Scenes From the Game of Thrones Fan Event in Brooklyn

Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev

Thousands of Game of Thrones fans lined up outside Barclays Center in Brooklyn last night, all of them more than willing to surrender their phones (to security guards) in the name of HBO’s stringent no-spoilers policy in return for watching the season-four premiere a few weeks early. Tickets had been priced at a populist $15 apiece, and sold out in fifteen minutes. Not everyone came in costume, but those who did committed fully. Milling outside the Atlantic Center subway station we found faux versions of Robert Baratheon, Jaime Lannister, Melisandre, Brienne, Robb Stark, a few you’d-only-get-it-if-you-read-the-books characters, and even one that we’re pretty sure was made up. Oh, cos players, you make the world more fun! Click through to see all the action, and stick around for on-stage appearances by fan favorites like Hodor, Arya, and even George R.R. Martin himself.

Wait a minute, Jon and Dany aren’t together on the show! Dani: It’s actually the number one non-actual-show pairing. For some reason everyone thinks they’ll end up together. Brendan: They’re the power couple. How long did you work on your costumes? Brendan: I’ve been working on and off on this for two-and-a-half years. I hand-sewed the leather, hand-sewed the fur on. It’s real leather, real fur. Dani: This one’s a rush job. It was the warmest one I had, though. How would you get George R.R. Martin to write faster? Dani: I think if we’ll leave him alone he’ll think he has no fans left and then he’ll have to hurry and finish it. Brendan: Or we just send him lots of tacos and food and give him the incentive. Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev
Kane: I couldn’t bring my bigger dragon. It’s on a pole that I hold so it looks like it’s flying above me, but I didn’t want to have to carry it around here. Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev
Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev
Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev
You’re friends [with Kat and Anna]? I met a lot of them at Dragon Con in Atlanta last year. They met each other at Comic Con in New York and there is a Facebook group called Game of Thrones Costumes with like 1,500 people on it. [Today] I flew in, got up at 3 o’clock in the morning. Why Ygritte? Because people kept telling me on Facebook that I look like her. I’ve been making costumes since I was 12 or so, because my hometown in Germany has a huge medieval festival. I already know how to shoot a bow because of that. Are you here to find a guy dressed like Jon Snow? No, I have a fiancé. He actually looks kind of Jon Snow but he doesn’t want to cosplay him. It’s fine. I’ll get him there at some point. Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev
Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev
Why King Robert? I’m a big fan of the Baratheons in general, and being a big guy, I kinda feel Robert’s my calling. Did you think about bringing a boar to gore you? As you see, this crown has blood on it. There was a moment where I was just going to walk around with a bloody shirt and the crown stuck in my stomach and just tell everyone I was fine, but I just went with the classic. Are you hoping to find a woman here who looks like Cersei? I would rather look for a woman who looks like Lyanna Stark, but I guess I’ll have to settle for Cersei. Is it hard to be friends with people who haven’t read the books? A lot of our friends just watch the show, and it’s really fun to see their excitement and just secretly knowing what’s going to happen. I enjoy it a lot. I like people who don’t know what’s going on. Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev
Why Jamie? He’s my favorite character in the series because he’s the big redemption story. He starts off as a really, really arrogant, self-assured character that ends up having a lot of things taken from him and has to learn how to grow throughout the series. You have two hands. That’s not very authentic. I experimented with some latex stuff to spray paint my hand to make it gold, but I just couldn’t find a good glove that could hold gold convincingly. Are you upset with George R.R. Martin for not writing faster? I am, but I also appreciate that he’s heavily involved with the production of the show, which makes it truer to the books, which I like. So I forgive him for that. There are a lot of Sansa haters out there, are you one of them? Any character that you start out hating always grows into someone you love. All the characters you love and were really proud of like Ned Stark and Robb, they all end up dead. I think it’s kind of a George R.R. Martin rule. I think this whole weird story is about exploring these people’s growth over time in these really crazy, messed up medieval circumstances. Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev
Nice move, cross-dressing. Kathleen: We’ve literally been switching costumes constantly. Last year for Halloween, we went to a dub step concert, we went to a lake house party, we went to the beach, and we went to the Renaissance fair in these costumes, switched. This is what I do all day every day. I just make costumes, and I love my life. And Game of Thrones is my favorite show in, like, the last decade, so I’ve kind of gotten nuts making Game of Thrones costumes. What’s next? Kathleen: I’m making Margaery’s wedding dress soon. I made him Jon Snow. Ryan: I’m a bad Jon Snow because I look too happy all the time and I’m a bad Drogo for the same reasons. I’m bad at angry and sad. I’m a bad Khaleesi too. You haven’t read the books, so what happened when you saw the Red Wedding? Ryan: I was like, “WHAT?!” Still, you can’t be that surprised. They kill off main characters all the time. Kathleen: I had a hint that something bad was going to happen. I knew was it was called the Red Wedding. I was like, “Whomp whomp, somebody’s going to die.” I didn’t know EVERYBODY was going to die. Are you Sansa haters? Kathleen: I think she’s getting stronger. She looks like maybe she’s going to do something. I’m hoping. Ryan: Arya’s definitely way cooler. Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev
