Winter is coming... back to the airwaves this Sunday night as Game of Thrones starts its final season on HBO. To make sure you have the kind of Game of Thrones viewing party that could slay all other Game of Thrones parties in a trial by combat, we’ve summoned forth a guide to everything you need. Enjoy. Or die!
House of The Bundle
First, some crucial information: We have a Game of Thrones Backyard Viewing Party bundle with epicness written all over it. It’s an incredible way for everyone to catch all the fire-breathing, skull-smashing, body-baring, king-poisoning, wine-quaffing, eunuch-making action. It comes with a 120" backyard movie screen, plus a projector and home theater speaker that easily hook up to your TV with an included HDMI adapter. The weather is finally feeling enough like spring that this is an option.
We’re even throwing in a table for the projector, since it pleases your lordship.
Your Own Private Westeros
It’s time to decorate your party. Embrace a sense of kitsch. This doesn’t need major studio production value but a few stuffed dragons, lots of candles, some plastic shields and swords, a carefully cut castle parapet to ring your fence and an armful of general medieval fantasy props can go a long way.
For costumes, if you don’t want to ask your friends to go full cosplay, you can scatter around some blonde Khaleesi wigs, plain faceless masks and Jon Snow beards for your guests to variously try on as their inhibitions fade. Instagram will thank NO ONE but your memories later.
The All-Important Theme
There are so many settings and scenarios you could adopt from GoT to set your party in. Here’s a partial list with a helpful hint on what to keep on hand.
The Red Wedding: Red punch, red outfits, killing everyone halfway through the festivities. It’s great fun.
Winterfell: Get out the scissors and prepare to make a few hundred paper snowflakes.
White Walkers: Dry-ice-filled punch and blue snow cones.
Wildlings: Irish whiskey and Justin Turner beards.
Dothraki: A life-size cutout of Jason Momoa that someone will steal for their house.
Despite shared fantasy themes, Game of Thrones is no Harry Potter. This show lends itself to licentiousness and drinking great amounts. And, fortunately, everyone can find something they like to drink at a Game of Thrones party: For the wino, you’ll pour a nice red into a rustic container and, forging a label from a brown paper bag with its edges carefully singed, you’ll dub it “Dornish Wine.”
For beer bros, there’s (surprise surprise) Game of Thrones ale from Ommegang. But, perhaps the ale-drinking vessel is more important than what goes inside of it, in which case, we recommend having a few Viking drinking horns on hand to spark the right vibe. Assuming you don’t already have a supply of drinking horns.
Booze drinkers have it the easiest. A simple bottle of Fireball or Mad Dog can be enough to wink to the show. But a handheld smoker can really kick your cocktail game up.
Let’s face it, an endless loop of the show’s theme song will quickly get tiresome, even the Dave Koz saxophone version. Much better to make a fun playlist of songs that are rich with fantasy and medieval narrative. So break out the Zeppelin, the Jethro Tull, the Dio... Or just give yourself a pass here and put on some Prince. It is still a party after all.
There’s an entire industry dedicated to spinning off Game of Thrones-related snacks.
Oreo has cookies bearing Lannister, Stark and Targaryen sigils, if you don’t want to acquire your own GoT cookie cutters (which, yes, exist).
Shake Shack has a dragonglass shake; Johnny Walker a White Walker whisky. Even Mountain Dew is getting in on it with a face-changing aluminum can .
But it will be more personal to prepare your own snacks. Roast meats eaten off the leg, oysters sucked from the shell, skewered vegetables and giant bunches of grapes, all eaten with the hands, make the best choices, since everyone is here to get their fingers (and minds) a little dirty. Of course, if everyone wants to pitch in for a leg of Ibérico, you won’t object.
Also, you can kill two birds with one stone this season by dyeing Easter Eggs in dragon-y greens and purples. These can be placed around for decoration or eaten on the spot. Or saved for the kiddos for a hunt on Easter day.
Unlike a certain game involving thrones, the rules need to be set out beforehand.
Will talking be allowed? Or punishable by death?
Bathroom breaks need to be taken before the show starts, just as drinks need to be obtained and cellphones silenced. You may have to be keep an iron grip on the proceedings as if your name as Cersei.
Whatever path you take to your Game of Thrones party, we pray it brings you delight, laughter and a joyous surplus of bodies piled up in the snow.