The 7 Most Common Sexual Fantasies

“Are my sexual fantasies normal?” 

As a sex educator, this is one of the most common questions I get asked. A lot of people seem to be under the impression that their fantasies are “weird,” “deviant,” or “strange.” The truth, however, is that most of the things you’re fantasizing about are probably the same things that everyone else is fantasizing about, too.

I surveyed 4,175 Americans about their sexual fantasies for my book Tell Me What You Want and discovered that many of the fantasies long thought to be uncommon are actually quite popular, with few fantasies being truly rare. 

When I looked at people’s favorite fantasy of all time, I found that seven major themes emerged. And when it came to the remaining themes, even if it wasn’t their favorite fantasy, most people had fantasized about all of these things at least once before. Here are the seven things that almost everyone has fantasized about at one time or another:

1.) Multi-partner sex, or any sex act involving more than two people. Threesomes were the most popular form by far, but most people also reported having fantasized about larger groups, too.

2.) Power, control, and rough sex. Ever fantasized about anything that falls under the umbrella of BDSM? More than 90% of people across genders and sexual orientations had fantasized about this before, with bondage and taking on dominant or submissive roles being the most common forms.

3.) Novelty and adventure. Most people have had fantasies about mixing it up and trying new things, such as having sex in new locations—especially places where there’s a risk of being caught in the act.

4.) Taboos. There is a lot of erotic appeal in doing something we’re not “supposed” to do. Voyeurism (watching other people), exhibitionism (performing for other people), and fetishism were among the most commonly fantasized about taboos.

5.) Passion and romance. Almost everyone has fantasies about emotional fulfillment and connection sometimes—most commonly, wanting to feel wanted or desired.

6.) Non-monogamy. Most of us have imagined what it would be like to have one than one partner or relationship, such as being polyamorous or visiting a swinger’s club. 

7.) Pushing the boundaries of your gender role or sexuality. Our gender and sexual identities often put us into boxes that lead us to think we’re supposed to act in a certain way, but in our fantasies we’re often trying to break free of those constraints. For example, many cisgender people have fantasies about cross-dressing, and many heterosexually identified folks have fantasies about same-sex experiences. 

If you’ve ever had any of the above fantasies, you’re in good company. However, even if your fantasies are a little different or don’t fall into one of these categories, that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s anything wrong with you or that you have reason to worry.

There’s a widespread belief that rare and uncommon sexual interests are inherently pathological, but that’s not a good way to think about it. Whether a fantasy is common or uncommon really doesn’t have any bearing on whether it would be healthy or unhealthy to act out.  

More important than fantasy prevalence is whether the fantasy is consensual or non-consensual, and also whether it causes distress or harm. 

For example, most people who took my survey (60%) had fantasized about voyeurism. However, voyeurism was defined specifically as “spying on other people who are undressing or having sex.” In other words, it’s a non-consensual act. So just because it’s a common interest doesn’t mean it would be acceptable to act out in real life. 

By contrast, if we look at some of the less common fantasies, we see that even though they aren’t nearly as popular, they are consensual and don’t pose a risk of harm to the self or to others. Fantasies that fall in this category would include things like adult baby fantasies (dressing up and/or acting like as a child) and furry fantasies (dressing up as an animal to have sex), both of which were reported by about 1 in 10 participants. 

Certainly, there are some uncommon fantasies that shouldn’t ever be acted upon, such as pedophilia and necrophilia, which were actually among the rarest fantasies that emerged in my survey. Both are unquestionably non-consensual. 

However, as I hope my other examples have made clear, we shouldn’t be so quick to judge a fantasy based solely on its popularity. The key question should really be: what are the effects? 

It’s also important to highlight the distinction between fantasy and desire. Just because you’ve fantasized about something before doesn’t necessarily mean that you want to do it. 

Most people will have dark thoughts—sexual and non-sexual—that cross their mind sometimes. Thinking about something once doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong or that you’re a danger to society. However, when dark thoughts become a preoccupation or when they turn into desires, that’s a sign that it’s time to seek help. 

The main point here is that we shouldn’t be so quick to judge ourselves—and others—based on the types of fantasies we’ve had and we shouldn’t use fantasy popularity as the sole criterion for determining whether our fantasies are healthy or unhealthy.

Justin Lehmiller, PhD, is a research fellow at the Kinsey Institute and author of the blog Sex and Psychology and the book Tell Me What You Want: The Science of Sexual Desire and How It Can Help You Improve Your Sex Life, out now in paperback.

