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Adventures in New York City

Wow, what a day yesterday. Where do I begin? I guess I will start at the beginning.

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!


  • Man…

    Okay, I just want to know how the episodes were. Favorite one?

    Get watchin’, boy!

  • Episodes 1 – 6??? Winter, is this your idea of a belated April Fools joke? Or are you for realz? Because if you are not kidding then Sweet Succulent Jesus am I spyched about your thoughts on it all.

  • I had such a great time!! Thank you so much for setting the moot up! :) And I love my key chain too! Thanks again!!

  • Howland Reed,

    Episodes 1-6 are those sent by HBO to TV critics and the like. Guess we will have WiC’s thoughts on the show soon enough!

    Excited rey is excited.

  • Always support the bottom!
    Always nice to read about Moots, hopefully one day we ll have all-WiC moot somewhere!

    Now off to digg and read all those wonderfull reviews of Thrones…

  • Holy Seven, that sounds amazing! Great pics too, can’t wait to hear your Episode reviews. All that hard work payin off!

    Always Support the Bottom!

    p.s. Finn must’ve been in town for LCD’s last show ever, which will also be absolutely insane! Will Daft Punk be playing at their house?

  • I had fun at the moot everyone was really sweet and fun to talk with. Learned some new book theories as well. The staff was great too, always coming around to make sure everyone was cool or needed another drink.

    I hope there is another one next year!!

  • I had to read that a couple of times before I actually believed that: EPISODE 1-6 ???!!!!!! WOW awesome!

    It sounds like the moot was great as well!

  • Holy crap! For some reason it never even occurred to me that you would be getting early copies of the episodes! You better review as much as they let you!

    The moot seemed fun too, too bad I’m 3000 miles away. :)

  • This sounds like so much fun! I so need to find someone to geek out over ASoIaF with, most of my friends aren’t into fantasy and they’re being all judgmental… Ah well, that’s what t’internet is for!

  • Sounds like a day to remember, and I can just imagine how it’d feel like to come home to a package of gotness.

    Did you find anything interesting in Finn’s nostrils? :)

  • Dang, Finn Jones stopped by? That’s awesome! There’s a professional actor, one who truly appreciates his fan base. That must have been so cool. I for one am looking forward to his performance as Loras, he just looks the part even more than most of the cast.

    Wait…you have episodes 1-6…LUCKY!!! I can’t wait to hear your thoughts on the episodes, should make for an amazing weekend!

  • Aaron Galbraith,

    Yes I have. On many occasions. New Yorkers ain’t so tough. In fact, I rented a car and drove myself around the UK for three weeks. So not only traffic in cities like London, but on the wrong side of the road.

    (All hail the mighty automobile!)

  • Aryas Horse Charle: new review:

    Eric DeBruin: Also, a new review up :

    That’s a RAVE REVIEW from the Hollywood Reporter !!

    “Has all the elements that lure views to shows like ‘The Sopranos’.”

    “Barely a few minutes into … it’s clear that the hype was right and the wait was worth it.”

    “It’s [multiple story lines] actually not as confusing as it may sound.”

    “… the writing and acting elevating the entire series beyond contemporaries like The Borgias and Camelot, and the visual appeal continues to surprise with each episode.”

    BOOM! Don’t be fooled by cheap imitations.

    Always support the bottom, baby.

  • Had a great time last night too. Really glad I got to go. It was nice having people around to talk to about the books that actually knew what I was talking about. People where I work are sadly uninformed.

    Managed to get out of work early enough to make it to the truck too! The venison was good and it was good to get another lemon cake.

    Thanks for setting it up! Hope we all get to meet up again soon. I am enjoying my key chain too.

  • Mike Chair,

    SOOOOO HYPED. This are the reviews I dreamed of reading. Can’t get off the internet because I keep waiting for more reviews to come up.

  • I am really glad for everyone who was lucky enough to be there. Seems like a great get together. Too bad I live in the Netherlands. Maybe if there will be another belfast moot I will plan my holiday accordingly.
    I am eagerly awaiting your review of the DVD. With great gifts come great responsibility?!

    The reviews so far are very encouraging. Looks like it is going to be a smashing succes.

  • Gytha Ogg,

    I need my laptop surgically removed from by hands.

    I finally saw the direwolves scene on I know our very own MVP, Steve The Pirate, put it up a couple of posts ago. I figured it would be part of the 15 minute preview and wanted to wait for tomorrow night to see it. Needless to say, I didn’t make it. That review put me over the edge. Well, I was impressed. It wasn’t overacted. It was kind of … intense — the tone of it. Not too intense. Just the correct amount of intensity. It reminded me of some scenes from Lost.

