First off, I’d like to say that if you’re not watching Game of Thrones, then you need to get on that. Like, now. I was a little hesitant at first, but after being coerced into watching it from my family, I was hooked. Now I know Game of Thrones is usually associated with fantasy and action, but it actually shares a LOT on common with horror movies/television shows. There are spoilers here, so sorry if you haven’t watched it yet (even though it’s actually your own fault for not watching because it’s one of the best shows ever.)
1. White walkers
White walkers make an appearance in the first episode. They are pretty creepy looking, with pale skin and almost unnaturally blue eyes. Basically, their whole deal is they can resurrect the dead to work as their servants. The people of Westeros see white walkers as either mythical creatures, or as an instinct species. Whether they are real or not (oh they’re definitely real,) people find security in the Wall, which is guarded by the brave men of the Night’s Watch.
They are said to be nocturnal, and attacked over eight thousand years before the series begins, in one long and dark winter. Oh, and if you’re unfamiliar with how seasons work in their universe, winters and summers can last years and years. In the series, winter is coming (some people should get that reference) and it is highly possible that they will return to Westeros to finish what they started.
2. Joffrey is horrifying
King Joffrey Baratheon is seriously one of the most fucked up kids ever. He’s like literally up there with Damien Thorn (The Omen) and Malaki (Children of the Corn.) Firstly, he beheaded Ned Stark, who was one of the very few honorable men in Westeros. He also did this in public, and in front of his fiancé who happened to be Ned’s daughter. And it doesn’t end there, he also forced her to look at her father’s severed head on a spike.
The way he treats his “beloved” doesn’t get better from there. He also has her stripped and beaten in court, and leaves her in the streets to be raped and killed during a riot—which he started. Luckily she was saved before it got too bad, but still. Oh, and there was that one scene with the two prostitutes. If you’ve watched it, you know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s definitely one of those scenes that haunts you forever.
3. Gratuitous blood and gore
It’s an HBO series, so of course they get to be over the top with the blood and gore. The fight scenes are intense and pretty graphic. There is little mystery when it comes to people being slaughtered. They actually have a scene that consists of the extremely badass Khal Drogo giving a guy a Columbian necktie (pulling his tongue out through his slit throat.) There are more intense scenes than that too. There is a lot of sword fighting as well, which usually ends up being a bloody mess.
4. Gratuitous sex and nudity
Horror movies definitely have a reputation for being a little heavy-handed on the sex scenes and nudity. That might be the only aspect of horror that I dislike because a lot of the time it seems totally unnecessary. Game of Thrones also does not hold back on their “love” scenes.
Brothels are kind of a big deal in Westeros, so you see a lot of prostitution going on. It’s not just female nudity either. There’s been a few full-frontal scenes with the male actors as well. There’s also an incest scene, which didn’t have any nudity, but you definitely know what the deal is.
5. People are always in danger of losing their lives
Like most horror movies, people are capable of being killed off at any moment, even the major characters. Seriously, everyone just wants to kill everyone in Westeros. Ned Stark was killed in the first season, and he was a pretty big character. Little Arya Stark has an ongoing list of people she wants to kill, and she’s only like nine or ten.
The Lannister’s want to kill anyone that stands between them and the Iron Throne, and the Tyrell’s want to destroy Stannis Baratheon and his army. It seriously never ends and you honestly never know when your favorite character is going to die off (unless you read the books, that is.)
6. Misunderstood villains
Looking back at movies like A Nightmare on Elm Street and Friday the Thirteenth, what characters come to mind? That’s right Freddy and Jason. We all know they are horrible characters, but we love them anyway (or is that just me?) Game of Thrones is really good at creating villains that you fall in love with. For example, Jamie Lannister is a dick. Not only is he sleeping with his twin sister (yes, you read that right) but he also pushed a little kid off a high tower for witnessing the act. Yet here we are, in the middle of the third season, feeling sorry for his stump of a right hand and maybe secretly wanting him a Brienne of Tarth to get together.
Or there’s Sandor “The Hound” Clegane, the sworn shield of the ruthless King Joffrey (before he basically told him to fuck off) who kills on command, no questions asked. But you hear the story of his horrible childhood and see how he tries to protect Sansa, and by season three episode five, you are cheering him on as he faces his biggest fear, fire, to save his life. And don’t even get me started on my mixed feelings towards Cersei.
Is she really a concerned mother? Or just a bitch? You really never know how to feel about all the villains in Westeros, bringing me to my next and final reason why Game of Thrones is actually horror…
7. Everyone is the killer
As I said earlier, people are ALWAYS in danger of losing their lives. Even the good guys can be killers—depending on what side of the war you’re on, that is! But seriously, even Ned Stark killed a guy in the first episode. You can even request a “trial by combat,” in which you can prove your innocence by fighting for your life—and ending some else’s.
Almost everyone in the series kills in some way, at some point, whether it is by running a sword across their throat, or commanding someone else to do it, it gets done. Westeros is a dangerous place, where trust is rare and backstabbing is common, and you honestly never know when someone will turn on their allies and leave them for dead.
So basically, I think it’s pretty safe to say that Game of Thrones should be considered a horror series. If you don’t watch the show and decided to read this article anyway, sorry for the spoilers (not really, because I warned you.) But really, horror fans will love this show for the reasons I have listed—and perhaps others as well! Let me know in the comments if there are any other reasons you can think of that connects Game of Thrones with horror!
Also, I haven’t read the books, so this is solely based on the HBO television show. If you have HBO GO, you can watch all the episodes there! If you’re like me (with no life,) it should take you less than a day to catch up to season three!