“When you play the game of thrones, you win or you die,” Cersei Lannister ominously tells Ned Stark in the first season of HBO’s Game of Thrones. When you play this impossible Game of Thrones quiz, however, you just die. Repeatedly.
With less than four weeks to go until the show’s long-awaited seventh and penultimate season, HBO is ratcheting up its marketing material. Most of it has been predictable: teaser posters that look cool but reveal nothing, cross-promotions with professional sports leagues, and, of course, an enticing trailer (watched 61 million times in the first 24 hours after debuting, a TV trailer record).
Its latest promotion, though, is morbid fun and likely to be a hit with the show’s large fandom of masochists. HBO’s on-demand service in the Nordic countries sponsored this 60-question quiz spanning all six seasons of the show. Each question corresponds to one episode, and if you get it wrong, King Joffrey kills you, and you must start from the beginning. There are no lifelines or do-overs.
The first time I played, I survived one episode. After several feeble attempts, I made it through 17 episodes, which, at least, is much longer than Ned Stark survived on the series.
Perhaps even more than usual, HBO is inundating social media with Game of Thrones material in the lead-up to the season seven premiere. When the network announced last year that the show would be delayed a few months (it normally debuts in April each year), fans were naturally disappointed. The delay also took the show out of the running for this year’s Emmys.
But airing in the summer has its advantages. Barring another improbable hit like Netflix’s Stranger Things, Thrones won’t have to share the zeitgeist with any other show. It’s got the season all to itself. Here’s what you may have missed in the past few months of GoT news:
- HBO confirmed that, while there are fewer total episodes this season (just seven), each one is very long.
- The official poster unsurprisingly teased a struggle between ice and fire.
- HBO partnered with several Major League Baseball teams to produce tie-in promotions like theme nights, ticket packages, and giveaways.
- In an effort to prevent spoiler leaks, the network said that it won’t send episodes to critics in advance (it didn’t last year either).
- Empire Magazine teased an in-depth preview of the new season.
- Someone made a video compiling all 150,966 of the show’s deaths.
- HBO released some new photos.
- The Ringer announced a new podcast breaking down every single existing episode of the show.
- A Game of Thrones-themed pop-up bar will open in Washington, DC on June 21.