By R.J. Huneke
Well the Game Of Thrones EPIC Fan Experience of March 20, 2014 at the Barclay's Arena in Brooklyn, NY was truly amazing!
I did not dream I'd be sitting atop the Iron Throne, seeing George R.R. Martin in person talking about how he wrote Game of Thrones and playfully joking that he's "working on it!" (finishing the next book) while bantering with surprise guests from the cast.
The magical night included free T-shirts for all (tasteful), drawings for a custom Xbox One painted up in G.O.T. style (and a free credit card holder phone slip for entering), and yes you even got to sit on the Iron Throne and have your picture taken (no charge either), and I must say I felt quite at home atop there once the magnitude of the situation became apparent to me (see my picture).
All I had really wanted to see when I arrived was the Season 4 premiere, which was screened for 7000 lucky fans in Brooklyn two weeks before the actual show was to air on HBO. The long 9-minute trailer/documentary "A Prelude" that I had avoided watching for months for fear of spoilers was aired and got me pumped for the event.
The crowd murmured impatiently (have to love my fellow New Yorkers) and then a large marching band proceeded to the stage area before the gargantuan screen. With a tumble of drums and then a roaring of horns the entire theme song was played; I thought to myself: that's a cool introduction to this, but they had not even gotten started.
To the crowd's surprise and glee, the loquacious Hodor himself (played by Kristian Nairn) appeared with a microphone on stage to thank all of the fans for helping to make the magic! Many chants of "HODOR!" continued throughout the night.
I turned to my betrothed and shared the excited delight. But there was more . . . this was, after all, an EPIC fan experience and not to be outdone.
Hodor announced that the show's executive producer and writer of the books that it is adapted from wanted to say a few words - I immediately looked up, expecting to see a pre-recorded video of the great story-teller, but lo and behold a short, barrel-chested older gentleman with a big beard and a fisherman's cap walked onto stage . . . GEORGE R.R. MARTIN!
His voice was kindly and a bit shrill and the thousands bearing witness collectively lost their minds (with many a "HODOR!" thrown in for the giant actor standing beside the author). Mr. Martin thanked the great fans and appeared very pleased, although a little shy on the big stage.
Hodor attempted to ask the creator a question, and was immediately met with a: “I’m working on it!” reply from George, referring of course to his finishing of the years in the making next book in the series.
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