Well, the trip didn’t start off too smoothly. Thanks to some poor Googling by me, we went to the wrong train station at first. Then we missed our train. And we were in danger of missing the next train which would have set us back about an hour and likely would have meant having to skip our planned stop at the HBO Store. Thankfully, we made it to the correct train station with about 5 minutes to spare and boarded the train headed for New York City!
I had grabbed a copy of Entertainment Weekly, to check out the Game of Thrones spread they have in their latest issue. However, despite the issue being dated as April 1st, this was last week’s issue. The one with the Thrones feature is dated April 8th. I wasn’t aware that EW sends their magazines back from the future. Now I know. Will have to get a copy of the new issue sometime today. Look for a post on it later.
Despite the lack of reading material, the trip to NYC went by pretty quickly. My wife and I enjoyed trying to figure out what system the conductors had with the ticket punching. It seemed pretty random to us. I think they just like to use their hole punchers as much as they can.
So we eventually arrived at Penn Station, where we met up with my wife’s cousin, and from there took a short subway ride to Times Square and the HBO Shop. The HBO Shop is tiny. Yet they somehow manage to cram a good bit of merchandise in there. Unfortunately, the only Thrones stuff they have are the t-shirts. But the costumes and props they have on display are pretty rad. They had some Kingsguard armor, Jaime’s leather ensemble, and what I think was Jon Snow’s Winterfell costume. They also had the Hound’s helm, the dragon eggs, a gold cloak helm and a Baratheon guardsmen helm on display. Along with a bunch of random scrolls and books and other assorted props. They also had these large video screens looping what looked to be a mash-up of most of the trailers released so far. The only new footage I spotted in there was a shot where Sansa is at the tourney holding her rose given to her by Ser Loras.
After the HBO Shop, we met up with my sister and her boyfriend, grabbed some Starbucks then got headed back to the subway. On the way, we discovered the giant Thrones banner erected in Times Square. It was so awesome to see huge Ned up there, looking down on all the pedestrians below, we just had to snap a picture (at top of the post).
Next we hopped on a subway train headed to the Meatpacking district and the Game of Thrones food truck! We found it on the corner of 14th and 9th, where a sizable crowd had already gathered. There I met Steve C. from Campfire for the first time. Steve and I have been chatting online back and forth throughout the whole Maester’s Path campaign, so it was really great to finally meet him. While waiting for the food service to begin, we talked to some of the folks in line, many of whom had been there multiple nights (or every night, in the case of Matt Marquez from …ology). Despite the drizzle and the cold, there was still a good sized line and everyone was in good spirits. Then the food service began. I was boring and got the venison. It was quite tasty. Tender and juicy. And the lemoncake? Soft, moist, lemony, sweet and oh so good.
After scarfing down our Winterfellian treats, we headed to the nearby bar where the moot was being held, The Brass Monkey. A neat little pub right on the waterfront. I had reserved the second floor bar area and they even had little placards on our tables declaring the reservation.
Over the next hour or so, people kept trickling in, having come from the food truck. Franny Bee, Megan, Lauren, Paul, Zack, David, Adrienne, Merret Frey, Mattia, Eunice, Dennis, Darth Rachel, a whole group of folks from Campfire, Jim from HBO and more. I can’t remember everyone I met, but we had a great turnout. The place was pretty packed.
And everyone was having a great time, talking A Song of Ice and Fire and Game of Thrones. Jim was handing out some cool Stark shield keychains and Steve and his team had brought a scent box for everyone to try out. And I, of course, had brought my infamous “Always Support The Bottom” map for everyone to see.
About an hour or so into the night, we had a special guest show up. Ser Loras Tyrell aka Finn Jones! Finn was in town to see an LCD Soundsystem concert and graciously accepted my invitation to stop by for a bit. I kept it a secret in hopes of surprising a few people. I think it worked as some people didn’t even believe that it was really him at first! Finn was great, chatting it up with the fans, talking about the books, the show, his thoughts on his character and his excitement for season two.
As great as the night was, eventually it had to end. After much exchanging of emails and Facebook info, everyone slowly filtered out into the New York night. It had been a long day for me and my wife, and the train ride how seemed to take much longer than the ride in. Eventually we made it home, somewhere in the vicinity of three in the morning. (At least we didn’t miss our train home and have to sleep in some NYC deli like someone else that night!) We were exhausted but the feeling of spending the night with fellow fans was so amazing. And what do you know, there was a present waiting for us on the doorstep when we got home. Yup, episodes one thru six of Game of Thrones! The promise of a full weekend of Thrones watching was just the perfect ending to a perfect day.
Thanks so much to everyone for showing up tonight and making the first WiC moot a big success. I hope everyone had fun, I know I did. Thanks to Steve and Campfire for the whole food truck idea, which was the main impetus to throw this event and for being willing to hang out with fans who had just spent much of the last month complaining about every step of The Maester’s Path! And thanks to Jim for changing his travel plans just to come to this and for giving out some cool swag too! And thanks to Finn for stopping by and being such a good sport, talking with everyone and taking photos. It’s so great that the actors on this show are willing to connect with the fans like that.
It was a great day and an amazing night. Hopefully, fingers crossed, we can do it again next year… or maybe sooner! Always Support The Bottom!