Images: Maru Lombardo / Unsplash

Read Chapter 1 Of ‘Chosen Ones’, The New Novel By ‘Divergent’ Author Veronica Roth

I know the world is feeling a little apocalyptic right now, and we all have our coping mechanisms for that. Maybe you read a fun, uplifting romance novel to make you believe in the power of love. Maybe you turn to murder thrillers to bring you comfort (weird flex, but ok). Or maybe you just lean into the dystopian feels and curl up with a nice post-apocalyptic fantasy novel. If that last one is your vibe, you’re going to want to get a copy of Veronica Roth’s adult debut, Chosen Onesout April 7.

Nine years ago (pause to cry about how old we are), Veronica Roth published Divergent, the first book in the young adult trilogy that became a #1 New York Times bestseller and was turned into the blockbuster hit movie starring Shailene Woodley. Chosen Ones is her adult debut, that catches up with a group of young adults, 10 years after they saved the world from total destruction. As they try to adjust into normal life, one of the Chosen Ones turns up dead, and they realize maybe the universe still needs saving after all. Chosen Ones comes out April 7, but you can read the first chapter below.

Chapter One

The Drain looked the same every time, with all the people screaming as they ran away from the giant dark cloud of chaos but never running fast enough. Getting swept up, their skin pulling away from bone while they were still alive to feel it, blood bursting from them like swatted mosquitoes, oh God.

Sloane was up and panting. Quiet, she told herself. Her toes curled under; the ground was cold here, in the Dark One’s house, and he had taken her boots. She had to find something heavy or something sharp — both was too much to ask for, obviously; she had never been that lucky.

She yanked open drawers, finding spoons, forks, spatulas. A handful of rubber bands. Chip clips. Why had he taken her boots? What did a mass murderer have to fear from a girl’s Doc Martens?

Hello, Sloane, he whispered in her ear, and she choked on a sob. Yanked open another drawer and found a line of handles, the blades buried in a plastic knife block. She was just pulling out the butcher knife when she heard something creak behind her, the pressure of a footstep.

Sloane spun around, her feet tacky on the linoleum, and swiped with the knife.

“Holy shit!” Matt caught her by the wrist, and for a moment they just stared at each other over their arms, over the knife.

Sloane gasped as reality trickled back in. She was not in the Dark One’s house, not in the past, not anywhere but in the apartment she shared with Matthew Weekes.

“Oh God.” Sloane’s hand went lax on the handle, and the knife clattered to the floor, bouncing between their feet. Matt put his hands on her shoulders, his grip warm.

“You there?” he said.

He had asked her that before, dozens of times. Their handler, Bert, had called her a lone wolf, and he rarely made her join the others in training or on missions. Let her do her thing, he had told Matt once it became clear that Matt was their leader. You’ll get better results that way. And Matt had, checking in with her only when he had to.

You there? Over the phone, in a whisper, in the dead of night, or right to her face when she spaced out on something. Sloane had been annoyed by the question at first. Of course I’m here, where the fuck else would I be? But now it meant he understood something about her that they’d never acknowledged: she couldn’t always say yes.

 “Yeah,” she said.

“Okay. Stay here, all right? I’ll get your medicine.”

Sloane braced herself on the marble counter. The knife lay at her feet, but she didn’t dare touch it again. She just waited, and breathed, and stared at the swirl of gray that reminded her of an old man in profile.

Matt came back with a little yellow pill in one hand and the water glass from her bedside table in the other. She took them both with shaking hands and swallowed the pill eagerly. Bring on the coasting calm of the benzodiazepine. She and Ines had drunkenly composed an ode to the pills once, hailing them for their pretty colors and their quick effects and the way they did what nothing else could.

She set the water glass down and slid to the floor. She could feel the cold through her pajama pants— the ones that had cats with laser eyes all over them — but it was grounding this time. Matt sat down next to the refrigerator in his boxers.

“Listen,” she started.

“You don’t have to say it.”

“Sure, I just almost stabbed you, but no apologies necessary.”

His eyes were soft. Worried. “I just want you to be okay.”

What had that awful article called him? “Quite possibly the kindest person alive”? She hadn’t disagreed with Rick Lane, Creepmaster 2000, on that point at least. Matt had eyebrows that squeezed together in the middle in a look of perpetual sympathy and the heart to match. He reached for the butcher knife that lay on the floor near her ankle. It was big, almost as long as his forearm.