  • Long time listener first time caller…

    What an amazing review from the Hollywood Reporter, I can not wait for Sunday.
    Much thanks to WIC…this website is top notch.

  • You must have watched the 6 episodes by now… I’m jelousely excited for you :p
    But I also feel for you if you have to wait with us until watching episode 7 :p
    Grats and thanks for the nice post as usual.

  • Great pics and write-up! LOL, remember when we couldn’t decide whether we should try to be a more legit site with connections to HBO, or a fan site with spy reports and leaks?

    WiC, did you ever expect you’d be interviewing GRRM, hanging with cast members, and receiving special packages from HBO? Awesome!!!

  • This was such a fabulous event! I have to say that nerves almost kept me from showing up, I’m hideously shy. But it could hardly have been a better night, despite that. First off, the food truck was worth the wait. I plan on making the lemoncakes for next week now, and the venison, at least, was tasty. Those of you who tried the headcheese are braver souls than I. Also, I really enjoyed the discussions with those of you I was able to speak with! I love that we got to meet Finn (I got a picture! wooo!) and the scent box and scrolls were great to experience.

    I had to leave early, though, and missed out on the keychains and the info swap! Apologies. If anyone wants to get in touch and has MSN, I’m wint3rmadness

    Thanks for putting this all together, Phil. Also, I hate you. 6 episodes? Enjoy them!

  • It was a great night!!! Shame I had to leave so early.

    Awesome meeting you Winter, your wife, and all the other SoIaF/GoT fans. Let’s do it again!! And, of course, thanks to the Campfire guys and to Ser Loras for making the whole experience even cooler!

    By the way, HBO will be happy to know that I have just subscribed to it!

  • Not only am I jeolous that I cound not attend yesterday because of school :( …. but now I’m jeolous for WIC having the first 6 episodes!!!! …. get to watching and let me know it’s everything I’m hoping it will be ….. ALWAYS SUPPORT THE BOTTOM

  • Such a great night, glad I got to meet and chat with so many fans. Seeing the scent box in person (and the map!), getting some swag, having good conversations and Finn’s presence made it a totally worthwhile event. Congrats! Let’s do more of these.

    ps – I’m really glad I look totally deranged in that picture. It’s pretty accurate to life.

  • It was a brilliant night! I didn’t regret getting the headcheese, but maybe our enthusiasm made it taste like ‘fun’ instead of… well, headcheese?

    The moot was beyond exciting! So many lovable ASOIAF fans all in one place :) Made a ton of new friends, changed ASoiaF ‘soul-mates’ three or four times, and had some life-long laughs. It felt like a whole bunch of salt-wives inappropriately gossiping about our salt-master XD

    Thanks for planning this! I love my Stark shield keychain, and seeing so many people involved with HBO’s GoT come out for /us/ is a beautiful thing. Thankful to have seen the Maester’s box in live smellovision!

  • If I had just planned my whirlwind moving across country trip for a month later, I could have totally showed up to this. Insane!

    I’ll have to settle for West Coast/AZ frivolities! It doesn’t feel real… only two weeks to the big day!

  • Episodes 1-6…WiC, you LUCKY bugger.

    For those that didn’t try the head cheese. Traditional headcheese isn’t to bad. It is a more acquired taste thats for sure.
    “a sausage made from the edible parts of a calf’s or pig’s head that are combined with a gelatinous meat broth”. Excluding the eyes, brain and ears.

    So in context of the show and the books. It would be something Winterfell residents would eat and make. As they would want to use as much of the animal as possible, and this is a good form to store and save “leftovers”.

    The stuff you find in most grocery stores just isn’t as good compared to classic meat markets. And any congealed stuff is from teh gelatinous stuff from the skull.

    Some cool sway indeed. Anyone willing to take a quick snapshot of the stark shield keychain for us. I bet HBO will add that swag to their shop too.

  • Aaron Galbraith,
    That’s what I was thinking – I would NEVER drive there.
    It’s taxis or walk! He may not realize it would cost like $100 to park your car somewhere for the

  • I love New York City and I love that cool people hung out at a cool place for socializing and being cool. Can anybody remember why I don’t live in NYC? I cannot . . .

  • I’m envious too – but glad for you at the same time. You’ve put a lot of work into this site & definitely earned it. Enjoy!

  • Maybe if you hadn’t waited in line for that venti fatti, you’d have been on time.

