Do you have what it takes to kill White Walkers? Are you strong enough to swing a sword as one of the Free Men (a.k.a. Wildlings)? Can you drink a lot of wine? If so, you're ready of HBO's Game of Thrones "Winter is Here" experience at San Diego Comic-Con, which showed off one of the most immersive Westerosi experiences ever to a select group of press (including TV Guide) on Wednesday night (July 19).
The annual activation, part of San Diego's yearly nerd-stravaganza, was — at least according to one extremely excited worker — the biggest one ever. Fans walk through different scenes from the hit fantasy TV show, living out their greatest fantasies... As long as their greatest fantasies involve deadly serious circumstances that determine the fate and lives of thousands (if not millions). Along the way, they get to literally be part of the scenes from the show.
Things kick off with a personalized wrist band ("It's a slap bracelet!" one other excited worker described to us) emblazoned with the Thrones logo that sends personalized pics and short videos directly to your e-mail. Then it's on to a set-up straight out of Winterfell, recreating the scene where Jon Snow (Kit Harington) is made King in the North. Only difference, you're allowed to smile — unlike Snow! Go you!
Then after a cool projected video of a white raven (those are the ravens who are all like, "yo, winter is here") and Daenerys' (Emilia Clarke) big return to Westeros from the Season 7 premiere, you're off to see some costumes, then glimpse a replica of the throne from Dragonstone. That's small potatoes, though. Why sit on a throne that will most likely eventually be melted down to make swords forged from dragonglass, when you can sit on a throne that's made of melted swords.
That's right: the Iron Throne itself, the one everyone is playing a game of, is on display, and free to be sat on by your own, non-royal buttocks. Look, let's be real... The Iron Throne has been trotted out at every Game of Thrones event under the sun, and even once was driven around NYC in a pseudo-Pope mobile. But for some reporters — not going to say who — this press preview was the first time in seven seasons of covering this show that they got a chance to sit on the throne. Again, not going to say who, but at least one of those reporters may have gasped in glee.
After that, it's time to head north of the wall, to don costumes reminiscent of either Jon Snow, or a Wildling, and film your own cool 360 degree video swinging a sword (or dagger). If that wasn't enough, you can test your skills killing undead White Walkers with a Fruit Ninja style game that is very, very hard.
Once you've experienced everything Westeros has to offer, it's time to refresh with a tasting of Ommegang Brewery's Game of Thrones beer, as well as the newly debuted Game of Thrones wine. They are all delicious, but unfortunately not available to Children of the Forest under 21 years of age.
For those in San Diego, you can head to the Experience at 628L Street (across from the Omni Hotel). For those not? Well, fingers crossed winter will come to your town some time soon.
Game of Thrones airs Sundays at 9/8c on HBO.