Philandering dwarves, flashy queens, and incest babies—no, this is not a recap of the 54 Party but key components of HBO’s smash series, Game of Thrones. On Tuesday, March 19, thanks to HBO and the Wharton Media & Entertainment Club (M&E Club), more than 200 members of the Wharton community were privileged to enjoy an early view of the Game of Thrones Season 3 premiere at Rave Cinemas.
Based on the bestselling fantasy book series by George R. R. Martin, Game of Thrones has garnered critical and commercial acclaim by blending political intrigue with a fantasy universe populated by knights, dragons, and zombies. Focusing on the machinations of warring noble families in a medieval setting, the show’s multilayered characters and stunning plot twists has led show-runner David Benioff to describe the series as The Sopranos meets Lord of the Rings.
With a keen understanding of how to market to MBA students, HBO started the event with a cocktail reception at Harvest Seasonal Grill & Wine Bar and served special craft beers inspired by the Game of Thrones universe. As Henry Hund (WG’14) observed, “There’s been quite a bit of hype around the Game of Thrones craft beers among beer nerds, and I thought it was very drinkable and accessible. It was awfully nice of HBO to bring it in for us.” Other amenities offered by HBO included baseball caps and a green screen photo booth where students could take their photo in front of the show’s famous “iron throne”.
After the reception, attendees moved next door to a private screening of the Season 3 opener at Rave Cinemas. The screening began with a brief introduction from Loraine Anderson of HBO Corporate Affairs, as well as the M&E Club Co-Presidents Justin Levine (WG’13) and James Tanabe (WG’13). Justin and James thanked Loraine and her colleague Moki Gushi for helping to organize the event and audience members for attending, and then introduced the premiere. As the lights dimmed and the familiar theme song began, the audience spontaneously burst into applause. Afterwards, fans were overheard eagerly discussing the show’s plot threads.
For those who missed the event, the Emmy- and Golden Globe-winning series’ Season 3 premiere will air 9pm ET on Sunday, March 31st, exclusively on HBO. This is the third event the M&E Club has partnered with HBO – the previous two were advance screenings of the Season 2 of Game of Thrones in March 2012 and Girls in January 2013. Incoming M&E Club Co-Presidents Ying Wang (WG’14) and Aaron Telch (WG’14) added, “We’re thrilled that we could work with HBO to put on two great events this year. We look forward to building our relationship with them and bringing fans at Wharton the programming they love.”
The club hopes to increase its collaboration with HBO as well as other networks and studios to bring more screenings to campus. As Tanya Klinkhachorn (WG’14) summed up, “Thank you HBO!”