Butcher has talked about how he gets sick of Dresden frequently and he writes his other series so that he can stand to come back and write another Dresden book for his fans (and for his bank account).

              He said a lot of his fans complain that he’s writing this other book and not the next Dresden, but as he put it, if he doesn’t write this book, you’ll never get the next Dresden.

              1. animaniactoo*

                I like his other series. And I would far prefer that he do that than going the route of Piers Anthony’s Xanth series – which started out as a charming storyline built with a lot of puns and somewhere around the 9th book started transitioning into a lot of puns glued together to make a threadbare storyline. I definitely stopped reading those somewhere around 13 or 14. Lost the ability to believe the next book would bring it back around and be a good one again.

                1. Nessun*

                  Ohhh there’s a blast from the past. Yeah…Xanth started good. And then I got older, the puns got cheaper, and my re-reading adult self went “wait, exactly how much misogyny do I feel like putting up with here…’The Color of her Panties’?! Wth.”

            2. AnnaBananna*

              Have you read Rothfuss reviews on Goodreads? People are so incredibly rude and entitled, demanding he get back to work. It astounds me how people think artists owe them art on their own timeline.

              1. smoke tree*

                Yes! I’m actually more exposed to the Rothfuss rage, which in some ways feels a little more intense (although I guess people aren’t telling him to hurry up and finish before he dies, at least). Since he is so engaged with fans, it must put him in such a tough spot to keep having to justify over and over again, and he doesn’t have the multi-decade career and huge TV show to insulate him (yet). Must be a weird place to be with your first series.

                1. smoke tree*

                  I also like to believe he and George RR Martin have a gentlemen’s agreement to publish their books at the same time.

                2. LawBee*

                  I bailed on the second book halfway through. Kote is interesting, but I cannot stand Kvothe, and I have a really REALLY hard time accepting that a 16 year old boy is the best lover a basically immortal being has ever had (and on the first time he’d ever had sex!!!!!), the best musician in a town filled with genius level musicians, the smartest alchemist in a college filled with alchemy, etc. etc. etc. When he single-handedly saved the two rape victims and then went all Not All Men on them, I tossed the book away. DONE DONE DONE with that. I enjoyed the scenes in the pub and was interested in what was going on there but Kvothe is unbearable.

                  Had the ratio been flipped to much more Kote and exponentially less Kvothe the Marty Stu, I would have kept reading.

              2. President Porpoise*

                To be fair, he did say in an interview a full decade ago that he had book 3 written already… so I feel a bit like he’s holding off on publishing to eek out every penny he can in related projects and charity fundraising. I mean, good for him – earning money is awesome and he should keep doing that – but I’d still like to see how the series ends while I still have interest.

                1. smoke tree*

                  My understanding is that he thought he had the whole story more or less finished when he submitted the first book for publication, and in the process of revising it, realized he had to do a massive amount of rewriting for books 2 and 3–this seems totally plausible to me, given the complexity of the series. If he were just doing a cold financial calculation, he would be much better off dragging out the series and releasing a new book every year or two, so I’d be surprised if that were the case.

            3. Elizabeth West*

              You bought the books you bought, not a share in the author’s business decisions and personal time.

              THANK YOU. This is like a movie star’s fans demanding that they stop eating to take a selfie. You saw Endgame and liked it; that doesn’t mean Robert Downey Jr. now has to hang out with you.

          4. Elenor*

            I’ve never read the books but I do have a library with over 1,500 book in. So many sucessful authors churn out novels and in turns into a job rather than something they’re passionate about. For example Steven Kings Dark Tower series took years and years to complete but it’s by far his best work rather than the churn outs. George Martin has to complete in his own time or it won’t be his best work, it’ll be blah.

          5. wittyrepartee*

            He’s brought me so much joy already! I can’t begrudge him his own joy.

        2. ELWM73*

          Exactly, and why should he? He’s banked more off the show then he ever would from the books, and the show took a major turn from the original story-lines. There’s no going back-it would confuse all but the book fans who did not see the show.

          1. AnnaBananna*

            “it would confuse all but the book fans who did not see the show.” Nope. GRRM has been very clear that once the show and books deviated the arc, he was just going to continue with the storyline he had already planned. Specifically saying that there are a lot of dead characters on the show that are still fully alive in the books.

        3. Qwerty*

          Apparently there’s a quote from Martin that implies that he never intended to finish the series, even before it became a hit (possibly from before it was published). Something about telling authors to say their series will be X books but only writing Y (where Y < X). I can't remember the exact quote now.

        4. Sherm*

          Ha, I have likened my friend, who’s one of those people, to Linus thinking the Great Pumpkin will come. My friend won’t even watch the show past the point where it moves past the books, because he’s afraid that his memories of the show will get in the way of his experience of the future books…or something like that. He would go absolutely insane in an office disclosing GoT spoilers.

        5. Aerin*

          He’s got other stuff he does, too. I happen to think he’s a better editor than writer (and that’s where he really made his name), so if he never gets around to finishing ASOIAF because he’s busy putting out more Wild Cards, I’ll be just fine with that.

        6. Kate Daniels*

          My favorite series (see username) was luckily finished, but I have gotten burned so many times buying books in other series as they came out, only for the plusher or author to decide they weren’t making quite as much money as they wanted to be making from that series, so they cancel it and leave things unresolved. As a result, I no longer buy books in series until the entire series is out because I don’t want to invest $10-20 per book on an incomplete story. But now I’m seeing tons of authors shaming readers for not buying books as they are released because it causes their series to be cancelled.

          It is a bit of a chicken and egg problem. I understand that sales drive what gets published because publishing is a business, but I’m done getting screwed over time and time again. I don’t think it’s reasonable for publishers and authors to expect readers to invest money in a series unless they can, in good faith, commit to providing a conclusion to that series.

          1. TardyTardis*

            I hear you. I read the first three books in DREAD EMPIRE’S FALL by Walter Jon Williams, and cried when I found out there wouldn’t be any more Because Publisher. Grrr. (but now he’s publishing some sequels independently, and my Visa set itself on fire).

      5. Detective Amy Santiago*

        Let’s be honest – GRRM is never finishing those books. I feel bad for the book fans.

        1. Heidi*

          As a book fan, I’ve come to accept that possibility, but I’m still really glad I read the first five.

          1. Busy*

            Yeah, there are a lot of fantasy series out there that seem to never finish. I generally stop at around book 5 or so anyway, and appreciate all that I read to that point.

        2. wittyrepartee*

          It’s ok. I’m waiting for three authors: Rothfuss, Lynch, and Martin. One of them will probably write another book.

      6. Free Meerkats*

        When I chatted with GRRM (he told me to call him George instead of Mr Martin) while escorting him to a thing at Worldcon a couple of years ago, he told me he plans to actually finish the series of books. But they will have a different canon than the HBO show; so he accepts that they are different stories.

        Given his health, that may or may not happen. I’m not holding my breath, I look at what happened with Terry Pratchett and just enjoy what is there.

        A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms is a good read. Fire & Blood not so much, unless you enjoy a dry history book combined with a character list longer than a Fyodor Dostoevsky wet dream.

        1. AnnaBananna*

          Fire and Blood depressed me. I felt like I was in a 5th grade history class. But with dragons.

        2. Kitryan*

          I liked Fire & Blood but it benefitted from being read as a searchable ebook- so many names, when someone reappeared I could just check out their previous appearances to figure out who they actually were again.

    2. AnonEMoose*

      I gave up on the first book about halfway through. I’m happy for all the people who love it…it’s just not for me. So I had no interest in watching the show.

      OP, I think your best bets are either a direct plea for a respite, or to try to ignore it as best you can, and hope it dies down a bit when the show ends.

        1. AnonEMoose*

          I’m glad you like it! Without going into detail, I’m told that the thing that led me to Nope Out on the books is the same in the show.

          So…I’ll just be over here watching “American Gods” and re-reading the book instead. Which reminds me, I still need to buy a copy of “Anansi Boys” for my Kindle.

          1. InsufficentlySubordinate*

            Yup, will never read the rest of them, halfway through first. Noped out of books, and know enough to not watch the TV show.
            Now if you want to read some non-GOT Martin, see if you can find Tuf Voyaging. That I’ll read again.

            1. GoryDetails*

              “Now if you want to read some non-GOT Martin, see if you can find Tuf Voyaging. That I’ll read again.”

              Second! I love Tuf Voyaging – a loosely-linked set of SF stories about a rotund intergalactic trader/con man. Great fun! (And there’s Fevre Dream, a stand-alone novel about a riverboat captain in the mid 1800s who meets a gentleman who turns out to be a vampire; very good twist on the typical vampire tropes.)

    3. Person from the Resume*

      I don’t think we’re actually in the minority. The majority of humans, the majority of Americans, the majority of adult Americans do not actually watch GoT. The ones who do just want to talk about it A LOT, and that includes media creators who hypes it to make it seem extra popular.

      That being said if they actually “they talk out loud about it all day long” and you’re not exaggerating it seems like that has to take away from work being accomplished. That is about the only direction that I think you can take with a complaint. Not that they talk about GoT, but that they talk all day long in an open office space which distracts people like you and no doubt themselves from work.

      1. time for lunch*

        Honestly, if it were me, I’d have a little sign that said “This Area GoT Talk-Free for X Minutes,” or possibly also a privately kept tally, for personal entertainment, of the amount of time spent on it, only to be shared as a joke. Sort of like when I worked in retail and we tracked shitty customer behavior. Or like when I’m at my in-laws and we track how many minutes they can go before making reference to risk and danger (a huge part of their bland suburban worldview.) Of course, there are risks to doing that, and I’m not anything near to a professional workplace advisor.

      2. Grapey*

        There’s also a large section of people that watch it (like me) and consider it just another show in the long list of shows out there.

        I haven’t seen the latest season yet and I could only name like 10 of the main characters. Not even where they left off or anything.

    4. MM*

      I watched the first three seasons or so and dropped out. There are still a couple of characters I care about, but between the things I didn’t like about the show and the things I still don’t like about a lot of the fandom, which made talking about it stressful and exhausting, I firmly believe that those of us who are staying out of it are better off. (Just to complete my pedigree of Informed Disinterest, I tried reading the first book too and bounced off it like a ping-pong table.)

  3. animaniactoo*

    Maybe your best plea is for a specific surcease period. So at least you have a definitive time that you know you won’t have to hear about it. Either “Thursdays” or “Every day from 9-11 am” or whatever you can get them to agree to.

    But yeah, my first thought was that this is actually a short-term problem that will take care of itself when the show ends.

    1. Carolyn*

      Agree–maybe you can get them to just talk about it on Mondays when its freshest anyway.

    2. EMW*

      As my husband can contest, it’s probably focused a lot on Mondays. We were watching the show Monday evening with a friend (9pm on sunday is too late to start an hour plus show), but we had to move it to Sunday night live because people at work would talk about it “without spoiling anything” which meant they were basically spoiling the whole episode.

      LW – can you book a conference room for a couple hours Monday morning to just get away from all the chatter?

      1. Rebecca in Dallas*

        Haha, that’s how I was with Mad Men. We got rid of our cable, but I was usually able to watch it online (*by perfectly legal means*) but not until after the episode had aired Sunday night or the next morning. I finally had to start going over to a friend’s on Sunday evenings to watch it because I couldn’t bear the thought of being spoiled on Monday morning!

    3. Merci Dee*

      But even after the show ends, it’s still not going to stop.

      I say this as a Potterhead who loves all things Harry Potter. Even taking the Fantastic Beasts movies out of the equation, the Wizarding World of Harry Potter has not stopped, even though the last book was released in 2007 and the last movie released in 2011. It’s been 12 years since the book and 8 years since the movie, and it hasn’t stopped.

      My daughter and I are absolutely thrilled because we’ll be going down to Universal Studios this weekend, and we plan to spend all of our part time in the Wizarding World.

      1. Kathleen_A*

        GoT won’t stop, but constant chatter about it will stop. I mean, I’m perfectly capable of talking at boring length about Star Trek or Night Vale or Discworld, but even with a fellow fan, what we have are discussions about specific aspects of these things – not excited chatter, just discussions. And the thing about specific discussions is, they have an end. That’s true for Star Trek, Night Vale, Discworld and even Harry Potter.

      2. animaniactoo*

        The non-stop all-Harry all-the-time conversation has stopped. All of it, no. But the intensity? Absolutely.

      3. CastIrony*

        I agree wholeheartedly. I can still feel the Harry Potter fandom, and I rebelled against it since book one when I was around ten because it was too mainstream.

      4. Elizabeth West*

        I’ve been to the WB Studio Tour but not Wizarding World. :(

        There is so much merchandising for Harry Potter that it will never end, what with Wizarding World and the Studio Tour being permanent attractions, even if you leave out the Fantastic Beasts franchise. Plus, the community is so large that when you meet people who are into it, the conversation begins anew. And a large part of that is recognizing people from their accouterments.

        I just met someone the other day and when he saw my Hogwarts crest tattoo, the first thing he said was “What’s your house?” And another time, I was at a Japanese festival wearing a Potter t-shirt and a group of people I’ve never seen before collared me. We stood there for a few minutes trading allegiances and squees. We will always find each other everywhere. Work is no exception.

        1. Kathleen_A*

          Of course Harry Potter will “never end,” but you don’t talk about it all the time, right? You still enjoy it, and why shouldn’t you? Some of us have been enjoying Star Trek since 1966, and the Sherlock Holmes fandom goes back for more than 100 years. But Potter fans and Trekkers/ies and Sherlockians generally talk about their fictional passions only from time to time with other fans. We don’t disseminate theories and debate stuff across a crowded office for hours at a time. We don’t bore non-fans with it, at least not regularly. We’ve now settled into a regular, mostly peaceful fandom – and that will happen for G0T, too.

        2. Merci Dee*


          Don’t be too jealous, though. We’re going to Universal Studios as part of a middle school/junior high band competition and workshop thing. So it’s going to be a huge group of school kids with some of us parents as chaperones. Also, we’re driving down on a charter bus, and we have to pull out of the school’s parking lot at 3:30 on Friday morning. Waaaaaaaay before the butt-crack of dawn. We’ll have some time in the parks Friday afternoon/evening. I’m not sure yet how much time is going to be devoted to the band workshop on Saturday, but we should get at least a few more hours that day. And then it’s back on the bus around 7:00 on Sunday morning to ride back home.

          Busy, busy, busy. But, by gum, kiddo and I are freakin’ going to freakin’ Olivander’s to get our freakin’ wands!

      5. Anon for today (and probably tomorrow)*

        I lived through Pottermania. As someone who only mildly enjoyed the books and never did see the movies, it was annoying to be bombarded with incessant chatter, quizzes, speculation, etc. I still work with a few people who are still obsessed about Harry Potter, but it hasn’t been a topic of daily or even monthly workplace discussion in years.

    4. Ammonite*

      I had a camp counselor do this to me and my friends one summer about Harry Potter. We could talk about it for the daily 2 hour block of unstructured time in the afternoons, but then had to shut up about it the rest of the time. We thought she was a tyrant, but looking back it was a good move on her part. By discussing only that topic, we were alienating the other campers and becoming kind of clique-y, which defeated a lot of the group bonding aspects that were part of the point of going to camp in the first place.
      Maybe try instituting a rule for no GOT after lunch? That way people could get it out of their systems first thing Monday morning, but you’d have a change of topic to look forward to.

  4. ThisColumnMakesMeGratefulForMyBoss*

    I have never watched an episode of GoT, nor do I care to watch one. Thankfully I’m in a small office and it’s never discussed. I’m also not a fan of all the Marvel movies. It’s driving me crazy that I can’t go online without having to weed through stories upon stories about both. If it is distracting you from your work, you have every right to say something, but if not, unfortunately you’ll just have to deal with it until it’s over – thankfully there aren’t many episodes left.

    1. Former Retail Manager*

      Same…hate both….but I also don’t care too much about many different topics. If it helps the co-workers pass the time and isn’t to OP’s detriment, talk about whatever you want. I used to have a couple of co-workers that loved to discuss home renovations, in exceptional detail. At least I learned a little bit from them.

