'Game of Thrones' (HBO)

When season four of the fantasy sensation Game of Thrones premiered on Sunday, April 2nd, it came as no surprise to anyone when it was revealed that HBO Go, HBO’s mobile streaming platform, crashed. The fanfare and madness surrounding this dragon-infested epic has apparently reached a fever pitch. Everywhere you look, another parody of the GoT characters is streaming and Ebay is abuzz with thousands of collectibles immersed in fandom. So, if you’re a true fan of the Starks, then these items are old news to you. But for everyone else, these are a few ways Games of Thrones has become way far more than just a TV show.

  • If you haven’t already tried it, Game of Thrones has a beer. Well, several beers actually and they aim to conquer the realm of craft beer. Ommegang, a brewery in Cooperstown, N.Y. will be releasing two beers per year to coincide with the fantasy HBO program’s theme. So far, they have released the Iron Throne, a golden ale. Next came Take the Black, an imperial stout with Belgian yeast strain. This is (of course) a reference to the order of celibate warriors who patrol a wall that protects from people of the far north. Their latest release is Fire and Blood, a Belgian-style red ale in honor of Daenerys Targaryen and her three dragons. If you are true blue Game of Thrones fan, I don’t need to tell you that you need to keep all three well-stocked.
  • There are drinking games for all your favorite classic movies (drink every time Darth Vader says “The Force,” anyone?), so it’s only logical that Game of Thrones has a drinking game or twenty. Drink every time Hodor says, “Hodor.” Drink every time something bad happens to the Starks. Drink every time someone dies. Of course, it’s preferable to drink wine or mead. But a certain red ale should do just fine. Drink deeply, you’ll be quipping like Tyrion Lannister in no time!
  • A quick search on Etsy will yield an absolute smorgasbord of Game of Thrones fan art and fun collectibles that truly set the fans apart from the “people who didn’t read the books.” Want a “Hodor” button? We got you covered. Dreaming of decorating your toilet like the Iron Throne? This dream can be realized. In fact, you can pretty well decorate your condo in dragon everything if your heart desires it.

If you love something, why not go all-out with it? Pop culture doesn’t often give us something truly worth our time very often. So when it does, buy the T-shirt, try the beer. Enjoy everything Westeros has to offer.

After all, winter is coming.