Every family has that point during the summer where its members are so buried in summer camps, conflicting vacation plans, and "oh crap that list of things I planned to do over the summer isn't getting any shorter" that everything else gets shoved to the back burner. For my family, it's this week. Thus, instead of 1200 words about feminism, theology, or writing theory,  I present the Song of Ice and Fire Drinking Game: Dunk and Egg Edition!

If you haven't read the Dunk and Egg novellas (which are now available in one book), I highly recommend them. They're good for the Song of Ice and Fire reader who's trying to decide whether to stick a toe into the Olympic swimming pool of ancillary materials, the Game of Thrones watcher who's thinking about reading  the books but doesn't have time for a thousand-page door stop, or the fantasy fan who has no exposure to either the show or the books, is curious about them, but is daunted by the length of both series. The AV Club listed the first Dunk and Egg novella, "The Hedge Knight," as a gateway to George R. R. Martin's work because it nicely compresses the themes and tone of Westeros into a bite-sized, pleasant piece (the novella collection clocks in at 368 pages for three novellas, and that's with illustrations at least every five pages and  generously sized print.)

The novellas are also a lovely read for anyone who mostly enjoys Game of Thrones, but wishes it weren't so darned Game of Thrones all the time. They have complex situations and shades of grey, but also some genuinely heroic heroes and genuinely villainous villains--and the villains don't have to prove how bad they are by eating people's faces and raping every woman in sight.  (In fact, I don't recall a single incident of, or even allusion to, sexual violence in any of the three novellas. The closest we get is a woman who's almost forced into an arranged marriage to a man she despises, but even that doesn't  happen, and he doesn't spend the whole time leering about how much he's going to rock their wedding night.) Endings are invariably bittersweet, but not to the point where the protagonist is decapitated in  front of a jeering crowd. And perhaps most importantly, for the first time since Storm of Swords, Martin seems to be having fun writing these. The last two Song of Ice and Fire  books felt like something Martin was dutifully crossing off  his list of chores. Dunk and Egg never does.

And  now, without further ado, the drinking game!

Take a drink every time. . .

. . . someone comments on Dunk's height.

. . . you recognize a house name from Song of Ice and Fire.
  • If you actually recognize where you know the name from ("Hey, it's the Freys!") rather than just vaguely knowing they sound familiar from somewhere ("Oh, the Crakehalls. Right. Who are they again?"), drink twice.
  • If you recognize a specific character from their being mentioned in Song of Ice and Fire, drink three times.

. . . Dunk threatens to give Egg a  clout on the ear.
  • If he actually gives him a clout on the ear, finish the bottle.

. . . any of the following phrases appears:
  • "Dunk the lunk." 
  • "Thick as a castle wall." (Thus, if you get "Dunk the lunk, thick as a castle wall," drink twice.)
  • "Tanselle Too-Tall they called her, but she was not too tall for me."
  • "How  many eyes does Bloodraven have? A thousand eyes, and one."

. . . you have to reread the paragraphs in The Hedge Knight  laying out  the current Targaryen family situation to get the brothers straight.

. . . Egg asks to use his boot.
  • If he actually uses it, drink twice.

. . . the sexual politics between Dunk and Rohanne get creepy.  (Or just save yourself time and drink every  time they have a scene together.)

. . . John the Fiddler hits on Dunk.

. . . Egg calls Dunk on  having a terrible idea in The Mystery Knight  and is ignored.

. . . Egg is the one with a terrible idea. 

What else should be on the list?
 
 
With the new season of Game of Thrones upon us, I thought  I'd dust off the drinking game I made the last time I reread the books. Spoiler-free.

Take a drink every time . . .

. . .  a new character is named.

. . .  a named character dies.

--If it's the significant other of a viewpoint character, drink twice.

--If they come back from the dead, as a wight or otherwise, drink twice.

--If it's a viewpoint character, finish the bottle. (Prologue viewpoint characters don't count. That's just a given.)

. . .  a new incestuous couple is mentioned.

. . .  there's a sex scene.

--If it involves Dany or Cersei, drink twice.

--If the phrase "she was sopping wet down there" appears, drink twice.

--If it gives you a hint as to one of GRRM's fetishes (like lesbianism or lactation) drink twice.

. . . a nipple is pinched, tweaked or twisted.

--If it actually happens in a sex scene, drink twice.

. . . a course in a feast is lovingly described.

--If the course is lemon cakes, ribs in a crust of garlic and herbs, mashed turnips with butter, cheese and olives, lamprey pie or a Dornish red, drink twice.

. . . one of the following phrases is uttered:

--"Abominations born of incest."

--"It is known."

--"You know nothing, Jon Snow."

--"Winter is coming."

--"I want to see/make him/the bad man fly."

--"The night is dark and full of terrors."

--"Sweet sister"/"Sweet brother."

--"Wolfskin cloak."

. . . Arya picks up a new pseudonym.

. . . we're reminded that a long summer means a long winter.

. . . Cersei incorrectly thinks of something as exactly what her father would do.

. . . the direwolves howl. And howl. And howl some more. 

.  . . ravens deliver information at the speed of Twitter.

. . . you want to punch Bran, Catelyn or Arianne in the face.

Did I miss anything?