Austin is swarming with interesting and weird activations at this year's South by Southwest. And HBO's Game of Thrones experience, cleverly named "SXSWesteros," is a particular standout.
HBO teamed up with design studio Red Paper Heart and Civic Entertainment Group to help visitors become the show's badass teenage heroine, Arya Stark, in the form of a pretty great interactive piece. As you enter the first darkly lit room, you're greeted by another brand partner, Ommegang, which has brewed its fifth Game of Thrones inspired beer—a quite tasty, 7.2 percent alcohol-by-volume, dark saison ale, thematically titled Three-Eyed Raven.
Next, it's over to the Iron Thrown to have your picture taken sitting in it. Asked what it was made of, my guide replied: "Fiberglass—er, i mean, the swords of my enemies."
After you've had your turn as the ruler of all the land, it's over to get your photo taken to prepare for your final battle. Then step up on stage and as the sounds of Westeros swirl around you, grab your sword and be ready to fight. Think of it as Fruit Ninja but with a darker twist. As you chop your way through the obstacles in front of you, your Game of Thrones-inspired portrait appears in front of you (which you can then email to yourself).
Check out our video tour below, as well as a couple of snaps from the experience.
A fan sits on the Iron Thrown:
Ommegang Three-Eyed Raven: