When the fourth season of "Game of Thrones" finally premieres this spring, it will be emerging into a world gone utterly mad for Westeros, wargs, and ominous warnings of a coming winter. The enthusiasm for the HBO drama has been building over the past three years to become a worldwide phenomenon, with evidence cropping up everywhere of people's passionate love for the show.
» The English town of Kings Langley has renamed itself King's Landing in honor of the season three DVD release.
» Maternity wards are now rife with little Aryas, Sansas and (inexplicably, all things considered) Theons.
» The National Weather Service is borrowing the Winterfell house motto for its winter storm warnings.
» In Brazil, researchers named a newly discovered species of shiny white sea slug tritonia khaleesi, an homage to Daenarys Targaryen's ice-blonde hair.
With the "Game of Thrones" audience only getting bigger, bolder, and more powerful, one thing is clear: it's not going to end here. What will come next in this takeover-by-storm? Here are our predictions:
January, 2014: A coalition of concerned citizens and journalists file a Freedom of Information act to coerce the announcement of the season four premiere date.
February, 2014: Puxatawney Phil, instead of emerging from his quaint groundhog house in small-town Pennsylvania, ominously declares from atop a tiny Iron Throne, "Winter is... Staying."
April, 2014: The Monday after the season-four premiere is declared a National Day of Rest by the U.S. Government.
June, 2014: The Monday after the season-four finale is declared a National Day of Mourning.
November, 2014: Thousands of small towns abolish the mayoral office, choosing instead to elect their most attractive native couple to the positions of Khal and Khaleesi. When reached for comment, one prominent Khal is quoted as saying, "No."
January, 2015: All newly elected officials, including the Khals, are sworn in using copies of, "A Clash of Kings".
May, 2015: Betrothed couples flock to purchase the official "Red Wedding recreation package" from a Belgian resort.
2016: The United Nations volunteers its services to negotiate a peace treaty between the Dothraki (formerly Iceland) and Kings Landing.
2017: In all countries, jumbo-sized ballpark hot dogs are now colloquially known as "Greyjoys."
2018: "Valar morghulis" replaces "E pluribus unum" on all United States currency.
2019: Ned Stark's face is added to the summit of Mount Rushmore, though insiders know it's also the final resting place for Sean Bean's bones.
2020: A reclusive, eccentric billionaire causes a national panic when he somehow manages to purchase the Chesapeake Bay Bridge Tunnel from the U.S. government, installs himself as Lord of the Crossing, and refuses to let anyone in or out until someone agrees to marry his daughter.
2021: Global debt forgiveness policies are universally replaced by the unofficial motto of House Lannister, leading to riots, destabilization, and a complete economic meltdown.
2024: And so, the world's "Game of Thrones" takeover comes to an end just as now-multi-trillionaire and de facto International Emperor George R.R. Martin predicted: with a cloud of dust being driven by the wind across a vast graveyard full of tombstones. Because when you play the game of thrones... well. You know.
2036: Martin releases the sixth book in the series, "Winds of Winter."
"Game of Thrones" returns to HBO this spring.