We waited in line for six hours for the Game of Thrones exhibition in Sydney
July 07, 2014
(Originally published at hijacked.com.au now junkee.com.au)
There is a lot someone can do in six hours: complete an average school day, drive to Coffs Harbour from Sydney, watch two and a bit Harry Potter films or cook 180 packets of two minute noodles. Or you could wait in line for a Game of Thrones exhibition. This is precisely how long I waited in line on Thursday, when I headed to Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) for a peek at the US television show's ridiculously hyped exhibition, which ran for just four days.
If it wasn't for beautiful weather conditions and friendly crowds, the six hour wait to get into the museum would have been hell. Luckily for myself and the random guy I met who’d flown from Adelaide just for the event and offered to pay people for their place in the line, it was all worthwhile in the end.
By 11.30am the queue had been sealed off for the day, and it was not to be re-opened again for 24 hours. I watched with pity from my vantage point, halfway through the line, as hundreds of die-hard 'Thronies' were turned away.
After finally making it to the entry doors and being given a grey wristband (the background colour of House Frey banners *shudders*), museum staff clapped and cheered at our resilience and ushered us into the relatively small Foundation Hall room of the MCA, where only 250 people were allowed in at a time.
The first thing that caught everyone’s eye as they walked in was the replica Iron Throne. The gasps heard upon sighting it were not just because of the throne’s majesty and wonder, but mostly because of yet another huge line that awaited us in this area.
Not everyone was daunted by the thought of another queue. One fellow took the opportunity to propose to his bewildered girlfriend as she posed for a photo on the throne.
After dragging my eyes away from the realistic display, I spotted the highly anticipated augmented reality simulator role play machine, which also (surprise!) had a huge line.
Queuing for half an hour to try this modern-day marvel only increased my excitement and anticipation as I watched participants step into the prop cages. One in every five finished their experience with muffled screams.
Finally, an attendant fitted me with goggles and headphones that totally enveloped the senses. As we 'took off', the cages rattled and blew cold wind – the effect of which transported you mentally to the scene of a medieval elevator about to ascend The Wall, as patrolled by The Nights Watch in the show.
Without giving too much more away, the experience was a tad frightening, but incredible nonetheless. The detailed scenery was convincing and the epitome of the flawlessness associated with HBO.
After stepping out of the Game of Thrones virtual reality experience, I spent time soaking up the giant posters of maps, character photographs, still shots from famous scenes and draft storyboard sketches. Each display was accompanied by fascinating background information.
Many glass cases were also scattered throughout the display, holding props from the show such as the huge sword Ice and the heads of a direwolf and dragon. Next to each display cabinet, a sign boasted the extra content you could view on your mobile using Google Play, with wifi located throughout the building.
The displays that focused on main characters also included costumes worn by the cast. These showcased the intricate detail and workmanship that has gone into creating the show.
Discovery of a video show reel dedicated entirely to each character that had died throughout the series – both minor and major roles – was a heartbreaking highlight of the exhibition.
For those wondering if the exhibition is worth the wait, I’m going to be honest and say it is, but only if you’re a massive fan. The chance to get a picture on the Iron Throne and experience The Wall are incredible value for money, considering we didn't pay a cent to get into the MCA.
I spent six hours of my life that I’ll never get back in that line. If you weren’t going to keep your photo upon the Throne as your Facebook profile picture for many months, then it probably wouldn’t be worth it.
The Sydney Game of Thrones exhibition closed on Saturday and will now travel to Vancouver in Canada, where it will be open to the public for two weeks from mid-August.