Game Of Thrones Is Awfully Meta This Season

Photo: Courtesy of HBO.
Game Of Thrones is the kind of show that falls under Prestige Drama, so it's supposed to constantly take itself seriously. That means no comedy, no bright colors, and definitely no meta references. Meta stylings, for those not obsessing over television tropes, occur when a series references itself or the well-known conventions of the genre it exists in, breaking the “fourth wall” of a television screen between fictional characters and real-life viewers. Essentially it's when a show nods towards the audience it's quite aware that it is, in fact, a show.
Since its inception in 2011, Game Of Thrones has avoided such tactics, which are far more popular with witty comedies like 30 Rock and genre cult favorites like Supernatural. Yet, Thrones is getting particularly tongue-in-cheek with its own history as we delve deeper into season 7. At this point, the HBO fantasy epic is even quoting memes about itself, which feels much more like NBC's Community than Thrones. But, that probably makes sense, as we've already pointed out, Thrones is pretty darn funny this year.
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Scroll through the gallery to see just how much the drama is referencing past seasons and the books it's based off of, George R. R. Martin's A Song Of Ice And Fire Series. Yes, of course that "still rowing" joke is involved.
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The Bulky ASOIAF Working Title

Thrones season 1 may be begin with a very much alive King Robert Baratheon (Mark Addy), but the actual action of the series doesn’t truly begin until the royal dies in episode 7, “You Win or You Die.” From there, Ned Stark (Sean Bean) is wrongly executed, leading to the wild(fire) events of the series we now know, including The War Of The Five Kings, the rise of the Faith Militant, Cersei Lannister’s (Lena Headey) explosion of the Sept Of Baelor, and Daenerys Targaryen’s invasion of Westeros.

Interestingly, Samwell Tarly’s Citadel mentor Maester Ebrose (Jim Broadbent) just so happens to be writing the exact history of these events, as he tells Sam (John Bradley) during season 7’s “Stormborn.” The working title is The Chronicles of the Wars Following the Death of King Robert I. Sam wrinkles his nose, because TCOTWFTDOKRI clearly isn’t quite as “poetic” as the title of the book series we all know Thrones is based off of, A Song Of Ice And Fire. The scene is very similar to Lorelai Gilmore (Lauren Graham) telling Rory Gilmore (Alexis Bledel) Gilmore Girls is a better title than The Gilmore Girls in Netflix's revival.

If you somehow managed to forget ASOIAF, Melisandre (Carice van Houten) brings it up by name in next episode “Queens Justice,” telling Varys (Conleth Hill), “I’ve done my part. I’ve brought ice and fire together.” Of course, she’s talking about Jon Snow (Kit Harington) and Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), as well as this entire Game Of Thrones business.
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The “Not A Stark” Bit

Moments after Melisandre hits us over the head with the book references, Thrones gets really referential with the Jon Snow lineage hints. During the next scene of “Queen’s Justice,” Tyrion Lannister (Peter Dinklage) and Jon talk about how the King In The North’s bannerman think he’s a “fool” for visiting the dragon queen. “General rule of thumb: Stark men don’t fare well when they travel South,” referencing the deaths of Robb Stark (Richard Madden) and Ned Stark (Sean Bean), as well as the pre-series executions of Brandon Stark and Rickard Stark.

Jon answers, “True, but I’m not a Stark,” personally speaking about his status as a bastard. However, Thrones fans believed at that point Jon wasn’t only a bastard, but a Targaryen bastard, as opposed to a Stark bastard. And now, as “Eastwatch” episode viewers know, Jon seriously isn’t a Stark, since he’s a truborn Targaryen prince.

To remind us of this backstory, a literal dragon, the sigil of House Targaryen, comes screeching into the scene, yelling in agreement with Jon’s protests against being a Stark.
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The Running Dickon Joke

Did you know Game Of Thrones has so many characters, it is sometimes hard to keep them all straight — especially since they all sound the same? Did you know Game Of Thrones also re-casts actors sometimes? The powers that be behind the series confirmed they know this as well as viewers do with the introduction of New Dickon Tarly (Tom Hopper) in “Stormborn.” Hopper replaced season 6’s version of the lordling, played by Freddie Stroma.

