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Winter is Coming to the Mt. Lebanon Public Library

on Tue, 04/19/2016 - 22:18

“When you play the Game of Thrones, you win or you die,” Cersei Lannister explains to Eddard Stark during the first season of the HBU drama. “There is no middle ground.”

Despite such a dire warning, fans of the medieval fantasy have become enchanted with the kingdom of Westeros almost as much as Lord of the Rings aficionados dream of Middle Earth. Although Westeros is fictional, the Mt. Lebanon Public Library is providing the next best thing on Friday, April 22, 2016, as it transforms itself into the world of Game of Thrones with a special “Evening in Westeros” celebration that is sure to delight local fans across the region.

In addition to allowing Game of Thrones followers to congregate and interact with each other, the event will also feature an array of entertainment, including medieval music and food, wine and mead tasting, medieval dance lesson overseen by University of Pittsburgh Professor Emily Winerock, a live steel sword demonstration courtesy of Broken Plow Western Martial Arts and the Pittsburgh Sword Fighters, and real chain mail for attendees to try on.

Although the HBO drama and George R.R. Martin book series that the show is based on takes place in the fictional kingdom of Westeros, the world of Game of Thrones is loosely modelled after the Wars of the Roses-era of England. Thus while being fantasy, Game of Thrones is also rooted in the medieval, and the parallels offer real-world exploration despite the non-real elements that both the show and books incorporate into their narratives.

It is this amalgamation of fact and fiction that has resonated with fans across the country, to say nothing of the Internet. The Wall Street Journal, for instance, recently reported that the popular Winter is Coming fansite attracts 18,000 unique visitors a day when the HBO drama is on the air, dropping to 10,000 during the rest of the year. The Game of Thrones discussion board on Reddit, meanwhile, has a subscriber base larger than those for the NFL, Star Wars and The Walking Dead. Suffice it to say, there are a lot of Game of Thrones fans out there.

And Pittsburgh is no different. Although the Steel City doesn’t have a localized fansite or formal fan club, it is filled with its own “Watchers on the Wall” as much as any other community. On Friday, April 22, 2016, it will have something even better as the Mt. Lebanon Public Library transforms itself into Westeros. For anyone who ever fantasize about visiting the fictional kingdom, or even just has a strong affinity for the medieval time period of English history, 16 Castle Shannon Boulevard will most definitely be the place to be.

It may be spring on the calendar and feel like summer outside, but make no mistake—Winter is Coming nonetheless.

(Tickets for “An Evening in Westeros” are $20 per person, and can be purchased both online and at the door.)

Anthony Letizia (April 17, 2016)

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