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Game of Thrones Exhibit, NYC

I am a huge fan of George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. Well, I am a huge fan of the first three books, tolerate the fourth, and consider the fifth one of the worst books I’ve ever read — but I am still qualifying myself as a huge fan since I am looking forward to the rest of the series regardless of my displeasure with A Dance with Dragons. But I am also cheap and slow, so I have yet to watch any but the first episode of HBO’s adaptation, A Game of Thrones. I keep meaning to, but then I just end up watching another season of Starz’ Spartacus instead. But when HBO and local villain Time-Warner Cable announced an exhibit of props from the show as part of the push for the new season, I was interested enough to go. Unfortunately, so was most of the rest of New York.

Well, I guess I can’t say unfortunately. After all, I am part of the crowd when I call it a crowd, and it’s hard to be mad that people like something to do with fantasy literature and film. But this being New York, and A Game of Thrones being very popular, the wait to get into the exhibit wound down multiple avenues, snaked around blocks, and in general meant there was a four-hour wait to get into the exhibit (and they start turning people away from the back of the line around 2pm). Time-Warner customers could fast-track the line and book a same-day time slot, which meant around a ninety minute to two-hour wait but at least you could put your name down, leave, and come back when it was time to go in. Everyone else just had to stand around for four hours. We lucked into a friend who is a Time-Warner subscriber, so we were able to check in, go eat some crepes and have a beer, go buy fancy scarves, then come back.

Overall impression: if you waited four hours, you probably did not invest your time wisely, unless you had nothing else to do. It was a nice, up-close display of props — swords, helmets, skulls, and George Martin’s lovingly described dresses and tunics — but we have The Met and The Cloisters, two museums with a collection of actual medieval garb and weaponry that is every bit as menacing and quite a bit cooler than movie prop collections. The main attraction of the exhibit is the Iron Throne, where you can wait in line (again) to have your picture taken in it. Not to come down on the props. I do love movies and movie ephemera, after all, but what the Game of Thrones exhibit offers, while pretty nice, is just not worth an entire day spent waiting in line.

So a fun celebration of the show and worth going to if you are or know a Time-Warner customer (bring a print-out or email of your bill). Otherwise, and I don’t say this to sound like and intellectual snob, you really are better off at The Met. They have a collection of weapons and enormous codpieces that would be the envy of every Game of Thrones character. Plus, you can go look at mummies, too.