There are few things people rally behind more than professional athletic competition and cult-favorite HBO fantasy-drama series Game of Thrones—it seems that social media is flooded with a barrage of tweets, statuses, posts and reactions every time either one airs, and each boasts a dedicated, borderline-fanatical following. But what happens when one of the most highly anticipated episodes of GoT in the history of the show and a nail-biting Game 7 of the NBA Playoffs are slated to air at the same time, on the same night?
Chaos, evidently. Twitter was inundated this morning by fans who can’t seem to decide between the two epic showdowns: Jon Snow and Sansa Stark vs. Ramsay Bolton, or the Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James vs. the Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry? Two of the most eagerly awaited televised face-offs of the year are, soul-crushingly, being held during the exact same time slot on June 19. It looks like fans will literally have to pick their battles, come this Sunday night.
But which to choose? On one hand, the upcoming GoT episode, engagingly titled “The Battle of the Bastards,” is reported to be the biggest and bloodiest in the show's history, and given some past episodes, memorably “The Rains of Castamere,” “Hardhome” and “Valar Morghulis,” among many others, this is not a promise fans take lightly. The episode is directed by Miguel Sapochnik, who helmed the landmark episode “Hardhome” last season. ”“Miguel's really outdone himself,” said Dan Weiss, co-showrunner of the series, to Entertainment Weekly. “Fully fleshed out medieval battles require a tremendous amount of resources and choreography to get them right. It feels like we're doing something fresh that you don't see on TV and movies very often.” And based on the stats, this is no exaggeration: the episode apparently far exceeded a $10-million budget, requiring “25 days of filming, with 500 extras, 600 crew members and 70 horses” to complete, per EW.
It may seem like a no-brainer to tune into HBO to watch what promises to be a Game-changing episode, even by the very high standards of Game of Thrones, but it's not that simple. On the other hand, you've got a fierce battle between living NBA legend (and surprisingly adept comedic actor) James and the Cavs, and the equally capable Warriors led by the insanely lethal Curry. The showdown would be newsworthy no matter what, but the fact that this is a finals game, on top of the fact that the series has gone the distance at seven games, ups the ante that much more. The Cavs lost to the Warriors in the playoffs last year under the guidance of Curry, whose meteoric rise impressively rivals James' years of experience.
So, it’s your choice: the game, or the Game? Let us know in the comments.