I have a confession to make: I eat dinner while watching Game of Thrones. If you watch the series, you probably know it's not exactly the most appetizing of TV shows, but nonetheless it happens. I have discovered, however, that there are some dishes better suited for sudden gore or lewd scenes. So if you too find yourself watching HBO on a Sunday night, here's my guide to choosing the right meal.
The key to eating while watching Game of Thrones is not eat anything too messy, too healthy, or meat that's too rare. Keep things simple and hearty and you'll be set. As should be expected, there will be a lot of meat going on in these dishes.
I've broken down this guide into menus based on the main families or people in Game of Thrones, so whether you're a fan of the Starks or the White Walkers, you'll be able to find a suitable dinner.
The prominent Stark family is a group of smart warriors. They're Northerners that deserve a meal that keeps them warm, but something a little more special than a stew. Try these hearty lamb shanks with root vegetables, and finish with elderflower lemon cake (duh).
You only get to drink red wine for dinner. Sorry. That is all.
If you're a fan of the mother of dragons, you're going to need something with lots of protein. While I wouldn't recommend eating a horse heart like Khaleesi did, this steak with burbon butter will honor her. For dessert? Chocolate cake. Decadent and essential.
In honor of the onion knight and the red lady, keep things spicy and cozy with this braised French onion chicken with gruyrère. Add a simple side salad if you must, and end with this vegan gingerbread cake. Make the lord of light proud.
Oh, the Tyrells, what do they have up their sleeves? A meal worthy of this family should be sophisticated but strong. For your main course try this turnip soup with chickpea croutons and end with this blueberry pie.
Littlefinger is possibly the sneakiest person in this series, and his refined and sophisticated exterior requires a meal of a less hearty dish. This grain salad with blood orange is a must, followed by blackberry cabernet granita. Both should be eaten cold.
The Greyjoys live on the Iron Islands, so start your meal with some oysters and then move on to a a hearty fish stew like this creamy dairy-free fish chowder. No dessert for you.
The Martells are an energetic, powerful bunch that keep the Lannisters in check. For dinner try this orzo with vegetables and ginger and for dessert try these mysterious dark chocolate walnut cookies.
The Night's Watch
The men of the Night's Watch aren't fancy. In protecting the Wall they deal with lots of crazy stuff and deserve a warm, hearty meal that isn't very expensive. Make this vegetarian Shepherd's Pie for dinner, and drink lots of homemade beer.
Army of the Free Folk
It's tough out there for a Wildling. North of the Wall is a cold, harsh place, but south of the Wall isn't safe either. You have to take what you can get in terms of food. You only eat scraps of stuff: take a couple spoonfuls of some brown stew and then try a handful of this garlicky roasted broccoli followed by this bacon beans with pineapple.
If you're a fan of the White Walkers and want to support them on their secret plans of world domination, all you should eat for dinner is some one-ingredient banana ice cream. Cold, strong, forceful. You don't need real food to survive.
(Image credits: Shutterstock (Martina_L)/ Science Fiction ; Nealey Dozier; Mary Gorman-McAdams; Emma Christensen; Faith Durand; Andrea Bemis; Anjali Prasertong)