Game of Thrones at TIFF Bell Lightbox: a survival guide
By Brianne Hogan
Richard Madden as Robb Stark in Game of Thrones (all images courtesy HBO Canada)
Starting this Friday, HBO Canada teams up with TIFF Bell Lightbox to bring a free 10-day exhibit based on the hugely popular show, Game of Thrones. Wannabe residents of the fictional kingdom of Westeros can peruse costumes, props, weaponry and photography from the Emmy-award winning series. Haven’t watched the show yet but want to storm the gates anyway? We break down the significance of the most important props on display. Try to keep up.
The "hand of the king" badge
This ornament identifies the wearer as the "hand of the king." The hand is considered the second most powerful person in the kingdom, and is someone the king trusts above all others. The hand's purpose is to carry out the administrative duties of the king, allowing him to enjoy himself (like all kings should). Basically, the hand does all the hard work. When the king is absent, the hand sits on the king's throne because, well, who wouldn’t? Sometimes the king's hand becomes too powerful, and is either dismissed or possibly executed.
The stag crown
The crown belongs to Robert Baratheon (played by Mark Addy), the usurper, and the first Baratheon to rule Westeros after generations of Targaryens. (We warned you this would be confusing.) The stag is the symbol and coat of arms of House Baratheon, and Robert designed his crown in its image. The previous rulers, the Targaryens, typically wore crowns with a dragon motif. Each of the major families of Westeros has its own sigil, often an animal, and it stands to reason that each would shape their crown in its image, if given the opportunity.
The Iron Throne
The granddaddy of thrones, the Iron Throne is the seat of kings in the Seven Kingdoms (which represent the nine regions in Westeros) and is the ultimate symbol of authority. The throne is made of swords to remind supplicants that their peers were vanquished.
There are three dragon eggs owned by Danaerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke), one of two surviving members of the former Targaryen rulers. The eggs were a wedding gift celebrating her betrothal to a warlord who promised her brother he would restore the Targaryen family to the throne with the help of his army. Their significance lies in the history of the Targaryens, who were reputed to have ridden dragons when they originally conquered the Seven Kingdoms. The majority of the populace believes the tales of dragons to be myths, but those who seek to gain power regard the eggs as priceless because, apparently, if the eggs were to hatch, the super powerful dragons would elevate their masters to near invincibility.
Game of Thrones: The Exhibition, TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W. March 9-18.