The Simpsons, Rick and Morty, and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, among dozens of other shows, have all made reference to Game of Thrones, but the HBO series hasn’t repaid the favor for one simple reason: too many heads are getting popped off for Samwell to focus on pop culture. Also, the show takes place in a make-believe continent, and TV and movies don’t exist. But during Sunday’s episode, “The Queen’s Justice,” viewers heard the name of a familiar and contemporary show. It wasn’t as distracting as Ed Sheeran’s confusing cameo in the season premiere, but it took me out of the scene for a moment.
About halfway through the episode, Jon Snow and Tyrion have a heart-to-heart conversation about Daenerys while overlooking the Narrow Sea, when the King of the North says, “The dead are coming for us all.” Tyrion replies, “Why don’t you figure out what to do about my missing fleet and murdered allies, and I’ll figure out what to do about your walking dead men.” Wink.
Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead are the two biggest shows on TV, but this is the first time they’ve crossed paths, so to speak, outside of friendly Twitter exchanges. Walking Dead creator Robert Kirkman has said that no one in the comics or on the show uses the word “zombie” because “we wanted to give you a sense that The Walking Dead takes place in a universe where zombie fiction doesn’t exist,” but does that include White Walkers? Because there’s no way Eugene isn’t super into Game of Thrones. I bet he’s even shared his Maggy the Frog prophecy yarn-wall with an uninterested Negan.