Think you're ready for Game of Thrones Season 4? 10 ways to enjoy it even more
Game of Thrones Season 4 starts spectacularly on Sky Atlantic HD at 2am on Monday, 7 April in the UK, 9pm (ET) Sunday, 6 April on HBO in the States - a simultaneous broadcast - and we know, we've already seen episode one.
Thankfully however, you won't find any spoilers here; every GoT fan deserves to witness the new chapter with a fresh perspective. We will say it's brilliant though and well worth making an event of the showing, whether you watch its simultaneously broadcast UK showing or later than evening on the same channel. And we've found a few things that you could buy to help you get in the mood for each and every episode in the season.
Game of Thrones Toilet Decal
Die-hard Game of Throne's fans will want their own Iron Throne and what better place to have one than the throne room itself. Of course, we mean the toilet.
Etsy retailer BetterStickers offers a vinyl wall mural that you can place on the wall behind the cistern that turns it into a modern take on the iconic centrepiece for the show. It costs just £18.50 for the full edition or £15.42 for a trimmed version for smaller spaces. And it's available in black for a while wall, or white for dark coloured walls.
Game of Thrones Replica Iron Throne
Those with a few more Gold Dragons under the mattress might want to upgrade their Iron Throne from the loo to the living room, and what better way than to buy an actual life-sized fibreglass replica, officially licensed by HBO.
It'll set you back £20,000 from Firebox.com and is coated in fire rated resin. It's also built by a robot so is a cunning mix of fantasy and science fiction. That's geek overload right there.
NOW TV also made some promotional Game of Thrones Iron Throne replicas, each of which turn a normal chair into an homage to the one in the show. Sadly though, you can't buy them and a Sky-run competition to win one has now finished.
Daenerys Targaryen's lovely bust
The HBO Shop is a great place for Game of Thrones merchandise, being the owner and maker of the show, and one thing particularly caught our eye. Should you not fancy adorning your house with spiky replicas and renditions, how about popping Daenerys Targaryen's bust on top of your fireplace?
Priced at £119, the resin-made bust is 7-inches tall and features the head and shoulders of Daenerys, as played by Emilia Clarke, and one of her dragons, Viserion.
It's a lovely piece, if you get over the fact that it looks like she's sinking in quicksand.
Game of Game of Thrones
There's actually been a few Game of Thrones games; the most obvious being Cyanide Studios' PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 RPG released in 2012. It's available for quite cheap these days, but wasn't critically well-received, so probably one for forgiving fans only.
It follows two different characters and their paths through the Seven Kingdoms and seems to be a mish-mash of themes and styles from the TV series and books by George R R Martin. Some of the voice actors from the former appear fleetingly, some resolutely do not.
Other games include A Game of Thrones: Genesis, a real-time strategy title also by Cyanide, and Game of Thrones Ascent, a Facebook app that has recently also been launched for iPad and soon to follow for Android. It's a freemium strategy game (with in-app purchases) that gives you control of a micro House in Westeros and you must compete with other real players to grow into one of the most powerful.
A new game is also being developed by Telltale Games, the studio and publisher behind the hugely successful episodic adventures based on The Walking Dead and Fables (A Wold Among Us) comic books. It too will be presented in downloadable chapters for multiple platforms.
The Hound's Helm
Some items of official merchandise are more convincing than others. And that includes the Hound's Helm from Valyrian Steel. Maker of several realistic replicas, the retailer and manufacturer of Game of Thrones goodies for the more serious connoisseur offers a life-sized, wearable copy of the helmet worn by the former bodyguard to King Joffrey.
It comes on a stand made of silkscreened wood with the Clegane sigil and is part of a Game of Thrones Collection modelled around the props made for the series itself.
We will warn you though. His helm you may wear, but always remember that his strength will allude you. Thankfully, so will his breath (we're imagining).
Jon Snow's sword, Longclaw
The same company, Valyrian Steel also crafts actual life-sized swords based on those used in the series. You can get replicas of Ned Stark's sword Ice and Robb Stark's, but our favourite to mount above the mantelpiece is Jon Snow's sword Longclaw.
Look away now if you've still not seen series 3 (and we recommend not reading any further, really), but we've mainly chosen Snow's as he's the only one in series 4. However, we particularly like the wolf's head pommel.
Valyrian Steel offers several versions of the sword, in high carbon damascus or stainless steel, and the book or TV show variants. Unfortunately most are sold out now though, so the $250 45-inch stainless steel TV model is all that's available at present.
Table of Thrones, periodic table of the households
Not particularly authentic - you're hardly likely to see one of these Blu-tacked to the Hand of the King's wall - but the periodic table of the households of Westeros is a good reference piece to have.
It's made by the Geekerie and sold by Firebox for £19.99.
Game of Thrones costumes and cosplay
If you've been invited to a fancy dress screening of the show, rather than knock together your own costume from a few fantasy staples, why not get something made to represent the real deal?
In the US, there are plenty of costume companies specialising in making authentic Game of Thrones garb. A quick search of eBay.com comes up with some rather impressive numbers, whether you want to look like Jaime Lannister, Jon Snow or Daenerys Targaryen, there's something for you.
You might even want to go the whole hog and join a GoT cosplay society and make a habit of looking like you belong in G R R Martin's world. There's even a dedicated website to the art, gameofthronescosplay.com. We suggest you don't go all Joffrey on us though.
Game of Thrones wedding cake
Again, if you're not seen season 3 look away. You've already been warned once.
You would think that people would run screaming away from having anything Game of Thrones-related at their weddings, considering the "red" one, but it seems that GoT wedding cakes are all the rage.
The one made by HBO (as modelled with Maisie Williams, Arya Stark) was essentially put together to promote the infamous Red Wedding episode last year, but there now seems to be a flood of other designs on the market to make that special day even more, ahem, special.
Just don't come running to us if you start feeling stabbing pains in your reception. Of course, running isn't really going to be possible by then.
Finally, how about having a nice cup of Game of Thrones-inspired tea while watching the show? Teabags featuring Tyrion Lannister-actor Peter Dinklage are going to be all the rage. Probably.
Oh, okay, we made this one up for a rather cheap pun. But thinking about it, like us you could always make your own "Peter Dunklage" teabags to mark the occasion. After all, what would be better than to put your feet up, pop on Sky Atlantic HD (or HBO) and watch the first episode with a nice cup of tea? And printer ink.
Game of Thrones Season 4 will be available to watch on Sky Atlantic HD in the UK (and the standard definition version of the channel). It will also screen as part of NOW TV's Entertainment Month Pass and be screened on HBO in the US.