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Why watching the Game of Thrones pre-screening was the best mistake ever

More than a game

The Spectrum

On Sunday, I made one of best mistakes of my life.

I decided to attend the advanced screening of the season five premier of Game of Thrones hosted at UB, and now that’s all I can think about. I can’t get this fantasy world out of my head.

My experience began waiting in line to enter the theater. Promoters came by and handed out crowns to those of us waiting. My paper crown fit my head quite well, I must say.

Waiting outside was an experience within itself.

It was a picturesque evening on campus. The damp air and cold wind bombarded my face. It made me feel like a member of the Night’s Watch, surveying the Wall for interlopers- wildlings and such.

When I finally entered the Center for The Arts, there was a separate line to take a picture on the Iron Throne. I fastened my crown and posed on the throne with a prop sword (but in my mind, it was Valyrian steel). When my photo op was over, I rose and entered the main theater.

Another patron of the screening quickly usurped my throne but I was too excited to care.

Viewers had to wait a while for the screening to begin and they became restless. The hour-long wait felt like an eternity. When the lights were dimmed and UB’s marching band played the theme song of the show, the crowd cheered uncontrollably. From then on, I was fully immersed.

When the episode finally began, my eyes locked in on the screen. I’m not sure if I even blinked for the whole hour of glorious television programming. It was as if I was there.

Because the show was an advanced screening and I am a merciful king, I will not disclose what happened in the episode. Just know it sets the scene and pace for the upcoming season quite well. This season will be crazy, to say the least.

It wasn’t until Monday morning I realized I was afflicted with a deadly plague known as “Game of Thrones withdrawal.” I can no longer distinguish the fantasy world of Westeros from the very real, very dreary land known as Buffalo – which is most definitely North of the Wall.

I began to notice symptoms of the affliction when I got up Monday morning. Instead of putting on my hat when I walked out of the door, I reached for my crown. I reached down to put my wallet in my pocket and expected to feel the hilt of my sword around my waist. I was losing it.

I left my apartment and saw my trusty mount, a well-groomed black Hyundai Elantra. She awaited me in the parking lot, but my trip to the library was to be completed on foot. My steed could rest.

I made my way to a great hall filled with tomes of knowledge in order to see if there were any texts written about my ordeal; locals call this place “Lockwood.” I found nothing of the sort.

It’s been two days, and I haven’t found any way to subdue my withdrawal symptoms. I fear there may be no cure, and I must deal with this hex for the next two weeks until I can see the second episode of the season. I only have to wait 12 days, five hours, seven minutes and 20 seconds from when I have written this sentence.

But hey, who’s counting?

James Battle is a features editor and can be reached at

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