This article originally appeared on MUNCHIES Netherlands.
It's finally that time of year again. The new season of Game of Thrones is here, and while I can't imagine that you clicked on this article if you don't already love the show, I'd like to stress the fact that this is a big deal. Why? For one, because fans—me included—have been waiting for this season for more than a year. And then also it's a whole thing that people are able to just live their lives for a year and then fully surrender themselves to the violent fantasy world of the Seven Kingdoms for six weeks.
Game of Thrones is the place where fantasy and mainstream meet, where sex is just as omnipresent as murder. It's also the place of Hodor Hodor Hodor (please note that if you don't watch the show, you're not going to appreciate my hilarious jokes).
But a year is a long time, and we need to recap. Who was who, who murdered whom, who's doing whom, and what the hell is Ed Sheeran doing in that forest? These are all important questions to ask yourself as you dive into the seventh season. To get in the right mood for the new episodes, I decided to combine two of my favorite things: Food and a GoT marathon.
When I watch the show, I don't pay much attention to the culinary aspects of things. The series regularly decapitates main characters in full frame, so it's not necessarily super appetizing. But even the Game of Thrones characters enjoy their food—the Westerosi, for example, love pork and wine. So, to properly prepare myself for new kills, explicit sex scenes, and fights with zombies and dragons, I decided to dine like a Westerosi myself.
No one in Game of Thrones appears to be a vegetarian, so I mentally prepared myself for a day full of meat. It's 10:00 AM. Normally that would entail yogurt with slices of banana or a boiled egg, but today's menu consists of hard pieces of salted meat and delicious bread. I tear the bread with my bare hands and drink milk like a real wildling. I didn't actually milk a cow for it, but it really feels tough in combination with the rest of my breakfast. I feel primed to fight a beastly battle with dragons and other monsters, because this breakfast is heavy. Especially the bacon that I cooked with Wildfire (or, you know, on my stove).
It's suddenly clear to me why everyone in the series wants to fight so often: These beastly breakfasts leave you with a slightly aggressive feeling. With some of the burned bacon still resting between my teeth, I'm looking forward to the other meals I'll be eating today.
It might look a bit sad, sure, but don't forget that meat really fills you up. That's why my battle lust disappeared after lunch, replaced by a desire to take a nap. It's the perfect moment to start the first episode and digest while lazing about on the couch. Instead of milk, I decide to have wine—none of the Game of Thrones characters shy away from alcohol. I adopt the role of the lazy queen who lets servants fight for her and dote upon her with food.
Have I reached a Game of Thrones mindset yet? Yes, but mostly because of my full stomach and meat-induced fatigue. I don't get off the couch until an hour later. I blame the lunch wine. Perhaps the excessive alcohol consumption is why everyone wants to kill each other in the Seven Kingdoms: If you have to fight dragons, you're better off drinking beforehand.
I admit it: That's a muffin. I'm just happy I get to eat a meal that isn't entirely comprised of meat for once. I genuinely dislike dates, but it's not like a real Khaleesi would eat a bag of potato chips, so I reluctantly opt for the oversized raisins. I peel the skin off first—not just because the dryness of it bothers me, but out of the pure fear of finding fruit flies in them. Perhaps this is how it feels to see conspiracy theories everywhere—how can you enjoy your food when there's the constant stress that someone out there wants to behead you? The thought isn't a reassuring one, and I'm grateful for the impenetrable television screen between myself and the Seven Kingdoms. I'm loving the distance between me and the Hound, Cersei, Little Finger (I'm totally afraid he's going to do something terrible this season), the White Walkers, dragons, and lest we forget: All the nasty diseases.
This meal is my some of my best work, even though I really didn't do anything for it (I bought this chicken pre-prepared). Microwaves don't exist in the Seven Kingdoms, so it's not like I can heat up a lasagna. This rotisserie chicken with bread and grapes looks like it came straight out of a GoT castle. The poultry is delicious, the grapes are superb, and I just keep drinking wine and beer. I don't feel particularly chic when I tear off a piece of chicken with my teeth, but I've already concluded that, in the world of Game of Thrones, I probably wouldn't have belonged to the most prominent family anyway. Moreover, Westeros doesn't really strike me as the place for a neatly chopped chicken breast. The only bummer is that I'm not really into chewing on bones.
But it ultimately doesn't matter because the chicken and alcohol are both nice. Though it might be a bit weird if you're watching the show with friends ("Hi guys! I brought a snacking chicken!"). But I totally recommend it if you're watching solo.
If you have a lot of spare time or somehow live in a universe where no one has heard of Game of Thrones, the best idea is to go all in and binge watch it—all the previous seasons in one or two weekends. Stock up on meat, barrels of wine, and kegs of beer, and marathon it all in style. You'll still get the post-dinner lulls, but that's what couches are for. But don't succumb to the fatigue and sleep through all the intricate storylines.