Game of Thrones is a ridiculously addictive show with seasons that feel far too short and hiatuses that feel much too long. Still, there are things in real life that are arguably more important than Game of Thrones, and it turns out that debt is one of them for many college graduates. A recent survey showed that a high percentage of graduates would willingly give up Game of Thrones if it meant the forgiveness of their student loans, as more than 80% of graduates report that they would stop watching Thrones in exchange for debt removal.
83.8% of the 500 graduates polled declared that they would give up Game of Thrones forever if it meant escaping thousands of dollars of debt, according to a report from Studentloans.net. The results were likely gathered before the Season 6 finale killed off half the characters and set the survivors up for an epic confrontation in Season 7, so some of those participants may have changed their minds by this point. Giving up Game of Thrones wouldn't have been such a tough prospect back in Season 2 or 3 when the show was still relatively young, but Season 6 is a whole other story.
Still, giving up Game of Thrones to end a massive debt would be the responsible choice if that unlikely option every became available for millions of cash-strapped former students. Just as Lannisters must always pay their debts, borrowers must always make good on their loans sooner or later, and most young people won't have a Ser Davos at their side to give an impassioned plea to a bank on their behalf. Maybe less exposure to the frequent murder and mayhem of Game of Thrones wouldn't be such a bad thing. Besides, there are always the books, which George R. R. Martin is bound to finish eventually. Sure, everybody might have already paid off their debt and been able to buy a flying car by the time Book 7 hits the bookshelves, but the story will be told on page as well as screen by some point.
Considering that the average graduate nowadays is approximately $35,000 in debt - yes, that's the right amount of zeroes -by the end of their college days, cutting Game of Thrones out of their lives seems like a small price to pay. There are only two seasons left anyway, and student loan debt is having a lasting impact on the lives of borrowers that can last much longer. 43% of debt-laden folks put off starting a family, 29% delay marriage, 73% push back retirement dreams, and 75% hold off on purchasing homes. You win or you die to succeed in the game of thrones, but you pay your loans or delay living your post-college life in reality.
The survey did offer responders some hypothetical alternatives to giving up Game of Thrones. Thrones came in second with the 83.8%, having been beaten by the 85% who would give up smoking marijuana. 62% would star in a short porn video, and 57.8% would chat with a Comcast representative for one hour every day for five years. My personal favorite has to be the 8.80% of borrowers who would give back their degree if it meant the end of loan debt.
Unfortunately for the 83.8% who would sacrifice Game of Thrones for the sake of a debt-free life, the option isn't likely to become available unless a particularly eccentric bajillionaire happens to read this survey about student loans and gets inspired. To see what you'll be able to watch next if you don't give up Game of Thrones, check out our breakdown of what we know so far about Season 7.