Power Up Box Review

UPDATE: Discount code at the bottom of the post!power up box top

Monthly box subscriptions are kind of all the rage these days. It’s a strange phenomena, and while I don’t wholly understand the craze, I’m still completely fascinated by it. So when the folks from Power Up Box asked me if I wanted to check out one of their boxes, I couldn’t resist. I had no idea what to expect from my very own Power Up Box, but I knew I couldn’t wait to get my box and check out what prizes were waiting for me inside.

surprise1 I was most certainly not disappointed when I received my box. They get you excited about the geeky prizes inside from the minute the box reaches your hands.

Power Up Box Welcome CollageI can’t help myself, I am kind of a sucker for packaging. I loved that the box stuck with the geeky theme on every single part of the box and packaging, from any text to the box itself. It looked great! I got to check out the April box. Here’s what I received:

My favorite part of the box was the Funko figures included. I’ve got a few Funko dolls myself (and I recently added a bobble-head Thor Funko to the mix), but what I loved about the Funko stuff included in this box was that they weren’t your traditional Funko dolls.

Power Up Figurine Collage

The Harley Quinn doll is a plush figurine, not the traditional plastic, there was a Funko Walking Dead Mystery Mini Maggie, and a Donatello Funko keychain. So while I’m obsessed with traditional Funko dolls, I did like that Power Up Box included some of the more unique types of Funko dolls.

The box also had a few odds and ends in it, including a copy of Spider-Gwen #2, a Joker tee, and a bag of Marvel-themed ring pops (I tried one immediately–super tasty).

Power Up Box Miscelleny

They also made sure to set me up with some fun Power Up Box swag, by including a bag and a lanyard:

Power Up Box swag

Ultimately, I was incredibly happy with my Power Up Box. I love the huge influence Funko has on the boxes (you can go to the Power Up Box website to get a bit more info on the Funko presence you can expect in your boxes), and I think you get a lot of awesome stuff for the price. If you’re in the market for a geeky subscription box, I’d totally recommend Power Up Box. Check out the website for pricing options. Be sure to enter the code DistractedBlogger to get a 10% discount on your first one-month subscription on either a premium or deluxe box! 

Have you ever subscribed to a monthly box service? What did you think? Would you do it again? Have you ever tried Power Up Box? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

Happy #GeeknessDay!!!

Sunday is Embrace Your Geekness Day, and to celebrate, the cloud-hosting, dedicated server-selling geniuses over at SingleHop have asked me and several other geek bloggers to talk about being a geek. I’ll be honest. I have little to no idea about anything related to cloud hosting or dedicated servers, but these folks are great about giving you the information and help you need to get your own magical cloud stuff. The cloud is a mystery to us all, so it’s good that there are those who understand its enigmatic ways. Anyway, if you want to follow what other people are saying about Embrace Your Geekness Day, you can head over to the SingleHop blog to read other posts by other geeks and follow the hashtag #GeeknessDay. The term geek or nerd was something I certainly shied away from in high school and college–even though I have literally always been one (You mean everyone didn’t read Chaucer just for fun? Oh…). However, as I’ve moved into adulthood, being a geek no longer means being some mouth-breathing, poorly groomed, anti-social freak (though I do have thick, dark-rimmed glasses…and bad allergies that often result in my breathing through my mouth…anyway…). Simon Pegg describes geekery best, I think:

So yeah, I’m a geek, and I’m embracing it. I get really excited when I see casting announcements to movies like Star Wars or Batman v. Superman. Getting to spend hours pouring over books, sci-fi, horror, fantasy, or otherwise, is my idea of a personal heaven. I go to stuff like Comic Con and I push through the crowds on Free Comic Book Day. I get excited over video games and tabletop games. Simon Pegg is right, embracing those things that make me “geeky” has been one of the most liberating things ever.