      1. Librarian of SHIELD*

        See, now, constant conversations about home renovation would hit me the same way the GOT talk is hitting the OP. I think in general, people should be conscious of how much time they’re spending on conversations on a given topic, and that it should be okay for a coworker to say “I’m all talked out on this subject, can we move on to something else now?”

    2. ArchivesGremilin*

      I mentioned this when I retweeted this link is that at least most social media places allow to block words/hashtags things like that. I’ve learned quickly how to do it so that I either don’t see spoilers with the shows I do watch (used to be much more of a problem when I lived on the West Coast of the US) or stuff I find annoying.

    3. Armchair Analyst*

      A co-worker tried to tell me that a Marvel Superhero movie (sometime 2014-2017) was too different from the comic books.

      But they’re both not real, so I don’t care if they’re not real in the same way, and I didn’t read the comic books, so, ok, you keep talking and I’m ignoring you.

      1. ThisColumnMakesMeGratefulForMyBoss*

        I have a co-worker who is VERY into all things comic book related. He continues to talk to me about how excited he is every time a new movie comes out (which seems to be once a month these days) even though I have shown zero interest in this topic of conversation. Thankfully he works from home 99% of the time so it’s over IM so I can kind of ignore him most of the time.

      2. animaniactoo*

        Eh. Storylines get retconned all the time, alternate universes, alternate timelines, etc. The only thing I’m bitter about is that Halle Berry in no way came close to embodying the attributes that make Ororo who she is. It was amazingly bad casting. That I’ll argue about! 8•P

      3. Piano Girl*

        My husband is a major comic book fan, so every time we go to a Marvel movie, we have to discuss whether it is faithful to comic book canon. I will humor him for awhile, then I have him call our adult son – they can geek out together. I don’t think the experience is complete for either one of them until they dissect the movie.
        After the frustration of our son’s teen years, it’s pretty sweet.

    4. Spreadsheets and Books*

      My people are here! No interest whatsoever in GOT and I really, really, really don’t care about superhero movies (and I cannot emphasize that enough).

      Are you allowed to wear headphones at work, OP? That’s what I do. I have long hair and AirPods so I can be discreet about totally ignoring everything everyone around me is saying.

    5. T3k*

      Same, not a fan of GoT (or any fictional political series really) and have no interest in superhero movies (unless they’re the anti-hero types, like along the lines of Megamind or Wreck-It Ralph). And it sucks a bit because I work in a pretty geeky industry so both topics come up every other day or so in work chatter, but as it’s all online skyping, I can at least ignore them :) I’ll just be glad when the show is finally over and don’t have to hear about it so much.

    6. Ella bee bee*

      I don’t watch it either. Everyone at my job is also talking about GoT nonstop, and it doesn’t bother me except for one coworker who keeps coming over to me to show me funny GoT memes. They might very well be funny but I don’t know because I’ve never seen a single episode of the show and have no idea what any of the memes are referring to. I’ve told him this many times and he keeps showing them to me, and every time acts surprised that I don’t think they are hilarious.

  5. EtherIther*

    Honestly, I think asking them not to talk about it will come across as weird no matter what. But could you tell them to be quieter at least? It seems unusual that it’d be acceptable for them to be talking so loudly for most of the day.

    1. The Original K.*

      Me too, because for me, this is very low on the scale of things to get annoyed about. Like I could see asking people not to talk about certain pop culture stuff because people want to avoid spoilers (and even that has a finite window), but I think you’re just going to come across as a stick in the mud if you ask people not to talk about it at all.

      I don’t watch GoT. I tried a few episodes and it didn’t take. I don’t HATE it; I just don’t watch it. I rarely have any issue when I say this. “Did you see GoT? Blah blah blah dragons – ” Me: “Oh, no, I don’t watch it.” And that’s usually it. I know a Big Huge Battle happened on Sunday because a number of my friends were excited about it so I’m fine with asking how it was, but in my experience people really like talking about it with other people who are into it, so that conversation fades out pretty fast. Which is fine!

      (I also really enjoy Leslie Jones’s commentary on it on social media. I don’t know what’s going on on the show, but I love hearing her comment on it!)

      1. Amber T*

        Leslie Jones is a goddess.

        You could always tell them you just started season one and please no spoilers!

        1. Pebbles*

          That won’t work, because then fans will ask “where are you at in the season?” and then it just leads to more discussion about the show you didn’t want to talk about in the first place. Fans will just move the discussion to whatever point of the show you’re at. It doesn’t matter what the fandom is, it just always seems to happen that way.

          “If you can’t lick ’em, join ’em.” (Or wear headphones.)

    2. Name Required*

      I agree — if a coworker came up to me and used the language Alison suggested (“I know we’ve joked about this, but it’s actually really overwhelming to hear so much about this show day in and day out. Obviously y’all get to talk about your interests with each other, but I’d be so grateful if you could rein it in so it’s not all day long like it has been.”), I would think they were being a primadonna. It’s such a nothingburger to get worked up about.

      I have a coworker who has asked us not to talk about GOT in front of him because he is intending to watch binge the whole series after it’s done; we’ve kept outloud GOT talk to a minimum and taken anything else to Slack or waited until he wasn’t around. OP, do you have something like Slack at work where you could recommend your coworkers take their GOT talk?

      1. L. S. Cooper*

        Yeah, I’d immediately feel like garbage if someone addressed me like that, as if I was a child who needed to be redirected. Instead of just being “LW who doesn’t really like GOT”, they’d be “LW who not only doesn’t like GOT but also sees fit to scold me for having interests and with whom I will avoid casually socializing as much as possible.” I’d feel angry and ashamed and sure, maybe I wouldn’t talk about my show anymore, but I also wouldn’t talk about much of anything with LW.

        1. Emi.*

          But why? This is not about asking people to stop talking about GoT at all, just asking them to dial it back somewhat. It’s certainly not a matter of “scolding you for having interests,” for heaven’s sake.

          1. agmat*

            Because the OP would then be asking people to stop having a conversation they aren’t even involved in. And a harmless one.

            OP can ask them to watch their noise level, due to the open layout and potential work distraction, but actually ask them to just stop talking about a particular topic? Nope, not without repercussions.

          2. Allonge*

            I think it would be more practical to view this as “I am not interested in topicX and would appreciate it if IN OUR WORKPLACE that has nothing to do with topicX you could, once in a while, stop the discussion about it” rather than anything shame-y. It’s not judging anyone for liking GoT, it’s begging for a bit of consideration. Surely everyone has a subject or two that they would like to hear less of?
            Also, this is not a friend group (where the request would still be very reasonable), it’s a place for work.

  6. Rainy*

    I also have an office obsessed with GOT. I’m so glad it’s finally ending. I watched the first 2 episodes back when it first started and it’s not for me. I feel like I have said that to every person in my office at least twice at this point.

    There is a huge benefit of being in an office that does have these kinds of conversations, though, because when I want to talk about Broadchurch or B99 or whatever, everyone is IN. :)

    1. Rainy*

      One thing I do want to say, though, is that I try to live by the motto of not yucking someone else’s yum.

      I know exactly why I don’t watch it, but typically I don’t give the reason unless someone is really testing my patience, because it could be perceived as being judgy about my coworkers, and I try not to do that. Not everything is for me, and if something isn’t for me, there’s no need for me to go on and on about why. :)

      1. Dragoning*

        The problem is, that diehard fans of things, tend to go “Oh, you should! you’ll like!” even if they barely know you, or, in fact, have just met you, and have little to no idea of your taste in anything. And trying to politely demure doesn’t work. Often trying to rudely demur doesn’t work.

        1. ArchivesGremilin*

          Yep I’ve gotten that a lot about Harry Potter. Then I tell them I read the first book and hated it. Then they keep going. It’s better just to be more frankly than polite about at this point.

          1. Burned Out Supervisor*

            OMG, yes. I’ve never read HP, nor do I really get the appeal. I’m just not a fan, but when I say that (even very gently), some HP fans look at me as if I kicked their dog.

            1. Parenthetically*

              Yeah I get this. It’s the same thing with Jane Austen — people who love X and hear it criticized are as often as not reacting to the Anti-X brigade. So much critique of Jane Austen is fcking sexist as hell, and so when someone tells me they hate Jane Austen, my spidey senses tingle a little bit, whether that’s fair or not. And so much critique of HP is just super smug and anti-YA-lit, or bizarrely fundamentalist, or anti-pop-lit (as if popular things can’t be good). I do tend to ask people why they dislike HP/JA and I’ll only push back and encourage them to examine the reasons for their opinions if they’re being dicks about it.

              That doesn’t mean people aren’t allowed to dislike HP or Jane Austen or whatever else — not everything is everyone’s cup of tea and that’s fine.

              1. smoke tree*

                I feel vaguely guilty for not liking Austen, although it’s not because I don’t think she’s a good writer. The problem for me is that she’s very good at depicting a really stifling social system and I find it very frustrating to read. But I still feel kind of gross being in the same category as the Franzen brigade.

                1. SS Express*

                  That’s exactly how I feel about Austen! I consider her an excellent writer in so many ways, but I don’t enjoy reading her books at all because they are suuuuuuper frustrating to me.

                2. Parenthetically*

                  It was situations exactly like this that broke me of moralizing my preferences. I grew up with a dad who moralizes every preference from voting to vacuuming, and so I was accustomed to the language of “I dislike this thing because it is obviously inferior.” But then my preference on a particular pop-culture thing aligned really well with those of people I found morally abhorrent, and I QUICKLY learned to say, “Meh, Seinfeld’s not my jam, I really prefer a gentler sitcom/pop princesses don’t do it for me musically but good for them for Getting That Money/I’m not into makeup really but it’s such a creative endeavor” etc. etc.

              2. General Ginger*

                I don’t actually hate Jane Austen, but my kneejerk reaction will always be to say that I do, because her work, to me, is inextricably linked with the torture that were my high school English classes. It’s also why I believed I hated Moby Dick for the longest time, until I re-read it for myself.

              3. Ms. Rogerina Meddows*

                You’ve articulated my pop culture red flags well, except swap out Jane Austen and Harry Potter for Queen and the Beatles, respectively. I find a lot of Queen hatred/criticism is rooted in homophobia, and Beatles hatred/criticism tends to be incredibly smug and rooted in rejecting any and all popular music for the sake of appearing “nonconformist”. Like you, I push back if any red flags pop up, but if it’s just a matter of not being to someone’s taste, totally fine. Everyone has different “yuck” and “yum” and “meh”.

                To relate it back to GoT, I have no interest; I saw the pilot and found it simultaneously boring and too violent and didn’t want to watch any more. For a long time I was “whatever” about it, but now I’m really sick of it because it permeates *everything*, including this blog, and I’m glad it’s ending soon because it’ll at least die down. But I don’t say that in front of fans, because I don’t want to yuck others’ yum and all that.

                1. Parenthetically*

                  One of my dude friends has recently been on a “…but are the Beatles actually good?” kick, which would be understandable if he were 16, because I feel like most people go through a nonconformist phase at some point, but he’s like in his mid-thirties? And I desperately want to tell him to throw himself into the sea.

        2. Aerin*

          I get a lot of people who hear that I don’t watch GoT and are completely shocked, because I’m generally a big SFF nerd. Invariably, I tell them I watched the first episode and didn’t care enough to watch any more, and invariably they tell me I totally should. No thanks, I prefer my fantasy less testosteroney. (The San Francisco Treat *ding ding*)

          So I’ll be the first one in line when we finally get adaptations of Broken Earth or Who Fears Death or the Lunar Chronicles.

      2. ArchivesGremilin*

        This. You wouldn’t believe the flack I’ve gotten over the years for a)not liking Harry Potter b)not liking Star Wars/Star Trek, and c)a whole host of things. I just tell people, not my thing, never will be my thing.

        Either that or I dish it right back when I ask if they’ve ever seen Thing I love and then get so exasperated when they haven’t. Usually shuts them up right quick.

        1. CMart*

          I have a friend who doesn’t like music. Not just specific genres, no music has ever piqued his interest. He was in his mid-30’s when I learned that about him so it’s not like he just hadn’t had the exposure.

          It was then that I realized it’s truly possible for anyone to dislike anything just as a matter of personality or taste. I was a pushy jerk about “well but you just haven’t read/seen/heard X yet” about my own favorite things as a youth but have since learned just to accept people at their word when they say something is not for them.

          Oddly, my die-hard GOT colleagues have much more readily accepted my non-watching excuse of “I’m not internet savvy enough to figure out how to illegally download them and I didn’t know anyone with a HBO Go account until recently, so I’m just too cheap and too far behind to even bother catching up” than anyone who claims they just aren’t interested.

      3. Tara R.*

        Yep. I have, at various points in my life, been the person who was pretty in to *insert some thing that a number of people are excited about here* and also been the person who felt like they were surrounded by people enthused about *some other popular thing* here. The last couple years of the Sherlock craze were rough.

        But I always try to hold on to the feeling from when I get to chitchat and go “OMG CAN YOU BELIEVE” with other fans, and remember that other people should get to have those feelings about stuff that I don’t care about. It’s easy to grump and list all the reasons why you don’t like *thing*, but I try not even to express that to people who share my opinion. I think it’s better to focus your energy on positivity rather than negativity.

        (Obviously sometimes there are racist/sexist/etc things that do need to be discussed, but I’m talking from purely a “I find this media not to my taste” perspective.)

      4. Elizabeth West*

        I am fine with people not liking stuff I like, but it annoys the shit out of me if they make fun of me for liking it or act like I’m stupid to do so.

        One of my relatives does that. Saying “I’m not really into that kind of fantasy stuff” is fine. Open contempt like “Ewwwww why would you like thaaaaat; it’s for kids/silly/etc.” in a snotty tone will draw my fire.

        I like don’t yuck my yum. I may borrow that. It’s mild enough to say at work.

      5. sofar*

        The would would be a better place if everyone observed the following social contract:

        “OMG I love Harry Potter/GoT/fill in the fandom here. Do you watch/read?”

        “Nah, I started it, it’s not my thing.”

        “Cool! Yeah, it’s not for everyone!”

        I’m a diehard GoT fan (I’ve thrown viewing parties for every episode since Season 3 with food items related to the show). I’m not about trying to convert or evangelize (I know the books/show aren’t everyone’s cup of tea), but I also hate it when people try to “yuck my yum,” as you say, just because they feel left out of the pop culture obsession du jour.

    2. Anonny*

      I’m sure it wasn’t the most polite but after weeks of having people try to start conversations with me about GoT I finally deadpanned and said ‘I don’t enjoy watching women get raped.’

      That was the last time anyone on my office tried to bring the show up.

      1. Pebbles*

        This is exactly why I haven’t read/watched “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” more than once. Love the overall story, cannot unread/unwatch that scene. (For anyone wondering, I was hoping the movie would only infer what happened, but sadly no.)

      2. Rainy*

        I don’t like GOT because it’s so freaking rapey, but again, I’m more comfortable just saying “no thanks, not for me!” if I can.

      3. MayLou*

        I have always been uncomfortable watching violence, and recently have just become completely unwilling to watch it at all – I used to enjoy NCIS and similar, as well as British crime dramas, but now I just cannot. The tiny amount of GoT I’ve seen is so violent that I have absolutely no interest in seeing it, and probably would find it uncomfortable hearing people discuss any graphic details too.

        1. The cat's pajamas*

          I was gonna say, just say you don’t like rape culture. You might be unpopular, but nobody will bother you.

      4. Just Me*

        That’s exactly how I feel too, and if an entire office is talking about a violent, raping show every day, all day long, then the office culture is not good. I think the advice to just ignore it if you don’t like it is hypocritical, especially the number of times it’s been mentioned that women shouldn’t talk about their children too much. So, I get it. It’s ok to obsessively talk about murder and rape, but don’t dare mention your baby more than once a week.

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          I mean, if the conversation were focused on murder and rape, absolutely. At least in my experience, that’s not what it tends to center on. I’ve been around nonstop GoT conversation this week (mostly, uh, led by me) and it’s been speculation on, like, military strategy, not anyone talking obsessively about murder and rape, which I agree would be Very Weird and seriously troubling.