Her eyes burned. She closed them. “I’m really sorry.”

“I know you don’t want to talk to me about it,” Matt said. “But what about someone else?”

“Like who?”

“Dr. Novak, maybe? She works with the VA, remember? We did that talk together at the juvenile detention center.”

“I’m not a soldier,” Sloane said.

“Yeah, but she knows about PTSD.”

She had never needed an official diagnosis — PTSD was definitely what she had. But it was strange to hear Matt say it so comfortably, like it was the flu.

“All right.” She shrugged. “I’ll call her in the morning.”

“Anyone would need therapy, you know,” he said. “After what we’ve all been through. I mean, Ines went.”

“Ines went, and she’s still booby-trapping her apartment like she’s living out a Home Alone fantasy,” Sloane said.

“Okay, so she’s a bad example.” The floodlight on the back stairs glowed through the windows, all orange-yellow against Matt’s dark skin.

“You’ve never needed it,” Sloane said.

He raised an eyebrow at her. “Where do you think I kept disappearing to the year after the Dark One died?”

“You told us you were going to doctor’s appointments.”

“What kind of doctor needs to see someone weekly for months?

“I don’t  know! I figured something was wrong with . . .”  Sloane gestured vaguely to her crotch. “You know. The boys or something.”

“Let me get this straight.” He was grinning. “You  thought I  had some kind of embarrassing medical condition that necessitated at least six months of regular doctor visits . . . and you never asked me about it?”

She suppressed a smile of her own. “You almost sound disappointed in me.”

“No, no. I’m just impressed.”

He had been thirteen and lanky when she met him, a body of sharp edges with no sense of where it began or ended, but he had always had that smile.

She had fallen in love with him half a dozen times before she knew she had — when he was screaming orders over the deafening wind of a Drain, keeping them all alive; when he stayed awake with her on long night drives through the country even after everyone else had fallen asleep; when he called his grandmother and his voice went soft. He never left anyone behind.

She curled her toes into the tile. “I’ve been before, you know. To therapy,” she said. “I went for a few months when we were sixteen.”

“You did?” He frowned a little. “You never told me that.”

There were a lot of things she hadn’t told him, hadn’t told anyone. “I didn’t want to worry anybody,” she said. “And I still don’t, so . . . just don’t mention this to the others, okay? I don’t want to see it in fucking Esquire with the headline ‘Rick Lane Told You So.’”

“Of course.” Matt took her hand and twisted their fingers together. “We should go to bed. We have to get up in four hours for the monument dedication.”

Sloane nodded, but they still sat on the kitchen floor until the medicine kicked in and she stopped shaking. Then Matt put the knife away, helped her up, and they both went back to bed.


October 4, 2019
Ms. Sloane Andrews


Reference: H-20XX-74545

Dear Ms. Andrews:

On 13 September 2019, the office of the Information and Privacy Coordinator received your 12 September 2019 Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request for information or records on Project Ringer.

Many of the requested records remain classified. However, due to your years of service to the United States government, we have granted you access to all but those requiring the highest level of security clearance. We searched our database of previously released records and located the enclosed documents, totaling 120 pages, which we believe to be responsive to your request. There is no charge for these documents.


Mara Sanchez

Information and Privacy Coordinator

Excerpted from Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth. Copyright © 2020 by Veronica Roth. Published and reprinted by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

Betches may receive a portion of revenue if you click a link and purchase a product or service. The links are independently placed and do not influence editorial content.

Does Ed Sheeran Even Go Here? ‘Game Of Thrones’ Recap

Welcome back to Westeros, the place where everything is made up but the tears are very, very real. We’ve waited. We’ve made predictions. We’ve read fan fiction. (Just kidding). ((Not kidding)). But at last, we’ve arrived. After what feels like an entire winter of suffering, Game of Thrones is back, and it’s not fucking around. With only one season left after this, shit is bound to start getting messy. You know, because everything has been so tame and mild-mannered up this point.

So without further ado, welcome back to our weekly Game of Thrones recaps. It’s this fun tradition where I spend three hours every Sunday meticulously taking notes and pissing off anyone who tries to watch an episode with me, just so some lifelong fan can pop up in the comments to criticize our analysis and let me know that I misspelled a made-up name with too many syllables. So glad you could join us, let’s dive in.

