A Love for the Throne

By Mike Rosenberg

"The king can do as he likes."

Words spoken by the mad king, and also words spoken by Joffrey, the new king, in the hit HBO series Game of Thrones. Politics continue to be played, and noble families rise up with armies as tension mounts in a desire to remove Joffrey from the Iron Throne.

It's no secret around here in the office. We love Game of Thrones. A lot. Season 2 of the this HBO series began a few weeks ago, and it's become a Monday tradition since its premiere to spend lunchtime watching the latest episode of Game of Thrones each week. In fact, it's encouraged each week from president Cory Jones to come and watch.

Employees gather in the Dragon's Den, our lounge area. They kick back on cozy couches or beanbag chairs, or in the back seating in case they come in late. And everyone gets comfortable, though usually people aren't eating. I wonder if that's on account of scenes involving rats, fire, and torture like from this week's episode. Egads! This show can be intense, but I think last week's storyline following Arya Stark took the cake for 'most gut-wrenching scene'.

Game of Thrones also has a very impressive viral marketing campaign behind it, where they get fans of the show involved with the advertising. Last year, this was done by going to public spaces with a replica of the Iron Throne. People could get their picture taken on the Iron Throne, and then it is sent to them on Facebook and Twitter for them to share with everyone. It was certainly effective: when I got my picture on the Iron Throne last year in Hollywood, I had virtually no knowledge of what Game of Thrones was all about. Now I'm watching the current season each week, and am planning to pick up the books. Because honestly, I cannot wait to see this story unfold. Enough friends have bugged me to buy the book series, so I guess it's time.

This year's fan-involved marketing campaign, however, was a little bit more grizzly than their viral campaign from last year.

Ouch! Folks who attended WonderCon in March got a chance to have their head Photoshopped onto a stake, much in the same way one of the key characters of season 1 met its fate. The slogan for this season's advertising? "The king can do as he likes". Some king, eh?

If you'd like to check out all of the faces that got "beheaded" at WonderCon, visit the Game of Thrones Facebook page and check out their WonderCon photo albums. You'll definitely find a couple of gems!

Rosenfloggen's picture Mike Rosenberg

Mike Rosenberg has been a long-time trading card game fan and an active freelancer in the hobby game industry since 2004. He wrote, editted, and managed web content for Cryptozoic Entertainment from March 2012 until October 2013.