Game of Thrones: The Exhibition opened yesterday in Toronto, and runs for he next eight days at the TIFF Bell Lightbox. Dork Shelf was lucky enough to get a guided tour on Thursday, and we were pretty impressed by all of the costumes, props, and weaponry from HBO’s fantasy series that were on display.
When you first enter the Lightbox you can get your picture taken, photobooth style, on Aegon the Conqueror’s legendary Iron Throne. Here’s our editor-in-chief Will, clearly unburdened by the pressures of reigning over the Seven Kingdom’s of Westeros.
The exhibition itself opens with the sigils of the six major houses that we’ve been introduced to so far in the television series (Highgarden and Dorne were the two excluded), as well as numerous house banners (Stark, Lannister, King Joffrey’s Stag and Lion and Renly’s Stag on a Green Background). There are a number of photos of the characters from the first season adorning the walls, and as you move into the latter part of the exhibit, there’s some “spoiler” shots of characters from the second season like Lord Stannis Baratheon, Melisandre and Ser Davos Seaworth.
For some of Game of Thrones‘ most devoted fans, the costumes will probably prove a highlight. Included in the display is Jon Snow’s Night’s Watch armour from season two, Cersei’s medieval kimono-like gown from the first season, and Dany’s Dothraki getup (no Qartheen dress from season two – sorry perverts!). Melisandre’s red dress is included as well, and King Renly’s armour is appropriately over-the-top and impressive, especially his chain-link tunic that has something like 4000 individual rivets. The detail that went into each costume will impress even casual fans of the series, but for those die-hards more likely to dress up as Thrones characters for a convention or Halloween, this stuff is must see.
The exhibition includes weapons from the series, bronze shields emblazoned with the Stark direwolf. There’s even a stuffed Raven (“the Blackberry of Westeros”) and glassware made specifically for the series (King Robert’s wine-horn, mugs from Winterfell and some Dragon-themed glasses from the Red Keep). We watched some of the documentaries on the “Making of” Game of Thrones seasons one and two and the bits about filming in location in Iceland and Dubrovnik (Croatia) were especially fun to see.
When I first watched Game of Thrones last Spring, I came to it as a non-reader – I was quickly sucked in by the richness of George R. R. Martin’s world, the violence, the sex, and the intrigue. I don’t want to say I missed the details of the props, sets and setting – but it was of secondary interest to me at the time. The Game of Thrones exhibit focuses your attention on the tangibles of Westeros that were brought to life in the series. The exhibit does well to display some of the intricate details that are missed by the cameras – and in typical Game of Thrones fashion, the exquisite objects on display are underpinned by a violent and gory surprise!