In 1988, Mystery Science Theater 3000 premiered and taught America that few things are funnier than watching comedians riff on bad movies, establishing the proud tradition that lives on today in both the latest iteration of MST3K and RiffTrax.
The great advance of the 21st century was to establish that it’s even funnier to watch comedians riff on movies and TV shows that they earnestly and unabashedly love. It helps if you love the show too, but honestly, it usually works either way.
That’s what made it so fun last year when Seth Meyers invited Leslie Jones to watch Game of Thrones with him: Jones is a serious and enthusiastic Game of Thrones fan — “This is the most where you are like a young, nerdy white 12-year-old,” Meyers opines — and also a genuinely funny person. Watching her gleefully scream at a show she loves and explain why what just happened is incredibly awesome is a joyful experience.
At first, this year’s edition of what Meyers has dubbed “Game of Jones” followed the format established last year: Meyers fired up the latest episode, “The Spoils of War,” and then played straight man to Jones’s superfan wild card, watching in mingled awe and amusement as she explained that Bronn is the guy “who knows where all the one-dollar cigarettes is” and that she would definitely have sex with Littlefinger, but she would have to keep her eyes open the whole time.
Bran’s I-am-a-bird-face, according to Jones, is identical to the look on a guy’s face after you confront him about ghosting on you. “So you’ve dated multiple three-eyed ravens?” Meyers clarified.
“All of them’s three-eyed ravens,” Jones said emphatically. “I think one of them was a crow, though.”
But halfway through Meyers and Jones’s viewing party came a new twist: Just as Jones was explaining to Meyers that Varys is extremely shady (“like the girlfriend you don’t know if you can trust, because one minute she’s supporting you and got your back, but the next minute you hear about some bullshit she said to somebody else about you”), Game of Thrones actor Conleth Hill strolled into the room in full Varys costume, prompting Jones to scream, jump to her feet, and hug him passionately.
For the rest of the episode, Hill joined Meyers and Jones on the couch, munching on popcorn and discussing whether or not Theon is a coward. “All eunuchs stick together,” Hill said in Theon’s defense.
And when Daenerys and her dragons attacked in the episode’s climactic battle, all three were as one in their delighted, open-mouthed awe.
Jones still doesn’t trust Varys, though. “I just feel like there’s some kind of part where you’re going to get mad and do stuff behind [Dany’s] back,” she told Hill firmly, “and I don’t really appreciate that.”