Part of downtown Denver transformed into the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros Thursday night as a massive line of costumed "Game of Thrones" fans invaded the Paramount Theatre for an advance screening of the fourth season premiere for the popular HBO series.
Denver was chosen to be among a few major cities to host the special viewing because of the show's popularity in the Mile High City, said David Castro, HBO director of corporate affairs.
"Denver ranks in the 15 top markets for viewership," Castro said.
For the uninitiated, "Game of Thrones" is a fantasy drama series based on George R. R. Martin's series of novels. The show, which began airing in 2011, is rife with murder, power, social hierarchy, riches and, of course, dragons, all in the name of the quest for the right to sit on the Iron Throne and rule Westeros.
Tickets to the screening were first come, first serve. The Paramount, at 1621 Glenarm Place, seats 1,000, which was not enough to accommodate the line of hopefuls stretching nearly two blocks.
"I'm a pretty big fan," said Bryan Elsloo of Denver who was dressed head-to-toe in full warrior costume.
Toward the front of the line, Elsloo and friends had been waiting for hours to get a seat.
"It's my favorite book series, which is hard to say growing up with Harry Potter, but Song of Ice and Fire is brilliant in its depth of character and universe," said Lily Rutledge-Ellison who came dressed as Cersei Lannister.
It took Rutledge-Ellison a week to make her entire costume by hand, she said.
James Mariscal of Denver, dressed as Jon Snow, won a costume contest held before the show began. Mariscal made his costume — elaborate layers of furs and leather — over the last month, using materials he picked up at local thrift stores.
When announced as the winner and asked if he would like to say anything to the crowd, Mariscal simply quipped "I know nothing," a nod to an oft-quoted line from the show that has become a joke amongst fans.
Maybe as alluring as the episode preview was the presence of an Iron Throne prop — the iconic seat of power that serves to fuel the core power struggle between the show's many factions.
Larry Ramsey and Matthew Pfauth traveled from Hudson to attended the screening.
When asked their predictions for the new season, Pfauth laughed, saying, "someone's going to die."
The first episode of the new season will officially air on HBO April 6.