Game of Thrones Experiences
Game of Thrones/

15 Experiences Every 'Game of Thrones' Fan Will Love

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Game of Thrones Experiences
Game of Thrones/

finding westeros in the real world

The new season of "Game of Thrones" (like winter) is coming, and if you're a fan, you're probably looking for ways to get your Westeros fix before the premiere of the eighth and final season on April 14. Thankfully there are plenty of exciting "Game of Thrones"-related experiences that you can check out in real life to get you ready for the show, or enjoy while you watch. From incredible tours of the actual filming locations to sword-fighting classes to food and drinks inspired by the series, here are 15 "Game of Thrones" experiences for die-hard fans.

Visit a 'Game Of Thrones' Location Like Dubrovnik, Croatia
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tour 'game of thrones' filming locations

From the castles of Winterfell and King's Landing to the Water Gardens of Dorne and frosty terrain beyond the Wall, you can visit the stunning locations where the series was filmed. These guided tours offer an intimate look behind the scenes at sites in Iceland, Ireland, Spain, Croatia, and elsewhere. While the trips might be a splurge, many offer discounts for groups and added perks like banquets. Plus, you can use the trip as an opportunity to explore the surrounding areas while you're there.

Drink Like a Lannister
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drink like a lannister (or a baratheon)

Bars around the globe are joining in the festivities with "Game of Thrones"-inspired drinks and decor. Big Bar in Los Angeles will host "A Dream of Spring" on April 12, complete with a massive Wall, Hall of Faces, Iron Throne, and Ice Dragon luge. The bar will also kick off a six-week themed menu of creative cocktails like "The Mad Queen," with vodka, champagne, and hibiscus rose tea, and the mezcal-based "The Night King," with a dragon-glass-pierced coconut ice cube, and host a "Spirited Dinner" inspired by the show on May 8.

At the Blood & Wine pop-up bar in Edinburgh, Scotland, you can raise a toast like Tyrion Lannister and stay warm during the Long Night. There's a special "Wines of the Seven Kingdoms" event on April 14 in addition to the pop-up bar, which runs seven days a week until May 26. And at Replay Lincoln Park in Chicago, fans will enjoy a pop-up featuring dragons, White Walkers, an Iron Throne, Ommegang's "Game of Thrones" themed beers, and more.

Con of Thrones
Con of Thrones/

meet the stars of the show at con of thrones

If you’ve always wanted to don your finest “Game of Thrones”-inspired costume and meet the stars of the show, consider making your way to Con of Thrones in Nashville, Tennessee. Starting July 12, the three-day convention features interview panels and talks with series regulars, as well as artists, musicians, and writers who have worked on the show, plus interactive workshops and plenty of opportunities for cosplay. Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, who plays Jamie Lannister, and John Bradley, who plays Samwell Tarley, are scheduled to appear this year with more guests to be announced soon.

Dunluce Castle in Northern Ireland
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tour historic castles like those in 'game of thrones'

Get an up-close look at historic medieval castles in Europe, many of which inspired the designs of "Game of Thrones." Tour the turrets, cross the moats, and learn what life was like centuries ago with guided tours. You can usually save money on a tour if you opt for a group trip instead of a private one. If you're willing to really splurge, you can get the full experience by staying in an Irish castle for a week.

Make a Feast At Home

eat a feast worthy of king's landing

In anticipation of the final season, restaurants across the country are hosting pop-up dinners and "Game of Thrones"-themed menus. These include brunch at the Glass House in Cambridge, Massachusetts; dinner and a chef showdown at Mister Tuna in Denver; and dinner at Alexander's Distillery at Inn on the Creek in Salado, Texas (Arya's meat pie, anyone?).

If you can't make it to any of the meals, you can make one at home: The blog Inn at the Crossroads features delicious food and drink recipes inspired by the show, the original books by George R.R. Martin, and historical accounts of the Middle Ages. From breakfast at Winterfell to Cersei's Creamy Chestnut Soup, the recipes are divided up by meal category and the regions of Westeros.

Experience VR
Courtesy of AT&T

battle white walkers in virtual reality

Now that “winter is here,” fans can take up arms against an army of White Walkers without actually risking their lives against the army of the dead, thanks to an immersive “Game of Thrones” augmented-reality experience. At AT&T flagship stores across the country, "The Dead Must Die: A Magic Leap Encounter" invites fans to try out pricey Magic Leap virtual-reality headsets, which superimpose 3D visuals over a real-world space, to battle an army of White Walkers. Starting this week, the demo is available to play at the flagship stores as part of “Game of Thrones” installations in Boston, Chicago, and San Francisco, with additional locations planned for Los Angeles and Addison, Texas. The stores are also hosting an “Own the Throne” sweepstakes where fans can win a full-size replica of the Iron Throne worth $18,000.

Learn to Swordfight
Miltos Yerolemou - Actor - Game of Thrones Syrio/

learn to sword fight like jon snow or arya stark

"Game of Thrones" is full of plenty of intense sword fights, and now you can learn to wield Valyrian steel like the best of them. Follow in the footsteps of Arya Stark and the sword fighters of the Free City of Braavos by learning the "water dance" technique from Miltos Yerolemou, who plays Syrio Forel in the show. Yerolemou frequently offers the classes at fan conventions around the world, so keep an eye on his Facebook page to sign up for the next one. Or learn long-sword techniques based on historical medieval styles at home with friends, thanks to online lessons.