What’s also been really cool, and has really made me proud, is starting this blog. I’ve been able to engage with so many other cool geek bloggers (and in the case of Outright Geekery and Girls of Geek12, I even get to contribute to the sites). It’s been so awesome to meet with other geeks, and it’s been extremely awesome (yet kinda strange) when people tell me how much they enjoy reading my blog. Though it’s so nice to know other people enjoy the same random, geeky stuff that I do. It can be tough to be a female in the geek community. For some reason, there can often times be a pretty strict set of “rules” for us to avoid the dreaded label of “fake geek girl”. Luckily, there are some truly awesome women in the geek community. My biggest role model in the geek community is definitely the one and only Felicia Day. She’s amazing, and is just about everything I want to be when I grow up. Felicia is an actor (Supernatural, The Guild, Eureka, Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, and the list goes on…), she’s a singer…

…she’s a writer (for instance, The Guild was her brainchild), and she’s an entrepreneur. She started her own awesome business called Geek and Sundry (honestly, one day I want to work at G&S). If you haven’t checked them out, you need to do that now. She’s kind of amazing, and she’s someone I aspire to be like. Of course she isn’t the only amazing geek role model out there. There are TONS of amazing other female geeks like Aisha Tyler, Bonnie Burton, Amy Dallen, and Jen Timms (just to name a few), and some awesome guy geeks like Wil Wheaton and Chris Hardwick. Really, I’m not even scratching the surface of the amazing people out and about in geek culture, but those are some of my favorites. Being a geek is great, and there is no one way to be a geek. You can geek out about books, music, theatre, games, movies, television, comics, or anything else. Being a geek means loving what you love with just as much intensity as you can muster, and not feeling pressured to tone it down–which is pretty great. So have a great weekend embracing your geekness, everyone! Remember check out the SingleHop blog and follow the hashtag #GeeknessDay over the next few days to see what others are saying about being a geek!

Denver Comic Con 2014 Recap!

I attended Denver Comic Con for the first time last weekend, and it was AMAZING.

Welcome to DCC Banner

 

DCC Bear

The con itself went for three days, but I only attended on Saturday. Still, it was absolutely an awesome time. I cannot WAIT to go again next year.

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ProgramAs I mentioned in my last post, I was entirely unsuccessful in my attempts to scavenge the items needed for any form of respectable cosplay. Still, my resolve couldn’t be dampened. I would find some way to dress up, however small those efforts might be. So I donned my Target $1 bin Captain America socks…

Cap Socks

…slid on my Harry Potter ring, and set out for the con.
Deathly Hallows RingHaving never been to anything like this before, I had no idea what to expect. I made some squishy plans to attend All the Panels (75% of the stuff I wanted to see directly conflicted with each other, of course). I made even squishier plans to meet up with buddies attending the con “at some point in the day”.

My First Lesson Of Comic Con: Are you going to a con with someone and you two plan to meet up with friends at the con, but you all haven’t planned out your panels together— and you happen to be a crazy “Let’s see all the things” type of con attendee? Make concrete plans or you will not be meeting up with your friends. Anyway…

The two big “celebrity panels” that I attended were the panels for Max Brooks and Peter Davison/Sylvester McCoy. Please enjoy my crappy, faraway iPhone photo of Max Brooks (he asked audience members to come up and sit beside him, if you were curious who the others were):

Max Brooks

Both panels were incredibly cool. As someone who works in publishing, I loved hearing Max Brooks talk about the process he went through as World War Z was turned into a movie. I love hearing him discuss the emotional process he went through as he watched World War Z get turned into a movie that…wasn’t really the book he wrote at all. If you were curious, he basically said the movie was great as a standalone movie, but really the only thing it shared with his actual book was the title. The scene where Brad Pitt made pancakes also really seemed to stick with him, because he mentioned it about forty thousand times. Though really, I can’t blame him. Who wouldn’t want to have Brad Pitt make them pancakes?

He also addressed the idea of a WWZ II, and basically the answer was when he is inspired to write the book, he’ll write it. I really appreciated that he cared enough about the integrity of the book to not just hastily produce something to cash in on the zombie-success.

