A Game of Thrones Viewing Party Guide

By Jacob Klein on Apr 14, 2011 to Game of Thrones

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!

  • I Hate Freshens

    “the show is more mid evil politics than it is dragons and magic”
    *medieval. Stupid. You’re the kind of person watching this show?

  • @Jesse Thanks so much for the link! You’re my hero of the night.

    @Jacob I’m a girl. I like kittens, wearing skirts and heels while baking cookies, and I also LOVE Game of Thrones. I appreciate your efforts to encourage readers to get their girlfriends/sisters/moms/cousins/roommates etc to watch the show, because it is a fantastic storyline.

    If you’re looking for a girl’s review of the female characters in the show, I can offer this: There is something familiar for everyone. As a child, I was more like Arya. Then I got silly and romantic like Sansa. Next, I hope to be more like Daenerys (especially if I get cool pets…). The series has tomboys, silly sappy girls, cool chicks, crazy moms, and everyone in between.

    But really? If a girl needs convincing, just tell her about Jaime Lannister. Because I’d watch the show just for that…

  • Jovian

    Also, I think GRRM and HBO has tried to appeal to men and women with this series.
    You’ll have the men drooling over scantily clad Daenerys and whores a plenty. Then there’s Cersei for the guys who like the bad girls and Sansa for the guys who like the good (underage) ones.
    But in the other camp, you’ve got the incredibly sexy Jaime Lannister and the hot wildness that is Khal Drogo. Not to mention Jon and Robb for the younger audience (and cougars). So where sex appeal is concerned, I think they’ve evened the playing field.

  • Jovian

    Hey, I’m a huge ASOIAF fan a woman too! I’ve been obsessed with the series ever since I read the first book a year and a half ago and couldn’t put it down. I’ve been an avid fantasy reader since the fourth grade, and I had a group of crazy fantasy reading girlfriends to swap books with in high school. I tried to kick the habit in college, but one of my friends kept pushing Game of Thrones. I was hesitant about it because she said it was taking her a long time to read, but she said it was up my alley. Boy, was she right! I can’t get enough of this series and the characters. So I am ridiculously excited to see what I think will be the event of my month. And Jacob Klein, I would LOVE to review the first episode for you guys.

  • Thanks for commenting Jojo. I had no idea aSoIaF skewed that way!

  • jojo

    I enjoyed your article, despite the rather controversial comments re: women (I think you got a lot of pushback on this because in A Song of Ice and Fire has skewed towards a female audience more than most fantasy).

    I think I’ll make those lemoncakes, buy some mead and ale, and invite friends over when I watch it! :) I would be sooooooooooooooo pumped if any of them like it nearly as much as I already do.

  • Also, Hue, you’re correct. It SEEMS like fantasy is a 100% male universe but it certainly isn’t. We’re just arguiing over percentages that are impossible to verify at this point. Maybe 75% is too high a statistic. I’ll change that to “a plurality”. Thank you for your input and I hope this allays any hard feelings about women in fantasy.

  • In fact, I would LOVE to get a woman’s perspective on Game of Thrones. If someone knows of a female GoT fan that would like to review the first episode from that perspective we would be so very grateful!

  • Haha.. I think some have my taken my meaning to be exactly the opposite of what I was saying. I apologize for being so unclear. By saying “don’t forget about the ladies” I am attempting to smash the stereotype that women cant be into fantasy. Thus, don’t forget to invite even your traditionally non-fantasy-loving friends as well! Whereas it seems you took ‘dont forget about the ladies’ it to mean that “women aren’t into fantasy”. Which surely isn’t true. Are we really disagreeing about the fact that, at least traditionally, a plurality of fantasy fans are male? Which again, to clarify, DOESNT mean that ‘women aren’t into fantasy’… it’s just something I’ve observed at ComiCons, Magic the Gathering Tournaments, D&D meetings, Lord of the Rings movie premieres etc… can you honestly say you haven’t observed the same phenomenon?

  • Katy

    Ugh, I really hate comments like “women aren’t into fantasy”. What if I were to say “all men love baseball”. I know plenty of guys who aren’t into baseball, and I know plenty of women who are into fantasy. Do you want to know what women want to watch? You’re never going to know what “all women” want because it’s an incredibly diverse group of people. And for the record, TV shows like Buffy, True Blood, Torchwood, Dr. Who, and Battlestar Galactica have / had huge female audiences. All of these shows are very heavily sci-fi or fantasy. There’s a very good chance that women already know about GoT, and are already looking forward to seeing it.

  • steve

    i’ll take that wager, and you’ll lose.

    it’s an HBO show filled with sex… contrary to some really old school opinions…those shows are DIRECTED AT WOMEN not men.

  • I want to see female fantasy fans as much as the next guy but unfortunately it just hasn’t been the case. Hopefully they feel welcomed.. that’s why I urged people not to forget about them! I think we feel the same way here. Not sure what to tell you if you really think that the fantasy world is 50% female. Not in my experience!

  • Hue

    75% of the loud, visible ones are male, because the 25% are the only ones who dare make noise in big communities tailored toward male audiences. Look at your own article and how it assumes a male reader. Way to make female and queer fans feel comfortable, bro.

  • @Jesse Thanks man! Great resource for everyone reading this! Enjoy your party!

  • Thanks for the mention! The lemon cakes are absolutely delicious.

    If you’re looking for more food ideas, check out http://innatthecrossroads.wordpress.com/ which is FULL of recipes inspired by the series.

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