HBO’s Game of Thrones

How Do You Kill a Dragon? Highlights from the NYC Game of Thrones Season 4 Fan Premiere

Quite aside from Tuesday’s dazzling Game of Thrones season 4 premiere at Lincoln Center, NYC-area fans were invited (well, invited to pay for) a special screening of the first episode on Thursday night at Brooklyn’s new Barclay Center.

Read through for highlights from the event, including what Arya’s favorite song would be, an interesting answer from George R. R. Martin, and Hodor!

The event itself was billed as an “Epic Fan Experience” and although it didn’t feature anything you haven’t already seen at a con, it moved along quickly enough to be fun.

  • As soon as the lights went out, a drum line emerged from the wings and surrounded the seats at the front of the stage. In the dark of the arena it threatened to get very “Rains of Castamere”-y, but thankfully the drumline only played the Game of Thrones theme music.
  • Which turned out to be a stealth introduction of Common, who appeared on stage in the Iron Throne and proceeded to bust out his track “The Ladder” from the recent Catch The Throne rap album. It was a hard crowd to warm up, though, and Common seemed to be way more relaxed when performing his own hit “Universal Mind Control.”
  • Who should follow that but HODOR! Kristian Nairn was our host for the evening and although we tried to start a “Ho-dor! Ho-dor!” chant in our section, it didn’t quite take.
  • Which was okay, because our special guests for the evening were also author George R. R. Martin, Sibel “Shae” Kekilli, John “Samwell” Bradley, and Maisie “Fucking” Williams! (Who plays Arya, just so we’re clear.)
  • There was lots of random “Finish the book!” heckling from the crowd upon Martin’s entry, although nothing too disruptive.
  • George R. R. Martin LOVES being able to yell for Hodor to do things in real life. As did the audience.
  • Kekilli was overwhelmed at being the center of attention for an arena full of people. “I don’t mean to curse but holy shit!”
  • A Q&A ensued with the folks up on stage. Martin as soon as he got the microphone, before being asked anything: “I’m working on it!”
  • For Bradley, what is the best thing about working on the show? “Five words. Kit. Harrington’s. Big. Brown. Eyes.”
  • For Kekilli, what is the best thing about working on the show? Gesturing to the crowd before her: “…holy shit!”
  • If Maisie Williams could kill anyone on the show, it would be Joffrey. Just like her character.
  • But she wouldn’t do it like Arya. Maisie would make sure “it was in the most humiliating way possible. Like, naked! In a bad place or in a bad position.”
  • Kekilli on why Shae loves Tyrion. “Really, she respects him and that leads her to love him the way that he is.” Kekilli’s explanation would prove prophetic considering the events of the first season 4 episode screened afterwards.
  • Other than Samwell Tarly, who would Bradley play in the series? “Jaime.”
  • The audience wanted Sam to be Sam, though, and yelled their encouragement. Although it might not have come through as they intended… Bradley: “Sam’s a winner? Oh! I thought you said Sam’s a weiner!”
  • Then we got pretty much the most amazing question of the hour: what would be the top song on your character’s playlist?

For Shae: “Bitch” by Meredith Brooks


For Arya: “Flawless” by Beyonce


For Samwell: “Emotional Rescue” by The Rolling Stones

So perfect.

  • At the end of the Q&A GRRM and co. raffled off an actual Iron Throne to a lucky audience member! A fellow named Mike ended up with the prize, and the honor of figuring out how to get a life-size Iron Throne to an NYC apartment, through an NYC apartment’s front door, and determining what piece of furniture he would have to replace. Good luck, Mike!
  • There was one final question for George R. R. Martin that might intrigue fans of the books. Can a stag kill a dragon? More to the point, could any animal kill a dragon? His response: “That remains to be seen, but perhaps…another dragon.”

THEORY TIME! Read our spoiler-filled recap of the first episode “Two Swords” here.


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