A (Plastic) Iron Throne from ‘Game of Thrones’ Arrives in Fort Totten
Building up to the long-awaited final season of Game of Thrones, HBO hid six Iron Throne replicas in various locations around the world, as part of its “Quest for the Throne” promotion.
In case you’ve somehow escaped the nearly decade-long phenomenon based on George R.R. Martin’s fictional continent of Westeros, the person who sits on the Iron Throne rules precariously over the Seven Kingdoms.
In the last few weeks, people have been posting online after discovering the locations of the thrones in Sweden, the UK, Spain, Brazil, and Canada.
The last throne within this worldwide treasure hunt, which was the only throne hidden in the US, was uncovered last week in – who’d-a-thunk – Queens. Specifically, in the historic battery at Fort Totten, a civil war era fort in Bayside, Queens.
Discovered by Game of Thrones superfan (and Queens resident) Melanie Joaquin last Thursday, Joaquin had already suspected that that the throne would wind up in Fort Totten. Having been to the fort for Halloween tours, she felt that it reminded her of one of the locations from the show.
HBO corroborated that the location had been chosen because of “its dark and ominous setting, reminiscent of the basement of Kings Landing, where the Mad King stored his destructive wildfire, and where Queen Cersei waged to destroy the Great Sept of Baelor.” (So, can we now refer to Fort Totten as the “Great Sept of Bayside?”)
Once she saw the vague clues about the throne’s location on Twitter, Joaquin knew she was right. (Others on Twitter guessed incorrectly, with some being sure that the location was as far away as Croatia). She immediately headed out on Thursday, arriving before the fort had even opened. So, she did what any true fan would do. She crawled through a hole in the fence and became the first to sit on the throne.
The news broke soon after Joaquin’s discovery, and the turnout was far higher than expected. People came from as far as Vermont to visit, waiting up to 7 hours to get a 30 second perch (and take a selfie) on the throne.
Our own quest began this past Saturday, but there was a 6 hour wait by the time we got there, foiling our plans. We amused ourselves by talking to people who were standing on line, some of whom came in full cosplay as Game of Thrones characters. For those familiar with the show, it should come as no surprise that the most popular costumes were Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen.
On Sunday, the crowds were even thicker, forcing officials to close the gates to the battery/fort before it even opened at 7am, with the Parks Department saying that there were already so many people on line it would take until closing time (12 hours later at 7pm) for them all to view the throne.
Yesterday, which was the last day to see the throne, the fort had to close by 1:30pm, a slight improvement over Sunday, but still five-and-a-half hours before the planned closing. By the time we got there for our second attempt, not only had the entrance been blocked, but there was a long standby line snaking around the outside of the gate to the fort.
Word is that people lined up over the weekend as early as 4 in the morning for the 7am opening time. We were also told that, in total, close to 6,000 people will have gotten their chance to sit on the Iron Throne.
We admitted defeat pretty quickly, turning (jealously) instead to those who were more successful, asking them what it was like to get 30 seconds on the throne. Most felt it was worth the 4 – 7 hour wait.
However, as two men were leaving, one of them said that he had a quote for us. “The Iron Throne is FAKE! It’s not even metal!”
We asked if it was plastic.
“Yeah. It must be plastic. I thought it was going to be heavy!”
We asked if they were upset.
“We waited so long, and it was plastic! HBO sucks!”
We had to ask, “But, are you going to keep your subscription and watch the new season of Game of Thrones?”
Both men answered with “Hell, yeah!”
Game of Thrones” returns April 14 for six final episodes.