          1. Rainy*

            People do talk about the incest a bit, but in general, yeah, people are eliding the rapes. Which is part of the reason I don’t like to say “it’s too rapey for my taste”, because I know that’s not how fans experience the show.

      5. Another Anon*

        I have a friend who always tries to shame me for liking GoT, “but YOU were RAPED” like yeah I was, thanks for reminding me so callously? But in the same conversation will ask why I don’t watch L&O: SVU anymore…. cause GoT has probably 10 minutes of sexual assault in 80 hours of television and SVU is literally all about sexual assault in a reality-based world? (Not to mention the writing and characters have gotten so bad it’s literally painful.)

        I totally understand that the violence is difficult and off-putting, and definitely not for everyone, but there seems to be a lot of pearl-clutching here about how inappropriate it is to talk about GoT in an office by people who haven’t seen it.

  7. Newelpost*

    Next time somebody asks you about the show say “Thanks, but I don’t watch soap operas”.

    That worked great for me when my friends were very into pro wrestling and I wanted to motivate them to change the subject.

      1. OlympiasEpiriot*

        My (very dated) impression of soap operas/telenovellas was a general dearth of love stories but lots of jealousy stories, using-sex-as-revenge stories, and using “love” for manipulation stories. Which seems to fit into what I’ve gathered about Game of Thrones.

        (I’m not a watcher/reader, either.)

        1. Mr. Shark*

          There’s actually not a whole lot of that in GOT. It’s a lot more political, fantasy, and war drama than jealousy and sex-as-revenge stories.

      2. Newelpost*

        As far as I can tell, most modern “prestige” TV dramas are basically soap operas with different window dressing.

        You can dress the characters up like vikings or bikers or gangsters etc, but the broad strokes of the series’ plots don’t seem like they’d be out of place on “Days of of Lives” or similar.

        That’s not inherently a bad thing, I like a bunch of these shows dating all the way back to “The Sopranos”.

        However, pointing this out is a good way to get people to stop talking about them. Most people don’t want to think of their Very Serious TV Drama as basically “General Hospital” with higher production values and the occasional dragon.

        1. Nico*

          Definitely Downton Abbey seemed from the outside to be a beautifully shot and costumed soap opera that smart people didn’t feel bad about watching :D

        2. MM*

          I guess I’m not sure what the fundamental difference is meant to be, beyond aesthetics and budgets. At the end of the day it’s all interpersonal, emotional storytelling. I don’t think it’s so much about “modern” prestige dramas as it is that a drama and a soap opera are primarily differentiated by prestige (and to some degree gender–unfortunately interrelated with prestige), and that’s been true as long as there’s been television. A sitcom or a police procedural is, in many respects, more different from a soap opera than any drama you care to name.

          1. Aerin*

            The thing that makes soap operas different than most other TV is that they don’t have seasons, they’re just eternal. A regular show will have a few lesser story arcs that move at different speeds but one or two big ones that span a whole season and everything wraps at the same time. But soap opera arcs are an ABC pattern: an A plot that’s wrapping up, a B plot that’s at its peak, and a C plot that’s just getting started, all at the same time. So the difference isn’t so much content as structural (although there are a few very common tropes that are considered “soapy,” mainly because they can quickly and easily provide shock and drama).

        3. emmelemm*

          To be fair, I completely agree that Game of Thrones is nothing more than General Hospital with dragons. But it’s that extra little soupçon of dragons that makes me interested in watching. :)

          1. I Don’t Remember What Name I Used Before*

            This is my thing. I am BORED STIFF reading books that take place in blah normality, but the same kind of themes/storylines in an SF, fantasy, horror, or other genre setting will have me RIVETED.

        4. Mimi Me*

          Oh yes!!! My husband recently watched a show called The 4400. This was TOTALLY a soap opera complete with the character who started out as an infant, went away for a brief time and came back as a fully grown adult. Oh, and the villain who died – but the body was never recovered and then he made a miraculous return in a later season. LOL! The lighting, the music, the dialogue…it was all soap opera just with a sci-fi bend.

        5. Important Moi*

          I completely agree. I’m often surprised at the hostility. Sometimes it’s just entertainment and that’s OK.

          I love Marvel. Never seen Game of Thrones. Watched 3 episodes of Lost (I didn’t get it.) Downton Abbey – watched 2 episodes .

          1. Mr. Shark*

            Ah, if you watched 3 episodes of Lost, then you were just ONE episode away from getting it (or maybe you would never like it, but the fourth episode really elevates the whole thing).

      3. Grace*

        British soaps aren’t that love-story-heavy – are American ones? Over here, the big deal is who murdered who, who’s got caught up in crime, etc. The Christmas and New Year’s setpieces are disasters that kill half a dozen characters, rather than the fulfilment of a will-they-won’t-they. (My mum watches Corrie. It’s a fun mindless thing to have on in the background, but I’m incapable of keeping track of all the long-haired brunettes.)

        1. Perse's Mom*

          I haven’t watched daytime soaps in decades, but I certainly remember them as all of those things (who murdered who, who turned into a criminal) but also surprise twin siblings who may or may not be evil, secret love children, who’s cheating on who this week, who’s getting married this week (but also possibly cheating!), who’s been in some kind of accident that undoubtedly resulted in amnesia and will probably somehow result in someone cheating on their partner…

    1. EtherIther*

      Eh, I think that works better with friends than with coworkers. I think it could come across as rude. It’s one thing to take a jab at your friends, but this could fail pretty hard with Game of Thrones obsessed coworkers. But letter writer should definitely feel free to say she doesn’t watch it!

      1. Name Required*

        Yeah, definitely rude. It reads like saying, “Sorry, I don’t watch that trashy garbage you’re into” … which is probably not the actual message you want to send.

    2. Had2Say*

      Why, because it implies that liking soap operas should be shameful? This always comes up because it’s associated with being a woman-only thing–just like romance novels. I love both, so this line of thinking never fails to annoy me. They addressed issues that no one else would touch (ex: All My Children’s Erica Kane having an abortion in 1973), and they should be given more credit for being progressive.

      Maybe try to convey your disinterest in a less dismissive way–one that’s not offensive to media that’s geared toward women and heavily-influenced by woman? For the love of Agnes Nixon, let’s stop dragging soap operas through the mud…

      1. Clisby*

        Yeah, and they didn’t even sugarcoat Erica’s abortion with some rape/incest drama or whatever. She didn’t want a baby so she didn’t have it.

    1. LitJess*

      Eh, I wouldn’t use this tactic unless you were actually planning to start watching the show. It opens up OP to a new thread of conversations – where she is in the series, what she thinks of it so far, have you met X character, what did you think of Y battle?

      My partner has been just excusing himself from GoT convos in his office because he might someday in the unspecified future decide to watch the show. He is sincere, but also I’ve seen his to-be-watched list and lets just say that moratorium on spoilers is going to expire long before he gets to this one.

      1. Moray*

        Just tell them “the guy with the beard just got killed and there was that fire thing.”

        1. Armchair Analyst*

          And “can you believe what the lady with the braids did?”
          This will work for about a dozen different women.

        2. whingedrinking*

          Or “There was that scene where they explained the plot with a whole bunch of naked ladies around.”

      2. Cattiebee*

        A way to sidestep this might be to say she’s just now starting the books and to please not spoil anything for her. Like Earthwalker below, I also am waiting for the rest of the books to come out (I did watch the show, however, until it started catching up to the books), and the show fans at my work tend to be pretty respectful of my desire not to spoiled. I also have no problem reminding them when they do start talking about it around me. :)

        Anyway, the books are so long that OP plausibly could still be in the first book by the time the show ends and all the hubbub dies down. If anyone asks her about it in a few months, it’s easy enough to say “yeah I had a hard time getting into it” and shrug. It’s a non-confrontational way out if OP would rather save her confrontational energy for more important things at work.

    2. Moray*

      Ooh, that’s diabolical and could definitely work.

      “Don’t tell me, don’t tell me, I’m still catching up!”

      “I’m putting in my headphones, let me know when I’m in a spoiler-free zone again, yeah?”

    3. Earthwalker*

      I’m reading the series and waiting for the next *book* to come out, so don’t spoil it.

      1. Thomas Merton*

        Same. I have made my position very clear to my nearest co-workers. Who now torment me with fake spoilers.

    4. boo bot*

      I have in the past used a variation: “I want to watch it someday when I have the time, so I don’t want to listen to people talk about it now.”

      The future is vast and vague.

  8. Matt*

    Drop some spoilers. That will guarantee your coworkers never talk to you about GOT ever again. :D

    However, the drawback is that your coworkers probably won’t talk to you about anything ELSE ever again, either…

    1. TootsNYC*

      If they’re all fans, they’re watching it, and our OP doesn’t HAVE any spoilers to drop. Not without investing a ton of time, and even then, the coworkers have probably seen any spoiler-type stuff that’s easily found.

    2. Rainy*

      There’s a tweet going around about the difference between tv show spoilers and e.g. Marvel franchise spoilers that’s pretty great. The upshot is that the East Coast live-tweets GOT and other shows and everyone else has to deal, but if you see a Marvel movie opening night and offer an opinion on a character’s new hairstyle someone from the internet will find you and cut you. ;)

      1. sam*

        this was the old “TWOP” rule – it’s not a spoiler anymore once a show airs on the east coast, and it’s ‘buyer beware’ if you venture onto the site (or these days, twitter) during a time which you know people will be talking about a widely watched show.

        With movies, there’s no designated “airtime” and even if a lot of people go on day 1, there’s just no way for everyone who wants to see it to see it immediately just because the logistics are different, so we expect a different sort of grace period for viewers.

        All that being said…OP, the show will be ending in three weeks. If you can hold out for that long, I’d let your co-workers have their fun for these last few weeks of a show they’ve enjoyed immensely and watched for probably a decade. if they continue to natter incessantly for a significant amount of time *after* the show ends, then by all means, tell them to STFU already.

        1. Lepidoptera*

          Some guy was freaking out the other day on Twitter because he stumbled across Endgame spoilers in P*rnHub comments…really, just stay off the net until you’ve watched The Thing You Want To Watch.

          1. Burned Out Supervisor*

            Eh, movie spoilers are nothing really new. My friend spoiled Titanic for me by telling me “I cried so hard when Leo died” not realizing I was one of the 2 people on earth who hadn’t seen it yet (the movie had been out for a few weeks, but I was working at a summer camp at the time). I did end up seeing it, but didn’t have the big emotional build up because I already new he was done for.

            1. MayLou*

              In fairness, it was a film about a ship sinking. I’d have gone in assuming everyone was going to die. This reminds me of when I went to see The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas with my German class, and at the end everyone else was shocked that the little boy dies. I was like… It’s a film about a concentration camp. What were you expecting?!

              1. Burned Out Supervisor*

                Werd, but still, the movie had only been out for a couple of weeks and I was like “Really? You couldn’t at least ask me if I’d seen it yet before talking about it?” I assumed a lot of people would die, but sheesh…lol.

      2. Jaybeetee*

        I still remember a time when I and a colleague/eventual ex-bf (yes, messy situation) were discussing X-files at work, and one of our colleagues got annoyed about “spoilers!” This would have been circa 2014. X-files had been off the air for over a decade, save a movie and the two reboot seasons. But colleague and his bf, who were too young to watch the series when it initially aired, were apparently in the process of bingeing it. We, as well as a couple other colleagues in the vicinity, pretty swiftly shouted him down on that score. And started jokingly asking if we could discuss Shakespeare in front of him, or if he hadn’t finished Romeo and Juliet yet?

        1. Rainy*

          I know someone who was in line at the theatre to see Titanic, first-run, talking with his wife about which version of the sinking the movie was going to use (this was back when there was still some controversy over whether the engines broke loose and tumbled down the hull like ball bearings or not), and someone in line in front of them turned around and said “Well thanks, asshole, guess I don’t need to see the movie now!” and left the line.

          Like…can it really be a spoiler if it’s history?

      3. Mr. Shark*

        At least GOT airs at the same time across the country. I’ve heard that people across the pond get annoyed because it doesn’t air until Monday night for them, so the shows at 9pm EST are still a day early for them.
        It’s easy to get spoilered on network shows, because of the time difference in when the shows are aired, so you have to be very careful for those television shows.

        1. Audrey Puffins*

          Yeah, it’s sort of unrealistic to expect us all in the UK to get out of bed at 2am on a Sunday night when so many of us have work on a Monday morning just to remain unspoiled. Just give us a 24 hour grace period, or at least use the hashtags so we can mute as much conversation as possible. ;)

        2. Musereader*

          UK – If you have Sky you can watch the episode at 2am sunday night/Monday morning same time as US broadcast and it is on demand all day, I cannot stay up as I have work at 9am to 5pm and won’t get home until 6ish, my other option is to get up at 6am to watch it and I have not managed so far. I just have to get though the day with no or news websites. but yes uk broadcast is 9pm monday

    3. It’s A Bird, It’s A Plane, It’s SuperAnon*

      My dad would tell my brother and I that major characters in books we were reading would die, just to mess with us. Like, Hermione dies in HP book 3!! I stopped believing him just as I started LotR:FotR and he told us that Gandalf died.

      I don’t ask him what happens in movies and books anymore.

      1. Lissa*

        The only way to really fight spoilers is to drown them out with an equal amount of fake spoilers so nobody’s actually sure who died/hooked up/changed their hair.

      2. Detective Amy Santiago*

        My go to fake spoiler is always “rocks fall, everyone dies”.

        I was not so far off re: IW.

      3. Elizabeth West*

        Heh, we were doing this in my chat room, dropping fake Endgame spoilers just for fun. My best one was “I loved it when Harry Potter swooped down and saved Thanos and then Gandalf killed them both.”

    4. GRA*

      I’m still confused how people can get upset by GoT spoilers. The TV show is based on the books. The story has been out there for quite a while.

      1. Scarlet2*

        Except the series diverges from the books in many ways. Also, the books are far from finished, whereas the series is drawing to a close. So no confusion there.

      2. Health Insurance Nerd*

        Because many people who watch the show haven’t read the books? And also because the show doesn’t follow the books to the letter? And also because the show outpaced the books starting last season-ish? And also because people who spoil shows for other people are kind of jerks?

  9. Non-profiteer*

    Personally, I’m enjoying lots of schadenfreude right now with culture focused on GOT and Marvel movies. Guess what guys, this is what I feel like EVERY dang season of EVERY dang year regarding sports talk! Just when the March Madness talk starts winding down…it’s baseball season! And on, and on…

    I’m mostly just expressing my glee here, but my point for OP is: we all probably talk about things that others find boring. Follow Allison’s advice, learn how to change the subject or ignore and get back to work…at least for you it will eventually get better. I will ALWAYS be ducking convos about the game last night, because sportsball never ends.

    1. I'm the OP :)*

      It’s true, I don’t like sports either and I’ve always managed to tune that out no problem … I can’t figure out why this is so distracting to me haha.

      1. Antilles*

        I won’t speak for you, but for me, GOT talk is a bit more irritating than other topics simply because the conversations seem to be so samey.
        You might not be a sports fan, but the conversation about “man, did you see March Madness? Crazy about Duke’s loss!” is at least a *different* conversation than “man, Local Baseball Team is killing it recently this year” and “wow, the NFL draft last week…how about that Daniel Jones pick? Just don’t see what they see in that guy.”

          1. agmat*

            Yup, all I hear is “ball”, “coach”, “did you see”, “bzzzzzzz” because it then becomes like hearing a foreign language that I just don’t understand.

        1. Non-profiteer*

          See, but all of those “different” sports topics you list just read as WAH WAH WAH WAH WAH to me (aka sound of adults talking on the Peanuts cartoons) – they are not so different when they’re about a topic that is boring to you!

