How To Watch Game Of Thrones This Weekend
Season six of Game Of Thrones is finally here. What better excuse to throw a party? Here’s how to watch the Thrones
Illustration by Mr Joe McKendry
Unless you’ve been stranded on sun-baked Meereen, or sequestered in the dungeons of King’s Landing, you’ll be aware that Sunday heralds the arrival of the eagerly anticipated season six of Game Of Thrones. Given the frenzied excitement among its millions of devoted fans, this is not an occasion that should pass unmarked. It calls for a viewing party. Here’s how to make the most of the 60 minutes of slick, sexy fantasy.
The viewing details
Die-hard Throners in the UK no longer need to envy their American cousins (or engage in illegal downloading). Sky Atlantic will be simulcasting the episode at 2am on Monday, the same time as the US season premiere. So nominate the friend with the largest, softest sofa to host, fill it with friends, and book the next morning off work. Somnolent sorts can catch the episode again at 9pm (having endured an entire day of unrelenting spoilers). US viewers can vote for the friend with the HBO subscription as host, and settle in for a solid night of new seasons and first episodes: Game Of Thrones at 9pm, Silicon Valley at 10pm, Veep at 10.30pm and Last Week Tonight With John Oliver at 11pm.
The guest list
Surrounding yourself with compassionate fellow fans is essential, given the high chance of your favourite character being killed off by his/her own army or a family member, or going blind. But beware of inviting anyone who is overly sensitive to nudity, rape, incest, sorcery, infanticide, domestic violence, dwarvism, dragons or prostitution. Westeros is a world in need of some serious therapy.
Epic banquets in Westeros – weddings, in particular – generally set the scene for certain death, so keep it simple, and your precious guests safe. If ordering in, perhaps consider a pizza. The warring houses can all stake a claim to a slice – the quattro stagioni, perhaps. Or request two different toppings, for the North and the South. Build a fighting pit in the garden to determine who wins the last slice. And take a tip from Tyrion Lannister when it comes to drinks. Whatever the problem – exile, incestuous siblings, guilt over the murder of your father – the answer is always wine. Served in silver goblets, of course.
Divide the guests into personality-appropriate houses: scheming Lannisters, survivalist Starks, brutal Boltons, fiercely feminist Targaryens and tough Tyrells. Or, for simplicity’s sake: hardy, frostbitten Northerners and louche, lascivious Southerners. When one of your tribe is slain – impailed on a sword, poisoned by a mother-in-law, or ripped to pieces by a peckish dragon – everyone in the clan must drink. Each time you hear the words “rightful claim” or “betrayal”, anyone visits a brothel, or Danaerys speaks in a ridiculous made-up language, the entire assembled party must partake.
Did you miss the boat? Do you feel left out? Do you have better things to do than set aside 50 hours to catch up on all the previous episodes of Game Of Thrones? Are you a little hazy on the details? Then bluff it, and secure your invite anyway. Basically, all you need to know is that in the fictional land of Westeros, where competing clans, or houses, have fought for generations – each representing a different realm – the battle has been building to win the Iron Throne (it looks like the child of a toilet and a porcupine) and rule all seven kingdoms. The series is based on the series of books A Song of Ice and Fire by Mr George RR Martin, but this season is the first in which the show departs from the published texts, so even the most slavish devotees are in the dark as to what’s about to unfold. You can say things such as, “Gurm [Mr Martin] would never let that happen.” Another good thing at this point is to establish a firm opinion as to the true fate of Jon Snow (played by Mr Kit Harrington). To avoid spoilers, we’ll have to trust you to look that one up.
Season six of Game Of Thrones premieres at 2.00am (and then 9.00pm – phew!) on 25 April on Sky Atlantic (UK); 9.00pm on 24 April on HBO (US)