A Walk Into Westeros: The 2014 SXSW Game of Thrones Exhibit | Fanboys Anonymous

A Walk Into Westeros: The 2014 SXSW Game of Thrones Exhibit

Posted by Marc Anthony Gonzalez Thursday, March 13, 2014
HBO curated a Game of Thrones exhibition at South by Southwest 2014's interactive festival. The showcase displayed original costumes and set pieces from the popular HBO series complete with the Iron Throne. However, by far the most appealing exhibit was the opportunity to enter Westeros via an Oculus Rift and walk along the Wall of Castle Black.

Party Free Drinks Food Convention Museum
Exhibition lines were packed with hipsters (whom I confused for people cosplaying the Unsullied)
The gallery of costumes and weapons added to the experience of immersion. Seeing the personalized weapons and clothes for each character added an element of high fantasy oft overshadowed by the show's immensely thick plot (and neglected by mainstream audiences). I gawked at the length of Eddard Stark's greatsword, Ice, along with the other weapons. It was fun for this Dungeons and Dragons fan to imagine what attribute bonus each article or weapon gave its user.

Ice White Walkers Guns
Ice curses its user with a -1 penalty to survive the first season
Costume pieces simulated the effect of standing face to face with each character, and nearly every major character's outfit was on display. The crowd of college girls around Jon Snow's leather armor certainly gave testament to that. Each piece really helped me appreciate the personalized intricacy overlooked on the show. Stannis Baratheon's armor looked as unbecomingly functional as his hairline, and Joffrey Baratheon's armor equated to the fantasy-world version of a black Misfits t-shirt and JNCO jeans.

Catrice Van Houten Clothes Naked
I still can't tell if my mind was playing tricks on me or if Stannis Baratheon's outfit really did smell like Old Spice

In terms of immersion, no costume or prop succeeded so much as the virtual reality simulation of walking along the Wall at Castle Black. Ninety-minute lines became completely justified once I strapped on the Oculus Rift and entered north Westeros. Starting off in a lift to ascend the Wall, I gazed upon the grounds of Castle Black. I might have seen Jeor Mormont or Samwell Tarley walking around (the latter of whose lunch money I would've attempted to steal). Ascending up the lift felt as real as any hotel elevator. I exited and walked about the allure where a chilling wind whistled through the walls. Once at the edge, I enjoyed a breathtaking panoramic view beyond the wall that was so real that I had to remind myself where I truly was. Gazing off into the distance looked as detailed as the ending cinematic of S3E6. I was actually in Westeros! Words cannot express how enjoyable and breathtaking the whole experience was. 10/10, would relive.

Video Games Mountains Forest Snow

Did you get a chance to see the Game of Thrones exhibit? If so, what did you think? What would you like to have seen in such a exhibit? Would you have chosen a different locale to view through the Oculus Rift? Let us know in the comments section!

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