Friday, 14 June 2013

Game of Thrones Expo - Belfast


A week ago I'd arrived in Belfast Friday lunch time.  Checked into the hotel which was next door to the Titanic Centre and headed over to print of my tickets and see what was happening.  I could see the GoT Expo staff on the ground floor and figured my suspicions of the GoT press party being held in the Titan Centre were correct.  I agreed to meet @aka_Qthulhu early evening to catch the guests as the went in.

Sir Ben
6pm arrived and we were waiting patiently outside the Titanic Centre.  We met @Suzitothefuture and her brother and got chatting.  While waiting  we saw on Twitter that the actors were starting to leave for the party.  We started to get excited but were a little surprised that there were only 4 of us there.  Well when @DiscoverNI started to post photos of the actors arriving at the party we started to suspect we might of got it wrong!

While discussing what to do next a silver car pulled up and Sir Ben Kingsley got out and walked in to the GoT Expo.  Of course we started speculating what that might mean!  Didn't take long for Twitter to inform us that he's filming Our Robot Overlords in Belfast at the moment.  I still think he'll be visiting Westeros soon ;)

We spent the rest of the night wandering the streets of Belfast trying to find the party by identifying the windows in the back of the press photos!  Not surprisingly we failed :(  Not only that but @Suzitothefuture became the walking wounded due to new shoes.  By the end of the evening we'd discovered the party was in an old jail! HBO taking no chances!

A quick stop to pick up a Fabio pizza and it was time to head back to the hotel.


@RuralInsanity and @SerMountainGoat were flying in and joining us, Pod and Ian at 11am to tour the Game of Thrones Exhibition.  As we entered we heard a staff member telling another group that Liam Cunningham would be popping in to say hello and have some photos on the Iron Throne.  As we wandered around we heard his arrival, decided to play it cool and head over in a couple of minutes.  Just as we started to approach, he left!  When we got our pictures taken on the throne the woman said Rory McCann had been in earlier that day (we later found out he'd been for a fitting at the studio that morning which confirms him for next year! ;). 

Kings Guard
The Exhibition itself was great.  The detail on the costumes and props are amazing.  I've got photos up on Flickr.

On the way out I got chatting to one of the staff who informed we they had Patrick Stewart visiting the exhibition the night before.  I suggested it might have been a case of mistaken identity and showed him the pic of Sir Ben. ;)

We lunched in town and then had to say goodbye to @RuralInsanity as she had only flown in for the day.  The rest of us headed off to get ready for the opening of Helen Sloan's OnSet show.  A display of photos from the Game of Thrones set. 


We gathered at the Botanic Gardens and waited to get into the show.  Helen was there and welcomed us all in and then spent the rest of the evening receiving congratulations from friends and colleagues :).  The show consists of two smallish rooms with a number of prints showing behinds the scenes images of Game of Thrones.  From John Arryn lying dead in the Hand's chamber to the Throne Room being coated in snow and a dire wolf being lifted over the snow in Iceland while a zombie looks on.  The portrait shots were special.  If I thought I could get away with it I would have popped the portrait of Jaime Lannister under my arm and sprinted for the door!

The rooms were packed full of crew from Game of Thrones.  It was a warm night so it was quite cosy!   There was a brief sighting of Richard Dormer but he didn't stay long.  It was nice to catch up briefly with Wil Simpson.  He told us about his show in Derry and also that he had some work on display at W5 (Titanic Quarter, unfortunately closed on the Sunday morning when I visited). 

I also had a quick chat to Michele Clapton (Costume Designer), lovely lady and we also got to have a blether with Cat Taylor (@CatOnSet).  Great to finally meet her.  Congratulations again to Helen and I hope her talk goes well this Tuesday (18th June).  She did say she prefers to be behind the camera. :)

We left after a few hours and headed to the pub for a drink and a chat.  Then headed off to our own hotels.  My flight was Sunday lunch time so no more touring for me.

It was great to catch up with old friends and make some new ones.  Belfast was glorious in the sunshine and as always the GoT actors and crew are a lovely bunch of people.


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