More than an hour before a pre-screening of the upcoming season of HBO show "Game of Thrones," a line of undergraduates clad in crowns and yielding swords formed in the Science Center on Wednesday evening, as they eagerly waited to gain a coveted spot in the lecture hall.
Organized by Harvard Student Agencies in partnership with HBO and Philo, an online television platform free for students at the College, the showing marked the third time that a "Games of Thrones" first episode pre-screening occurred at Harvard prior to its official television season premiere.
According to Philo co-founder Tuan A. Ho ’09, students who arrived early received complimentary "Game of Thrones"-themed crowns. All students who reserved tickets were also entered into a lottery to receive "Game of Thrones"-themed snow globes, boxed sets of the show on DVD, and cardboard cutouts of characters, he added.
HSA President Patrick F. Scott ’16 said there was excess demand for this year’s event. "We have a limited number of seats people can sign up for online, but even out of those only the first 250 people to arrive get in,” he said.
Among the hundreds of students in line, some avid fans said they looked forward to catch an early glimpse of the show.
“This is the third year we’ve done this,” Lisa M. Massaroni '15 said. “We really enjoy 'Game of Thrones.'”
Alex A. Nesbitt ’15 said that he began binge-watching episodes during winter break. “I watched all of season two a week before season three came out,” Nesbitt said.
Constantin W. Arnscheidt ‘18, who was completing a physics problem set while waiting to enter into the lecture hall, shared a more direct experience with the show.
“My family lives in Northern Ireland, so 'Games of Thrones' actually films next to my town,” Arnscheidt said. “[Last summer] I managed to sneak onto the set for a little bit before I was forcibly removed by security guards who threatened to arrest me.”
The premiere of the fifth season of "Game of Thrones" will air on HBO.