In an age where only the spiciest takes tend to gain momentum, hyperbole has become a language all its own. Things are no longer “good” or “okay,” they are either the best thing that has ever existed or the ass-worst. Such is undoubtedly true of Game Of Thrones’ final season, which, in an online ecosystem that doesn’t reward shrugs, has found fans careening to one side or the other. There’s been no shortage of lame-duck takes on last night’s finale, but one earnest, overwrought declaration quickly rose to the top, giving way to one of the most hilarious, reckless meme prompts in recent memory.
It begins with a striking shot from last night’s finale, one that found Drogon unfurling his wings behind Daenerys to create a satisfying, comically on-the-nose visual for the Dragon Queen. Is it a cool shot? Hell yeah. One Twitter user, though, took his praise a touch further. Okay, way, way, way further: “This shot is brilliant and should be shown in any film study class.” And, with a hearty eyeroll, a meme was born.
It began with people screen-capturing shots that placed one character in front of another thing, but soon turned into an excuse for film buffs to dig up the weirdest frames from the cinema’s strangest flicks.
Things got stranger as film and TV’s most memeable moments entered the conversation...
...and got even weirder with a detour into shots of sweaty, naked men emerging from extremely tight holes.
It’s since become a new shorthand for schadenfreude, with many users adopting it in celebration of IRL shitheads getting owned.
If nothing else, the whole endeavor serves as a shining example of just how much a meme can evolve in just a few short hours. It began, after all, with a harmless, hyperbolic comment on a perfectly fine Game Of Thrones shot, then plowed, Drogon-like, through numerous stages of evolution. Some might say that’s more entertaining than anything from this past season.