WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD IF YOU HAVE NOT SEEN THE END OF SEASON FIVE OF GAME OF THRONES
Winter is coming. Jon Snow has been stabbed enough times that we're (probably) sure he's dead. Melissandre realises her God may not be that crash hot after convincing Stannis he should sacrifice his daughter to ensure his victory, an action which leads to his wife's suicide and half his army deserting him. Arya is blinded as punishment for disobeying the Faceless Men. Daenarys has fallen into the hands of a large group of Dothraki. Sansa has just jumped a very long way to her freedom/ death? Cersei has just survived her degrading walk of shame and now has a very scary Mountain zombie at her disposal. So many cliffhangers, so much to be resolved...and you don't have Foxtel! What do you do?
1) Download season 6. Illegal. Yes, everyone is doing it, but technology is evolving to the degree that this can be tracked more and more easily. Would not recommend.
2) Find a friend who has Foxtel. Great if you can manage it. But people often don't want an intruder into their home every Monday night.
3) Wait till it comes out on DVD. Well, this is certainly legal, but can you really wait that long? How do you avoid all the spoilers being leaked all over social media before you get to experience the magic yourself?
4) Reserve yourself a spot at the Balmain Hotel to watch it live, with your Balmain of Thrones burger and goblet of wine. Tick, tick, tick, tick, tick!
Game of Thrones is awesome, but watching it with a large group of like-minded devotees is phenomenal. Other people pick up nuances which you might miss, and their chuckles alert you to detail you would otherwise have missed. And the room at the Balmain Hotel is comfortable, plush, and quite cosy for passing a cold night while catching up with your favourite TV show. Your only decision is whether to book a comfortable chair against the wall or the stools at the tables, which give a better view of the TV set.
A short bus ride from the city in the trendy enclave of Balmain, it's also very easy to get to on Mullens St. They screen the previous week's episode from 6.30pm - 7.30pm, and then the live episode from 7.30pm to 8.30pm. Don't worry about a pub atmosphere ruining your ability to pick up on the dialogue of the show. This one's for the fans - the volume is turned up, and the conversation is way done. It's almost like being at the movies.
A Lannister always pays his debts, but you're very unlikely to incur serious debts here. With dragon encrusted goblets of wine for $5, and a very generous Balmain of Thrones burger at $12, filled with crispy pork belly and lashings of spicy sauce with a basket of fries on the side, the victuals are plentiful and cheap.
As it started on May 2, you've only missed a couple of sessions, and with the repeats screened at 6.30pm, you can catch up a little. The 6.30pm screening when we went was half empty, but the 7.30pm screening seemed pretty full. So we'd recommend booking if you want to secure a table. If you think you can do better than attending Balmain of Thrones to satiate your Game of Thrones cravings....You know nothing.