Winter is Coming to Los Angeles

Create your own "Game of Thrones" experience in L.A.

Game of Thrones Night King mural by Jonas Never at Brennan's | Photo: @never1959, Instagram

We may have a climate of seemingly eternal summer in Los Angeles but for millions of Game of Thrones fans—who have been warned that winter is coming since 2011—winter has arrived.  So, even though Los Angeles feels worlds away from King’s Landing and the Kingdom of the North, we’ve found quite a few opportunities to simulate your own Westeros experience here in SoCal. Here’s a list of events, experiences, and ideas for creating your own Game of Thrones experience in Los Angeles.

Choose a Great House (or the Night King) at Ever Bar

Located at the Kimpton Everly Hotel in Hollywood, Ever Bar is featuring a Game of Thrones cocktail menu that represents the "five remaining players in the game" - four Great Houses and the Night King and his Army of the Dead. "Send for a raven" at the bar and you'll receive a list of five cocktails that reads North to South, and evokes their respective inspirations: Night King, Stark, Greyjoy, Lannister, Targaryen.

Stop by throughout the final GoT season and enjoy cocktails like the House Stark, made with Blackened American Whiskey, Fernet-Branca, honey, cream, "Weirwood leaves" (dehydrated rose petals) and "Snow" (powdered sugar).

The Iron Throne at Scum & Villainy Cantina in Hollywood

The Iron Throne at Scum & Villainy Cantina | Photo: @scumandvillainycantina, Instagram

Geek Out as Scum & Villainy Cantina Becomes a Tavern of Fire and Ice

Scum & Villainy Cantina is going ALL in for GoT fans all month long in April. Complete with an Iron Throne, concept art, a giant weirwood, and booths that seriously look like the Winterfell crypts, Scum & Villainy is also introducing a Game of Thrones-themed drink menu. Numerous special events will be held such as a Season 8 Hype Party from 6:00pm-2:00am on April 12. Aside from the GoT Scotch Tasting from 2:00pm - 5:00pm on April 13, Scum & Villainy is not charging a cover to pop in for a drink or a selfie. In fact, costumed patrons will get a discount on their bill. One important note: this pop-up only lasts through April, so it will be gone before the series finale.

The Dark Arts at Hogwarts™ Castle in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™

The Dark Arts at Hogwarts™ Castle in The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™ | Photo: Universal Studios Hollywood

Indulge in the Dark Arts at Universal Studios Hollywood

We know, we know. Harry Potter is G-rated, whereas GoT is for grownups. Still, you can indulge in a dark arts experience sure to be safer than Daenerys’s first experience with witches and blood spells. The Dark Arts at Hogwarts™ Castle premieres April 11-12 before opening to the public inside The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™. Plan for lights and music which will create a creepy ambiance, while curses and creatures yield goosebumps.


Onion Knight cocktail at Big Bar

Onion Knight cocktail at Big Bar | Photo: Eugene Lee

Go North of the Wall at Big Bar

On Friday, April 12, Big Bar at Alcove Cafe is hosting A Dream of Spring, featuring numerous Game of Thrones-themed experiences. The Alcove Cafe patio will be transformed into The Wall; Big Bar will serve GoT inspired cocktails like the Onion Knight (Fords Gin, dry vermouth, onion-infused Dirty Sue bitters, pickled onion); Cercei's Cellar aka the central patio will feature the official Game of Thrones wine; the General's Tent will serve flights of the impossible to find Game of Thrones single malt scotches; plus Johnnie White Walker highballs, an Ice Dragon Luge and more. No cover, early arrival suggested.

Game of Thrones Night King mural by Jonas Never at Brennan's

Game of Thrones Night King mural by Jonas Never at Brennan's | Photo: @never1959, Instagram

Take It In: Brennan's Night King Mural and Watch Party

Swing by Brennan’s in Marina del Rey to see the incredible new Night King mural by Jonas Never. As the home of the famous turtle races, Brennan’s is also hosting a Game of Thrones Watch Party beginning with the Season 8 premiere on April 14 and lasting throughout the season. On the eve of the series finale, Brennan’s will raffle off a full-size Iron Throne. You’ll need to be there to buy tickets ($10) and to win.