Now, please enjoy my crappy, faraway iPhone photo of Peter Davison and Sylvester McCoy:

Doctors

Peter Davison and Sylvester McCoy are absolutely hilarious, and I am convinced that Sylvester McCoy is just basically Radagast in real life. He is just a completely nutty old man. I’m not nearly as familiar with Classic Who as I am with the Doctors 9 and on. Still, I was very excited to meet a couple of classic Doctors, and I wouldn’t miss the chance to meet David Tennant’s father in law (which if you don’t know the story of The Doctor marrying The Doctor’s Daughter and becoming the son-in-law of The Doctor, read this). For someone who is largely unfamiliar with the Classic Who, it was really exciting to hear about their on-set adventures, and how those Doctors really set the stage for the Doctor Who we know today.

There was also some killer Doctor Who cosplay in the audience:

Four and K9

Dalek

There were a few panels I didn’t make it to, the two big ones being the Arrow panel and the Bruce Campbell panel. If you want to see a roundup of the Arrow panel, Shae talks about it on Girls of Geek 12. I had wanted to check out that panel and the Supernatural “So You Want to be a Hunter” panel, but I missed out on both because I got in line WAY too late.

My Second Lesson of Comic Con: Lines. They are everywhere, and they are long. Get in line early.

I opted to attend another panel over the Bruce Campbell panel. If you want to see the coolest moment that came from the Bruce Campbell panel, watch this:

So yeah, I missed the big, surprise Burn Notice moment, but I’m pretty pleased with the panel I attended instead. I attended a panel about women in the geek industry, and I was so incredibly inspired by these awesome women. The panel was made up of Bonnie Burton, Jen Timms, Tiffany Wangerin (who you might know as Evil Mech Meru), and Vicky Connolly of Escape Velocity Comics (I wrote about this store on Free Comic Book Day). It was so great to hear about what these women are doing in the geek industry, and the ways they are making their mark in an industry that has long been a male-dominated field. I was so incredibly inspired leaving that panel.

My Third Lesson of Comic Con: There are some truly kick-ass women working in the geek industry.

Honestly, I could go on about the con for days. It was so much fun. There was a little something for everyone. Comic stuff, of course, but also gamers…

Meta Halo

 

Movie buffs…

Indiana Jones Bike

Pale Orc

Me and Darth

R2D2

Batmobile

TV bingers…

KIT

Me and KIT

POP Dany

The more niche group made up of little boys who wanted to fight Darth Vader with their Minecraft sword…

Darth Fights Boy

And, of course, Raptor Evangelists…

Velocirapture

All in all, the con was completely amazing. When I purchased my tickets (from Escape Velocity, as it were), I was told that Comic Con was basically Disneyland for geeky adults. That’s pretty much the most accurate description I’ve heard. It was completely amazing, and so incredibly fun. I cannot wait for next year, and maybe if I start thinking now, I can actually work up some sort of cosplay for the con. We’ll see about that, though…

Denver Comic Con and Cosplay Fails

It’s finally here! I’ll be going to Denver Comic Con for the first time in just a few hours–WAHOO! But, I have a sad, sad confession to make: I fully failed in my cosplay efforts. I had such hope at the beginning of all this. I was so sure I could easily figure out a cheap and easy costume. I made an entire Pinterest board of easy-to-create cosplay ideas. My only criteria was that I didn’t want to have to spend too much, and I didn’t want to have to sew anything. So after a lot of searching, I decided dressing up like Clara Oswald from Doctor Who in her Souffle Girl incarnation would be a pretty easy costume. It seemed simple enough. Red dress, a belt, and hair down. I could gather all the things I need for my costume in a day, I thought to myself. I mean look at it! It’s so simple!

souffle girl
I did a quick search of the usual cheap subjects: Walmart, Target, thrift stores, and I didn’t find anything. I thought, This is a cute dress. I’d wear it again probably. That could justify me bumping up my price point a bit, right? So I did a more extensive online search. Nothing. I couldn’t find a red dress that looked remotely like Clara’s dress anywhere. So I thought I’d jimmy together an outfit with a red skirt and a red top. Nothing. It wasn’t like the style I was looking for wasn’t out there. It was. Just not in red. Nothing in red. The universe was clearly playing a cruel, cruel joke on me.

