Game of Thrones

Costumes of the Dog and the Hound

A friend invited me as her plus one to the limited engagement Game of Thrones exhibit at the TIFF Lightbox. The exhibit, which has toured annually since season I, sold out quickly. I felt very lucky to go, being a stalwart fan of the series.

People packed the theatre outside, lining up to enter the exhibition in small groups every half hour or so. At least inside the crowds dissipated so individual items could be easily seen.

Props and costumes accounted for most of the displays, plus prosthetics of every stage of dragon development—from egg to giant tooth-filled head. I liked seeing what a good film crew can do with enough time and money. The weapons (swords, mainly) were gorgeous, and totally believable up close. The costumes fascinated as well. The hand-sewn details—clasps, jewels, brocade, edge detailing—spoke to the effort going into each piece. Seeing the costumes on mannequins suggested the real-life size of the actors who wear them. The display clustered related characters together in tableaus, such as Aria and the Hound travelling through the woods together above.

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The peak thrill of the exhibit was a virtual reality ride to the top of wall. The exhibitors built a row of small replica Castle Black elevator carriages. To experience the ride, I stepped into one of the carriages and was fitted with a pair of headphones and a goggle headset. Once the images started rolling, I found myself standing inside the cage in the virtual reality Castle Black elevator, and with a thumbs up to the operator, the elevator started up the giant ice wall. Kudos to the people who built the segment—I felt like I was actually rising, and had to hold on to the carriage wall to get some sense of stability. As the elevator rose, the view to the south spread out into the distance. On reaching the top of the ascent, I turned around and the back door opened. A virtual sequence slid me across the top of the ice wall to a stunning view of the icy north beyond the wall. At that point giant fire balls shot from the wild forest below and hit the wall where I stood. I tumbled off the wall and fell forward hundreds of feet into a bank of white snow.

Climb the Wall

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