One of the things we enjoy the most with this job is seeing how networks try to take advantage of new forms of technology, for better and for worse. One of the obvious pioneers in this space is HBO, given that they’ve got trucks full of money and one of the biggest premium-cable shows of all time in Game of Thrones.
Not all of their stunts have been successful. Remember when they hid the season 7 premiere date in a giant block of ice and stupidly live-streamed the big reveal? Well, let’s try to forget that forever. At least they’re taking chances. Today, they’re going a slightly more convention direction in leveraging Twitter in particular for their season 8 promotion, but they may be going bigger and bolder here than we’ve seen for just about any other show ever.
So what have they done today? Well, there are a couple of different things that are certainly impressive.
Custom Emoji – The series has created official hashtag emoji for a wide array of important characters — wanna see them? Then go online and type in #DaenerysTargeryan, #JonSnow, #CerseiLannister, #AryaStark, #JaimeLannister, #TyrionLannister, #SansaStark, #BranStark, #BrienneOfTarth, #DavosSeaworth, #EuronGreyjoy, #JorayMormont, #Greyowrm, #Melisandre, #Missandei, #SamwellTarley, #TheonGreyjoy, #Varys, #TheHound, or #TheNightKing. It’s kind of awesome that so many different people all have custom emoji, but how in the world does Euron have one of these and not Tormund or Bronn? Game of Thrones has gotta get some of their priorities straight.
Just in case you don’t have Twitter (or just want to avoid going down any rabbit-holes there, understandable) — we’ve got you covered. Take a look below.
All things considered, these are pretty great given that emoji aren’t exactly made up of a ton of pixels — the ones for The Hound, Sansa, and Sam may actually be our favorites overall. Melisandre’s is perhaps a tad cartoony, and we can’t even picture what Euron looks like enough to really judge his. (See? This is what Tormund would’ve been better!)
Posters – To go along with these emoji, HBO also released character-specific posters featuring a number of these characters sitting on the Iron Throne. Some of these are spectacular — Sansa, once again, has a really great one; meanwhile, it feels like Jon Snow is trying to emulate Ned Star’s iconic season 1 poster image. (Obviously, the idea of someone like Sam or Varys sitting on the throne is kind of ludicrous — we think Varys would run away forever before planting himself here. Not really his style.)
Given how much of this promotion goodness has been trending on Twitter for the better part of this morning, we think we can say with some confidence that HBO has done a beastly job with some of their promotion. They’ve got people talking and thinking about their show in a way that they didn’t before; what more can you really ask for?
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What do you think about some of what Game of Thrones is doing leading into the final season? Be sure to share right now in the comments. (Photo: HBO.)