Con of Thrones, Day 1: Beginnings, Endings, and the Apocalypse


Right at this moment, Game of Thrones fans are enjoying the many sights and sounds of Con of Thrones, the biggest Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire-themed convention of its kind.

Well, not right at this moment. Day 1 of the convention is over, and I was there to chronicle what I saw, heard, and learned. The first annual Con of Thrones is off to a rollicking start, and promises many return visits.

The first event on my checklist was, appropriately, the show’s Opening Ceremonies. For the highly attended event, the organizers went a little offbeat with a tongue-in-cheek sketch featuring characters who were either cut from the show or utilized in very different ways — the cast included the wildling Val, Quentyn Martell, “Book Stannis,” Gendry, and of course Lady Stoneheart, who had to speak using an interpreter. They debated back and forth about who should sit the Iron Throne in the end (Stannis was very pro-Stannis), and ultimately decided to wander around the convention for the duration soliciting opinions one way or another. It was a fun opening salvo and a good example of the free-wheeling atmosphere at the Gaylord Opryland Resort & Convention Center.

There are multiple programs and panel discussions going on at any one time, so there’s no way to get to them all. After the opening ceremonies, I attended a panel on Race in Game of Thrones, hosted by, among others, Game of Thrones YouTuber Ser Hunts Reviews.

Most of the panels are staffed with superfans, which also adds to the congenial atmosphere. The panel itself was free-wheeling and often funny, thanks in no small part to panelist Tony Teflon. Topics included, obviously, the presence of people of color on the show and in the books, with analysis of some of the defenses commonly raised for why there aren’t many. But it happily strayed into other debates, like the possible motives behind the decision to make Yara Greyjoy a lesbian in Game of Thrones season 6 when that’s not true of her book counterpart.

My favorite panel of the afternoon was probably Eldritch Apocalypse, hosted by ASOIAF theorist Emmett Booth. Booth, hosting by himself, talked for 50 straight minutes about Euron Greyjoy, the return of magic to the world, and tentacle monsters of the deep. Basically, the thrust of his argument is that Euron Greyjoy is trying to usher in an apocalypse. (In the books. Gods know what he’s doing on the show.) It was pretty convincing — You can read more about it on Booth’s blog.

The most densely populated panel I attended was on The Endgame of the show. How is this whole thing gonna end?

After a long day of conning, people were kinda punch-drunk by this point, but the discussion was still lively and fun, and included discussions of everything from a White Walker victory to a Jon-Dany smackdown to that most inevitable of questions: Just how long can Cersei Lannister possibly stay alive?

When not attending panels, visitors are free to roam the Con’s marketplace, where vendors sell everything from prop swords to tee-shirts to makeup lessons. And also foam fighting.

Stay tuned for more tomorrow, and in due time we’ll have reports on some very interesting interviews with Game of Thrones personnel.

Next: Con of Thrones, Day 2: A Song of Debates and Cosplay