George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones books are nothing if not immersive, but pair that world with the Oculus Rift gaming headset and you’ll get a world you might never want to leave.
As part of Game of Thrones‘ promotional push at SXSW – because the show definitely needs more press among that cohort – actors from the hit fantasy series were on site in Austin, trying out the virtual reality headset in a tricked out set-up that drops the user into the perspective of one of those poor so-and-sos bound to the Night’s Watch. On site were Game of Thrones‘ Maisie Williams, Gwendoline Christie, and Kristian Nairn; that’s Arya Stark, Brienne of Tarth, and Hodor, respectively, if you insist on believing they have no lives outside of Westeros.
The Game of Thrones cast members raved about the experience, praising its immersive nature. Mashable notes that the Oculus session was part of “Game of Thrones: The Exhibition,” which showed off a number of artifacts from the show.
“It was absolutely amazing, because it’s not just the Oculus,” Maisie Williams told one interviewer. “but they’ve got the wind machine and the floor moves as well, and it’s really scary.”
Kristian Nairn, better known to Game of Thrones viewers as Hodor, took to Twitter to praise the Oculus Rift.
“Hodor,” said Nairn, “Hodor, Hodor Hodor. Hodor! Hodor Hodor… Hodor.”
Just kidding. Nairn was actually effusive and far more wordy in his praise.
“I was excited to try the Oculus Rift… Wasn’t ready for the awesome,” the Game of Thrones giant wrote on Twitter after checking it out on Saturday, according to CNN. “I’m telling you, if you are excited about it, (it’s) better than you hope!”
The Oculus headset is an interesting contraption; once one puts it on, the rest of the world disappears. The team behind the device has succeeded in developing a truly immersive visual experience, and one can only imagine how impactful that must have been when pairing that immersion with Game of Thrones‘ Castle Black and the nearby ice wall.
For those of us that won’t be donning virtual reality gear to explore Westeros, the two week wait until Game of Thrones‘ fourth season begins can’t go by quickly enough. HBO, of course, has already kicked the hype machine into high gear ahead of the Season 4 premiere, due April 4. In addition to no small number of sneak peeks, trailers, and previews, HBO has also released a mixtape for the series, Catch the Throne. Nairn had his own thoughts on that, as well, saying that Varys, Game of Thrones‘ Master of Whispers, would probably be the best emcee of all of the characters.
DJ Hodor then excused himself to catch wreck on the wheels of steel. No, really.