Channel Your Inner-Arya and Get Torched by a Dragon at Experience the Realm

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This year's Experience the Realm installation offers fans the opportunity to get scorched by a dragon, become a white walker, and channel their inner-Arya Stark with swordplay and water dancing.

We paid a visit to the Experience on opening day, Thursday, July 9, and found that although the installation didn't open to the general public until 11 a.m., plenty of fans arrived in the wee hours of the morning to camp out for a place in line.

"Every year it's the best outside experience," said frequent Comic-Con attendee and Thrones fan Michelle, who secured her place in line around 6 a.m. "The sword thing was actually kind of hard, but it's definitely worth the wait every year."

Michelle wasn't the first fan in line, however. The Early Bird Experience the Realm Award goes to superfan Norman Davis, who arrived on site at 5 a.m. Davis, in town from Pittsburgh and proud owner of a free tattoo from last year's installation, said he never misses a Thrones-related Comic-Con experience because they are the most interactive.

In addition to the "interactions" with dragons, white walkers and the sword slinging, there are several costumes on display (Jaime, Cersei, Arya, Tyrion and Dany) and two photo ops. One in the Iron Throne and the other where you can put your hands on the Mountain's massive sword (seriously, it's huge). 

Finally, as fans exit the Experience, they'll pick-up a Robert Ball-designed free T-Shirt and get a peek of excerpts and images from the forthcoming book, The Game of Thrones Compendium, which are displayed on the wall.

"This is so well done," said Thrones fan and 14-year Comic-Con veteran Judy Grivich of the Experience. "It's great; more interactive and better than the dragons from prior years."