The final season of Game of Thrones is fast approaching, and given the fact that it’s one of the most popular shows on television you’re going to have to step your game way the fuck up when trying to show up your friends and colleagues as a truly hip superfan.

You see, it’s really difficult to be a hip person who resides in the outskirts of mainstream culture when you are SUPER into something that has become totally mainstream. This has the potential to put you in a “credibility limbo” where you may appear less hip for liking something that has since become an integral part of the fabric of pop culture. In cases where said thing has the aspect of “camp” to it, it can be acceptable and less of a threat to your hipness but when we’re talking about an award winning series that has captured the hearts of everyone from your redneck neighbor to your grandma, the threat is a little more salient.

However you needn’t fear, sweet child of summer. The following is a list of ways to establish yourself as a truly hip Game of Thrones fan without blending into the mindless herd of all the mainstream fans that wouldn’t know a Walder Frey from a Walder Frey.

Be a Fan of the Source Material First

You’ve read the books, and it’s incredibly important that you take very available opportunity to bring this up in conversation. Yell, if necessary. Ensure you make the distinction by referring to the book series by its proper name, “A Song of Ice and Fire”. Should your conversation partner ask what you mean, explain the title difference, whilst informing them that you’ve read the books. Because you have! The books are better. And you know this. Because you’ve read them.

Always Show Allegiance to the Books

It is imperative that you make comments that show loyalty to the book series (because, again, you’ve read them). Talk incessantly about how the books are better. Refer to the Game of Thrones showrunners by name, as if you are old pals, and talk about how bad they shit the bed when it came to presenting (or not presenting) certain storylines. Tell people about how the books are so intricate in storyline that there’s no way a TV series could properly do it justice. Reference the mysterious storyline of Balerion the Cat if necessary. If an explanation requires more than a few minutes, just tell your conversation partner it’s too hard to explain and they should probably read the books. Like you have!

When Picking Your House Go Small or Go Home

Everyone picks Targaryen and I get it. Fire and Blood and all that. However you can really shove the fact that you’ve read the books up everyone’s asses if you insist on aligning yourself with some lesser known underrated house. House Valaryon perhaps? A seafaring house, related to the Targaryens, major players in the legendary Dance of Dragons battle, and most importantly obscure enough that if you choose them everyone will know that you have read the books. YOU’VE READ THE BOOKS!

Don’t go to Show Parties

If someone invites you to a Game of Thrones viewing party, slap them in the face with a copy of A Clash of Kings. You don’t need wolf cookies and red cocktails! What you need is for George R.R. Martin to WRITE ANOTHER FUCKING BOOK! Go home and read the excerpts from The Winds of Winter on his website and write a poem about waiting. Cry if necessary.

And if all else fails just remember this. You’ve read the books.

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