Game of Thrones has been one of the most talked about cultural phenomena over the last half decade, seeming to only grow in popularity each passing year. Those who attended SXSW were able to see an up close view some of the of the GoT phenomena. GoT is produced by HBO, and appearing at SXSW was the Hall of Faces. This exhibit brought to life, or perhaps to death, a symbol of GoT, and turned a normal San Antonio street into a symbol of the violence and mayhem GoT fans have come to expect, and to love.
As part of the series, the faces of the dead seen at the Hall of Faces, presumably all suffering their demise from an executioner’s swing of a sword, can be seen as a warning to the enemies of the state. At SXSW, fans were able to join the macabre scene and have their own face digitally installed in the ghoulish hall. The Hall of Faces wasn’t just a one-off exhibit for SXSW, but it will instead travel the world, going to Europe, and then returning to San Diego in time for Comic-Con.
In addition to seeing and even joining the Hall of Faces, there was a chance to experience a hologram that was a simulation of Melisandre’s flame, which fans of the show know she uses like a crystal ball. The hologram, created by Dreamoc HD3, was 30 seconds of exclusive content visible through those flames. Viewers were able to learn more about what happened to Jon Snow, or at least gain a few more hints as to whether Jon Snow is really dead or not.
Fans 21 years old or older were then able to try some grog. Not grog, but a beer called Ommegang’s Game of Thrones: Iron Throne blonde ale. Presumably the beer has a shorter nickname to make it easier to order at the local bar.
A vice-president of consumer marketing at HBO, Joanna Scholl said that part of the reason GoT went all out for this display and interactive content was not only to please fans of the show, but to impress non fans that might be influential in areas of technology and social media. These wielders of influence might become fans of the show themselves, or influence other people to become fans. Scholl said, “We wanted to bring something that was state of the art and allow them the opportunity to engage and share content from the show.”
The sixth season of Game of Thrones will premiere on HBO April 24. By that time, thousands of people will have been able to become a part of the Hall of Faces if they have chosen, enjoyed Melisandre’s magical flame, and even enjoyed a drink of Iron Throne blonde ale. Certainly by April 24, those people will ready for the premier.