At the end of January, Sky Atlantic announced that the Game of Thrones travelling exhibition would finally be coming to London for 8 days in February, but tickets would only be available to Sky customers. I managed to get tickets after a major hiccup with the Sky website.
On Tuesday 17th February, myself and my friends Mags, Suvi and Martin headed off for the O2 by boat. It was a good experience, but I’m glad it was free as I wouldn’t pay for something that brief.
The main part of the exhibition consisted of viewing a variety of props and costumes of main characters in season 4 of the show. There were a few interactive opportunities, including being burnt to death by a dragon, being turned into a white walker and climbing the wall (this was so busy that we passed it by….over an hours wait). There were also a couple of chances to sit in the Iron Throne and have your photo taken.
There were also a couple of cosplayers wandering around too.
I finally decided to go and visit my friends Paul and Kerry in Belfast. We had a very busy week but being that we are all big GoT fans we decided to do a few Thrones based activities.
The first thing we did was visit Castle Ward which was used for the set of Winterfell in Season One. We paid for an archery experience which was an hour long and was led by the guy who was the archery advisor for the first season. We donned costumes (original HBO leftovers I might add) and spent an hour hearing anecdotes and shooting recurve and longbows. The session ended with a bit of sword play and mock beheadings. We made sure we took plenty of photos!
Later in the week we decided to visit a few places used in filming, including The Dark Hedges which was used as The Kingsroad in season one, Ballintoy Harbour which doubled as Pyke Harbour on The Iron Islands and a quick swing by the GoT studios in Belfast.
Last con of the year for me and a quieter event compared to the madness of the summer one.
As normal lots of costumes on display and I again helped with the charity stall for our Starfleet Chapter, the USS Iceni.
It was a chance for me to get a few more names on my Game of Thrones canvas and to meet Alan Ruck who played (among others) Captain John Harriman of the Starship Enterprise-B in Star Trek Generations…..such a friendly guy!
This hugely anticipated event was announced mid-year with the promise of reuniting the entire Star Trek: The Next Generation bridge crew and have the chance to have your photo taken on a replica of the Enterprise-D bridge. As well as the bridge crew a plethora of other names were also announced. There were tickets available for all budgets and whilst many people complained, it was down to the individual as to how much they spent.
On the whole the event was an improvement on the first, though it was noticeable that the people crewing the autograph section had no idea what they were doing and were not Showmasters crew who, it turns out were only crewing photoshoots. Unfortunately, Jonathan Frakes cancelled which upset a lot of people and Patrick Stewart had to scale back what he would take part in due to him being unwell. Fair play to him as could easily have cancelled!
The event was laid out much more effectively this time and they even had a viewing area which I enjoyed very much. A trek museum was available for people to wander around and you could also have yourself turned into a Vulcan or Klingon as did my friend Mags. There were also 3 stages at which you could hear a variety of talks and displays.
I had a ticket for the first night official party on ‘Risa’ which took place at the Fox Excel bar next door. It was a big improvement and a couple of highlights were hearing The Enterprise Blues Band perform.
The bridge shoot was great fun and along with many of my friends we had a number of photos taken and had quite a crowd watching us.
Once again there were many great costumes on show, but unfortunately we did not manage to break our own world record for most people in Trek costume.
On the Sunday afternoon, a few of us (mostly members of our USS Iceni chapter) were interviewed by Tom Felton, who played Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter series, for a documentary about fans and conventions that he was making.
As normal for me I had lots of professional photos taken with a variety of guests. See below!
Overall, I really enjoyed the event and am really hoping that another event is put on in 2016 for the 50th anniversary of Star Trek.