The marketing zeitgeist for HBO's fantasy series rolls on with a trailer that conveys all of the might and drama of Martin's novels.
Winter is Coming. And the offices of The Escapist couldn't be more enraptured with the all of the latest information revealed by HBO. The minute and 42 seconds of the following trailer introduces all of the players in the Game of Thrones and, in that excellent movie preview style, get me so pumped up to see this adaptation come to fruition. From Danearys and Viserys Targaryen to Peter Baelish and Cersei Lannister, all the pieces are in place for when Game of Thrones debuts on April 17th on HBO.
I loved the flashes of different silhouettes occupying the Iron Throne, forged from the weapons of those conquered by the Targaryens. It's a stark (heh) reminder that the character with the strongest will is the one who will end up winning the Game of Thrones.
In addition to the normal channels of promotion such as trailers and behind-the-scenes mini-documentaries, HBO is providing a different way to engage with the story of Westeros. Last week, I mentioned the scent box sent to JC Hutchins, but I discovered that other boxes were sent to a handful of bloggers and journalists containing different scents. Salt harbor, incense and spice market make up the scent-scape of the Free City of Pentos, for example. The Dothraki Sea, the wide rolling prairies home to barbarian horse lords, smells like grasslands, campfire and Khal's herd. While it's interesting that different people received different boxes, the real purpose of all of these scent formulae forms the basis of an ongoing ARG called The Maester's Path.
Heading to TheMaestersPath.com eventually lead me to a circular puzzle the spokes of which matched some of the locations and symbols found on the individual scent vials found in each box. By going to the websites of people who received the boxes - and happily photographed the contents - it's possible to solve the puzzle by lining up the symbols of the three reagents given for each location. By completing the puzzle, you are rewarded with a video showing a scene from the upcoming TV series. In this case, I witnessed Jon Snow giving his half-sister Arya her first sword, Needle.
In this way, I forged the first link in my Maester's Chain by mastering the skill of alchemy. According to the site, more content will open up in the coming weeks, which is corroborated by the letters that came with the scent boxes promising that more was to come.
Usually, this kind of marketing doesn't affect me much, but I admit to getting an incredible sense of accomplishment and discovery by solving this puzzle. Because the emotion was also connected to a fantasy series that I've been reading for years only ensures that I'll be checking the internet for what arrives on people's doorsteps when the next link in the chain is revealed on March 7th at TheMaestersPath.com.