As the credits roll for the last time, realization sets in during that special “work leave” you set aside for viewing. You’ve spent almost a decade of your life raving, ranting, and obsessing over Game of Thrones. You probably also noticed that they finally included lyrics (ominous chanting counts) to the famous theme song composed by Ramin Djawadi.
There may be several prequels and spin-offs in the pipeline but it won’t be the same. As you bid farewell to the main storyline and the characters you’ve invested in (well, not too much since the series is known for killing off your faves), you may start thinking about your new raison d'être.
Don’t be that guy who wasted his time putting up a petty petition demanding the showrunners to rewrite the entirety of season eight. While discourse and criticism is always welcome to truly appreciate the source material without the blinders on, don’t go full toxic out of grief. You’re better than that. Instead, here are some alternative activities to keep you preoccupied while you’re still on a Game of Thrones high…or at least until the next fandom craze comes around.
(If you’ve reached this point, we assume that you’ve already seen the final episode and spoilers are a non-issue.)
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1. Read The Source Material
It’s time to brush up on your reading skills and catch up on the sprawling A Song of Ice and Fire saga written by George R. R. Martin. The main books in the series include A Game of Thrones(1996), A Clash of Kings(1998), A Storm of Swords(2000), A Feast for Crows(2005), and A Dance With Dragons(2011). There are two more books coming out called The Winds of Winter and A Dream of Spring but it might take awhile since the former was announced several years back.
There are also prequel books such as Tales of Dunk and Egg (set almost a century before ASoIF), The World of Ice and Fire encyclopedia, The Lands of Ice and Fire mapbook, and Fire And Blood, which covers the Targaryen dynasty.
2. Seek Refuge In A Fandom Support Group
Ever since season eight aired, Mondays have been a social media landmine of pro- and anti- spoiler rants, longform essays of how non-fans have never seen the show (you want a medal for that?), plot points in emoji form, and graphics without context under the guise of subtlety (wink, wink, nudge, nudge). And now that you’ve seen the final episode, you have nowhere to feel all the feels. Take the initiative and find a safe space in the form of an online group or an instant messenger squad. Now you can mourn the end of your favorite show together—spoilers included—because misery loves company.
3. Wait For Game of Thrones: The Last Watch
The HBO documentary special airs May 26 and will focus on the production that built the fantasy realm we’ve come to know and love. The Last Watch gives us a behind-the-scenes look at all the hard work and effort put into creating the final season.
4. Deep Dive Into Fandom Discussions
In a dramatic turn of spoilery events, Jon Snow peaces out to the true North after killing Daenerys, Drogon gives an award-winning performance as he completely destroys the Iron Throne, Arya heads west, and Bran becomes the king of all seven, no, six kingdoms (as the North seceded, crowning Sansa as their queen).
There’s so much to discuss and unpack about the final episode and what it means for the future of Westeros. Fellow fans can get very creative with their theories so why not check out some Youtube analysts or Reddit threads that can break it down for you?
5. Explore And Binge-Watch Similar Shows
HBO just dropped a teaser trailer for another fantasy epic that may fill the void that GoT left: His Dark Materials. Instead of direwolves and dragons, you get a glimpse of a warrior polar bear. While waiting for the series to air, you can try exisiting shows such as The Borgias, Tudors, Vikings, and Spartacus, which give you that huge helping of political intrigue, old-school warfare, nudity, and just a tiny dash of historical accuracy.
If you miss magic and dragons, you can marathon-watch an old BBC series called, Merlin, which follows the titular protagonist before he grew the white beard. For a vast environment similar to the GoT realm, check out Westworld, which combines old-school Western aesthetic with the terrors of modern technology, challenging Isaac Asimov’s laws of robotics. Westworld’s soundtrack is also composed by Ramin Djawadi—the guy responsible for the iconic GoT main theme.
