Thursday, April 11, 2019

We Went To An Epic Game of Thrones Dinner Party! ...But We Don't Watch The Show, So Please, EXPLAIN

John and I just had the most AMAZING Game of Thrones dinner experience, but it's not fair because we don't watch Game of Thrones, so I'm going to share all the goodness here and trust you guys will appreciate it even more than we did.

First, a little background:

Our friends John and Anna love to host big dinner parties, and every Christmas, Easter, & Thanksgiving they throw open their home to all of us without family in town. They're basically our adopted local parents. In reality they're our friend Christie's parents, but now we lay claim and she has to share. 

Now, trust me, with Anna's cooking, you do NOT miss one of their dinners. Even if the theme is for a show you've never seen, like Game of Thrones.

And let's get this out of the way real quick: John and I (that's my John, not host John) aren't GoT people. I'm squeamish and easily traumatized, and John won't watch anything with sexual violence, so GoT is a non-starter. Which is cool, just like it's cool if you like the show. Different death strokes for different folks, eh?

That does mean we were clueless over pretty much everything at the party, though, so bear with me as I explain stuff I know NOTHING about.

Oh, but I did find what I think is a pretty sweet hostess gift:

There are versions of this on Etsy where they'll add in a custom name if you have more time, but since I only had a week I ordered this one from Amazon. And it's so pretty!

This wasn't a costume party, but that's never stopped me and John before. He brought & distributed all our fur cowls from our Knights Who Say Ni cosplays:

(Goes great with a polo, right?)

(The sword belongs to our hosts, and is SUPER heavy.)

Meanwhile I did my best with what I had in my closet:

I wore my Hufflepuff cup necklace, because of course I did.

Now, let's set the stage at John and Anna's place:

Their house is lovely, for starters, and their decor is already kind of Thronesy, from what I can tell. (Anna is originally from Estonia, and they've traveled all over.) John even has furs and big swords mounted on the wall in his game room, ha.

 The plates and cups were especially in theme:


And the table was set with candles, dragons, coins...

... and fun miniatures:

You'll see the bread in a minute. It's worth the wait, I promise!

We got there early that day to play Borderlands together (told you they're awesome), but here's the table later with everything lit up:

Not related to the party, but look how pretty:

I'm biased, since I bought this for Anna at an antique shop a while back. (Plus we painted all the walls! Just doing our part to keep getting invited to dinner, ha.)

I love their Steampunk Mr. Toad art:

And I don't understand why shirtless Jeff Goldblum was out, but I'm not complaining:


Ok, I've made you wait long enough. Let's get to:


This was the head of the appetizer table, pun intended:

Ned's heads were chocolate dipped donut holes:


You can't see it, but I'm shaking my (attached) head at this entire fandom right now. While giggling.

Apparently Westeros is a terrible place to be headed.

(Does that joke work? Westeros is a place, right?)

We also had:

I'm getting hungry again just looking at these.


"Bend the Mead" was my favorite pun - probably because it's the only one I understood. (They also had "Milk of the Poppy," and if that's a euphemism... don't tell me.)

Here's what a Red Wedding looked like:

Robyn (John & Anna's other daughter) mixed these up custom, and added a splash of red food coloring to each glass. I honestly don't remember what was in these... which may be a good sign?

There were little gummy snakes all over the table, but I can't remember why. I'm guessing someone will explain in the comments, though. 

I'll also go out on a limb here and guess that GoT fans aren't easily offended, so... ENJOY:

We did have someone explain the reference, yes, and again, SHAKING MY HEAD AT ALL OF YOU. Shame! SHAAAAAAME.

Tasty little wieners, though. (And sausage balls, yum!)

If you're lost, head to the comments; I'm sure someone there will do the honors. Though you might be better off not knowing, lol.

Those were all just the appetizers we snacked on while milling around and chatting. Now on to the sit-down part of the meal:

This one I *kind* of know, because of this cosplay:

That's Beverly; she & her daughter Merrill are Epbot fans, so I've seen them the past few years at Dragon Con with this cosplay. (And they are THE best. Seriously. Mother-daughter goals.)

Still not sure what she did, though. Huh.

 Pie for an entree AND dessert? Yes, please.

We also had this trio of savory pies:

The beef curry was sooooo gooooood.

