Spoiler alert: don’t eat lunch before trying this –
As you shoot to the top of the 700-ft ice wall in the winch elevator on the northern border of the Seven Kingdoms, a blizzard of snow is swirling against your face. The ghostly White Walkers stalk the bleak arctic landscape. Teetering on the edge with the other Night’s Watch, arrow after arrow of fire is suddenly let loose from the Wildings who live beyond the wall. Two screech past your ears, but the third hits you smack in the face! Losing your balance, you plummet into the icy depths below….
Welcome to the 2015 Game of Thrones Exhibition 4D experience powered by Oculus Rift, that allows you to ascend the wall up to Castle Black and enter the world of Westeros. Donning the VR headset, the experience combines the latest in interactive technology and computer graphics generated by Framestore, winner of last year’s Academy Award for Best Visual Effects for its work on the film Gravity.
In partnership with Yes-TV, from April 5-9th , Hangar 11, Tel Aviv Port will be transformed into HBO’s medieval fantasy as Israelis join the legions of fans who have recently experienced the touring 2015 Game of Thrones Exhibition in London and Stockholm. It then travels to Madrid, Berlin, Amsterdam and Paris.
Based on the books by George R.R. Martin, HBO-TVs Game of Thrones was created and executive produced by D.B. Weiss and David Benioff, kicking off its 5th blood-drenched season with an international premiere in 170 countries, on April 12th. The 2015 Exhibition features new installations, photo stations and web-based interactive features as well as select artifacts from the upcoming 2015 season.
Many of the TV series’ opulent costumes designed by Michele Clapton (she and her team won two Primetime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Costumes for a Series (Season 1 & 4, ) are featured in the Game of Thrones Exhibition. Prior to working on the HBO series, Clapton styled videos for rock stars Annie Lennox, R.E.M., Coldplay and many others.
The Exhibition boasts the exquisitely embroidered black and gold gown worn by Cersei Lannister, the swashbuckling brown leather coat and trousers of her brother Jamie Lannister, (his gruesome severed hand exhibited in a showcase nearby,) Daenerys Targaryen’s peacock blue dress patterned like shimmering dragon scales and Margaery Tyrell’s intricate wedding dress complete with embroidered train which took 200 hours to complete. Costumes, jewelry and props are historically accurate and meticulously constructed by Clapton’s team of leather workers, dyers, metal workers, cutters, printers, and embroiderers. A separate team spent hours aging and distressing period costumes to assure authenticity to each character portrayed in the TV series. (Except, of course for the late King Joffrey Baratheon’s suit of armor that was never battle-worn at all!)
Over 10,000 weapons have been created for the TV series by Tommy Dunne and his team in astounding historical detail. The Exhibition’s arsenal showcases many swords, knives and whips embossed with serpents, sculpted handles or inlaid with Swarovsky crystals. They include the feathered crossbow used by Tyrion Lannister to kill his father; Eddard Stark’s sword Ice hangs next to Arya Stark’s sword Needle and Jon Snow’s trusty weapon Longclaw sits next to his three-piece Night’s Watch black cloak and robes.
Vancouver’s Oded Granot knows a thing or two about the havoc those weapons can generate – literally! As a Digital Effects Artist for film and television, specializing in explosions, blood and creature details, he worked on part of last season’s Game of Thrones. Says the Haifa-born, 34-year-old nonchalantly, “I got the chance to add blood to swords, cut some throats, stab some torsos and bash one head. The studio I worked for was also responsible for Prince Joffrey’s death scene (by poisoning) as well as the battle between Clegane, ‘The Mountain’ and Prince Oberyn Martell.”
“I think Israelis are really going to love this Exhibition because all the Game of Thrones schemes, lies and conspiracies remind them of their politicians and their daily political life! ” Granot laughs.
Of course, no Game of Thrones Exhibition could be complete without the iconic Iron Throne, made from hundreds of asymmetrical (faux) twisted steel swords. Anyone with the slightest Napoleon complex can have their photo taken sitting on it.
When Queen Elizabeth toured the opening of the 2014 Game of Thrones Exhibition in Belfast, with many of the TV series’ cast present, everyone held their collective breath to see if Her Majesty would sit on it but of course, she declined.
But don’t despair- anyone with delusions of grandeur can buy a life-size replica for their living room from HBO’s online store for a mere $30,000 (shipping is an extra $2,500.) It’s the perfect perch from which to rule your own kingdom (albeit by remote control,) and watch the 5th Season of Game of Thrones.
To see Oded Granot’s digital effects reel click here