Are you a particular direwolf? I wanted to be Ghost but I don’t have enough white clothing. So Grey Wind, that’s what I’m going with. Did you practice your face painting? I didn’t, I just found some pictures of stuff to do and just sat in the bathroom like, “I hope this turns out okay.” You haven’t read the books. How did you react to the Red Wedding? Not well, I threw a lot of things. I was screaming, because I kind of knew what was going to happen but not fully, and actually seeing it was really sad. Really, really sad. Because I wanted to be wrong so badly. But I wasn’t. Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev
Wait, Quaithe of the Shadow? She’s more from the novels. You know Melisandre? Quaithe’s a shadowbinder like her, but she works more for Daenerys and gives her prophecies throughout the novels. In the TV show she has one scene with Jorah and it’s completely different from what the book is, so I just went with the novel’s creation. Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev
What are you? Kristina: An extra from the house of Tarragon. Why? Kristina: I liked the colors. Have you read the books? Kristina: I have not read the books, I haven’t seen it. I’m with him, he likes Game of Thrones. Tim: The pointed ears are a mark of the House of Tarragon. They’re known for their incest and to keep the bloodline pure, they only mate with mothers who have particularly pointy ears. So it’s curated in the sense that her mother and father were brother and sister. They’re imitators of the House of Targaryan, so they’re not going to come into play until probably the final book. That sounds made up. Tim: If you read Book 5, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about. So you don’t know anything about Game of Thrones. Kristina: I do not. Are you willfully ignorant? Kristina: I am. Why? Kristina: To make him angry. I don’t like it when he likes things. I don’t want him to be happy. Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev
What’s your costume? Margaery, aka Boobs McGee, which is pretty much what she is in the show. All of her dresses are, like, barely covering her nipples! All of them! I had to pick the one that is the least nipple-expose-y that isn’t a huge collar to go around my face and this is it. Everything else is just … nipples! Is that how you pictured her from reading the books? To be fair, that is what she would do. This doesn’t surprise me. It’s a good decision on her part because if anyone is going to be Boobs McGee, it will be her, or Illyria Sand, who’s going to be in this season, which is truly exciting. For the record, I don’t cosplay her because she’s Boobs McGee. She just happens to be Boobs McGee. Is she your favorite character? She’s one of my favorites. Actually all my favorites are dudes with facial hair, so I can’t actually do it well. I’m too curvy to be Renly, though that’s actually the plan eventually. My friend is going to Loras and I’m going to be Renly and it’s going to be awesome. Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev
Tell me about Blood Raven. People who’ve read all the books know him. He’s going to be in this season of the show. I just think he’s a really cool character. There’s a lot of spoilers with this plotline, but he’s possibly a sorcerer, definitely got some magic going on, he’s 125 years old, an albino with a weird birth mark that looks like a blood raven, and he’s a Targaryen bastard, so there’s a lot of history involved with him. How much effort did you put into your costume? The T-shirt I painted myself. It’s his personal sigil. How do you relate to friends who haven’t read the books? It depends on their opinions on my favorite characters, because some of the characters are very different from show to book, so there’s sort of different information that they don’t know. My favorite character is Cersei, but the book character is a lot more appealing to me, personally, and some of the things are a little contradictory. So I find people’s opinions of Cersei on the show are a little different than my personal opinions because of the facts. Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev
How much time did you put into this costume? Surprisingly little. I had a medieval themed Bat Mitvah many, many years ago and I kind of scavenged the bags that I have and found stuff to work. I considered making her pregnant, pre-demon-birth. But decided against it. Were you torn between Melisandre and Ygritte because of your hair? My friends were like, “You’re really more like Melisandre.” What is it about her that you identify with more? Well, they’re both kind of outspoken women, but I think the kind of dark power of Melisandre is something I don’t necessarily relate to but aspire to, perhaps. How would she do as a bra fitter? I don’t think Melisandre would make a great bra fitter. Her interpersonal skills and sympathetic aspect are not that well fostered. But I think it’s something I don’t get to do in my day to day life a lot, you know, kind of be evil and plotting, so that’s part of what I like about her. Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev
