Warning: Spoilers everywhere!
Season 4 episode 2: The Lion and The Rose
Look for me, under the tree...
Weirwood trees with their stoic white trunks and blood red leaves, have borne witness to many of the dramatic events in Game of Thrones since the very beginning. Bearing mysterious faces carved in their trunks by the Children of the Forest, they watched with us as Ned Stark sat by the heart tree in Winterfell and received news of the death of Jon Arryn and the imminent arrival of Robert Baratheon, King of the Seven Kingdoms. This, of course begins the chain of events that is Game of Thrones. And now as we begin the final chapter in this story, Winter is coming and Bran Stark the Three Eyed Raven waits by the same weirwood for the arrival of the Night King.
This week, as we also wait in anticipation and dread for the Great War to come, we make our own offering to the great weirwood tree, witness to history, forever watching and silently weeping its bloody tears. In other words, raise your glasses and drink up friends, we think this next chapter is going to be a doozy.
So many of the great events in this story have taken place at the foot of weirwood trees: Jon and his friends pledging their vows to the Night's Watch; the death of Maester Luwin after Theon's sacking of Winterfell; Sansa's wedding to Ramsay Bolton; the reunion of the Stark children Arya, Sansa and Bran; Arya and Jon having a heartfelt moment; the meeting of Jamie Lannister and Bran Stark. Indeed we find out that the Night King was created by the Children of the Forest under the canopy of a great weirwood. Not just dramatic set dressing (although it has made for some of the most breathtaking scenes in the show), or a mere symbol of the Old Gods, the weirwood trees are intimately tied to the magic of this world. They are, in fact, crucial to the all-seeing abilities of the Three Eyed Raven - when we meet the Three Eyed Raven he is fused to the roots of a giant weirwood, they are literally one and as he even says, he sees "with a thousand eyes, and one." These trees are the living keepers of all the history they have witnessed, and we have yet to fully understand their role in the events being played out.
Once Bran returns home to Winterfell, now as the Three Eyed Raven, he is often sitting by the heart tree and like the weirwood, he is silently watching and waiting. Waiting for winter, for spring, or for his own destiny - we have yet to find out. I don't know about you, but this is the point where I could definitely use a good drink.
The Weirwood Tree Cocktail resembles the dramatic tree with a tall snowy white trunk rimmed with a thick red syrup of tart pomegranate. While we can't guarantee that consuming this weirwood will bring on any strange visions, we can guarantee that this light and refreshing cocktail - with its mixture of orange, mint and coconut warmed with bourbon and cointreau - is quite the perfect companion for seeing you through the end of winter into dreams of spring. Enjoy.
The Weirwood Tree Cocktail
2 cups pomegranate juice
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon corn syrup
2 drops red food coloring
Cocktail (makes one serving)
1/2 cup canned coconut milk, unsweetened (or milk, if you prefer)
1 oz Cointreau or orange liqueur
1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 1/2 oz bourbon whiskey
6 springs fresh mint
Prosecco (or sparkling water) to finish
Pomegranate molasses to rim
Pomegranate seeds and mint sprigs for garnish (optional)