As the world laments the end of Game of Thrones, Siena Yates looks into what comes next and the real reason we might all be so upset to see it go. One thing's for sure, the watercooler chat is about to take a swift turn.
Who would've thought the greatest, most eye-opening take this week would come from Chelsea Handler - a comedian famed for controversy.
She tweeted on Wednesday: "I know everyone is upset about the Starbucks cup and the water bottle in Game of Thrones, but they're taking away women's rights in Alabama."
It was a wake-up call.
Don't get me wrong, I totally get it. Entertainment is how we distract ourselves from the real world. Week upon week I've found myself in heated debates and deep analysis with friends, colleagues and complete strangers, discussing Game of Thrones like some people discuss elections.
We discussed fantasy politics like they affected us, the logistics of dragons like they were real, and a misplaced coffee cup like it totally negated every other detail we'd been spoiled with up until then.
Meanwhile in Alabama, the state senate passed a bill making it a Class A felony to perform an abortion and a Class C felony to attempt one - that translates to doctors facing up to 99 years in prison for performing an abortion.
The bill compared aborted foetuses to victims of the Holocaust and other mass murders. It did not make allowances for victims of rape and/or incest. It is the most restrictive abortion ban in the United States and it affects all women, as our rights over our bodies are not only being called into question, but decided by men.
Yes. Of the 35-seat senate, 27 are republicans - all white men, 25 of which voted to pass the bill, two simply did not vote. There are only four women in the senate.
I can't tell you how many discussions I've had or texts I've received about Game of Thrones in the past few weeks. I can tell you how many interactions I've had about Alabama: Approximately three.
A text chain that went something like this: "Omg Alabama"
"I know, right? Crazy"
*Sad face emoji*
There was also a passing chat with a friend in which we shook our heads and muttered about how awful it was. And my trainer and I shared our outrage between sets at the gym. That's about it.
People don't want to talk about it. It's hard. People are scared of saying something wrong. People are tired of the news being so goddamned depressing. And so we turn to Game of Thrones instead, because it doesn't really matter.
Entertainment has always been where we turned for a bit of escapism, and fair enough. Lord knows we need it. But that's changing now too. With Game of Thrones out of the way, we turn our attentions to what's next on the horizon, notably A Handmaid's Tale.
A dystopian series in which women are forced to have babies for women who are otherwise unable. Abortion - or any harm to a foetus, child, or handmaid (aka. Woman who can bear children) - is punishable by death. The women do not have a choice. They are raped, and forced to bear the children.
Not much of a distraction from the current climate, is it?
It seems we've passed a time where entertainment can be purely escapist anymore. Even Game of Thrones came under fire for its treatment of women, LGBT+ people and people of colour. It's "historical" setting didn't cut it as an excuse.
Even some of the most lighthearted and delightfully stupid shows around, like Brooklyn Nine-Nine, have been forced to politicise to keep up with what modern audiences want.
We've reached a point where we want a distraction, but we don't want that distraction to be completely ignorant. We may not want it to be as confronting as A Handmaid's Tale, sure, but we also don't want to watch something that completely ignores these issues that affect humanity.
I don't think as an audience we've got any smarter - we've always known this; even things like Harry Potter and the X-Men dealt with issues of power and inequality. I think we've just become less tolerant to letting people get away with ignorance.