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When reflecting on how Season 8 of HBO’s Game of Thrones has played out, I’m reminded of an experience I shared with friends years ago when the internet was still brand new. These were the days of dial up. My best friend and I were just out of high school and living on our own in the city. One day, the bestie’s girlfriend and her roommate (both high school friends of ours) were hanging out at our apartment. I forget now how the subject came up, but the girls decided that they wanted to see some internet porn.
Being the accommodating and chivalrous young men that we were, we immediately agreed to oblige them. So we fired up the modem and the web browser (probably Netscape) and typed in the requisite search words. And waited. Even in those days, there were a million places to look at porn (all still images, of course), but the rules of the game and the players involved weren’t as well established as they are now. Searching for graphic images online was less like checking out the exact book you want at the library and more like stumbling into a used bookstore, hoping for the best, and (hopefully) finding something close to what you were looking for.
Many years have passed and the details are a bit murky, but I’m fairly certain our search results led us to a page of neon hyperlinks set against a black background. We began clicking links at random to see what risqué delights we’d find on the other side. Now, if you were looking at naughty pictures online back in those days, you’ll remember that images downloaded very slowly on a dial up connection and revealed themselves from top to bottom. You might wait five minutes for an image to fully download, which usually meant you waited the full five minutes because the naughtiest bits were usually closer to the bottom than they were to the top. Don’t act like you don’t know what I’m talking about.
Well, the first image we pulled up revealed the head of a woman. I imagine she was an attractive woman, but I can’t really remember for sure all these years later. Minutes crept by as the image slowly revealed itself. The sexual tension in the room was palpable (the bestie’s girlfriend’s roommate and I ended up hooking up years later). Before long, the woman’s *ahem* upper body was visible.
So far, so good.
The girls giggled. The clock ticked. The dial up chugged on, muscling the image into existence. Pretty soon we could see the woman’s hips. She was in a crouching posture and we knew this one was gonna be good. Hearts thudded and we collectively held our breath as we waited for the last quarter of the image to finish downloading and the racy scene to fully unfold.
And then it did.
There was a gasp and then four voices cried out in horror as we realized what we were bearing witness to, what we’d spent what felt like the last half hour of our lives waiting in sweaty anticipation to see.
Well, I’m not gonna spell it out for you, but let’s just say the woman was in the act of doing something that is generally reserved for restrooms. A man’s hairy chest was involved. You can put two and two together.
Needless to say, we small town kids had never seen or heard of anything like what we saw on the internets that day. It should also go without saying, the final outcome did not live up to the anticipation of those five minutes spent in a small, dark room with friends, hoping for one thing but getting something entirely different.
Looking around the internet these past few weeks at reactions to Season 8, GoT fans seem to be going through something similar to what my friends and I went through that fateful autumn day. The promise of something glorious and rewarding has seemingly been replaced with…poop.
But what are your thoughts, Wasteoids? Has Season 8 lived up to the hype or have Benioff and Weiss shat all over your metaphorical hairy chests?
The comments below have been spoiler certified. What did you think of “TBA”?