Some lucky timing responding to a Game of Thrones message on Facebook got me into an advance screening of season 2's first episode last night. Here's a quick AAR.
We arrived at the Landmark around 6:30 for the 8 PM showing, thinking we'd beat most folks. We were wrong--the line was a solid 50-100 strong when we arrived.
HBO reps made their way down the line checking names against the guest list and handing out wristbands and drink tickets. (Free popcorn and beer? Way to go, HBO!) Around 7 we were let into the building.
We skipped the photo booth, as it wasn't very exciting--a flaming background and a few swords and crowns as props--and we were more interested in securing good seats for the show. Had the Iron Throne made an appearance I would have taken advantage.
After procuring popcorn and a Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, we went in and got seated. There was a cosplay contest before the show; here are the contestants:
The dude on the right playing Patchface won an iPad 2 for his troubles, in a close final against a Stone Crow woman (2nd from left in pic; hard to make her out). Everyone also got a scratch-off ticket to win a choice of swag including T-shirts, branded thermos', calendars, DVDs, etc. Unfortunately I didn't win (my ticket read 'sorry, you're going to the Wall').
But who cares about swag? I was there to see episode 11!
The show began with this 6-minute recap of season 1
. I have to say this trailer was very cool on a theater screen with theater sound in the midst of a huge crowd of ASoIaF enthusiasts.
The screen faded to black and the opening credit sequence burst onto the scene. A lot more entries in the credits this year!
Non-spoilery thoughts on episode 11:
Holy shit. Season 2 picks up right where S1 left off without missing a beat. As expected there are some liberties taken with specific scenes, but the core themes of the beginning of A Clash of Kings are all there. Some scenes seemed almost verbatim from the book, as well. I was not disappointed with this episode at all.
Spoilery thoughts on episode 11: