APPARENTLY, winter is coming.

Well, technically it’s been coming for the past week or so now. I know that “winter is coming” because of endless trailers that pop up nearly every time I turn on the TV or scroll through Facebook.

These trailers are, of course, for Game of Thrones, which launched its seventh season last week in a blaze of publicity. Fans were treated to a high-profile teaser when a stony-faced chap called the Night King rode on horseback through central London, accompanied by a troop of White Walkers (an ancient race of humanoid ice creatures - I know this because I just looked it up). And devotees keen to watch the first episode at the same time as the US broadcast stayed up till 2am - on a school night.

“Why launch the new series in the summer if they keep banging on about winter?” I asked my nephew, who is such a GoT superfan he’s actually read the books. He sighed, in the manner of a weary teacher trying to mask their impatience with a challenging pupil. It’s something to do with filming schedules, I think. I lost interest.

I’m possibly one of the few people alive who has yet to watch an episode of Game of Thrones. Just about everyone I know seems to be watching it, even people I never would’ve imagined would be into it. One of my oldest friends, who unashamedly loves romantic fiction and has seen Pride and Prejudice so many times she can quote every line, was counting the days until Game of Thrones was back on telly. I asked her why she watches something so gory and violent. “Jon Snow,” she replied.

Will it claim us all? Will everyone eventually resign themselves to watching GoT, even if it’s not really their thing? It wasn’t too long ago that I thought it was a video game. Now I can barely think of an actor/actress who hasn’t been in it.

I don't want to get sucked into a half-lit world of dynastic struggles and winged creatures. Frankly, it looks a bit scary. I watched a clip of the Dead Army March and, beautifully cinematic and strangely hypnotic as it is, it chilled me to the bone.

I don’t watch Game of Thrones for the same reason I have never read The Hobbit. I’m just not into dragons, goblins, medieval battles, beardy wizards, massive zombies, ghoulish knights and other fantasy hokum. Each to their own and all that, but it’s not for me. Even as a child I wasn’t into fantasy fiction. I wouldn’t have read Harry Potter books if they’d been around then. Don't get me started on people who read them as adults...

Fantasy leaves me cold - and confused. I sat through all three Lord of the Rings films at the cinema, mainly because I didn’t want to miss out on the spectacular big screen experience, and while I found them all hugely impressive, I had no idea what was going on in any of them.

I feel the same about science fiction. I didn’t particularly care for Doctor Who as a child, when it was all spray-painted sets and unconvincing props, and I’ve cared even less since its glossy 21st century reincarnation. Of course, it has its place in popular culture but, as with GoT, it’s not for me. And in light of the frenzied debate surrounding the introduction of the latest Doctor, it’s perhaps worth remembering that it’s a (completely made up) children’s TV show.

I’m not dissing it though. Fantasy and sci-fi attract a particularly intense, all-consuming kind of fan worship, and I have a begrudging respect for the time and effort people put into that. I guess it’s good to feel passionately about something - even if it’s an elf with hairy feet.