5 Ways You Should Be Preparing for Game of Thrones Season 8

Do your homework #FORTHETHRONE

Game of Thrones season eight is premiering on April 14, and it promises to be just about the only thing anyone will talk about until the end of summer. (And remember: in Westeros, summer can last an entire generation.)

That means it’s time to straighten out your Grey Joy from your Greyworms, your Hot Pie from your Hound and your Night King from your King’s Landing. A lot has happened, and if you’re having trouble remembering who’s dead, who’s fighting and who’s related to who, you aren’t alone. And the good news is, the entire internet is with you, putting together recaps, raps and watch lists to get everyone ready for the great war.

Our selected final season prep tools are judged and ranked—because if GoT taught us anything, it’s that everything belongs in a hierarchy. So take notes, and choose your path wisely: the night is dark and full of terrors, and winter is only going to get worse.

5. Rewatch seasons 1 – 7

Maybe you started reviewing your Westeros history several weeks ago (per HBO’s suggestion), or maybe you’ve procrastinated your prep work. With just over a week to go, it’s still very possible to start at the beginning and fit it all in.

There are 67 existing episodes, each at approximately one hour. According to bingeclock, it will take full two days, 15 hours and 30 minutes to get completely caught up. Are you willing to sacrifice sleep, socializing and possibly employment in the name of the iron throne? If not, keep reading.

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

Voiced by 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 long—leaving you lots of time to revisit seasons six and seven in their full glory.

3. Rewatch only the most essential episodes

Crave—the only Canadian streaming service with Game of Thrones in their catalogue—compiled the top 12 most essential episodes, and we couldn’t agree more with their choices. From “The Rains of Castamere” (season three, episode nine) to “The Battle of the Bastards” (season six, episode nine), these 12 or so hours of murder, magic, swordplay and sex will refresh your memory.

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 launched a GoT newsletter with the premiere of season seven, which pulls interviews, explainers, essays and theories from across the web and sending them via raven to your email inbox.

1. Wrap-up rap

Game of Thrones is full of twists: the dead is never really dead; the king is never king for long; and that couple you’re shipping? Yeah, they’re related. But the most unpredictable bit of all: it’s possible to condense six seasons into a four-minute clip and make it rhyme. The Seven Kingdoms are beautifully complex—but they aren’t always entertaining. This is. Rewatch this rap a few times and then revisit all seven episodes of season seven, and you’re set to go.

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