Tag Archives: game of thrones

San Diego Comic Con

A few months ago, I had the amazing opportunity to attend San Diego Comic Con (SDCC). This was an incredible event and I had an amazing time attending!

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SDCC began with a flight down to one of my favorite cities and I was able to spend a few hours writing on the beach before the event officially began.

The first day of SDCC began with an evening entrance. I was very grateful to have had my tickets provided by Dabel Brothers Publishing who were there promoting their recent publications of Sherrilyn Kenyon graphic novels, along with other numerous additional publications.

 

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Guided by my personal assistant, Gladys, who arranged for me to attend the event, I spent the first day walking around the con, seeing some fun sights which included having a picture taken from a set of the upcoming Star Wars Episode VIII.

 

Walking through the Star Wars and Marvel model section of the con.

 

Sitting in the captain’s chairs from Star Trek.

 

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And of course, my favorite part, viewing the incredible cosplay which also comes with a comic con event!

 

For those who have never been, SDCC is one of the largest with a reported 130,000 people in attendance over the extended weekend. Events span beyond the conference center to multiple hotels along the marina.

 

 

Exhibits, cosplay, and super-hero themed drink and food specials fill the entire area for the entirety of the events and there is always something fun to experience.

 

The next day was spent between exploring further and standing in line for Hall H, which is the largest room in the conference center. Inside are held some of the biggest events and speakers. In order to get into Hall H, one has to acquire a wrist band, which are handed out to those in line the night before events. These lines generally begin days in advance, with people camping out in order to secure entry to see their favorite stars and panels. Though we did not stay overnight at the venue, we stood in line approximately 13 hours in order to acquire our bands and then were back in line the next morning by 5am.

 

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The wait was completely worthwhile! The panels we attend:

Fear the Walking Dead & The Walking Dead:

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Game of Thrones:

 

As a huge fan of both Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead, it was an incredible experience and I loved getting to listen to the speakers and panelists talking about the shows.

The last day I managed to attend a couple of panels. One on YA fantasy and another on writing dystopian novels and then had a fun time visiting with the always amazing Christopher Rice.

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For those unfamiliar with Christopher’s work, his newest novel co-written by Anne Rice, Ramses the Damned: The Passion of Cleopatra, will be released later this month. He was kind enough to sign a copy for me and is a novel I would highly recommend!

 

I also had the incredible opportunity to meet Sherrilyn Kenyon who was kind and generous with her time. I must admit to be a touch star-struck to meet her and she could not have been kinder.

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Overall SDCC was an incredible experience for which I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to attend!

 

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Game of Thrones & Northern Ireland – pt. 2

For Valentine’s this year we decided to forgo the traditional dinner out and instead opted to go on a tour of several filming locations used for the popular HBO show, Game of Thrones, based on the bestselling A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin. This tour consisted of several locations used primarily in the first season of the show in Northern Ireland.

 

Our first stop was Inch Abbey.

 

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This is where Robb Stark was declared King of the North by his men who chose to swear loyalty to him.

 

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The actual location is an abbey which dates back to the the 1100s.

 

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It is also the site where Robb Stark learns of his father’s death and tell his mother that he intends to kill those who had murdered his father and wronged his family.

 

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Next we went to Castle Ward, the filming location of Winterfell.

 

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Sitting on over 800 acres of land, the area once belonged to the Ward family has since become a UK National Heritage site. Because of this, all of the extra pieces of the set which were built for the show had to be removed once filming was done. It should also be noted that CGI was used in several instances in order to increase the magnitude of the buildings used for various shots.

This is standing inside of the main courtyard of the Castle, which dates back to the 1500s.

 

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It was here that we were given a brief history lesson of the castle, the surrounding area, and how it came to be a filming location for Game of Thrones. It was also here that visitors were given the option to wear costumes from the show while embarking upon an hour walk  around the grounds featuring some beautiful landscapes.

 

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At the end of the walk, we also came upon Audley’s Castle which was used as the filming location for The Twins; the castle occupied by The Freys.

 

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Interestingly enough, Audley’s consists of only one tower, not two. The second tower was added through the use of special effects in the television show.

 

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It felt a little surreal to actually be standing in the same location as where these famous scenes were shot, not to mention the hundreds of years of actual history which took place around the scenes. A truly wonderful combination of fantasy and history.

Our third stop was to Tollymore Forest.

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This was the filming location for several shots from the very first episode of Game of Thrones, including the opening scene beyond the wall and where the Starks find the direwolves.

 

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Last, but certainly not least, we actually got to meet two of the actors – Odin and Thor.

 

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They played direwolf pups  Summer and Grey Wind, in part of the first season.

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Overall, I really enjoyed to tour and had a wonderful time.

