Get ready to greet your loyal subjects, it’s that time of year again! Winter may be on the way out for us, however, Spring brings us the premiere of a new season of Game of Thrones! With Season 4 airing April 6th at 9PM EST on HBO, millions of households all over the realm will be throwing their annual Game of Thrones premiere celebrations. Plan a party for April 6th, or party all weekend long while watching the Game of Thrones 60 Hour Marathon. Whether your party will be a gala affair, or a simple gathering, we have all the ideas to help you plan your own event.
If your guests hail from all over the Seven Kingdoms and beyond, you’ll need to send out ravens carrying your royal decree, to invite your honored guests to join the festivities. Write your own or consider pre-made cards such as these House Greyjoy notecards. In a rush? Check out this personalized instant digital downloadable version from below. Ravens included.
Greet your Lords and Ladies with a small token upon their arrival. Our party this year has a House Bolton theme, so we plan to present each Lord with his own sword. No need to leave your weapons at the door at a Bolton party! We’ve chosen wooden swords, however, plastic swords are also quite easy to find. Ladies will each receive a pink, long stemmed rose, tied with pink silk ribbons, with tiny flayed man charms attached. You could choose any color you like to represent your House loyalty. For a Westeros inspired theme, why not present your guests with a Syrio Forel inspired “Not Today” keychain, or a button or magnet representing their favorite house? Make treat bags in your theme colors or decorate them with your house sigil. Fabric bags could be filled with treats or used to “wrap” favor, and the bags can be reused after the party ends.
Themed attire is an important part of a Game of Thrones premiere party. You could ask your guests to go all out and dress as their favorite Game of Thrones character. Need help putting together the perfect ensemble? Check out our Game of Cosplay article for inspiration.
If cosplay isn’t your style, ask guests to arrive wearing something to represent their favorite House’s colors or sigil, or keep it simple with a T-shirt that shows your team spirit.
Before the feasting begins, there must be tourneys! You may want to hold a joust in your backyard, or a melee in your living room, however, if that’s more than you had in mind, we have plenty of ideas that will make your premiere party one to remember. As it’s a Westeros themed party, we assume the wine will be flowing, making the tourneys all the more amusing.
- Create Your own Personal Sigil – We’ve purchased wooden plaques, which guests can paint with the sigil of their choice. You’ll need acrylic paints and brushes, of course. Consider awarding prizes for best design, most original, funniest, and most terrifying. Be kind!
- Knowledge is Power – Test your guests to see who possesses the most knowledge of Game of Thrones. Playing Game of Thrones trivia will let you know whether you have a Petyr Baelish or a Lord Varys in your midst, or if instead, you’re harboring a Hodor. Check out the free Game of Thrones trivia/quiz apps in the both the iTunes store and the Android Market. We tried out “Game of Thrones Quiz” for iPhone and “Trivia for Game of Thrones” for Android. We found both apps to have some decent questions and both focus only on the TV series. There are several more free Game of Thrones trivia/quiz apps in for both devices, so you should be able to find one to suit your needs.
- Origami Dragon Folding – Are you the blood of the Dragon? Follow the steps in this video and you’ll find you’re the Mother or Father of Dragons in no time. You’ll need origami paper and a laptop or tablet with the video queued up and ready. I’ve tried it, along with several other Game of Thrones geeks and as guinea pigs, we all found it to be totally doable.
My pink sparkly dragon is adorable!
- Pin the Dagger on Joffrey – Your local Staples or similar retailer will make poster-sized prints, often with same day service. Have a poster made, of the King who everyone loves to hate, so that guests can stab him to their hearts’ content. You’ll need blindfolds, cut out daggers (choose small, medium or large before downloading and printing) and double sided tape. By all means, choose whatever body part you like for your guests to target!
- Game of Thrones Drinking Game – Here it is, you knew it was coming. No Game of Thrones premiere would be complete without wine and ale, aplenty. The rules are easy. When one of the suggested scenarios occurs during the Game of Thrones episode, the players must drink. It’s quite easy to make your own version and to make your own rules. You could also add drinking as a penalty for wrong answers in your trivia game, as a prerequisite to Origami Dragon Folding, or Pin the Dagger on Joffrey, if you want to liven things up a little.
Last comes the feast, of course! There is truly no end to the possibilities. Dress your table with goblets and your finest tableware, or serve pizza and beer on paper plates. Whatever suits the tastes of your guests will be a hit, for sure.