Apparently the Tarley Family died in a fire? So the morbidly hilarious theme continues.

(As John was proof-reading this post for me I heard a sudden shout of laughter from across the house. "They died in a fire?! THAT IS SO WRONG! Bahahaha!"

Yes, John, yes it is.


Oh! Here's a real show-stopper: LOOK AT THE DIRE WOLF BREAD:

We each got our own, and we had homemade cinnamon and blueberry butters to go with it. Oof. So good.

My other favorite was the Winterfell Honey Chicken:

I need to ask Anna for this recipe... and then get John to make it.

We're not even CLOSE to finished with the meal, but we took a break here to go play a game. The game was called, "I Drink And I Throw Things" - another reference I actually understood, GO ME. 

I think this is essentially Beer Pong: We were told to stand across the room and chuck ping pong balls at a drinking glass. The ball had to bounce at least once before landing in the glass.

As it turns out, this was completely impossible.

There were 10 of us playing, and by round 5 we'd moved up to within two feet of the glass,  added a second cup to double our chances, and STILL it was impossible.

This is on their back porch - and there were 9 of us back here cheering and yelling.

We were informed that dessert would not be served until someone won, so our attempts grew ever more desperate. We were all laughing at the futility of it all, hurling the ping pong balls - sometimes a few at a time - with the increasing conviction that this could not be done.

Then, when we were on round 6 or 7, so at least twenty minutes and SEVENTY TRIES later... you guys, it finally happened.

As if in slow motion, my ping pong ball bounced once, twice, and then... plink! Right in the glass. NOTHIN' BUT NET, BABY.

You have never seen a celebration like the one that followed. The room ERUPTED. We screamed. We fist-pumped and double-high-fived. I think I did a victory lap. It lasted a solid two minutes. I even took a celebratory selfie, where my attempt at a badass smirk ended up looking more "mildly perturbed":


Really I think we were just relieved we could finally have dessert... until Anna reminded us there were TWO prizes, so someone else had to win.

I'll spare you the next many minutes, but get this: the second person to win... WAS JOHN. So the two people who don't watch GoT won the two GoT glasses, ha. (Plus our own "Deal with It" glasses, so that's a plus.)

Ok, now let's head back inside for our just desserts:

Look how beautiful! And all handmade by Anna!

These were my favorite. Nommmz.

Declared the best Blueberry Tart any of us had ever had.

Here's a look at my dessert plate:

(I'm bad at serving pie. What.)

And then, after we were stuffed beyond belief, out came the FINAL dessert course, "Oberyn's Surprise."

Look at that piping detail! That's all Christie's handiwork; she helped her mom make these the day before. The teeth are little almond slices.

Again, I've never seen the show, don't know who Oberyn is, so this really WAS a surprise. We were instructed to put our thumbs on Oberyn's eyes, and...


Also, ew.

The insides were strawberry jello, which is surprisingly tasty with chocolate - who knew?

And THAT, my friends, was our epic Game of Thrones dinner. I'll leave you with a fun group shot I took of our merry band pre-feast:

Host John is next to my John on the right, and Anna is in the back, mid-window. If you ever get a chance to meet them, be SUPER nice, maybe offer to play Fallout 76 with John, and you, too, might get to feast with us some day. ;)

(Thank you again, John & Anna! Love you both!)


If you'd like to help support Epbot and keep ridiculous posts like this coming, then please use my Amazon links to shop! (USA, UK, Canada.) It costs you nothing, but helps pay a few bills around here - which means the world to me and John. Thanks, gang! Love y'all to Westeros and back.


  1. I don't think milk of the poppy is exclusively GoT. It's just the milky fluid that comes out of opium poppies when you harvest it (so milk of the poppy is straight up unlaced opium) I don't watch or read GoT, but I can see it being in theme...

    1. In the books and the show it is used exactly as unlaced opium!

    2. Yes, it was referenced in the show as a painkiller. So yeah, opium.

  2. I know nothing about GoT, but that seems like an epic meal - how anyone has the energy to make that much beautiful food I will never understand. And just looking at it makes me feel like I couldn't possibly have another bite of anything today!

  3. I LOVE GoT and I am AWED by this!! So creative! So on theme! So delicious!! THE PUNS!!! And Oberyn's Surprise omg HAHAHAHAHAaaaaeww hahahaha. Kudos to the amazing hosts!!

