Game of Thrones Drinking Game Season 6 Analysis: The Mourning After
Though winter has arrived in Westeros, summer has arrived here in the Northern Hemisphere of our world, forcing us to confront a question as old as The Wall: how do we balance the pursuit of a beach body without sacrificing the adult beverages we love so much? I'm afraid I haven't found the solution to that quandary, but our QQ Game of Thrones Drinking Game can certainly help you enjoy said libations while we move ever closer to the conclusion of the series.
Before we get into rule changes for the upcoming seventh season, let's take an analytical look at the impact our existing rules made on our livers and Monday morning productivity during Season 6.
Did Someone Say "Charts, Please!?"
The rules with the largest increase from the halfway point to the finale were Oaths/Honor and Sober Tyrion. After a mid-season peak of three drinks in Episode 5, characters talked about oaths, honor, loyalty, or traitors an average of 10.5 times per episode from Episode 7 to Episode 10. If you're looking for people to blame, I'd start in the North. Tyrion's relative sobriety is more puzzling, but I suppose it's difficult to set time aside for boozing when your Queen is off earning the loyalty of the Dothraki while you run a city full of former slavers who really don't like you. This was especially prevalent in Episodes 8 and 9, in which Tyrion sends Varys away, endures a firebombing, and sets up Dany to flex on foreign emissaries without imbibing. For shame, Tyrion. You used to be so dependable.
On the other side of the Coin of the Faceless Men are Birdwatching and Direwolf Sightings. The decline in Birdwatching drinks makes a lot of sense; we adjusted the rule at the midway point because it had the potential to make us all look like Ser Dontos on Joffrey's nameday. Less understandable is the paucity of Direwolves in the second half of the season. Sure, Shaggydog's beheading at the hands of an Umber and Summer's heroics Beyond the Wall left us with only Ghost and Nymeria, who we haven't seen since Season 1. But somehow there was one Ghost sighting in the entire second half of the season. During this time, we watched Jon and Sansa recruit Wildlings and Northmen, attempt to intimidate Ramsay Bolton and fight his troops outside of Winterfell, and establish a new "King in the North." Ghost appeared once in that stretch. Ghost is a useful symbol of House Stark for recruiting purposes, a fearsome sight in negotiations, and a useful ally in battle, but I don't have to justify a CGI budget to anyone. Either way, let's hope for more Ghost (and Nymeria!) in the next two seasons.
The biggest surprise for Season 6 was the utter lack of "Winter is Coming". Unless I missed something, no one said it the entire season.
The most consistent rules from start to finish were Nudity and Horses. Neither rule produced a standard deviation greater than 2, which makes sense for this show. I was, however, surprised by Tyrion's sober scenes and Oaths/Honor. Both produced a standard deviation over 3.
We'll be making a few minor adjustments for the start of Season 7. First, we're increasing the impact of Kinslaying from 3 drinks to 5 because the number of distrustful family members has dwindled as a direct result of prior Kinslaying. I'm tempted to remove the Giantsbane-Tarth rule because they cruelly sent Brienne on a pointless quest to Riverrun before Tormund's smoldering passion for her could progress to Wildfire status...but I won't, because it's the best romantic storyline we have left. We'll remove the Eye Contact rule instead, both because it only tallied 4 drinks all season and it requires me to scrutinize where each character is looking in a given scene. We'll also change the Drink/Drank/Drunk rule to include non-Tyrion characters who use some form of the word.
There are two new rules for Season 7: Verbal Dragons and House Words/Slogans. We already drink three times for every dragon sighting, but I think Dany's impending arrival in Westeros and the resulting conversations will help this rule buoy episodes where the producers skimp on CGI.
House Words/Slogans will broaden the existing "Winter is Coming" rule, which probably won't be as common now that Winter has arrived, to include these lines I expect to hear at some point:
Here's a list of the updated rules, which can always be found on our Game of Thrones Drinking Game page.
Anyone says "drink", "drank", "drunk"
Oaths, honor, loyalty, traitors
Birdwatching - any involvement of birds
House Words or Slogan
Dragon sighting (per dragon)
Tyrion appears in a scene but does not drink
Cersei appears in a scene but does not drink
Bastard Builder - one extra drink each time someone says "bastard"