"YOU WAITED too long!" That line, delivered with withering dismissal by Lena Headey (aka Cersei Lannister) in the first episode of the fourth season of HBO's "Game of Thrones," received a wildly hearty burst of applause from the audience gathered at NYC's Avery Fisher Hall for the special screening/premiere of "GOT."
Now, that's as much as I'm going to "spoil" anything for you fans. The show returns to the airwaves on April 6 and you should all endeavor to be surprised. Which means, stay away from the IMDB boards, where so many get so much satisfaction from spoiling. Sometimes these "spoilers" just make it up, to drive fans of various shows crazy. (These are people with small lives, anger issues and a tinge of sadism.)
YOU CAN'T say HBO doesn't have a sense of humor, along with a lot of class. Before the screening, the packed house -- which included the likes of Sally Field, Amanda Peet, Molly Sims and Nick and Vanessa Lachey -- was warned not to record anything on any devices, "or you will be executed!" Then the New York Philharmonic came out and performed some of the evocative music from the series, composed by Ramin Djawadi. He also conducted -- and he's quite sexy! Oh, and there was the giant dragon set up out front at Lincoln Center. Not only did every cast member who attended the event feel compelled to pose next to it, so did fans and even a few policemen.
The fans were vociferous in their cheering for the stars, although sometimes they weren't sure who they were cheering for. Most of the "Thrones" cast look entirely different out of character. With the exceptions of Diana Rigg, Peter Dinklage and Jack Gleeson, most everybody could pass unnoticed in a crowd. Gleeson plays the unspeakably evil King Joffrey and was affectionately hissed upon arrival. The actor has hinted he'd rather not continue his career after he is "retired" from his "GOT" role. However, he did say, "Joffrey's not all bad. They always cut the parts where he's playing with puppies and all that!"
A huge fan favorite is Gwendoline Christie, who plays the towering soldier Brienne. In real life she is just as towering, but far more attractive and feminine. She seemed to be having the most fun, outgoing and girly, greeting friends, waving, exuberant and happy to be out of her awful, figure-hiding "GOT" costumes.
PERHAPS THE most extraordinary aspect of the evening was the many fans who were speaking to each other in the "Dothraki language." This is a fictional language made up by George R.R. Martin, whose fantasy books are the basis for the series. It's spoken by the Dothraki tribe. There's also a "Valyrian language." But the Dothraki is more popular. I kid you not. I don't think anybody kept it up the whole night, but even five minutes is an amazing accomplishment.
While the audience gathered at Avery Fisher Hall, the big screen was showing Michael McMillian from Facebook Live, interviewing various cast members. He seemed to be doing a fine job. Unfortunately, there was no sound. However, one actor who didn't need sound was Finn Jones, who plays Loras Tyrell. Never has there been such an animated interview! He grinned, grimaced, laughed wildly, fussed with the interviewer's tie, played with his own hair, punctuated every word with a gesture, hopped, skipped and jumped. It was mesmerizing. Loras Tyrell is not nearly as much fun as Finn appears to be! (Although both are adorable.)
THERE WAS a party afterward at the American Museum of Natural History. Many "GOT" costumes were on display and strewn about the Milstein Hall of Ocean Life -- that's the room with the giant sperm whale attached to the ceiling -- were luxurious-looking faux furs, all very barbaric and "Thrones"-appropriate. There were lots of candles and iron braziers, too. (That's braziers, as in receptacles for coal and such to heat and light, not brassieres!) The food was normal, however, delicious but nothing as exotic as pigeon pie or human limbs.
Among the throng we found a simply-dressed, lightly made-up Peggy Siegal, looking quite sweet. She had nothing to with the event, and confessed she'd never seen "GOT" before. She is probably planning her own event under the whale.
Also, a cheerful Roger Friedman, gossip's Energizer Bunny, who brought along his very nice, attractive and much-amused brother. "You have a brother?" I asked. Roger laughed. "Yes, I have a whole family. But I know people think I just sprang full blown from the head of ... Pat Kingsley!"
IF YOU'RE keeping track of "Lindsay," as in the reality series about the oft-wayward actress Lindsay Lohan, you know she's trying to find a good workout regimen. (Her various dramas sapped her energy in the matter of staying in tip-top shape.)
Well, I guess we are not the only ones watching. Runner Nick Symmonds has offered to help "train" her, in part because she stated at some point that she wanted to run in the Los Angeles Marathon next year. (In the second episode, she refused to get out of bed most of the day. Good luck on a marathon!) Still, it wouldn't be the first time Lindsay has looked to running as a way to stay out of trouble and stay firm. She had sessions with track star Shannon Rowbury a year or so back.
Symmonds, known for his speed, as well as his movie star good looks, even sent Lindsay a pair of Brooks "Transcend" running shoes to inspire her. (Given what she's been wearing on the show, a pair of strappy five-inch heels might inspire her more!)
Nick is currently preparing for his 13.1-mile run on July 1 in San Diego. He also has a book coming out later this year, detailing his life as an athlete and sex symbol. (He laughs at the latter, amused by the comparisons to Brad Pitt.)
(E-mail Liz Smith at MES3838@aol.com.)
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