WINTER IS COMING

9 fiery Game of Thrones watch parties in Houston

Here's where to catch Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen on Sunday. Photo courtesy of HBO

This article originally appeared on CultureMap and was written by Craig D. Lindsey.

Sadly, for millions of worldwide fans, Game of Thrones is coming to an end this year.

The immensely popular, Emmy-winning HBO series (based on George R.R. Martin's still-going A Song of Ice and Fire novels) will close out its run with an eighth season of only six episodes. This will be everybody's last chance to catch Jon Snow, Daenerys Targaryen, Cersei Lannister (her trifling!), and all the other Westeros-based characters you have followed throughout the years.

If you would like to celebrate this show's final season by watching the season premiere on Sunday, April 14 night with a bunch of like-minded individuals, presumably under the influence of alcohol, are you in luck! Here is a rundown of watch parties in and around Houston, where you can take in all of the epic fantasy madness.

Camerata at Paulie's

The Montrose wine bar will be using its watch party as a good time to pour rustic reds and powerful whites from France's Rhône Valley. (If you haven't guessed it already, this party is called the "Game of Rhones Season Premiere.") And feel free to dress as your favorite character. 8-9 pm.

Chuck's Sports Bar & Memorabilia

This League City destination will officially become "Chuckstros" for its watch party, asking all naives and surfs to join "The Chuck's Watch." (Is this all corny? Yes, but we'll let it slide.) There will also be food and drink specials all night. 5-11 pm.

Chuy Benitez's Backyard

Honestly, we don't know who this dude is, but it appears he wants people to know about the watch party that he'll be having in his backyard. Bring your own food, beverages and lawn chairs, but he will have crawfish for those who request it beforehand. 7:30-11:30 pm.

Exit 73 Bar & Grill

Over in Spring, this place will have a full-on feast during its watch party. People can gorge on Targaryen turkey legs, Baratheon burgers, and Theon Greyjoy's sausage-on-a-stick. (That's messed up, man.) If you feel like it, you can also dress as your favorite character. 8-11 pm.

Hotel Ylem

This spot will have a watch party for every episode of Thrones' final season, complete with a themed cocktail/mocktail menu, a rewatch of the previous episode before the new episode starts and dishes from the Chef on the Run Halal food truck. Of course, you can also dress as your favorite character. 6-9 pm.

Liberty Station

Not only will this bar have a watch party, projected onto a large screen, there will also be a pre-show trivia night. Teams of six or fewer will be able to compete, and prizes will go to the top three teams. Trivia starts at 6 and will be finished before the show airs. 6-10 pm.

Continue reading on CultureMap to learn about three more spots to catch Game of Thrones.

Every-Thing Sports

"You're not a real fan" guy is a dumbass

Photo Credit: Jermaine Every

Don't you hate it when people try to tell you how you should feel? Or how about when they try telling you what they think you should be doing? Unsolicited opinions are the new wave of social media these days. Hop on Twitter, Facebook, or any social media platform, and you'll see/hear all kinds of them.

Last week, there was a a bit of a kerfuffle on social media here in Houston. Some members of the local sports media (John Lopez and Landry Locker) made statements questioning the fandom of Rockets fans. They are under the unfortunate impression that if you watched the season premiere of Game of Thrones instead of watching the beginning of the Rockets opening playoff game, you're not a real fan and I couldn't disagree more.

"You're not a real fan" guy is a dumbass! That statement is usually followed by something extremely stupid, highly regrettable, and will often be very hot take worthy. Telling someone how to be a "real fan" or questioning their fandom on the basis of them choosing to watch something else because they'll miss the beginning of an opening round playoff game might be peak dumbassery. Don't get me wrong. There are times when telling someone they're not a real fan is absolutely necessary.

For example: I'm a lifelong Saints fan. When the Falcons made it to the Super Bowl and were set to face the Patriots, I wanted to vomit. Most people hate the Patriots because they're a dynasty. Others hate them because of the various scandals accusing them, or being found guilty, of cheating. My son said he was rooting for the Falcons and I lost my mind! No self-respecting Saints fan would ever under any circumstance root for the hated Falcons! That's like a Texans fan rooting for the Titans, or a Longhorn fan rooting for the Sooners! My wife told me I was being unreasonable, but my son understood where I was coming from. I had to educate him as to why it was like cursing in church to root for the Falcons.

Outside of rooting for your team's hated rival, there aren't many situations that your fandom can be called into question. When people openly root for their team to lose games for the sake of better draft position, they aren't violating any fan code of conduct. This happens often when a team is so bad, the fan would rather see them lose now in order to draft a player that could help them win in the future. Some would disagree with me here and that's okay. But when leagues find a better way to avoid tanking, this behavior will forever be a part of fan culture (side note: the NBA now gives the three worst teams an equal shot at winning the draft lottery, while the NFL and MLB continue to reward that top slot based off record continuing to prove why the NBA is constantly ahead of the curve).

Another form of potentially questionable fandom is wishing for the firing or trade of a team's coach, front office staff, and players. Fans will often get frustrated with how things are going and demand change. If a general manager sucks at player acquisition, or a coach can't get the most out of his players, or a player isn't living up to potential or a lofty contract, fans will call for their heads. This too is born of frustration, and isn't a knock against fandom. If anything, it shows a higher level of passion than casual fans exhibit.

When I saw there was going to be a conflict between the Rockets and Game of Thrones, I scoffed at the notion of choosing which one to look at live. I'm fortunate enough to have two TVs in my room (pictured above), so I was able to watch both. I often do this because there's too much to watch sometimes, I'm playing my PS4 while something is on, or I'm simply feeding my ADD. The Rockets TV was on mute because I can follow a game without the sound, and because Game of Thrones was my priority. Lots of people DVR'd the game or picked it up after switching over. None of this makes you less of a fan. In fact, I question the person who calls out the fan for how they show their support more than the fan themselves.

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