  4. Okay, someone please hop on this comments section and give us all non-GOT-watchers the lowdown on the jokes and puns. What a cool party!!

  5. Bwahahahahahahahahahaha! Oberyn was definitely my favorite but the whole dang party just looks absolutely fantastic. I wish I had time to pull together something like this for the premier on Sunday. Glad you both had fun!

  6. I don't watch the show, but I've read the books, so can give a bit of a run down on some of the stuff:
    - A Platter Has No Name: one of the main female leads becomes a super awesome assassin. In doing so, she gives up her self (a girl has no name)

    - Milk of the Poppy: Konen had it right; just refers to regular poppy extract, used for extreme pain

    - Imp Shrimp: another main character is a little person, referred to as 'the Imp'

    - Gummy Snakes: there is another group of awesome women warriors from one of the lands called Dorne (desert style climate). They are collectively referred to as the 'Sand Snakes', and are the illegitimate daughters of Oberyn

    - Army of Unsullied: HA! A mercenary army, made up entirely of males. They were pressed into service as young boys (enslaved, before being set free later in the series). They are forced to undergo castration. So, that one is definitely dark

    'It Was Me' Salad: There was an awful, awful boy king character named Joffrey. He was murdered at his wedding by another awesome lady character (Olenna Tyrell). She dropped the 'it was me' line in the tv show right before she got poisoned, so that Joffrey's mother (Cersei) would know that Olenna was the one that offed him. FYI, Cersei is also awful

    Tarley Family Fire Roasted Veggies: Two members of the Tarley family (who were awful, not-nice people) were roasted to death by dragons

    Dire Wolf Bread: A side character friend (named Hot Pie) of previously mentioned assassin girl (Arya Stark) is a baker. His specialty was wolf shaped bread, that he made to show his friendship with Arya (she had a giant direwolf, as did the rest of the Stark children)

    Brienne of Tart: Just a fun play on words, as there is a character named Brienne of Tarth

    Oberyn's Surprise: That one is rather gruesome (but darkly humorous, again). Oberyn was a prince of Dorne (the desert land) who wanted to avenge the rape/death of his sister, and her children's deaths. They were killed by a giant thug called 'the Mountain', who was associated with the Lannister family (Cersei, etc.). Oberyn and the Mountain had an epic fight, and Oberyn ALMOST won, until he got cocky, the Mountain tripped him, and basically beat his face in. Then crushed his head by shoving his fingers in his eyes. Very, very graphic.

    1. Thanks for explaining who Hot Pie is (was, probably, knowing this show). I was afraid someone had put an apostrophe in the wrong place. I'm relieved to know there was no error!

    2. Hot Pie is still alive! :) He's a survivor. Also, I've seen a number of these recipes in a book called "Game of Scones" by Jammy Lannister. It makes me laugh every time. The execution of these recipes was amazing, especially the wolf bread. Looks exactly like the one in the show, and cooking this many detailed things for that many people? Hostess goals! :)

  7. So. You asked for it.


    I wrote this in one window while scrolling through your post in the other, so please read it in the same manner, it'll probably be disjointed if you just read it like a real comment. For book/show fans, I tried to simplify it. Yes, there's usually a lot more to each of the reasons that each of the foods are so perfect so: feel free to nitpick (I am the nitpickiest) but I wasn't going for "here's the whole series, just read it".

    First off, your Knights of Ni cowl and Hufflepuff necklace are ON POINT for costumes. Your husband looks like he belongs in the north and you are pulling off a solid drunk Cersei (the queen [wife of the king] at the beginning of the show and also currently the queen [in her own right but after a few regencies for her kids]).

    The wine goblets are on point for a fantasy medievaly theme but the napkins are a bit off (the lion is perfect; the stag should be black on gold, the dragon red on black with three heads, and the wolf grey on white).

    HOT PIE!

    (Hot Pie is a character who used to be a baker's assistant. At one point, he makes a loaf of bread shaped like a direwolf for Arya Stark, whose house sigil is a direwolf. He likes hot pies (HOT PIE!) and whenever his name is mentioned, it must be shouted with gusto. But that's probably a house rule at my place for watchings.)