          1. Antilles*

            They’re at least different words though – I’ve literally heard the exact same conversation about [REDACTED] killing [REDACTED] and the deaths of [OTHER REDACTED NAME] four separate times in the past two days – same words, same discussions, same issues, same theories. Like, so repetitive that when my wife and I meet a couple friends for dinner this evening, I fully expect to able to jump in and finish everyone’s sentences even though I haven’t watched a second of the show.
            March madness and college football might all be boring conversations to a non-fan, but at least they’re less repetitive.

            1. Sloan Kittering*

              Yes I think it’s the killing/death elements that make it harder to tune out than the typical “so didja see the big game”

        2. LegalBeagle*

          Yes, it’s hilarious that these are examples of vastly different conversations! They all sound like gibberish to me. I tune out all sports talk.

        3. Scarlet2*

          No, I don’t see any difference there. When it’s boring to you, it’s just a bunch of noise people make with their mouths. When I hear sports talk, my brain shuts down.

        4. sofar*

          THANK YOU. I do not get why everyone is so annoyed about GoT/Marvel. And I’m over here like, “This is our Superbowl, let us have this. In a month it will be gone forever.”

          Like, every year, I have to listen to coworkers go on and on about their in-office March Madness brackets, draft picks. I have to sit in literal traffic due to college sportsball in my city. I have to scroll through sports posts all over social media with memes I don’t get.

          Sports is an ingrained and accepted part of office culture (to the point where in-office brackets and betting money on them are encouraged). So is talking about your kids. But somehow talking about dragons for like eight weeks out of the year (there wasn’t even any new season of GoT in 2018) is beyond the pale?

          1. I Don’t Remember What Name I Used Before*

            Sports fans are as big of nerds about their particular fandom as any other fanboy, they just can’t see it because their obsession is considered mainstream.

    2. Bunny Girl*

      I know. As Alison says, this is the same as any office that won’t stop talking about one single topic. I think learning to ignore it is better. I’ve been in offices where no one will stop talking about their kids and it’s equally annoying.

    3. K*

      AGREE. I hate sports, and never want to talk about sports, but I have to listen to “news” about the draft or whatever other crap is happening. I hate it and I don’t want to talk about it AT ALL. But it never stops, and my coworker gets to like what he likes, just like everyone. Suck it up and deal.

    4. Mimi Me*

      Agree! I work in an office that talks sports non-stop. We’re in Massachusetts – sports are stupid big here right now. I don’t understand the appeal at all. Aside from Brady I could not tell you a single athlete’s name. But I just smile, nod, and walk away when the talk gets going. I don’t eye-roll, sigh, or make dismissive comments about their excitement (although I do silently root for whoever is playing New England teams in every game they’re excited about). I wish the same could be said for my co-workers when it comes to things I enjoy. I saw both Endgame and GoT on Sunday – back to back – and I had more than one person tell me I was a child for being excited and emotionally moved by this. And they wonder why I’m so quiet in the office.

    5. JustaTech*

      See, in my lab it’s the same group of people talking about GOT as talking about every single season of sportsball. So it’s football, GOT, basketball, baseball…

      I try not to get annoyed, but in the lab I am literally trapped in place and unable to wear headphones. So I have asked “Hey, can you all wrap that [topic] up and talk about something else? Or put on the music?”

      In that case a lot of my issue is that I am being specifically excluded from a conversation I can’t leave.

  10. Former Retail Manager*

    Nothing insightful….just sympathy for OP. I have ZERO interest in GOT and am also tired of hearing everyone talk about it (but I don’t sit in an open office, so lucky there). I say hang in there… Alison said, the show is almost over.

    I do agree with another commenter, that there can be some benefit to having a shared interest with your co-workers in something non work-related. Seems to be “team building” for lack of a better term. I really like TV shows for this since they’re pretty neutral in the grand scheme. Our office talks a lot about TV. When it shifts to GOT chat, I exaggeratedly sigh and excuse myself in a joking way. They all know I hate the show and swear I’m missing the greatest show ever.

  11. mf*

    Honestly, your coworkers might think you’re a killjoy if you tell them you don’t want to hear about GoT. You’re likely to alienate them and discourage friendly, casual conversation around you. Instead, can you find something else (another TV show? a hobby?) that you share with your coworkers so you can change the subject when GoT comes up in conversation?

    1. We have to go back!*

      I still remember when a co-worker was very rude to me when I was so passionate about LOST. I was about 30 years old, she was much younger, and yes that was like 10 years ago and I’m still holding a grudge!

    2. C.*

      Yeah, I agree—especially if, as the OP says, they’re trying to include you in the conversation.

  12. irritable vowel*

    The good news is that the series will be over in 3 weeks, and people will move on to the next thing. May I suggest that you take some vacation around the date of the series finale? :)

  13. Justin*

    I also hate GOT (and loathe how every fake name here is Sansa/Arya/omg stop), but there is no way to make people stop enjoying something, so I just keep my mouth shut. I also did not see Endgame this weekend (eventually, but i don’t really care) and this is all the talkings.

    We’ll make it through.

    1. Former Retail Manager*

      I literally just laughed out loud at your comment about the fake names here….also over it.

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        Honestly, I agree (they’re not coming from me anymore!) and sometimes when people use them in letters I change them to non-GoT things. Same thing with teapot references! (Sometimes I even send back letters with teapot references and ask people to send it without them because they can be so confusing.) But there are so many that I don’t have the energy to do it every time.

        1. OlympiasEpiriot*

          Tangent topic:
          I, too, am SO OVER use of those names, but, I know it can get really tiring to do the changing.

          Here’s some suggestions from my kid’s recent reading for school & other for those of you searching for pseudonyms:

          PG Wodehouse (Jeeves, Bertie, PSmith, Bingo Little, Freddie Wigeon, etc.)
          Charlotte Bronte (Jane, Bessie Lee, Mr. Lloyd, Mr. Rochester, Grace Poole, Adele…)
          Octavia Butler (Lauren Olamina, Larkin, President Jarret, Shori, Dana, etc.)
          Movies: (Nick & Nora Charles and Asta their dog, All of The Avengers, The Wedding Singer, The Odd couple…)

          1. Samwise*

            Shakespeare offers very handy names and professions. And you can choose plays like Titus Andronicus that are just as gorey as anything in GOT.

            1. OlympiasEpiriot*

              OH YES!.

              I’d love to see some crazy boss s*i! with the names from Titus Andronicus. Or Hamlet.

          2. une autre Cassandra*

            More Wodehouse, yes! If anyone writes in to complain about me I’ll take “Honoria Glossop,” please.

            1. Liz in a Library*

              Dear AAM,

              My boss has asked me to steal her frenemy’s cow creamer. Is this legal?!

              1. Clisby*

                If your boss is Aunt Dahlia it doesn’t matter. Get over there and steal the cow creamer.

          3. Emmie*

            I wish people would use titles instead of names. It’s easier to keep track of Manager, me, Coworker, and Vice President. :)

    2. Jennifer*

      I also roll my eyes every time someone is Sansa or Cersei. Omg. Enough already. There are other shows.

      Solidarity, my internet friend.

    3. Antilles*

      I also hate GOT (and loathe how every fake name here is Sansa/Arya/omg stop),
      I always roll my eyes when I see another letter with those names. Like, there’s literally thousands of TV shows, tens of thousands of movies, plus tons of other potential sources (plays, musicals, video games, books, historical figures, etc, etc)…and yet, every single week, there’s a letter writer using the names of Sansa, Arya, and Cersei*. Seriously, at least show a tiny hint of diversity/creativity in your use of pseudonyms, guys.
      *Even more weirdly, there’s even zero diversity of names even among the GOT references. There’s like 400 different named characters, but nope, pretty much just those three.

      1. Ask a Manager* Post author

        I don’t think it’s lack of creativity — it’s people seeing them in other letters here and thinking it’s a site convention that they’re encouraged to participate in. It’s a gesture of belonging, which I totally understand. But yes, I’d like it to fade now (and need to be more aggressive about editing it out of letters).

        * There’s one usage coming tomorrow that I thought was hilarious though (although actually I edited it out of the letter but referenced it in my response).

        1. Admin of Sys*

          I think part of it is also that they’re not very common names for english speaking folks. Personally, I find it more appropriate to point my hypothetical situations or ‘names changed’ scenarios at names that are less likely to be attached to anyone reading. (I have a friend named Karen and she’s expressed despair at reading all the various memes.)
          Since GoT names are distinct enough and uncommon enough (at least now – I expect the grade school cohorts numbers are climbing), they make an easy default for fictionalized stand ins.

          1. ThatGirl*

            Yeah, it’s easy to recognize as a fake and keep straight, without potentially being a real person’s name (most of the time).

      2. Tara R.*

        I think one side effect of it being the same names is that it prevents the comment section from derailing into “Omg is that an Oscar Wilde reference??!!” and a bunch of chatter about whatever the names are a reference too.

        1. Oxford Comma*

          My coworker Algernon Moncrieff insists on heating food in the microwave, and our boss Lady Bracknell refuses to do anything about it. Can I go to HR?

          Sorry (not sorry)

          1. smoke tree*

            Not to mention all his meetings with Bunbury, who works offsite–what is that guy’s job again?

    4. EH*

      “… there is no way to make people stop enjoying something, so I just keep my mouth shut.”

      Bless you, Justin. I wish more folks took that approach. (I’m very much a talker about stuff I like, but I try to remember which friends aren’t interested and moderate accordingly.)

      1. Justin*

        Well, I didn’t use to be this way. I was a high and mighty Mad On The Internet type in my early-mid20s, because I had…. way too much free time being sad and underemployed. (I wasn’t calling underemployed people sad, I myself was, however, sad.)

        I came to realize, probably when it was I being the obsessive one over Breaking Bad, that so long as people aren’t hurting others, why harsh their flow, ya know?

        1. VelociraptorAttack*

          I think the internet brings that out in a lot of us as early-mid 20-somethings.

      2. I'm the OP :)*

        Hahah yeah I promise I never try to make them feel bad about watching it or enjoying it, I just wish they would limit the chat in my vicinity haha. I try not to yuck their yum!! (Although when people say “but whhhhhy aren’t you watching” I have to watch that nothing insulting comes out!).

        1. Parenthetically*

          (Although when people say “but whhhhhy aren’t you watching” I have to watch that nothing insulting comes out!).

          Yeah, I’ve just gotten really boring and repetitive when this has come up with friends. “Oh, it’s just not my cup of tea! But it’s clearly very popular and people love it! Now about. Those. TPS. Reports.” etc. ad infinitum. Because the truth is that I DON’T care if other people like it, they are allowed to like it, and (crucially) I don’t have to have a REASON not to want to watch it. “Don’t feel like it” is a good enough reason!

          1. Tara R.*

            This is going to sound insufferably Pollyana-ish, but I always try to think that it’s really nice that this person likes me enough to want me to join in on an experience they find so pleasurable? Sure it’s annoying when they don’t take no for an answer or when you hear the same thing five times a day, but it’s still coming from a place of “I like this thing and therefore I think you’re going to like this thing and I want you to have the fun of enjoying this thing!”

            So I try to be pretty jovial when shutting it down. “It’s not my kind of show”, “Yeah, people have suggested that to me a lot actually! I’m not really interested but my mom is really into it, she’s pretty excited about the finale!”, “Oh, I tried it, but [I can’t handle that much violence/ I don’t like sexual violence in my TV/ I like shows that are a bit happier and more upbeat / it just wasn’t my cup of tea]. I can see why people find it so gripping though!” And if they’re pushy about it I usually laugh and say in a friendly tone something along the lines of “I have to tell you you’re not the first person to try to convince me of this! I’m really not into it though. How about those TPS reports?”

            1. EtherIther*

              I don’t see why looking at things in a positive way has to be insufferably Pollyanna-ish :) Though perhaps that’s because I am insufferably Polyanna-ish, haha. But really, I agree on looking at it that way :)

        2. Mimi Me*

          I’m passionate in my love for GoT, but when I started here in the office I could not share the co-workers love for Breaking Bad. I got a lot of “OMG, this is such a great show.” My go-to response has been the truth “I tried getting into it – I just couldn’t, no matter where I started in the series, but I do like (other interesting popular show of equal level fan intensity)” or “I’m not big into hour long dramas. I did see every episode of Friends though” Although, to be fair that one has come back to bite me in the rear end. I’ve had people say “I thought you only watched sitcoms” (said in that accusing sing-song tone). I just tell them that GoT is one of the very few shows (Sherlock and Doctor Who being the others) that has managed to capture my interest for more than 30 minutes at a time.

    5. Airy*

      I always wonder how much the names are actually “I feel like these represent the personalities,” eg a Cersei, a mean and unstable boss, persecuting a Sansa, a new hire who was excited to come on board and had no idea what a snake pit she was getting into, and how much is that people have just got the impression that on this site that’s the convention so they’d better follow suit.
      Also if people who don’t watch/read GOT/ASOIAF think Jane and Fergus are also characters from the series – although obviously GRRM would spell them Jeyne and, idk, Fhaergys. Yeah, that looks like a minor Targaryen who was knifed in his bed for microwaving fish in the Red Keep.

      1. CMart*

        One letter comes to mind where, either out of a devilish sense of fun or (like Alison mentions above) a lack of actual knowledge and just following what they thought was site convention, the LW used “Cersei” as the nice coworker and “Sansa” (or Arya, I don’t recall) as the mean problematic coworker and BOY were people mixed up in the comments section!

        1. Airy*

          Someone else did something similar with Gem names from Steven Universe and I was like “Jasper and Garnet don’t even work together! This is a travesty!”

          1. The Person Who Did That*

            I was that LW and I chose the names based on the personalities of the people, not their relationships.

        2. Elsajeni*

          Yeah, I actually think this is a possible problem with using pop-culture names — it’s really tempting to assume that they’re chosen to imply something about the real people’s personalities or relationships resembling those of the characters, and that sets you up for advice that may be making weird assumptions about, like, who’s more justified in the conflict between your manager Arya and her manager Cersei.

      2. Spencer Hastings*

        Yeah, I assume that the names are chosen to represent the characters in that way. Which I don’t like, because it introduces bias from the start. (Like that one letter where the LW referred to her bosses as “Remus” and “Severus”. I even get the sense that “Fergus” as a pseudonym has become reserved for people behaving “badly” in letters over the years.) Also, it messes up the “related articles” algorithm: things that aren’t related get linked to each other just because someone called their coworker “Sansa” in both letters.

        1. OlympiasEpiriot*

          I lived in Scotland for a bit of time a long while ago and had a crush on a Fergus who looked fantastic in leather trousers and was a very smart and very quietly sexy med student. Every time I see that name used here, my mind sees him but the behaviour described seems impossible to mesh with my 35 year old memories

        2. Airy*

          Fergus has become so much the villain/jerk/creep name here that I remember at least one letter where someone used it for an inoffensive person and commenters were confused because they didn’t see what was so bad about him – but he must have been bad if they called him Fergus.

      3. Heidi*

        I think like Sansa and Cersei have been used a lot and they aren’t necessarily reflective of personality. Now, if someone wrote in about their coworker Grima Wormtongue, I might get the idea that he wasn’t well liked.

    6. dumblewald*

      So THATS where they come from! But I don’t think there is anything wrong with using those names. I think people just want to get on with the story (of their letter) and default to whatever the site convention is. I actually think it’s better than using generic names like Jane because they are less likely to be shared by other people. (I know some Janes on this site might be tired of being portrayed as office villains.)

      1. EvilQueenRegina*

        Yes, I agree with that. Honestly I felt better about the GoT names once I actually started watching the show, and I feel a bit Janed out – that is a valid point about how real Janes might feel about it. I remember I used Buffy names in an open thread once and got more comments about the fact that I used something other than Game of Thrones names than about what I actually said.

    7. Willis*

      For a long time I didn’t realize all the Sansas, Aryas, Cerseis, etc. used here were even from anything and just thought they were weird names Alison and the OPs collectively settled on using for some reason. So I guess if I ever watch GOT I’ll just think of all the characters as people who don’t know how to behave in an office.

          1. Jen*

            That would be awesome! SNL just had a sketch on various GOT spinoffs, but I can’t remember if any of them took place in an office.

