Game of Thrones Season 3 is over, and it has been quite the doozy. From “You know nothing, Jon Snow” to “Dracarys”, there have been awesome moments of ships setting sail, moments of triumph, and moments of watching everything fall apart in front of you. So whether you’re still emotionally scarred from the Red Wedding or already starting to feel those Game of Thrones withdrawals, we’ve put together an outline of what to expect at each stage of post-GoT recovery.
Note: The stages contained on this list may or may not reflect unhealthy ways of coping. We don’t know, we’re too blinded by our feels.
Stage #1: Curling up in bed and weeping for days.
If the season is over, then why does it still hurt so much? You feel as if you cannot go on. Robb, oh Robb, WHY?! Why must the HBO gods be so cruel? At this point you’re likely curled up in bed, weeping uncontrollably. You’re wrapped up in your House Stark blanket and clinging to your Khalessi pillow. It’s okay, we’re all there with you. Game of Thrones has this unique ability to make you cheer at the top of your lungs for an hour and then leave you with that painful, empty feeling for days afterwards. This stage is definitely the hardest. Old gods have mercy on us all.
Stage #2: Eating and drinking your pain away.
After the initial pain starts to subside, you will start to feel angry. How could GoT do this to you? How could the season just… end! You’ll reach the point where you’re so irritated that you can’t stay in bed any longer, and you will finally succumb to your non-GoT watching friends’ incessant pleadings to go out. But you won’t be happy about it. At this point you’ll ask yoursef WWTYLD: What Would Tyrion Lannister Do?. The answer, my friends, is drink. And eat. But mostly drink. (He’d likely also partake in other activities but we’ll leave those out given the issues with legality and morality.)
You can even gorge yourself like you’re living in King’s Landing thanks to the variety of online recipes. Here are some of our favorites:
Stage #3: Withdrawing further into the GoT world.
After some amount of time you’ll reach that point where you have eaten yourself numb. The pain will have started to fade away, and you’ll be left with that slight empty feeling. A feeling that can only be filled with MORE WESTEROS! Yes, that is the way. So you’ll start to read the books for the umpteenth time. And then the graphic novels. Before you know it you’ll be so deep in AO3 that you’ve gone right past the Wall and are in danger of straying into White Walker territory. You’ll stroke your stuffed dragon as you plot the demise of your least favorite character in your latest fan fic.
Stage #4: Retail therapy.
When you’ve finally read all five current books Old Gods-only-know how many times and quote it on a regular basis, it will slowly start to lose its comfort. You’ll need something new, but The Winds of Winter isn’t due to be released until at least 2014, probably later knowing G.R.R. Martin. You won’t be ready to come out of your withdrawal into the world of Westeros.
This can be solved by one thing… retail therapy. If only you had that Jon Snow t-shirt, you would definitely feel better. Or that Margaery Tyrell-inspired necklace. Or a House Targaryen mug for when you drink your favorite fandom–inspired tea. Thankfully the internet is full of talented artists who have slapped their Stark and Lannister artwork onto purchasable items that will definitely make you feel better… right?
Stage #5: Admitting you have a problem.
Eventually when you’re sitting in your room, surrounded by stuffed wolves, Needle replicas, and your half-finished Daenerys cosplay, you’ll realize that Game of Thrones Season 3 has been over for weeks, maybe even months. And then you’ll realize that you may, in fact, have a problem. After this epiphany, you’ll slowly start to wean yourself off of Game of Thrones. It’ll be hard, but you know it’s the right thing to do.
Stage #6: Acceptance and moving on.
By this time you’ve come to terms with the fact that GoT won’t be on every Sunday, and that’s okay. There are other things in life for you to look forward to, like going outside and having friends who don’t live all the way in Westeros. There are other TV shows to watch this summer, like True Blood. Maybe you’ll even pick up a new show or two– The White Queen seems like a likely candidate to fill your craving for pretty dresses, swords, and court intrigue. Things are looking up.
Stage #7: Realizing that Season 4 won’t premiere until March or April 2014.
At some point Game of Thrones will become a hot topic again. Maybe one of the actors will be attached to a film role. Maybe it’ll be mentioned at a con panel. Maybe it will be when the official season 4 premiere date is announced, some far-off date months away. You’ll realize that you sort of miss all your favorite characters… Daenerys, Tyrion, Margaery, Arya, Jon… All those feelings you’ve worked so hard to overcome will come rushing back to you, hitting you like Cersei slapping Joffrey in the face. Old gods and New, why. Why isn’t it back yet? WHY?
Stage #8: Repeating stages 1-7.
*Curls up and sobs*