So I decided to re-think my cosplay. Of course, because I like to make things far more challenging than they need to be, I waited a really long time to officially declare defeat on my Clara costume. So as I contemplated my second costume, I didn’t have a lot of time on top of my tiny costume budget and incredibly limited sewing skills. Ultimately, I decided on Amy Pond cosplay:

Easy, right? I had a lot of the costume components already. I had the skirt, I had the chucks, the tights, and the headband. All I was going to need to get was the red hoodie. I figured, I live in Colorado. It isn’t a rare occurrence for it to snow in the middle of the summer. Surely there would still be basic hoodies in stores, right? Yeah, no. No red hoodies. No red sweatshirts. No red long-sleeved tees. Tons of red camis and tanks, but that’s it. Walmart? Target? Thrift stores? Nope, nope, and nope. Well, I did find a pretty cute tank top at Goodwill today. It won’t work for a costume, but it’s still cute. So, you know, not a complete loss. Long story short, I’m not going to the con in cosplay. Instead, I will be wearing the consolation tank I bought myself at Goodwill. Cosplay or not, I’m still ridiculously excited for Denver Comic Con. I’ll be tweeting when I can throughout the day, and then I’ll be blogging about the con after it’s over. So be sure to follow me on Twitter, @Kendall_Ashley, and maybe I’ll see a few of you at the con!

Why You Need to be Listening to Welcome to Nightvale

Hey, guys! I’m writing over at Outright Geekery again today, and I’m talking about Welcome to Nightvale. I hope you’ll join me over there!

If you’re like me, you heard about Welcome to Night Vale long before you actually listened to the podcast. I would see posts all over Tumblr that related to Night Vale, but I had no idea what Night Vale actually was. Friends who usually knew about stuff before me had never even heard of it, and when I turned to the internet, I couldn’t find a description that I could really wrap my mind around. As I listener now myself, and I’m sure other Night Vale fans will be able to echo this, I realize one really can’t offer a good explanation of what Welcome to Night Vale actually is. So, let me just point out a few obvious points:

1. Welcome to Night Vale is a twice-monthly podcast.

2. The podcast is the community radio program for the fictitious town of Night Vale.

3. Welcome to Night Vale is hosted by a man called Cecil Palmer. The actor who provides the voice to Cecil Palmer is called Cecil Baldwin.

4. Cecil Palmer is dating a scientist with perfect hair called Carlos (I am pretty sure Cecil Baldwin’s boyfriend is not called Carlos). Carlos often performs scientific investigations on the various anomalies found in Night Vale.

5. Don’t enter the dog park…

Read the rest at Outright Geekery!

 

Craptastic Movie Night: My Bloody Valentine

I love horror movies. I REALLY love bad horror movies. I REALLY REALLY love horror movies that have the movie’s Big Bad kill off characters in fully ridiculous and excessively gorey ways (Final Destination movies, I’m looking at you–high five). Which brings me to the movie I watched over the weekend, My Bloody Valentine. I didn’t see this movie when it was released in theaters back in ’09, and I didn’t see the original 1981 version either. So this was my first foray into the world of the murderous miner, Harry Warden.

If you haven’t seen the movie, here’s a basic synopsis from IMDBTom [played by Jensen Ackles] returns to his hometown on the tenth anniversary of the Valentine’s night massacre that claimed the lives of 22 people. Instead of a homecoming, however, Tom finds himself suspected of committing the murders, and it seems like his old flame is the only one will believes he’s innocent.

Full disclosure: this movie found its way onto my radar for one very academic reason…

Ahem…

Anyway, this movie has been on my “to-watch” list for a while now, so I was pretty excited to see it airing on SyFy this past Sunday. I have to say, this movie absolutely did not disappoint. The movie jumps in with both feet into the waters of ridiculous gore. Within the first ten minutes or so, somebody takes a pickaxe to the back of the head (which, of course, caused the guy’s eye to pop out, because HORROR). Later, someone takes a shovel to the mouth, causing the top of the person’s head to separate from the rest of their body. “Warden” rips a guy’s jaw off with his pickaxe. Later still, a woman is hit with “Harry Warden’s” pickaxe, and then burned to death in a washing machine. Of course we can’t forget the trademark style of “Harry Warden”–ripping out his victim’s hearts, putting them in a box of Valentine’s Day chocolates, and writing something like “Be Mine 4 Ever” over the victim’s body in their own blood. Seriously, this movie’s gore game is strong.