        1. Clisby*

          +1. I was about to suggest names from The Wire, but they don’t know how to behave in an office either.

      1. lapgiraffe*

        I have never watched and for the longest time I thought they were Chekhov characters that I wasn’t familiar with.

    8. kittymommy*

      It took me a while to figure out who these people were supposed to be. Lucky every single person I know on Facebook helped me out ! :p

    9. Person from the Resume*

      and loathe how every fake name here is Sansa/Arya/omg stop

      And here’s the thing: I don’t watch GoT and these are not common names in my country (the USA) so I actually can’t keep track of the characters in the letters easily when they use GoT names.

      1. Justin*

        Yeah I have trouble too, I just turn them into “person A” and “Person C” in my head.

    10. Killstark*

      Wow I feel silly – I had no idea Cersei and Sansa were GOT references. I thought they were just random names AAM + readers fell into habit of using.

    11. Courageous cat*

      Yes I agree with all of this. I know it’s being a killjoy but I’ll never not find it annoying, haha.

  14. cliques are just that*

    Remember when LOST was everything and now it’s not? It’ll blow over (and you won’t be on your deathbed wondering if you needed TV) but sorry that you’re in this work dynamic right now! Sounds isolating and that is not cool.

  15. cmcinnyc*

    At my office, a coworker has booked at conference room from 12-1 every day to eat lunch and talk ALLLLLL about it. It’s great. They’re in there, happily hashing out theories and notions, and we’re out here, unaware. It is a great solution, and keeps it to one hour (lunch hour) behind a closed door. 100% opt IN.

    1. I'm the OP :)*

      Zomg I love this idea! I wonder if I could encourage them to do an intensive brownbag lunch talk session, at least on Mondays when it’s worst, and then just – be elsewhere?

      1. CMart*

        I’m picturing it now, the “Spoiled Lunch Club” wherein the folk who have seen the latest episode all gather to obsess and the people who are watching on alternative timelines and don’t want to overhear spoilers can stay away. And you can have lunch in peace.

        1. OlympiasEpiriot*

          I used to self-select out of a similar lunch group — not that it was planned that way — back in the ’00’s. Can’t remember what the shows were that were Hot, but, I wasn’t watching them, didn’t watch much and was thoroughly bored for most of the lunch. Also, the occasional thing I got on DVD and watched (Doctor Who, Treme, Heroes, Century City) were definitely not being watched by others in my office.

    2. Elizabeth West*

      That is a FANTASTIC idea. Plus a great way to corral spoilers if people don’t want to hear them.

  16. Elaine*

    OP, you say they talk about it all day long. Is that really accurate or an exaggeration? Because in what universe is it OK to spend a large amount of work time discussing a TV show instead of working? Does the manager not care? If this is actually just happening during lunch time or short breaks, maybe you could ask them if they would be willing to take it to the break room if you have one. Or maybe you could remove yourself during those limited times. Failing that, are headphones or white noise an option for you?

    Whatever the case, I really feel for you. Being surrounded by coworkers obsessively discussing a TV show sounds like my idea of hell on earth.

    1. Hey Karma, Over here.*

      I can see it happening. Fred walks by Wilma and says, Can you believe X did that? Then Wilma goes to the copier and tells Betty, “Fred was surprised X did that.” and Betty adds her thoughts and then turns to tell Barney, “Wilma was talking about when X did that.” And Barney starts talking about it, and OP is in the middle of the cube farm. It’s like a rain cloud drifting around the floor.

      1. Airy*

        Your Flintstones reference makes me imagine a version of GOT in which people casually use dragons as can openers and the dragons break the fourth wall to say “It’s a living.”

    2. I'm the OP :)*

      I admit, it’s probably an exaggeration – I wrote this on a Monday I’m pretty sure they had been talking about it non stop all that day, but it’s not always that bad :P

    3. CMart*

      If it’s my office, on Mondays and Tuesdays (because three of the people who sit near me have Monday nights as their designated GoT watch night) it certainly feels damn near constant. I sit in a high traffic area in a group that gets a lot of drive by “oh by the way I still don’t have the report update” visits, and I’d wager that between all of the GoT watchers within earshot at least 10 minutes of every hour is spent with someone new coming by and making GoT small talk before or after conducting their actual business.

      1. I'm the OP :)*

        Well then also on Friday it’s a lot of speculation about what’s about to happen hahahaha sob

        1. CMart*

          Ah yes, I forgot. “Big plans this weekend? Excited for Game of Thrones?” and then the excited chatter about what already happened and what’s to come.

          It’s neat to see people excited about something but I honestly get a little sad that as soon as I say “no I’m not watching” everyone stops talking to me :(

  17. ABAX*

    I’m in our GOT office pool and even though I’ve never watched a single ep, I’m not doing any worse than anybody else!

    1. Mimi Me*

      I won the Bachelor pool years ago despite never having watched a single episode. I won a $50 gift card for my ignorance. I had picked her out from the photo line up. She had blond hair, white teeth, and eyes so wide they basically screamed “I’m going to win!” I trusted her to do it and she did. LOL!

    2. Piano Girl*

      My adult son bought the Game of Thrones board game and was so excited to play it with us. I’ve never watched the show, and probably won’t, but once I understood what the goal of the game was (I think it was to gain a house token from all the other players) I made alliances and won the game! It was quite amusing.

  18. DCompliance*

    If only you could pull a Bran Stark when these conversations come up: Say “I’m going to go now,” then just let your eyes roll up into the back of your head, and fly away like a raven.

    1. Danger: GUMPTION AHEAD*

      Shoot. I can think of a lot of situations, work and otherwise, where being able to 3 Eyed Raven out of there would come in handy

  19. I edit everything*

    I just posted a warning on Facebook today that anyone who mentions GoT will get muted, because I’m so tired of hearing about it. It’s everywhere, and it’s so tedious.

    1. sofar*

      It always amuses me when people complain about “too many posts” about a thing they dislike … by making another post about That Thing They Dislike.

      1. TooTiredToThink*

        Same. I’m like – just mute the person for 30 days. There’s no reason to be someone else’s killjoy.

  20. Lilith*

    I was looking at houses one time with a realtor who had just returned from a vacation to Iceland. She remarked how it was all beautiful & GoT over there & I was huh?, then course corrected really fast. So there are some of us who have never read the books nor have any interest in the tv series. Anti-GoT unite? But I agree, the discussion will be over soon. Just ask who has watched Real Housewives!

    1. MayLou*

      I initially misread this and thought the realtor was trying to sell you a house in Iceland. “It’s very murdery” does NOT seem like a selling point, no matter how much you like a show!

  21. Old Cynic*

    I watched the first 3 seasons. I enjoyed it at first but my interest declined and I didn’t want to waste (for me) the time continuing. I would just ignore the conversation as best I could.

  22. Tara R.*

    Maybe try to think of it as sports talk? I don’t watch GOT anymore (holding out for the book series to finish first…. yeah it might be a while). I tune out that talk the same way I tune out Superbowl and NBA talk– it’s not my thing, but it is their thing, and I can just pop in my earbuds and say “Oh, I don’t follow that” if I’m asked about it.

    1. Nye*

      Yeah, this was my thought. It’s no different than coworkers talking about football near the Super Bowl, or baseball in the run-up to the world series. I can’t think of much you could say to shut things down that wouldn’t make you look kinda bad, other than, “Oh, I don’t follow that.” if asked for your opinion. It’ll pass.

  23. Princess prissypants*

    Say this:

    “You guys were right! I started watching it and I LOVE it!! But, I’ve only just started and I really really hate spoilers. Please don’t talk about it around me, but I’ll catch up with you as soon as I can.”

    Then, when some time goes by and someone pesters you or just wants to talk about it, “No! Please don’t talk about it! I’m not caught up yet.”

    Doing this a few times will work as long as it takes for it to go away on its own.

    1. Hey Karma, Over here.*

      This reminds me of a guy I worked with when I was waiting tables in college. I said I wanted to get my nieces and nephews Christmas presents but I was pretty broke. He said, tell them it’s on layaway. I tell my kids every year their stuff is on layaway. My daughter wants those Barbie dolls, I told her. It’s on layaway. “Dude, I met your daughter. She’s 17.”
      “And the doll is on layaway.”
      True story.

    2. Aurion*

      As one of those geeky fans (not about GoT, but I get the love and the salt and the meta-analysis and commentary), this probably won’t work. Sure, geeky fans will refrain from spoiling it for you…but they also really enjoy getting new fans into the fandom and will ask you how far in you are, what you think of it, etc etc.

      We, like a lot of people, just want to share things we love. Yeah, it can get irritating. Just…tell the fanboys/fangirls to tone it down a little, kindly and candidly.

      1. Grace*

        I mean, if someone told me that they didn’t want me to spoil something because they were just getting into it, I’d take that to mean “This is something I’m really enjoying and I don’t want to be spoiled because it would ruin my experience”, not “I don’t want you to talk about it at all”. So, yeah, I would talk to someone about where they were up to, because why would you tell a fan that you were getting into something unless you wanted to talk about it? That’s just counterintuitive.

        1. Aurion*

          Exactly. I am infinitely salty about Infinity War and not putting a lot of hope into Endgame…but I will definitely be hashing MCU out in rigorous detail with my fellow fan coworker once we both watch the movie. Because we’re humans, not just cogs, and sometimes we have interests in tv shows and workouts and other hobbies.

          It is reasonable to get the fanboys and fangirls to tone it down when it’s being distracting. Putting a moratorium on such discussion for the singular sin of boring you, however, is unreasonable.

    3. Arctic*

      Ugh, there is nothing worse than people who think the whole world should stop talking about something because they just got into it.

      I’d have a much better reaction to someone who just is sick of hearing about it than someone with that level of entitlement.

  24. Art3mis*

    Yeah you just have to ignore it. I’ve been ignoring Bachelor, Survivor, and American Idol conversations for years

  25. Wing Leader*

    OP, I don’t really think it’s fair of you to want your coworkers to “shut up” about it (I admit I’m a fan myself). They’re interested and they like to talk about it so, as long as the topic isn’t something offensive or hurtful, I think they can talk about whatever they want. I’d say just stick to your music and just shrug it off.

    Yesterday, myself and others had a rousing Endgame conversation, so that was fun, too.

    1. EventPlannerGal*

      Well, it’s probably not perfectly fair but it’s understandable to me. Have you never just been like “oh god not this again” about any subject? GOT really is a huge topic right now – I feel like the OP would be getting a much more sympathetic reaction here if she was really fed up with sports talk during the Super Bowl, but it’s pretty much the same thing.

  26. Elizabeth West*

    *sigh* At Exjob, when the coworkers who sat near me were in the office, all they talked about was football and Duck Dynasty. If I hadn’t been able to use headphones, I would have thrown myself into the dumpster.

    All the nerds were in the IT department. Star Wars, etc. stuff everywhere. I went down there to talk to someone one time and thought, I am definitely sitting in the wrong area.

  27. readsirresponsibly*

    There’s another reason OP doesn’t want to hear about it. I find any talk about GoT, especially earlier episodes, to be pretty triggering. As soon as I say, “Hey, those scenes bring up some traumatizing events in my life and I’d rather not be confronted with those memories while I go about my daily life,” most people understand.

    I really hope that’s not the case, OP, but if it is, there’s an out for you.

    1. Lepidoptera*

      I don’t get that specific, but that’s the general idea I go with. “I won’t watch s3xual violence” is as much info as I’m willing to share.

      1. Teach*

        Yes, this!
        I have blandly stated something like, “GoT? I started it, thinking it was right up my alley…but it’s very rapey, so I did not keep watching.”
        Sometimes people say it gets better, but I’m not sure there is a level of assault that becomes okay for my TV viewing.
        If it’s a good friend, I joke about getting that technology that I’ve read about that cuts out sex, violence, and swearing so that devout LDS folks can watch popular shows…so I would really enjoy those 10 minute episodes. (What is the name of that device? In my house we call the Mormon VCR but that’s inaccurate on several fronts.)

        1. Tableau Wizard*

          I don’t know if those are still around for newer technology, but I remember a church friend having on of those VCRs.

    2. sorbus*

      Yeah, I’m surprised this has only come up in a couple comments here. My mother and I tried watching GoT, fully expecting to love it, but had to stop a few episodes in because the sheer quantity and visceral detail of violence against women and children made us feel sick. I hope that would be a fine reason not to want to hear about a show, but unfortunately I think in a lot of social spaces, including most workplaces, it will just get you branded as a killjoy or oversensitive.

      1. Morning Glory*

        I think it would depend on whether they were actually discussing plot points that are triggering.

        If you’re just asking for a blanket ban on any innocuous discussion of the show because GoT contains things you disapprove of , that’s going to come across as killjoy and judgmental. Shutting down a discussion on [very bad thing that happened on show] would be much more understandable.

    3. HRJ*

      I’m surprised this hasn’t come up more either. I have never seen it, but I understand it is an extremely violent, sexual and sexually violent show. While it wasn’t triggering to me, I very much did not appreciate having coworkers a number of years ago (no longer at that job) talk about how one character gets off by having women beat each other in front of him or something like that. There was no way to get away from it due to the nature of the job. I was younger then, and I wish I had gone to HR because that is absolutely not an appropriate work discussion topic!

      If they are getting into any sort of violent or sexual detail, OP should absolutely go to HR if at all possible.

  28. Abe Froman*

    I actually refuse to ever watch Battlestar Galactica because two people I commuted with talked about it incessantly. And its a show I’m almost sure I’d enjoy, but such is the depth of my annoyance. So I feel your pain even as I LOVE me some GoT.

    1. Urdnot Bakara*

      I absolutely LOVED Battlestar Galactica but I was almost put off it forever because a guy in my dorm (I watched it in college) would not stop talking about it/bugging me to watch it/setting up watch parties in our floor’s lounge. So I totally, totally agree that that’s a turnoff for a show, and also share in OP’s pain. It’s also probably the reason I won’t ever watch Supernatural or Downton Abbey or Sherlock or the earlier seasons of Buffy.

      At the same time, when I get into a show or game that I like, I always want to talk about it with everyone, so I get that I’m a hypocrite.

    2. Nessun*

      I have had the same reaction to Farscape; my best friend reacted the same way to The Muppets. …both of us were reacting to the same person’s rabid fandom. Sometimes it’s something you might really enjoy, and then someone else can’t SHUT THE F UP for FIVE SECONDS about it, and…Nope.

    3. Courageous cat*

      This is how I feel about Dr. Who. Fandoms in general just make my eyes roll, but I am a curmudgeon. I’m a huge fan of lots of things but if you go out of your way to identify as being “part of a fandom” then it’s not a good sign for us as friends

    4. Gatomon*

      I’m a rabid BSG fan, but that’s how I feel about Firefly. I’ve had numerous people who don’t even know each other try to convince me of how good it is, I’ve had the first episode or two forced on me at least twice and I just can’t stand it. Maybe I’ve been ruined by Cowboy Bebop, they just did “space cowboys” so much better. I loved Buffy, Dr. Horrible and his MCU work, but I just don’t click with Joss Whedon otherwise.

      I’m sorry you had a really great show like BSG ruined by overzealous fans. It’s a good reminder to me to keep my inner nerd in check, especially in situations where people have no other respite from me!

  29. Angwyshaunce*

    I could see myself getting into it, but I’m not really interested in doing so. Even the news outlet I follow (Young Turks) won’t stop talking about it, and I find it kind of annoying.

    I get why people are excited, and in a way I’m happy to see so many people bonding over something. I just find it tiresome to continue hearing about it.

    1. Angwyshaunce*

      I do wish more people read the genre than watched it though. Wheel of Time = best fantasy series ever (IMO)!

      1. Amber Rose*

        OK, no offense, I’m not trying to say you shouldn’t think that, but…. why? 0_o

        I was so bored and annoyed by Wheel of Time I actually fell asleep halfway into the fourth book. It felt like an exercise in “how many times can an author re-use the same plot point and avoid getting to the things people care about before heads start to explode.”

        1. Angwyshaunce*

          His verbose approach to writing is certainly a challenge, and there are quite a few plots that feel like a chore to get through (e.g. the whole circus arc).

