By Jude Sannith
It’s finally here! Two months of dodging spoilers, waking up extra early on Mondays, and predicting plot-twists have finally brought us down to this — The Great Game of Thrones Hangover. While the next ten months leading into season seven might seem like the long Westerosi winter, believe it or not, there IS a way to ensure that the show remains a part of your everyday life. And here are five ways to bide your time before Game of Thrones Season Seven is upon us:
... And no, I don’t mean the books. Hit up Game of Thrones Wiki instead, and say hello to 3,313 pages of encyclopaedia-like Game of Thrones reading material! Unlike the books, which demand commitment and continuity, Wikia pages like encyclopaedias, are full of neatly organized trivia, character details and back-stories (including those of characters who don’t get featured in the show, like Rhaegar Targaryen). If you’ve also watched the show long enough, you’ve probably noticed how there’s a back-story to literally every character — like how Littlefinger once loved Catelyn Stark (née Tully) and nearly got killed duelling Brandon Stark (Ned Stark’s brother who was betrothed to Catelyn) for her hand in marriage. Wait, you didn’t know Ned’s brother was initially supposed to marry Cat? That’s because you probably haven’t done your reading. It’s never too late to start.
TURN GEORGE RR MARTIN FOR A DAY
Fan theories: they’ve been around for as long as the first men, and continue to remain the most fascinating aspect of GOT fandom. While last season has confirmed the long-running fan theory that Jon Snow is actually the son of Lyanna Stark and Rhaegar Targaryen, there are many others doing the rounds. One says that Tyrion Lannister is actually the Mad King’s son, and is therefore Targaryen too; another outlandish one that I recently read is all about an ice dragon resting by the wall! However far-fetched fan theories may be the fact is they let geeks like us become show writers for the moment. So, start theorizing new storylines. Put those ideas out on the internet. The real Mr Martin might be reading.
GET YOUR GEEK ON
So, you think you’re the greatest GOT Geek that ever lived? Okay. So, what’s on the sigil of the now-extinct House Reyne? What are the words of House Mormont? Why is ‘The Rains of Castamere’ (performed at the Red Wedding), the Lannister anthem? How did Lord Baelish get the nickname Littlefinger? Why are members of House Martell called princes, unlike the lords and ladies of the other great houses of Westeros? Who was the Kingsguard member a young Ned Stark fought in the Tower of Joy flashback? It’s alright. You may now Google/Wiki all of this. Fast-forward to ten months and you’ll probably still be reading up on the many intricacies that make the show. For a story steeped in detail, studying Game of Thrones is what makes following the show, a lot more fun. Oh and guess what? You get to claim bragging rights while watching season seven, as you tie up loose ends in the plotline for your friends, who may not be in on as much story detail as you. How do you get to do all this? By following point#1: read.
PLAY CHARACTER CATCH-UP
The night is dark and full of terrors, and the internet full of spoilers. But it’s okay to venture out when you’re done with the latest episodes and have to endure ten months of no-show. Remember how Brynden ‘The Blackfish’ Tully made that brief comeback last season? As it turns out, some fans of the show forgot all about this character, about how Catelyn’s uncle first appeared in season three, fought with the Starks in the War of the Five Kings, and narrowly escaped death at the Red Wedding. If you’re one of the forgetful, fret not. YouTube is here to help. Some tech-savvy GOT Geeks (not me) have put together recap compilations for most characters, on YouTube. So, spend the next ten months retracing your favourite characters’ story arcs, watch their character-development kick in, and stay updated! That way, if season seven brings back a dark-haired boy called Gendry, you wouldn’t have forgotten all about him.
BUILD YOUR OWN WESTEROS
When you’re done with all of the above, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to assign Game of Thrones characters to real-life people! On the day Raghuram Rajan stepped aside as RBI Governor, someone I know said Rajan was a lot like Ned Stark — honourable but in a world without honour (hint, hint: Indian politics). Get started with the analogies and you’ll realize you could go on and on, if you wanted to. It doesn’t have to stop with the show’s characters — assign a cricket team for instance, with a great house of Westeros, or if you know a colleague who hardly gets credit for long hours at the office, tell them that their work is a lot like the Night’s Watch (better sound a tad sympathetic though, and hope they get the joke, at least). Real-life analogies for a work of fiction prove that you’re the ultimate GOT Geek.
So, by the time you’re done reading, imagining plot lines, catching up on old characters and making analogies it will be April 2017. And now that winter is finally here, you better hope The King in the North keeps staying alive!