HBO’s “Game of Thrones” has set social media ablaze.
Fans have theorized endlessly, nitpicked plot points, and generally celebrated a show that seems to grow in popularity every year. Despite suffering major hacking issues, the HBO series (the characters Tyrion Lanniste, left, and Jon Snow, right, are pictured above) even smashed several viewership records in 2017.
While it was clearly a fan-pleasing season, last night’s finale now means “Game of Thrones” viewers will have to wait a long, long time — a year (or more) — for the final season, which will consist of only six episodes. Those will tell us how it all ends and who will sit on the Iron Throne to rule the fantasy world that original author George R.R. Martin created back in 1996.
With the show on break now for some time, the “Game of Thrones” blues may be setting in already. How can a fan be expected to wait an entire year or more for only six episodes? What could possibly replace the water-cooler talk at work that will be equally as exciting?
If you’re feeling antsy and need to continue the “Game of Thrones” love fest, then we’ve got some recommendations. Here are some things you can do to cure the “Game of Thrones” blues in the year ahead.
1.) Open a book. While it’s not discussed nearly as much, the “Game of Thrones” book series from George R.R. Martin had a rabid fanbase before HBO ever gave the green light to the TV series.
What’s exciting about reading the books now is that the show has veered off in its own direction. With two books still to go in his saga, Martin has confirmed the TV series and books will have different endings.
Even more exciting: You might encounter more adventures from some of your favorite characters who were axed in the show. Martin has confirmed in recent interviews that many characters who perished in the show live on in the novels.
2.) Take a trip. “Game of Thrones” is one of the best-looking television shows currently airing. HBO makes sure the fantasy series looks and feels like a cinematic experience, with expert-level special effects and enticing, vivid locations.
You can actually visit many of those locations. The best cure for the blues right now may be to get outside — get some fresh air and take a trip to a new place.
You can get some ideas for great “Game of Thrones”-style trips here, which include locations such as Ireland and Scotland.
One spot you may actually have trouble visiting is Dubrovnik, Croatia. The city serves as the setting for King’s Landing in the show — the capital city where the famous Throne resides.
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The place has had such a surge of visitors that it’s struggling to handle it all — it’s getting overcrowded there. “We became too popular in the last couple of years. We became a victim [of] our own success,” Ivan Vuković, who has led tours in the city for 12 years, told Money Magazine.
The uptick in tourism, however, has helped bring the city out of a bad recession that lasted from 2009 to 2014, according to a report from People. The city’s mayor told Bloomberg in 2015 it had seen a 10 percent increase in tourism thanks to the HBO series.
However, the city’s current mayor, Mato Franković, told The Telegraph this month that he would cap the number of daily tourists at 4,000 due to worries about crowding and the possibility of losing World Heritage status.
3.) Remember there’s plenty of other TV. More television programming is made today than ever before, so it shouldn’t be difficult to find a series to fill the “Game of Thrones” void for the next year or so.
HBO has been trying hard to replicate the “Game of Thrones” success in recent years. Along with developing a reported four spinoff shows, the network has been producing more genre entertainment.
One such show: “Westworld,” starring Ed Harris and Anthony Hopkins. Based on the science fiction film of the same name from 1973 (directed by Michael Crichton), the series is set in a future in which people can pay to vacation in a land of androids who seem completely human — and who think they’re living in the Old West. They don’t know they’re androids either, so when a few begin to develop and understand their world, chaos ensues.
It’s a series that requires just as much attention as “Thrones” and lends itself to endless fan theories and speculation. So if you’re looking for a new TV obsession to replace the land of dragons and walking dead, flip over to “Westworld.” The first season is available now, and the second season premieres next year. And if you’re not into it, well, flip the channel a few more times — the content possibilities are endless.