    Shirtless Jeff Goldblum has nothing to do with Game of Thrones but is always appropriate.

    the Menu
    One of the cultures in the show/books uses the phrase "valar morghulis" (all men must die) regularly; the response is "valar doaeris" (all men must serve). So the menu's "All Men Must Dine" is super excellent.

    One of the main families (the Lannisters) has a character who is a little person and one of the many nicknames he has is "the Imp".

    I don't know what the "Army of Unsullied" is as a food but the Unsullied are an especially skilled army of eunuch slaves.

    The character who teaches us to say "valar morghulis" speaks in the third person and often says "a man has no name"—this is picked up by other characters.

    "Honeyed chicken" is served at Winterfell in the first book, when the King comes to visit.

    The Tarlys get roasted by a dragon for failing to bend the knee to Daenerys (the woman with the dragons) in the show.

    HOT PIE!!

    In the show, Lady Olenna Tyrell, the badassest of badasses, tells the father of the person she killed, just after drinking the poison he brought to kill her that she killed his son. "It was me."

    One of the characters is named "Brienne of Tarth", so this is a pun.

    Sansa loves her some lemon cakes. Lordy, does the book go on about how much she done loves her lemon cakes.

    Samwell is a character and I can't come up with any association with blueberries other than that he eats them, I think, once at the Wall, but in sweet cream. I might be mixing that up with a different character.

    ::sobs uncontrollably:: Ned Stark gets killed and his head placed on a pike on the castle walls. ::sobbing continues::

    Oberyn fought a duel that he was basically guaranteed to win (poison on his weapon!!) and was super winning it, too, but then started monologuing and lost instead. Never monologue.

    "Bend the knee" is a common refrain in the show for people claiming power to try to get others to acknowledge that power. Mead is delicious.

    King Joffrey was killed by drinking wine with uh. something. in it. 10/10 do not drink.

    The Red Wedding is what separates the readers from the watchers. All us book readers knew exactly what was coming and may or may not have set up cameras to record our friends watching it happen. LOL! The first rule of Game of Thrones is: everybody dies. (The second rule is that not everyone stays dead………)

  8. Part II (I maxed out the character limit!)

    Back to Your Photos
    ::sobbing continues, great, wracking sobs::

    Most of these are explained in the above, but "Milk of the Poppy" is not a euphemism for anything other than opium. A lot of people in the book or show get it "for the pain" or to help them sleep.

    The Red Wedding looks delicious. Because it is delicious. Delicious to watch the joy drain from your friends' faces as they experience the pain you've held with you for SO MANY YEARS. (Robb Stark promised to wed a daughter of Lord Frey but went off to war and had sex. Being more honorable than sensible, he married her. Lord Frey was not pleased. They quick-switched out the grooms to appease Lord Frey. Lord Frey was not appeased. Halfway through the celebration, after the wedding, the shitty-ass minstrels turned out to be archers and killed everyone. Everyone.

    Snakes are probably for Oberyn because his 6 (I think?) bastard daughters are known as "the Sand Snakes" and in the books are amazing and bad ass and in the TV show were terrible.


    Also: you quoted the book and the show!! There is a moment when Cersei is made to walk, naked, through the streets of Kings Landing (the capitol city), as punishment for twincest, as a nun walks behind her ringing a bell and saying "Shame. �� Shame. �� Shame. ��"

    Also, I love the glasses on the salad, that's pretty epic.

    Beef and bacon pie is mentioned in the books. There is so much food in the books. Half the fun of throwing Game of Thrones parties is deciding what to cook and there's so much to choose from! Baratheon is the house of the King at the start of the books/show—I don't remember any particular association with beef and bacon pie but he did love him some food. And was killed by a boar, so there's that.

    Okay: in the books, in retaliation for the Red Wedding, one of the staunchest allies of the Starks kills three of Lord Frey's [adult, if that matters] children and bakes them each into a pie "as big as a wagon wheel" and brings them to serve at the wedding of Lord Bolton's son to Arya Stark. Lord Bolton was also involved in betraying the Starks at the Red Wedding and Lord Frey is present at the Bolton/Stark wedding.
    In the show, in retaliation for the Red Wedding, Arya Stark disguises herself as a kitchen maid, kills Lord Frey's sons, and bakes them into a single pie that she serves to Lord Frey, before slitting his throat for sweet, sweet justice.

