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Television's much more fun if you make every show into a drinking game.

Let's Get Drunk Watching: Game of Thrones

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[Illustration: Robyn Lee]

Someone hit the music, Game of Thrones is back! Now fetch me a horn of ale and pour one for yourself because it is time for the Drinking Game of Thrones. Is alcohol necessary to enjoy GoT? Certainly not, but since Cersei Lannister plays the worst drinking games, I see it as my duty to the Serious Eats realm to provide a suitable replacement.

Spoiler Alert! If you have not watched all of Season 2 yet, catch up! (And don't read the game below until you're up to speed.) Got Season 2 already under your belt? Then read on, Macduff.

The Necessary Details

Game of Thrones is based on the A Song of Ice and Fire book series by author/protagonist-torturer George RR Martin. It takes place on the fictional continent of Westeros (and partially in neighboring Essos) which has been united after generations of fighting. Basically, the show is about sex and stabbing intrigue between powerful families in something like the Middle Ages, set against a fantasy backdrop where frozen zombies lurk beyond a really tall wall, and the birth of three dragons (thought to be extinct) has reignited magic in the world.

Here's a very brief rundown of where we left our heroes/villains, in case all you can remember from last season was some beheading and nudity.

Arya Stark: The youngest daughter of Ned Stark and Caitlyn (Tully) Stark was on her way to the Wall when she was captured by the rival clan, the Lannisters. She managed to escape with her pals, perpetually-shirtless Gendry and the hottest of hot pies, Hot Pie, thanks to the help of Jaqen H'ghar, a Faceless Man (assassin) from the mysterious isle of Bravoos. And she did all of this without anyone figuring out that she was the missing Stark daughter, which seems ridiculous until you remember that milk cartons don't exist in Westeros. We don't know where Arya and her homeboys are headed, but we do know that Jaqen gave her a coin and the words "Valar Morghulis" before changing his face to what I imagine David Schwimmer looks like these days.

Robb Stark, The King In the North: The Young Wolf leads his armies south with nothing but success on the battlefield and nothing but problems away from it. His mother, Caitlyn, has freed his prized captive—Jaime Lannister, "the Kingslayer," brother of Queen Cersei Lannister—in hopes that returning him will convince Cersei to return Caitlyn's daughters, Arya (who Cersei doesn't have) and Sansa Stark (professional whiner and Cersei's reluctant drinking buddy). So now Robb's bannermen are upset about the missing captive, and his supposed best friend betrayed him and captured his castle at Winterfell. If that weren't bad enough, Robb decided to break his vow to marry a daughter of House Frey and got himself married to a field nurse with a removing-foot fetish. Though in Robb's defense, I'd foresake my gods for Oona Chaplin, too.

Theon Greyjoy: Betrayed his best friend Robb. Molested his sister. Got verbally abused by his father. Got verbally abused by his men. Killed, burned and hanged two small children. Screamed the Westeros equivalent of "YOLO (Language NSFW) ." And got knocked unconscious by his own men. All in all, things are looking great for Theon.

Tyrion Lannister: Tyrion was last seen kicking ass, taking names, and winning Emmys. After giving one of the best speeches in TV history, he successfully lead the defense of King's Landing against the invasion of Stannis Baratheon, only to have one of the Kingsguard attack him. He's recovering with a nice slice across his face, stripped of all his power and being watched while he sleeps by a creepy old man.

Stannis Baratheon: After a failed invasion of King's Landing, Stannis retreated to Dragonstone to engage in some auto-erotic asphyxiation and fire-play with his red priestess, which might be only sentence I could write about Game of Thrones that is actually less kinky than it sounds.

Jon Snow: Lord Snow is currently prancing through the snow with his new Wildling pals on his way to meet Mance Rayder, the King Beyond the Wall. Meanwhile his Black Brothers of the Night's Watch are digging latrines at the end of the world, which is not so bad according to the always chipper Dolorous Edd.

Daenerys Targaryen: Dany was last seen wasting all of our time with her meandering story where she spent most of her time losing a battle against walking and forcing HBO to blow its entire CGI budget on dragons that can barely toast bread. Until Strong Belwas shows up all that Daenerys is is the Mother of is Boring Subplots.

Supplies You'll Need

Lamprey pie, anyone? If Game of Thrones makes you hungry, then you have something in common with George RR Martin. If you're looking for something other than Dothraki cooked dog, might I offer some seared duck breast with red wine and figs? And don't be stingy with the wine.

Personally, I'll be enjoying a horn of ale, (Brewery Ommegang even released a special Iron Throne beer for the occasion) but mead is another option. Or you could take a page from King Robert's playbook, skip the boar and opt for MOAR WINE!

The Game of Thrones Drinking Game

Now that you're armed and ready, it's time to play the Drinking Game of Thrones. Remember, we're not trying to eat and drink our way to an early grave. This game is for entertainment purposes only.

Take a Sip

1 Sip: For every time there's a "squelch" sound of a sword cutting through somebody. You'll know it when you hear it.
2 Sips: For every Tyrion one-liner. Which is just about any time he speaks.
2 Sips: For any topless scene. Unsip if the topless woman is Ros. Because Ros is terrible.
3 Sips: For every time someone calls Jon Snow a "bastid." Take a bonus sip if he gets all brooding and does that face that Kit Harrington does instead of acting.
3 Sips:For every time a raven brings a message. Bonus sip if someone remarks "Dark wings, dark words."
4 Sips: For every time the supposed master strategist, Stannis Baratheon, makes an obviously wrong strategic decision.

Take a Swig

1 Swig: For "I am Daenerys "Storm-born" of House Targaryen! The Mother of Dragons! And blah, blah, blah." Bonus swig if this 20 minute diatribe ends with "...and I will take what is mine by fire and blood!"
2 Swigs: For every instance of good King Joffery just being the douchiest douche that ever douched.
3 Swigs: For every severed limb. Bonus sip for a decapitation. Double bonus if this happens outside of a battlefield.
3 Swigs: For anyone getting hot liquids or molten metal poured over their heads.
3 Swigs: HODOR!
4 Swigs: If something bad happens to Tyrion. Like getting kidnapped. Or attacked by hill tribesmen. Or locked in a Sky Cell. Or getting tried for murder. Or almost getting attacked by more hill tribesmen. Or having his sister plot against him. Or having half his face hacked off. Or...

Slam It

Slam Your Drink: If any major character dies.
Slam Your Drink: If there is the rare male full-frontal nudity. Season One gave us Hodor's "Little Giant" AND Theon Greyjoy's "Mini-Kraken."

Drink for the Duration of:

Any "sexposition" scene. What's "sexposition?" It's like exposition, but with boobs.

Stop Drinking If:

You find yourself "bending the knee" before the Porcelain Throne.

So who else is excited for Season Three? Got any ideas for rules I missed? Send a raven in the comment section below.

About the Author: Vinny Mannering is a red-bearded raconteur with a penchant for sarcasm, ice hockey, and good beer. You can listen to him praise beer and loathe society on Twitter.

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