When it comes to watching the final episode of “Game of Thrones,” throwing a themed party includes plenty of choices for food and drink. Save yourself some time and edible glitter and skip the fancy drinks floating around your Facebook timeline — just stick to bourbon. Neat, on the rocks, or in an Old Fashioned, your sorrows will need to be drowned, your shocks will need to be absorbed, your favorites will need to be mourned.
And while bourbon doesn’t show up on the show for obvious reasons, it also seems as though very few alcoholic beverages are regularly consumed in this made-up medieval time (though if you look at the historical basis for the saga, the Wars of the Roses, it took place around the same time that distilling became popular in the mid 14th century). Sure, we know that a good Dornish red is beyond compare, ale is abundant, and goat’s milk will put hair on your chest, but what if bourbon were around during “Game of Thrones” (also, what if GoT were real, but let’s just skip right over that part). Here are a few of our favorite characters who we think would enjoy a corn-based concoction while engaged in the epic battles for humanity and the throne.
Warning: There are mild spoilers ahead!
As we watch a girl grow up and become a young woman, we also see that she develops a bit of a taste for ale. Sure, slaughtering an entire house works up a thirst, but after that is quenched, it just seems like Arya would be more likely to have a flask of bourbon tucked into her waist. Not that she needs any extra liquid courage, but a nip here and there will help keep her warm on those long rides she takes with The Hound. But just a nip, of course — Westeros’ deadliest assassin must be sure to keep her wits about her.
When he’s not busy pounding dragonglass and forging other weapons, it’s easy to imagine Gendry not only enjoying a nice bourbon, but also creating his own craft bourbon operation. He builds his barrels himself, fashions his own copper piping, and spends his free time perfecting his mash. Eventually he’ll create a near flawless recipe and open his own distillery with a tasting room completely decked out in his metal work. The Westerosi hipster set will love it a little too much and Fleabottom will start becoming gentrified before eventually getting totally razed for new condos.
No character embodies the American south like Olenna Tyrell. Of course, bourbon also holds that same distinction amongst spirits, so it makes sense that the two would go hand in hand. Thanks to her natural ability to pull off an ornamental hat, she’s likely to enjoy a Mint Julep made with Four Roses while plotting the upward mobility of her family. The Reach is also the kingdom’s breadbasket, so producing and profiting from corn and rye products would only help to expand the Tyrell wealth.
Much like her beloved grandmother, Margaery oozes a strong southern vibe. She drips with charm, everyone (but Cersei) loves her, and she’s loyal to her family to a fault. Behind closed doors she’s likely drinking her bourbon neat like Olenna first taught her, but in public she’s probably sipping on a manhattan to keep up “ladylike” appearances. She will make a formidable mark in the male-dominated world of bourbon with the family business thanks to her wealth and ability to manipulate men, as long as she can manage to avoid the sept.
Sure, Tormund prefers giant’s milk, massive horns full of ale, and fermented goat’s milk, but he also seems like he could get a little on the rowdier side of bourbon. Give him a barrel with a very high proof (he obviously cares more about the effects than the taste, so no need to get fancy), and he’ll have no problems keeping warm at night in the real North as he tries to forget the Big Woman and what might have been. (Giant’s milk could also make for a lovely eggnog if treated properly).
One of the strong, proud men who taught Jon Snow how to be a leader, Jeor would likely need to give himself a break from the stress of serving as the 997th Lord Commander of the Night’s Watch by indulging in some rare bottles. His cabinet is full of special gifts brought to him by Night’s Watch recruiters who vie for better assignments by competing to find the most rare batch. Only Jeor and his steward can possibly access his beloved stash, though he will occasionally share a glass or two with Maester Aemon while swapping stories from their storied pasts.
Ser Bronn of the Blackwater
A cutthroat through and through, Bronn is selfish and always looking for something better than what he’s got. These are traits that would conceivably make him a great collector — if he ever manages to get his own castle (and hold on to it, rather than taking off on another adventure). In the meantime, he’ll be the guy in that other old establishment, enjoying a bottle of whatever mid-shelf bourbon they have, along with his company for the evening.
It’s easy to add the guy who drinks and knows things, the most notorious lush of the Seven Kingdoms to this list, but after learning around the victory table in “The Last of the Starks” that Tyrion prefers wine to ale, it just makes sense that he would also appreciate bourbon. Good wine and good bourbon are both drinks that you want to take your time with, pull into your nose, taste every note. They both require an air of intellect to truly enjoy, but can also be embraced by the most hedonistic of drinkers.
Thoros of Myr
Another stalwart drunk (though more along the lines of functioning alcoholic than jovial Bacchanalian) is team fire god’s resident priest. Thoros has lived a life of hard partying, womanizing, and fighting in wars, so he’s probably no stranger to guzzling a cheap bourbon. As he’s matured and gained real purpose serving the Lord of Light and playing the role of resurrector he’s likely grown a more refined palate, preferring small batch bourbons to snuggle up with.
So head to your liquor cabinets, pour a nice glass of an old favorite as you say goodbye to characters and stories that have been 10 years in the making. Drink a toast to those on this list who are no longer with us, and another to those we will have to say goodbye to before this whole wild dragon ride is over. Cheers, to one of the best shows ever made — here’s hoping they don’t screw it all up!