Twin Dragon Gateway in Chinatown Los Angeles

Twin Dragon Gateway in Chinatown | Photo: Chains of Pace, Discover Los Angeles Flickr Pool

Pay Homage to House Targaryen

Maybe they haven’t got wings, but L.A. does have a few resident dragons, and even more immortalized in art. Visit the Komodo Dragons at the L.A. Zoo for an afternoon in the sun, then head over to Chinatown where you’ll be formally welcomed by the Twin Dragon Gateway. Be sure to also take time to admire the “Chinese Celestial Dragon” mural originally painted in 1941 by Tyrus Wong. For bonus points, while you’re there, enter L.A.’s own Realm for a perfect little memento for your home. (I’m just saying, the carved vases look a lot like dragon eggs).

The Jousters at Renaissance Pleasure Faire

The Jousters | Photo: Ian Henry - Renaissance Pleasure Faire, Facebook

Give Yourself a Medieval Makeover and Go Mingle

If you can’t find what you need to create a perfect medieval look at the historic Western Costume Company you’re not trying hard enough. Purchase fabric, sewing supplies, or rent costumes from one of the oldest, largest costume companies in the world, located in North Hollywood. You’re going to need that costume for a few reasons. 

You’ll get plenty of mileage out of your medieval attire, if you head out to the Original Renaissance Pleasure Faire (Saturdays & Sundays, April 6 - May 19)  and take in an afternoon joust between dancing and magic shows.

Prove Your Loyalty and Win

Do you claim to be a GoT loyalist?  Do you think you can outsmart your enemies, and conquer the title of Game of Thrones’ Biggest Trivia Buff? Prove your worthiness and win prizes at Horse Thief BBQ’s Game of Thrones Trivia Night on April 18 from 7-10pm.  Costumes welcome, the first 25 people in the door get a free beer, and prizes will be awarded for each of the seven rounds.

Experience the True Wonder of Wolves

If you can’t imagine GoT without Ghost, Shaggydog, Summer, Lady, Grey Wind and Nymeria serving House Stark, we’ve got good news. You can connect with rescued wolves during a guided hike at the Wolf Connection® in the Angeles National Forest. You’ll learn the stories of each of the 30+ wolves in the pack, and even have the opportunity to interact with the wolves who will join you on a nature walk. Plus, you’ll be giving back to others—much as the direwolves gave everything to the Starks— since proceeds from ticket sales benefit Wolf Connection, a youth education and empowerment program, which provides Wolf Therapy™ to at-risk groups.

View from the top of Echo Mountain

View from the top of Echo Mountain | Photo: Daniel Pouliot, Flickr

Climb as High as House Arryn

Legend has it that Artys Arryn, the Winged Knight, staked his claim for House Arryn atop the highest mountain of the Vale. His strategic position is said to have played a role in the defeat of the First Men Mountain Kings. While we can’t claim that a hike to the top of Echo Mountain will lead to ruling Pasadena forevermore, we are relatively sure that you won’t experience a Targaryen invasion, while trudging along this difficult, nearly six-mile hike.

Fire Eater at Mama Lion in Koreatown

"The Unburnt" at Mama Lion in Koreatown | Photo: Mama Lion, Facebook

Feed Your Inner Lion

If, like House Lannister, your spirit animal is a lion, choose from several options for feeding the beast. In Silver Lake, at the Red Lion Tavern, German fare along with a huge variety of Pilsners, Bocks, and Lagers will keep hunger pangs at bay as you indulge in Monday night trivia, Wednesday night karaoke, or piano the remaining nights of the week.

In Koreatown, you can also get your fill at Mama Lion which— in just two years— has become a hotspot for celebrities, and has received acclaim for both its design and architecture, as well as its happy hour specials.

Once you’ve had your fill, depending upon the season, you could also head over to the STAPLES Center for the chill of the ice, the thrill of the sport, and to see Bailey the lion mascot of the L.A. Kings. 

Words by
Jen Hadley Avatar of author Jen Hadley