In the pit for Game Of Thrones premiere at S.F. Opera House

Very few famous people look like you expect them to in real life. The exception, however, has to be George R.R. Martin, who seemed to leap off the page and land right in front of me, all tweed suit, bushy beard, and snug black cap of him. We were all seated in the War Memorial Opera House (after waiting outside for one and a half hours) when he sauntered in and down the wrong aisle. No no, an HBO publicist gently chided, steering his large frame in a U-turn and then sideways up the aisle like The Black Wind of Stannis' Royal Fleet  returning to sea. God bless this guy, not only for his books, but for looking like a normal person in a sea of suits and S.F. high society. That was the crowd in the orchestra pit: the well-heeled stuck with press heels like me.  

Do you want to know which Game of Thrones cast members didn't look like themselves in real life? Let's start with Kit Harington, aka Jon Snow. The guy is small, which leads me to think that the Wildling they paired him with had to be really tiny. Emilia Clarke is really a brunette and she looks about 16. Lord Varys isn't really bald and is actually pretty handsome. Peter Dinklage is actually 6'4″. The list goes on. 

I was lucky enough to be seated next to the one and only person who wore a costume — she came as Daenerys,  natch — but she was feeling a bit self-conscious. I can't say I blame her, sitting there with her plastic dragon and platinum blonde wig. It was actually quite shocking that no one else dressed up, but then again, this was a fandork-free event. Apparently to be invited to this thing you had to either know an exec at HBO or work at Facebook, which hosted the thing. The real hardcore fans will have to settle for a GOT convention in Shreveport in 20 years, posing in an awkward grab-n-grin with the dude who played Hodor. 

Once everyone was seated we all watched the first episode of Season Five. I wonder what it is like for the actors to watch themselves on screen after everything has gone through post-production. When it was over, Kit and Peter both looked like they'd rather be anywhere else — perhaps they feared getting cornered by a Getty at the afterparty? Eh, they've gotten themselves out of worse fixes. 

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