Queen Elizabeth II visits the 'Game of Thrones' set

Queen Elizabeth II's reign over England has been a walk in the park compared to past rulers or the fictional would-be rulers of the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros. So it makes sense that on her visit to the "Game of Thrones" set Tuesday, she declined to sit in the Iron Throne. Who wants to tempt fate like that?

According to the Associated Press, the 88-year-old monarch visited the Titanic Studios in Belfast, Northern Ireland, which is home to the interior sets for HBO's hit series "Game of Thrones." Production has wrapped on the show's fourth season, but cast members Lena Headey, Conleth Hill, Rose Leslie, Kit Harington, Sophie Turner and Maisie Williams were on hand to greet the queen and her party.

Series showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss guided the queen through the show's various King's Landing sets and took her up to the imposing Iron Throne, the uncomfortable throne built from the melted swords of the former king's defeated adversaries.

The queen gave the throne a good look, but declined to sit down. No doubt, she's aware that the Iron Throne has had three occupants in the show's four seasons. And the previous occupants have all had untimely ends.

The queen's trip to the "Game of Thrones" set was part of a three-day state visit. "Game of Thrones" is one of the biggest TV productions in Europe. And internationally, its audience has grown, with the show earning the dubious distinction of being the most pirated TV show in the world. In the U.S. it has surpassed "The Sopranos" as the highest-rated series on HBO.

For even the casual "Game of Thrones" fan, it's a surreal experience to see Queen Cersei (Headey) talking to Queen Elizabeth about the finer points of the Iron Throne.  Benioff and Weiss presented the queen with a mini-replica of the Iron Throne to commemorate her visit, but if she changes her mind, HBO is still selling life-size Iron Thrones for $30,000 through their website. She could have it delivered right to Buckingham Palace.

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