When Jaime Lannister (Nikolaj Coster-Waldau) is introduced to the young Tarly, he asks, “Rikard, isn’t it?” The soldier responds, “Dickon.” Later, when Jaime sees Dickon on the battlefield again, he calls him “Rickon,” mixing his name up yet again, this time using a rhyming option. So, not only can Jaime not remember the increasingly long list of character names on this show, he can’t even recognize Dickon since he now played by an entirely new man. Get it?
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The Acknowledgement Of How Ridiculous Thrones Plotlines Can Be

Bran Stark (Isaac Hempstead Wright) is young man who was thrown out of a castle, paralyzed, held hostage in his own home, escaped, fled to the most dangerous Northern reaches of his continent, met ancient supernatural beings, mentored under a hundreds-years-old man living inside of a tree, ran away from ice zombies, was saved by his ice zombie uncle, became a spiritual bird, and then made it all the way back home, all the weirder. And, again, he did this all while paralyzed, with only the help of two very petite friends and a very large man. This is all, to say the least, in the realm of the preposterous.

The Thrones team admitted they took Bran on a bizarre journey in latest episode, “Eastwatch.” In the installment, Bran has Winterfell’s maester send a raven to the Citadel notifying them the White Walkers are marching on Night's Watch outpost Eastwatch. The maesters respond by saying the lordling's story is “a bit much,” questioning how a boy who’s been paralyzed could see such things with “the magical help of a raven with three eyes.” Well, true.
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The Stannis The (Former) Mannis Reference

Stannis Baratheon (Stephen Dillane) may not have had many endearing qualities — and he had absolutely zero after he burned his own daughter alive — but, he did have one lovable tick for most of the series: correcting people on the proper uses of “fewer” and “less.”

Davos Seaworth (Liam Cunningham) threw back to his former boss’s greatest habit during episode 4, “Spoils Of War,” telling Jon he should use “fewer” rather than “less” when talking about countable things like number of men in an army.

Stannis The Ex Mannis, gone, but never forgotten in the Thrones writers' room.
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All The Jon Snow Shots

Jon Snow loves to brood. Jon Snow loves to brood so much, you will get exactly 27,973 results on Giphy.com when you type in “Jon Snow brooding.” That’s a lot of brooding.

Finally, the Game Of Thrones characters have acknowledged what we fans have known for years. The moment arrives in “The Queen’s Justice” as Jon sulks over the cliffs on Dragonstone, which happen to be the ideal place for photogenic brooding. It’s such a perfect locale for handsome rumination, Tyrion also goes there to do his own moping, but finds Jon is already there, taking up all the Sad Boy space.

“I came here to brood over my failure to predict the Greyjoy attack. You're making it difficult. You look a lot better brooding than I do. You make me feel as though I'm failing at brooding over failure,” Tyrion tells Jon. We guess he’s been talking to Jon Bradley.

Although all of this fawning over Kit Harington’s impossibly symmetrical face is a compliment, Thrones season 7 also takes two shots at the actor, and therefore his character’s, smaller stature. First, they juxtapose the King In The North with noticeably bulkier Dothraki during his entrance into Dragonstone. Later, when Jon meets Gendry (Joe Dempsie), the Baratheon bastard bluntly tells his new BFF, “You’re a lot shorter [than Ned Stark].” Ouch.
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The “Still Rowin’” Call Out

Gendry went missing after the season 3 finale, “Mhysa.” I know it, you know, the internet knows it. It seems Davos also knows it, since he literally quoted Gendry’s portrayer Joe Dempsie upon meeting the blacksmith once again. “Wasn’t sure I’d find you,” he says during their “Eastwatch” reunion. “Thought you might still be rowin’.”

Dempsie famously tweeted after the season 4 finale, which aired a about year after his Thrones appearance, “Still rowin'...#GoT.”

Now you know that Davos has Twitter.
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