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 Wall was pretty neat! Check out some of the displays in the slideshow below.
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