The episode opens on a Walder Frey who is curiously alive and hosting a lavish feast for his family. Neither of these things (living or generosity) are in his nature, so it’s only been six seconds and we’re all immediately on edge. It slowly becomes clear, through a speech drenched in resentment, that his is not a flashback of Walder, but a modern day Arya disguised as the Head of House Frey, admonishing everyone in attendance (all those who took part in the Red Wedding) for the murder of the Starks.

If you thought Season 7 was going to start slow, you were probably surprised to find Arya assassinating an entire household via a poisoned toast three minutes into the episode. Seeing as how this season only has seven episodes, it looks like we’re out of time for slow burns and gradual builds to havoc. No, they went zero to fucking sixty in the time it took Arya to say “The North remembers,” and honestly I have never felt more alive. BRB, getting my first and only tattoo: “Leave one wolf alive and the sheep are never safe.”

Arya: You didn’t slaughter every one of the Starks. That was your mistake.

Arya spares the poor raped wives of the Freys, but not before telling them to RT her message.

Arya: When people ask why I was here. Tell them the North remembers. Tell them winter came for House Frey. Tell them Arya Stark is the baddest bitch to ever walk these halls.
Walder’s Wife: Okay but like can you write that down.

Further North at the wall, the White Walkers make their first appearance. Honestly, could have done without them this episode, my blood pressure is already outrageously high. The only thing worse than them appearing in real time, we’re being offered this view through a warg-ing Bran. Remember Hodor? Yeah. Fuck Bran.


The gate to the wall opens and the new Lord of the Night’s Watch, Edd walks out. He’s skeptical of Meera and this kid claiming to be Jon’s brother, but instead of dropping some knowledge that only a true Stark could know, Bran goes full Yoda and just lists all the horrifying shit Edd has been through. Like cool trick but that still doesn’t prove you’re a Stark? It appears to be enough for Edd though, who lets them into Castle Black.

At Winterfell, Jon is explaining his plan to everyone on what they need to do to survive from this point forward, which consists of mining dragonglass day and night and teaching every man, woman, and child to fight. Lyanna Mormont once again steals the scene by shutting down any bit of misogyny that might have sprouted in response to that decision.

Northerner: You expect me to put a sword in my granddaughter’s hands?
Lyanna: yOu ExPeCt Me To PuT a SwOrD iN mY gRaNdDaUgHtErS’s HaNdS?

Jon asks Tormund to enlists the wildings to man the wall while the Northerners ready their castles for war, because what this show lacks in light-hearted moments it makes up for in irony.

Sansa, at Jon’s side, suggests giving the castles of the traitorous Umbers and Karstarks away to loyal families who supported them in the war against Ramsey. Weirdly enough, the son of the “honorable to a fault” Ned Stark isn’t down.

Sansa: Idk maybe let’s give those castles away to people who didn’t try to murder us?

This first (of what I’m sure is to be many) public standoffs between Sansa and Jon is tense to say the least. Jon refuses to take away the ancestral homes of a family because of the sins of their fathers, which is nice in theory but literally not one single good deed has ever gone unpunished in this show.

Instead, Jon asks the two surviving members of both families in question to rise and swear fealty to House Stark. Sure, a unified North is pretty vital at this point if anyone wants to survive, but I guarantee a happy Sansa will also play a significant role there. She is noticeably upset, which means Littlefinger is nearby, twiddling his dick mustache.


But don’t worry, these siblings and potentially soon-to-be lovers get over their little skirmish but mere minutes later. Tensions may be high but after almost dying ten times over each, they recognize that they need each other more than ever. Sansa reminds Jon that there’s a lot at stake here and that previous unnamed family members didn’t necessarily have the temperament to lead in situations that were half as stressful.

Sansa: Rob and Dad were great and all but they also continuously underestimated their enemies and then died painful deaths because of it.
Jon: True.

Because nothing can be calm in Westeros for even one second, Cersei adds some more fuel to the fire, pun absolutely intended, with a raven from King’s Landing that summons Jon to come down a bend a knee to the Lannisters, or suffer the death of a traitor. Despite the conversation they JUST had about misjudging risk, Jon shrugs it off.

Jon: It seems like a lot of work for Cersei to get her southern army up here. She’s probably bluffing.
Sansa: Uh have you met her?

Sansa tells Jon what everyone in King’s Landing learned far too late through some fiery hell: don’t fucking underestimate Cersei or the lengths she will go for revenge.

