Game of Thrones: The Exhibition

Despite the eternal wishes and hopes of Game of Thrones fans everywhere, there is no way to travel to Westeros. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t exist. So until HBO gets wise and builds all of Westeros to scale as a giant amusement park, we’ll have to settle for the version brought to life with some television magic. This, of course, does not mean they aren’t trying to bring a little bit of Westeros reality to fans across the world.

With Game of Thrones: The Exhibition, HBO has delivered a museum-like experience that will give fans in 8 cities around the world a chance to get up-close-and-personal with some of the incredibly detailed, hand-crafted props and costumes. This week the tour is in Austin, Texas for the South by Southwest Film Festival, giving us a chance to check it out and behold some of the many wonders held within.

To say that it’s a museum-like experience is not to say that it’s at all stuffy and boring. Think of the coolest museum you’ve ever been to, then add the fact that this one has The Iron Throne. You can even have your picture taken as you sit atop The Throne thanks to a helpful group of staff, as you’ll see below. Beyond the big chair at the back of the room, there is so much more to take in. As you’ll see in my photo walk-through below, the exhibit is littered with costumes, jewelry, props and even Jaime Lannister’s severed hand (and the gold replacement he’ll be wearing this coming season).

Beyond the props and costumes — which are amazing in their level of detail and the way they appear ancient and worn — there are also several interactive displays to be experienced. The “Relive the Moment” display is a big video board behind The Iron Throne that displays favorite moments from the first three seasons as decided by fans via kiosks strategically placed around the exhibit. “Catch the Throne: A Mix-Tape” is a listening station that allows you to sample a special project full of Game of Thrones inspired music from a number of notable hip-hop artists. And at the back of the exhibit is a bar serving Brewery Ommegang’s latest creation, Fire and Blood, a Daenerys Targaryen inspired red ale. So if seeing severed hands and the very harrowing “In Memoriam” wall gets to you, there’s a chance to settle down with a beer. Though I wouldn’t recommend and Fire and Blood beer prior to experiencing the show’s most impressive interactive element, the “Ascend the Wall” Experience. Using an Oculus Rift virtual reality simulator, you are placed in an elevator at Castle Black and taken up The Wall to the very top, where you have a moment to walk around and look out at the land of the Wildlings. It’s a lot of fun, including the part where you can look down the other side of The Wall and be completely terrified. It’s full-on 4D experience, including the rickety feeling of a wooden elevator, cold winds and even some delightfully terrifying surprises. Despite being terrified of heights, I signed the waiver and got in. No regrets whatsoever. Though I should apologize to the staff — when Tyrion peed off the side of the wall it was okay, but apparently I’m not allowed. Don’t make the experience so real next time…

Game of Thrones: The Exhibition is open to the public from March 7-11 at Austin Music Hall. It will also travel to Rio de Janiero, Brazil; Oslo, Norway; Toronto, Canada; Belfast, Northern Ireland; and Vancouver, Canada in the coming months. For more information, visit HBO’s website. For those who unfortunately cannot make it to Austin or the other cities on the schedule, here’s a photographic tour.

Game of Thrones: The Exhibition

Austin Music Hall has been overtaken by Westeros

Game of Thrones: The Exhibition

The line starts here…

Game of Thrones: The Exhibition

A big map of Westeros

Game of Thrones: The Exhibition

All of the costumes are incredibly well-detailed. This is Stannis Baratheon’s armor.

Game of Thrones: The Exhibition

We found where Ser Davos keeps his fingers…

Game of Thrones: The Exhibition

The Hound and Arya

Game of Thrones: The Exhibition

Bran and Hodor

Game of Thrones: The Exhibition

The court of King’s Landing

Game of Thrones: The Exhibition

The Red Viper of Dorne is in the house.

Game of Thrones: The Exhibition

Note the Lannister lions on Cersei’s dress and Joffrey’s armor.

Game of Thrones: The Exhibition

The Hand of the King and other accoutrements.

Game of Thrones: The Exhibition

Jaime Lannister’s future hand.

Game of Thrones: The Exhibition

The weapons of Westeros.

Game of Thrones: The Exhibition

Dany and her dragons.

Game of Thrones: The Exhibition

Gaahhh!

Game of Thrones: The Exhibition

The dresses of Daenerys.

Game of Thrones: The Exhibition

RIP, pretty much all the Starks.

Game of Thrones: The Exhibition

The most gruesome part of the exhibit: Grey Wind’s severed head.

Game of Thrones: The Exhibition

Time for a trip to The Wall…

Game of Thrones: The Exhibition

A peek at what the Oculus Rift looks like inside…

Game of Thrones: The Exhibition

Jon and Ygritte

Game of Thrones: The Exhibition

The exhibit is littered with awesome costume sketches and concept art.

Game of Thrones: The Exhibition

More art.

Game of Thrones: The Exhibition

We were not kidding. Art.

Game of Thrones: The Exhibition

And scale replicas of the top of The Wall.

Game of Thrones: The Exhibition

And storyboards.

Game of Thrones: The Exhibition

And silly bloggers trying to look cool on The Iron Thrones.

Game of Thrones: The Exhibition

When that goes wrong, you can grab a beer before you go…


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