Fans of HBO’s “Game of Thrones” will have the chance to attend the world premiere of Season 8 of the series and also help save lives.
HBO and the American Red Cross have partnered to hold “Bleed for the Throne” blood drives for six days starting Thursday.
“It came about to celebrate the final season of ‘Game of Thrones,’” said Miranda Harrison, Red Cross senior account manager for Wayne, Johnson and Harnett counties. “For seven seasons, the characters of ‘Game of Thrones’ have bled for the throne, and this March, the Red Cross is joining the battle for the living by asking all eligible individuals to help alleviate blood shortages in the real world.”
Zach Enterlin, executive vice president of program marketing for HBO, said, “We are incredibly excited to mobilize the global army of ‘Game of Thrones’ fans to make a positive impact on the world. In partnership with the American Red Cross, we’re creating a unique platform to engage our tremendously passionate fanbase and ultimately showcase the bravery and valor of those fans, who will go so far as to bleed for the throne.”
Harrison said HBO wanted to reach out “because the series has been so bloody, and they wanted it to have a positive message since, in the series, people are bleeding for the throne. The thought is that people in the real world can bleed for a worthy cause such as donating blood.”
She also said the timing couldn’t be better because with winter here, thousands of blood donations across the country are not being collected due to snow storms and cold weather.
Harrison said there is a severe shortage of type O blood and is urging people with type O blood, as well as other blood types, to donate. There is less than a three-day supply of most blood types. Blood is desperately needed for accident victims, cancer patients, children with blood disorders and others.
“Blood is being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in,” she said. “Without more blood donors now, hospitals may not have blood to save lives.”
Harrison said Bleed for the Throne is the largest blood donation promotional effort ever done by an entertainment company in Red Cross history.
Bleed for the Throne officially runs Thursday through March 12, and donors at those drives, whether they are able to successfully give blood then or not, will get a Bleed for the Throne T-shirt and stickers with the ‘Game of Thrones’ logo on them.
Special bandages will also be used on donors’ arms. And all donors will be entered into a drawing for one of five trips to the Season 8 premiere of “Game of Thrones.”
Harrison said that anyone who gives blood from March 1 through March 17 will also be entered into a drawing for a trip.
“HBO recognizes the need for blood and that it’s perishable,” Harrison said. “Bleed for the Throne could motivate and inspire some first-timers to come in and support the cause.”
Bleed for the Throne blood drives in Wayne County are:
• Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the O’Berry Neuro-Medical Treatment Center, 105 Old Smithfield Road
• March 11 from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Southern Wayne High School, 124 Walter Fulcher Road, Dudley
• March 14 from 1:30 to 6 p.m. at Carver Elementary School, 400 Old Seven Springs Road, Mount Olive
• March 15 from 8:30 to 1:30 p.m. at Eastern Wayne High School, 1135 New Hope Road
Other blood drives planned in March in Wayne County include:
• March 19 from 1:30 p.m. to 6 p.m. at Wayne County American Red Cross, 600 N. George St.
• March 21 from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Charles B. Aycock High School, 5460 U.S. 117, Pikeville
For more information about Bleed for the Throne drives, call the Red Cross at 919-735-7201.