Of Shared Moments and the Artists Who Make Them Happen

Photo: She’s coming along! I wish I had more time to dedicate to her, and that’s an impossible dream at the moment. But the moments I snatch here and there are totally worth it. I’m so pleased with the early results. Making art, in any form, is so deeply rewarding.


You have probably read up to your eyeballs about Game of Thrones already. I hate to pile on, but I have to. I’m still a little breathless from last night. This isn’t a recap and I’ll do my absolute best not to spoil anything. I just want to take a moment to express my deep gratitude for yesterday’s shared moment. I’m just so grateful to witness what I really think is television, as an artform, finally meeting its destiny. Yesterday is television realizing its fullest potential and I am just… I’m in awe of the moment and the idea that so many people witnessed it together, all at once.

Living in this world, small and connected as it is, means we get to collectively share moments. Because of the nature of our times, most of the moments we share are moments of shock and horror. I cannot believe another synagogue and congregation was subjected to gun violence and white supremacist hatred over the weekend. I can’t believe young men were killed in Baltimore. I can’t believe leaders of the free world took to digital platforms to scapegoat and harass a congresswoman of color. I cannot believe and I cannot believe. It’s been a years-long nightmare really, hasn’t it? A long series of us all collectively grimacing and groaning, lamenting and grieving. Witness after painful witness of us doing the worst to ourselves and our neighbors.

Last night’s episode of Game of Thrones serves to remind me of the powerful importance of art and artists. Art distracts and delights. Art refocuses and inspires. Art stirs our souls and makes our heart race and demands the entirety of our attention and to see a bit of ourselves. It’s easy to simply dismiss television as “mere” “entertainment,” and numbing “distraction.” And yes, there is a lot of bullshit out there to consume. But what I saw last night was the culmination of a hell of a lot of work by a lot of extraordinarily talented artists. I saw old and new tricks coming together to tell a visual story in a gripping way. If you don’t believe me, you really should take the time to watch the 40-minute behind the scenes video they did about the episode and what it took to make it.. Take a gander at what it took to make that happen. Witness the genius and the work and the beautiful things that can happen when humans conceptualize and collaborate together.

And the best part about it all, for me anyway, is that The Husband and I shared the gasping and the groaning and the grimacing and the screaming with some bunch of millions of other people. All of us, all at once. I know that’s a cheesy thing, but it’s a thing that becomes more and more rare as we are each given our own personal entertainment venues. We’re not all watching TV at the same time anymore. I don’t know when we will get to do this again. So I’m here for the artistry of it, but I’m also here for the spirit of it. I’m here for the old-fashioned idea of all of us watching the same thing at the same time, and I’m here for that old-fashioned idea manifesting in the newest, coolest ways (look at how they used bronze-casting, 3D scaling, and REAL fire on a robotic arm to make the zombie dragon. Really). I’m here for the old-fashioned pastime of storytelling twisted and molded in modern ways to keep us interested, keep the story propelling forward, and telling us that we can still love characters so much as to shed a tear for them when they go.

And I guess I’m writing all of these words because I’m in awe of the art of it. Television is art. Game of Thrones is a lot of things. It’s “just a tv show” to a lot of people. And maybe it is that, ultimately, in the end. But it is also artwork. It’s performance art, teleart, screenart, a highly complex, multiple-pieced work of art involving all sorts of different types of artists doing all sorts of different types of things to put it all together into something that is masterful. Television hit a milestone last night. A bunch of artists made that happen. We all, those of us lucky enough to, got to witness it live. I’m in awe of the moment. A moment of grimacing and groaning, lamenting and grieving, brought to us all by a massive amount of people dedicated to creating art. And for all the words that are being written for much fancier places than my little blog, I suppose what I ultimately want to write is: thank you. Thank an artist today. Thank a writer. If you loved last night’s episode, if you love how good television is right now, be sure to say thank you and be supportive.

We live in an awful world. It’s mean. It’s brutal. It’s full of horrors and terrors and injustice. It’s in these times that art serves its purpose best and artists deserve recognition most. Not everyone can do what they do. For 80 minutes last night, I forgot where I was and I only cared about one thing. I was surprised and delighted. I was brought to tears and triumphant roars. An army of artists made that happen. Thank you, wherever you are.

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