How to Get Ready for Game of Thrones the Portland Way

From wine pairings to a pug crawl, here are 5 local events to get you in the mood for the final season of ice and fire beginning April 14.

By Shayla Norris-York March 29, 2019

Image: Courtesy HBO

Winter is coming—for the last time. On Sunday, April 14, the eighth and final season of HBO’s hit fantasy show will begin. Wild theories and speculation about who will take the Iron Throne and rule Westeros abound. But as Ramsay said, “if you think this has a happy ending, you haven’t been paying attention.” We’re here to numb the pain of inevitably watching key characters die with a bevy of ridiculously Portland-y GoT-themed events. 


Still confused as to what happened in the last seven seasons? Or maybe you’ve binge-watched the entire series three times through while taking detailed notes? Either way, this Game Of Thrones trivia night at the Spare Room (4830 NE 42nd Ave) will fill in all the plot holes and family tree branches that you just couldn’t keep track of. If you don’t have a maester on your squad, sit back and watch the nerds duke out which team will rule them all. We drink and we know things… maybe. “You know nothing, Jon Snow!” 6 pm, Mar 31, FREE


Jeff Weissler, owner of inner Northeast’s Pairings Portland Wine and Bar Shop, matches adjectives to wines to make them less intimidating and approachable. And for the past five seasons, this GoT fanatic has coordinated flights to characters. (“The deal with the Night King is that his adjectives were ‘cold,’ ‘methodical’, ‘persistent’, and ‘sacrificial,’” Weissler explains of a past pairing. “So it was a dry, crisp white wine from Italy that tastes like it has no fruit in it whatsoever.”) This final season has been dedicated to Arya and Jon. “I picked two characters who I thought were the most loved in season one who have changed the most,” he claims. He’ll also be crafting a flight for each episode in the last season. Weissler says he'll pick three things from each episode that stand out–battles, partnerships, or deaths—and match them, as best he can, to curated flights the following Tuesday. Noon-10 pm Monday-Saturday, noon-7 pm Sunday, $25 per flight


Bob Cabral—fourth generation grape grower, a Wine Enthusiast mag's 2011 “Winemaker of the Year,” and total GoT-aficionado—was authorized by HBO to craft four wines that aim reflect the traits of Thrones' main characters and the terrain of their corner of the Seven Kingdoms. And you can score three of 'em in Portland. Cabral's 2016 Willamette Valley pinot noir ($20) evokes House Baratheon with notes of dark cherry and vanilla with hints of leather (and Warhammer, we assume). A 2017 Red Blend embodies House Targaryen by mingling petite syrah, tempranillo, and zin grapes for a youthful, juicy Mothers of Dragons-approved sip. And the 2014 Cabernet Sauvignon ($50)? That's straight up Stark territory with a rich texture and wafts of cherry and coffee. All of these libations can all be snagged from the (Ye Olde) Cost Plus World Market by Washington Square or order bottles online to score a free GoT corkscrew. Fill your cup. Tyrion approves.


On the ides of March, Revolution Hall secretly opened its newest project: Show Bar, a quiet nook to sip a brew and nosh on a burger. What better way to christen the space on a night dark and full of terrors than with the GoT premier bash? Perfect for those who don’t have their friend's HBO Go password but don’t want to hear spoilers at work on Monday, come feast your eyes on three screens every Sunday all season long, meaning triple the Jon Snows (swoon). 9 p.m., Sundays Apr 14–May 19, FREE


For those would rather leave the liquor consumption to the Lannisters, we’ve got you covered with the cutest parade of pooches. Come ogle a procession of tiny pugs dressed up as little dragons, scrappy Starks, and fiery Targaryens during the Oregon Humane Society’s annual Pug Crawl (this year the theme is GoT, obvi). You’ll get a heartwarming fix of unadulterated adorable pug snuggs before you’re emotionally obliterated by the series final. Noon-4 p.m., May 19, $10 advance, $15 at the door

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