NEW YORK (TheStreet) - While Season Four of the popular series doesn't start until Sunday, April 6, Time Warner's (TWX) HBO ramping up fan excitement with a several interactive initiatives leading up to the date and beyond. If you were lucky enough to get in early, or as some fans have said, by calling, tickets were just $15. However, despite 7,000 tickets being released through Live Nation's (LYV) Ticketmaster Web site, the Barclays tickets were sold out in just 30 minutes.
Game of Thrones fan frenzy picked up speed on Thursday following the release of tickets to the general population for the HBO Game of Thrones: The Epic Fan Experience being held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. on March 20.
That leaves angry Facebook fans who had hoped to get in on the action. For one, American Express (AXP) customers were able to purchase seats one day early. Also, there's a section devoted to New York University students, according to Ticketmaster.
But what's really drawing ire by fans is the black market that has been created for the tickets on eBay (EBAY) and its subsidiary Stub Hub, considering the net proceeds for the Ticketmaster bought tickets would be donated to two charities: Nothing But Nets and Books for Africa. On eBay, tickets are running from $80 each to $1,320 for four tickets in prime seating, according to the site. On StubHub tickets are running anywhere from $73.50 to more than $5000 for seating, at last check.An HBO spokeswoman says there are no plans to release extra tickets or create another showing. And that's all happening without knowing exactly what "The Epic Fan Experience" really is, though, with the addition of the early showing, it sounds similar to last year's Game of Thrones: The Exhibition. HBO said in a release the "experience" will debut the first episode of Season Four and will "also include show costumes and props displays from the acclaimed traveling exhibition, photo ops on the Iron Throne and other special surprises." Fans are likely eager to see how Season Four stacks up, following the horrific and shocking (for those who haven't read George R.R. Martin's books) finale scenes of last season. This season starts the second half of Martin's third book in the series, A Storm of Swords. Last year's finale ended with the epic Red Wedding scene, where two main characters were killed off in what was supposed to be a wedding to complete an alliance between the Starks and the Frey's. Instead, the Frey's showed their allegiance to House Lannister by killing Robb Stark (Richard Madden), known as the King of the North, and his mother Catelyn Stark (Michelle Fairley), which essentially destroyed the Northerners quest for vengeance following the beheading of Ned Stark in Season One. (If you don't have a vague clue about what I'm talking about, get watching the first three seasons on HBOGO.)
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