HBO’s epic fantasy Game of Thrones is the sort of thing that was once reserved for the super geeky, but has now hacked and dismembered its way to the mainstream. As we get closer to the eighth and final season of Game of Thrones, what a better time than right now to throw a Westeros-themed party filled with chalices of mead and ale.
Since the very first season, birthdays, stag dos and even weddings have now become the perfect excuse to dress up as your favourite character and sit on a (not so) Iron Throne.
But just like the Daenerys look-a-like brides out there, you don’t need travel to the Seven Kingdoms to enjoy some Westeros-style fun. To help you prepare for a season 8 shindig, here’s a guide to planning the perfect Game of Thrones get together, including some ideas for different types of Thrones-style party food and decorations.
Before we get to that though, let's cover the party basics you’ll need to decide on ...
No matter what type of Thrones party it is, you’ll need an appropriate setting. If you can’t afford a proper castle (these Gold Dragon coins don’t grow on trees, of course), a few candles and fur throw around the place will set the ambience. Perhaps some heads on spikes… that kind of thing.
Normally, you’d make do with the cheapest invites you can find in Card Factory. But these invitations should be written on parchment and sealed using your own House sigil (you can buy sealing wax for the occasion).
Get your squire to deliver them by horseback, which will mean sending about a month in advance to reach mates who live on the other side of the country, but worth the effort for the bantz later on.
Medieval banquet grub only. Suckling pig, giant turkey legs, pigeon pie. You can get away with some themed party delicacies – Imp cocktail, Theon’s sausage on a stick – but anyone who besmirches your honour by bringing Pringles and dips should be beheaded on the spot.
Mead and ale only (Buckfast will do if you can’t find mead and don’t mind a thumping headache for the next fortnight), preferably drank from a challis or straight from the flagon.
Fancy dress is preferable, though it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea – and it takes serious commitment to traipse around dressed like a knight, nobleman, lady, or wench. The least you can do is stick on a Westeros-inspired T-shirt. Amazon has a good range, though if you’re the kind of person throwing a Thrones party, chances are you’ve got a wardrobe-full already.
Game of Thrones party theme ideas
The Night’s Watch All-Nighter
Essentially a Game of Thrones marathon. Pull a 24-hour shift watching the best episodes in the build up to the premiere of the new season (don’t try to watch the whole show, you’ll be sat there for almost three days).
The host of party should get to sit on their own Iron Throne – a chair with some tinfoil on it will do – and anyone caught trying to sit on the thrones whilst the host has a loo break should be quite rightly hanged as a usurper.
Battle of the Bar Stewards
OK, so less actual bar stewards, and more the ones who have been propping up the bar (but you see what we’re trying to do there). And what rough and ready blokes don’t like a good-natured pile-on after a few bevvies?
Recreate the nerve-shredding battle scene from the end of Season 6 by splitting into two teams and having a playground-style game of bulldog. First one to escape the bundle and reach the other side gets to set the hounds on his rival.
Dragon Egg Hunt
Here’s one that the kids can join in with. Fashion some dragon eggs (papier mache if you can be bothered, chicken’s eggs with scales crudely drawn on if you can’t) and hide them around the garden. While they’re off doing that, the grown ups can sip mead and regale each other with stories about the Seven Kingdoms. Any child caught stealing the others’ eggs or bullying smaller children will clearly grow into a Joffrey-style tyrant and should be sent to the dungeons (alright, bed) immediately.
The (Red) Wedding Party
Yes, Game of Thrones weddings are now a thing. Bridal Guide is even offering ideas based on the show (though this House Frey-inspired wedding planner is much more like it). Of course, weddings in the Seven Kingdoms rarely end well. Doing the reception hall out like a castle or hiring a minstrel to do the entertainment is one thing, but for the authentic experience, you may have to slaughter the new in-laws. Still, could save a lot of tedious family arguments and Christmas card list politics in the future.
The Baratheon Stag Do
Named for the sigil of House Baratheon, it sounds quite regal, but it’s ultimately a lads-on-tour style jolly-up. With Winterfell Tours you can stay at Winter Castle & Demesne in Northern Ireland, the site of 20 filming locations of the show. Your group is divided into Houses and can take archery lessons, indulge in banquets, and recreate your favourite scenes with replica swords. If it ends with two mates going full “Mountain vs Viper” and trying to squash each other’s heads in, it’s time to go home.
Game of Murder Party
A Westrosian twist on the classic murder mystery. Everyone turns up dressed as their favourite Game of Thrones character. One character unexpectedly dies, leaving everyone else to figure out the mystery of who’s behind the evil machinations in King’s Landing. Then another character dies. Then another. And another. And another. Each in more brutal fashion that the last. That goes on until almost all the best characters are dead and you’re wondering why you bothered starting to watch… erm, play in the first place.