- Deck the hall – Decorate your great hall (or reasonable facsimile, there of) with the colors of your house, or several of the great houses of Westeros. Hang banners and bunting, fill house sigil steins with Game of Thrones beers for toasting your true King. Drinking wine? Why not add Game of Thrones wine charms to guests’ glasses? Watch the premiere while lounging on Houses of Westeros sigil covered cushions. Serving lemon cakes? It’s all about the presentation. Display small desserts or hors d’oeuvres on a castle themed stand. Finish off the night with shots served in house sigil glasses.
- If your concern is authenticity – Check out A Feast of Ice and Fire, the Official Companion cookbook to George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series. If you don’t have time to wait for the book to arrive, the authors of the cookbook feature some of their popular recipes on their website, The Inn at the Crossroads. I highly recommend purchasing the book, however. It’s incredibly well done and we’ve enjoyed trying several of the recipes.
House Themed Gatherings
While some fans will lean toward a more general celebration of all the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, for some, it’s all about being immersed in a very specific themed experience. With Game of Thrones, there are so many themes to choose from, you’ll need to have a party for every episode of the season! Below are a few specific ideas, but don’t stop there! The sky’s the limit!
- To invoke a House Bolton feel, we’ll have pink flowers, mingled with swords, daggers and lots of sharp blades. We’re serving lots of meat, of course, and closing the meal with a blood red dessert. We’ll be setting our buffet feast with a cheese board served with quince paste, fresh figs, oat cakes and heirloom wheat bread. Our “main course” items will consist of English pork hand pies and pork sausages. There will be salad, fresh fruit and nuts for anyone who’d like to eat more than just meat. We’ll finish it off with poached pears with pomegranate and cardamom, tiny raspberry tarts and Turkish delight. Rose flavored, of course.
- For House Lannister, drape your setting in rich hues of red and gold. You might serve honeyed wine and pretty Cornish game hens dressed with cranberry and thyme. This would be party well suited to a gorgeous red and gold dessert, like a plum and currant tart. You can end your evening with a cup of Tyrion Lannister inspired tea. Lion decals could decorate your walls, while red and gold fabric by the yard would drape beautifully over your tables.
- House Stark requires a wintery setting, grey and white, with a hint of silver sparkle. Winter is Coming, so hang your house words for all to see! To chase away the chill, perhaps hot spiced cider served in dire wolf drinking horns, or if you prefer the cold, Winterfell beer coasters to set your chilled beer mugs on. Personalized direwolf flasks would make great favors for Lords, while Ladies might enjoy a Winterfell direwolf necklace.
- The Night’s Watch would make a very cool theme, with all the guests dressed in black from head to toe. I think I’d decorate with black feathers and faux fur and distribute dragonglass weapons for protection from White Walkers. I’d definitely ask my guests to recite the Night’s Watch Oath (see the video below). How about inviting Ghost the direwolf and maybe some ravens to liven things up? If you’re handy, you could even try building your own miniature Wall out of ice cubes – but please don’t ask me how! If you figure it out, let us know in the comments!
Whether you’d like to plan your party on a budget, or throw around coin like a Lannister, there are plenty of ways to host a Game of Thrones premiere event. In fact, each time I plan a Game of Thrones themed party I find that I can’t stop thinking of new ideas. Make your party as simple or as elaborate as you like. Spend days cooking a spectacular feast, or just order a roasted chicken from a local farm and serve it with wine, cheese, fresh fruit and warm crusty bread. If you’re pressed for time, a pizza will do. I’ve done all of the above and more, and no matter what, a fabulous time is had by all. No time to plan a premiere party? Never fear, you’ve got weeks and weeks to plan a great event for the season finale! However you decide to celebrate, don’t forget the bread and salt!
MJ Snow is an avian behavior specialist, animal activist, role player, blogger and writer. A LONG time George RR Martin fangirl and Game of Thrones Addict, MJ spends way too much time in Westeros. MJ is the co-founder of The Snow Keep, a short story and fan-ficiton blog, and founder of The Brothers Clegane, a Sandor & Gregor Clegane tribute blog. She also co-curates several other Game of Thrones themed blogs, as well as Empowering Animals, an Etsy shop which sells wristbands to raise funds for animal causes.
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