Visit an Escape Room
Great Escape Waterford/

climb the ladder of chaos in an escape room

For fans looking to unravel the mysteries of Westeros on their feet instead of just sitting on the couch, “Game of Thrones”-themed escape rooms have been popping up all over the globe. Friends, family members, or coworkers are locked in a room, or series of rooms, and must work together to find clues and solve puzzles and riddles in an allotted amount of time — usually an hour — in order to escape. “Game of Thrones”-inspired rooms can be found in Denver; Waterford, Ireland; and Dubrovnik, Croatia. New rooms open all the time, so look for one near you.

Tour the Set
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tour ‘game of thrones’ sets in an interactive exhibit

While spring 2020 may seem a long way off, “Game of Thrones” fans are no strangers to waiting and likely have the patience to wait for an opportunity to tour the sets of the beloved show. An exhibit at Linen Mill Studios in Banbridge, Northern Ireland, where many of the show’s scenes were filmed, will allow visitors to explore dressed sets from the series, as well as costumes, props, and other behind-the-scenes displays in a 110,000-square-foot interactive space. The exhibit is the first in a series of large-scale “Game of Thrones Legacy” projects that will turn filming locations into interactive tourist destinations.

Go to a Renaissance Fair
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live the westerosi life at a renaissance fair

Don your finest Jon Snow or Daenerys Targaryen costume and head to a renaissance fair where you can eat, drink, and be merry, Westeros style. Keep an eye out for the Mountain at jousting battles and sword fights; shop for artisanal crafts at the market; bow to the king and queen (or don't!); and enjoy the performances of medieval musicians, dancers, and jesters. You can also practice your ax throwing and archery, or just enjoy a turkey leg and a goblet of ale. Use the Renlist to find an upcoming fair near you.

See a Raven at an Animal Sanctuary
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visit direwolves and ravens at an animal sanctuary

Animals play significant roles in "Game of Thrones," from the direwolves of the Starks to the dragons of Daenerys. To get an up-close look at some similarly impressive animals, visit a wildlife sanctuary in your area, like the incredible Wildlife Waystation in Southern California, where you'll find rescued bears, wolves, exotic birds, and even lions. However, we can't guarantee you'll find a dragon of your own, and we don't recommend trying to warg with the wolves.

Camlann Medieval Village in Carnation, Washington

immerse yourself in medieval life

At the Camlann Medieval Village in Carnation, Washington, you can learn what it was like to live in 14th-century England, which was not unlike many parts of Westeros. Explore the recreated medieval village; talk with actors well-versed in the period; and watch demonstrations of archery, blacksmithing, textile production, animal care, and artwork. You can also enjoy a historically accurate meal at the Bors Hede Inne, shop for crafts, or celebrate during one the feasts and festivals held throughout the year.

Game of Toast
Game of Toast/

eat at a 'game of thrones' sandwich shop — in abu dhabi

At the cleverly named Game of Toast restaurant in Abu Dhabi, you can chow down on sandwiches while surrounded by memorabilia from the show. From the "House of Rolls" menu, you can choose hearty bites like the pulled beef brisket, and from the "House of Sides," order up the sweet potato fries. On the stone walls, you'll find maps of Westeros, swords and shields, and even the Iron Throne made from forks and knives.

Fight in a Massive Medieval Battle
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fight in a massive medieval battle

For "Game of Thrones" fans really looking to learn how people fought, dressed, danced, and ate during Middle Ages and Renaissance, the Society for Creative Anachronism is about as serious as it gets. The international organization has local chapters around the world organized by "kingdoms," where members regularly gather to research and recreate historical battles and royal courts, as well as develop period-accurate skills such as cooking and crafting. They also host special kingdom events and inter-kingdom wars where you can engage in armored combat or share craft skills with others.

Medieval Times
Medieval Times by niXerKG (CC BY-NC)

watch sword fights and eat at medieval times

If you prefer to watch epic battles from the comfort of the banquet table, you're bound to love the show at Medieval Times. At locations around the United States and Canada, you can witness impressive sword fights, jousts, and even falconry and horsemanship, all while enjoying a four-course meal. The "castles" also feature a dance floor, a Hall of Arms with medieval artifacts, a medieval torture museum, and a bar. Be sure to check for frequent seasonal discounts; birthday deals; and specials for groups, students, teachers, and the military.

Make Your Own 'Game of Thrones' Beer

make your own 'game of thrones' beer (or just buy some)

There's plenty of drinking that takes place on-screen in "Game of Thrones" — Tyrion, we're looking at you — so if you want to raise a glass with your favorite characters, consider making your own medieval ale at home. Or if you'd rather leave the beer-making to the experts, pick up some of the excellent "Game of Thrones"-inspired beers from Brewery Ommegang.

Create Your Own Coat Of Arms
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create your own coat of arms

While you may not belong to House Stark, House Lannister, or one of the many other families in Westeros, you can create your very own coat of arms for your family. It can be based on your actual genealogy or just made up, and then emblazoned on a flag, a ring, or even a coffee mug that you can proudly use while watching "Game of Thrones."

Play A Game of Thrones: The Board Game
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challenge your friends with the board game

Long before the HBO series began, A Game of Thrones: The Board Game captivated fans of George R.R. Martin's epic fantasy world. The game lets you and your friends play as the Houses of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, and battle it out for control of the Iron Throne using all of the strategy, alliances, and treachery you've come to love from the series. The incredibly thorough and visually impressive board game will keep fans entertained for hours on end, especially thanks to additional expansion packs.