You needn’t go all Ygritte on me. I understand that the MGM Resorts-owned Excalibur has a specific niche, and there’s no actual need to update a property that’s doing its job. I know also that Game of Thrones—both the book series by George R.R. Martin and the hit HBO show based on it—is probably expensive to license and definitely the polar opposite of Excalibur’s family-friendly atmosphere. It is known.
But what if it weren’t? That is to say, what if MGM, Martin and HBO were to take an unprecedented step in transforming the 27-year-old Excalibur into the Eighth Kingdom—a fully immersive, Game of Thrones-themed resort? Now’s the time to do it: Enthusiasm for the HBO show is high, and Disney/Lucasfilm just announced plans to create an immersive Star Wars-themed resort in Orlando—one where you’d eat, sleep and breathe the Star Wars universe for the entire length of your stay. A Game of Thrones resort could be that, too … although some might argue that it’s unwise to actually sleep in that world, and you might not want to touch that goblet of wine.
I don’t want to throw too many ideas out there, in case MGM decides to pay me as a consultant. But they’d be proper fools not to begin renovations at once, most of which would only require changes to costuming, training and signage. Individual suites could be themed to Winterfell, Dorne and the Tower of the Hand. The Tournament of Kings can easily become the Battle of the Bastards with the addition of giants, wildlings, guys with British Invasion haircuts and maybe a White Walker cameo. Camelot Steakhouse could become Black Walder’s, with a new emphasis on meat pies. The currently off-brand cocktail bar Octane can be renamed A Man Has a Thirst, and serve up milk of the poppy and dracarys-fired flatbreads. Themed slots could pay out on “Triple Seven Hells.” And it goes without saying that the wedding chapel could easily become the Red Wedding Chapel with a few coats of appropriate paint.
And if you’re thinking that GoT contains too much murder, rape and incest to make a Vegas resort, remember that we’ve already got one themed for the Roman Empire. George, you’ve got my email.