How to Brave a Polar Vortex: Tips from 'Game of Thrones'

Winter is coming. And, thanks to global warming, who knows what terrors it will bring. Ice storms? Maybe. Below freezing temperatures from Thanksgiving to Cinco de Mayo? Could be. A race of snow monsters with the power to transform the dead into icebox zombies? It’s possible. Or worse, perhaps the very worst thing that could possibly happen ever: another polar vortex.

I know. If you’re like me, you’re wondering if you’re going to survive. You’re thinking about grabbing your passport and making a dash for the Equator. You’ll open a surfing supply shop that only caters to attractive people on a beach. Change your name to Lola Falula Fantastico. Drink cerveza in a sarong. Tan.  

Or you can grit your teeth and take this winter like a man. Like a big, wide, old man with a penchant for medieval dialogue. You know who I'm talking about. It's Mr. George R. R. Martin.  You know how I know? I watch HBO. I mean, I read the books.

So here it is. Some practical advice on how to keep your spirits high and your ass dry when the inevitable mind-numbing cold descends, courtesy of your favorite serial involving dragons and pointy thrones. Because I don’t know if you got the memo, but...


“There is only one god and his name is Death. And there is only one thing we say to Death: ‘Not today.’” —Syrio Forel

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Translation: Avoid hypothermia. Wear long underwear. 


"When you play a game of thrones you win or you die.” —Cersei Lannister

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Translation: Don’t do your IKEA shopping in the polar vortex unless you’re really confident. 


“The man who passes the sentence should swing the sword." —Ned Stark

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Translation: This Thanksgiving, try hunting a local turkey and beheading it yourself. 

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... And don't be afraid to do the nose-to-tail thing. 


“A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.”  Tyrion Lannister

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Translation: Might Mr. Lannister suggest the Game of Thrones series?


“Everything's better with some wine in the belly.” —Tyrion Lannister

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Translation: Everything’s better with some wine in the belly.


“Nothing burns like the cold. But only for a while. Then it gets inside you and starts to fill you up, and after a while you don't have the strength to fight it.”  —Gared

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Translation: Once again, long underwear. Long underwear. Long underwear. 


“A bruise is a lesson... and each lesson makes us better.” Arya Stark

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Translation: Exercise keeps you warm. This winter, make Fight Club happen. 


"When the snows fall and the white winds blow, the lone wolf dies but the pack survives.”  Ned Stark

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Translation: Or maybe just a book club? 

"Fear is for the long night, when the sun hides its face for years at a time, and little children are born and live and die all in darkness while the direwolves grow gaunt and hungry, and the white walkers move through the woods.” Old Nan

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Translation: Scared yet? 


"Every flight begins with a fall." Crow

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Translation: Just accept that you will fall into a pile of snow on your way to work and have wet-butt for the rest of the day. 


“Never forget what you are, for surely the world will not. Make it your strength. Then it can never be your weakness.” Tyrion Lannister

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Translation: Silk long underwear. I feel like you’re not listening.


“Most men would rather deny a hard truth than face it.” Tyrion Lannister

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Translation: How can there be global warming when it's snowing outside my house? 


"Winter is coming." George R. R. Martin 

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Translation: Winter is coming... bitches. 

Images: HBO, Giphy (14)

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