Like I said, this movie was absolutely out of control. It was originally released in 3-D, so the movie had a lot of moments like this:

So there’s a bit lost when you watch it on a 2-D television, but still, this movie had just about everything I look for in a craptastic horror flick. It was insanely gorey. The story was 75% fully ridiculous and implausible. The characters made ridiculous horror-movie choices (I’m outside being chased by a murderous madman–better duck into this building here so I can get trapped and killed easily! Oh, Warden yanked my co-worker out of the window? Better get a closer look at that window rather than getting the heck out of here!). There’s a twist ending, and they set it up for a sequel (a sequel which I’m guessing won’t happen). Sequel-prepping endings are my favorite horror movie endings. Whether or not the sequel actually happens, I love it when they end the movie with “…and they never caught him!!!”  This movie is an absolutely ridiculous ride, but it’s also ridiculously fun. It has the right ratio of moments that make you jump, disgusting deaths, and several of those tried-and-true horror movie tropes.  It’s movies like this one that make me love craptastic horror flicks.

(spoilers ahead, heads up)

But here’s the thing: when I started watching the movie, I tweeted this out.

twitter

I tweeted it as a joke, but if you think about it…

Tom spent time in a mental institution…

Tom is on some serious medication to help him cope with what he’s seen and done…

There is one person that Tom is willing to do almost anything to protect.

But ultimately an insane, murderous rage possesses Tom and takes him over completely.

So I guess the real twist ending isn’t that Tom is ultimately the killer, the real twist is…

 

 

Literary Monsters the Winchesters Need to Face on Supernatural

A while back, I submitted a post to the Quirk Books blog about monsters from literature I would love to see the Winchesters face on Supernatural. So while there certainly are bigger issues for the Winchesters to deal with after that INSANE season finale, it would still be super awesome to see Sam and Dean go up against these literary monsters.

supernatural animated GIF

Image via Giphy

If you’ve never watched Supernatural before, well, okay, first off, you should just watch Supernatural. Seriously, it’s awesome, and on Netflix. Go on; go add the show to your queue. I’ll wait…

For those who don’t know the show (yet, anyway, because you just added it to your Netflix queue)Supernatural is a show on the CW that follows two brothers, Sam and Dean Winchester, as they travel around the country hunting various monsters, getting into varying degrees of trouble.

The show is exciting, weird, heartbreaking, scary, fun, the guys who play Sam and Dean (Jared Padalecki and Jensen Ackles) are incredibly attractive, and the show brings in an impressive amount of monsters from various legends.  From angels and demons, a wendigo, to Zeus himself, Sam and Dean have faced several formidable foes.

However, I’ve got a few other names from literary lore that I would love to see go up against the Winchesters…

Finish reading the post at the Quirk Books blog.

Kendall’s #GeekySummerReads: Asylum

Over the course of the summer months, I’ll be going through a reading list that I’ve created for myself. The books I’ve chosen have some sort of a supernatural, sci-fi, general geeky feel to them. Follow the hashtag #GeekySummerReads to hear me talk about the book I’m reading, and join in on the conversation yourself. I’ve just finished the second book in my list, Asylum by Madeleine Roux. Let’s talk about it!

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Asylum is the story of three teenagers, Dan, Abby, and Jordan, who are taking a summer courses at the New Hampshire College Prep program. The only problem is, the college’s usual summer housing isn’t available, and the students are forced to stay in the Brookline Dorm—which just so happens to be a former psychiatric hospital. As the trio begins to explore the dark halls and hidden areas of Brookline, they slowly begin to uncover the hospital’s dark secrets, as some terrifying things that simply refuse to remain hidden…

Finishing reading at the Girls of Geek 12 site!

Denver Comic Con 2014

I am attending Denver Comic Con for the very first time this year, and I could not be more excited.

