laura packardNo spoilers, promise.

Who knew a single show that first aired eight years ago could worm its way in to my cold, steel, anti-fantasy lovin’ heart? 

When Charlie made me watch a television show he had been recording on HBO based on his beloved books from George R.R. Martin called A Song of Ice and Fire, trust me, I never thought that I’d be here, right now, waxing all sentimental about it. This is because I may very well be one of the only people on earth that starts to fall asleep if you mention Middle Earth, is straight-up unimpressed by Hobbits, and if anyone starts speaking like Gollum will stand up and leave.

But I said what the hay anyway and sat down with a tall glass of Chardonnay, only before asking the husband, “So all those years wasted playing Dungeons and Dragons didn’t do it for you?”

Two minutes in: “Why are they wearing thin robes? If winter is coming shouldn’t they be dressed more appropriately? And I am almost certain that didn’t have hipster wool beanies way back then.”

“No one knows the exact date,” he says, looking at me like I am no better than gum on the bottom of his shoe. “It’s an alternate universe so it’s not our future or even our past. Another planet, maybe? It’s definitely another world filled with magic and good and evil and the seduction of power.”

“Alright, cool your heels Frodo.”

Ten minutes in: “If this is happening in outer space why are they all talking with English accents and drinking out of silver, antique wine goblets?”

He turns up the volume.

Thirty minutes in: “Ohhhh. I see now. That’s why when that creep kid in our daughter’s AP Environmental Science class asked if she watched porn and she responded with, “well, I watch Game of Thrones.”

He leaves the room.

Just as well. I was already hooked, and I didn’t need him distracting me.

Now I don’t want to give anything up for those who haven’t seen it yet, but for those of you like my friend, Thad, who boycotts HBO because he believes it’s governmental mind control or something, I’ll just say it’s a visual thematic, grand, sweeping, otherworldly epic of a story. In a nut, err dragon shell, there are seven kingdoms in this fictional world and every one of these seven families are out to take the Iron Throne and become the keeper of the realm and the rightful ruler of all.

And as Cersei Lannister states early on, “When you play the Games of Thrones, you win, or you die.”

And I am here to say, no matter if one speaks Dothraki or High Valyrian, she’s not talking smack.

 Not surprising then, when the series ended in May, I grieved. Hard. 

But, like Arya Stark, I put my big girl pants on, sheathed my pointy stick, and got on with things. Only in honor of my beloved show, I’d like to share the many life lessons GoT taught me every Sunday night at 9 pm for almost an entire decade.

First off, “winter is coming.” Always. Even in deserts. Says everyone, every five minutes. So, be prepared for everything and anything, all the time, even if it’s painfully hot outside.

Second, there will be many an evening when you get a chance to sit for a sec, only to worry about all the multiple mistakes you made all day long. But as Bronn, the lovable – who never met a curse word, or a brothel, he didn’t like – advises, no worries, just “drink until you feel like you did the right thing.”

When feeling melancholy, Tyrion reminds us, “death is so final, ahh, life is full of possibilities.” True. And when asked what the heck are you even doing here with said life, remind the interlopers all up in your business, “That’s what I do: I drink, and I know things.”

If you have a friend who brags All. The. Time. Be all Tywinian-like and tell them, “Any man who must say, ‘I am the king’ is no true king.” ‘Nuff said.

This one is a no brainer. “War is easier than daughters,” says Ned Stark. I say can I get an Amen?

And if you are feeling alone and afraid, reminisce about this father/son convo:

“Can a man be brave if he is afraid?” Bran Stark

“That’s the only time he can be brave.” Ned Stark

When you need to stay above the fray, tighten your rope belt, morph into your inner Lord Varys, and remember, “The storms come and go; the big fish eat the little fish and I keep paddling.” Just keep paddlin’ on, people.

Another important lesson. Knocked down eight, get up nine, or as Ser Davos preaches, if you keep whining that you’re an utter moron, “I failed. Good. Now go fail again.” 

Never forget, knowledge is power and as sweet, nerdy Samwell coolly relates, “I read it in a book.” Now, that’s sexy.

And the best line for your ride or die, “Hold the door.”

Lastly, every morning when faced with insurmountable hardships or just simply getting out of bed, channel the two words that faceless dude told our young Arya, “Not today.” Then, in her honor ‘cause she’s all like ‘I’m not gonna marry some weirdo and knit all day’ repeat over and over, “I am a wolf and I will not be afraid,” before walking out the door.

A lot of people like me grieved the ending of the Game of Thrones. Sundays and life in general will never be quite the same. I also know there are a lot of people out there frustrated with how it all went down in the end. Though I think we can all agree that an eight-year-old story this epic with characters that rich, not everyone will get the resolution they hoped for.

Me, I just want to know the punchline to our lovable “imp” Tyrion’s joke he could never finish:

“I once brought a jackass into a brothel.” 

That might make for an interesting sequel. Just saying.

So goodbye sweet GoT and thanks for the memories. You will remain in my newly thawed heart of fantasy forever.