The TV landscape shifted when Jon Snow rode off into the wilderness with a ginger-bearded freefolk and his fiercely loyal direwolf in May. It was the culmination of eight seasons of a sprawling imagination epic told over eight years–one that aimed, to the astound of some viewers, contentiously. Game of Thrones‘ series finale was polarizing for a multitude of reasons, from where some characters’ passages took them to how they were written.
But the end of Game of Thrones started well before that. We had months to prepare for it. Ahead of season 8, the question of what the followers would do next was already top of brain.( To say nothing of Thrones reporters like myself .)
What comes next after you barrel your behavior through a binge-watch? What do we do with ourselves after a beloved evidence, or a movie dealership, or volume series that we’ve been immersed with for years is finally over? In a year when Game of Thrones is just one of three major pop culture phenomena to come to an end( alongside the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Skywalker Saga ), we can’t stop wondering. Discovering brand-new and old stories alike has been one of the equation, but so is keeping what we desired about the tale alive. Devotees need a team.
The worry of what will happen to a fandom formerly its primary generator is finished is an evergreen issue. An infamous 1980 essay that appeared in a Star Wars fanzine looked at what Star Wars would look like in a prequel trilogy without Luke Skywalker. Before that, some Star Trek devotees worried that the arrival of Star Wars in 1977 would kill Star Trek fandom.
Nowadays? We’ve seen several Star Trek and Star Wars movies, Tv proves, tie-in books and comics( both canonical and not ); female Star Trek fans are largely responsible for modern fandom, having both pushed the forefront on letter-writing campaigns to save a depict and fanfiction long before those became modern television mainstays. “[ O] ur perspective has recently changed, and it has become glaringly apparent that earlier reported cases of the death of Star Wars fandom have been greatly inflated ,” the science fiction Starlog magazine stated in the December 1987 issue, more than four years after Return of the Jedi’s liberate in theaters.
Both properties have included more inclusive characters in their narratives in recent years, which is slowly establishing its way behind the camera, too. Those fandoms have changed and evolved as new generations fallen in love with Star Wars and Star Trek, often with some pushback and gatekeeping among older followers resistant to change. We’re decades from the original series and the original trilogy, but there are no signs of either fandom sputtering out.
Of course, given the online reception to the end of Game of Thrones, we’re having a much different discussion than we expected. I felt immediate relief that it was over, and I imagine I wasn’t alone. It might be too soon to really get a feel of what Game of Thrones fandom will look like in a year from now( or even five years old ), given that HBO is filming a aviator for a prequel show that will almost surely be ordered to series and there are also two more books in A Song of Ice and Fire to eventually looked forward to receiving.
But if we never got another TV show or Martin never publishes another volume, that wouldn’t inevitably sign Game of Thrones fandom’s death warrant.
Thanks to streaming, online communities, live occurrences, and continuous supplemental pop culture, there are vast ways to curate and celebrate the geeky stuff you adoration. Even outside influential pop culture mainstays and modern-day strikes, we’ve seen abundance of fandoms flourish long after the series finale aired, the final film debuted, or final book was published. It might not look and feel exactly the same way that it did in its heyday, but fandoms don’t die–they multiply.
There’s no question that nostalgia sells.
We’re surrounded by reboots, resurgences, prequels, and sequels on TV and film–and if there isn’t one in the works, the cast, crew, and executives behind beloved belongings are routinely asked about the possibility of it happening ad nauseam.
Authors like and Suzanne Collins are compelled to return to the fictional macrocosms they made famous while J.K. Rowling created a whole new cinema franchise out of untapped potential along with helping craft a Harry Potter sequel for the stage.
Perhaps the biggest brand-new testify “re coming out” recently? A re-release of the 1995 anime Neon Genesis Evangelion, complete with a new English dub, which has already sparked both controversy and a new flux of fans who, perhaps for the first time, is to be able to legally access the notoriously difficult-to-watch series.
Newer technology and streaming platforms like Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon make it much easier for people to check out older Tv evidences and movies, which comes with the risk of that testify being drawn at any time. Two of the most-watched TV depicts on Netflix aren’t Netflix originals but instead long-running series that haven’t aired a new chapter in several years: Friends and The Office, which are both improbably popular with younger viewers who almost certainly wouldn’t have watched the appearance as it aired; both serial are for other streaming platforms.
” Sometimes, I think it’s that technology reopens the door ,” Fandom head of creative developing Roth Cornet told the Daily Dot.” For Star Trek, it was the fact that I watched it as a kid on television in reruns, but if that wasn’t available for me to do, it would’ve been completely unknown or a kind of mythological thing that happened a long time ago in my intellect. For Dungeons and Dragons, a lot of the resurgence around D& D right now is because people are playing it in live streams, like Critical Role. If people can see it online and the barrier of enter is lower, they feel like they can watch it firstly and then try to play it .”