HBO and TIFF have put on a Game of Thrones exhibition, which is running this week (March 9 - 18, 2012). I had the opportunity to view the exhibition earlier this week, and was extremely disappointed. Yes, it was a free event, but I was still hoping for more than what was put on by the exhibitors.
From the website:
Located in the expansive main-floor HSBC Gallery at TIFF Bell Lightbox in Toronto, and designed and staged by TIFF’s world-class exhibitions team, Game of Thrones: The Exhibition showcases a wealth of material from HBO’s global production, including: six costumes; props symbolic of major plot twists; an assortment of weaponry, tableware and banners that illustrate the series’ distinctive Houses; gorgeous still photography from Seasons 1 and 2; and behind-the-scenes videos of the designers and craftspeople who bring Westeros to life. Among the many highlights are: the never-before-seen costume of Melisandre, a major character new to Season 2; a dragon egg; the “Hand of the King” badge and the stag crown of Robert Baratheon.
The anchor to the exhibition is the infamous Iron Throne itself. Located in the RBC Lobby at TIFF Bell Lightbox, fans and passers-by alike will have the chance to be King or Queen for a day and be photographed with the Throne.
Instead of walking into an exhibition space, I felt I had walked into a giant space for HBO to advertise its hit show. None of the costumes or props in the exhibit were labeled, and it was unclear if these were indeed used in the show or copies for the purpose of the exhibition. Most of the exhibition consisted of stills from the show, and only a select few of these stills were actually of behind the scenes. You couldn’t actually hear any of the sound from the behind the scenes video, since 3 screens were grouped close together and the sound was not loud enough to make up for the loud noise from the visitors.
Many were excited to have a chance to “sit on the throne”, but yet again, I found this to be an unwelcome media stunt. Fans lined up to have their photo taken on the throne - for a fee. The throne could not be enjoyed by those wishing to look at it as a museum object, and instead only by those who gave into advertising.
While some of the props were cool to see - such as Stark’s head and the dragon egg, it was still unclear if these were indeed authentic. Overall, I found the exhibition to be disappointing. While I was aware it would be quite small due to the nature of it and it being a free exhibit, I still expect more from the institutions involved in putting on the show. Nevertheless, I am still psyched for the season 2 premiere of the show on April 1st!