DCC2014

They have a pretty fantastic guest lineup this year: Chandler Riggs, Stephen Amell, Adam West, Levar Burton, and Michael Rooker, just to name a few. The con is also going to focus heavily on gaming this year which has got me SO excited! In addition to having several interactive games for available to play in their Vector Loung–games that will appeal to every style of gamer–they’ll also have educational panels with industry professionals for those interested in breaking into the gaming industry. John at Girls of Geek 12 talks about it here.

I’m pretty excited for the experience. My original plan was to just go, no cosplay or anything. However, now that I actually have a ticket in my hand, there’s that little voice in the back of my head that’s whispering, “You should totally dress up.” Here’s the thing though. I am not great with costumes. I can hardly sew (it took me almost an hour to sew the elastics and ribbons onto my pointe shoes), and I don’t have a lot of discretionary cash that I can pump into my costume. So… that makes this sudden urge to cosplay at the con a bit frustrating.

I’ve still not decided, but I’ve told myself that I either have to go in a costume I’m proud of, or no costume at all. I say this because I frequently half-ass costumes when I’m invited to costume parties. A great example being my “Khaleesi” costume from the Game of Thrones party I attended a few days ago–though the whole point was for everyone to half-ass a costume, so I wasn’t alone. Still, I could totally see myself going to a costume party dressed like that.

So, to keep myself from embarrassing myself, I’ve started a Pinterest board of non-sewing (or very light sewing), easy, and cheap cosplay ideas. This way I can really make a plan if I do decide to attend the con in cosplay. If you want to see some of the things I’ve pinned (they tend to be Doctor Who-leaning), you can check out the board here. Also, if you have any suggestions for cheap and easy cosplay ideas, I’d love to hear about them in the comments! I’d also love to hear about your comic con/cosplay adventures.

The Game of Thrones Surprise Party!

I have a friend who recently graduated from law school. After the ceremony, my crafty friend Lindsay informed us that she wanted to throw our newly-graduated lawyer buddy a Game of Thrones-themed surprise party, which happened this last weekend. If you follow me on Twitter (@Kendall_Ashley), you heard me talk about it a LOT this weekend.

Lindsay went on a pretty impressive, monomaniacal Pinterest journey to find All the Food and Decorations for the party. It was kind of awesome to watch her go nuts and plan this thing, and after seeing what she did for this party, I’m pretty sure she missed her calling as Party Planner Extraordinaire. As Lindsay hunted for the perfect food and decor for the party, we were all commissioned to figure out which Game of Thrones character we wanted to dress like. However, since we’re all pretty poor and pretty busy, we decided to make our costumes “modern interpretations” on our favorite characters.

It was a great night with a healthy dose of awful-ness brought on by playing Cards Against Humanity. Here are a few pictures of my “costume” and the awesome party that Lindsay created.

Also, if you’ve thrown an awesome themed party, I’d love to hear about it in the comments!

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I decided to dress like Daenerys Targaryen–minus the long, “silver hair of a Targaryen” and, of course, dragons. Here was my best effort on the Khaleesi double braid with my shoulder-length hair

 

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My “Khaleesi” outfit, and Chaucer, my Dire Wolf, in the background

 

 

 

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We decided to name our lawyer-friend the King of the Realm since the party was in his honor. Though we told him he could decide he was any King of the Realm, we all tended to refer to him as Joffrey, because that’s what friends do. Lindsay even made him a fantastic-looking crown.

 

 

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Lindsay’s dinner menu, which was mostly gluten-free for our lawyer friend’s girlfriend, was filled with fantastically amazing food (which I feel like a cook should get extra props for tasty food when they cook to accommodate dietary restrictions), especially the lemon cakes.

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Chaucer didn’t come to the party, but Lindsay’s dog, Guido, was there to represent the Dire Wolves.

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He wasn’t thrilled about his costume.

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Lindsay put one of these on everyone’s seat. We told her our costumes beforehand so she could make the appropriate name card.

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The series guarded, of course, by one of my children

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“Dragon egg”, made by love and magic–seriously, I have no idea how she did this.

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My favorite part of Lindsay’s decor was the table. All of the dishes were Lannister red, she hung red leaves from the ceiling (which was also covered with draped fabrics, they just aren’t pictured), and she made an iron throne for the guest of honor.