April 2019 is a significant month for fantasy fans because the eighth and final season of “Game of Thrones” will finally premiere after a nearly two-year hiatus. Fans are gearing up to rejoin their favorite characters in the fantastical world of Westeros and finally see who will claim the Iron Throne and the immense power that comes with it. Companies, in turn, have decided to capitalize on fans’ excitement and have been rolling out new themed products practically daily. As a result, every single part of your day can be bettered with a piece of “Game of Thrones” branded content in one way or another!
Wake up snuggled up in a “Game of Thrones” comforter emblazoned with the catchphrase “Winter is Coming” while sporting a pair of pajamas bearing the same phrase. Look around your room full of themed decorations such as Funko Pops!, posters, candles, coloring books and figurines. Go to the kitchen and enjoy a “Game of Thrones” Oreo cookie and a glass of milk. Or maybe even start your day on the wild side with a glass of one of the eight new bottles of “Game of Thrones” whiskey. Each bottle is named after a different Westeros region or character! Want to get dressed in only “Game of Thrones” apparel? Well then, there are countless pairs of shirts, pants, shoes, socks, purses and even underwear for you! There are countless things to do to celebrate your favorite show. Go to a range of pop-up bars and restaurants, trivia nights and conventions all while getting there with your new “Game of Thrones” Metrocard. Who wouldn’t want to be a Westeros NUMTOT (an urbanist, transit-oriented teen)? No matter what you want to do, you can probably do a “Game of Thrones”-themed version of it. It’s a world of possibility.
The range of paraphernalia for the HBO fantasy series demonstrates just how diverse the age range of the fan base is. From toys to clothes to alcohol, children to adults can represent and experience their favorite show. Even though the show may be too mature for some children, younger fans can still be involved in the fun. Items can be purchased all over the internet –– from corporate Amazon to independent Etsy boutiques, to even stores such as Target, Primark and Barnes & Noble. Stores know their customers and know what sells. Especially in the final season of the acclaimed series, fans will be desperate to stock up on those limited edition keepsakes. In acquiring all of the merchandise, fans can feel as rich as a Lannister or as loyal as a Stark, proving their devotion to the show.
Shows like “Game of Thrones” aren’t the only pop culture phenomena with such a wide range of merchandise and events. Movie franchises like “Harry Potter,” “Lord of the Rings” and “Star Wars,” as well as studios like Marvel and Disney, have just as many articles of clothing, home decorations, trivia nights or pop-up bars as “Game of Thrones.” For TV shows, though, “Game of Thrones” seems to take the cake for fan gear. Shows like “The Office” are the runners-up in that category, but “Game of Thrones” seems to have a commercial influence unlike anything else.
What about “Game of Thrones” and the other popular movie franchises causes them to be so popular in the commercial world? My guess is that it’s because “Game of Thrones” and the aforementioned movies all transport the viewer to a fantasy world. They can escape the dismal state of the world for a few hours and follow fantastical plots and know epic characters. Who wouldn’t want to live in those universes vicariously with merchandise? Capitalism may have its problems, but the power of fandoms prevails.