(No, not me. Well, yes me. But I’m not special. I mean, I am special in a short-bus kind of … special … way. As you’ll see if you keep reading…)
The menu for this finale was, appropriately enough, Winterfell themed: suckling head cheese with farro and dried fruits; venison, baked apple, barley and cinnamon; and lemony-lemony lemon cakes for dessert!
Wouldn’t you know it (a little bird had whispered the possibility to me, so I wasn’t entirely shocked), A Song of Ice and Fire author George R. R. Martin showed!
That’s right, GRRM himself, cap’n's cap affixed dutifully to his happy little head, was on hand to hold court and to snarf a few salty but savory pieces of venison and mingle with the goggling gaggle. More than a few cameras were pointed in his direction, but he handles this stuff like a pro, which I clearly do not (again see below). MTV was also there, getting some footage. I may or may not have leeeeaned into some of that.
“It’s the final day,” George confided in the FaBster, “I had to see what this was all about. And I’ve been told I need to try head cheese.”
Well me too! Partly because the never-bashful Brynnalia was on hand (there she is in typical fashion mackin’ on George… who looks nervous, and rightly so) and she refused to try it, and partly because, well, it’s head cheese! It sounds like a dish in which you stuff chunks of curdled milk inside a pig’s ear cavity (which is sort of what I was hoping for), but …
… come to find out it’s actually made up of jellied bits of flesh leftover from a pig’s head after they’ve cooked the rest of it.
Head cheese is not cheese. I was eating face! Awesome.
I got to hang with George, as well as HBO super-woman Mara and her bemused husband, who remarked to me how he thought it would have been cool to do one of these food tie-ins with Tom Hanks’ From The Earth To The Moon series. I agree! A truck filled with freeze-dried ice cream and space rations? I’m there!
ThinkHero.com was also there, and in force; Dennis Tzeng, the sunshiney Jennings Roth Cornet, and of course Kristen Nedopak (an irrepressible force of nature, that one). Think Hero got to conduct an interview with George as well: Here it is!
Remember the part about me riding the short bus? Well Think Hero actually took a moment to interview me (me being a representative of House Gatewatch and also a Y-list celebrity in my own right). And it was going swimmingly until they actually asked me a question—something akin to “So you guys are THE source, what sort of inside scoop can you give us that no one has heard about the series thus far?”
Of course what immediately came to mind was the fact that we recently learned Gemma Jackson was caught scouting locales for season two—an especially suspicious circumstance given that we haven’t heard any official word on a greenlight for season two. So I said this, and gave the locations as “Turkey and uh … uh … buuhhhh …”
I couldn’t freaking remember Croatia. I wanted to say Serbia. I think my “Uhhhh” went on for a good ten minutes of filming (or at least that’s how it felt). And I slowly felt the encroachment of my own doom, not just because I was losing my brain on camera, but because Croatia is the home of a number of House Gatewatch’s more loyal knights, like The Smiling Knight, Andrew Andrija—and especially The Rabbit who is known at times to be a violent, revenge-minded creature.
Suffice to say I may have nimble typing fingers, but stick a camera in my grill and really, all I know how to do is make funny faces. There is a decent chance none of the footage is useable. If this interview never sees the light of day, I will be a happy FaB.
Anyway. Venardhi was there too (sadly he killed the epic ‘stache for spring), and Erik (Blackfyre) from the always-bawdy Brotherhood Without Banners. Jeffrey of the Tight-Tee Harem made an appearance, though by the look of it he had seemingly executed the other harem girls (perhaps they had displeased him) and was down to only Victoria. (Or, she defeated the others in single and lethal combat, winning the right to have Jeffrey on her arm.)
I met the dude who plays @Mormonts_Raven on Twitter (I won’t blow his cover, but he’s extremely cool). And I met the spectacular Steve Coulson, the guy who runs Campfire and created all those freaking cool Game of Thrones promotional tie-ins. Cheerful, intelligent man, accompanied by the stalwart Ryan. Also on site was Zoe Taylor, from the HBO marketing team.
Of course this was really about the fans. It being a Friday, not as many people ended up coming today as other days, but it was a steady trickle. And what they lacked in sheer numbers in they made up for in pure enthusiasm.
And hey, it was a sunny (if slightly chilly) April day—a Friday in the City of Angels. Game of Thrones would be here in only a little over a week; George was happy, the fans were happy, even Venardhi was happy.
And I mentioned the food was free, right? The time had come for FaB to finally sample the fare!
Once the head cheese was snarfed up (not bad; a little fatty for my taste, but the farro was delicious), it was time, at long last, for lemon cake! I am Team Sansa: I need me some lemon cake! I shifted the paper dish from hand to the other, but my plastic fork started to slip, so I made a grab for it. Something else slipped out of my hand—
(Very nearly perfect shot, isn’t it? It’s amazing how well I can hit a target I’m not even aiming at.)
Me: “Does … anybody have a napkin? One that they don’t mind me using, I mean. One they’re not collecting. One maybe without a Game of Thrones logo affixed to it…”
(I was perfectly willing to remove my shoe and use that as a plate, until Blackfyre succinctly pointed out there were people already in line for seconds. So I snuck back in and got a second lemon cake. That one, I assure you, was delicious. Worth the wait—and the mess!)
Always Support the Bottom!