Here are the six stages of writing an essay as told through Game of Thrones. Stay on your side of the wall if you don’t want to know.
The day you receive your essay topic
When your teacher assigns an essay, usually you glance down at the topic and give a superior flick of your hair – you got this. All semester you’ve been coming into your own. You’re No One. You’re a feisty Lyanna Mormont with 62 men to back you up. You’ve been stockpiling knowledge like Varys since you started the unit and some little essay doesn’t scare you. No need to be dramatic and jump through the moon door or anything. It’s just a little typing, a little reading.
Fichat me she! (that’s ‘Bring it on!’ in Dothraki, but you probably already knew that).
Two weeks before
Things are starting to become a little more…real. You try to pull a few notes together, maybe take a few books out of the library, but like Jon Snow, you know nothing. When you look at the mess before you like Sam’s work at The Citadel, you’re positive it’s time to get it together. Maybe. Kind of. Similar to Gilly quietly being ignored as she reveals the entire thrust of the season, you have a feeling that you’re still not really understanding what’s going to hold your entire essay together. Like Ed Sheeran’s cameo, something’s not quite right. But you’ve got two weeks. Chill.
The week before
Shame. Shame. Shame. You have barely made a start, your notes are a mess, and you’re just staring at a blank screen, immobile like a wight waiting for the lake to harden. Seven days is still plenty of time to finish it, right? You know chaos is a ladder, but so is your mind right now. You may as well spend a little more time daydreaming about that chic winter coat Dany wore recently when she flew in to save Jon, Jorah, Tormund, the Hound, and…those other guys, and spend some quality time pondering if that’s a look you could pull off on campus (maybe in Ballarat or Canberra? Probably a bit much for Brisbane).
The day before
Like Daenerys finally accepting the Night King’s existence, your deadline is also very real. And like winter, it’s here. Bronn is not going to swoop in and save you from drowning and you can’t abandon ship like Theon. In short, you have no one but yourself to blame. And so the real writing begins. You finesse, you refine, you copy and paste (and wonder if you’ve copied and pasted too much). You add so many references that your essay is more footnotes than actual writing… You glance longingly at the Netflix app on your desktop like Tormund eyeing off Brienne of Tarth, but like Jon Snow and his auntie becoming an item, you know it’s not a good idea. Things are looking grim. Where the heck is Uncle Benjen when you need him?
The night before
Your mind is as foggy as the Iron Islands, but you beg your brain not to betray you like Cersei threatened Jamie. However, your essay deadline is tomorrow and it’s time to make your move. At 8pm you begin to type like Gendry rowing for his life. By 11pm your sheer brilliance as a Maester-style scholar kicks in and like Arya you’re now determined to finish what you started – you’re breaking wheels all over the damn place. Come 3am, you’re weary and you can’t go on, but eventually it’s like Melisandre has brought you back from the dead and you know you’ve got this.
The morning of
You’re as forlorn as poor Yara after Theon abandoned her and as resigned to your fate as Olenna Tyrell. You hit send and bend the knee to your lecturer, praying they will show mercy with their marking. After all, the man who passes the sentence should swing the sword...
Image: Brienne of Tarth, Jessie Young, 2015, www.jessieyoung.com
Page last updated: 2017-08-30
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