Category Archives: GoT

Game of Thrones Exhibition: Sydney


I made it to the Game of Thrones Exhibition – but damn was it some trek!

A bare two weeks ago I discovered the exhibition was coming to Sydney. Yeah! Woot! Three cheers. No date yet, but I figured that based on the listed schedule which had the exhibit in New York in August it would probably get here in September.


A week later I discovered it was going to be arriving the first week in July. That’s last week, now, if you’re chronologically challenged. It would be at the Museum of Contemporary Art from Tuesday July 1 through to Saturday July 5. Waaah! I work full-time, which left only the Saturday available, and with a family of four including two kids under 4, it was unlikely I would make it on such short notice.


Brainwave – I work with my cover artist, Lydia Kurnia. Maybe we could duck down in our lunch hour! Yeah! Woot! We decided we would go Wednesday.


The morning of the appointed day we discovered to our horror that the exhibition was free and that queues on the opening day were six hours. SIX HOURS! No way we’d be ‘ducking out’ in our lunch break!


After some hurried consultation we decided to go Friday. Lydia doesn’t work, and volunteered to queue up for us while I worked, and I would dash down to meet her. We later found out that queues on the Wednesday had been four hours!


Friday morning, Lydia arrives at the museum at 7:40am, which is 20 minutes before opening. The queue is already two hours long. I work like a fiend to allow for the fact I may be out of the office for an unspecified period of time.


9:30am I check in with Lydia – the queue hasn’t moved! So much for two hours.


At 10am Lydia moves forward to the 1 hour wait mark. Progress at last. And then, at 11:30am, comes the message I’ve been waiting for all day: ‘Half hour mark. Come now.’


I got a taxi to make sure I could get there in time, with Lydia messaging me the whole way. Hurry. Almost at the door. Call me.


The taxi drops me at the wrong side of the museum and I have to run the long way around, passing most of the queue on my way, on the phone to Lydia as I go. A woman asks what the queue is for as I run past.


‘Game of Thrones Exhibition!’ I shout, and round the corner, with Lydia probably wondering what the hell is going on.


I made it with about twenty minutes to spare, which seems a lot, but when they finally let us in, it was all in a rush. Lydia had been working on the cover art for Stalking the Demon while she waited, so I ogled that in the queue. It’s beautiful, by the way, but we’ll do a cover reveal when it’s complete.


The exhibit was fantastic, and featured separate sections for each of the major groups of characters. The King’s Landing group contained costumes for Cersei, Joffrey Baratheon, Margaery Tyrell, Oberyn Martell, Sansa Stark, and Tyrion Lannister. There were also displays for Danaerys and her dragons, Arya and the Hound, Jon and Ygritte, Bran Stark and Hodor, Stannis Baratheon and Melisandre, and Jamie Lannister and Brienne of Tarth. In true Game of Thrones style, one quarter of them are now dead. Displays primarily included clothing and weapons, but there were some pretty cool dragons.


The exhibit also included artist scene sketches used before filming a scene, concept art, and models.


The highlights, of course, were the Iron Throne, which you were permitted to sit on. There was an orderly queue for this experience and staff on hand to take your photo. Most civilised.


The longer queue was for the virtual reality experience of climbing the Wall. This was incredible, to the point where the visuals combined with the shaking will have you holding on to the bars (that you cannot see) for support. The moment the visuals seem to scoot you out off the edge of the Wall is a little heart-stopping. I admit I was a little distracted during the climb itself by the wind, as I was concerned it had blown my top askew and I was having a ‘wardrobe malfunction’ in full view of the waiting crowd with no ability to look!


All in all, it was a worthwhile exhibit, although I’m not sure if in other circumstances I’d wait four hours. Still, climbing the W
all was pretty neat! Check out some of the displays in the slideshow below.

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What Game of Thrones Got Right But Legend of the Seeker Got Horribly Wrong


In the last few years, two epic fantasy series have been adapted for TV – The Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin, screening under the name of the first book, Game of Thrones, and Terry Goodkind’s Sword of Truth, screening under the name Legend of the Seeker.

Of the two sets of books, I love The Sword of Truth more. If you’re a Game of Thrones fan, don’t hate me, I do like A Song of Ice and Fire, but consider checking out The Sword of Truth if you haven’t already (except book 5 and 7, in my humble opinion…). Same goes if you like Legend of the Seeker – I really cannot emphasise how much better the books are than the TV series. 

Why are the books better than the TV series? Although the books are good I wouldn’t describe them as brilliant, but in my opinion Legend of the Seeker was as much an unmitigated disaster as Game of Thrones is a success. 

One has to wonder why? I have two theories, the second of which feeds out of the first:
  1. Legend of the Seeker was significantly adapted from the books, until it only bore a passing resemblance to the original story. Now I know changes may be necessary to adapt a book for screen, but these changes were so extreme they almost wrote a whole new story – in fact, for season two, it’s arguable they did, because Darken Rahl bit the dust in Wizard’s First Rule (the first book in The Sword of Truth) and that was pretty much endgame for him.

    By contrast,
    Game of Thrones has been very true to the books. In fact, you could almost go so far as to say they’ve essentially made a movie out of the book, and then chopped it into TV show length bites and screened it in succession. Legend of the Seeker instead made an effort to have individualised episodes with a connecting theme or story arc.

    Legend of the Seeker
    failed, but Game of Thrones has been a raging success – at least, Legend of the Seeker was axed after two seasons, and I’ll be very surprised if the same happens to Game of Thrones – and I think deviations from the main plot is a large part of the reason.  There is nothing wrong with the story in Wizard’s First Rule or Stone of Tears (the second book in The Sword of Truth) and either could have been done in the same way as Game of Thrones, instead of mangling the story beyond recognition to try and turn it into 22 connected short stories.
  2. As a result of the significant rewriting that occurred in order to film Legend of the Seeker, the violence and dark themes of The Sword of Truth series were significantly dialled back, and it screened as suitable for children with parental guidance (PG rating in Australia). If it had been filmed true to the books, it would have been suitable only for a mature audience – virtually the same audience currently watching Game of Thrones.

    On the other hand, Game of Thrones
    has been more or less true to the violence and sexual themes of the books. OK, maybe toned down a fraction, but it’s still clearly an adult themed show. I’m not suggesting so much that viewers want graphic violence and sex (I don’t know – maybe they do!) but changing this can very much change the nature of the setting. Would Game of Thrones be the same ugly, real world it is without the violence and sex? Probably not. To some degree you can control the way in which you portray it, but it must still be present.

    It wasn’t present in
    Legend of the Seeker, depriving that world of much of the true atmosphere of fear, horror and danger permeating the books, and without that backdrop the effect of the story on the viewer is significantly diluted.
I am enjoying Game of Thrones immensely, but almost the only thing I can think of that was right about Legend of the Seeker is the casting! Definitely no arguments about Craig Horner as Richard…

Have you seen both Game of Thrones and Legend of the Seeker? Which do you prefer, and why? Have you read the books? And if so, which do you prefer and why? Did you find Legend of the Seeker disappointing as compared to Game of Thrones or The Sword of Truth?

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