For a show that has extremely violent scenes, and blood and gore in practically every episode, a lot of eating also happens on Game Of Thrones… well, probably more drinking, but there’s food too.
Since it’s the Season Six finale today, we look back at some of the food eaten on the show and that have been written about in the books. We’ve even prepared some of the dishes – the “modern” version, of course. The ideas for some of these dishes come from the Inn At The Crossroads (IATC) blog, which is inspired by the book series.
A direwolf-shaped bread was given to Arya Stark, when she was disguised as a boy, by her appropriately named companion Hot Pie (don’t you think our version pictured above looks more like a wolf than the baker’s?). At the time of writing, only two of the six direwolves are still alive. (We’re hoping Jon Snow’s Ghost plays a big part in the final episode; Arya Stark’s Nymeria seems to have vanished, but who knows, she may make an appearance again.)
One of the most extravagant foods that we’ve seen on Game of Thrones is the pigeon pie served at Joffrey’s wedding feast. The young king cuts it open with a single swing of his Valyrian steel sword, and out fly live pigeons – although the monster kills a few birds too. Nice going Joffrey, glad you liked your poisoned wine!
We’ve seen Arya Stark (with a version of the Princess Leia buns – not my favourite look!) peddling oysters, clams and cockles on the docks in Braavos, the Dothraki tearing into horse jerky, and plenty of bowls o’ brown – a cheap, meagre stew served in the slums.
Here are five other dishes from Game Of Thrones.
Beef and barley stew
Speaking of bowls o’ brown, there will be plenty of it in the colder north. For the poor, there would be a few root vegetables in the soup or stew but it would be bulked up with a grain like barley. Our stew here is the version for the wealthy, with meat in it. It looks just as brown though, right?
Since tableware and cutlery aren’t always an option, the stews would often be served in a bread bowl.
Lamb and onion pie
For me, the most touching scene in the sixth season of Game Of Thrones is when Sansa Stark and Jon Snow meet again at Castle Black. They pause for just a second when they stand face to face, then Sansa rushes into her half-brother’s arms and they hold on to each other in a loving embrace.
Later, when they are alone having a very meagre meal, they speak about their childhood and reminisce about the lamb pie with onions they used to get at Winterfell. The ingredients for our pie pastry are authentic for the period (made with suet), and the pie is hand-raised without a mould just like ye olde cooks would do it.
It is well-known that Sansa loves lemon cakes – she’s been served the delicacy several times on the show. Lemons do not grow in the north, where Sansa is from, and so these cakes are considered expensive treats that can only be enjoyed by upper-class noblewomen at refined social gatherings. The riff-raff will never taste it.
Lemon cake seems to make an appearance whenever there are “matters to discuss”, like when Olenna and Margaery Tyrell make nice with Sansa to get her to spill the beans on the evil Joffrey.
Roast meat and grains
Who can forget Daenerys, as the Khaleesi, eating the raw heart of a stallion? No problem for the mother of dragons, of course. But since she no longer has to live in a tent, she would dine more like a queen. Lots of little dishes – perhaps exotic fruit and tea eggs, as suggested in the IATC blog – would be prepared for her to nibble on.
For a more substantial meal, a dish of meat and grains seems likely. This roast chicken and orange couscous would also be standard fare in a place like Dorne. The constituent, the southernmost in the continent of Westeros, looks pretty much like Morocco and just like the real country, grows citrus fruits and spices.
According to the books, Sansa has her salad with “sweetgrass, spinach, and plums, sprinkled with crushed nuts”, while the salad her mother Catelyn likes is with “turnip greens and red fennel and sweetgrass”.
IATC suggests that the salad at Castle Black would have spinach, chickpeas and turnip greens – which is a little difficult to believe since it is so cold near The Wall, and these guys are too poor to buy any kind of greens, even if they could get it. Their staple meal would surely consist of bowls o’ brown and crusty bread? It’s a wonder Jon Snow could even lift his sword on such paltry sustenance.