Thursday, April 11, 2013

HBO Game of Thrones The Exhibition, NYC (tv, entertainment, rambling)

Game of Thrones: The Exhibition made the second stop of its five-city international tour in New York City over Easter weekend. Lines ranged from 1/3 to 1/2 an avenue block long.

In NYC, HBO partnered with Time Warner Cable, allowing special access to Time Warner Cable customers. While I'm very happy Time Warner Cable helped me avoid the long line, they didn't exactly do a great job of handling the logistics. On the first day of the exhibition, time warner cable customers were allowed to just go right into the exhibit. Soon, they realized there were too many people, and began scheduling specific times for TWC customers to enter the exhibit. Only they never told anyone that you now had to register, and many disappointed people were turned away. Not only that, you could only register a spot on the scheduled list ahead of time in person, which meant that you had to take two trips there to get in. Ok, enough ranting about Time Warner Cable for now.

The story begins in the North, and that is where we will begin as well. The left pic features costumes from Winterfell while the right pic features costumes from The Wall. The costumes really are quite stunning in terms of the extraordinary amount of detail, and how they were able to bring the books to life through them. However, I assume that the actors all had lots of thermal underwear on underneath as these did not seem to be warm enough outfits for the cold tundra that was captured on film.

Next up are costumes from King's Landing. The Tyrion outfit looked a lot taller than I would have thought, especially next to Jaime Lannister's armor. I looked it up and it turns out Peter Dinklage is 4'5", taller than I originally thought, while Nikolaj Coster-Waldau is indeed an impressive 6'2". The one item that caught my eye immediately however, was Cersei's outfit. I did not know she was so slender and couldn't imagine her fitting into how thin that looked. Lena Headey must have an amazing figure.

With a little more meat on her bones, but no less attractive, is Emilia Clarke. The actress plays Daenerys Targaryen, more popularly known as just Khaleesi. In the Targaryen section of the exhibit, they had her costumes as well as the actual-sized prop of one of her dragons. Actual-sized with respect to the third season. It appears those things grow pretty quickly!

Also on display were fairly detailed maps. Maps are super important for the fantasy reader in being able to visualize the novel. I think the map on the left was actually used by one of the characters on the show for war strategy planning.

Also of importance to fans of fantasy, whether through books, tv, movies, or RPG games, are the weapons. The main disappointment here was Robert Baratheon's war hammer (leftmost on the right pic). I thought it would be this humongous smashing weapon. Before he got fat from all the eating and drinking and whoring, Robert Baratheon was supposed to be a powerful and intimidating goliath with this war hammer.

There were also a range of other props, or artifacts. Again, the attention to detail is marvelous, including the letter that Eddard Stark wrote to Stannis Baratheon informing him that he's the rightful heir.

My favorite props from the exhibit, however, included the stuff from Qarth in the left pic as well as the prop in the right pic. The intricacies stand out, as Qarth was supposed to be a great trading city of vast wealth. Have you found the prop in the right pic yet? It's Ned Stark's chopped off head!

There were two interactive experiences at the exhibition that fans could participate in. One was to get a picture taken sitting atop the Iron Throne. The other was to play this game where you pretended to be archers in the Battle of the Blackwater, wielding huge bows. It was actually pretty interesting, except that (another logistical failure?) the person in charge of the line to play didn't make it clear that you were supposed to be aiming for the green stuff (to spread the wildfire) and not trying to actually hit the ships. Or maybe they were just expecting the real diehard fans to know.

Anyway, it's a fun exhibit and a great way to showcase all that went into this amazing show.

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