SPOILER ALERT: This post discusses details from “Game of Thrones” Season 7 and the finale that aired Sunday. If you’re not caught up on the show, steer clear of this story!
We’re still recovering from Sunday’s epically satisfying “Game of Thrones” finale.
Season 7 of HBO’s pop culture phenomenon, based on the books by George R.R. Martin, was short-lived and not without flaws, but provided a generous dollop of wish fulfillment to fans who’ve patiently followed the series since its beginning in 2011.
The season in general was characterized by strong female characters coming into their own, suiting up for battle in strikingly similar armor-like black gowns that evoked an imminent showdown for the Iron Throne and the threat of annihilation via hordes of White Walkers.
Dragon queen Daenerys Stormborn returned to her birthplace, the island of Dragonstone, in preparation for the final stage of her campaign for the Iron Throne. Ruthless Cersei Lannister sent her armies marching, culling favor with the Iron Bank in a bid to vanquish those who would dare take the throne from her. And Sansa Stark leaned into her new role as Lady of Winterfell, clashing with brother Jon Snow and reuniting with total bad-ass Arya Stark.
The finale began with a legendary face-to-face meeting between nearly every major player in the Seven Kingdoms, as Jon, Daenerys and company came to beg an alliance with Cersei in the Great War against the Night King and his army of the dead.
The show’s writers also treated us to the sight of Arya and Sansa delivering a dish best served cold to a deserving Littlefinger. The fact that the series didn’t ultimately pit the Stark sisters against each other, instead solidifying their bond as strong, loyal allies, came as a huge relief.
We also saw Jon and Dany consummate their gross but weirdly irresistible mutual puppy-dog crush, Jaime Lannister finally walk out on his sadistic sister/lover, and the truth about Jon’s non-bastardly lineage finally dawn on Samwell Tarly.
The episode’s suspenseful conclusion was a fearsome depiction of the inevitable demolition of the Wall by the zombie ice dragon that once was Daenerys’ pet, Viserion (tears!). The North and all of Westeros are in serious trouble.
The bad news is we now must wait many months, perhaps until 2019 even, for Season 8, which also happens to be the series finale. The thought is unbearable. Who knows how we will survive the torturous days until GoT ends?
It’s small consolation, we know, but here are eight ways to pass the time until “Game of Thrones” returns for its final season.
1. Rewatch seasons 1 through 6. “Game of Thrones” is a tangled web of subplot upon subplot with one of the most complicated mythologies ever and a cast of characters that defies memory, many of them with confusing names that are way too similar and simultaneously impossible to pronounce/remember. Let’s be honest here. We could rewatch seasons 1 to 6 on an endless loop until the final season finally airs and still forget half of what transpired. So get to it! When you play the game of thrones, you win or die. Mostly you’ll just need a lot of bathroom breaks.
2. Never let Tormund go. There’s been a lot of debate about the ultimate fate of fan favorite Wildling Tormund, who was last seen on the Wall, scrambling to survive as a zombie dragon demolished the snowy barrier with its icy breath. I, for one, refuse to believe our beloved, ginger-headed brute has ceased to be, so let’s spend a good portion of our GoT hiatus fantasizing about what is meant to be between the lusty Tormund and the strapping Brienne of Tarth. It will surely end in half-Wildling, giant, ginger-haired, sword-wielding babies, not tragedy.
3. Try not to feel awkward about the adorable, smoking hot romance between Jon Snow — make that Aegon Targaryen — and his queen/crush/aunt Dany. Sure, incest was icky and wrong when Cersei Lannister and her brother/baby daddy were getting it on, but when we realized Jon and Dany were about to form an unbearably attractive union forged on longing looks, tentative flirtation, hand holding, dragon bonding, and the best hair in all the Seven Kingdoms, our morals suddenly flew out the window. Now we’ll have months and months to stew over this so-wrong-but-oh-so-right Targaryen love affair. Oh, the shipper shame!
4. Make a replica of Jon Snow’s cape. Apparently, IKEA recent released DIY instructions for creating the very same shaggy Night’s Watch cloak worn by Kit Harington as he strides through the frosty North. “Game of Thrones” costume designers adapted the $15 rug into Jon’s signature mantle. Now you can too.
5. Write nasty letters to George R.R. Martin, telling him to finish writing “The Winds of Winter” already. Or maybe just pen him a nice missive, telling him how much you’re looking forward to the sixth book in the “A Song of Ice and Fire” series. I’m certainly not advocating you harass Martin, the man who brought GoT into existence. I’ll just point out that in a recent interview, Martin hemmed and hawed a bit when asked when “Winds of Winter” might finally hit bookstore shelves. It could be next year, apparently. Or it could be never. Just saying.
6. Brush up on your medieval-fantasy cooking skills. Serve your friends and family a dinner fit for a lord or a Mother of Dragons with “A Feast of Ice & Fire: The Official Game of Thrones Companion Cookbook.” Pork Pie, Mutton in Onion-Ale Broth, Mulled Wine, Pease Porridge, Stewed Rabbit, Tyroshi Honeyfingers, and Winter Cakes are among the delicacies on the menu. For dessert, you may want to consult tongue-in-cheek baking guide “Game of Scones: All Men Must Dine: A Parody.” Of course, it’s up to you whether your guests survive the banquet.
7. Drown your sorrows. As Tyrion said, “I drink and I know things.” In the case of GoT fans, it’s the not knowing that’s going to drive us to drink. With month after endless month of waiting stretched out ahead of us, who could blame us for indulging in a little ale, a Dornish red, or perhaps a proper Northern drink, aka Mance Rayder’s moonshine? If you decide to go this route, you’ll have plenty of accessories for drinking in style, like this Hand of the King-style bottle opener, available on Amazon:
8. Do a little redecorating. There’s no better way to console yourself until Season 8 arrives than with a little GoT-style interior decorating therapy. Turn your washroom throne into an Iron Throne with this, we dare you:
And if your door needs holding, you know who to call.
Photos: watchersonthewall.com, Game of Thrones Wiki, Amazon.