Did you try to go as decomposing Robb? No but I have the wolf head, so I have options: Dying or super dead. How much effort did you put in this costume? I made it for Halloween and I spent a lot of time researching because I had to get the right wolf mask. And I had to figure out how to get the arrows to stick in. It was really hard to find arrows, so I made them out of dowels from Michael’s and feathers. And I had someone custom cut these wolf pins. It was an Etsy thing. And this leather jacket is my mom’s from the ’70s. Why Robb? It’s a fun costume. Originally I just went around with a lot of the wolf head. That was really fun because it was a few months after the Red Wedding aired and everybody was like, “Aw, too soon!” Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev
You got a free Jon Snow doll. Is that the one you wanted? He’s my favorite character. He knows nothing. I think he’ll win by knowing nothing. Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev
That’s kind of a half-assed costume. I’m probably not the biggest fan here because there’s 7,000 crazy lunatics, but I brought my crown and I’m fully up to date on all episodes. I have not read the books. Have you had the Ommegang Game of Thones beer before? I have, but it’s very, very hard to get at the brew pub near me. They put it on Facebook every time they get it, and by the time I get off work it’s gone. But it’s good. I tried to get the Red Ale, which is better, but we blew the keg so we got the stout. We’ll be back for eight more of those. Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev
How long did you work on your costume? Christina: It was actually a surprise that I was even coming to this, so I really had no time to prepare. They surprised me, they got me off work Ashley: We talked to her bosses, told her two days ago. She cried on the spot. Christina: Best friends ever. Ashley: It was an important part of our friendship, Game of Thrones. It’s kind of a geek thing, when you find someone who has a similar obsession and you think: I thought I was the only one! It becomes a big deal. Are you a Sansa-hater? Ashley: She’s such a sad character. She thinks she’s doing the best for herself, she’s clearly selfish, but she learns. That’s part of growing up anyway. So a lot of people don’t admit to identifying with her. They do. Especially young girls. Which character do you identify with most? Ashley: Can I say a dragon? I mean, because of course. It’s a dragon. Photo: Konstantin Sergeyev
In front of the Iron Throne, Common raps his song “The Ladder” from the Catch The Throne mixtape. His constant exhortations to to the crowd to say “We came to par-tay!” get a pretty tepid reaction in this room, where most people came to watch the Season 4 premiere. Photo: Amanda Schwab/STARPIX© 2014
Hodor emceed! Cast member Kristian Nairin was introduced as “Bran Stark’s loyal servant, and the most talkative man in Westeros.” He moderated a Q&A with creator George R.R. Martin, Maisie Williams (Arya Stark), John Bradley-West (Samwell Tarly), and Sibel Kekilli (Shae), with questions generated by fans. Photo: Amanda Schwab/STARPIX© 2014
“George, let’s start with you,” Nairin began. “I’m working on it!” Martin shouted, to big laughs and applause from fans who worry he’s doing too much publicity he’ll die before he finishes writing the rest of the books. Two things we learned from him: 1) He has acted in the show, as a nobleman guest at Dany’s wedding in the original pilot. He had a big hat and beard extensions, “and they cut me right out, left me on the cutting room floor.” 2) He based the Red Wedding on historical eventslike Scotland’s Black Dinner and the Glencoe Massacre, and has drawn from Richard III, Henry VII, and Edward IV. “You steal from one person, it’s plagiarism, you steal from a lot of people, it’s research. I do a lot of research going all through history.” Photo: Amanda Schwab/STARPIX© 2014
Maisie Williams seemed so overwhelmed that she almost cried. One fan question was how much she practices her sword skills. “A lot more than it actually looks when you see it on screen,” said the actress. “There’s a lot of great camera tricks. I’m not quite as skilled with a sword as Arya is. There’s been several cases where I’ve hit myself and other people in the face, and camera equipment as well, which is always lovely, when you get those disappointed parent looks from the camera guy.” And how would she kill Joffrey? “Stick him with the pointy end!“ Photo: Amanda Schwab/STARPIX© 2014
Looking out at the screaming crowd, Kekilli exclaimed, “Holy shit!” and then took a photo on her phone. Photo: Amanda Schwab/STARPIX© 2014
John Bradley-West charmed everyone in the room. Highlights: 1) His story of a day shooting in Iceland when they couldn’t get to their location because the temperature was minus 35 degrees: “So we just had to find another location. And we walked about five minutes out the front door of our hotel, saw this huge wall of ice and thought, ‘Yeah that’ll probably do, won’t it?’ It’s the bit immediately preceding Sam’s first encounter with the White Walkers at the end of Season 2. That was just the back garden of our hotel — pretty spectacular.“ 2) His answer to the question of what’s the best part of shooting GoT: “Five words: Kit Harrington’s big brown eyes.” Photo: Amanda Schwab/STARPIX© 2014
“The perfect accessory to a New York City apartment,” said Martin, introducing the moment of the evening where one lucky audience member won an Iron Throne of his very own. It went to Mike Rose, a guy in Section F-6, row 3, seat 4 (a.k.a the most hated man in the arena). “The first thing to remember about owning an Iron Throne is do not get drunk and fall on a sword,” Nairin advised. “All Hail King Mike!” said Martin. “I actually have two of these at home.” As King Mike left the stage, he whispered an edict to Martin. “He commanded me to finish the book,” Martin said. Photo: Amanda Schwab/STARPIX© 2014
Game of Thrones Fans at Barclays Center