The Wrath of Tumblr; or why I avoid blogging about Game of Thrones, Hiddleston and Cumberbatch (spoiler free)

Film, TV


I have been a bit quiet on here of late. This is due to a combination of factors, including many dull real-life things which won’t interest anyone, coupled with a dilemma I keep finding myself struggling with. I touched on it in my post about Gurl Gamers a little while ago, but thought it would be an appropriate time to revisit now, as I am finding myself being scared of touching on certain topics on here. I’d be interested to hear if anyone else suffers the same anxieties.

I wanted to write a piece about Game of  Thrones, in reply to this thoughtful piece on Art Threat. While it is well-written and I can sympathise, I wanted to highlight the fact that racism and sexism are still ingrained in many aspects of sci-fi, horror and fantasy, and that George RR Martin and the HBO production company are not the first (nor by any means the worst) culprits in this, and that fantasy is always going to be more reflective of the dominant culture of the time than a realistic look at future/past worlds etc. However, I found myself worrying about writing anything as I saw the increasing internet storm brewing.

I haven’t read the books. I am not a Game of Thrones aficionado. My grasp of the characters is more akin to the Honest Trailers take on Game of Thrones than I’d care to admit (although I guess I just did). I began to worry that although I know my pop culture, and how it reflects society- Cultural studies is a dying subject, but I still love it- I didn’t know if I was brave enough to take on the rabid Game of Thrones horde.

It is a dilemma I have had before when thinking about writing about anything starring Benedict Cumberbatch or Tom Hiddleston (although I did brave the latter with Only Lovers Left Alive), having heard tales of people being besieged with abusive messages from angry Cumberbitches or Hiddlestoners. If you ever have ten minutes to spare and want an insight into true horror, search for “Benedict Cumberbatch” on Tumblr, and follow the trail down the dark rabbit hole. It’s quite something to behold.

I digress. Back to Game of Thrones. This week’s episode ‘Breaker of Chains’  featured a scene with Cersei and Jaime Lannister which added a whole new element to any potential arguments, being something that, apparently, wasn’t featured in the books, but added extra elements of misogyny to a show which already straddled some fine lines, often bare-breasted. This made me glad I didn’t try and defend the show, as it seemed gratuitous in the extreme. There have been some excellent articles written on “the incident” (don’t click if you want to avoid spoilers), my favourite of which is on AV Club here.

This still all leaves me wondering if I am the only who avoids discussing specific subjects online for fear of fan retribution. Are there any subjects you have worried about tackling?


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