Winter is not coming any time soon. But this weekend, Con of Thrones, the largest-ever convention for fans of Game of Thrones, A Song of Ice and Fire and the epic worlds of fantasy author George R. R. Martin arrives in Music City from June 30th to July 2nd at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center.
For three days, fans of Martin’s novels, as well as the HBO TV series, are invited to experience more than 100 hours of related discussions, panels and entertainment throughout the weekend. There will be plenty of celebrity autograph and photo-op sessions for fans to enjoy, but there are so many different great events planned on the schedule, it’s difficult trying to figure out which ones to attend. Fans will discuss their latest theories on what they think will happen in Season 7 of the HBO series and celebrity guests will discuss working on the TV show, but that’s not all. There will be artists, bellydancers, concerts, cosplay, a costume contest, karaoke, leatherwork, an epic pub crawl, a spelling bee, water dancing, witchcraft, Westeros politics, writers and much more.
The convention coordinators hope to provide and immersive event that’s a natural extension of the audience’s fandom. Via email, I submitted a handful of questions regarding the upcoming event:
Con of Thrones Director Zack Luye describes the origins of the convention: “In 2011, Game of Thrones brought my friends and I together like the Potter series did when we were kids. In 2012, we launched a podcast for the series called Game of Owns. I feel passionate about creating these kinds of events, moments in time where like-minded people unite for a specific purpose, alongside talented people!”
When asked how Con of Thrones Producer Melissa Anelli initially got involved with the event, she replied, “I knew Zack Luye for a long time because he attended many of our Harry Potter conventions, LeakyCon. He knew of my company, Mischief Management, which makes fan conventions that are focused on memorable, immersive experiences. He came to visit me in New York and pitched the idea, and it went from there!”
What does it mean to you to bring this event to fans of the books and the TV show?
– Anelli: “At Mischief, we are all about making sure that fans feel at home taking full advantage of the opportunity to love things, to be passionate about them. We want people to feel at home expressing the things that light them up. We know what it’s like when people get together in that way, we know how magical it can be. So, we are SO excited to be doing it for Game of Thrones!”
What events of this convention are you the most excited about seeing?
– Luye: “Selfishly, I think I’m most excited to see my grandmother travel to the con dressed in Olenna Tyrell’s noble garb. Also, everything!”
Game of Thrones, much like the recently released Wonder Woman, features strong female characters. What does it mean to have the feminist collective, Scavenger Squad Cosplay, hosting a panel about the Women of Westeros?
– Anelli: “Game of Thrones is just full of complex questions and storylines, and the characters are three dimensional. We don’t think fans want to shy away from the more difficult and thorny questions; we think they want to delve further into it. We want to be sure that these conventions give them the chance to do that!”
Please give me the details about the Crawl of Thrones. Very excited about this one!
– Anelli: “We partnered with Crawl Nashville 615, who put on awesome pub crawls, to do Crawl of Thrones! On Friday night, the crawl will start at Tin Roof Broadway and go well into the early hours of Saturday morning. It’ll be great to go into downtown Nashville with so many fellow Game of Thrones fans.”
Last question: Who’s your favorite Game of Thrones character and why?
– Anelli: “Arya is the original badass. Arya is everything. I cannot wait to see her fully come into her own, as she must. She had all her privilege stripped away from her and went on a journey of her own, and earned every piece of her strength.”
– Luye: “Sandor Clegane. For his love of chicken.”