Thrones, thrones everywhere

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You, too, can sit the Iron Throne from HBO’s upcoming “Game of Thrones,” at least if you’re in New York City and you need to get somewhere by pedicab and you’re starting in Union Square. 

The pay cabler has put up both life-sized thrones modeled after the prop from the fantasy show (which premieres on Sunday at 10 p.m., and by the way, make sure the kids are in bed), along with these marvelously absurd branded pedicabs. The thing about these guys is that if they are really, truly on-brand, they will shave even more years off your life expectancy than your average pedicab.

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If you have not read George R. R. Martin’s novels (and if you made time to read the Harry Potter books and you are an adult, you really have no excuse), you are probably going to finish Sunday’s premiere going “Who killed who with the what, now?”

This is acceptable. Expected, even. The books are so complex that each one has A SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT SET of genealogies in the back, along with maps of various places in the fictional world (the series takes care of the latter in a pretty cool way, but I don’t want to spoil it). So if you find yourself confused about who is related to who, and who is not, HBO has provided the following:

 http://viewers-guide.hbo.com/game-of-thrones/

If it were any other show I would say that it’s not a good sign when you expect your audience to be confused by the number of characters, but the narrative momentum of this particular program is really something. If you don’t quite know who you’re supposed to be rooting for I suggest just picking someone and sticking with him or her for as long as you can. The characters everyone’s been referring to as “scene-stealers” and “focus-pullers” are probably good places to start. 

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Also, Tom Colicchio helped create branded food trucks in New York and L.A. to promote this thing. Ah, the olden days, when deisel vehicles cruised around our metropolises handing out free food from five different corners of a fictional world…

In a related story, there’s some serious Twitter blowback coming at the NYT’s Ginia Bellafante from female fantasy fans who feel slighted by a review that appears to say they don’t exist. As Laura Miller explored in the New Yorker last week, Martin’s fans are an exciteable crew, and not always in a good way.

–Sam Thielman

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