If you’re reading this then you’ve most likely been counting down the days until April 17th. HBO is set to premiere one of the most anticipated television programs ever produced in recent memory. So epic is this event, many of you may even be planning a viewing party to celebrate. If you don’t have a lot of experience hosting parties, fear not! Here are a few simple tips to help make your Game of Thrones viewing party a success.
Send Out an Invite – No need for paper, stamps or ravens- in this day and age the most effective invite is the Facebook invite. Simply invite all of your friends or a select few but either way you’re sure to generate a buzz for your party by posting it on Facebook or some other social network that will reach your comrades. It’s easy to pair the invite with a video or two as well for those who haven’t gotten a chance to check out the series. Send them an invitation to Westeros or link them to the first fifteen minutes of the show if they need convincing!
DVR It – I know you’re planning on watching the show as early as is humanly possible (9PM EST/PST over 6 different HBO channels) but don’t forget to record it anyway! Your guests may trickle in at various times and you may not be able to start the show right at 9. You also might want to pause periodically so make sure the show is recording. Do it if for no other reason than you wanting to watch it multiple times later this week!
Eat, Drink and be Merry – What Game of Thrones celebration would be complete without the wine and mead? Make sure you’ve got some wine, wine glasses and your favorite lager for the show. If you’re feeling ambitions you can even throw together some of Tom Colicchio’s lemon cakes that he designed for the show. Other party foods are perfectly acceptable but if you want to stick with the theme, look for large chunks of rotisseried meats (suckling pig, leg of lamb etc) and hearty winter ales! Check out these Game of Thrones themed recipies if you’re feeling adventurous! If you’re thinking healthy, fresh fruit, veggies and cured meats might be the way to go. Either way, be sure to have something for your honored guests to munch on before, during and after the show.
Answer Questions but Don’t Spoil It! – Okay, okay we get it.. you’re the loremaster of Westeros. Keep in mind- some of us have only read the first novel and/or don’t know anything about George R.R. Martin’s masterpiece. Be patient with your new Game of Thrones converts for they may have many questions about what is happening, and particularly what is happening next. There are scores of important characters and places that are hard to keep track of so feel free to interject with information on those aspects. But you’ll want to refrain from “spoiling” any part of the epic fantasy. You want to keep them coming back for more, don’t you? You don’t want to be the only person you know who loves these characters anymore! Finally, you’ve got the chance to get your mainstream friends into a semi-hardcore fantasy series! Don’t mess it up by spoiling it for them. I know you can do it. Be strong.
Don’t forget the Ladies – If I were to wager a guess I’d say that at least a plurality of Game of Thrones’ viewing audience will be males 20-40 years of age. But there’s no reason it has to be that way! Game of Thrones is full of enough political intrigue, strong female characters and *ahem* sex to appease most female viewers. The show is more mid evil politics than it is dragons and magic. Not that girls aren’t into those sorts of things but for many, it can be a turn off. Remember, there hasn’t been another fantasy series like this one well… ever! If they’re thinking that Game of Thrones is just a thinly veiled Xena, Warrior Princess they’ve got it all wrong! Game of Thrones sets the new standard for quality, accessible fantasy on television.
Just Have Fun – You’ve got a great show to watch, great food to eat and great friends to share it all with. Does life get any better than this? At the end of the day you needn’t worry so much about food or invites, those are merely suggestions to help make your party more grand and memorable. But truly, getting together with friends and sharing something that is important to you is the reason to hold a viewing party. Don’t stress out and ruin the premiere for yourself. Invite all who are willing and do your best to make them feel welcome in the world of Westeros. Good Luck and we’ll see you this Sunday at 9PM!