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First look: Inside the 'Game of Thrones' installation at SXSW 2019

The interactive "Bleed for the Throne" experience is a partnership between HBO and the American Red Cross.

AUSTIN, Texas — You may love "Game of Thrones," but do you love it enough to bleed for it?

At the 2019 SXSW festival, fans were invited to become a part of the interactive "Bleed for the Throne" experience at Fair Market. There, fans of the hit HBO series, now entering its eighth and final season, were able to walk in the shoes of four characters, listen to live musicians and a choir performing an original 27-minute composition inspired by the show, interact with live actors like the Wildlings and Unsullied, and even grab a free bite to eat from Shake Shack.

RELATED: 'Game of Thrones' is coming to SXSW 2019, but you may have to bleed to see it

It's all part of the largest blood donation promotional effort by an entertainment company in American Red Cross history. Fans were able to sign up online to donate, or not, then walk around the exhibition.

Online registration for the event began on Feb. 19. However, all appointments were booked in under two hours.

Though it may have filled up quickly, a standby line will be available each day for both donors and non-donors who hope to check it out.

Participants will be allowed to enter the experience at the time of their appointment and be walked inside to the waiting area for blood donations. Red Cross team members will help brave donors fill out and discuss their mandatory health history form. After their donations are complete, they will remain in the recovery area for snacks and water until they feel ready to move on through the experience.

The initiative is just the latest piece of the #ForTheThrone campaign, a multi-phased, global marketing campaign for the final season of "Game of Thrones."

By the numbers, the experience:

  • Is expected to collect more than 15,000 pints of lifesaving blood donations on the first day of nationwide drives.
  • Helped the American Red Cross see a 40 percent increase in new donor appointments online since the launch of the campaign
  • Will hand out 4,000 Hand of the Throne pins
  • Included 100+ pages of script and character backstories
  • Employed 80+ actors and musicians
  • Consisted of 27-minutes of original music, spanning over 62 pages of score
  • Enlisted two local horses
  • And featured the sole Iron Throne

The Red Cross partnership goes beyond the event to include domestic blood drives in 43 states, and HBO's College Ambassadors will be hosting almost two dozen additional blood drives at nine universities across the nation.

Anyone who presents to donate at any of the drives from Feb. 19 to March 17 will be entered for a chance to win one of five trips to the Season 8 world premiere of "Game of Thrones." And those who are not able to donate blood can still enter the sweepstakes by emailing customercare@redcross.org with a request to be entered, along with their name, mailing and email addresses. Donors will also receive free "Game of Thrones" swag, including a T-shirt, stickers and more while supplies last.

Giant Spoon, the same company that helped produce last year's Westworld experience, helped produce "Bleed for the Throne," which runs from March 7 to 9.

Season 8 of "Game of Thrones" airs on April 14.


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