Wednesday, October 26, 2016Overcast 6°C

Game of Thrones comes to life at the Design Exchange

Posted by Ab Velasco / March 11, 2013

Game of Thrones TorontoWinter is coming again to Toronto. "Game of Thrones: The Exhibition" has kicked off its world tour in Toronto at the Design Exchange, running until March 16.

The interactive exhibition brings to life the world of Westeros, the setting of the immensely popular HBO fantasy series, which is adapted from George R.R. Martin's beloved novels. Not surprisingly, all 22,000 free tickets are sold out, but there will be a rush line on all show dates.

Game of Thrones Toronto"It's really about the show's intriguing and complex characters. No one is really all good or all bad. The characters are very believable and the scenes are quite dramatic. It's the mix of the fantasy world with the characters and drama that makes the show so appealing," says Scott Campbell, communications manager at The Movie Network and HBO Canada.

Curated by HBO, who worked closely with the show's talented artisans, the exhibition focuses on key characters from five noble houses, who are vying to win the Game of Thrones: Stark, Lannister, Targaryen, Baratheon and Greyjoy. The characters comprise the exhibition's five major sections.

Game of Thrones TorontoCampbell says this year's show is larger than last year's exhibit at TIFF Bell Lightbox. "There's a lot more stuff, including things that have never been seen before. This exhibition has also been built to tour." Toronto is the only Canadian stop; subsequent stops include New York City, Sao Paulo and Amsterdam.

The exhibition gives fans a visual cornucopia of over 70 artifacts from the show's two seasons - including costumes, armour, weapons and props. Seeing the pieces of the medieval world set against the Design Exchange's contemporary backdrop makes it more apparent the incredibly detailed work that goes into bringing fantasy to life.

The show's costume designer Michele Clapton's work is beautifully displayed. To ensure accuracy, Clapton even dressed the mannequins, including those representing the Stark family, who pose in the exhibition in the same way the characters did on the first episode during the arrival of King Baratheon.

Game of Thrones TorontoFans will undoubtedly find the weapons and props cool. These include: crowns and jewelry; Arya Stark's "Needle" sword; Jon Snow's "Longclaw"; demented Joffrey's crossbow; The Hound's helmet; two of Daenerys' three dragon eggs (the third egg was given to author Martin as a wedding gift); and a jar of wildfire, the explosive liquid that Tyrion Lannister uses to win the epic Battle of Blackwater Bay.

Speaking of that battle, the exhibition's showstopper - without a doubt - is the interactive Blackwater Bay video game, which lets attendees become part of the pivotal battle from the second season by shooting flaming arrows at approaching ships to blow them up. It's a lot of fun!

Game of Thrones TorontoThe third season premieres March 31 and attendees are treated to a sneak peek, including a costume belonging to new character, The Lord of Bones. Also, let's just say that Daenerys' dragons are bigger and you get to see one of them on display.

Collectively, the show and books have made the Game of Thrones brand a pop culture juggernaut; its success largely thanks to its international cult following. The exhibition also shines the spotlight on the fans, displaying some of the beautiful fan art submitted through the official Game of Thrones Tumblr.

As attendees leave the exhibition, they can pledge their allegiance to one of the five houses and take a picture on the iconic Iron Throne.

Game of Thrones TorontoCampbell predicts that Torontonians, as a whole, will lean towards House Stark. "Canadians are a little more reserved and the Starks seem to have that more reserved attitude. So my prediction would be Stark, but my hope would be Targaryen, because they're very unpredictable."

Additional Photos

Game of Thrones TorontoGame of Thrones TorontoGame of Thrones TorontoGame of Thrones TorontoWhich noble house do you identify with and why? Pledge your allegiance in the comments below!

Photos by Sandra Chow



Alexander / March 11, 2013 at 06:57 pm
This is the sort of thing that's really frustrating about blogto...why wasn't this posted before tickets went on "sale"? i.e. what is the value in covering an event if it's already sold out?

This happens all the time, you cover concerts a week away when tix are all gone...if I can't get in, you covered it too late.
Tony / March 11, 2013 at 07:42 pm
Posting this now after the tickets are sold out is a waste of time.
Mike / March 11, 2013 at 08:03 pm
Kind of a waste of time. Nothing special to be honest. It was very small. The pictures they took of you on the "Iron" Throne were done on an iPhone and the prints were really out of focus. All of the swords were sheathed. Not really impressed to be honest. Took about 10 minutes to see the whole thing.
Yvette / March 12, 2013 at 10:08 am
I hate to get in comment section fights but you Debbie Downers really get on my nerves. Like it's BlogTO's job to personally e-mail you about events happening in Toronto, this event has been listed on their website for weeks, I know because that's how I found out about it. If you cared to know what's going on in the city you would've have checked the events section. Now they are covering the event and you all are just brushing it off, it's called a review. The entitlement some people have!
Rj replying to a comment from Yvette / March 15, 2013 at 11:31 am
Thank you. It's been posted on many sites and all over Facebook, everyone I've spoken to that went so far loved it. I got my tickets a week and a half ago and I'm going tonight.
Ree / March 15, 2013 at 03:18 pm
There are Rush tickets available if you go to the kiosk in the Design Exchange. All you have to do is enter your name, phone # & email address (oh and postal code) on the computer, print out your ticket and you're game! (They obviously honor ticket holders with set times first and then if there is extra space, you get to rush it.). I went during my lunch hour and there was no line up to get Rush tickets and only a ten minute wait at the door. The line up to take your picture on the throne was long, but looks really good!
Other Cities: Montreal