          But I love the character development, the plot complexity, the battle detail, and the point-of-view perspective. On this last point, most especially with regard to the Power. Being told about a character using powers is one thing, but getting the complete cognitive perspective, experiencing each thought and sensation along with the character, is quite exhilarating for me.

          1. Amber Rose*

            OK, that makes sense. I have definitely plowed through some questionable writing for the sake of the good things on offer.

        2. Angwyshaunce*

          I also read a lot of it in my angsty teen years, which helped sharpen my imagination and keep me out of trouble.

        3. Audrey Puffins*

          Haha, that’s about where I gave up with Wheel Of Time too! I’m not a quitter, I’ve read SO many books I didn’t really *want* to read but that were part of a series I had started and wasn’t willing to quit until it was all over, but Wheel Of Time won the dubious honour of being my first “Life’s Too Short” series.

          1. SpellingBee*

            Me too! I loved the first few, but after that I got so annoyed that he just wouldn’t wrap *anything* up, and whole books were devoted to more or less faffing around with zero movement of any of the story arcs. I think I finally quit for good around the 6th or 7th – it’s been awhile so I can’t remember exactly.

  30. L. S. Cooper*

    Don’t yuck someone else’s yum. I don’t watch the show, nor do I watch pretty much any television, but I try to be a good sport. People talk about all sorts of things at the office I don’t know a thing about, and I figure as long as they’re happy, everything is good.

    1. Women should be maesters too*

      Agreed. We didn’t all just survive the Battle of Winterfell to be distracted by things like gainful employment.

  31. softcastle mccormick*

    Just learn to ignore it and filter it out, like I ignore my coworkers chatting about their kids and their diets and their Facebook memories and sports I hate. If it gets excessive, change the subject or make a comment about needing to get back to work. I also like the idea someone suggested of them using a conference room or having a “GOT-lunchtime meetup” so they can get their ya-yas out. I love GOT but as a person who had to listen to her coworkers describe the bodily functions/habits/grades/sports games of their kids in great detail, I have nothing but sympathy.

    1. softcastle mccormick*

      Addendum: Just don’t be rude about it. I’ve mastered the “smile and nod” and the “interested mmhmm” and the “aw that’s so hilarious/sweet” so I don’t come off as “chilly” when folks are talking at me about things they’re obviously very passionate about!

      1. softcastle mccormick*

        Totally. I’m not one of those folks who calls all things “sportsball” and makes fun of fans, but I definitely can feel myself disassociating from the conversation whenever my coworkers are discussing The Big Game. Phrases like “Wow, that sounds like an awesome experience,” or “I’m so glad you enjoyed yourself,’ or “Tough break. I hope next year brings better performance” have become second nature so I don’t seem rude and disinterested.

        1. Parenthetically*

          Bless you.

          I’m a die-hard supporter of a very obscure (for the US, anyway) team, and I love people who are able to make sympathetic noises towards folks whose interests diverge from theirs. You’re a good person.

          1. L. S. Cooper*

            I find it’s almost always more fun, when faced with someone passionate about something I’m unfamiliar with, to ask them lots of questions, instead of shutting them down. They get to talk about whatever they’re excited about, and I get to learn something new!

  32. Xtina*

    Alison, you frequently encourage people to invest in noise-cancelling headphone when the situation calls for it. This seems to be one, doesn’t it?

      1. IL JimP*

        are there any resources out there for alternatives to open floor plans? If I’m ever in a position to make a suggestion it might come in handy :)

        The benefit of cube space is that you can fit a lot of people in a smaller space

        1. EH*

          Open floor plans are more compact than cubicles most of the time, so that won’t be a good selling point. :) Cubes are more expensive on a couple of axes. Where they save money is intangibles and long-term. There are a bunch of studies that show open office plans reduce productivity and morale and increase the number of sick days taken, that’s where I’d start.

  33. dumblewald*

    Yeah, I’m not sure what else the OP can do aside from ignoring the coworkers and moving to work in a different area if that is possible.

    I also don’t watch GoT because I can’t handle the violence of it. I plan on reading the books some day if they interest me, but I can’t get in on the fan theories or anything.

  34. CastIrony*

    “Regardless, though, this is a problem that’s going to solve itself in about a month when the show ends.”

    **laughs** It’s not. It’ll take longer. I can feel it.

    1. Kathleen_A*

      Maybe – but not much longer. Of course the true fans will keep talking about it – I mean, I myself can talk at quite boring lengths about Star Trek, even when there hasn’t been any new Trek for quite a while. (Note: Must find a way to watch Discovery but dang it, I don’t want to subscribe to anything else!) But the OP won’t have to cope with near-constant chatter for much longer, and I think that’s all he/she cares about.

        1. Kathleen_A*

          I still want to see it. I saw the first two episodes and liked it a lot. I’m intrigued by Orville, too, natch. I’ve liked almost all TV Trek aside from the animated series and Enterprise, so perhaps when it comes to Trek, I’m just not all that picky? Could be.

        2. Zoe Karvoupsina*

          These are the comments that put me off watching the Orville, because I really enjoy Discovery (and rec it!) and all I hear about the Orville is that it is so much better than Discovery (often with the implication that this is because Discovery has a black female lead/canon gay characters and has thus fallen to the social justice warriors, while Orville is pure, true and uncorrupted, though not in your particular case)

          1. Kathleen_A*

            I think the whole rivalry is pretty ridiculous – and mostly unreal, too. Some people will enjoy one, some the other and some both. There’s no reason to pick a “side.” It reminds me a bit of the Star Trek vs. Star Wars thing – also pretty ridiculous, IMO. Liking one does not obligate anybody to dislike the other – they’re different shows that do different things, and what’s wrong with that? As far as I’m concerned, more scifi = good. I don’t have to like all of it. I’m just glad it’s all out there for me to choose from!

            Apologies to Alison for the side discussion. I’ll stop now. :-)

            1. nonegiven*

              Or the DS9 vs Babylon 5 rivalry that went on during the 90s on Usenet. I was like, its not like there are too many scifi shows to pick from right now, why can’t I like both?

      1. Drew*

        I got a personal VPN for a number of reasons, but I’d be lying if I said one of them wasn’t so I could jump over to a UK server, boot up Netflix, and watch Discovery on my tablet.

        (Alison, this may be too off-topic, so I’m adding a link — — so you can delete if you prefer.)

      2. SarahTheEntwife*

        (If you’ve got a couple quiet weekends coming up and enjoy marathon-watching things, CBS will give you a 30 day free trial which will probably be enough to watch the whole thing without paying for it ;-) )

  35. Anonymeece*

    As someone who hated Seinfeld and who now hates GoT, I have nothing but support, OP. It’s boring, people act like you’re crazy because not everyone likes the same things but they take it as a personal affront or act like you’re too dumb to “get” it, and it’s boring (worth saying twice).

    If you can, I’d gently point out how exclusionary it is. A little bit is okay, but talking about it for hours at a time is just – ugh. I don’t see how it would be any different if the whole office talked of nothing but llama juggling and you were into hamster herding; it becomes almost clique-ish on top of being boring.

    1. bassclefchick*

      Holy moly!! I thought I was the only one who hated Seinfeld!!! Also not a fan of The Office, but I don’t say that out loud very often. LOL

      1. Kathleen_A*

        You most definitely are not (she says, pointing to herself) – I don’t like GoT, Seinfeld or The Office. Seinfeld had a few moments, I guess, but then, most things do, and while The Office is (as far as I can tell – I’ve only watched a few episodes) sometimes funny, it’s also sometimes kind of sad! Michael is such a pitiable guy that I find it hard to laugh at him.

        I haven’t seen any GoT – it’s just to violent for me. Fortunately, I don’t have to hear too much about it because while two nearby coworkers are watching it live, the other nearby fans are DVRing it, so everybody is having to keep their conversations covert to keep from spoiling it for everybody else.

        1. Nessun*

          Solidarity. No Seinfeld or The Office, please. Although really, I’m just not a fan of sitcoms in general (B99 does nothing for me either). I have been known to say I just don’t understand humour apparently, because I don’t find any of it funny. Just people getting into situations where they cause their own misfortune and get embarrassed.

          1. wittyrepartee*

            I… mostly don’t like comedies. All the comedies I like are either pitch black or not actually considered comedies by most people. The movie “What we do in the shadows” as an example of the former. I also hate all sports, with maybe the exception of soccer which is tolerable. I love game of thrones though, and my office does too- the one shining moment of agreement!

            One deals.

            1. Nessun*

              The most accurate description of my sense of humour so far has been …”well, I laugh the most at Blackadder?”, so I’ve stopped trying to explain that there are things I find funny, just not the same things as most people. Just got to find those key moments of intersection, and there’s something everyone can enjoy discussing! I nope out of B99 conversations with coworkers (and close friends), but I know I can geek with them about other things.

      2. Jaybeetee*

        When I still lived at home, my younger brother liked Seinfeld, and I was sometimes a captive audience for Seinfeld. Never liked it. Somehow I’m still alienating people with that preference like 20 years after it went off the air.

        1. Kathleen_A*

          There are a looooooot of Seinfeld proselytizers out there, that’s for sure. Although those of us in this particular thread can’t see it, it’s the Greatest Sitcom in the Entire History of Television, and the belief seems to be that if you don’t see that, the way you’ll become become convinced of it is for proselytizers to keep saying it over and over and over and over and…

          Isn’t that kind of how brainwashing works?

    2. Wing Leader*

      I disagree about the exclusionary thing, just because you can’t really avoid that. If they stop talking about GOT and switch over to the best steakhouses in town, someone’s going to be a vegetarian. If they start talking about sports, someone is going to hate that. You get my point. It’s really hard to find a topic that includes and is of interest to everyone.

      I would say that OP should speak up only if the GOT fans are acting clique-ish and treating her differently just because she doesn’t like it. If so, that’s absolutely not okay and they should be shut down. But it doesn’t sound like that’s the case.

      1. Anonymeece*

        I’m not saying talking about anything is exclusionary, but when it’s all that’s talked about, it can be.

        If I’m in a group and two people find they both love a topic and they talk about it for 15 minutes, that’s cool! If they talk about it for 3 hours and I can’t contribute, then it becomes exclusionary.

        And if you talk about GoT, steakhouses, AND sports, then the non-watcher, non-sports person vegetarian is probably not all the same person. Including a wider variety of topicsensures that more people get to join in.

        1. mlem*

          I actually agree with you, but I have to laugh because I’m a non-GoT watcher who is also a non-sports vegetarian ….

        2. SarahTheEntwife*

          Agree. In any given conversation there’s going to be someone who’s not into it, but it’s frustrating when every casual cube-farm conversation is one you can never jump in on.

  36. Faith*

    Another thing to think about is that GOT (like any TV show) will some day be over, unlike things like March Madness and college football. I work with a bunch of Aggies and UT alums. So, every time I start seeing burnt orange and maroon t-shirts at the office, I tell myself “Oh, boy, here we go again”. I literally could not care less about this kind of stuff. But when your boss’ boss’ boss is into it, there’s really not much you can do but smile and nod as they talk about the last game for 15 minutes before every work meeting.

    1. Jayne*

      How about t-shirts that are both burnt orange AND maroon. Go Hokies!…the only people that think that those colors go together!

  37. Clairels*

    My favorite is people who talk about GoT nonstop for hours on end and when you try once again to explain that you don’t watch it (because it’s all you CAN say) they’re all, “Shut up already, we KNOW!”

  38. Aphrodite*

    Try being the one person without a television (or Netflix or Amazon Prime or anything video related) since about 1987–Hill Street Blues, anyone?–or someone who never watches or listens to the news. You’ll feel really, really out of it. The trick is to not mind that you have no idea what conversations are about and to have a few handy subjects that can interest others too..

    1. Tortoise*

      Sorry but I’m having real trouble understanding how this is relevant or helpful to the letter writer.

      1. Oh So Anon*

        I sort of agree, there’s no way of knowing if the LW doesn’t have anything non-GoT-related that’s good water cooler fodder.

        That said, there’s something to be said for having stuff to talk about at work that’s outward-looking and not about your life (or work itself). I’m not sure how much I enjoy spending 40+ hours a week with people who seem to have no interests beyond managing their household.

  39. Amber Rose*

    Blech. I hate all that stuff. Reality is dark and depressing and grim. I turn to TV to do the other thing… oh yes, entertain. :|

    Gratuitous death is in my top ten plot pet peeves. Either you kill people off when it matters and I care (and probably cry), or you kill everyone off and I yawn every time another one bites the dust.

    Can you just change the topic? Ask if they’ve seen a thing you’re interested in, try to steer conversation to something else for a bit?

  40. Samwise*

    Sadly, this will not end in a month. The show will live on on streaming services, and fans will continue to watch and rewatch and rehash it over and over.

    I suggest headphones. Punk or death metal to drown out the convos and to adequately express your desire to screeeeeeaaaammmmm.

    1. Angwyshaunce*

      Might I suggest instead of death metal, blasting musicals while watching the offenders and pretending they’re singing?

    2. sofar*

      Nah. The obsessive discussions will end. Sure, people will rewatch and the show will gain new fans. And maybe they’ll have conversations when they encounter other fans. But, as with Harry Potter, as with Lost, as with The Sopranos, as with Walking Dead when it got super lame, discussions will fade.

      Which makes me sad because I love GoT! But that’s how fandom goes.

    3. Courageous cat*

      Yeah, it will end and die down EVENTUALLY but… the sheer amount of thinkpieces on it for months to come afterward is going to be insane. I don’t look forward to it!

    4. Mr. Bob Dobalina*

      It will end soon. It’s only the hot topic at the office as it airs live. Most people will lose interest once they have seen the ending, and move on . At my office, I have barely heard it discussed because frankly, people are too busy working to engage in lots of debate about GoT *unless* it’s the lunch hour on Monday, right after the episode aired. And I work with lots of fans.

  41. Dana B.S.*

    OP – there are only 3 episodes left in the entire series. Unless they’ve been talking about it non-stop in the year & a half since season 7 aired, they’ll move on eventually. Can you work elsewhere every Monday between now and May 20?

  42. Anonny*

    Get heavily into something as revenge. May I recommend the Doctor Who Expanded Universe? That thing is like the eldritch leviathan that lurks at the bottom of the ocean/Who canon. Have fun. >:D

    1. Jaybeetee*

      I know a couple who legit divorced in part because of the husband’s Dr. Who Superfannishness. Apparently you can spend a LOT of time on the internet with that stuff…

  43. Coffee with my Cupcake*

    Sorry OP but really you just need to suck it up. Anything you say to try and stop the talk is only going to turn people off. The good thing is you only have 3 weeks left and then it will die down. I know saying “suck it up” is not what anyone ever wants to hear but over TV show conversations you should let it go, there is nothing you will gain by saying anything.

  44. Pennalynn Lott*

    Two words: Sports Ball.

    Whether it’s kicked, hit, thrown, batted, carried, or bounced. . . doesn’t matter. I loathe any and all conversations about it. And yet I (and many, many others in offices all across the globe) am able to tune out my coworkers as each new sports ball season rolls around and they yammer incessantly about teams and players.

    GoT is just sports ball for fantasy fiction nerds. :-)

      1. Pennalynn Lott*

        Baseball. Basketball. Football (both kinds). Volleyball. Softball. Wiffleball. Racquetball. Golf. Tennis. Hockey. Rugby. Bowling. Polo.

      1. Where’s My Coffee?*

        Like 9 forevers. In every game. Baseball bores me senseless. But to each their own.

        1. Gatomon*

          Truly. You’ve given me a great idea: start DVR’ing baseball games for those nights when I can’t fall asleep!

    1. I Don’t Remember What Name I Used Before*

      I hate sports SO MUCH that “sports fan” is on my relationship dealbreaker list.

      Luckily I married someone who hates sports as much as I do so I no longer have to worry about it anymore!

