The Game of Thrones Finale Could Kill Workplace Productivity on Monday

Emilia Clarke stars as Daenerys Targaryen in a scene from Game of Thrones's series finale
Emilia Clarke stars as Daenerys Targaryen in a scene from Game of Thrones's series finale
HBO

The series finale of Game of Thrones is upon us, and employers across the U.S. should be very afraid. “Absence is Coming,” a new survey from The Workforce Institute at Kronos, conducted by The Harris Poll, found that the final episode premiering this Sunday, May 19, is likely to cause major Monday workplace conflicts.

According to the survey—which analyzed the results of 1090 working adults who took part in an online poll alongside U.S. Census Data and extrapolated its final tallies from there—the conclusion of Game of Thrones could be as disastrous to America's workplaces on Monday morning as it will likely be to some of your favorite characters. According to the poll:

“Approximately 27.2 million employees who plan to watch the Game of Thrones finale live admit they will either miss work completely, arrive late, work remotely, be less productive than usual, or experience another impact on work obligations Monday because of the series finale of the most popular show in HBO history.”

While that viewership estimate is likely high (season 8's penultimate episode, "The Bells," is the series's most-watched so far, with 18.4 million viewers), there's no denying that Game of Thrones's finale will rival some of the most-watched series finales of all time. 

Based on the survey's predictions, approximately 10.7 million Americans are already planning to take the day off from work completely while 2.9 million are planning to show up late. Apparently, this is not a new development: The Workforce Institute at Kronos reports that Game of Thrones season 8 has already had a negative impact on workplace productivity. They estimate that 4.4 million employees have already "missed work specifically to stream reruns to refresh their memory on key plotlines or catch up on missed episodes."

Not all of the questions asked were super serious, though. When asked about which Game of Thrones character they'd most like to have as a manager, one in four respondents said Jon Snow (earning the true heir to the Iron Throne the top spot), with Tyrion Lannister coming in second followed by Daenerys Targaryen (perhaps unsurprisingly, the survey was conducted online between May 7 and May 9—before "The Bells" happened). Amazingly, even Cersei Lannister got 2 percent of the vote.

If “Absence is Coming” proves anything, it’s that employers might make out better if they just declared Monday a national day of mourning and gave everyone the day off.

Keep Your Cat Busy With a Board Game That Doubles as a Scratch Pad

Cheerble
Cheerble

No matter how much you love playing with your cat, waving a feather toy in front of its face can get monotonous after a while (for the both of you). To shake up playtime, the Cheerble three-in-one board game looks to provide your feline housemate with hours of hands-free entertainment.

Cheerble's board game, which is currently raising money on Kickstarter, is designed to keep even the most restless cats stimulated. The first component of the game is the electronic Cheerble ball, which rolls on its own when your cat touches it with their paw or nose—no remote control required. And on days when your cat is especially energetic, you can adjust the ball's settings to roll and bounce in a way that matches their stamina.

Cheerable cat toy on Kickstarter.
Cheerble

The Cheerble balls are meant to pair with the Cheerble game board, which consists of a box that has plenty of room for balls to roll around. The board is also covered on one side with a platform that has holes big enough for your cat to fit their paws through, so they can hunt the balls like a game of Whack-a-Mole. And if your cat ever loses interest in chasing the ball, the board also includes a built-in scratch pad and fluffy wand toy to slap around. A simplified version of the board game includes the scratch pad without the wand or hole maze, so you can tailor your purchase for your cat's interests.

Cheerble cat board game.
Cheerble

Since launching its campaign on Kickstarter on April 23, Cheerble has raised over $128,000, already blowing past its initial goal of $6416. You can back the Kickstarter today to claim a Cheerble product, with $32 getting you a ball and $58 getting you the board game. You can make your pledge here, with shipping estimated for July 2020.

At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.

Mark Hamill Learned About The Empire Strikes Back's Big Darth Vader Reveal Before Anyone Else

Nope, not even Harrison Ford knew about it.
Nope, not even Harrison Ford knew about it.
Michael Tran/Getty Images

Few cinematic secrets were better kept—or more shocking when they came out—than that of Luke Skywalker and Leia Organa's true parentage in the Star Wars saga. According to ComicBook.com, the reveal that Darth Vader is Luke and Leia's father was such a well-kept secret that it wasn't actually put into the script at all. Evidently, only three people on set knew about the moment in advance: Mark Hamill, Star Wars creator George Lucas, and The Empire Strikes Back director Irvin Kershner. (Screenwriter Lawrence Kasdan was also aware.)

Hamill took to Twitter to explain the pivotal part of the franchise, during which a fake line was used so the actual reveal could be dubbed in afterwards, allowing the trio to keep the secret from the cast and crew for more than a year.

"The cast & crew first learned of it when they saw the finished film," Hamill said to his fans on Twitter. "When we shot it, Vader's line was 'You don't know the truth, Obi-Wan killed your father.' Only Irvin Kershner, George Lucas & I knew what would be dubbed in later. Agony keeping that secret for over a year!"

Props to them for not letting the spoiler slip early. Even with the pressure of keeping such a big plot twist under wraps, Lucas says financial concerns were what plagued him most.

“Well, to be very honest, the most challenging aspect was paying for [The Empire Strikes Back],” Lucas recently told StarWars.com. “In order to be able to take control of the movie, I had to pay for it myself. And in order to do that, I did something my father told me never to do, which was to borrow money. But there wasn’t much I could do because I only had maybe half of the money to make the movie, so I had to borrow the other half, which put a lot of pressure on me.”

If you feel like reminiscing about a galaxy far, far away, check out this year's May the Fourth celebration compilation here. And if you want to see the twist for yourself (whether it's for the first or the hundredth time), all nine movies in the Skywalker Saga are now streaming on Disney+.

[h/t ComicBook.com]

At Mental Floss, we only write about the products we love and want to share with our readers, so all products are chosen independently by our editors. Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a percentage of any sale made from the links on this page. Prices and availability are accurate as of the time of publication.