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.

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Accountability seems to be lacking. Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images

Did you catch exiled Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow, starting his "Redemption Tour 2020," doing his best imitation of Sgt. Schultz from the classic sitcom Hogan's Heroes?

"I see nothing. I hear nothing."

Luhnow sat for 37 minutes (the extended director's cut on click2houston.com) with Channel 2 sports reporter Vanessa Richardson and insisted that he played no part in the Astros 2017-18 illegal sign-stealing operation, and didn't deserve to be suspended for one year by baseball, and ultimately fired by Astros owner Jim Crane.

"I didn't know."

"I wasn't aware."

"I wasn't involved."

"Had I known about it, I would have stopped it."

"I was punished for something I didn't do."

Remember, Luhnow wasn't just the Astros general manager, he also held the title of President of Baseball Operations, responsible for every action that took place at Minute Maid Park, on the field, in the dugout, clubhouse, bullpen and boardroom.

Everybody else seemed to know, including field manager A.J. Hinch, who admitted that he knew the Astros were cheating, tried to stop it, but couldn't.

That's some leadership that Astros had in 2017-18. A manager who couldn't get his players to stop cheating, and a general manager who claims he didn't know. The inmates truly were running the asylum.

If Luhnow is telling the truth, that makes him one monkey who saw no evil, heard no evil and spoke no evil.

On one hand, Luhnow takes credit for building a supremely gifted Astros team that has made four consecutive American League Championship Series, won two American League pennants, and captured Houston's first World Series title in 2017.

One commercial break later, he's swearing that he didn't have a clue that his team was committing baseball's crime of the century – which ultimately cost the Astros their manager, general manager, a $5 million fine, and four draft picks.

Which is it, was Luhnow a detached genius, incredibly naïve or unfortunate scapegoat?

Luhnow claimed that an honest investigation by MLB would have determined that he was merely an innocent bystander to the scandal. He told baseball commissioner Rob Manfred that he was willing to take a lie detector test to prove it, but Manfred declined his offer.

OK, Manfred said a lie detector test wasn't necessary. Why didn't Luhnow do it anyway? It might have helped mitigate some of his sentence.

Put it this way, I work at Gow Media World Headquarters in Houston. If the boss brought me into his office and said he was firing me because I was stealing equipment, or missing deadlines or harassing other employees … and I was innocent, I holler to the high heavens that I was fired unjustly. I'd hire Jim Adler, the Tough Texas Lawyer, to sue everybody who ever touched a baseball for wrongful termination, defamation of character and a hundred other things. I wouldn't take a called third strike and wait 10 months to speak up.

Right now, Luhnow's once-brilliant reputation is sullied. He's on the outside of baseball looking in. Luhnow's protestation of innocence reminds me of Jose Canseco's book, Juiced, in 2005, where the slugger claimed that steroid use was rampant in the big leagues. And he named names.

Accused players bleated that they were innocent, that Canseco was a bad apple who made up stories to cover his own use of banned drugs.

Here's when I knew that Canseco, while a rat, was right – when the accused steroid users screamed bloody murder, but didn't sue Canseco. If somebody accused you of a crime that you didn't commit, a crime that cost you your job and legacy, a crime that might keep you out of the Hall of Fame of your profession, would you stay silent for almost a year and take the punishment lying down?

We may never know if Luhnow knew or didn't know that his Astros were cheating. It's possible that he's telling the truth now. His teary-eyed interview was convincing in parts. But accepting punishment for something you didn't do, and not fighting back – it's not a good look.

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