At most museums, you exit through the gift shop. At the new 'Game of Thrones' exhibit at HBO's midtown headquarters, the museum is the gift shop.
To celebrate (and, it must be said, promote) the launch of season two of "Game of Thrones," the premium cable channel has decked the walls of its Sixth Avenue store with props and costumes from the acclaimed fantasy series — including one very famous severed head — sharing space with the traditional T-shirts, DVDs and mugs. It's all very unexpected, and it ties into what makes the series, in our opinion, so successful. The characters in "Thrones" aren't dusty museum figures at an Olympian remove, they're real, life-sized people, who sweat and belch and screw and bleed.
HBO was nice enough to let us in for a special tour of the store. Here's what we found:
Ned Stark's Hand of the King pin, impressively detailed.
A horn fit for any Northern lord.
Bastards, though, need to content themselves with simple mugs.
One Lannister army, relaxing in the Narrow Sea apparently.
King Robert Baratheon can do as he likes, include wear this jeweled crown.
King Renly's gorget. Looks strong!
King Renly's robe and crown from the second series. What a ladykiller!
The second season is sure to give "Mad Men" a run for its money in the "redheads in red dresses" department.
In this frock, Cersei Lannister goes from 'Incest' to 'Best Dressed!'
Jon Snow's Night's Watch cloak next to Daenerys' Dothraki getup. Why are they together? Go ahead and speculate!
Dany's dragon eggs are outside in the window display. Don't steal them!
You think Sean Bean has a room in his house that's just full of dummies of his corpse?
And yes, there is "Games of Thrones" merchandise available for purchase. Fill this thing up with ale, serve up some meat pies, and you've got a party going!
The HBO Store is located at Sixth Avenue and 42nd Street.