Our new column called The Fan Zone covers the experience from the view of the fan.
Our first expedition, the Game of Thrones event in Sydney presented by HBO. The exhibition had fans travelling from different parts of Australia to stand in lines for hours on end in the freezing cold (so yes, the full Game of Thrones experience, think Jon Snow). We arrived early Thursday morning, around 10am, part of the final group in the early line.
We were informed there would be a four-five hour wait, so we debated and questioned (rivalling any small council meeting good ol’ Tywin would have led) whether we should stay or come back at 2pm, when fans who missed out on the first queue were informed to return and risk the chance of not being let in. We decided to stay, and so began our long and harrowing journey through the Game of Thrones (GoT) Sydney exhibition line.
Initially people were excited, I know we were. Within the first 45 minutes we were informed that the time had changed to a six hour wait. The prospect of actually seeing, touching and experiencing what our favourite characters go through in the show, had many making new friendships in the line, with GoT uniting fans. Representatives then treated fans with impromptu trivia rounds where you could win a GoT t-shirt.
At 12:30pm we arrived at the 4 hour checkpoint of the queue. We thought, ok, four hours to go. We can manage that, the sun was still shining and the view of the harbour wasn’t so bad. Around 2pm, the gates were re-opened and fans joined the queue. Fast forward to 4:18 pm and we finally reach the ‘3 hours from this point’ checkpoint. I found myself chatting with the representatives of the exhibition and discussed that the average fan initially spends 1.5 hours inside and as the day progresses depending on the speed of entry and exit the time could change to just one hour.
We entered through the exhibit doors at 6:12pm, by that time we felt as if we had travelled as long as Arya had over the past four seasons. The exhibition was good. Some would say it was worth the long wait, others would disagree. Highlights of the exhibit included the interactive The Wall oculus experience, where fans were treated to partake in the journey. The costumes were breathtaking and the props including Lady Olena’s headdress and Sansa’s necklace were great to see in person. Due to the time we rushed through the exhibit and like Bran, had to bypass The Wall.
We departed at 6:51pm. I had to reflect on the day and the overall experience, constantly comparing it to other exhibitions. We’ve attended both the Harry Potter and Chronicles of Narnia exhibits presented at The Powerhouse museum, both exceptional exhibits. Personally, I’d attend the latter of exhibits any day. The Game of Thrones exhibition, maybe, if in future there were ticketed allocated times. The long wait dampened your spirit.
However, I’m still looking forward to season 5.