Gather 'round, children, and I'll tell ye a tale. A tale of a time before resolution so crisp you could eat off it. A time before the ability to record moving pictures and play them back at will. A time before digital. Hell, a time before magnetic tape.

See, back in the day we had what was called "appointment television." A show came on at a specific time on a specific day. And you either watched it, or you missed it. (Or, OK, you waited for an eventual rerun, which might or might not come before you quit caring.)

This was a time before we played God over our entertainment. A time when we would take what was offered to us, and give our thanks by sitting through the commercials, and not skipping forward 15 seconds with the touch of a button.

This was a time without 5.1 surround sound. A time when stereophonic high-fi provided all the auditory movement we needed to immerse ourselves. And that's if we were lucky not to have just a single speaker emitting from the side of a large glowing box.

It was a time of vacuum tubes and rabbit ears. A time of dials that had to be turned manually — oh, that satisfying click. A time when screens had to literally warm up before you had even the briefest glimmer of that low-resolution footage.

A time in which we would sit captivated by whatever was on the screen. A time long before we had 57 channels and nothin' on.

Those were simpler times. Those were, perhaps, better times.

But today. ... Today we have the luxury of starting and stopping the biggest television show — if not the biggest television production — as we please. We can move forward and backward in time. We can come and go as needed.

And we can stop and say "Was that really a Starbucks cup in front of Daenerys in a 90-minute long episode of Game of Thrones? Did someone somehow miss this modern-day vessel perched in the middle of an ancient feast, in the fourth episode of the final season of a series whose own creator has yet to finish on his own terms?

Why, yes. Yes it was. That was a Starbucks cup. Right there.

We also live in a time in which we can rewind and rewatch this gaffe over and over and over again. At least until HBO decides to edit it out and DMCA all the tweets and wipe them off the face of Westeros.

It's what Dany would do, anyway.

Update: Well played, HBO. Well played.

HBO

Main

This post may contain affiliate links. See our disclosure policy for more details.