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 several opportunities to simulate your own Westeros experience here in SoCal. As the countdown to the series finale begins, here's a list of events and tributes 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 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 premiered April 11-12 before opening to the public inside The Wizarding World of Harry Potter™. Lights and music 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

Last month, Big Bar at Alcove Cafe hosted A Dream of Spring, featuring numerous Game of Thrones-themed experiences. Now through the series finale, Big Bar will serve a menu of GoT inspired cocktails like the Onion Knight (Fords Gin, dry vermouth, onion-infused Dirty Sue bitters, pickled onion).

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 weekly Game of Thrones Watch Party that began with the Season 8 premiere and will last throughout the season. After 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. And if you win, you have to haul it home.

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

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 take time to admire the “Chinese Celestial Dragon” mural originally painted in 1941 by Tyrus Wong. For bonus points, while you’re there you can explore 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 through May 19)  and take in an afternoon joust between dancing and magic shows.

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 | Photo: Daniel Pouliot, Flickr

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