Thanks to HBO, pretty much everyone is freaking out about Game of Thrones. From the Red Wedding to The Mountain’s literally mind-blowing moves, the show finds a way to top itself every year—and left its near-seven million finale viewers screaming “Nooo!” at the screen while eyeballing that fierce showdown between Brienne and The Hound.
But for fans of G.R.R. Martin’s books — who get a sick kick watching TV fans lose it over the series’ biggest, bloodiest moments — this has been life since the mid-90s. You think you’re suffering? You know nothing, Jon Snow. Here are eight problems Game of Thrones book fans have been dealing with for years.
1. George R.R. Martin might die:
Worried the series will catch up to the books before they’re done? How ‘bout worrying for two decades over whether Martin will live long enough to finish them? We don’t care how many times he says he’s got plenty of years left, thanks to all this anxiety we don’t.
2. So much waiting:
On that note, if you think waiting a year for the next season is bad, try waiting for six years while Martin does things like join Twitter. While we’re really glad he’s saving the wolves and all, our nerves could use some help. Some help in the form of more books.
3. Missing your favourite characters:
Sad Hodor and Bran won’t be in the fifth season? Welcome to the fourth book, guys. Also missing are Daenerys, Jon Snow and Tyrion — so basically everyone we care about. Except Cersei, she’s there and just as crazy as ever (the We Love Cersei Fan Club meets on Fridays).
4. Nothing ever works out:
It was agony seeing how close Arya was to being rescued by Brienne in the Season 4 finale, or Bran and Jon’s near-reunion earlier on. But it’s so much worse in the books when well thought-out plans to bring the remaining Starks together get ruined every single time because of someone’s schemes. Seriously, where have all the good people gone?
5. Ugh, spoiler warnings:
Tired of worrying about spoilers? Let’s talk about the spoilers we’ve got. The things we know would blow your mind, if we could only collect the fragments of ours to let you in on the secrets. But seriously don’t ask us about how the fifth book ends, because we can’t even.
6. So many (more) characters:
Can’t remember half the characters that flit in and out of the series? Tired of trying to figure out who’s the Mountain and who’s the Hound? (The big one. No, the other big one.) At least you’ve got some kind of visual to help you, along with recaps. We’ve got re-reading hundreds of pages.
7. Suffering in silence:
Sure, emotions run high after every episode and finale cliffhanger — especially as you clutch your nearest and dearest while tweeting your despair. Book readers have had to endure all that in silence on subways, lunch breaks and vacations — more so now when someone’s probably going to shout SPOILER at us (see above).*
*On the inside.
8. So. Much. Death:
Think you’ve seen plenty of GOT death? We say it again: you know nothing. There are characters you haven’t even started crying over (and some, to be fair, you won’t hear about). But while you’re not over Rob, we’re currently not over…everyone. Thanks, Martin.
Anticipation is great—when it comes to things like waiting for your dinner. But waiting for the next part of a great series to finally make its way to shelves is killer (we see what you’re doing, Martin). Still we only complain because we love the series so much — and TV fans can totally get that!