  • DarthRachel: ps – I’m really glad I look totally deranged in that picture. It’s pretty accurate to life.

    Actually, I can’t find anyone in those photos that doesn’t look totally deranged. Except for Finn who looks like a one of those beautiful people I see in the movies.

  • My boyfriend and I ate dinner in the neighborhood last night specifically because we’d fully planned on going to the moot. At the last second I decided to skip it in order to shelter him from the inevitable deluge of spoilers. (He hasn’t read any of the books yet.) And now I read this.

    The things I do for love, man.

    (At least it sounds like everyone had a great time! I’ll just go pout in my corner now.)

  • Fat Sword of Doom: Actually, I can’t find anyone in those photos that doesn’t look totally deranged. Except for Finn who looks like a one of those beautiful people I see in the movies.

    I know I look quite ridiculous in the one of me. Laughing and profile…not a good combination. Haha!

  • Ed,

    I’m in Portland… I guess “West Coast” kind of covers a large area. :) But I’d love it if there could be any kind of moot in the Northwest. Maybe there are other Californians here, as well?

  • Oh, what a great evening it seems to have been, such a shame that reality means it was missed by so many a trusty Wyknetteer! Well, at least we got to read about it…

    Funniest thing for me was reading about the trainride and some comments on it – truly, in every other developed country, taking the train is the most normal thing in the world, and often much faster and more convenient than taking the car. When I took the train from Providence to Boston once, it almost felt like stepping back in time to the fifties! :-) (Except then for the free wifi in the train!)

  • I’m so happy for you all. How lucky you are! And Finn is really a darling.

    In the unlikely event of a Northernish Italy moot, consider yourself invited in Milan. I have five real beds and unlimited floor. If I commandeer my aunt’s flat, the beds rise to eight. Most interesting stuff is within 3-4 hours drive – Venice, Florence, the Ligurian sea. PS: bring Finn. And Jamie Sives. ;)

    LOL, I know, it’s very unlikely they decide to film something in Italy – some close-ups of Riverrun or the Twins? We have so many place that give me shivers, ASOIAF-wise. The latter pic doesn’t do justice to the scenery, but I swear that crossing the bridge is SCARY.

  • My wife, friends and I had an absolute blast, Winter. We were already having an amazing time when you came over and introduced Finn to us. He was such a classy guy, hanging out with us and even handled my fanboi-ism superbly! (I’d had a few stiff drinks already…) Then Steve came over with the extra scents and described the whole Maester’s Box to us and had us sampling every scent contained within. Just an incredible experience! Absolutely the best time I’ve had in NYC. And I’ve been up there for some really cool events. ;)

    And to those folks talking about driving in NYC, we made the trip up from just outside Baltimore, MD! 3 hour trip with a stop at my local indie bookstore to reserve my DwD copy, pick up Battle Lore’s “Battle for Westeros”, then a stop in Philly to grab my bud and his gf, then off through the magical portal that is the Lincoln tunnel. A few blocks later we found some free parking happenstancefully right around the corner from the Brass Monkey. Couldn’t have planned it better!!

    Anyway, Winter if you’re planning another event, count us in!

  • I’m sooo envious of all of you that have gotten to go to any moot, though this one sounds like it was just as much fun as the others that I’ve read about. Hopefully for the next moot, wherever it may be, my bf and I will have enough time and money to plan a short trip. : ) I’d love to meet some of the people on here, and if any of the cast and crew show up, even better!

  • Thanks again for organizing such a great night. Everyone was awesome. The scent box was even better in person (duh) and my Stark keychain is ready to be used.

    Hope to get together again soon! Franny Bee, I promise that I will not mention Sansa. :)

  • It was a perfect night. We had a great time from the food truck line where we met Franny Bee and Paul to discussing crazy, yet totally plausible theories for hours. It was nice of Jim from HBO and Finn to stop by. It’s great to see that they appreciate the fans and makes me even more excited to see the show.

    We definitely need to do this again. I think we only toasted to Jon Snow about 20 times. I am sure we have a few more in us.

  • Lauren: I think we only toasted to Jon Snow about 20 times.

    20? You sure? I’m going to lay bets on at least 25!

    I was trying to be conservative, but I don’t think it worked (btw strangers were shouting “JON SNOW!” & toasting him downstairs when I was on my way out. Idk if they even know who Jon Snow is lmao! They will soon…)

    Best. Fandom. Ever!

