Saturday, 10 March 2012

The Power of Game of Thrones

In collaboration with HBO, TIFF is currently hosting a free Game of Thrones exhibit consisting of various paraphernalia including costumes, props, a dragon’s egg and of course, the Iron Throne (which provides the perfect photo opportunity for any fan). It's on until March 18th so check it out if you have the chance (and the Iron Throne is in the lobby for your photographing convenience even if you don't have a ticket to the exhibit). 

So what exactly is this television series, Game of Thrones, about? The most concise (and ultimately, inadequate) description I can provide is that it’s an epic tale of a kingdom's power struggle, complete with complex storylines, realistically flawed characters and bleak situations for all involved. The television show is actually based on a series of books, A Song of Ice and Fire (note: A Game of Thrones is the title of the first book and is not the name of the entire book series itself). The first season of the TV show deals primarily with the contents of the first book and from what I understand, each subsequent season will deal with each separate book in relatively chronological order. However, as I mentioned before, there are many intertwined and complex storylines so we’ll have to see how the actual seasons turn out.

If you haven’t gotten into the series yet, I’d highly recommend it even if you’re not one for reading – the HBO series is a fairly quick marathon with only ten episodes in the first season (and each episode is an hour long). So, there’s more than enough time to catch up before season two begins airing in April.

When I first began to read the series way back when I was a teenager, I never could have imagined it would become such a large part of mainstream culture. Don’t get me wrong – I knew the books were popular (and rightly so) in certain crowds but it was not well-known in the sense that something like Harry Potter was.  No one I knew had heard of it at the time and it was only through my brothers that I was introduced to it in the first place. However, after the TV adaptation premiered on HBO last year and rose to critical and popular acclaim, those days of obscurity are long gone. After all, Game of Thrones was the recent subject of a wonderfully well-done intro spoof on The Simpsons.

And if The Simpsons spot isn’t enough, Game of Thrones has even managed to permeate into the fashion consciousness. (Although in a season where Ralph Lauren was influenced by Downtown Abbey, it seems that rather than travelling the world, designers only had to travel as far as their living rooms to find their inspiration.) 

Courtesy of Yannis Vlamos ( via; HBO
When I first browsed through the Helmut Lang RTW F/W 2012 collection on and saw this outfit on Aline Weber, something about the cut and attitude of it reminded me of Daenerys Targareyn (as portrayed by Emilia Clarke in the HBO series). And, I was pleasantly surprised to later discover that this connection was in fact intentional. The Game of Thrones influence is only particularly prominent in some pieces like the red leather outfit above and the layered outfits below but I appreciate that they weren't too heavy handed in drawing their inspiration for the rest of the collection.

Courtesy of Yannis Vlamos ( via

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