Oh, those crazy Westerosi. Nominated for a record 16 Emmys, Game of Thrones is killing it both in the ratings and in the public consciousness. Chances are your friends, your coworkers, and even your mom knows who the Lannisters are and was totally shocked by the Red Wedding.
However, like most hugely popular series, a lot of people don’t pay attention to the details. Here are seven ways your friends – or maybe even you – are doing Game of Thrones wrong, one for each of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros:
1. Her name is not Khaleesi
Let me quote the Emmy site: “Game of Thrones” would likely be the runaway favorite in every category. One needs to look no further than the spike in baby girls named “Khaleesi.”
No. “Khaleesi” is not a proper name, it’s a Dothraki word that means “queen.”
Her name is officially Daenerys Stormborm of House Targaryen, Queen of the Andals and the First Men, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Mother of Dragons.
You can call her Dany for short.
2. And you’re pronouncing Khaleesi wrong anyway
If you’re pronouncing Khaleesi the way Jorah Mormont says it, you’re doing it wrong. The word is actually pronounced KHAL-lay-see, to rhyme with “fallacy,” according to Dothraki language creator David Peterson.
The fact that Jorah doesn’t get it right says something about his character, of course. And yours.
3. You probably don’t want to name your daughter Arya either
I know that Maisie Williams’ Arya is a girl-power heroine extraordinare, but… seriously. You don’t. If you don’t know why, read the books.
4. There are no zombies in Game of Thrones
Those mysterious creatures north of the Wall are not zombies–sorry, Walking Dead fans. And there are actually two different kinds of them. The first kind, called Wights, are the standard “reanimated dead people” that can be killed by fire. However, they differ from zombies in that they do not spread virally by biting; instead, Wights are created by the other mysterious creatures, the big scary skeleton ones called either the Others or the White Walkers, that can only be killed by dragonglass/obsidian.
5. Stop shipping SanSan
The words came down from George R. R. Martin himself: please stop dreaming of a future in which Sansa Stark and Sandor Clegane aka “The Hound” live happily ever after. All of the YouTube supercuts in the world won’t make it happen.
6. Book readers: enough with the conspiracy theories already
No, I’m not talking about R+L=J. I mean the whole “I think HBO is going to use Ygritte in Val’s role” or “I think the Purple Wedding needs to happen in Season 4 Episode 1.”
Has HBO disappointed you yet? I don’t think so. Let them do their jobs.
7. Don’t assume the story is about the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros
There’s a problem with getting attached to things in Game of Thrones. Every time you find yourself trusting someone, they change. Every time you find yourself loving a character, they die. Every time you find yourself thinking the Starks are good, the Lannisters are evil, and the Greyjoys are cruel, someone does something to make it a bit more complicated.
Now you’ve got to extrapolate that to the larger plot you’ve seen so far: the battle among the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros for the Iron Throne. If you think that’s what Game of Thrones is about, and what you’re going to see next season, you’re doing Game of Thrones wrong.