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REUTERS/Sergio Flores
Craze for the throne.

Quora users explain why Game of Thrones is so popular in India

By Itika Sharma Punit

Like elsewhere on the web, Game of Thrones is popular even on the question-and-answer portal Quora.

Indian users of the website have been discussing the show on Quora for several years. So, as HBO’s epic fantasy series nears its end after being on air for eight years, here’s a look back at what Indians wanted to know about the show on Quora:

Indians have repeatedly asked: Why is “Game of Thrones” so popular in India?

According to one user, the answer lies in the lack of good content on local TV. The reply from July 2016, which has been viewed around 2,000 times, says:

…it is way better than Saas bahu drama. I personally prefer Queen Dany over laptop scrubbing Gopi (from Star Plus’s drama Saath Nibhaana Saathiya), revengeful Arya over “Fly” Simar (from Colors’ Sasural Simar Kai, and ambitious Margaery over damsel in distress thapki (from Thapki Pyar Ki on Colors).

…Ladies in GoT are way too inspiring. After being sold to a man by her own brother, Daenerys rises to be a queen. Arya saw her father being beheaded and she doesn’t sit back and mourn. Instead she rose up… and started avenging her family. Sansa was raped by her husband who tormented her everyday and she came back with an army and fed him to his dogs.

You don’t get to see such inspiring characters in (Indian) daily soaps!

Several Indians also appear to be frustrated that Indian TV does not produce “world-class” shows like GoT. Zara Khan a chemical engineering student, explains:

Ekta Kapoor (a leading Indian television producer) recently gave an interview and said that urban class doesn’t resonate with her shows as they love Game of Thrones. Yes, we love Game of Thrones, Friends, HIMYM (How I Met Your Mother), Dexter, Homeland and many others because they are realistic. Many would say that GoT is not real but its a fantasy which has been portrayed very well that we can believe…

Not just American shows, just watch shows from across the border! They have realistic storylines and amazingly talented actors who actually act and not dress up in glamorous sarees…

They say that their target audience is housewives and the common people! Do they really think that common people have some special affections towards naagins and chudails and daayans and what not!

But what if someone did make a GoT-like series in India?

A Quora user in 2017 identified Indian actors who could be cast in the roles of GoT characters, with a caveat: “Let me clarify that GOT is my most favourite show and I won’t ruin it by casting big names who can’t act or who overact.”

Here are some suggestions from the list:

GoT characterIndian actor
Daenerys TargaryenAlia Bhatt
Ned StarkMohanlal
Catelyn StarkDimple Kapadia
Jon SnowShahid Kapoor
YgrittePriyanka Chopra
Robb StarkImran Khan
Sansa StarkShraddha Kapoor
Theon GreyjoyRajkummar Rao
Talisa MaegyrRadhika Apte
Arya StarkZaira Waseem
LittlefingerKK Menon
Lord VarysAnupam Kher
King Robert BaratheonKamal Haasan
Cersei LannisterNandita Das
Joffrey BaratheonRohan Mehra
Stannis BaratheonRonit Roy
Margaery TyrellAnushka Sharma
Olenna TyrellJaya Bachchan
High SparrowRishi Kapoor
The HoundJohn Abraham
Ramsey BoltonRanbir Kapoor
GendryVicky Kaushal
MelisandreSushmita Sen
QyburnNawazuddin Siddiqui
Euron GreyjoyManoj Bajpayee
Yara GreyjoyVidya Balan
Khal DrogoRana Daggubatti
Jorah MormontMilind Soman
Tyrion LannisterIrrfan Khan
Jaime LannisterAamir Khan
Tywin LannisterAmitabh Bachchan

And then, of course, there’s the question about how to watch GoT in India. Since the show was not legally available in India until a few years ago, “How do I watch Game of Thrones online in India?” is a popular question on Quora.

The answer: The show now airs real-time with the US on Hotstar.