A long time ago, back in the times of only three broadcast channels, TV viewership could easily create a cultural moment. The series finale of M*A*S*H, for instance, brought in more than 100 million viewers. Cheers' finale brought in 90 million. Nowadays, things are different. The last great gasp of this sort of monoculture was American Idol, with 30 million, a third of Cheers' numbers. Game of Thrones only pulls in 16 million. GoT makes up for it by using Twitter to connect fans, which is why these new Game Of Thrones Twitter emojis are such a huge deal for fans of the show.
As someone who writes about entertainment, and specifically Game of Thrones, people whisper to me regularly that they don't watch the show. It always surprises me how much each person thinks themselves the only one in the world who doesn't.
A lot of that is thanks to Twitter and the culture of the internet. Game of Thrones takes over Twitter in a way few other shows do when it airs new episodes live, giving the impression more people are tuning in. For instance, The Big Bang Theory's numbers routinely beat Game of Thrones' average numbers, but who tweets about new episodes of The Big Bang Theory?
Twitter's ability to create a sense of cultural connection only works when everyone is using the same hashtag though. So along with the Season 8 posters, Twitter premiered Season 8 hashtag emojis, to get all viewers on the same page this season.
Moreover, retweeting the following will result in a Twitter Moment delivered to your feed with all the new Season 8 posters.
Here are the close ups, starting with Daenerys Targaryen, Jon Snow, Cersei Lannister, and Arya Stark.
These aren't in any particular order, but perhaps they are in the order twitter expects people to use them? I would put Sansa a little higher on the list.
I would also put the Night King way higher since he's the main antagonist. But you do you, Twitter.
With the debut of so many new hashtags, the official Game of Thrones Twitter account started a competition to see which characters' hashtags were most popular. Jon Snow is winning, naturally, but Sansa is a close second.
The official HBO account took a pragmatic view of this announcement.
However, as the Game of Thrones account noted, this may be a vote splitting issue. The Night King's emoji has quite a few hashtags to his name, not unlike the Iron Throne emoji, which appears on several official hashtags including this year's tagline "#ForTheThrone" as well as the most generic tags like "#GameofThrones."
Others were just happy to have lived long enough to see themselves turned into an emoji in the first place. When you grow up in Westeros or Essos, this is probably the right frame of mind to have.
Game of Thrones will return to HBO with Season 8 on Sunday, April 14, 2019. The premiere episode will air at 9 p.m. ET.