‘Game of Thrones’ Preview Screening

Last week I was quite surprised to receive an email from HBO Asia. It was an invitation to a special preview screening of Game of Thrones.

Oooo, an invite

I’d never been invited to any premieres before because I’m not really important enough, so I was thrilled to be noticed, ahaha.

So it was on Thursday night that I was at ION Orchard with Joelyn, in an elevator racing up to ION Sky on the 55th/56th storey.

ION Sky covers two levels, 55 and 56. There’s a restaurant up there, but we were headed to the viewing gallery section where the reception and screening were.

The view outside the windows was fantastic. You’re so high up, higher than any of the other buildings, and you can see clear into the distance. I’m fairly sure I could just see the ocean. I admit my camera doesn’t do the sight any justice.

A stunning view

There were tasty canapes for all, and the centerpiece of the reception was the Iron Throne that the good folks at HBO had brought in.

The Iron Throne ripe for the taking!

We got to sit on the Iron Throne, and the photographer would take a photo. I was pleasantly surprised when I was given a paperweight later, with my photo pressed in the middle. It’s a really nifty keepsake.

I have zero idea how to photograph it properly, so here’s the digital photo courtesy of HBO!

For about twenty seconds, I ruled Westeros

Afterwards we met up with Sarah, Mintea and the other folks who had gone to buka (break fast) with the HBO people elsewhere. By then it was about time for the screening, so we took our seats for the first episode of Game of Thrones.

‘Winter is Coming’, the first episode, was really good. There are a lot of characters and the most of them are introduced in the first episode, which can be confusing but the show does a really good job of keeping them distinctive and separate.

The episode hangs on a cliffhanger and the audience were “WHAT IS THIS, I NEED MORE” so yes, it’s really good.

Also, the editing is very clean. I watched some featurettes on the Internet before so I’ve seen some of the footage before, and I know they had to cut some of the nudity and violence out because of censorship concerns – not, I was told, necessarily for Singapore but for other more conservative markets. But the good news is that the editing is really clean, so you can’t tell it’s been cut unless you know where to look. Which is good! Because bad cutting is an insult to the viewer.

There was a swag bag too, so many thanks to HBO Asia for the really cool gifts.

Bookmarks, the shiny wristband, a House Targaeyen card, and a sword letter-opener

We got leather bookmarks, a booklet (not in the photo) of the various Houses in the show, a backpack (also not in picture) and — probably niftiest thing ever — a letter-opener in the shape of a sword, debossed with ‘HBO’ and ‘Game of Thrones’ on the blade. Very, very cool.

Unfortunately mine has a minor defect in the base so I can’t assemble and display it, but it comes in a lovely box so I can use that. Again, many thanks to HBO Asia for the invitation – I had a wonderful time. EDIT: Massive props to HBO Asia and Atiqah for sending me a replacement base!

So yes. Game of Thrones premieres with two episodes on HBO Asia on Sunday, 28 August at 10pm. For more info, head to @HBOAsia_GOT on Twitter, check out their Facebook page, or hit up the HBO Asia website.

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