Later, Brienne is schooling Gendry at sword fighting while Tormund stands nearby, daydreaming their impending nuptials. What would the wedding hashtag be? #WhenTormundMetBrienne? #BeautyAndTheWildling? #MustLoveSlaughter? #SleeplessInWinterfell?

Nearby, Sansa is trying to catch a single moment of peace in her wretched life only to be interrupted by Baelish. No one is surprised and yet everyone is still angry.

Sansa: What do you want.
Baelish: For you to be happy and safe.
Sansa: I am safe. Brienne could snap you.
Baelish: And what about happy?
Sansa: Increasingly less likely the longer you stand here breathing on my neck.

The look Brienne and Sansa share as Baelish walks away is the look that every pair of women have ever shared while trying to escape a creepy guy at a bar. Some things are universal even in fantasy worlds, and by some things I mean women’s collective distaste for lingering men.

Sansa reminds Brienne that, while an absolute creep, Littlefinger is the reason that they’re all still alive. It’s not the happiest alliance, but it is still a necessary one.

Brienne: He wants something.
Sansa: Oh I know exactly what he wants.
Brienne: ….
Sansa: Me. It’s me. I look like my mom and he wants me because of it. He is the Snape of Westeros.
Brienne: Yikes.

Over in the crispy husk that is King’s Landing, Cersei is overseeing the painting of a giant map of Westeros in the palace as a reminder of her and Jamie’s destiny. I see her flair for the dramatic has not lessened at all in the face of the death of her last child.

Cersei: You’ve been quiet since you came home. Are you mad at me?
Jaime: For burning down half the city, committing the one crime I sacrificed my honor to prevent, and then inadvertently killing our last son in the process? Nah, what could I possibly have to be mad about?
Cersei: Okay what about scared?
Jaime: Terrified to the point of arousal, yeah.

Cersei takes this already less than tender moment to let Jaime know that the brother that he freed, the one who killed their father, is now working with their enemy and heading up an armada on its way to take back Westeros. The man just can’t win these days.

Jamie guesses that Danaerys and Tyrion will land at Dragonstone and he’s definitely right. Cersei proceeds to list out their enemies to the east (Dany), to the South (the Sand Snakes), to the West (Olenna Tyrell), and the North (the Starks). I don’t think she even knows that three of those four have teamed up together on a fun sailing expedition towards her demise.

Cersei: We’re surrounded by traitors.
Jaime: You killed just about all their family members but okay.

Jaime is trying really hard to tell Cersei that they are so clearly on the losing side of this battle. She’s burned every bridge (heh) that could possibly save them and even if they managed to survive, there’s no one to pass their dynasty onto. This would be a good time to bring up Tommen and maybe how his death could be affecting them, but Cersei has never talked about her feelings before and she’s not about to start now, dammit.

With all the Freys dead, and the apparent killer still unknown, the Lannisters have no allies to back them. Jamie doesn’t see any hope in recruiting but Cersei has a plan, and it’s an unfortunate one.

It looks like Euron Greyjoy did in fact manage to build an entire fleet of ships on an island without a single tree in sight, so maybe I’ve been underestimating him all this time.

Jaime: The Greyjoys aren’t good at anything. Not one single thing.
Cersei: Except for making a fleet of ships appear out of thin air. Oh and marrying me.

In the between last season and now, Euron has transformed into what looks like the bastard son of Pacey Witter and Jack Sparrow. Not quite blonde enough for Cersei tastes, but he’ll have to do.

Euron thinks that two rightful monarchs with shitty and treasonous (read: actually good) family members should team up to take down everyone and everything in their path. This is a very on brand move for Cersei, but not so much for Jaime.

He isn’t sold, to say the least. Euron is a traitor and the man who started an unsuccessful rebellion against the Lannisters which resulted in his own exile. He also happens to be the single most confident piece of shit in the world, who proposes to Cersei by telling her that he’s always dreamt of marrying the prettiest girl in Westeros and then thanks Jaime for killing his own kin. Definitely a guy you want around for family holidays.

Cersei: Idk. You’re a liar, a cheat, and you murdered your own brother.
Euron: You should try it. Good shit.
Cersei: Literally my lifelong dream but thanks for reminding me.

When Cersei denies him, Euron promises to return to King’s Landing with a gift that will convince her to marry him. If it’s the head of another Stark direwolf I swear to GOD. Honestly kind of a cliché at this point.