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Northern Ireland & Game of Thrones

I recently spent a few days exploring the coast of Northern Ireland. Easily one of the most breathtakingly beautiful locations I have ever had the privilege to visit, the trip was nothing short of amazing. We stayed in a cottage just outside of Portrush a few miles off of the coastline. It was a quaint and wonderful place, just off the beaten path enough to be tranquil.

For this trip, we decided to take a self-guided tour of some of the filming locations for Game of Thrones, the HBO television show based on the books written by George R.R. Martin. As not only a fan of the show and books, but also as one who was lucky enough to get to meet Martin a few years ago, I was very excited to be taking the trip. We began semi-early with our first stop of the day, The Dark Hedges, which served as the filming location for the road between Winterfell and King’s Landing, known as the King’s Road. The location was rather difficult to find, and we actually stopped and asked for directions by a very nice man who actually escorted us up the hill to the location.

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The Dark Hedges consist of a narrow road lined with beech trees which were planted by the Stuart family during the eighteenth century. They were originally intended to serve as a compelling feature to impress visitors as they approached the family’s home. Today, this road remains a truly beautiful site and an impressive location. It is easy to see how it was chosen to be a part of this fantasy series.

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Our next stop was directly on the coast, Giants Causeway. This location is famous primarily for the unique rock formations which line its coast.

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There is a legend that these rocks were actually built by Giants. There are several versions of this legend.

 

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One version is that the Irish Giant Finn MacCool was challenged to fight a Scotish Giant, Benandonner. Finn agreed to the challenge and built the causeway so that they could meet. Some stories say that Finn defeated Benandonner. Other versions say that Finn hid from the Scotish Giant with the help of his wife, who disguised Finn as a baby and tucked him into a massive cradle. When Benandonner saw the ‘baby’ in the cradle, he assumed that Finn must be even bigger than himself, given the size of the ‘baby’, and fled back to Scotland.

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The third stop was Ballintoy Harbour, another Game of Thrones filming location on the coast. This is the spot where Theon Greyjoy returns to his ancestral home, the Iron Islands. (also, where he was baptized to the drowned god)

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It was an absolutely stunning coastal view, and the cold wind whipping across the sea just added to the authentic feel of standing before a truly amazing sight.

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The next day, we took a break for the Game of Thrones tour to visit the Old Bushmills Distillery and did a little whiskey tasking, which was fun…for my husband. I’m not much of a whiskey drinker. More of a “grapejuice” kind of author.

Then we drove back towards Belfast, where we spent our last day touring a little bit of the city and walking through the Titanic Museum. The ship was built in Belfast and actually began its tragic voyage in Northern Ireland, doing proving runs before finishing interior construction and departing for Liverpool. The museum is a collection of information which allows visitors to follow the story of Titanic from its original conception to the original design drawings.

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From there, it follows the actual construction steps involved in building her hull, outfitting her engines, and putting together her luxurious interior. The tour finishes with the events of the tragic night the ship sank into the sea, and the aftermath of the disaster, complete with a list of names of those lost. What also amazed me was that the victims ran the gamut of social classes, from tradesman, to crew members, to millionaire industrialists. I have been on the tour several times and still find myself standing with a deep sense of reverence towards the memorialized site.

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Overall, the trip was nothing short of amazing and a reminder of how, even after my extensive travels, the Irish and Northern Irish Coasts remain one of my absolute favourite places in all of Europe.

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Game of Thrones Exhibition Belfast

Last week I went to The Game of Thrones Exhibition in Belfast, Northern Ireland. We started the day early in Dublin, and arrived in Belfast around nine in the morning. The exhibition was held at the Belfast Waterfront and was within walking distance of the train station, so we headed directly there after our arrival.

There were two ways to get into the exhibition. If you had tickets, then you also had an appointed time slot and all that was required was that you show up on time. The second was for those who did not have tickets, which included myself. Tickets for the event were extremely popular and had actually sold out in a matter of hours after their release. So I joined a long line of others who were allowed inside as the building’s capacity allowed.

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It took about two hours from our arrival to get into the building, which overall was not bad. It was fairly organized and according to one of the people running the even, just about everyone who had come to see the exhibition was eventually allowed in.

The exhibition featured, drawings, costumes and props from the Game of Thrones television show which were used on set. It included the gowns from Joffrey’s wedding.

Purple wedding clothes

Costumes worn by the Night’s Watch

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And, of course, Dragons!

 

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It also featured many of the weapons carried by various characters and other props such as jewelry, and goblets.

 

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Visitors could climb the wall through the use of virtual reality technology and, of course the highlight, they could get their pictures taken on The Iron Throne where they were allowed to rule all within their sight…for the five to ten seconds they were allowed to sit upon the Throne.

 

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It was a really cool experience. I am a fan of both the novels and the show, and to see the costumes up close and to see the amazing level of detail which went into the making of each and every piece really helped to bring the show to life. If you are a fan and fortunate enough to live in one of the cities where the exhibition will be coming, I would highly recommend visiting.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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