Who’s Ruling Westeros? And Who Rocked The Red Carpet? Insider Scoop From The Game Of Thrones Season Four Premiere

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HBO hosted an epic Game of Thrones season four premiere bash in Lincoln Center last night. There was a star-studded red carpet, a giant dragon and the world premiere screening of season four, episode one–and we were there on the red carpet and in the HBO Game of Thrones “Fan Zone.” We’ve got all the red carpet gossip and insider scoop on season four.

So, what is a “Fan Zone?” What does that even mean?

I’m still not entirely sure. HBO prescreened and invited a small number of “Super Fans” to come to the season four premiere and to cheer cast members on as they arrived on the red carpet. I got the invite because I’ve been running a fan tumblr since the show premiered called “My Mom Watches Game of Thrones.” (Before you ask, YES, my mother really watches the show and YES, that is really her hilarious and sometimes politically incorrect commentary).

I’ve attended other “fan” premieres and they were full of people wearing themed costumes and nerding out. The HBO “Fan Zone” was specifically told to not dress in costume and to look tasteful for the cameras. Also, it was one of the most photogenic collections of non-models I’ve ever seen in New York City.

We arrived at Lincoln Center at 4pm, had to sign waivers so we could appear on camera, received Game of Thrones goodie bags, got to take selfies with the giant dragon set up in the middle of Lincoln Center, and then we stood outside in the freezing cold for over 2 hours and screamed when our favorite cast members arrived. Then, we were let inside to watch the premiere. And this is what I learned…

Which cast member is the real fan favorite?

Everyone raves about the Khaleesi, but when Emilia Clarke scooted in with Rose Leslie (Ygritte) and Jack Gleeson (Joffrey Baratheon), most fans didn’t recognize her! Peter Dinklage (Tyrion Lannister) and Maisie Williams (Arya Stark) received rapturous applause on the red carpet and inside Avery Fisher Hall. However, Kristian Nairn aka HODOR was the man that all the fans wanted to see. (I, personally, was enamored of Lena Headey’s awesome look and the adorkable look on her face when she turned back to thank a fan for complimenting her hair.)

No matter how jaded and cool you think you are, you will geek out on a red carpet.

Before I left for the event yesterday, I told everyone at work that I was just there to see the premiere episode. I wasn’t going to scream. I wasn’t going to cheer. I wasn’t going to embarrass myself on the red carpet.

Then, I got on the red carpet and I became a superfried nerd girl. I took an epic amount of instagram pics of the cast members. I corrected everyone around me on the names of obscure characters. When True Blood’s Michael McMillian interviewed me for the intro to the Facebook Live stream of the event, I eagerly dished on my favorite characters–and as soon as I realized that I’d accidentally referred to Nikolaj Coster-Waldau as Dutch and not Danish on camera (which happened as soon as I accidentally said he was Dutch), I began to hate myself.

I went full nerd, guys. There’s just something about the red carpet that brings it out of you.

So what about the episode itself?

**MILD SPOILERS**

There Will Be Blood

The premiere episode picks up right where season three left off and introduces new characters and new wrinkles. There’s an overarching theme of revenge. A new character enters the plot with a very clear mission to seek vengeance for wrongs committed a generation ago, and one of the fans’ favorite characters will finally see bloody retribution for an iconic season two murder.

But Will There Be Sex?

Game of Thrones is known for its gratuitous nudity and its sex scenes that offer important plot exposition. We totally see some naked bods in the premiere, but there’s a lot of sexual frustration simmering throughout Westeros.

Will Game Of Thrones Ever Be Considered For A Comedy Emmy?

Probably not, but the season four premiere is hand’s down the funniest episode of Game of Thrones ever. Practically every scene had one punchline, one eye roll or one allusion that made the audience at Avery Fisher Hall erupt in hysterics.

Heck Yeah, Dorne!

The show has paid lip service to the Kingdom of Dorne in past episodes–most notably in the subplot in season two when Tyrion chooses to ship Cersei’s daughter, Myrcella, to Dorne as a part of a marriage contract with House Martell. And now, we finally meet Dornishmen and women, and they’re pretty awesome.

Oberyn Martell is one of the most loved characters from the Game of Thrones books and he finally makes his debut in this episode. There was some consternation online about the Red Viper’s casting, but Pedro Pascal is as utterly dangerous, charming and seductive as the character is in the books. Indira Varma, who plays Ellaria Sand, practically steals all of her scenes.

The Dragons Are Bigger, Better and Badder Than Ever

As fans saw in the trailer, the Dany’s dragons are indeed bigger. The question is: are they going too big for Dany to handle? Also bigger? The budget, apparently. The sets, costumes and CGI are not only better than they’ve ever been, but they’re better than what we see in most films.

Anything else?

Season four starts with a bang and, based on the final trailer we saw, will totally top season three.

Uh, before the episode was screened, Game of Thrones composer Ramin Djawadi guest-conducted the New York Philharmonic as they played an all-strings arrangement of the show’s famous theme song along with selections of music from the Red Wedding episode. It was very cool and very pretty.

Peter Dinklage appeared to have the most fun on the red carpet. He sauntered up the steps and then mouthed “I Love You!” to the adoring crowd during one of his press interviews. The ebullient Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth) came in a close second.

Charles Dance (Tywin Lannister) has a wonderful voice for loudspeakers. He used his gravelly voice to tell everyone to turn off their phones prior to the start of the show.

Fire cannot kill a dragon, but the red carpet vacuum guy almost killed half of the fans’ personal photos with the Lincoln Center dragon prior to showtime.

Oh, and Game of Thrones season four premieres on HBO on Sunday, April 6.