i think about this a lot

I Think About This A Lot: Game of Thrones Edition

Nine writers share the moments that have stuck with them over the years.

Photo: HBO
Photo: HBO

I Think About This a Lot is a series dedicated to private memes: images, videos, and other random trivia we are doomed to play forever on loop in our minds. In honor of the eighth and final season of HBO’s Game of Thrones, we asked nine writers the moments from the show they … think about a lot.

“You need the bad pussy”

There are sentences we hear in our lives that stick with us and grow deep, strong roots in our souls. We remember these idioms because they are poetic and resonant, disturbing and brilliant. They become mantras, guiding lights. We seek these phrases in times of joy or need. I myself hold onto one of these sentences: a beautiful sequence of words that has rattled around my brain since 2015 when “Mother’s Mercy,” the season five finale of Game Of Thrones aired. It is the line that Tyene Sand — one of the Sand Snakes — whispers to Bronn which is, to quote directly, “You want a good girl, but you need the bad pussy.” You want a good girl, but you need the bad pussy. This is my cellar door. Not only is it a direct flirt said to the hottest character*, it is also one of the most astoundingly awful sentences I’ve heard uttered aloud. I love it. I think about saying it on every date I’ve ever been on. I want to make it my email signature. One time I almost said it aloud at Chase Bank. I cannot escape it. What perfectly encapsulates all that I love and hate about Game Of Thrones is that the episode went on to win an Emmy — for writing! Congratulations, truly, on that incredible accomplishment. I like to think the award went to You want a good girl, but you need the bad pussy alone.

*That’s right: when people say “the hot guy on Game Of Thrones,” I do not think of Kit Harington who is definitely hot, or even Kristofer Hivju — also hot — but of Jerome Flynn, who is, without a doubt, the hottest man on that show.

Fran Hoepfner, writer

“You speak Valyrian?”

Before Daenerys finally arrived at the fireworks factory, she spent years across the sea dealing with A Series of Assholes Who Underestimated Her at Their Peril, and if we’re being honest, said Assholes can really blur together. The only one who stands out in my memory is Kraznys mo Nakloz, of the Good Masters of Astapor. That’s because I think we can all relate to him, in a very limited way: we’ve all gotten caught talking shit.

Shit-talking is a vital part of life, but it’s risky, and if you’re not careful it can blow up in your face. Maybe you finally went off at the Keurig about Marc From Sales and his annoying questions in the morning meeting, only to turn around and find Marc From Sales standing behind you. Maybe your amazing human brain and amazing pocket computer joined forces to completely fail you and you somehow sent a snotty text about someone TO THAT SOMEONE. Maybe you got a little overconfident about your deal-making ability and insulted a dragon-commanding queen to her translator without realizing that you were speaking her mother tongue. The point is, we’ve all been there, am I right?

Patrick Monahan, comedian and writer

White Walker Day Care

In season four of Game of Thrones, some bad guys north of the Wall place a newborn baby out in the snow. Soon, a White Walker emerges from the shadows, scoops up the baby, and carries him across the frozen wastes to a mysterious stone circle where the other White Walkers wait. Their leader, the Night King, touches the baby with one long inhuman finger, and its eyes turn ice blue. The implication is clear: This is how new White Walkers are made.

Shortly after I watched this episode, I had to take my toddler to day care in a blizzard. As I pushed his stroller through the snow, all I could think about was that magic evil frost baby and whether it would be 18 years before he could actually command an army of zombies. What exactly would he do until then? Were there a lot of White Walker babies toddling around? Did some of the White Walkers take care of them? Did they do arts and crafts? Did they have nap time? Did the Night King have to rub their little backs to help them fall asleep?

I think about Game of Thrones a lot. I think about this GIF and the time Cersei blew up half the cast, and I think about the time I met a woman who had only seen three episodes but was about to get a tattoo of her favorite character, Ned Stark. (Should I have said something? I probably should have.) But nothing has ever lodged in my head more firmly than the idea of White Walker day care.

Izzy Grinspan, senior editor, the Cut

Wun Wun’s Junk…

You ever look at a person and wonder what their genitals look like? I do. It’s like thinking about what your parents look like when they’re having sex, or your what your crush looks like while taking a crap. Well, when I first saw Wun Wun the giant during that one battle against the White Walkers, I definitely thought about the dimensions of that Wildling’s dong. In fact, I think about it a lot.

I’m not going to get into calculations where I take an average man’s height, weight, and schvantz size and compare it to Wun Wun’s dimensions in order to estimate the approximate size of his wang. I’m too lazy for that, and I’d rather my imagination run free. So … if I had to guesstimate, I’d say Wun Wun’s penis is as large as … five Jon Snow’s rolled into a burrito. That’s a hog of biblical proportions. That leads me to the next question: How big are Wun Wun’s balls? That’s a tough one. I’ll let you think about that yourselves. Anyways, RIP Wun Wun. You were not armed enough during the Battle of the Bastards and you died. You will be missed.

Tamara Yajia, comedian and writer

Why So Sad, Jon Snow?

Photo: HBO

I know he’s the hero and the lead and all of that but sometimes I think about how much I’d honestly hate to get stuck in an elevator with Jon Snow. He is just so earnest and worried all the time, it’s tedious. Every time I see him frowning and fretting I think Jesus Christ, Jon, if I was a hot young bastard king I’d make an effort to smile and get drunk and go out dancing every once in a while! I understand why he’s grumpy — so many of his loved ones have met grisly ends, but he has some wonderful friends. I mean, give dear Sam a cuddle and cheer up, pal! I guess Jon finds it hard to let loose at work because his colleagues actually fully murdered him, but still! Being resurrected is surely a cause for cheer. I’m hoping now that he’s in love with a great girl/his aunt, he’ll finally start to appreciate what he’s got. He needs to stop whining on and on about the White Walkers, develop a positive attitude and step, with pep, right on up to that Iron Throne.