    Next convention, we are all going. In COSTUME, mo-fos! Oh yes…

    PS: Hubby and I were thinking of being Sansa & the Hound and making out all over the place. And no. The kids are NOT coming XP

  • Franny Bee,

    I am sorry I missed random people yelling about Jon Snow. I bet they had no idea what the hell we were yelling about half the night.

  • Hi guys

    What a day that was! I remember thinking at the Belfast moot last year that it was a shame that Phil wasn’t there but boy have you caught up for lost time! Finn popping in was just the coolest thing!

    Don’t forget that TitanCon is planning another moot in September. Get on and get registered!

  • I was only able to make it to the moot for a little bit at the very end. In between the food cart and getting over to the pub I had to jet down to Brooklyn for a pretty awesome Nobuo Uematsu orchestra (I believe a few people were going on Saturday – Zack, Eunice?). It was a lot of fun, though I can’t say I wasn’t longing to be hanging out with a bunch of ASOIAF fans!

    So I made it over to the bar at maybe 10:30, and I think a lot of people had already headed out by then. I also missed Finn, which was very unfortunate. :( But luckily I was able to meet Winter and Mrs. Winter, who were both positively lovely people – just so friendly and welcoming! I was also able to quickly meet Franny Bee, who seems like a lot of fun and with whom I wish I got to chat more. I got to shake Steve’s hand/thank him for his work really quick on his way out. So that was all awesome. I just wish I had gotten to meet more of you and to spend a whole evening discussing the series!

    Also, I was super excited when I was watching the first fifteen minutes last night and I saw the Stark guardsmen’s shields – exactly the same as the keychains!

    Thanks again, Winter, for setting up the moot. We’re lucky to have a leader who is so good to us! House Gatewatch forever!!

    One last thing:

    Franny Bee:
    I was trying to be conservative, but I don’t think it worked (btw strangers were shouting “JON SNOW!” & toasting him downstairs when I was on my way out. Idk if they even know who Jon Snow is lmao! They will soon…)

    So. Sad. I missed this. :( I can’t think of anything more awesome than drinking to Jon Snow!

  • Busy Weekend just got back online

    Great Time at the moot great to meet Everyone there including some lurkers who are very much encouraged to post/start posting again!

    Good to see Finn after Belfast too (he almost remembered me)

    thats now 2 moots on 2 continents for me…next stop Asia?

  • Lina: So. Sad. I missed this. I can’t think of anything more awesome than drinking to Jon Snow!

    Yeah, seems I left at the wrong time :/ I think I headed out at about 10:30 or thereabouts. Kicking myself.

    Would have loved to talk to you about your time at the concert too. I did go Saturday night, and it was great!

    Crotalidian (Paul): Great Time at the moot great to meet Everyone there including some lurkers who are very much encouraged to post/start posting again!

    Indeed! I enjoyed talking to you, man, but I think I spent most of my time there in conversations with people who DON’T post regularly here, which seems odd in retrospect. But yeah, hopefully the lurkers start being active site contributors.

  • Phil it was so nice to meet you and thanks for organizing the moot (and also thanks for the shoutout!). I’ve updated my blog post to link to this awesome update!

    Finn was awesome and Steve Coulson was great in sharing the kit and scents with us. Such a great group of people!!

    Matt Coburn,
    Matt were you guys the table of four that we talked about TV shows with? Very nice to meet you guys – I’m adding you via your facebook link or follow me on twitter @brandcookie !

    Lina are you one of the two girls I met (with Kate)? I hope you enjoyed the concert on Friday because Chris and I loved the Saturday performance. Will be writing a blog post about it shortly and will link it on twitter when published :)

  • Zack,
    Ahhh we must have just missed each other! Anyway, maybe we can link up on Facebook or some type of messenger service to discuss Uematsu! Glad you had a great time! Friday was fantastic – lots of FF8 (my first FF!)…and I’ve never seen so many manic-excited people in one room as when they played One Winged Angel as an encore!

    Hah, I am Kate. I just use Lina on here, as it’s the name I came to use at a forum I used to visit. But yes, it is me! Glad to hear you and Chris enjoyed, and I’ll look out for your blog post! :D

  • Lina,

    Sure, I’m always up for Final Fantasy geek talk, lol. I don’t know if you got to witness the opera from VI at your concert, but at mine it got a standing ovation for probably 2 full minutes. Great stuff.

    Franny Bee,

    I hope so, lol. Would be a shame if an event this enjoyable were one-time-only.

  • […] truck; Iron Throne photo opportunities; Iron Throne pedi-cabs; attendance of HBO people at various fan meetings (including the giving away of GoT freebies); creating massive press coverage; screening episodes […]