Right now, Game of Thrones is the most popular TV show across the world. And while fans in Dublin and Madrid may be able to claim they are the homes of where the show is filmed, in America, there's one city that has embraced the politics of Westeros harder than most.
Washington DC is a hotbed of Thrones-mania. (Former President Barack Obama was a self-proclaimed fan.) Which is perhaps why this summer, DC is hosting a pop-up Game of Thrones bar that runs through July and August.
The #GoTPub, as it is known, is on 7th Street NW, not far from the U Street corridor. Last Friday, I took my favorite Instagram pal Soda Bunny, decked out in his Jon Snow-da Bunny outfit, and we ventured down to the Shaw neighborhood to check it out.
We arrived at 4 p.m., an hour before the bar opened. The line was already long, but not too terribly so. When the bar opened at 5 p.m., the line had grown all the way down past the metro station to the end of the block.
Still, getting in didn't take that long. The Lord Commander with the iPad came around by 10 after 5 to take our names if we wanted to have a turn taking photos seated on the Iron Throne. (Of course we did!) We were inside the front door about five minutes after that.
The first bar is the North, with the Wall carved behind the bar, and a weir tree hanging over the proceedings.
Note the ax, an homage to Season 3 Episode 6, "The Climb"
The tree extended all the way down the bar. Jon Snow-daBunny was sorry to find out it, like the Wall, was not for climbing.
Whenever anyone ordered the "Shame" shot, the bells would come out and the person ordering would be shouted down for their crimes.
We first tried an Imp's Delight, which was, well, delightful.
The Lannisters Send Their Regards was a far more popular drink, as one can imagine. The North Remembers came in a drinking horn. The Lady Mormont came in a honey bear.
Crossing into the next bar meant walking beneath the Castle Black gate.
The second bar was the Hall of Faces.
Of course, there was a spot where patrons could pose, complete with #GoTPub label below the windows.
A good place to consider one's mortality, if nothing else.
A Bunny Always Inspects His Faces Before Choosing.
Leaving the Faces Bar, we headed to the very back, which was Meereen and the Dragons
But first, a quick pose with Ghost.
Two dragon faces were painted on the wall, with a third that actually billowed dry ice... err, smoke.
The dragon wasn't blowing smoke when we stopped by. Perhaps due to DC non-smoking rules?
Being a Meereenese Bar, the Harpies were represented. It should be noted that the Meereenese bar -- the only one set is Essos -- was the smallest.
On our way to the Red Keep bar in the very back, we passed a bit of graffiti. No one told them Mhysa is a Master apparently.
The Red Keep is a room filled with Banners of every House featured on the show.
The major houses were in the center of the bar. But remember, they're all just spokes on a wheel.
Jon Snow-daBunny, repping his house.
Both of his houses.
Ironically, to pose with the Bolton banner required one to sit in uncomfortable positions.
The Red Keep Bar's window was one of the prettiest pieces of artwork we saw all day.
Finally, after waiting nearly 90 minutes from when we signed up, we received a text. It was time to come to the Iron Throne.
Despite the note not to pose on the arms of the Throne, an exception was made for my companion.
Jon Snow-daBunny of the Houses Targaryen and Stark, First of His Name, the Unburnt Plastic, King of the Andals and the First Labbits, Khaleesi of the Great Grass Sea, Breaker of Chains, and Friend to all Dragons.
Long may he reign.
The Game of Thrones Pop-Up Bar is located at 1843 7th St. NW. Hours run Monday - Thursday from 5 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. Fridays and Saturdays hours are 5 p.m. to 1:30 a.m., and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. Open now through August 27.