While it's being labeled as a fantasy series, the books and the show are not for kids. It has a healthy share of violence combined with a decent dose of sex, murder and betrayal -- all the basic components that make for great compelling television.

In the digital world, the show's strong social media presence is telling of the growing fan base it has garnered. The official Facebook page has more than 5 million "likes;" its Twitter page has more than 600,000 followers.

HBO wanted to create a promotion that would take viewers out of the digital world and into the so-called real world.

"'Game of Thrones' has such a passionate fan base, also such a rich world that we wanted to bring ... it to life and have the fans touch and feel and see an experience," says Chris Spadaccini, HBO's senior vice president of brand marketing.

"It's really to give fans a chance to really experience this world," Spadaccini says. "So much of what's being done right now in marketing, and so much of consumers' time, is being spent online in the digital world that a chance to kind of pull back to something that's physical is really unique. You're seeing that as a real trend in marketing -- these real world experiences that you can't recreate on the Internet."

While there have been very few so-called real-world experiences based on popular television programs, it has been a successful marketing tool for movie fans.

One such example is the Harry Potter: The Exhibit in Times Square. The traveling exhibit made its way back to New York City in November (the exhibit will be at Discovery Times Square through April 7).

Through the exhibit, created by Warner Bros. and Global Experience Specialists, a subsidiary of Viad Corp. ( VVI), visitors have the chance to see displays inspired by the Hogwarts film sets, authentic costumes and props, authentic artifacts displayed in settings inspired by the film sets -- including the Great Hall, Hagrid's hut, the Gryffindor common room, among other things. This year's exhibit also included "original artifacts from the series finale, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 2," according to a press release from August 2012.

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