Growing Up With Game Of Thrones

My Parents Let me Watch it When I Was 12. They Are the Best Parents Ever

Ever since I was eight years old, I’ve heard my parents talking about Game of Thrones. They wouldn’t let me come into the room while they were watching it. Of course, this made me want to see the show so much more. I always asked, but they refused, saying that I wasn’t old enough or mature enough.

We went on a road trip when I was 12. I needed something to keep me and my very short attention span entertained. Somehow, I convinced my parents to let me download season one of Game of Thrones on my iPad. After only five minutes, the show captivated me. I didn’t speak another word for the rest of the ride, opting to watch Game of Thrones instead. This made my parents happy. Now they could listen to their dumb ‘80s music without me bothering them.

Something about Game Of Thrones just clicked with my almost teenage mind. The show featured lots of violence, perfectly mixed with long scenes of people talking about economics while drinking wine. The sex didn’t bother me whatsoever. I’d been on the internet enough to know what sex was and how it worked, so the frequency of it on the show didn’t faze me.

At the time, Arya was my favorite character. It could have been because she was the closest to my age, so I naturally related to her. But mostly, it was because she was gradually becoming a badass assassin, and I thought that was super cool. I hated some other characters, like Bran. I thought he was whiny and annoying. Like everyone else, I’ve continuously hoped for his demise throughout my whole viewing of the show.

I’ve seen the entirety of Game of Thrones more times than I know since then, but every time I rewatch the show, it fills me with an almost child-like wonder. Not only does it feature the extreme violence and sex that the audience so desperately wants, it also adds in occasional, well-placed humor, along with dragons. What more could someone want from a TV show?

I am the King and I will watch Game Of Thrones whenever I want!

When I first told my friends that I was watching Game Of Thrones, some of them were surprised. My parents were pretty loose on my media consumption. They let me use the internet freely and watch basically whatever. Some of my friends’ parents wouldn’t give them the same privilege when it came to Game of Thrones. I can’t honestly blame them, the show is full of graphic sex. But parents pretty much not censoring anything for me was a good thing. I was able to actually explore my interests and watch what I wanted, instead of watching The Disney Channel for my whole childhood.

Would I recommend every parent let their kids watch Game of Thrones? Sure. Go for it. Letting your kid watch a TV show won’t hurt them, and if the violence or sex makes them uncomfortable, they can turn it off. I can understand not letting an eight-year-old watch something, but by the age of 12 a kid should be mature enough to handle watching whatever they want.

When I was 13, I started watching Breaking Bad without even telling my parents. When I finally did tell them, they said, “Oh, cool. We liked it, but was too intense for us.” But after watching Game Of Thrones, nothing could be too intense for me. I can’t wait for Sunday.

Elijah Pollack

Elijah Pollack is a high-school student in Austin, Texas. He's the cohost of the Extra Credit podcast on Audible, and has written for Observer.com.

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