A Survival Guide to Westeros

Recently, I saw an online poll asking people which fantasy world they’d most like to visit. And despite so many voters expressing their desire to travel through the fictional lands of their favourite books, films and television shows, I didn’t see much personal appeal. Neverland? Nah. Too many eternally youthful juvenile delinquents up to no good. Oz? No way. Flying monkeys are creepy as hell. Narnia? Pass. Allegorical anthropomorphic Christ-lion messiahs aren’t my scene.

Nobody chose Westeros, home of George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones machinations and mayhem, because it’s too violent and dangerous. I think they’re missing the forest for the trees. The thing about Westeros, the real selling point, is that EVERYBODY gets laid. There is so much fucking going on in the seven kingdoms, it’s amazing anyone finds any time to get some beheading and backstabbing in.

Dwarf? Doesn’t matter, you’re a pussy magnet. Vow of celibacy? A ginger savage will still bang your brains out. Have to pay for it? Totally worth it! Westeros prostitutes are universally gorgeous and disease-free. Even most of the eunuchs in the land are hunks and could easily get some if they were so inclined (and rented the appropriate prosthetic). You can pretty much trip, fall and find yourself intimately entwined with a total hottie before you even hit the ground.

Okay, granted, the entire book/TV-show world is a death trap. Life expectancy is low, main characters die off so fast it sometimes feels like the entire cast must have contracted Ebola, but what a way to go! If you want to risk it and join the fantasy fuckfest, here’s a simple guideline to surviving in the lands of Westeros and Essos:

Be an outcast, either too tiny or too enormous. If you weren’t lucky enough to be born a freak, try being disfigured or maimed. Terrible scars may be your ticket to a long life. Losing a limb is golden. Don’t forget, cock and balls count. Think you’ll miss them? Well would you rather be dead? Trim those boys off while there’s still time. Don’t want to have your body all cut to pieces? Fine. Become a cripple.

Fat is good, stupid is better. Hedge your bets and try being fat and stupid. DO NOT be handsome or beautiful because one day you’re going to pay for that shit. If you’re at all good-looking, try getting maimed as soon as possible. Whatever you do, don’t be popular and well-liked. That’s an instant death sentence.

As predictable as this formula is, however, all bets are off when enormous versus disfigured in a fight to the death. That’s like an unstoppable force meeting an immovable object. Oh, right. Spoiler alert. Sorry, but you’ve had a whole week to get up to date with your PVR.

This insight comes from having watched the entirety of Game of Thrones in a very short period of time. I’m not one for binge watching but, having said that, I did watch the first thirty hours of the show in three days flat shortly before season four began airing. After such an overdose, it was painful to have to wait a whole week between episodes. Now that the current season is done, I’m probably going to lose my shit waiting for season five to premiere in April 2015. This past Sunday marks the first I’ve had to endure without a new episode. I’m not looking forward to the many more that will follow.

Now I know what all the fuss is about. Game of Thrones is the best thing currently on TV, even if I have cracked the life-or-death code. It’s not my favourite thing (that’s still Sherlock), but it’s a close second.

As we all keep vigil for the return months down the road, let us remember one thing: In the game of thrones, you either win or you die. Regardless, you’ll get a piece.

At least on The Walking Dead, when they kill off a character, the actor usually gets up to take a bow.

At least on The Walking Dead, when they kill off a character, the actor usually gets up to take a bow.

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