x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

10 ways to survive Game of Thrones withdrawal pains

How sharper than a serpent’s tooth to have to endure 10 agonising months for more Game of Thrones. Here are 10 ways to survive the withdrawal pains.

Maisie Williams, left, as Arya Stark and Rory McCann as
Maisie Williams, left, as Arya Stark and Rory McCann as "the Hound" in Game of Thrones, Season 4. Courtesy HBO

So Tyrion is facing a death sentence? Boo hoo. As they say in High Valyrian, valar morghulis – all men must die.

Even if, perish the thought, worst comes to worst for the cunning imp – that’s nothing compared with the anguish and misery about to wrack us all like a bout with The Mountain when Game of Thrones withdrawal sets in after the fourth-season finale tonight.

In the best-case scenario, we’ve got 10 months of famine to kill before we can again lay our Westeros-hungry eyes upon the fetching Jon Snow, the commanding Khaleesi Daenerys, the newly devious Sansa Stark and the high-handed Tywin Lannister.

But still – 10 months? That’s enough time for a White Walker to come to Abu Dhabi and leave with a rich chestnut tan.

Fret not. We’ll give you courage enough to rival the stout Samwell Tarly with our 10 ways to cope with Game of Thrones withdrawal.

1 Rear a dragon

Just think of the stories you and Mother of Dragons Daenerys can share next to the blazing hearth if you raise your very own Draco volans – known as the flying dragon – a species of gliding lizard common to Southeast Asia. Its brightly coloured wings boast orange, red and blue spots and stripes – sure to catch the eye of the Khaleesi.

2 Tackle the tomes

When the appointed, but now Throne-less, broadcast hour arrives each Monday evening, tuck into A Song of Ice and Fire, the series of novels that inspire the TV opus. But only read for one hour, and not a nanosecond more, if you want the experience to tide you over until season five. (Besides, the author George R R Martin, so lethal to so many of his “darlings”, is safest in small doses.)

3 Climb a glacier

Fancy yourself a manly Jon Snow in the making? Grab your pitons and grappling hook and boogie off to Greenland. Not only will you beat the UAE summer heat, but you’ll have a mega-cool fantasy. Pretend you’re scaling the dizzying heights of The Wall, with a world-beating grin, as you imagine the late, lamented ginger Ygritte the Wilding, now your lady, yelling that “you know nothing”.

4 Rewatch it all

Take a sentimental journey back to the glory days when Eddard “Ned” Stark, the kindly Lord of Winterfell, still had a head on his shoulders and Joffrey Baratheon couldn’t do as much damage as a snotty, bratty prince who had yet to chug his final grail of wine. That’s 40 episodes in all, guaranteed to leave you shouting: “Hodor!”

5 Fight a bear

Follow in the fearless footsteps of Brienne of Tarth and Ser Jaime Lannister as you grapple a grizzly, preferably in the mountainous wilds of western Canada, where you can get also a sweet exchange rate on any American dollars you bring with you. Couples, however, will first have to decide which of them will portray the “Maiden Fair” to add to the realism of the rescue.

6 Scowl like Tywin

Steam up your bathroom then, when you step out of the shower, allow yourself to mysteriously “materialise” out of the swirling mist before the bathroom mirror, where you work on your glower. Panic friends and family alike with a death stare for the ages that will make you the new power-broker on the block.

7 Do a dramatic reading

Whenever you feel the walls of life pressing in, honour Game of Thrones and win over the people who annoy you with an earnest dramatic reading of Tyrion’s trial speech: “I wish I was the monster you think I am. I wish I had enough poison for the whole pack of you. I would gladly give my life to watch you all swallow it.”

8 Learn Dothraki

Do something “davra” (useful) with your mouth. Learn the exotic nomadic tongue from David J Peterson, the linguist who created it for the show. October will see the release of Living Language Dothraki: A Conversational Language Course with a book and CD package, plus a mobile app for freshly minted Dothraki speakers on the go. (www.livinglanguage.com/dothraki)

9 Play the board game

Tired of Monopoly? Cluedo feels clueless? Chin up, mate! It’s time to play A Game of Thrones: The Board Game: “Will you take power through force, use honeyed words to coerce your way onto the throne, or rally the townsfolk to your side? Through strategic planning, masterful diplomacy and clever card play, spread your influence over Westeros!”

10 Count your blessings

Grab a pencil and pad, then take stock of all the good things and simple pleasures in your life – Game of Thrones being chief among them. And remember to give a special thank you for the fact that you still have 10 fingers, 10 toes – and that you’re not Theon Greyjoy.

• The fourth-season finale of Game of Thrones is broadcast at 11pm tonight on OSN First HD

artslife@thenational.ae