A Visual Guide To Game Of Thrones Fans

Live from the heart of the official SXSW Games of Thrones fan meetup. The prize for biggest fan just might go to the guy who hacked a Chinese government firewall to see Twitter reactions to the show’s shocking finale. [Warning: First Season spoilers inside.]

It got off to a potentially ominous start: I was the only person in attendance who had only seen the show and not read the books. A polite deference to avoiding spoilers was always maintained. Fortunately, I wasn’t the sole un-costumed civilian: none of the two dozen or so diehard fans showed up in armor. Perhaps because it’s going to be 85 degrees in Austin today.

So on the surface, it appeared to be a group nicely dressed professionals using a common interest in the popular fantasy book and TV series as an ice-breaker to meet and network professionally. But then I met people like Ben Chang.

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Ben Chang was in China when the episode where Ned is beheaded aired.

“My friend emailed me to say I had to check out Twitter. I was like, ‘well, crap,’ because Twitter was blocked there and I had to hack around the firewall. So I hacked around the firewall, and I saw post after post of people saying ‘I’m never watching this show again!’ It was funny.”

Mr. Chang’s favorite book of the series is the third. He is concerned George R. R. Martin won’t live to finish the series.

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Married couple Antonio Evans and Blanca Valbuena of FriendsEAT both frequent the “Game of Thrones” subreddit and fan site Westeros.

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Though no one dressed in costume, David Wells showed up in an “Adopt a Dire Wolf” t-shirt.

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Dan Koabel and his wife are expecting their first child this summer. They plan to name her Daenerys if it’s a girl. Or maybe Arya, as a second choice. (Dexter if it’s a boy).

Everyone in attendance agreed they were both wonderful names. The theme song from the show played as he and his wife were introduced to the reception at their wedding.

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Andrea Philips read the first book while pregnant, and in that emotionally charged state found it too wrenching to read. She had to put it down until after her baby was born.

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A SXSW organizer friend of Vickie Ricks knew she was a huge fan and recruited her to host the event.

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Kystal Murphy’s favorite character is Jaime Lannister.

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The board game version of the show was brought out but sat sadly unused.

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Katie Notopoulos is a senior editor for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Notopoulos writes about tech and internet culture is cohost of the Internet Explorer podcast.
Contact Katie Notopoulos at

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