Maeve Higgins, comedian

“Do you know how far the fall is?”

What is a Moon Door? If you were to make an assumption based on its name alone, you might (incorrectly) come to the conclusion that the Moon Door is a door to the moon, or at the very least, a door that opens up to a view of the moon. That sounds nice, you might think, a door specifically made to look at the moon! This is precisely what I used to wonder every time someone on Game of Thrones would be like, “so and so and blahblah and the Moon Door.”

Until season four, that is. Sansa’s eccentric aunt with weird teeth, Lysa Arryn, calls Sansa into her chambers to show her the Moon Door. It turns out that the Moon Door is not so much a door as it is a gigantic hole in the floor of Lysa’s castle, which is suspended, uh, in the air (?). The architectural logistics aren’t totally clear, but what is clear: If you open the moon door and step through it, you will die a horrendous death. It is a horrifying torture instrument. It is an agent of chaos and intimidation. It is … really cool. Can you imagine owning a Moon Door? What a flex! “Be careful! It’s a real Moon Door,” you’d say, handing each of your friends a freshly mixed dirty martini.

The Moon Door is devastatingly chic. The Moon Door is, dare I say, sexy? To me, the threat of “throwing somebody out the Moon Door” is the high-fashion equivalent of “turning this car around and knocking your heads together” — a warning that’s rarely followed through on, but evocative all the same. Just imagine growing up with a Moon Door instead of a Time Out Corner: “Stop fighting or I will throw you out the Moon Door.” “Stop trying to overthrow your sister or I will throw you out the Moon Door.” “Stop having sex with your twin, or I will throw you out the Moon Door!!!”

Had I had grown up with a Moon Door, I would have absolutely been thrown out of it. Fortunately, even as a child I had an appreciation of aesthetics. I wouldn’t have even been that mad.

Rachel Handler, entertainment writer, Vulture

That Magic Necklace

Here’s something I’ve wondered since watching the first episode of the sixth season of Game of Thrones: Do you think it’s extremely comfortable when the Red Witch takes off her necklace and her entire body droops? I imagine it’s like taking off a bra, but for the whole skin. Picture, for one sweet second, feeling the sagging ecstasy of bra-removal somewhere else in your body? In your belly or lower back or your hair even? That’s the fantasy here! It’s almost as if this weren’t a morality play about deceptive lady magic and the tricky wiles of beauty. When that clunky choker comes off and her posture caves in and her skin wilts, her whole shell sighs: I don’t have to hold myself up anymore for you mother-fuckers. I have unzipped my skin and I’m ready for bed. I desire that sensation very much, which is amazing because most of the new sensations introduced by Game of Thrones are terrifying and pain-centric. The only other not-bad one is riding a dragon, but that one seems smelly and like it lasts too long, and I am but a humble, exhausted person, so I’ll just take the private sag feeling, thank you very much.

Maggie Lange, writer

Ser Jorah Mormont’s Other Gigs

For some reason, there are few things more jarring than seeing a Game of Thrones actor out of context. (Please see Ramsay Bolton as a James Blunt–esque indie crooner for starters.) But perhaps the most bizarre encounter of GoT in the wild was watching a Netflix movie called The Tigers of Scotland, a documentary about Britain’s only wild cat.

Why did I start watching a documentary about Britain’s only wild cat? Well, for one I didn’t know that Britain had any wild cats. Also, it was on Netflix. But the reason I kept watching was for the narration, courtesy of none other than Iain Glen, a.k.a. my embarrassing Game of Thrones crush, a.k.a. Lord of the Friendzone Ser Jorah Mormont. This brought up a lot of questions for me. For example: Why did Iain Glenn take this job? Is HBO not paying him enough? Or does he just really love cats?

Anyway, I know this isn’t specifically a moment from Game of Thrones and I apologize if it disrupts the flow of this ‘I Think About This a Lotroundup, but I would like to humbly suggest The Tigers of Scotland as a perfect companion piece to your GoT viewing experience. Whenever get too emotionally distraught over my favorite character’s sure-to-be-unpleasant fate, I just flick over to The Tigers of Scotland and imagine a parallel universe where Ser Jorah is roaming the Westeros highlands, pointing out rare cats and raking in that sweet feline documentary cash, and I find the strength within me to flick back to HBO and see what gory future awaits him.

Anna Silman, senior culture writer, the Cut

“The Lord’s Kiss”

After reading all of the Song of Ice and Fire books, the one moment indelibly sealed in my memory palace is when Jon Snow goes down on the wildling Ygritte in a cave. She, having never experienced that before, calls it “The Lord’s Kiss.” The Lord’s Kiss! It’s the most hilarious, Ren-Faire-horny euphemism for the act ever uttered. I was thrilled to find that it made it into the show, even if I still have some questions, like: How was Jon so skilled at that if he was a virgin? And why weren’t any of the wildling men going, uh, south of the wall? Also Ygritte dies shortly afterward, so I guess the life lesson here is to not settle for the first guy you meet who’s good in bed.

Gabriella Paiella, senior writer, the Cut

I Think About This a Lot: Game of Thrones Edition