  45. The Man, Becky Lynch*

    There are seriously so many things that don’t interest me but interest others. However I don’t try to police what others talk about unless it’s obscene or something like that. It will do you so much better if you figure out how to turn that “irritated” reaction off, it may take training on your part and a few chewed tongues to get over but it can happen. It’s a tv show, not politics or something you’re morally opposed to. It’s about coexisting with your coworkers who are bonding over something, sure you’re left out, that’s not their fault. It’s a boring conversation not like they’re talking cruel about others or about kicking puppies.

    1. OlympiasEpiriot*

      Part of the problem is the “talking about it all day long”. Assuming this is a workplace where people can chat as they work, any topic done to death is a pain in the neck. So, to me, this is less specific to this topic and more what to do when one topic crowds out everything else no matter what.

      1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

        See, if they said ‘They idly chatter all day long and it’s distracting”, my response would be completely different and their manager should step in to ask them to stop since there’s a lack of focus.

        However since it’s zeroing in on the “topic”, I’m rolling my eyes heavily. It’s not ‘They are distracting’, it’s “they bore me.” A lot of things bore me, including Game of Thrones AND End Game. I’m just yawning over the End Game excitement all over my social media. But I’m not thinking about how I can make them stop or if I even have the right to ask them to tone it down.

        I don’t care about the hockey playoffs this year either without my team in it. Yet friends want to talk about them. It’s part of life, both personal and professional. You should have seen the reactions when I stone-coldly told someone I really couldn’t muster up any feelings to bother with the Superbowl this year and I’m an intense football fan.

    2. Parenthetically*

      I more or less agree with this. The chatter is an issue if it’s disrupting your work. But people are allowed to like different things, and IMO it’s best to save your ire for stuff that matters.

      They’re being rude and possibly slacking off, but that’s nothing to do with GoT (and I say this as a person who very much Does Not Get GoT as a thing).

  46. Nanc*

    Come sit next to me, OP! We’ll have snacks and talk about a myriad of other literary topics!
    I checked out the book from my library because everyone I know kept saying I HAVE to read it! It is the greatest thing since sliced bread! The storytelling is magnificent! The characters are relatable and destined to go down in literary history!
    I got half way through the first book and turned it back in. As far as I’m concerned every character in that [first] book deserved every awful thing that happened to them. I just couldn’t find a character I cared enough about to keep reading.
    However, as a library volunteer of 50+ years I am delighted that those long and complex books have long waiting lists for both the dead tree and e-book versions. Just because they aren’t my cup of tea doesn’t mean they don’t speak to other readers.

  47. Seeking Second Childhood*

    Tangential: My husband was in grad school in a non-English-speaking area when the last Harry Potter novel was released. A few people got their hands on copies which were passed around and inhaled. He can understand [$language] when it’s spoken slowly, but one day his office mates were speaking incredibly fast and he asked them to slow down : “But no! You haven’t finished Harry yet!” At which point he couldn’t NOT hear “blur blur blur blur SNAPE blur blur blur blur DUMBLEDORE blur blur blur GRYFFINDOR” …. and he had to ask them to take it outside. They laughed and checked how far down the list he was so they knew when they could start up the conversation again.

  48. MissDisplaced*

    Oh dear! You’ll come off as a killjoy.
    But if they really are being loud or disruptive about it, it IS fair to ask for a cease & desist or toning down in talking about it in and around the cube farm.

    This too will pass.

      1. Mujj*

        Generally, giving your unsolicited negative opinion about something others are enjoying might brand you as a killjoy, fair or not. It’s a different thing if they’re being truly disruptive to OP’s work, but OP acknowledged in another comment that they were exaggerating when they said it’s “all day long.” We all have to put up with coworker conversations about things we’re not interested in (for me, The Bachelor and various Real Housewives shows).

        1. Lena Clare*

          I thought a killjoy was someone who deliberately spoiled someone’s fun?
          OP doesn’t come across like that to me, more like a ‘can I lessen the frequency with which they talk about this?’ Or ‘how do I suck it up?’
          I think there probably a fine line between letting people talk about this (obviously normal) and teaching a limit of “ok, no more now!”

          I said in another comment below that I’m sure I’m guilty with Line Of Duty talk, but I do try to keep it to maybe 10 minutes on a Monday morning then end it.

          Maybe it’s the sheer pervasiveness of GOT at the moment that makes people more sensitive to it?
          I know it’s been the most tweeted show ever this week!

          1. MissDisplaced*

            It’s like being the person who, the day after the Super Bowl doesn’t want anyone to talk about it. Or worse, is like “I hate football!”

            Killjoy. Debbie Downer. A Pill. Contrarian.

            I’m sure OP is not, and that’s what makes this a fine line if you tell the office mates to stop. GoT is like the Super Bowl, it’s become a communal sport that’s fun to discuss. Plus, it is going off the air soon, which has people extra excited about the ending, and that’s likely what’s driving the GoT frenzy. Hopefully OP can bear it bit longer! And certainly, if they’re being loud, it’s fine to tell them to turn it down. I’m just saying, it’s probably not worth it in the office to be known as the person who… shushed the GoT fun.

            I don’t watch it personally (no HBO) but I sort of keep up with with news about it.

  49. merry*

    Does your office allow earbuds? I put in music a lot in my open office plan, especially when my coworkers are talking nonstop about their diets. Thankfully they talk about a lot of other things too! One topic non-stop would be hard to deal with day in and day out!

  50. Crowpocolypse*

    The good news is, it’s almost over! They won’t shut up about it. Just put in your ear buds to get a break for part of the day.

    In my workplace, I have a semi-cube and sit near someone in an office (with a door) who has some type of issue (I’m not a doctor so I am not going to speculate) that causes her to clear her throat loudly all day long, every day. On a light day, it might be 50 times a day; on a rough day, it might be 50 times in 30 minutes. No matter how bad it gets, she never closes her door.

    I discovered that listening to white/brown noise on my earbuds helps so much, when I’m at the breaking point. The last think I want at that point is more noise (music/podcast) and this noise helps me concentrate and de-stress.

    So that’s my suggestion on how to make it through the Winter of Incest, Rape, Torture, T*ts & Dragons.

    1. Jennifer*

      “Winter of Incest, Rape, Torture, T*ts & Dragons” omg, I love it! I’m stealing this.

  51. Lena Clare*

    It’s really hilarious how loads of the comments are talking about GOT!

    Lol haha cries.

    It’s doing my head in coming online and seeing it all! I tried to mute any discussion of it on Twitter but no such luck. It still gets through my filters.

    OP I’m with you there, and luckily not many people in our office watch it, but I think we may be annoying to the one coworker in our office who doesn’t watch Line Of Duty… coz we gossip about it on a Monday and woe betide anyone who hasn’t watched it yet on the Sunday evening because it means we can’t discuss our theories till they have seen it!

  52. MsClaw*

    Just put on some headphones.

    GOT is no different than anything else you don’t care to hear about. I don’t care about last night’s football game, or your favorite movie, our your dog’s colon surgery, etc. So I put my headphones on and ignore you.

    1. Lena Clare*

      I’m getting the impression it’s not so much the topic, it’s the frequency at which it’s discussed?

      1. MsClaw*

        Right, but again, it’s not harassment or bullying or contributing to a hostile work environment. So just… don’t participate. There’s almost certainly something OP talks about at work that some others in the room are silently thinking ‘oh boy, this again’ about. That’s life in a cube farm.

        To be clear, you can be irritated by it — heaven knows I get plenty irritated with some of my coworkers go-to topics. But there’s really not much you can do other than … put your headphones on already.

  53. PMP*

    OMG yes! Literally the only thing people want to talk about right now is Endgame (all Marvel movies are the same plot line really = boring) and GoT (no, I haven’t seen it, I’ve been wanting to see it for years because it’s definitely up my alley but I don’t have HBO, and I don’t have my parents account to sign into like everyone else does apparently) and I will see these things eventually, but stop ruining them and can we please talk about anything else??

    I feel for you OP, and I’m sure you’re also cringing at the G0T quotes and references in the comments that make no friggin’ sense.

  54. Jennifer*

    For the record, “no spoilers” is almost as annoying as people talking non-stop about something you’re not that interested in. It’s to be expected that people are going to talk about a show or movie they enjoyed over the weekend. They may stay quiet for a few days out of respect but not indefinitely. If you are such a fan, why haven’t you watched it? I know someone that refuses to go to see any movie in the theater and expects people not to talk about any movie in front of her until she has seen it. Which means staying quiet for a year until the movie is available to rent. Ridiculous.

    I wouldn’t use “no spoilers” as a way to get people to stop talking about GoT. It’s to be expected that they will talk about it some, the frequency is what’s annoying, so I’d say something like, “would you guys mind if we talked about…” and bring up another show/movie/book whatever that you know other people there enjoy. If you do that enough, they may get the hint. Or you can be more direct as Alison suggested.

  55. EssMcBess*

    I am just not into it either. Can you do headphones? Music? Hum loudly? Change seats? If not, no worries. It’s gonna be over really soon!

  56. SierraSkiing*

    This sort of thing happens a lot with my very nerdy friend group – sometimes people will get obsessed with something, and the handful of people who don’t share the obsession feel left out of the conversation. To combat this, if an obsessive conversation is starting to bore someone, they’ll turn to the next person over and loudly say, “SO PANTS – you wear them too?” (The joke being that pants are the ultimate shared interest.) It’s a cue to move on – we call it “pantsing” a conversation. :)

    I think you can take the spirit of “Pants” into your conversations with your coworkers. If you’re at a lunch table, give them a few minutes to nerd out, and then cheerfully say, “Sounds exciting! But you know, I haven’t seen the show in years – it’s all Greek to me. Sarah, did you end up taking that hike you were talking about? How was it?” or similarly bring up a topic that you know someone at the table is interested in. If you have some truly oblivious coworkers, someone might try to bring the conversation back to Game of Thrones, and then a slightly pleading, “I know you love that show, but I really don’t know anything about it and can’t follow the conversation. Is there anything else we could talk about?” may be necessary.

    1. SarahTheEntwife*

      In college my friend-group’s go-to was “So, how about those trees we’ve been having?”.

  57. LaDeeDa*

    In my former team everyone was obsessed with some sort of college sportsball. I don’t watch sports, I know nothing about sports, I wasn’t educated in the US- so have zero affinity to a university here (and that is an entirely different subject!), I don’t know anything about any of it, and I don’t care. If it was a group conversation I just would sit there and not listen- I don’t need to be included or partcipate- but this was happening in 1:1 conversation! I tried so hard to be gracious and say things like “Oh, you know I don’t know anything about sports! I hope your team won!” and they would continue to tell me about players/moves/games I know nothing about. With one person in particular who told me it was his mission to make me a college sports fan, I started asking stupid questions– “Is that the one with the orange ball?” “what are their uniforms made out of?” “who is the sponsor banner behind their goal?” “did they win the contest?” HAHA, he got so frustrated he would roll his eyes and walk away.

    If a group is talking about something they love and they are interested in, I don’t get to control that or dictate that, I just don’t participate. I don’t watch GOT either, but I truly glad they all have something they enjoy and can bond over. I enjoy their excitement. Their GOT discussion isn’t about me- it isn’t excluding me on purpose, I just don’t share a passion/interest they have. I’ll connect with them on something else, and if we are really close I will tease them, and they will tease me for being so out of touch and missing something awesome.

  58. Stephanie*

    Or… we can just let people enjoy things? The world is a dumpster fire for the most part, let people escape how they want. I could not possibly care less about a lot of movies/shows/books (hi, comics and superheroes — and also basketball and hockey), but I am enthusiastic about my friends’ joy over them, because I like people being happy about something. Just because it isn’t my thing doesn’t mean I have to be grumpy about it. I find life is more pleasant when I choose to be happy that others are happy. But that’s just me :)

    1. L. S. Cooper*

      A million times this. I love seeing people get excited over things, even if I don’t know anything about them! I once spent a lovely shift working retail having my coworker explain the entire plot of Warframe to me. I didn’t have any knowledge of it, have no intent of buying it, but it was engaging and fun, because he was clearly passionate and knowledgeable.

    2. Jennifer*

      Sure we can. I don’t think the OP is complaining that they enjoy the show or even that they talk about it, it’s the amount of time that they talk about it.

  59. Grack*

    I feel this way when people talk about sports. I’ve even tried to get into them a little bit so there is some better context to what I’m hearing.

    Game of Thrones will be over soon, and the talk will die down. But there will always be sports to talk about!

    1. Amber Rose*

      There is a certain sport I like and I don’t even like talking about it. I just enjoy watching, I don’t actually care about the player’s names or how the team is doing.

  60. CheeryO*

    Wow, some of these comments are kind of rude! People will always like to talk about “sportsball” and the TV show of the moment. If you’re not into it, politely excuse yourself and take a walk around the building or pop in headphones and do some work. There is no way to push back on it without looking like a jerk, and it’s just not worth it unless it’s REALLY impacting your ability to get things done, and then it needs to be about the level of chatting in general, not about GoT or whatever.

    1. The elephant in the room*

      I have a coworker who gives it a minute to see if it will end and then she just leaves or puts on headphones if it doesn’t. No one takes it personally.

  61. Heidi*

    If it’s the talking that is the problem, maybe OP can request some general quiet so that they can work and not specifically mention GoT. It might make the request seem more industrious and less killjoy.

  62. The elephant in the room*

    I feel so bad because I’m one of those people, but I just HAVE to talk about it! And it’s so exciting to go in and be enthused about something everyone else is into (I’m not interested in football or the royal family, so I’m left out of those convos).

    The good news is you only have 3 more weeks before the show ends. Maybe that’s some consolation?

    1. I'm the OP :)*

      Hehe yeah this is my coworkers. They’re like, “Oh sorry OP I know we’ve been talking about this for an hour. This must be really boring for you. You must feel like you’ve seen every episode at this point!” But – they just can’t stop themselves! They’ll try to stop and then start up again five minutes later!

      I accept this is a cultural phenomenon and it will be over soon. (If it wasn’t, I might seriously have to say something, like *don’t you guys have any work to do???*

  63. LaDeeDa*

    When I lived in the U.K. and people were obsessed with football (soccer) I would text a friend who was a sports channel photo journalist for appropriate commentary so I could bind with all the leaders. Lol. I found it hilarious hour excited they’d get that I “knew” something about their favorite soccer team. It cost me nothing but made them feel good.

  64. Kaaaaaren*

    How do you get people to shut up about Game of Thrones? The same way I get people to shut up about sports around me: You don’t. You just figure out how to make it background noise and you don’t spoil people’s fun. The series is concluding in a few weeks and the talk about it will almost certainly die down. Until then, you just deal with it an try to remember that there are probably plenty of topics you find interesting to discuss that other don’t and you wouldn’t want to be told to pipe down.

  65. Mr Snrub*

    Ugh, I loathe the show and work for the Australian broadcaster that runs it. I’m counting the days like you wouldn’t believe.

  66. AKchic*

    I use the “I’m waiting for it all to end before I marathon it all” or the “there’s triggering content, so I’ve avoided it, thanks” depending on who I’m with.

  67. AngelicGamer, the visually impaired peep*

    This is how I solved it with my friends, as I have read the first book and NOPED out of it along with the series. “Does X character still do the stupid thing of trusting Y character, the last person ever X should trust? Yes? Then No. Not Watching. IT WAS STUPID.” and then ranted on about that plot point. Now, I will listen to her go on about the series, because she’s my oldest friend (we’ve known each other since 4th grade), but I will not watch it. I know enough in that “I drink and I know things” type way but I’m not going to personally watch it.

    Now, Endgame? I will happily go on about that forever and ever. Also sportsball and West Wing/the amazing Aaron Sorkin. Although I don’t understand cricket and I doubt I ever will.

  68. KeepIt*

    Headphones. Unless it’s truly distracting then ask if they could move into a breakroom. Otherwise, in my opinion, you’re going to come across as weirdly stiff/stuffy.

