5 Ways to Prepare for Game of Thrones Season 7

#PrepareForWinter

It’s been a long summer, but winter is finally here—and this might be the first (and only) time we’re actually excited for it.

Game of Thrones season seven is premiering July 16, and it promises to be the only thing that anyone will talk about until the end of summer. That means it’s time to straighten out your Starks from your Lannisters, or risk making a fool of yourself at the water cooler. But don’t worry if you can’t remember who’s dead, who’s alive, and who’s somewhere in limbo (*cough* Jon Snow)—even die hard Thronies need a refresher every once and a while.

Our selected prep tools will be be judged and ranked—because if GoT taught us anything, it’s that everything works best as a hierarchy. So take notes: the night is dark and full of terrors, and winter is surely going to be worse. (It better be, after six years of hype.)

5. Rewatch seasons 1 – 6

Okay, so this will take you some time: 60 episodes x 60 minutes/episode = 3600 minutes = 60 hours. Maybe you started reviewing your Westeros history six weeks ago (per HBO’s suggestion), or maybe you’ve procrastinated your prep work. With three days to go, it’s definitely probably still possible to start at the beginning and fit it all in. Binge-watching TV is a sport, and it must be taken seriously. There’s no time to sleep when winter is coming.

4. Game of Thrones “Beginner’s Guide: Uncensored”

Voiced by the legendary Samuel L. Jackson, this recap of seasons one to five calls out a lot of the shows “motherf*ckers.” It’s hilarious, accurate and less than ten minutes—leaving you lots of time to revisit all ten episodes of season six.

3. Rewatch only the most essential episodes

Time Magazine compiled a comprehensive list of the series’ 20 most important episodes, and we couldn’t agree more with their choices. From “Winter is Coming” (season one, episode one) to “The Rains of Castamere” (season three, episode nine), these 20 hours of murder, magic, swordplay and sex will update you on who’s sleeping with who, who’s fighting with who and who’s still alive.

2. Read NY Times “Watching” recaps

A lot of media outlets are posting lengthy recaps to get their readers ready for winter. Others (us included) are lazy and will point you in the direction of those who can do the job better. Case in point: The New York TimesNYT Watching use videos, headings and bullet-points to make your GoT review feel less like homework. The site is also launching a GoT newsletter with the premiere of season seven, which we will definitely be subscribing to. It promises to be useful and brief, pulling interviews, explainers, essays and theories from across the web and sending them via raven to your email inbox.

1. Wrap-up rap

Condense six seasons into a four-minute clip and make it rhyme? Honestly, the Seven Kingdoms don’t get much better than this.