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New York is no King’s Landing—and for that, we should probably be grateful—but
that doesn’t mean you can’t experience a bit of George R.R. Martin’s fantasy universe in the wilds of NYC. You’ll be glued to your TV soon enough, as season four of the epic series premieres Sunday 6—check out our guide to the best viewing parties in NYC here, and whet your appetite with our report from the Game of Thrones Epic Fan Experience. Until then, practice your Kingslayer moves at these GoT-themed sessions.
“Who can forget the sight of spurned wildling hottie Ygritte shooting arrows at her lover, Jon Snow, as he rides off? With that scene in my head, I visited mobile archery company Hidden Gems (various locations; hiddengemsarchery.com; introductory class $50) at a school gym in Brooklyn. The class was super friendly—‘The word archery makes you smile!’ beamed our instructor, Q—and safety was top priority. After getting my hands on a bow and arrow, and learning the proper stance, I shot from increasing distances. Firing off arrows was a thrill, but my favorite part was pulling them out of the target, which made me feel like a warrior. Alas, I didn’t dominate during the tourney at the end of the session. But at least I wasn’t, you know, beheaded for losing.”
Squire: Jenna Scherer, associate editor
“I may have no Winterfell of my own to defend, but the song of steel still called me
to the Riverlands (midtown!) to try Sword Class NYC’s German-longsword lesson (Ripley-Grier Studios, 520 Eighth Ave between 36th and 37th Sts, 16th floor; swordclassnyc.com; single class $30). Lined up side by side with my fellow warriors-in-training, I hefted my weapon—made of weighted plastic instead of Valyrian steel, but still satisfyingly heavy, like the weight of a man's life on my shoulders. There was no actual sparring, but our teacher did show us a series of moves with wrathful-sounding names like unterhau and schielhau. Afterward, I felt confident enough to take on White Walkers or, seven hells, even Lannisters.”