Game of Thrones. The name alone can turn a usually calm and collected person into a geeked out mess. Why? Because Game of Thrones is one of the hottest shows on television and just gets better each season. Fans of all shapes and sizes watch the show obsessively, dissecting scenes, repeating lines and debating about what will happen next. In taking on George R. R. Martin’s epic tale of Westeros and its inhabitants, HBO has created a series of such scale and grandeur, fans have turned the show into a worldwide phenomenon. So what better way for HBO to show its appreciation than to take over the BarclaysCenter and turn it into GOT heaven. And was it ever.
Fans of the series were treated to free t-shirts, photos on replicas of the Iron Throne, up-close views of the costumes worn by their favorite characters and even a chance to win a special-edition GOT X-Box console. Those in attendance also had the chance to listen to the Game of Thrones mix-tape smartly titled, “Catch the Throne,” featuring rappers such as Common (who surprised everyone by performing his song “The Ladder”), Wale, Reggaeton King Daddy Yankee and Kilo Kish. I listened to all of the songs and liked every one, which rarely happens. Hands down, Wale’s song “King Slayer” was the best of the bunch, with “The Ladder” a close second.
But the surprises didn’t stop there. As fans got ready to watch the first episode of Season 4, a marching band came out and performed the show’s theme song. Afterwards, the MC of the event came to the stage, which turned out to be Hodor himself, Kristian Nairn, who brought along some famous friends. The fans, already excited about seeing Kristian, went supernova when Maisie Williams (Arya Stark), John Bradley-West (Samwell Tarly), Sibel Kekilli (Shae) and Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin came on to the stage. All answered various questions from fans about working on the series, their characters and, of course, when the next Game of Thrones book would be ready (to which Martin answered “working on it”). After the question and answer portion was done, there was one final surprise before the episode was shown. One lucky fan was chosen to take home a replica of the Iron Throne, which normally retails for $30,000. Talk about catching the throne!
HBO’s Game of Thrones Epic Fan Experience was a huge hit because it truly did make fans feel appreciated for their loyalty to the show. Fans like Althea McQueen, who is a self-proclaimed fanatic of the series. A native Brooklynite, Ms. McQueen said that she loves the show because anything can happen. Characters like Ned Stark don’t make it through the show to save the day. It is more realistic in showing that good people die and those less so, like King Joffrey, survive. Ms. McQueen did say, however, that if anything happens to Daenerys Targaryen she would be highly upset. But it’s this kind of love for the show that brought so many people to BarclaysCenter. Many I spoke with felt that HBO, by having this event, went all out and showed its gratitude, which in turn solidified fans’ loyalty to a series that keeps us watching.
HBO’s Game of Thrones will air its new season beginning April 6.
Photos courtesy of HBOPowered by Sidelines