In another storyline that I never needed to see again, Sam is effectively living life as the Citadel’s worst unpaid intern. He cleans chamber pots, serves gruel, and shelves books. Real talk, every single master at the Citadel needs to see a doctor. Poop shouldn’t look like that.

After what has to be months of abuse and gallons of feces, Sam finally decides to investigate the gated area in the back of the library. It’s like the restricted section at Hogwarts except twelve year olds can’t break into it with minimal effort and almost zero consequences.

During a truly gruesome autopsy, Sam asks an Archmaester if he could be granted access to the restricted section, considering he’s fought White Walkers firsthand and winter is here and other such things vital to the survival of humanity. The man isn’t swayed.

It sounds like everyone at the citadel is annoyed with Sam and his obsession with the White Walkers. Honestly, same, and we all know he’s actually telling the truth. The arch maester, while being the only who believes Sam, doesn’t seem to really care. His logic: Winters come and tragedies pass but people survive and the Wall keeps standing. It’s cool that, even in Westeros, there’s still eccentric old white men who listen to Bob Marley and think they know everything, but not particularly helpful in this situation. 

Once it’s become abundantly clear that no one is going to help him, Sam grows a pair and steals some keys to the restricted section. Harry Potter would have managed much quicker and without cleaning out all the old man shit in the Citadel but not everyone can be a hero, I guess.

His hard work pays off, because one of the stolen books reveals something rather important: the location of all the naturally occurring dragonglass in Westeros.

Sam: This seems important. Jon should know.
Gilly: I can’t even fucking read and I managed to piece that together. How are you the one in charge here.

Later on his rounds, a mysterious arm attached to a very familiar sounding man scares the shit out of Sam and demands to know if Danaerys Stormborn has arrived yet. It looks like Jorah’s search for a greyscale cure landed him in a locked room in the Citadel. Not sure how productive that will be but at least we don’t have to listen to him urgently whisper anymore.

I had two thoughts when a new scene opened on Arya riding her horse through some light snow. The first being “PLEASE BE HEADED HOME” and the second “when the fuck did Game of Thrones start using Ed Sheeran songs on its soundtrack.” Turns out they didn’t, they just started casting Ed Sheeran to play minor side characters who will likely die gruesome deaths because happy cameos aren’t a thing in Game Of Thrones land.

Turns out Ed is amongst a band of friendly warriors who offer Arya food and shelter, which immediately makes me suspicious. They tell her that they’re part of the army sent to help keep peace at the Freys, still not knowing who killed them all. Walder’s wife had one job and she clearly didn’t follow through.

Arya eats their rabbit and drinks their wine and I get that she has spent seven seasons becoming self-sufficient but she’d last about thirty seconds at a frat party. Never trust the shy guy who offers you homemade wine, Arya. Literally the first rule of survival in any situation.

Stranger who could be dangerous or a Lannister ally or literally anything bad: Why are you going to King’s Landing?
Arya: Oh I’m gonna kill the queen.
Everyone: * jovial laughter *

I’ve discovered the first real thing the Hound and I have in common, and it’s a natural distaste for rum. Maybe he also acquired his on an ill-advised spring break bender? Unclear. He’s still rolling around with the Beric and Thoros and their crew, deadest on ruining anyone’s attempt at a good time. 

The second real thing we have in common, despite existing in an alternate universe in a medieval time period, is that the Hound has a significant distaste for man buns and all that they represent. Not all heroes wear capes, but they do universally hate douchey hair trends.

The party discovers a seemingly abandoned cabin to camp in for the night, but this is clearly a farce because nothing is seemingly abandoned in this God forsaken world. Inside they find a skeleton of what looks like a man holding his daughter after a suicide of necessity. Man, I forgot what it was like to suffer through a full hour of extremely somber and heart wrenching scenes every Sunday night. Missed it.

To make things, if possible, even more sad, The Hound realized that this man and his daughter took pity on Arya and himself a couple seasons back, offering them food and shelter for the night. By way of paying him back, the Hound beat the shit out of him and stole all his food. Is this man possible wrestling with, dare I say it, such complex emotions as guilt? Talk about character development.

To immediately make up for any signs of progression, Clegane continues his streak of not making any friends by telling Beric that he’s not special and definitely not worthy of being resurrected by the Lord of Light.

The Hound: You ain’t shit.
Beric: Dude I am quite aware.

