Here’s the good news: Game of Game of Thrones is back.

Season 7 is still a little over two weeks away, but we want to give you plenty of time to think through your selections. It’s going to be a tough year for anyone who doesn’t have Daenerys’ dragons on their side. Once again, we’re partnering with fantasy game site Fantasizr, and you can register and get your own league set up as early as right now. We’ll be drafting for our staff league and spitting out our season 7 predictions as trash talk sometime next week.

Here’s the other good news: you can stop emailing and tweeting at Emily Yoshida now! For the last two years, Emily led The Verge and the internet in a high-stakes fantasy league in which kings and queens and dire wolves faced off to see who was best at killing, conquering, and stripping down. Now she’s off watching movies in France and generally excelling inside a life sans ice zombies, so she graciously left her game behind for us to play with. I’m going to try my best, and I can’t guarantee it will be as lovable. But I’m sorry, this is life. Game of Thrones fans, of all people, should know better than to expect things to be perfect and pleasant all the time. They should also know by now that no one, not even the ostensible lead of the story, can stick around forever. Everyone gets replaced by an interloper at some point, but none of us have had a freshly severed wolf head sewn to our necks, so relax.

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I do think my experience running The Verge’s short-lived Bachelor fantasy league will come in handy, as the two shows have more similarities than they have differences: nauseating mental chess games, heavy-handed metaphors, ceaseless self-sabotage, smooching. And it forced me to brush up on my math!

The biggest question around this year’s game is, of course, are enough draftable players still available, considering Cersei mass-murdered essentially every named character in King’s Landing? The answer is yes, they’ve been replaced on the show’s extensive IMDb page by various Ironborn newcomers who viewers know absolutely nothing about. Good luck!

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As always, there are 60 characters to draft and we recommend leagues with no more than 10 teams. (Your rosters will definitely need a “deaths” cushion.) You will be able to make trades throughout the season, though if I recall correctly, The Verge’s season 6 league spiraled far too quickly into paranoia and ill-will for any deals to be made in good faith. If any surprise characters are added to the show, they’ll go into a pool you can use to replace your dead.

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