Posted: June 2, 2014, 9:40 a.m.
by Morgan Daniels.
“Game of Thrones” has been thrilling and shocking fans worldwide since its original air date on April 17, 2011. This popular drama is an HBO adaptation of the fantasy novel series “A Song of Ice and Fire” by George R.R. Martin.
“Game of Thrones” takes place in the fictional land of Westeros and details the struggle of the realm’s noblest families to sit on the “Iron Throne” and consequently rule all seven kingdoms of Westeros. Public relations professionals can learn a lot about building and maintaining an audience through the good old-fashioned storytelling that is “Game of Thrones.”
The first three seasons of the show captivated audiences everywhere with tales of civil wars, social classes, loyalty, betrayal and violence. “Game of Thrones” has a reputation for being one of the most unpredictable and deadliest shows on TV, and true fans know not to get too attached to characters because they could lose the game of thrones at any moment and be gone forever.
Season three, which ended in June 2013, left fans dazed and confused while waiting for the season four premiere scheduled for April 2014. Ten months later, the most anticipated show premiere of the spring has now aired. The premiere episode titled “Two Swords” set an HBO viewership record of more than 6.64 million.
On Sunday, April 13, 2014, at 9/8 p.m. CST, fans around the world settled into their couches to watch “Games of Thrones” season four episode two, “The Lion and the Rose.” In this episode, the sociopathic Lannister boy-king, Joffrey, is getting married to the beloved Margaery of the House Tyrell. The marriage of Joffery to Margaery is a clear-cut public relations strategy to try to improve the Lannisters’ awful public image.
Instead of the fizzling grasps at drama that usually make up the second episode of any typical show, fans were rewarded with a plot twist worthy of a season, if not a series, finale. King Joffery, the character that EVERYONE loved to hate, was murdered. We don’t know who did it or how exactly they did it; but they did it none-the-less, and it thrilled audiences around the world.
Twitter exploded with fans’ reactions to Joffery’s death dubbing the episode #PurpleWedding, a play on the color of Joffery’s face as he died from a supposed poisoning. Usually after a character death on “Game of Thrones,” fans take to Twitter to mourn and remember their fallen fictional friend, but this time they rejoiced the death of the most hated character on the show as of yet.
Fans around the world were thrilled and tweeting things like “ding dong, the king is dead” and hailing “Game of Thrones” for finally getting rid of Joffery. Although it may seem strange to those who don’t watch “Game of Thrones,” the death of Joffery was a long awaited gift to the fans and was just the twist needed to retain audience members at this crucial point in the show’s life.
After the loss of many innocent lives of lovable characters, the show finally claimed someone who was purely evil. It was just the plot twist fans needed to rekindle their devotion to the show and remain loyal watchers for the remaining seasons.
Through captivating storytelling, “Games of Thrones” and George R.R. Martin executed an effective public relations strategy to retain the audience and ensure the show’s future. HBO has signed on to produce seasons five and six, the “Game of Thrones” will continue to be played, and the story will continue to be told.