Hundreds of people have lined up to see renowned fantasy author George RR Martin, the author behind the popular TV series Game of Thrones.
The queue ran along Lambton Quay all the way to the Old Bank arcade: the few passers-by who do not know Martin's name were soon enlightened.
Some of the fans had taken the day off work to meet the man who has held millions spellbound in his creations: they clutched books, maps, hand-drawn charters for their hero to append his signature to.
James Fraser came with a shield emblazoned with the Stark family sigil, the grey direwolf and clad in a Tyrion Lannister T-shirt.
"I've been a fan for nine years," he said. "My favourite character changes each time I read the books ... generally it's Jaime Lannister and Bran Stark ... I don't know what (Martin) will say to me."
He did manage to get the shield signed, despite a general ban on non-book signings and strictly no dedications.
Friends Alex Feinson and Ella Steele had also queued for two hours to meet Martin.
"We got here at 11. It's totally worth it, we're on exam leave," Miss Feinson said. "He had a very kingly voice."
Newlands College head boy James Halpin has his final exam this afternoon and is doing his last-minute studies sitting on the footpath of Lambton Quay.
That is the pull of Martin - creator of the violence-ravaged books A Song of Ice and Fire, which have been turned into television hit Game of Thrones.
There is, it turns out, a chasm in quality between the books and television series.
''Someone walked past singing the theme song [to the series],'' James said.
''I shouted out, 'we love the books you heathen'. The books come first.''
But plenty in the line, some who had queued since before 8am, were also fans of the series, many of them getting into the books via the show.
The books and series are set in a mythical world of waring factions. Martin has a habit of killing off favourite characters.By about 10am the queue had roughly 200 people in it, stretching down Lambton Quay.
- © Fairfax NZ News