Dragons, crowns, sorcery and a comet. That’s the just the tip of the iceberg that was the spectacular
season 2 opener of Game of Thrones, sponsored by HBO and the Wharton Media & Entertainment Club for the University of Pennsylvania community last Wednesday, March 28.
Based on the bestselling fantasy book series by George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones is an epic drama set in the world of Westeros, where ambitious men and women of both honor and ill-repute live in a land whose summers and winters can last years. Game of Thrones’ key strength lies with its humanistic approach, which illustrates the savvy political maneuvering of aspirational kings and queens. Think Lord of the Rings meets The Sopranos.
The first season of Game of Thrones garnered critical raves, with the Los Angeles Times calling the show “a great and thundering series” and The Hollywood Reporter praising its “excellent storytelling, superb acting and stunning visual effects.” Peter Dinklage, one of the program’s standout performers, won both an Emmy® and Golden Globe® for Best Supporting Actor.
Attended by over 400 students at Rave Cinemas, the event allowed fans to get a first glimpse of the episode ahead of its public premiere on April 1. The premiere was a great privilege for the Wharton community – HBO does these types of premieres for only eight metropolitan areas nationally, and Wharton was the sole university community targeted to screen the highly acclaimed series. Super fans, such as Tiffany Hwong (WG’12), Julia Bedanova (WG’12), Eva Khoo (WG’12), and Nithya George (WG’12), displayed their Game of Thrones pride by dressing up as some of their favorite characters from the program. There were others who had never seen the series, but were inquisitive about the buzz. Kim Wong (WG’13) stated, “I didn’t know much about the show, but after witnessing the engaging storyline and remarkably complex characters, I will for sure watch future episodes.” There were also plenty of tweets and Facebook updates by Wharton students during the premiere, often met with excitement and slight envy by others. Ofer Waks (WG’12) related to friends, “the episode was awesome…there is definitely a lot of reason to look forward to the new season!”
The turnout was such a success that future HBO premieres for the Penn community are currently in discussion. Boardwalk Empire, True Blood, and next season’s Game of Thrones are on the bill as potential headliners for Wharton next year. Incoming M&E Presidents, Justin Levine (WG’13) and James Tanabe (WG’13), are especially excited. As Justin noted, “HBO has established itself as the leader in the premiere cable space and we are fortunate to build upon this strong relationship between Wharton and HBO.”
You can catch the Emmy®- and Golden Globe®-winning fantasy series every Sunday, 9-10 p.m. ET, exclusively on HBO. A special thanks to HBO executive Justin Rann (W’97), as well as Loraine Anderson and Moki Gushi from HBO Corporate Affairs, for helping make this event a huge success.