Before he can get much further into questioning every aspect of this fiery religion, Thoros summons Clegane to the fire to teach him some life lessons. The Hound hates a whole lot of things in this life, but learning lessons is probably close to the top of the list.

He stares into the fire, unimpressed, until he’s struck by a vision. The Hound sees the Wall in the fire, specifically at a point where the White Walker army is marching past a castle.  It’s clear that an internal battle is raging inside his icy heart: gut-wrenching fear or general annoyance that he now has to believe in something

Instead of addressing either emotion, the Hound decides to dig a hole in the subzero temperatures and bury the family who likely died because of him. Choosing manual labor over any kind of recognition of feelings: the straight man’s eternal struggle.

Finally, what we’ve all been waiting for. Dany and her mighty armada have arrived at Dragonstone, with actual dragons in tow. It’s an emotional moment for me and I’m not the one returning to the rightful home of my ancestors, so I can imagine she’s feeling a bit overwhelmed at the moment.

I could watch Dany majestically stroll into this castle on loop for the rest of the week, tbh. The only thing glaringly missing from this moment is Daario, but lets not reopen old wounds. After tearing down the lingering Baratheon banner, she walks into the throne room that her family was slaughtered in and looks upon what is honestly a way cooler seat than the Iron Throne, with her loyal inner circle in tow.

Instead of sitting down she marches straight back to what I’m assuming is the war room, complete with the giant Westeros-shaped table that every major family appears to own. There must be a West Elm in the seven kingdoms.

Tyrion follows, potentially lost for words for the first time in his life. Like, what do you say when a woman gets to momentously return to her home after years upon years of hardship and suffering. “This is pretty dope” doesn’t seem to suffice. Luckily he doesn’t have to worry about it, because as always, Dany knows exactly what to say.

Danaerys: Shall we begin?

What will next week bring? Heartbreak? Death? The thwarting of another shitty Internet rumor? All are likely, but nothing more so than the fact that we’ll be here watching, drinking, and crying. Probably all at the same time. See you there.

Need A Refresher? Catch Up On All Of Last Season’s Recaps Here!

How To Get Through The Game Of Thrones Premier Even Though You Don’t Watch Game Of Thrones

By now, you’ve probably figured out that this weekend is the season premiere of Game of Thrones. Whether one of your roommates is randomly obsessed with it or you’ve been pretending to care so your hookup thinks you’re cool, the time has come once again for you to pretend you give a fuck about dragons and horses and shit. It will be unavoidable, and you will hate your life. Here’s what you need to do so you don’t feel like an absolute idiot for the next ten weeks, apart from just buckling down and binge-watching all the episodes in one night.

1. Read The Wikipedia Page

Learn some of the characters. Not like all of them, oh God no, but just a few that you could throw into a conversation if you really get cornered. Daenerys is the badass chick with the dragons, and Tyrion is the really short guy. Cersei was hot but she got a fugly haircut, so we don’t love her as much anymore. Jon Snow is hot and came back to life. Sansa is annoying AF. Got it? You’re doing amazing sweetie.

2. Prepare Another Topic Of Conversation

Naming a couple characters is useful, but don’t be afraid to change the topic if you get in over your head. For example, there is never a wrong time to talk about Beyoncé’s twins, and your coworkers will no doubt have plenty to say about her name choices. Other safe topics include sports (if you’re into that kind of thing), Russia, and The Bachelorette. Who cares about dragons? Let’s talk about Dean’s favorite kind of dinosaur!!

3. Distract Yourself

That should cover things when people are talking about the show, but what if someone makes you actually watch it? If you have to go to a watch party you should be okay, just because the other people there will have their eyes glued to the screen so you can text in peace. If someone makes you watch an episode one-on-one, pick a couple songs you really like so you can just play them over and over in your head. It’s practically like going to therapy, you’ll love it.

4. Prepare Your Excuses

This brings us to the most important thing: if someone finds out that you don’t watch GoT, you must have a solid excuse ready to go. Here’s our recommendation: “I realllllly want to watch it, I just want to give it the time and attention it deserves, and I haven’t gotten around to it yet.” That way, you’re not making it sound like you don’t want to watch it, you’re just saying that you were too busy in the last six years to literally find any time. Sounds right.

So stay strong this weekend betches, and don’t let anyone peer pressure you into watching a show that makes you want to carve out your eyeballs with a large sword. We’ll get through this together.