A Feast of Thrones
Winter has come, and we had a blast throwing an epic Feast of Thrones for this season’s premiere. This party was perfect for 20 guests and included feasting in candlelight, a deadly interactive Game that lasted throughout dinner, and an atmospheric setting that whisked our guests away to Westeros. Here’s how we pulled it off.
9. Going to a Rental Place for the Essentials
Working in the movie industry we are used to working with vendors for various reasons, but it’s usually on a big (expensive) scale. We’re here to tell you: don’t rule party rental places out – they offer so much and it can be affordable even for smaller events. We were really lucky to have found a great vendor, Anderson Party Rentals in our Burbank, CA neighborhood and they were super helpful! The chairs and dishes we rented added so much to our Feast of Thrones, and took lots of stress off of us.
8. Attention to Detail
Our entire dinner party was festive and fun, with an elaborate Game of Thrones that shaped the timetable of the evening, but what really got people’s attention were all of our smaller elements that made the world we created that much richer. We made dragon eggs with actual texture & scenic paint and they were a hit- getting in everyone’s selfies. All of our little table banners for place settings were adored enough to be taken home by guests at the end of the night. The kicker is that these two crafts were also some of the cheapest ones we did! Besides paint, we sourced everything else from a dollar store and the dollar section at Target.
Download our Westeros Banners for free here!
The handmade raven-delivered invites really set the tone for our feast of thrones. It was a detailed, textured thing that got our guests very excited and also made them feel like they were wanted at the party (because they were). Besides, any excuse to freak out a few friends by hiding “ravens” in their bushes is well worth it.
Learn how to make your own scroll invitations here!
6. Providing Resources for Guests
The guest list was full of some of the biggest Game of Thrones Fans we know. That being said, we figured even these Lords and Ladies might need some guidance when it came to recipes and costume choices. On the Facebook event page, we provided a few resources on awesome GOT food, as well as tons of different looks for various characters and general GoT style that could be adapted from contemporary clothing. The reward for this extra effort: some delicious food and very styled guests.
5. Thoughtful Decor vs. Commercialized Fandom
Yes, this was a themed party, but the decorations weren’t just a bunch of mass produced plates/banners/balloons with Game of Thrones characters printed on them. Our party was decorated as if we were in the world of Game of Thrones. We ate dinner by candlelight; we had rich fabrics as tablecloths; food was passed around on pewter serving dishes. The décor really made the party feel immersive, and far more beautiful than a bunch of GOT merchandise would have looked. Our one cheat: a hand of the king stamp for our invitations’ wax seal. SO cool.
How did we pull this off on a budget? We spent a lot of time at our local favorite thrift store (American Way in Burbank, CA), the 99¢ Store, IKEA, and borrowed heavily from our friend Victoria’s extensive fabric collection for the tablecloths.
Candles: As we knew that we would be feasting by candlelight alone, this was very important to us to get right without spending a fortune on real candelabras (though we were sorely tempted!). We got a 20-pack of off-white taper candles from the 99¢ store and the pillar candles from IKEA. The cans of metallic spray paint that we used for the Iron Throne went a long way – we got a ton of glass candlestick holders from 99¢ store and sprayed them pewter. We paired these with real pewter and glass candleholders that we found thrifting to achieve the different levels.
Centerpieces: The floral elements were from Moskatel’s (a wholesale Michael’s in Downtown LA), and the Winterfell centerpiece (DIY coming soon!) was crafted using white branches and tiny red leaves. The vases for Winterfell and Dothraki Sea were made from cardboard shipping tubes that we decorated and weighed down with pebbles, and we found the gorgeous Kings Landing vase at the thrift store.
House Banners: Haley designed the banners using Fuzzysocks’ beautiful vector sigils and called in a favor to have them printed on a large format printer. For the place settings (Downloadable coming soon!), we made the bases out of chunks of foam, and used skewers from the 99¢ store to hold the banners in place. What we didn’t account for was the wind! Pebbles from the yard and mounting tape on the bottoms of each base helped keep the banners upright.
4. A Game of Thrones
Early on in the planning process, we fell in love with the idea of a an ongoing deadly game of musical chairs throughout dinner. This stuck right up until the week of the event, when we realized that getting guests to move constantly around the candlelit table while trying to feast was a recipe for disaster. Keeping our idea of a revolving king on the Iron Throne, Haley ended up developing a 4-round interactive card game which had each guest choose a card that would tell them whether they live, die, or kill an enemy. The guests were required to act out these epic death scenes, and were supplied with functional (if blunted) props to make everything properly dangerous. Each round ended with a Kingslayer challenging the King for the Iron Throne via a very biased game of charades. The new King would make a table rule for the rest of the evening, and the next round would begin – with only half the players of the previous round left alive.
The game was filled with surprising and thrilling twists, was devilishly absurd, and despite having some inherent flaws, kept the guests engaged and joyfully in character throughout the evening. All of the Targaryens were dead within the first round, the Starks all made it to the end, and Lady Tully, formerly the Hand of the King, slayed her King (Jon Snow) in charades and emerged as the final Queen of Westeros, only to be killed by White Walkers.
3. What’s a Feast Without Food and Drink?
A proper feast, with beautiful dishes piled around you, being passed haphazardly down a long table, is a glorious image burned into our minds from childhoods reading Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter. So we knew that this was exactly how it had to happen. We supplied horderves, fruits, cheeses, crackers, breads, different kinds of butter and honey, and asked our guests to each bring a dish that represented their house. There were piles of turkey legs and ribs, fish from the the Riverlands, onion soup from Bear Island, platters of dates and olives from Dorne, Strawberry & Sweetgrass salad from King’s Landing, Blackberry jelly from the Ayrie, Kabobs from across the narrow sea, and many other delectable treats. Alas, no one baked live doves into a cake.
We supplied our party with many bottles of wine, beer, and mead (all admittedly chosen for the most appropriate labels), and called our drink table “Dorne.” Our favorite Beer names: Arrogant Bastard and Dragon’s Milk.
Everyone found the offerings delicious, and we all ate and drank to excess. It was a meal worthy of George RR Martins’ longest descriptors.
2. Having an Iron Throne
Yeah, we had a freakin’ Iron Throne. Not only is that fact just baller, but it played an essential part in our Game of Thrones, and made for a killer photo op. I know you may be thinking its too much work or two expensive to make something like that. Truthfully, it was a one stop shopping trip for all materials required, cost less than $50, and it only took us a total of 4 hours to make the entire thing a reality. The pure joy it brought to our guests as they posed in it is well worth it.
Learn how to make your own Iron Throne here!
1. Our Guests’ 100% Commitment to the Theme
We can’t tell you how much we love our friends. They arrived in beautiful costumes, carrying decadent themed dishes, and lots of enthusiasm in their hearts. Everyone really got into their characters, whether they embodied actual characters from the series, or were House lords of their own creation, they had backstories, alliances, and of course, enemies. All of this lead to a very layered experience for everyone involved. Because as much as you set the tone, at the end of the day, it’s about the people.
Bonus: Have a Professional Photographer Capture Your Epic Party
We were fortunate enough to have our friend and complete badass Mari not only attend our Feast of Thrones, but also capture it on film. Her beautiful photographs have cemented our GOT dinner party in the history books of Damn Good Shindigs. We can’t thank her enough! Check out her awesome website http://www.mariprovencher.net and like her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MariProvencherPhoto . Hire her and you shall be rewarded with amazing photos!