Given its legion following and episode-parsing fans, anything about “Game of Thrones” will generate clicks online. The hit HBO series’ renewal through for three more seasons got even The New York Times writing. On July 31, The Times quoted HBO President of Programming Michael Lombardo telling reporters at the Television Critics Association summer tour that the fantasy epic, which debuted in 2011, would continue at least through its eighth season.
The Times' headline was:
HBO: ‘Game of Thrones’ Will Go For at Least 8 Seasons
So, to build the headline we’ll visit a thesaurus and collect possible keyword elements.
EPIC: Saga, story, tale, legend, narrative
KINGDOMS: Realm, dominion, dynasty, sovereign
THRONE: Seat of power, chair
“Throne” presents its homophone, “thrown,” or the related verb form “throw” as a wordplay building block. For phrases to twist, we could visit the Free Dictionary’s idiom page for “throw.”
Seeing the possibilities, we could write a print-style a wordplay head:
HBO throws itself into “Thrones”
Hit show will be extended until eight seasons
Epic hit about warring factions extended by HBO
or, playing with the sound of “thrones,” we could write:
In the throes of ‘Thrones’
HBO extends superhot epic drama
We could play off “eight”:
‘Thrones’ fate: At least eight
HBO epic gets extended for three more seasons
We could play off “epic” and go a little more search-engine optimized, keeping keywords in mind:
Even more epic: HBO will extend ‘Game of Thrones’
Or because the show chronicles a war among “tribes,” sometimes known as “houses,” we could try:
Houses undivided: HBO will keep ‘Game of Thrones’ going or playing off the theme of the show’s warring kings, we could write:
Long live the kings: ‘Game of Thrones’ extended on HBO
As always, the key is playing with the themes of the story, the words in the title, or the reminders of the show’s plot. Creativity is about taking an idea from box A and crossing it with an idea from box B to create idea C.
Sometimes, you’ll come up with things that don’t quite work. For example, in this exercise, I thought of
‘Throne’ for a loop
… thinking I could argue that “extra time” or “an extension” was a “loop.” But “thrown for a loop” connotes confusion, and the idea didn’t fit. As you jot your ideas, don’t be afraid to throw out a few. Amid the duds probably lies something decent, probably on the tip of your tongue.
This article was originally posted on the Copyediting website, August 20, 2015.
Header photo by Aaron Burden on Unsplash.