By Amber Lena
HBO's Game of Thrones Join the Realm exhibit had quite the line to get in, and for good reason. At the entrance, San Diego Comic-Con patrons had the opportunity to pick a scene from Westeros and have their face placed on a character by an artist.
Of course the fan favorites were there: the Iron Throne sat towards the entrance of the building. People lined up to have their picture taken on the throne and were rewarded with both a print out and a digital copy. Additionally, exhibit attendees were rewarded with free custom House t-shirts. While many people chose to use their own house names, other chose to show off their Westeros loyalty while still others used it as a crossover opportunity ("House Granger" and "House Holmes" were both accounted for).
The "Join the Realm" exhibit very much an interactive display that included two different games for everyone to play. The Battle of Blackwater Bay Experience allowed fans to use giant bows and arrows in order to fight their way through the infamous battle.
Fans also had the opportunity to play the new "Game of Thrones: Ascent" game. "Ascent" is an MMORPG that allows players to create their own character and become a part of Westeros.
As a collaboration between HBO and Disruptor Beam, "Ascent" is dedicated to being an interactive experience for fans of the "Game of Thrones" television show. The game is consistently updated after each episode airs so that the content is constantly growing with the story. However, just because the show isn't on air doesn't mean that there isn't new content. "Ascent" is a completely customizable game that allows the player to gain different experiences based on their character's background, alignment, and to which house he or she swears fealty.
A character can be aligned with either the realm or their family and can adopt either the old ways or the new. Each of these is determined by the various choices your character makes. There are limitless possibilities with each choice compounding on the one before it. Luckily there is a reincarnation feature that allows players to start over without losing all of their in-game items.
One of the great features of "Ascent" is the ability to make it as much or as little of an MMO as the player desires. It's completely up to the individual whether he or she wishes to interact and form alliances with other characters. However, choosing to interact with other players definitely has its advantages. Not only can you forge alliances, you can also marry your character to another one. Your character can even have children, whom she or he can then marry off to form more alliances. All in all, "Ascent" does an excellent job of really putting the players in the world of Westeros.
Topping it all off were displays of some of the more popular "Game of Thrones" collectibles and a wall full of impressive artwork. The Join the Realm exhibit was definitely one of the must-sees of Comic-Con.