Game of Thrones is more than a show, because it lives on all week after it airs on Sundays. It is a force of nature, a prompter of water-cooler conversations, a self-aware troller of its own fandom, and an igniter of internet controversy. As we have recently discussed, rage-quitting, the audience’s last resort, occurs when a viewer feels betrayed by a show that once brought them joy, and as a result, they swear off it in a storm of angry tweets, blog posts, or thinkpieces.
Six seasons into Game of Thrones, rage-quitting has become as much of a tradition as character death and saying “winter is coming.” Here are the most logical estimates of Season 6 events that will ruffle the internet’s feathers.
Tyrion or Arya dies
Tyrion and Arya are two characters who will prompt actual riots if they bite it. Both are fan-favorites, and their deaths would catch everyone off guard, creating a terrible surprise. In George R.R. Martin’s books, it’s assumed that they have bullet-proof plot armor, as Tyrion is the closest thing the series has to an author-proxy and Arya is reportedly Martin’s wife’s favorite. However, the show has no qualms with axing characters who still breathe in the books — see Ser Barristan Selmy, Stannis, and poor Shireen. Book plot armor is no guarantee of the same in the show. If these two croak, fans will respond with fire and ice.
More Accidental Rape
The Game of Thrones creators have already promised to tone down the show’s sexual violence, after Sansa’s season 5 wedding night rape prompted a larger storm of rage-quitting than ever before. Everyone from senators to pop culture websites swore off the show in retaliation. That being said, the show doesn’t have the best track record with even recognizing if a scene will be interpreted as rape, as in Season 4’s Jaime and Cersei catastrophe. It’s possible, then that the creator’s promise to avoid it won’t pan out. If that happens, they will end up on more Arya-like hit lists.
Jon Snow Returns, Only To Die Again
Just because it’s nearly certain that Jon Snow’s death is not permanent, there’s no guarantee he’ll stick around, either. The ultimate case of Game of Thrones fucking with us would be if he made a triumphant comeback, only to die later in the season, perhaps in the Battle of the Bastards. Fans don’t like feeling toyed with, and there would be many an angry tweet.
Season 6 is already shaping up to be an exciting season filled with more battles than ever and the return of long-lost beloved characters. If it can manage to be the first season to survive without rage-quitting, that will be an impressive feat indeed. But at this point, it’s part of the phenomenon of the show itself. All Men Must Watch; All Men Must Complain.