6. Follow The GoT Cast’s Social Media Accounts
BROTHERHOOD WITHOUT BANJOS This is our latest hit "Anthem over season seven end". On Guitar #iainglen ! On the ukulele #richarddormer, and choir Mr. #rorymccann and myself! Our new album is called: "What will fate bring us???" #brotherhoodwithoutbanjos #throwbackthuresday #got7 #behindthescenes #tomwaits
Thanks to the dawn of social media, there are many ways to connect with our favorite actors and actresses from the show. Social media is the best place to visit for some extremely out-of-character moments such as an old post featuring Tormund, Jorah, and the Hound singing Tom Waits’ “I Hope That I Don’t Fall In Love With You.”
There’s also Cersei chilling like a villain in puffy jackets alongside Qyburn and Euron
plus, Arya and Sana dicking around the Winterfell stronghold
Tormund even gets a bloody brilliant (literally) moment with Brienne
Of course, you can also find more emotional moments such as the Dragon Queen’s farewell post
Finding the words to write this post has left me overwhelmed with how much I want to say but how small words feel in comparison to what this show and Dany have meant to me. The mother of dragons chapter has taken up the whole of my adult life. This woman has taken up the whole of my heart. I’ve sweated in the blaze of dragon fire, shed many tears at those who left our family early, and wrung my brain dry trying to do Khaleesi and the masterful words, actions (and names) I was given, justice. Game of Thrones has shaped me as a woman, as an actor and as a human being. I just wish my darling dad was here now to see how far we’ve flown. But to you, dear kind magical fans, I owe you so much thanks, for your steady gaze at what we’ve made and what I’ve done with a character that was already in the hearts of many before I slipped on the platinum wig of dreams. Without you there is no us. And now our watch has ended. @gameofthrones @hbo #love #motherofdragonsoverandout
and, uh, Jaime whistling the GoT theme
7. Enjoy GoT Fan Content (Or Create Your Own!)
As they say in the Iron Islands, “What is dead may never die but rises again harder and stronger.” The same could be said for the Game of Thronesf andom as the show’s memory shall live on in its memes. Musical mashups of the theme song, humorous graphics pertaining to recent episodes, and parody clips involving the main characters playing musical chairs with Iron Throne are just a click away.
8. Support The Other Projects of Your Faves
Just because Game of Thrones has ended doesn’t mean you can’t continue supporting the actors and actresses from the show. A true fan would cheer them on as they move on to other pursuits. Queen of the North Sophie Turner is reprising her role as Jean Grey in the Dark Phoenix film coming out next month. Jacob Anderson, who plays Greyworm, already had an existing music career prior to the show as his stage name, Raleigh Ritchie
Nathalie Emmanuel, who played Dany’s hype girl Missandei, will appear in the Hulu miniseries update of Four Weddings and a Funeral and was also seen in the Fast and the Furious franchise. Queen Cersei ditches the wine goblet as Lena Heady plays wrestler mom Sweet Saraya in the biopic based on WWE’s Paige called, Fighting with My Family.
And our mother of dragons, Emilia Clarke will find better luck in love as she stars in the romcom Last Christmas. (Hopefully, her boyfriend doesn’t turn out to be her nephew this time.)
9. Try Fantasy Tabletop Games and Video Games
Why not try another D&D story this time around? Dungeons and Dragons has been around decades before A Song of Ice and Fire even came into geeky consciousness. If you ever felt frustrated with the Season 8 outcome then now is your chance to flip the script. Create an alternative GoT timeline by DM-ing your own campaign. Too lazy to set that up and drag a bunch of adults to play on a regular basis? Play The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim and live your best life as a dragonborn.
10. Indulge In a Shower of Despair
The pain of your favorite show ending almost feels like Jon Snow plunging a knife into Daenerys’ heart. The best thing to do is to thrash around a bit much like Drogon did upon seeing Dany’s corpse (too soon?) and have a good cry. Get in touch with your sensitive side and bawl it out while listening to the Game of Thrones soundtrack. The fetal position is optional.
11. Read The Lord of the Rings Trilogy
LOTR has everything you enjoyed in GoT with even more magic but a lot less R-rated nudity and violence. G.R.R.M. has admitted to being influenced by J.R.R. Tolkien’s series. If you enjoyed the epic warfare in Game of Thrones then you need to witness the Battle of Helm’s Deep from The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers from 2002. This action sequence remains one of the best blockbuster battle scenes to this day.