    Just: were you sure it was beef curry? Really sure?

    "Morbidly hilarious" is kind of the theme of how you have to approach the show/books or you'll just kill yourself.

    HOT PIE!!
    (These are some bomb-ass direwolf breads, they are not easy to do.)

    ::gentle sobbing while looking at your dessert plate::

    Oberyn, as noted above, was expected to win a duel. But at the end, he monologued, got distracted, and this opponent, weaponless, grabbed his skull and POPPED IT. Thumbs through the eyes. As you did to your dessert. There was much screaming. Both on and off screen.

    This is amazing and I'm so pleased you got experience it. This, for sure, is party goals.

  9. I am in awe. I cannot believe how much work it would be to pull this all together. I am so hungry right now and I literally just finished my lunch. What an amazing event!

  10. This is literally the best GoT Thing I've ever seen

  11. I'm not a GoT watcher either but it looks like it was an awesome party with pretty awesome people. That's enough for me! ;)

  12. Some recipes, like the honeyed chicken and Sansa's lemon cakes, you can find in the incredible cookbook "A Feast of Ice and Fire". They originated on the blog Inn at the Crossroads, where some more GoT and other geeky recipes are available :)

  13. Holy cow, I'm amazed by all that food! I don't suppose John and Anna available to come up to Canada and cater my next party?

    Thanks for sharing this, I always love to see these fandom parties, even if they're for fandoms I'm not a part of.

  14. That party looked so much fun! And the food looked delicious! [psst: for the next time you're invited to a theme party you don't know, Wikipedia is your friend.] And congrats on winning the glasses too.

  15. Wow. Just wow. I have neither the time nor the patience to pull something like this off, so I am in awe of people who do. SO. MANY. PUNS. Regorama explained pretty well, I think. So awesome you two had a good time and I'm glad you won the game.
    Maureen S

  16. This is the best thing I have ever seen, after your Harry Potter parties! So funny and clever. I love it.

  17. This is, truly, epic! I just finished watching GOT from the beginning, and the references are spot on! The dire wolf bread looks perfect. And I laughed a lot at the Oberyn Surprise. So wrong.

    I am also someone very squeamish, but since I love epic fantasy, I finally just watched it on my computer where I could turn the screen away and the sound down whenever it got to be too much. Really, there isn't as much gore as you might expect. I'd say, for every 60 minutes of show, you get maybe 2-5 minutes of gruesome, depending on the episode (some of the battle episodes have more, obviously!) and that leaves plenty of great character work. Maybe give it a try? Like I said, I am super squeamish, but now I am a huge fan.

  18. Okay, now I'm really glad I do NOT watch GOT. I am at Jen and John's level of sensitivity to violence.

  19. These are AMAZING! Your friends are so epic! And yeah, GOT fans have a very morbid sense of humor. You kind of have to when you're fans of a show with a motto of "everybody dies." :)

  20. This is the most amazing dinner party ever! So epic!

  21. Awesome meal. Others answered most everything so I'll just say that I think shirtless Jeff Goldblum is representing Jon Snow.

  22. Lucky lucky Jen! What a terrific party! What amazing and generous hosts! EPIC!!!

  23. Since everything else has been covered, and to give credit where it's due, the Mr. Toad art is by Heather Theurer. She paints Disney characters realistically in acrylic. HEATHER THEURER
    Follow the link on that page to her new collaborative website to see her newest pieces featuring Dumbo and Lady & the Tramp!

  24. I don't watch GoT but real fans may want to win this:

  25. Estonians make the best food! Ask Anna to make you some Pirukad!!! We make our both deep fried and baked and my sister makes a killer vegan version.

  26. Not a GoT person -at all, same reasons as You and John, but just wow, what a party!

    That, and all I could hear in my head when you were describing the "Ned on a Pike" cake pop was a pretty ticked off Scottish 5th grade boy trying his best to get in the last insult:

    "Yah? Weel YUUUR a chucklut cuvuhed dunnit hull!"

    1. hahaha! Why do I hear Groundskeeper Willie?

  27. Did you realise you were making a GoT reference/joke when you typed "Shame! SHAAAAAAME."?

    Also, this party looks incredible. I'm just a wee bit jealous of all that amazing looking food.


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