In 2013, South Park did a trilogy of episodes based on Game of Thrones. This meant the kids dressing up as Thrones characters, shoppers at a mall looking like White Walkers, and also everyone just directly discussing the show (and eventually going to visit George R.R. Martin). 

The cartoon mocked the show’s sex scenes, character deaths, and slow pace. Why did the show keep promising zombie and dragon action in the future but never deliver, it asked? Years later, it would turn out, Game of Thrones would finally provide those zombie and dragon battles. They would contain all the spectacle anyone could ask for, and consensus would say they were the worst episodes of the whole series.

South Park also hit on one target of mockery that most people hadn’t pointed out already. Repeatedly during the episodes, Cartman takes other characters through a garden and plots with them. It’s not really a set of elaborate palace gardens but just a yard belonging to one guy, who yells at them: “I'm sick of you kids dressin' up and havin' talks of betrayal in it!”

Yes, a whole lot of Game of Thrones (the good parts) consists of people plotting, and a fair amount of it takes place as they walk together through gardens. You’ll have trouble taking some of these garden scenes seriously once you realize how often the show goes to that well.

And so the writers of Game of Thrones, upon seeing that good-natured mockery, decided they needed to change. On the DVD commentary track for the show's fourth season, they said South Park convinced them pull the plug on those walking and plotting scenes. They even had Oleanna Tyrell announce she was fed up with them: “If I have to take one more leisurely stroll through these gardens,” she said, “I'll fling myself from the cliffs.” 

Instead, that season, she plots with people while sitting in the garden. Which is less strategic and more open to eavesdropping, by the way. 

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Top image: Comedy Central

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