    And honestly, let them have some enjoyment in their day! People who get really worked up about making sure everyone knows that they hate the thing that everyone else likes can be very obnoxious. Work can really suck, having an outlet/something to chat with the people you’re spending a majority of your waking hours with can help to counterbalance that in a small way. To be honest, I think it’s even nice that they’ve tried to include you on the conversation (although I’m assuming they stopped once you’ve made it clear you don’t like it/care) – you don’t have to participate though

  69. e271828*

    If the coworkers are collectively spending a significant amount of time on this, like 10% of the work hours, that’s a lot of socializing going on at a hard-to-ignore volume. Maybe they could take it to a chat channel just for that and stop doing it out loud?

    1. KeepIt*

      If the work is still getting done (ans isn’t disrupting anyone) I don’t see how it’s an issue at all. Also OP didn’t say its a “hard to ignore” volume, it sounds like they’re just personally annoyed because they don’t like the show. Honestly, dictating what people can and cannot talk about at work is Orwellian (offensive subject excepted of course)

  70. Close Bracket*

    Are there other shared topics that you do enjoy that you could introduce? Maybe even talk about your interests even if the entire office doesn’t share them? Replace the subject matter rather than forbid it.

    1. Oh So Anon*

      This. Surely LW has at least one interest that someone else in their office must share?

    2. Jana*

      Yep. You may get a better outcome if, rather than telling them not to talk about Game of Thrones in your presence, you bring up other things to talk about.

  71. My sympathies*

    Ugh, I used to dread Thursday mornings at work because everyone would not shut up about Lost. So glad I am no longer in an office, because the GoT talk would do me in.

  72. Emmie*

    I wish people would use titles instead of names. It’s easier to keep track of Manager, me, Coworker, and Vice President. :)

  73. Jaybeetee*

    Supernatural ends next season. Anyone wanna commiserate? I can’t talk about it at work because I’m over 30 and my wanting to marry Sam Winchester has likely gone from cute to sad or weird.

    1. L. S. Cooper*

      Wait, it’s actually ending? I stopped watching around season 9(?), or whenever the big plot point was “sugar is the work of EVUL MONSTERS”, but… I dunno, it makes me kinda sad to realize it’s actually ending.

  74. Kella*

    I honestly have a really hard time understanding why people have big negative reactions to media they aren’t consuming and aren’t interested in. During the airing of the first episode of GoT, I counted at least a dozen people on twitter saying, “Am I the only one not watching Game of Thrones????” It’s like people need to have strong opinions about it regardless of whether they are watching it or not, and that seems like a waste of energy to me.

    I watch very little Tv or movies because of anxiety issues, which means the majority of conversations about media are ones that go over my head. And really, it doesn’t bother me at all. Other people something enjoy something I don’t, there’s nothing wrong with that. I don’t have to put down what they like in order to justify my decision in not wanting to participate. I can just focus on the stuff I like. I don’t gain anything from defining myself by something I *don’t* do.

    So, if I were in this situation I’d first try lowering my investment in the media other people are consuming and try not think about it one way or another. Then I’d look to see if there was something else making it disruptive: Are they being noisy while you’re working? Are you trying to socialize and can’t because they’re too busy talking about GoT? Are they trying to get you to engage with them on a topic you don’t want to be involved in? Whatever the issue is, address *that* because then it has nothing to do with GoT, it’s about the behaviors of your coworkers that are rude or excluding to you, and those would be problems you’d want to address no matter the subject matter.

    1. Jennifer*

      I think the perfect storm of Avengers Endgame and GoT on the same weekend as sent fan hysteria into overdrive which is why it’s been especially annoying. Normally, I agree with you.

  75. Bananatiel*

    So I watch GoT but don’t find it to be the groundbreaking television that a lot of people apparently feel it is. I can tolerate a little bit of “over the cubicle wall” discussion about it but one tactic I use from time to time is to interject where I can and steer the conversation away from the topic to fizzle the conversation out generally. At least in my job people seem to understand the random “Oh when you said x that reminded me of this thing I saw…” as a very polite way of saying they’ve exhausted their GoT discussion time.

    Also, free idea from my workplace: the managers caught on that a lot of extraneous conversation was happening around GoT and actually set up a dedicated bring-your-own-lunch gathering in a free conference room for discussion on Mondays after the show. It helped A LOT to quiet down the other conversations that were happening. And it’d only be a three-time thing at this point. Plant the idea in someone’s head and get them hyped up enough to act on it!

  76. Arctic*

    This show is about to go off the air in three weeks. And even the talk of theories and stuff is largely moot after the last episode.

    Those of us who have to suffer through sports talk know it will come back up every sports season until the end of eternity.

  77. Two Tin Cans and a String*

    To be fair, having to constantly hear about a show that involves copious amounts of rape and other wildly problematic stuff is a little different than constantly having to hear about knitting and exercise. I was bullied into watching it and yeah, the acting is great, the production is astounding, it’s a good show by any metric you can use to measure these things. I still noped out after the first batch of rape/incest/attempted child murder.

    I just don’t want to be a captive audience for that stuff. I think it might be similar to how a recovering addict might not want to be a captive audience to every plot point in The Wire, or how someone with a chronic pain issue might not get much enjoyment out of constant discussions of House.

    Sure, like what you like, none of mine, but have some sense and restraint when it comes to heavy shit like that. Rape and addiction and illness don’t suddenly become safe topics just because they’re happening in a fictional universe. Obviously it’s different, obviously there’s give and take, but your coworkers are still a captive audience and it never hurts to be aware of these things.

    1. Arctic*

      I’ve never met any GOT whose topics of conversation focus on rape, which hasn’t even happened in seasons.

    2. sofar*

      Well if people are talking about the graphic sex and violence in the show at work, that’s another issue. Those topics are NSFW and any people talking about them in ANY context should be talked to by HR.

      But if they’re just talking about the prophesies, the reunions, the dragons, the battle strategies (which is what we talk about in my workplace), or if they’re using careful language (“Like OMG poor little Lord Umber, I had to look away from the screen!”) I don’t see the issue? There’s rampant sexual abuse/violence/drug abuse committed by pro sportsball players in the real world constantly, but I think it would be out of line for me to shush a March Madness/Superbowl gameplay discussion because of that.

    3. Two Tin Cans and a String*

      Oops, my bad! I’m a captive audience at work to people who do absolutely talk about those aspects of it all day every day, and with great relish. I made the mistake of projecting my situation onto OP’s, which is obviously a mistake on my part. So yeah, if the discussion doesn’t include all that problematic stuff, it totally falls under the same umbrella as knitting and exercise and is more of an annoyance than a problem.

        1. Two Tin Cans and a String*

          Yeah, I let my personal experience invent context that LW never provided and that’s clearly wrong. I work mostly with young nerdy dudes who are… trying their best to be woke, and good on them, but I’m not always in the mood for their remedial soul-searching sessions about gendered violence in the media, you know?

          I know I should talk to the boss, but joke’s on me, I AM the boss and the circumstances are such that a bit of this stuff is to be expected and is good for the culture. Oh well.

  78. sofar*


    Coworkers have bonded over shared interests since the dawn of office culture. GoT is no different. But it is “newish,” and that may make it seem different to those who take for granted that their sportsball discussions, kid discussions, etc. are so ingrained and tolerated.

    I love fandoms in general, and I’m happy people get genuinely excited about stuff! I really don’t understand the mindset of “I don’t like this thing, and I feel left out of it, so I’m going to resent it.” When coworkers get to talking about their sportsball fantasy stuff and brackets, I pop in my earbuds and relish the time to get some work done while they’re all too distracted to ask me about work stuff!

    1. Kisses*

      I have several fandoms going back multiple decades, but I’ve never thought someone not liking something and not wanting to hear about it was due to feeling left out and resenting it. It’s just not some peoples cup o tea.

      1. sofar*

        If someone is trying to figure out ways to get people to stop talking about something, they are definitely resenting it.

  79. Slightly Unhinged Sonneteer*

    Dear AAM: My coworkers and I
    Are all (of course) enthralled by Game of Thrones
    Except for one. No matter how we try
    To bring her in the group, she only groans.

    We all were speaking of when he – then she –
    Then they – you know the scene I mean – the one
    Just aired – can you believe?!? But wait: Are we
    Starting to drift off track? (But this is fun!)

    Her well-done work always the kudos nets;
    She’s quiet and polite but asks with fear
    For us to stop. (It really makes no sense!)

    Should one of us lend her our Blu-Ray sets
    Or does she just not fit the culture here?
    Must winter come for her in recompense?

  80. Koala dreams*

    Earphones with music or radio is my best idea, if you can work and listen at the same time. I like pop music, preferably in another language so I don’t get too distracted by the lyrics. If the problem is people being too loud, you can ask them to be more quiet, I think that would come across better than saying something about how boring it is to listen to talk about the same thing all the time (even though it is boring).

    Sometimes it can also be effective to steer the conversation away to another topic. “Speaking about dragons, I saw an amazing video with swimming moose the other day. Did you know that…?”

    That being said, I’m surprised Game of Thrones is considered work appropriate conversation. What little I remember from the first few books are way too violent to be comfortable discussion during work. Or maybe people mostly discuss the costumes?

  81. game of what?*

    I worked at my office for a full year before I understood why the big copiers in three different parts of the office were named Stark, Targaryen, and Lannister.

    1. Becky*

      I worked an IT support job and we had a bunch of different servers –Four Hobbits, Two Towers, One Ring and Denethor. And then there was a different server named Megatron.

      1. Nessun*

        I feel like someone was rebelling against the LotR fandom with their own Transformers love there…

    2. Kisses*

      I’d be thrilled if they were named Melchior, Caspar, and Balthazar. Not for biblical reasons; I’m a huge anime dork.

  82. Rose*

    I have to listen to my coworkers talk about football (which I loathe because the NFL is The Worst) ALLLLLL football season. Such is life. There are only 3 more episodes.

  83. Jana*

    Have you tried changing the subject to something that there may be more mutual interest in? I’m guessing watching Game of Thrones isn’t their only hobby, but it’s an easy thing to turn to in a group since so many people do watch it. Maybe just try to start conversations about other topics.

  84. Jaid*

    I don’t care about GoT and rarely watch anything Must-See. But I will read fanfiction and right now one of my favorite authors is writing a Jaime/Bronn college AU.

    That’s where you’ll probably find closure…in fanfic.

  85. Carlie*

    I feel bad that OP wrote in on how to avoid GoT, and half the comment thread is about GoT. :D

    Meanwhile, I’m forlornly staring around at my office without anyone to talk to about THE DS9 DOCUMENTARY PLAYING IN TWO WEEKS AND I GOT TICKETS.

  86. Sc@rlettNZ*

    I’m in the oppposite camp – no-one else in my office watches GOT . I come into work the next day after a great episode and I have no-one to chat with about it :-(

    It’s very sad lol.

  87. Robin Ellacott*

    I say this as a big genre nerd myself (though not GoT particularly) – I’m amused that the “too much conversation about a TV show” question turned into a ton of threads discussing a ton of TV shows. Sorry, OP!

    However – I’m not remotely into 99% of sports, and my office is obsessed with The Bachelor which I don’t watch or have any interest in, so I do get how it feels like a lot. I just try to tune it out.

    I had two very intense Endgame related conversations at work so I guess I can’t talk – it’s all in what interests you and what doesn’t. Open plan offices make peaceful coexistence so much harder. I was at least able to talk Endgame in my office without inflicting it (and spoilers) on others.

    1. OP :)*

      Hehe I loved it. I did realize it was a low stakes question that would get a lighthearted answer hehe. Also I should have guessed that Alison would be a megafan herself – I had completely forgotten about her using Cersei / Arya etc as stand-in names for people’s questions!

      1. Nessun*

        I honestly had to check the date – for a moment I thought Alison had just come up with the best subtle April Fool’s question ever!

  88. Former Employee*

    I jut discovered my sibling likes Game of Thrones after I mentioned that AAM started to get really annoying with GOT references and people using stupid names like Sansa and Cersei as stand ins for the real names of people in their offices.

    I don’t even like traditional fantasy fiction anyway. No dragons. No strange flying whatever they are creatures, goblins, etc. Then, I found out that there is a lot of violence, including rape and child murder on Game of Thrones. Fantasy used to be a kind of escape fiction.

    If I want to hear about rape and child murder, I’ll watch the evening news!

  89. nêhiyaw ayahkwêw*

    I kind of have to disagree with this answer, at least from my position.

    It doesn’t make sense to ask someone not to talk about something just because you find it tedious, but in the case of something like GOT, where there is such heavy violence, and issues such as incest, sexual assault and slavery, I can definitely understand not wanting to hear about it. The show also has some racism issues. For myself, being an indigenous person of colour, and someone who finds incest and rape triggering, I definitely land on the side of being sick of hearing about it.

    1. KeepIt*

      I highly doubt the conversations around the show are focusing on glorifying the violence….

  90. User 483*

    I think OP will want to think of a longer term solution for ignoring her co-workers on this. GoT is over this month, but the GoT Prequel is in pre-production and has already cast at least 16 actors.

  91. Ciel*

    I’d put on some earphones and listen to something that interests me. My coworker is a noisy eater who bitches all day long. Between smacking juicily, and sighing it moaning (we sit mere inches from each other) I need a “sound” alternative.

  92. Who Plays Backgammon?*

    Flash back 20 years. Everybody I worked with was obsessed with Survivor. I’d never seen it, so I asked them about it. Not my cup of tea, and the more they talked about it, the more bored I got.

    Flash back another 20 years. Who shot J.R.? Now, THAT was worth obsessing about (I’ve heard from older people).

  93. mlem*

    Don’t do this:

    Get one of those “ring for service” bells, and any time someone hits a GoT topic in a sentence, ring the bell. Help them notice just how incessant it really is.

    But seriously, don’t actually do that.

  94. Kisses*

    Yea… I’m not into it either. The original novels, according to family who read them when they came out, seem to have an issue with sexism. I don’t think you’re missing anything. It looks like soft core porn to me (if you’re into that, cool, but I’d rather watch/read something that’s more implied versus right in muh face).
    Sorry you have to deal with this! It was the Walking Dead that was super talked about at my last job. I’d read the comics which were years ahead of the plot where the show is. I hear GoT has an opposite problem.

  95. Jonaessa*

    I’m not the only one who looked around her office wondering who ratted me out to AMA, am I? My coworker and I just had a good laugh about this because she doesn’t watch GoT, but I just started so everyone who stops by my office wants to talk about it. We sit so close so she has to hear it, too. She’s such a good sport. Shout out to my BFF, Angie! You the real MVP.

    Have you tried engaging them in other topics? Do you notice this happens the day after a new episode, or is it all week long?

    I do feel for you. Like Allison said, this too shall pass. And maybe your coworkers won’t watch the spinoffs! ;)

  96. Sack of Benevolent Trash Marsupials*

    I’m late to this party but here’s what our office did: there is a standing GoT meeting at 9-9:30 am Monday mornings in a conference room so that all the GoT fans can get their chat time in about the show. It is a huge improvement as far as I am concerned, because it gives people a time and place to discuss, so they aren’t having load conversations in the halls all day.

    Our office is very echo-y and open so it’s tough to deal with extended excited conversations all the time, this has been an awesome way for everyone to be happy!

  97. Luna*

    I also don’t watch the show, nor have I read the books, and I have zero interest in changing that. But if they try to include you, perhaps end up being one of those ‘doesn’t know anything about X, yet figures things out well’ types. They have told you so much about these characters and episodes, you might as well pipe in and say, “Oh, A would never do X to B. That is more a C-thing to do. No, A would be much more likely to perform Y.”
    I would say you might end up (accidentally) figuring out plot twists ahead of the show airing, but I believe I have read the series’ finale was shown recently, so… unlikely to happen now.
    Or you could bluntly tell them, “I don’t know. I don’t care. And I am not interesting in talking about GoT.”

  98. S*

    I’m having the same problem. And I don’t have any plans to ever watch the show because I hate when TV shows use graphic tape scenes for shock value. Usually when people ask me over and over why I don’t watch, I say that flat out and that makes them uncomfortable enough to stop.

  99. Jason Funderberker*

    Here to say THIS, but with football. I guess at least GOT will be over soon… But football is every darn year. I’ve only coped by ignoring it or putting headphones on when it was really too much.

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